Wallbanger

WallbangerWallbanger by Alice Clayton

Series: Cocktail #1

Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Chick-lit

The Plot
Wallbanger is a light, entertaining and humorous read, following the journey of Caroline who upon moving into a new apartment discovers her neighbour is quite the man! He in fact, is often found making nightly noises (I’m sure your imagination can fulfil the gap for now) with several different women that definitely hits the wall and is heard through the wall since Caroline and the mystery ‘Wallbanger’ share a bedroom wall she is also kept up nightly. The plot unravels from there following the journey of Caroline, her relationship troubles, her neighbour and the novel builds upon the premise of an unlikely relationship forming between her and the ‘Wallbanger’.
The Review
Wallbanger is one of those novels that is light, fluffy and pure entertainment! There is very little that is serious about this novel and it serves to be the perfect escape romance. However I do fear that the novel is very much based upon taste in terms of the humour which is obviously different amongst individuals. Personally I am not a massive chick-lit fan, but I engaged well with Wallbanger and although near the end I had a tendency to skim a little bit, overall I found myself immersed in the story.

Caroline had a solid character and personality that made her almost certainly a likeable character.  She likes to cook and bake, and she’s an interior designer who is proud of her job and this is evident by the hard work she puts in. However I did not really feel like she really brought this into her own home and I felt like we could have sensed more of her personality throughout the novel. There were moments where I felt she also had a tendency to fall into emotional dramatic scenes that were rather unnecessary in my opinion and did frustrate me. In addition to that, I felt like the strength of her character drained a little by the end of the novel and she was not nearly as strong as at the start. This disappointed me a little because I felt like it would have made the last part of the novel much stronger.

The ‘Wallbanger’ himself is quite the enigma and not as he first appears. He was incredibly suave, kind and caring and not at all what you first expect. I actually really liked his character and at moments he found himself floundering with Caroline who refused to give him a chance or hear him out entirely. However his persistence is certainly something that is a strong redeemable quality and maybe a very romance novel based quality!

I fear this novel could not be complete without the trusty pet, the cat, Clive. He certainly makes a strong addition to the humour and I found myself enamoured with him. I feel that novels without animals these days appear to be a little incomplete as they always tend to round character with their unexpected antics and Clive certainly is a pesky little devil, but a loveable one. In addition to this, Caroline was clearly a loveable owner and that showed throughout the novel and this affection is certainly the right way to portray pet owners, so Clayton is given both thumbs up here!

The plot, well it basically centres on the romance of the ‘Wallbanger’ and Caroline, but it does not just appear out of nowhere and that is the strong element of Wallbanger as chick-lit because it creates a friendship and emotional connection between the two that builds up over time. In addition to this, there are several plot strands to the romance that interweave and give it a little more substance.

Overall, Wallbanger is a solid addition to the chick-lit genre, and admittedly it won me over to a genre I don’t usually venture into. I can see that Wallbanger will not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I enjoyed it and I am certainly tempted by the future sequel to see where things go even for a novel that is not perfect. If you have a spare few hours, I recommend giving it a chance since you might just find you enjoy it after all!

Favourite Quotes

“No woman has ever done breakfast bread foreplay the way you do.
Ha! When you coming?
Can’t. Drive. Straight.
Can we have one conversation when you’re not twelve?
Sorry, I’ll be there in 30.
Perfect, that will give me time to frost my buns.
Pardon me?”

“The girl next door was meowing. What in the world was my neighbor packing to make that happen?
Clive, at this point, went utterly bonkers and launched himself at the wall. He was literally climbing it, trying to get where the noise was coming from, and adding his own meows to the chorus.”

Rating: 3 / 5 Stars

Goodreads ~ Amazon UK / US ~ Author’s Website

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Filed under 2012 Publication, 3 Books, Adult, Alice Clayton, Chick-Lit, Contemporary, E-book, Omnific Publishing, Romance

Waiting on Wednesday #2

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine, where we highlight an up and coming release we are eagerly anticipating.

TheHellsbloodBride-144dpi

The Hellsblood Bride by Chuck Wendig

Series: Mookie Pearl #2

Genre: Urban-fantasy, Adult

The Plot

Yes, we’re going back deep underground for another twelve rounds with Mookie Pearl. Father, barkeep, former Mafioso, ruler of his subterranean crime-kingdom. The Organization is back, and they’ll do anything to get Mookie on board, but Mookie has gone legit, and it’s taking every ounce of effort for him to keep his new bar from crashing and burning. To top it all, his daughter is missing, and when Nora’s not in plain sight, that’s usually a sign of bad things to come! On one hand, the Organization. On the other, Nora. Why can’t Family ever be easy – ?

~ Goodreads~

Recently I read the first book in this series, The Blue Blazes (look out for my review shortly) and Chuck Wendig was definitely an author I have been following behind for quite a while, reading his Miriam Black series. He is honestly a really gritty, intense author that does not shy away from horror, violence and bad language and he makes his characters realistic, harsh and with many flaws, that at times does make them likeable. This series is honestly quite an imaginative and innovative one when it comes to the urban-fantasy genre and I am looking forward to the direction of the second novel and what Wendig will be doing with it.

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Storm

10401084Storm by Brigid Kemmerer

Series: Elementals #1

Genre: Young-Adult, Paranormal-Romance

The Plot
Storm is a novel that follows the path of one girl, Becca Chandler and her encounters with fellow pupils at school, which is the likes of past-boyfriends and secrets that the plot follows to uncover, it also includes the Merrick family and in particular Chris. In addition to this, there is a new boy present, an absent father, a demanding best friend and some paranormal elements that are not quite the traditional vampire/werewolf aspect and this make things a little more interesting. So as expected there is romance, potentially of the double-trouble kind (love triangle alert!) and some paranormal-magic to spice things up and drive the action along which there is plenty of!

The Review

Storm is a book that is not quite fabulous, but not entirely awful. It manages to be engaging and exciting, whilst at times utterly predictable which made it a little exasperating when it fit exactly into what I was expecting. I was hoping in some regards that there would be a greater twist or something that would entirely surprise me, but it did not, and for me that was the downfall of this novel. Having said that, I still believe there to be a fair few redeeming qualities about the novel. The literary prose flows freely and I did not have any issues with the writing style, in fact it was a very easy, enjoyable read. The book has a fast paced plot that keeps you turning the pages and this makes up for the predictability. In addition to this, most of the characters I largely liked. However upon my deconstruction of the book I do feel, it deserves 3 stars rather than the initial 4 I gave it.

Becca Chandler the female protagonist of this novel; I almost certainly have a love/hate relationship with this character and honestly I still feel like I am sitting on the fence a little in regards to her. At moments she is this strong, brave and fierce individual who runs headlong into things to save others and the next she appears some tormented, bratty and annoying teenage girl who has “daddy issues” and appears to be a little bit of wild child. However the “wild child” image is not really one I felt other than the derogatory comments from the ‘jocks’ of the story and I thought the whole story line was rather useless in terms of plot and character development. It made me cringe away more than anything because it presented a group of ‘jocks’ as brutish, vulgar individuals and did nothing to discriminate from a very common stereotype. By the end of the story, I still feel like my issues with Becca and her overall progression seem a little unresolved.

Honestly the next part is my own fault for not really reading the blurb, but the love triangle was not something I was expecting. It was frustrating at best and again by the end of the novel it still felt largely open-ended and unresolved and when I see the next novel moving to focus on an a different individual from the series, it leaves me with little comfort. The two male individuals in question seemed to develop fairly quick infatuations with Becca and in particular, the New Kid, Hunter who has hundreds of females in the school to pick from finds Becca the most appealing. To me it all seemed a little far-fetched and I did not feel like there was enough about Becca to warrant this ‘fight’ over her. Personally I took a large dislike to Hunter from the start and something about his character I found downright creepy and he grated on me. I felt there was very little redeeming about him and his odd behaviour that was eventually resolved did not in the end serve to make me like him anymore.

This leaves us with the Merrick brothers, and in particular Chris who I liked much more. Despite his oh so expected conflicted personality and family issues that seem to encompass the YA genre like a suffocating cloak, he was a character I could like. Although the fact his brothers were the hottest creatures on the earth and Becca was not able to function when they were shirtless in the same room was a little bit tedious. The redeeming quality here was the family relationship and the dynamic between the brothers, I definitely felt the camaraderie and bond between brothers and that certainly made me root for them as a family throughout the novel.

Finally the plot concept itself in terms of the paranormal element was actually a fairly interesting one, and my only complaint was that little more was learnt of the origin and the ideas behind that. In fact, I think for an introductory novel to the series, Kemmerer should have made much more of the elementals idea and this left me disappointed. I feel like there is much still to learn about the powers of the brothers and those involved in the story, and I very much hope Kemmerer builds on this, or I can see myself being sorely disappointed.

Overall I devoured Storm and the book is far from being bad, however I fail to have been blown away. I definitely realise the standards I am setting for books are ever increasing, so I hope the next novel Spark will help resolve the issues that this book raised for me. Certainly I would recommend Storm as a quick, lazy day read that helps you escape from reality for a few hours and contains a few potential book boyfriends depending on your type, but I would not go to extreme efforts in making time for this series yet!

Favourite Quotes

“Touch was funny like that. How one movement could choke you and kill you, but another meant nothing more than a caress and an invitation.”

“Crap, Bex, do you think he’ll do something truly horrible like buy you flowers?”

Rating: 3 / 5 Stars

Goodreads ~ Amazon UK / US ~ Author’s Website

 

 

12 Comments

Filed under 2012 Publication, 3 Books, Brigid Kemmerer, E-book, Kensington, Paranormal Romance, Young Adult

Series Review (1-3): Morganville Vampires

Glass HouseThe Dead Girls' DanceMidnight Alley

Morganville Vampires Series by Rachel Caine

Glass House #1, The Dead Girls Dance #2, and The Midnight Alley #3

Genre: Young-Adult, Romance, Vampires

The Review

The Morganville Vampire series is one I picked up quite a while ago and read the first five books over a large period of time. Unfortunately since it was so long ago, I have seemingly forgot what happened and when I had a spur of the moment decision to return to the series I was largely lost, so I decided the best policy was to start from the beginning.

I have literally devoured these three books over a couple of days. They aren’t particularly long and they are fairly easy going on the prose, nothing too complex, but they draw you in and keep lots of action and fast-paced plots to engage with the audience. If you like flowery, emotional prose then these books certainly don’t offer any of that, but the simplicity is made up for in the engagement and continual plot twists and turns, and suspense that is continually built up.

Admittedly yes, there are a few ‘well duh’ moments where your expectations are met, but that doesn’t detract from the enjoyment because there is always something a little unexpected and Caine doesn’t make the end result easily. Although she does like to leave things hanging, so I definitely recommend having all the books to just keep reading as once you finish one, you want to pick up the next.

The characters are honestly my favourite part. In ‘The Glass House’ we are introduced to Claire Danvers, our female protagonist who is a young, sweet sixteen year old and fairly innocent when she arrives in Morganville. However, she is intellectual, sassy and not afraid to fight by the end of things and in these three novels alone, she develops into a young woman who is not entirely fearless, but is stubborn, faithful and most of all she is a likeable character. Claire does rush into a few situations, she makes mistakes, but there are her own and she doesn’t allow herself to be bossed about my others, unless she can really help it. I mean nobody can really say no to a vampire thousands of years old, who might just kill you, right? Claire in my opinion, is a very strong, female protagonist who I hope to see develop more in the next few novels.

Now, the next three all offer something different. Eve, the spunky, goth girl who is loyal and feisty makes a dangerous enemy and she is easy to like and always helping Claire out when she really needs it. Michael the calm and collected one who acts as the responsible individual of the house has some interesting secrets, and issues which lead to exciting developments. He’s also a musician and the love of Eve’s life, so there is a little bit of romance to balance it out. Then finally there is the stereotypical man of the house/jock, Shane who rushes headlong into everything without thought, all in the aid of friendship and for the right moral reasons most of the time. He also happens to be the love interest for Claire. It’s kind of a little cliché and not always an easy path but I do love the pair of them together. I think they work really well.

Make no mistake however, there is no typical vampire series formula in this series so far  which is usually; girl + vampire boy = fall in love for the main plot theme. In fact, a lot of the plot focus is on the town and the four individuals who live in the Glass House and their survival. There is a strong theme of friendship, loyalty and life moral values that makes for some tough decisions, but also some entertaining insightful and joyful moments.

The villains in this novel range from typical high school/college girl who is the airbrushed glamour puss and daddy’s little girl who rules the town, to skulking boys in shadows with knives and mysterious motives and finally the wicked vampires with fangs who rule the town and expect the humans to fall in line. I love the concept of the vampire town and the idea of humans being potential property to the vampires, who sometimes act as protectors of the humans. However there are specific guidelines to this protection which are always changing and the vampires and human interactions run across very unsteady paths!

Overall, ‘The Glass House’, ‘The Dead Girls’ Dance’ and ‘Midnight Alley’ are an engaging start to the Morganville Vampire series that give you only a taste of things to come and certainly draw you in wanting many answers. There are numerous plot lines twisting through all the stories that continue throughout the series. This means the multiple lines that thread through the novels gives depths to series and enables the characters to be fleshed out and given personal identities that blossom and force you to become engaged with them. I most definitely recommend the Morganville Vampire series for vampire/supernatural lovers and even those who are quite a big fan I suggest giving the books a chance!

 

Rating: 4 / 5 Stars 

Goodreads (1), (2), (3) ~ Amazon UK / US ~ Author’s Website

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Filed under Allison & Bushby, Paperback, Rachel Caine, Romance, Vampires, Young Adult

A Trip Through Time

a trip through time

A new meme I will be hosting, will be A Trip Through Time where I will be sharing interesting snippets of facts from the current History book I am reading, analysing a historical fiction book, looking a historical film/documentary or  occasionally talking about a trip to a museum/historical sight. A Trip Through Time will be a meme I post biweekly on a Friday.

Heimaey

This week I am kicking off with a little flashback to my time in Iceland, when I visited a little island off the south coast of Iceland, which is part of Vestmannaeyjar (Westman Islands). The only island actually inhabited is Heimaey. The island actually has a volcano which unfortunately erupted in 1973 and devastated the town by destroying many of the buildings and forcing the population to flee to mainland Iceland. Whilst I was there, I visited the little museum that has been built around one of the excavated houses that was covered in ash and lava rock, that told us all about the events of the eruption. We got a little headset and phone that you could walk around all the different areas and be informed of all the different events. photo 4

Luckily all the islanders were able to escape from the port in small fishing boats, but at this time, the closest harbour was Reykjavik which was a four hour boat journey up the coast in stormy weather. It sounded rather frightful for these people who had to abandon all their goods! In addition to this, all their cattle was brought down to the harbour to protect them, but because they did not have any food to feed them, they all had to be put down. A very unfortunate set of events!

The volcanic eruption at the time, was entirely unexpected and in the January of 1973 when it erupted, in the middle of the night, people were at first unaware that it was going off. A young boy of one family who lived up near the volcano was said to describe it as being like New Years Eve again, thinking it was fireworks going off.

In some respects, the volcanic eruption was good for the island because it enlarged the island with the flurry of lava rock and ash creating more land, and the excitement of the volcano has also helped to draw in a lot more tourists to the island to increase its revenue. However, it is clear that it has not entirely recovered from the events in 1973 because only 1/3 of the population of 5,400 returned to the island after, and currently the population is now around 4,200 on the island.

photo 1photo 3

Having said that, it is a beautiful little island, and it has definitely managed to rebuild itself with many of the individuals buying their own land and building their own houses which is seen in the mismatch of building styles and structures. It also is home to a large population of puffins who breed in the summer and live up in the cliffs, unfortunately I did not get to see any puffins because we did not want to venture round to clambering cliffs!

The history of the island going even earlier back, is riddled with invasions, such as when the Turkish Ottomans raided the island and took many locals as slaves who were taken to a slave market in Algeria. There was also a little fort down near the harbour which had a wooden church given to the people of the Island by Sweden. So there was definitely a mix of culture and heritage in such a small island that I found so utterly fascinating!

photo 5

I am not sure about you guys, but I do not think I could imagine living on an island with an active volcano, it seems a little too like living on the edge! Still, it was a lovely little island, and whilst the museum was fairly small, it was interesting. I do like visiting museums and hearing all the history of a place, how about you guys?

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Waiting on Wednesday (1)

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine, where we highlight an up and coming release we are eagerly anticipating.

bound by flames

Bound by Flames by Jeaniene Frost

Genre: Paranormal-Romance, Vampires, Adult

Series: Night Prince #3

Expected publication: January 2015

The Plot *mild spoilers for previous books

Play with fire, pay the price.
Leila’s years on the carnie circuit were certainly an education. What she didn’t learn: how to be a vampire, or how to be married to the most famous vampire of them all. Adjusting to both has Leila teetering on a knife edge between passion and peril, and now the real danger is about to begin…
Vlad must battle with a centuries-old enemy whose reach stretches across continents and whose strength equals his own. It isn’t like Vlad to feel fear, but he does…for Leila, because his enemy knows she is Vlad’s greatest weakness. As friend and foe alike align against him—and his overprotectiveness drives Leila away—Vlad’s love for his new bride could be the very thing that dooms them both…

~ Goodreads ~

I have been eagerly anticipating this book for absolutely ages, and I am still left waiting for such a long time. January.. why are you so far away?! Jeaniene Frost is my absolute guilty pleasure, and the Night Prince trilogy is slowly pushing the Night Huntress series off the top spot of favourite. If you have not read any of her books, I definitely recommend them because they have a little bit of everything, action, romance, quick wit/snark, and they are all around exciting and well-written in most part. I will almost certainly succumb in the next few months to re-reading the first two books again, so check them out, they can totally be read without reading the Night Huntress series; Once Burned & Twice Tempted

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Walking Disaster

Walking DisasterWalking Disaster by Jamie Maguire

Series: Beautiful #2

Genre: New-Adult, Contemporary, Romance

The Plot
Walking Disaster for those of you who have read Beautiful Disaster is basically a retelling of that from Travis’ perspective and for those of you who are yet to read Beautiful Disaster (although I would not recommend it), it is a novel recounted from the perspective of the male love interest, a boy with severe issues.  This novel depicts an obsessive, controlling and frankly disturbing tale of ‘romance’ in which violence, possessiveness and drugs, drinking and gambling all appeared to be advocated in young-adults to excessive qualities. Read with caution.

The ReviewWhat was I thinking? Starting Walking Disaster seemed like such a good idea at the time, however after making my way into this book, my opinion descended rapidly, within the first few pages. However I continued the torture of reading and repeating the events of everything that happened in the first book with a painful expression. By 60% I was losing the will to live, but for some reason I continued and skim read largely to the end. I guess part of me would hope Walking Disaster would be able to redeem itself from the first book, however it just made the experience ten times worse. There is absolutely no need for the first book to be rewritten from the perspective of Travis. In fact,  being inside his head just made the whole experience worse. Travis is beyond the worst example for a boyfriend to the young-adult population. He is a controlling, possessive and violent individual who supports the view that it is acceptable to pick up your ex-girlfriend and carry her through a party because some other guy danced with her, after punching him. He has a very negative attitude off the female population that is derogatory and demeaning and when this is written by a female author I frankly find it disgusting. Not only does she continue to promote themes of violence, excessive drinking and gambling, but she presents a very archaic, cave-man approach to man and a very bad relationship ideal. NO girl should aim to find a boyfriend like Travis and the thought of people seeing him as acceptable makes my stomach want to turn.
Pigeon or Abby annoyed the living daylights out of me. She continued to allow herself to be deluded by Travis, fell into all of his traps and basically led him along in an unnecessary string of angst and pain. It was physically frustrating to read. I do not honestly understand her thought patterns even when I read Beautiful Disaster. She is almost certainly not a strong individual or a type of girl anybody should ever aspire to be!

The plot… What plot? There is no direction with this novel. It is fully a teenage angst drama that deals with two individuals breaking up, crying, drinking and going wild and then getting back together, then breaking up again. The two appear to continue to fight and basically hurt each other intentionally because they can.
I will not ever be reading another Jamie McGuire book and I can safely say, I am so utterly sorry for ever starting this series. In this case my curiosity for bad books, this was a very bad decision. I just warn you all away.

The Rating: 1 / 5 Stars

Goodreads ~ Amazon UK / US ~ Author’s Website 

12 Comments

Filed under 1 Book, 2013 Publication, Atria Books, Contemporary, E-book, Jamie McGuire, New-Adult, Romance

Fangirl

fangirl

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young-Adult

The Plot

Fangirl is about a girl called Cather moving away to college, dealing with new people, new experiences, living alone and being without her twin Wren for the majority of the time, who is off partying and ‘living the college experience’.

Cather is a quiet, shy individual, who is awkward and geeky and still stuck in her world of Simon and Baz, characters from her favourite book series, who she writes tonnes of fanfiction about.

Fangirl also happens to be about growing up, learning to communicate with people, relationships and family. It has a lot of dynamics that make it about more than being just a ‘fangirl’.

The Review

Fangirl has to be one of my favourite contemporary reads, it also happens to be my first Rainbow Rowell book and I just could not tear myself away from the book. It definitely left a little bit of itself with me when I read it, especially when moving away to University around the same time as I was reading it, I could definitely understand and empathise with some of the situations Cather was in. Personally, I think this book will depend on the type of person you are, to how much you like it, in terms of whether you fall absolutely in love, or just like it.

Cather for me is an adorable heroine. She’s awkward, geeky, frustrating and always seemingly out of her depth, but she shows real growth throughout the novel and she is a likeable character. Her obsession with Simon and Baz, fictional characters, is kind of one I wanted her to lose throughout the novel, but she never did and whilst that annoyed me a little bit, I think it demonstrated that no matter how old you are, you can still enjoy getting lost in fiction, and manage to mature at the same time. Cather went through quite a few difficult moments in terms of family when dealing with her dad and his mental health issues, becoming estranged from her twin and meeting her mother who abandoned her when she was younger. It definitely shows Rowell was not afraid to tackle more serious issues with this novel, but then I liked how she still managed to interweave romance despite Cather’s blissful ignorance.

Levi is one of my all time favourite love interests, he is charming, cute and he cares about Cather. Despite the fact she is not aware that he flirts with her and goes out of his way to help in an attempt to get her to notice that he likes her, he does not give up. He is definitely a good guy, and the type of love interest contemporary romances should be projecting because whilst the ‘bad boy’ might hold appeal, he is not always the perfect guy for every girl or always a good role model. 

Finally, the bunch of secondary characters beyond this which were Wren, Reagan and the twin’s father happen to be fairly well developed in terms of their personalities, style and story. I wish in some ways we had gotten to know a little bit more about Reagan who is Cather’s room mate, but despite her surly exterior, I loved the way she took Cather under her wing and looked out for her as a friend despite saying she wasn’t that type of person. In addition to this, the twin aspect of the story was one I really enjoyed, and whilst for the first half of the novel I did not particularly like Wren, I understood her behaviour and style. I was pleased largely by the resolution of the plot line between the siblings and I definitely think the family aspect of the novel was important.

One of the reasons I loved Fangirl was because it became so much more than a contemporary romance, it definitely looked at growing up, discovering yourself and facing challenges with family and studying as you are away from home. There were a couple of aspects such as the lack of real resolution between Cather and her mum and the lack of knowledge about how Cather ended her Simon and Baz story that I would have liked to have seen more fully developed. Nevertheless, Fangirl for me had a lot of potential that it fully lived up to and I’ll be putting it on my shelf for a rainy day re-read when I need a book that is bound to tick all the boxes.

Favourite Quotes

“I know.” Reagan shook her head. “But you’re so helpless sometimes. It’s like watching a kitten with its head trapped in a Kleenex box.”

“You’re not the ugly one.” Levi grinned. “You’re just the Clark Kent.”

Cath started checking her e-mail.

“Hey, Cath,” Levi said, kicking her chair. She could hear the teasing in his voice. “Will you warn me when you take off your glasses?”

“How do you feel when I smile at you?” he asked—and then he did smile at her, just a little. Not like myself, Cath thought. She gripped his hands tightly, for balance, then stood on tiptoe, leaning her chin over his shoulder and brushing her head gently against his cheek. It was smooth, and Levi smelled heavy there, like perfume and mint. “Like an idiot,” she said softly. “And like I never want it to stop.”

The Rating: 4.5 / 5 Stars

Goodreads ~ Amazon UK / US ~ Author’s Website

17 Comments

Filed under 2013 Publication, 4.5 Books, Contemporary, E-book, Rainbow Rowell, Romance, St. Martin's Press, Young Adult

Return to Blogging

PREVIOUSLY NERDY BOOK REVIEWS.

Dear friends,

I am so abysmally sorry for my disappearance over the past year. Things have been incredibly hectic, with starting my first year of University, making new friends, a new home and an all new set of studying. However, hopefully now, I am intending to try and balance my life out more successfully and return to blogging because having returned to actually reading much more lately, I realise how much I love and have missed talking about books.

Although, you may be realising something different, my blog has changed names. I am no longer blogging under the title Nerdy Book Reviews, but in fact ‘The Absent Historian’. The name change came about in terms of a change in myself upon my entering University, where, coincidentally I am studying History! So I will hope you realise that me, Liv, the book nerd is still about, just under a new title!

Thirdly, I am going to do a brief overview, of what I have been doing in the past year! I have managed to be very lucky and have visited some absolutely beautiful places recently. I managed to make a trip to both Iceland, and Barcelona over Summer which were both very different, but fun experiences. I’ll be doing a brief overview of some of the new books I have, some books I am looking forward to reading, and I would like to state, I have quite a few book reviews in the back log that I have been preparing ready to post. So hopefully I will not be leaving you guys waiting for long!

Summer Holidays

Barcelona

photo 1

I managed to visit quite a few of the big sights in Barcelona, taking a trip to Camp Nou, the football stadium (an interesting, but very valuable experience and one I would recommend as it was really interesting!). Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia, the Zoo, the Olympic Stadium and pool, alongside the Magic Fountain where there is a grand palace that is now an art museum.

Barcelona itself was an incredibly beautiful city, and had some gorgeous architecture when it came to just buildings on the street. I definitely fell in love with the city and its style.

photo 2Inside Gaudi's Church.

In addition to this, I was quite adventurous in terms of trying the local delicacies and had paella for the first time, with both seafood and chicken, where I tried squid, calamari, prawns, and muscles which was quite the experience for me. Personally, I have discovered squid tentacles are disgustingly chewy and rubbery and I will be staying away! Although prawns have definitely won me over, and I think I’d be able to cope with the occasional muscle.

Overall, the trip to Barcelona was lots of new experiences and lots of fun! It also happened to be my first trip abroad without my parents, so it was certainly a lesson in self-responsibility!

Iceland

photo 3

Secondly this year, I got to visit Iceland with my family, where I stayed in the capital Reykjavik for 4 days. I managed to wander around the city in one afternoon, visit the blue lagoon, a small volcanic island of the south coast of Iceland, and visited waterfalls, national parks, geysers and craters. In terms of the natural landscape, some areas of Iceland were absolutely stunning, and I fell in love with the natural beauty of the island, and I definitely recommend it for a trip to anyone!

photo 2

Also, it was genuinely a very relaxing place, and easy way of life that resulted in me coming back incredibly stress free and chilled which was excellent.

photo 5

I did not try any Icelandic delicacies whilst I was there because shark, different types of fish and cute little puffins are not the type of food I want to eat! However, I had some lovely meals, and tried my first ever Thai food, at a lovely little Thai restaurant just in the capital. So again, a holiday of new experiences.

New Books

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Being a poor student, I have not really been able to afford buying as many books, and getting a kindle, I have switched to getting a few more e-books just because of the sheer amount of books I own and lack of space. However, I have managed to get my hands on these goodies lately.

I have finally picked up George R. R. Martin’s series A Song of Ice and Fire and currently I am reading A Clash of Kings so I am super excited to get further into this series! Then I managed to pick up the next three really cheaply, with all three only costing £5 in one of the local bargain book stores! After seeing Wicked as a musical at the theatre I am incredibly excited to get stuck into it, because I literally fell in love with the storyline. Hopefully I’ll enjoy the next couple of Mortal Instrument books too!

Summary

So, I have very little left to say, except I am looking forward to my return into the blogging sphere, which hopefully I will be enjoying much more after my lengthy break, and I thank all my friends for sticking with me! Hope you are all well.

Much love,

Liv.

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Apology

Dear faithful followers and wonderful friends,

It appears now my blog has been inactive for a number of months without reason or pre-warning and for vanishing into thin air, I am honestly sorry. Unfortunately my life has been a whirlwind the past few months, preparing for University and then attending University so there has been little time to maintain a blog, and little time to read.

Thank you for your inquiries as to my whereabouts/wellbeing and when I will return. At the present moment in time, I do not know when I will be returning to the blogosphere as I have much to do and very little time. However, I do endeavour to return to the blogging community at some point in 2014.

Meanwhile I must emphasise to those sending review requests, I am not accepting any review requests from this point onwards as stated on my blog, so whilst I appreciate the email enquiries they are redundant for the time being until further stated. So please stop, as I do not have time to reply or the inclination at this current moment in time.

Thank you all for understanding. I hope to return to you shortly.

Happy New Year and may 2014 be prosperous and enjoyable for you all!

Regards, Livvy.

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