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Sarah's Library

I read pretty much anything, from fantasy (City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett) to romance (Bared to You by Sylvia Day) to classics (Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad).  The only genres I don't read are self-help and comic books/graphic novels.

Currently reading

The Last Honeytrap
Louise Lee
Progress: 100/346 pages
Complete Works of William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare

Ender's Game (The Ender Quintet, #1) by Orson Scott Card

Ender's Game (Ender's Saga, #1) - Orson Scott Card


13/5 - Now this is how you do the first book in a series! I just finished #2 in the Maze Runner series feeling pretty pissed off because nothing was properly explained and it featured another massive cliff hanger ending. Thank God that didn’t happen in Ender’s Game!!! This book/author had a completely different problem… :o

After reading this book I’ve come to the conclusion that Card is obsessed with naked little boys and their butts. And if that’s not the case why are there so many scenes with naked boys? Why are the aliens called ‘buggers’? Why does every fight Ender’s in end up with someone getting kicked/punched/grabbed/etc. in the groin area? I really enjoyed the general plot, but I don’t understand why all of the above was necessary. One of those plot points would have been fine (although, it would still be too many naked little boys for me), but you put them all in the same book and it comes across as some kind of purposeful theme (and this from the queen of missing themes).

I loved that this didn’t really end in a cliff hanger, especially after what I went through with Dashner. If Card had died before writing the next book it wouldn’t really have mattered because you’re not sitting there on tenterhooks wondering what’s going to happen next. Sure, there’s a lead in to the next book, but you’re not left wondering if someone’s going to die or not or some other similarly frustrating ending.

The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner, #2) by James Dashner

The Scorch Trials - James Dashner


6/5 - Some of my friends have found this to be a disappointment and some have enjoyed it as much as they did the first book. I really hope I'm in the latter group. To be continued...

7/5 - Okay, I'm on page 41 and the boys have just found the brick walls and the dead bodies and everything's very mysterious - I feel about as confused as Thomas must right now. My theory for what the hell is going on and where the bodies and walls came from is that somehow they've been transported to another location exactly the same as the one they woke up in, just in pristine condition. Somehow someone 'beamed them up' without them realising it was happening. To be continued...

8/5 - Wow! Was Thomas this irritating in the first book? Rereading my review I can see that I was annoyed by him, but there was only one sentence that mentioned it, so it can't have been that bad. Maybe I'm older and wiser than I was last year and it's getting on my nerves more than it did with the last book. Anyway, whatever it is I am absolutely sick of Thomas' internal voice, the way he constantly asks himself the stupidest hypothetical questions (like 'Are my friends all dead?') and then answers them with the next sentence (like 'Possibly, but I still have to go on just in case they aren't'). It wouldn't be so bad if it were only every so often, but questions like that are being asked and answered at least every page, sometimes more than once on the same page.

I'm also irritated with Dashner's insistence on using "I have no idea what's going on" as a theme. Having Thomas, and therefore the reader, completely clueless as to what's going on for the whole book was kind of exciting the first time around, but it's gotten old now. I want proper explanations that I can trust. At the moment, as I'm reading I'm remembering what The Rat Man said about not being able to trust anyone, so I'm not sure that what Brenda has said about the way the world is now is true. My theory on what's going on has gotten wilder since yesterday, now I'm wondering if it isn't all some kind of virtual reality brought on by a drug or some kind of machine. What WICKED is getting the two groups of Gladers to do is all just too crazy and I don't really see how any of it is going to help with the fight against the Flare.

I don't understand why none of the Gladers seem to remember what The Rat Man said about not being able to trust their senses or any of the people around them. Why doesn't Thomas see that Brenda is almost certainly a plant set to test him? She attempted to tempt him out of getting to the 'safe haven' by using sex, she separated him from the other Gladers and then tried to get him to forget them, she put him in a situation that forced him to kill someone - it's all a test to see what his reactions are, what he'll choose to do.

I'm halfway between 'excited to see what happens next' and 'near-quitting-point-frustrated with not knowing what's going on' and something spectacular will have to happen at the end (like getting believable answers) to get more than an average rating. To be continued...


Spoilers!! Don’t read further if you don’t want to know the ending.

12/5 - Such an irritating book! Full of lies and false promises of explanations. Don’t believe David when he tells you that everything will be fully explained, because it won’t. It’s the same situation as at the end of The Maze Runner, promise after promise and then right at the end you realise it’s a fake out and you’re left with a gigantic cliff hanger. It’s déjà vu all over again.

I enjoyed the story, but the appearance of another humungous cliff hanger and the absence of any real explanations has really ticked me off. Also the fact that I thought this was a trilogy (possibly my own fault) and it turns out to be a quartet, so that’s at least one more book wherein I assume nothing much will be explained (a hint here and there, but no complete explanations) followed by a cliff hanger. Someone should tell Dashner that this isn’t THE formula to get his readers coming back for more, it’s THE formula to annoy the hell out of his readers so that they rage quit in the middle of his series.


Reblogged from Hol:

The Choice by Nicholas Sparks

The Choice - Nicholas Sparks

5/5 - I've read a lot of romances, and I mean a lot (over 300), but somehow I've managed to miss reading anything by Nicholas Sparks. I've seen at least four of his movies and really enjoyed them all, so I hope my first experience with a book of his is just as good. To be continued...

6/5 - I'm surprised to learn that I've actually seen nine of Sparks' eleven movies (I didn't realise there were so many of them or that I'm such a sucker for a that kind of movie). The only ones I've missed are Message in a Bottle (just looked way too sad for me) and The Choice (too new). After reading the book I'm glad I didn't shell out for cinema tickets to the movie. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the book (I read it in one night, something about it must have grabbed my attention), but a rom-com isn't really the kind of movie worth going to the cinema to see unless it's particularly spectacular (or someone else is paying). And now that I've read the book I'm pleased to see that I made the right choice in waiting for it to come to tv (which doesn't take all that long these days, only a few months most of the time).


The second part was a bit of tear jerker once I realised what the reveal was, as Travis' dilemma is my worst nightmare. Like Travis I'm not sure if I could make that final decision despite knowing that's what at least one of my family members would choose. I would always be terrified by the idea that if I waited just one more minute, one more second they might wake up. Even if the probability were low, it's never completely impossible and I don't know if I could deal with the possibility that I was killing my family member when there was any likelihood that they weren't gone.

I look forward to reading more from Sparks although I think I'll do my best to avoid the more depressing ones, I'm not a fan of books that make me full-on cry.

Free Books to a Loving Home

Dreams from My Father - Barack Obama Night Tide - Michael W. Sherer Piper - Helen McCabe The Great Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Joseph  Delaney,  Arthur Conan Doyle

Hello everyone, I have four books that I no longer have a use for.  Three of them I've read and the fourth is a book of which I have the author's complete body of work in another edition.  Two of the books are new - one read once, the other never - the other two are ex library books - both well read, but still in readable condition with contact and library barcodes on the covers (the covers above are the editions that are available).  This will be a first come first served situation - if you want one, two or all four of the books speak up first and they're yours.  I will pay the postage no matter where you are but remember that I live in Australia, so if you're anywhere in the northern hemisphere it'll likely take weeks to get to you.  All I ask in return is that you are kind to them, love them if at all possible and pass them on to another 'forever home' if it's not.  Good luck and I hope to be mailing them off soon.

Divergent (Divergent, #1) by Veronica Roth

Divergent  - Veronica Roth

2/5 - I loved the movie, more than The Hunger Games...God I hope the book isn't a disappointment! To be continued...


3/5 - Sooo NOT a disappointment. Sooo fantastic!! The three other five star books that I've read so far this year pale in comparison, this book deserves the five stars so much more than those other three books (sorry other three books, you were great when I read them, but now I see that I didn't know what great actually meant till I read this one). This was so easy to read I actually managed it all in well under 24 hours, although I do think the 489 page count is slightly cheating as my pages had wide margins and double spaced typing. If this had been formatted more like the average book it probably would have lost 100 pages from the total, but that's up to the publisher and certainly didn't detract from how fabulous the story was.

I had only one small quibble with the writing - the phrase 'go unconscious', which was used quite a bit because of the physical training the initiates took part in stage one. The phrase 'go unconscious' just doesn't work grammatically, the verb/doing word needs to end in '-ing' for 'go' to work - go walking, go diveing. It should be 'become' or 'fall' - 'fall'/'become' unconscious.

Like I said before, I loved the movie and I think having seen it first added to my reading enjoyment. I could see the matching movie scenes being acted out in my head, which really helped my hit/miss imagination. I think Tris was perfectly cast, but I think Theo James was too old to believably play a 17-year-old (not that they mentioned how old he was supposed to be in the movie, and not that I didn't love him, he was just too 30-appearing to be 17), I also don't think James looked particularly forbidding as he was described by more than one character in the book.

This was such a nice, fun book to read after Lolita. I definitely feel at least partially disinfected of Humbert Humbert's poisonous words and ready to get started on my next challenge book.

A Reading Milestone

I've just reached a fantastic and hard won milestone (according to GR, thank goodness they're keeping track I would never have realised) - 1000 books read, at least that I have recorded, obviously I haven't been recording my books since I first started reading, if I had it would probably be an extra 250 picture books longer.  Now my next milestone will be when I reach 1000 reviews, but that won't be for a few years to come as I'm only at 660.



May 2016: Reading Plans

Divergent - Veronica Roth The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian - Sherman Alexie, Ellen Forney The Zookeeper's Wife - Diane Ackerman Marked In Flesh - Anne Bishop City of Bones - Cassandra Clare Clockwork Angel - Cassandra Clare The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, #1) - Ann Brashares The Golden Compass - Philip Pullman The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini Watchmen - Dave Gibbons, John Higgins, Alan Moore

April was a good month for me, I didn't have a single sick day and I read eleven books.  My final April book lasted two days past the end of the month, unfortunately, but it's finished now and I hope to never think of it again *shudder*.


Hopefully May will mean a return to more uplifting books, looking at this month's challenge list I don't think that will be a problem.  Like last month I won't get started on May's books until tonight, the 2nd, also like last month (and every month so far this year) I didn't manage to actually read all the books I challenged myself to read.  I only have nine on this month's list, but as most of them are library books I doubt whether I'll actually be able to get all of them, not even considering whether I'd actually be able to read them all in 29 days.


May: My Free-Read Month (my self-imposed Jan-Apr challenges have ended or been temporarily paused and I can once again visit the library)


1. A Romance Set in the Future - Divergent (Divergent, #1) by Veronica Roth (others may say this isn't a 'romance' per say, but it has an element of romance, or at least it appeared to from the movie and I wanted to read it and it was already on my 'to read' shelf and I now own a copy, so therefore it's a 'romance'), 489 pages (read from May 2-5)


2. A National Book Award Winner - The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, 229 pages (read from 5-7 May)


3. A Book from the Library - The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman, 384 pages (read from 7-10 May)


4. A Book that is Published in 2016 - Marked in Flesh (The Others, #4) by Anne Bishop, 399 pages (read from 10-12 May)


5. A Book - City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1) by Cassandra Clare, 485 pages (read from 12-15 May)


6. and its Prequel - Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1) by Cassandra Clare, 479 pages (read from 15-18 May)


7. A Book that Takes Place During Summer - The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Sisterhood, #1) by Ann Brashares, 294 pages (read from 18-20 May)


8. A Book with a Blue Cover - The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, #1) by Phillip Pullman, 397 pages (read from 20-23 May)


9. A Book about a Culture you're Unfamiliar With - The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, 324 pages (read from 23-26 May)


10. A Graphic Novel - Watchmen by Alan Moore (might have to change this one as I can't get it at my library or Amazon, will have to think about it)


Anyone want to take bets on whether I'll get all the way through this list, or how many I will actually read?  I reckon six from this list and another two or three sneaky impulse pickups from the library that aren't actually on the list (although, considering how extensive my 'to read' shelf is any book I do pick up will likely already be on that list).

POPSUGAR 2016 Reading Challenge Plans

So, Saturday I talked about whether or not I should commit to next year's POPSUGAR Challenge.  After sleeping (for more than one night, unintentionally) on it I've decided that if I plan specific books for specific categories I should still be able to manage it, even with all the month-long restrictions I've placed on myself.  Therefore in this post I will list all the categories and the books I hope to fill them with, taken from what I already plan to read next year, as well as the month I plan to read them in.


January: My Paper-Free Month (any books that don't get finished will spill over into June)


1. A Book that's Under 150 Pages - Unexpected Gifts (Castle Mountain Lodge, #1) by Elena Aitken


2. A Book Recommended by Someone you Just Met - The Medium (Emily Chambers Spirit Medium Trilogy, #1) by C.J. Archer


3. A Science Fiction Novel - Desperate Times (Desperate Times #1) by Nicholas Antinozzi


4. A Book a Friend Recommended - No Such Thing by Edward Lorn



February: My Library-Free Month (any books that don't get finished will spill over into July)


1. A Book Based on a Fairy Tale - Piper by Helen McCabe


2. A YA Bestseller - Little Women (Little Women, #1) by Louisa May Alcott


3. A Book of Poetry - The Rattle Bag by Seamus Heaney


4. A Book that's Becoming a Movie this Year - Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, #1) by Ransom Riggs


5. A Book you Can Finish in a Day - The Tale of Benjamin Bunny by Beatrix Potter


6. A Book Written by a Celebrity - Jamie's America by Jamie Oliver


7. A Political Memoir - Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama


8. A Book at Least 100 Years Older than You - Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe


9. A Book that's More than 600 Pages - Fishing for Stars by Bryce Courtenay


10. A Book from Oprah's Book Club - Night (Night Trilogy, #1) by Elie Wiesel


11. A Graphic Novel - Flight 714 to Sydney (Tintin, #22) by Herge


12. A Book Written by a Comedian - Fatherhood by Bill Cosby


13. A Classic from the 20th Century - The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald


14. An Autobiography - Dear Fatty by Dawn French


15. A Book about a Road Trip - Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne


16. A Satirical Book - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams


17. A Book your Mum Loves - Five Smooth Stones by Ann Fairbairn


18. A Book More than 100 Years Old - The Prose Edda by Snorri Sturluson


19. A Book that Came Out the Year you were Born - A Secret Rage by Charlaine Harris


20. The First Book you See in a Bookstore (my home library actually, I don't need to buy any more books) - Thinning the Predators by Daina Graziunas and Jim Starlin



March: My Month for Finishing Unfinished Series (any books that don't get finished will spill over into August)


1. A Murder Mystery - All that Remains (Kay Scarpetta, #3) by Patricia Cornwell


2. A Dystopian Novel - The Twelve (The Passage, #2) by Justin Cronin


3. A Book that Takes Place on an Island - Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables, #1) by L.M. Montgomery



April: My Month of Rereading in Order to Review (any books that don't get finished will spill over into September)


1. A Book you haven't Read Since High School - Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracey Chevalier


2. A Banned Book - All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque


3. A Book that Takes Place in your Hometown (Melbourne) - Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay


4. A Book Set in your Home State (Queensland) - Fly Away, Peter by David Malouf


5. A Book Set in Europe - Bridget Jones' Diary (Bridget Jones' Diary, #1) by Helen Fielding


6. A New York Times Bestseller - Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov


7. A Self-Improvement Book - Barefoot Contessa in Paris by Ina Garten


8. A Book Recommended by a Family Member - Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen


9. A Book with a Protagonist who has your Occupation (work from home/self-employed/writer) - Matilda by Roald Dahl


10. A Book that's Guaranteed to Bring you Joy - By Love Undone (Bancroft Brothers, #1) by Suzanne Enoch


11. A Book you were Supposed to Read in School but Didn't - The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, #2) by Mark Twain


12. A Book from your Childhood - Heidi (Heidi, #1) by Johanna Spyri



May: My Free-Read Month (my self-imposed Jan-Apr challenges have ended or been temporarily paused and I can once again visit the library)


1. A National Book Award Winner - The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie


2. A Romance Set in the Future - Divergent (Divergent, #1) by Veronica Roth


3. A Book that is Published in 2016 - Marked in Flesh (The Others, #4) by Anne Bishop


4. A Book that Takes Place During Summer - The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Sisterhood, #1) by Ann Brashares


5. A Book and its Prequel - City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1) and Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1) by Cassandra Clare


6. A Book with a Blue Cover - The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, #1) by Phillip Pullman


7. A Book from the Library - The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman


8. A Book about a Culture you're Unfamiliar With - The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini


9. A Graphic Novel - Watchmen by Alan Moore


That's only 48 books, so I definitely want to read more books than just what fills the POPSUGAR categories, but I think a lot of that will take place in the second half of the year.  At the end of May I'll write an updated post talking about which books from each month I managed to read and which have been pushed to June or later in the year.  I'm really pleased to say that I managed to fill all those categories with books that were already on my shelves bar one and only 12 are books that I don't already own in one form or another.  That's going to make a decent dent in my physical book overload and once I add a few more Kindles to my paper-free month that shelf will weigh a little less too.

Lolita by Vladomir Nabokov

Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov

3/2 - Just like reading a paedophiles' autobiography.  Full of justification as to why it's not his fault for feeling the way he feels for 'his Lolita'.  To be continued...

10/2 - I don't know if the writing is 'beautiful' enough to make up for the discomforting feeling of reading a paedophiiles' journal.  He frequently asks us, the reader, (who is always referred to as male) to understand him, what he is trying to say, how and why Lolita is tempting him and this is why he is only partially to blame for his actions.  Some other reviewers have said that this book couldn't be considered erotic and (thank God) I agree.  The writing is too flowery and more concerned with the flow of the words to describe an erotic scene so that the reader could actually imagine it (in the way that you do when you read a real romance).  I've read romances where the girl is 12 or 13 at the beginning of the book (usually one set pre 1600s where there's a betrothal of young girl to man) and it's a little creepy, but then they jump forward 5 or more years and any hint of impropriety is forgotten and the romance begins.  Lolita is not like that; there is no romance except in Humbert's sick, twisted mind, which sees innuendo in innocent movement and acts on it; and the creepy is not so much creepy as it is soiling my mind and it certainly isn't forgotten because she gets older.  To be continued...


22/4/16 - I had to give this up when I passed the library due date and there were people waiting for it, two years ago. I'm having another go at it with only ten days left on the current borrow and a queue of people waiting for it, once again. But at least I don't have to go back to the beginning this time, I'm starting with a hundred and five page head start (it's been two years, but I'm sure I remember it well enough to not have to reread those 105 pages). Wish me luck. To be continued...


23/4 - I skimmed back to where I was up to when put this down two years ago and the following passage on page 15 really stood out to me

'Now I wish to introduce the following idea. Between the age limits of nine and fourteen there occur maidens who, to certain bewitched travellers, twice or many times older than they, reveal their true nature which is not human, but nymphic (that is, demoniac); and these chosen creatures I propos to designate as "nymphets".
[...] Between those age limits, are all girl-children nymphets? Of course not. Otherwise, we who are in the know, we lone voyagers, we nympholepts, would have long gone insane. Neither are good looks any criterion; and vulgarity, or at least what a given community terms so, does not necessarily impair certain mysterious characteristics, the fey grace, the elusive, shifty, soul-shattering, insidious charm that separates the nymphets from such coevals of hers as are incomparably more dependent on the spatial world of synchronous phenomena than on that intangible island of entranced time where Lolita plays with her likes. Within the same age limits the number of true nymphets is strikingly inferior to that of provisionally plain, or just nice, or "cute", or even "sweet" and "attractive", ordinary, plumpish, formless, cold-skinned, essentially human little girls, with tummies and pigtails, who may or may not turn into adults of great beauty [...]. A normal man given a group photograph of school girls or Girl Scouts and asked to point out the comeliest one will not necessarily choose the nymphet among them. You have to be an artist and a madman, a creature of infinite melancholy, with a bubble of hot poison in your loins and a super-voluptuous flame permanently aglow in your subtle spine (oh, how you have to cringe and hide!), in order to discern at once, by ineffable signs - the slightly feline outline of a cheekbone, the slenderness of a downy limb, and other indices which despair and shame and tears of tenderness forbid me to tabulate - the little deadly demon among the wholesome children;
she stands unrecognised by them and unconscious herself of her fantastic power.
Furthermore, since the idea of time plays such a magic part in the matter, the student should not be surprised to learn that here must be a gap of several years, never less than ten I should say, generally thirty or forty, and as many as ninety in a few known cases, between maiden and man to enable the latter to come under a nymphet's spell.'

After reading that my first thought was "Ugh!! I wish I could unread that.", my second was that nothing could make me feel any compassion for someone who looks at a group of nine or ten-year-old girls and believes that one or two of the group is 'ripe for the picking', and my third was that beautiful writing or not I have to enjoy the book to be able to rate it any more than two stars. I will continue on, but nothing will erase the above passage from my memory. To be continued...


2/5 - There was nothing enjoyable about this book for me. I feel corrupted by the thoughts it introduced into my head and I really wish I could wash the whole thing out of my head (that's the first entire book I've felt that way about, not even FSoG invaded my mind this horrifically). How can anyone feel compassion for this man or find any part of his story humourous? I just want to beat him and shake him and say "Look at what you did to this girl!!" Thank God it's over, now I need to find some really happy books with happy situations to replace the evil ones currently swimming around in my head. Often I declare a wish to see the movie that goes with a book, not this time! I can think of no other movie I have less desire to see than this one (I would rather re-watch Borat, with my parents no less, and that has to be the most disgustingly gross movie I've ever seen). Also YAY (?) this has the dubious honour of being the first one star for 2016. I'm glad it's taken this long, I wish it hadn't had to happen at all, but I can't think of a better candidate.

2016 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge Category: A New York Times Bestseller


Reblogged from Hol:

My April Reading

Cause of Death - Patricia Cornwell Girl With a Pearl Earring - Tracy Chevalier Protecting What's His - Tessa Bailey All Quiet on the Western Front - Erich Maria Remarque His Risk to Take - Tessa Bailey Picnic at Hanging Rock - Joan Lindsay Beauty Queens - Libba Bray Officer off Limits - Tessa Bailey Fly Away Peter - David Malouf The Curse of Lord Stanstead - Mia Marlowe

I've got so much writing to do tonight!!  I've got two backlogged reviews from earlier in the month (writing them in the middle of writing this), then I've got this wrap up post and my May reading plans post to write too (and it's already dinner time, so I'm running out of time before I need to get back to finishing Lolita before I return it to the library tomorrow).


I'm pretty happy with this month's reading total and variety.  Sure, nearly half the books were romances, but I still managed to tick five more off my 'reread to review' shelf and four from this year's POPSUGAR challenge.  I read eleven books this month, you can read my reviews below.


1. Cause of Death (Kay Scarpetta, #7) by Patricia Cornwell, you can read my review here


2. Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracey Chevalier, you can read my review here


3. Protecting What's His (Line of Duty, #1) by Tessa Bailey, you can read my review here


4. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque, you can read my review here


5. His Risk to Take (Line of Duty, #2) by Tessa Bailey, you can read my review here


6. Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay, you can read my review here


7. Beauty Queens by Libba Bray, you can read my review here


8. Officer Off Limits (Line of Duty, #3) by Tessa Bailey, you can read my review here


9. Fly Away Peter by David Malouf, you can read my review here


10. The Curse of Lord Stanstead (The Order of the M.U.S.E., #1) by Mia Marlowe, you can read my review here


11. The Duchess War (Brothers Sinister, #1) by Courtney Milan, you can read my review here


My Reading Stats for April


  • 11 books in 30 days, that's an average of 0.36 books per day
  • 2437 page in 30 days, that's an average of 81.23 pages per day and 221.54 per book
  • 11 books with an average rating of 3.63 stars
  • My fastest read was Officer Off Limits, 248 pages overnight, although that technically means it took me from the 15th till the 16th to read it, it was actually only about four or five hours.
  • Once again my best is a choice between two five starrers, this month it has to go to Officer Off Limits because it was also my fastest read and the one with the most laughs.
  • My worst is a toss up between Fly Away Peter and The Curse of Lord Stanstead, and the winner is Lord Stanstead because it was bad in more than one way and not just because I thought it was too waffley (I'm not into waffley, introspective books like Fly Away Peter was, so that's a 'it's me, not you' kind of thing with that book).


At the end of last month I hoped for a higher quantity of reads while keeping the high quality level and I think I achieved that - yes, there were two 2s, but there were also two 5s to balance them out - so I'm happy with my reading for the month.  Now let's keep it up for May.  Talk to you all later and have a great day.

Officer Off Limits (Line of Duty, #3) by Tessa Bailey

Officer off Limits - Tessa Bailey

1/5 - I finished this nearly a month ago, but just never got around to reviewing it.

This is my favourite of the Line of Duty series, so far. Daniel is the best dirty talker of the bunch and he and Story (can't stand the name, people shouldn't be named after things in my opinion - Stef, Sue, Sophie :) good, Story, Coaster, Apple :( bad) have the best sexy banter, I couldn't decide whether I wanted to laugh or fan myself. This was pretty predictable, even the big reveal that

her father was manoeuvring them together in the background through reverse psychologyher

(show spoiler)

father was manoeuvring them together in the background through reverse psychology (hide spoiler)] was pretty obvious, but I didn't care. I loved pretty much the whole book anyway. Even the 'put the heroine in danger so that she and the hero can realise how much they mean to each other' scene at the end wasn't cheesy enough to spoil the rest of this for me. I hope the next two books aren't a step back for me.


Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay

Picnic at Hanging Rock - Joan Lindsay

13/4 - I read this about seven years ago, long before I found GR or made an effort to write more than a line or two declaring "I liked this" or "I didn't like this". So, it's been sitting on my 'reread to review' shelf for ages, waiting for me to find the right motivation to read it again. I finally found it in this year's POPSUGAR challenge with their 'A Book that Takes Place in Your Hometown (Melbourne)' category. I was quite excited when I saw that category for two reasons. First because I knew that I would be able to kill two birds with one stone - get a book off the aforementioned shelf and fulfil the POPSUGAR challenge category. Second because there's not that many books actually set in Melbourne. Of course there are lots of Australian authors, Melburnians even, but I can only think of two books that I've read that were set in Melbourne - this one and a true crime that's also sitting on my 'reread to review' shelf. So coming across a book to fit this apparently sparse category so quickly was encouraging.

Anyway, to the book. My main complaint with it is that I don't like open-ended/choose your own ending endings where I have to use my imagination to decide what happened. I just find them frustrating and want to ask the author why the hell they decided to leave me hanging like this. Couldn't they think up something a bit more satisfying? That was what I thought with this book, but then I Wikipediaed the Hanging Rock to learn more of the history and see some pictures and learned something even more interesting. There was an 18th chapter that wasn't published with the original book but has since been published as a separate 'booklet', which reveals what really happened to the girls. I read it and

it wasn't very good

(show spoiler)

. I'm not sure whether I wish I hadn't read it or I'm glad I did because it was

(view spoiler)so weird and completely different from the rest of the book that I have similar reservations regarding who really wrote it as other reviewers do

(show spoiler)

, but at the same time I do now know the secret so the frustration over not knowing is gone, but I have new frustrations because of what I said under the spoiler tags above.


*Update* 1/5/16
I just watched the 1975 movie, it didn't improve my opinion of the story as a whole. It was full of synthesised 'woo-woo' music and long 'soap opera' looks that I'm sure were meant to impart some emotion, I'm just not sure what it was (even after reading the book). I'm a fan of Peter Weir (the director) for his movies Master and Commander and Gallipoli but I wouldn't recommend this one, it was just too weird for my tastes.


2016 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge Category: A Book that Takes Place in Your Hometown (Melbourne)

His Risk to Take (Line of Duty, #2) by Tessa Bailey

His Risk to Take - Tessa Bailey

1/5 - I read this almost a month ago, but never got around to reviewing it.

3.5 stars. I liked Troy and I liked Ruby, to start with. At the end I felt like she was a bit of a stubborn idiot who refused to acknowledge the danger she was putting herself in when she insisted on 'helping' Troy out on his case. I also felt like the declaration "But Prince Charming disappeared as soon as they made it to the bedroom." made Troy's bedroom behaviour a bigger deal than it actually turned out to be (he didn't seem to be that demanding to me *shrug*). The final scene was the best part of the whole book, I loved the way Ruby screamed down the phone at Troy because she thought he wasn't coming the day when she finally realised what he meant to her. This is a novella, so of course my main complaint with it was that it's too short (although I guess that's actually a compliment because it means I wanted more from the characters, more from the story). I'm glad I've got all the books in the series ready whenever I want to read them because I have to admit they are a bit addictive.

The Duchess War (Brothers Sinister, #1) by Courtney Milan

The Duchess War - Courtney Milan


1/5 - I thought this was really quite fantastic! I loved Minnie's anxiety disorder (I have one too, although mine manifests itself differently and in more specific situations which don't effect my life quite as detrimentally as it does hers) and her intelligence and her witty set downs of Robert. I think this is the first historical romance with a virginal hero I've ever read, which made for a refreshing first sex scene (things don't go quite as planned and Minnie needs to instruct Robert on what to do to please her). I also liked that the heroine did know what she was doing, well at least to ensure her own satisfaction, and wasn't completely oblivious as to what bits went where.

I nearly cried when Robert was talking about his childhood with a mother who was no longer able to show any care for him because it would give her abusive husband, his father, too much power over her. It was just so sad reading of Robert calling it (his childhood) an amusing story because if it wasn't amusing it would be tragic and enough to make anyone cry.

I did have one question: Where's the 'duchess war' of the title? That didn't make any sense to me.

I'm usually dismissive of the excerpts from future books because I feel a lot of authors use them to pad out the pages of embarrassingly short 'books' *cough* novellas *cough* , but the page count for this one stopped at 264. There were further pages but the page numbers didn't continue after the end of the story which made me feel more generous toward the two excerpts in this one. Plus, I'd really enjoyed the book and a half of the series I'd read so far and wanted to see what other interesting characters Milan was going to employ in the future books. Both of them sound excellent and I'll be reading them as soon as I can get them on sale.