Sunday, 4 February 2018

January Wrap-Up


Personal Updates 

I feel like January brought adventuring which was great- even if there have been 2 heatwaves this summer already!

Me and my partner went camping for New Years with some friends which was great. I'd never been before so it was definitely a new experience with the limited facilities and long drops.

I sang Karaoke for the first time which was thrilling. I was almost soiling my pants before I went up, but then I was on stage singing and it was exhilarating. For those of you who care, I sang "There are worse things I could do" from Grease (I'm big into musicals haha). 

There was a hens party and a wedding for an old friend. We went hiking in the Coromandel and got to visit the beautiful Cathedral Cove (featured), which was so gorgeous. 

A few other notable mentions include a drag show and a male strip show haha. Reading wise, January was a good month for me. I had a bit of time off here and there so I was able to get some reading done. I'm not as hopeful for February though.


Finished 


Almost MidnightKiss Kill Vanish   The Woman Who Rides Like a ManAlways and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #3)
 Saga, Vol. 8 (Saga, #8)Alex + Ada: The Complete CollectionThey Both Die at the End
   
They Both Die at the End was my favorite of the month, just WOW! My review will be up soon, but  this book was so thought provoking and so well written.  Saga Volume 8 was of course just as good as its predecessors, there's not much I can say that I haven't already said before this series is so good. 

Alex + Ada was a nice surprise, but almost too short. I wanted more of it and I wish the story could have been extended out. At the same time the ending was fitting and wrapped up nicely. I was glad to be able to finish a series this month when I completed the final installment in the To All the Boys I've Loved Before Series, Always and Forever Lara Jean. While the book probably wasn't necessary, it was a nice 'ending' as Lara Jean goes off to college. 


Up Next In February


Going with the flow in January actually worked really well for me. I picked up books as I felt in the mood for them and I also DNF'd or put on hold books which I wasn't feeling (Which is one of my goals for this year). I'm going to go with the same concept in February and only have a few books that I really want to read and the rest is up to my mood. 
        

Lioness Rampant  Never Never (Never Never, #1)


Did you go on any adventures over the New Year period? What was your favorite memory of January?


Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Top Ten Tuesday (31)




Bookish Resolutions and Goals



DNF Books If I’m Not Feeling Them

I always feel bad when I DNF a book, what if I’m missing out on some great stuff later in the book? what if the story picks up and gets exciting? Unfortunately, this means I almost always suffer through the book even if I’m not enjoying it. This year I resolve to be more ruthless if I’m reading a book that I’m just not feeling into, so I can put my time into books that I really want to read.

Read Quality over Quantity

In previous years I have had the habit of picking up smaller novels to read just to help me reach my Goodreads target or avoiding books longer than 500 pages, as they slow my reading down and when I think about it it’s absolutely ridiculous. Why avoid a good book just because it’s long and read shorter books that may bring me less enjoyment all because I need to reach a target!?

Read More Of My Backlog and Less New Releases

My, oh my. My TBR list is ever-growing and so many of the books have been on there for goodness knows how long. It’s hard when every year more and more beautiful new releases come out, but this year I’m going to try and read 75% backlog books and 25% new releases.

Finish Some Damn Series

As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, I am chronically guilty of not finishing series. I either start a series when it’s first released and then never get to the sequels because I’ve forgotten the detail by the time they’re released or I just ‘take a break’ from a series and then always plan to ‘get back to it’ but alas never do. This year I’ve joined up a challenge, where I hope to complete 5-8 series this year.

 
For Once Complete The Alphabet

Who knew the alphabet could be so damn hard haha. Every year I try and complete the A-Z or Alphabet challenge and not once have I reached it (the highest I've ever gotten is 18/26 and I've been trying since 2013!)... This year it changes!

Blog Consistently

So last year I started off strong but lost my way about April, and then completely dropped off the radar. I remember the days when I had a list of features for everyday of the week that I wanted to do, but in reality it just hasn’t worked for me. This year I have a very basic goal of 2-3 posts a month. A wrap-up, A review and a Top Ten Tuesday. 

Comment More

While I may not have much time to write and publish posts, it only takes a short time out of my day to go through and read others posts and write comments on them. Historically I haven’t been very good at this. Even when  I do often read peoples reviews and posts sometimes I don’t know what to comment about or feel awkward posting (my social anxiety strikes again). But I realized even a simple ‘Awesome review’ can make someones day, so I’m definitely going to work on this. 

Image result for beat the backlist 2018


Thursday, 11 January 2018

Review- Kiss Kill Vanish (Jessica Martinez)



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Synopsis


Valentina Cruz no longer exists.

One moment, she was wrapped in Emilio’s arms, melting into his kiss. The next, she was witnessing the unthinkable: a murder in cold blood, ordered by her father and carried out by her boyfriend. When Emilio pulled the trigger, Valentina disappeared. She made a split-second decision to shed her identity and flee her life of privilege, leaving the glittering parties and sultry nightlife of Miami far behind.
She doesn’t know how to explain to herself what she saw. All she knows now is that nothing she believed about her family, her heart, or Emilio’s love, was real.
She can change her name and deny her past, but Valentina can’t run from the truth. The lines between right and wrong, and trust and betrayal, will be blurred beyond recognition as she untangles the deceptions of the two men she once loved and races to find her own truth.


                     Goodreads.com


Review 


Valentina has run away from home and is holed up in a small decrepit apartment in Montreal after witnessing a horrible murder directed by her father and executed by her boyfriend (and also one of her fathers henchman), Emilio. A few months later, everything is going along smoothly (well as smoothly as one could hope living alone in a new city, on the run from your family and living a sudden life of scarcity after years of luxury, when Emilio pops back into her life after a chance meeting at an art gallery.

Emilio’s explanation of what happened ‘that night’ force Valentina to look at her life differently, but can she really trust him after what she saw him do?

----------------


I’ve noticed the rather mixed reviews regarding this book, some people with either really liked it, and others were left wanting more. I am the former. This book ticked all the boxes for me in regard to thrills, mystery and suspense.

So let’s talk about characters. Valentina is the epitome of a rich girl...

"He can't possibly know that the precious three hundred dollars in my wallet would have been a single shoe in my old life. Lunch on South Beach with my sisters. A trim and blow-dry at Petra's."
- Jessica Martinez (Kiss Kill Vanish)

... and yet she’s left everything behind to try and sort through the events of that night. I wouldn’t say she’s easily likeable but she’s not the worst character that I’ve encountered and there is personal growth and development.

Emilio kept me on my toes. Just like Valentina, I didn’t know what to think of him, was he lying to us? Or was he a poor misunderstood guy who got caught up with the wrong people. Yes, he did kill someone, but when he goes to explain why (basically Valentina’s dad is a big time crook, who will have his family slaughtered if he disobeys) you can’t help but feel that while he made some bad choices, he’s stuck between a rock and a hard place and he wants to get out. Valentina’s back and forth with Emilio while somewhat annoying at times is realistic. She doesn’t know if he’s telling the truth or if he’s lying to cover his own arse, that mixed with teenage love has got her all confused and turned upside down.

Marcel did not appeal to me in the beginning. He starts off as starts off a bit of a conceited jerk, but begins to mellow out after an event in his life forces him to sober up. His friendship with Valentina is vital as it comes at a time when both are at the peak of loneliness. The more time they spent together the more I liked him.

Ok so there’s a bit of a love triangle, but it’s not terrible. On one hand you have Emilio, there’s history there, but also betrayal and deceit. Marcel on the other hand, is a drug induced playboy, with daddy’s money to spend at his leisure, but who’s refreshingly honest and open with Valentina.

Regarding plot I really enjoyed the story. There were some slow bits her and there, but there was always enough mystery and unanswered questions keeping me going. There were some great twists that I did not see coming at all that only added to the suspense, and there were some characters I was never really convinced of their true intentions till the end.


Overall enjoyable and kept me guessing throughout, satisfying ending and a lot of personal growth in the characters. 


My Rating 4/5

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