Whimsicalmiscellany's Blog


I was looking thought my list of books I've read and decided to make another list of series that I have started and have not yet finished. It was a long list. Granted some of these series haven't ended yet, but a lot of them have. Also, some of them I don't want to continue with (Shatter Me, I'm looking at you).  I plan on making a conscientious effort to complete these series and get up to date on the ones that are ongoing. Wish me luck!

You Had Me At Hello

You Had Me At Hello - Mhairi McFarlane I downloaded a sample of this and found myself laughing out loud at certain turns of phrase, which isn’t something I’m prone to doing. I didn’t download it right away but found myself thinking about it in the weeks that followed and wishing I’d bought it when it was only 99p. I eventually did buy it and devoured it. Mhairi has a great writing style that’s both funny and heartfelt. I love the little snarky quips our main character Rachel shares with the other characters. Rachel breaks off her engagement to Rhys, a man she’s been with for 13 years but has never really felt happy with. Then she meets old friend Ben and we find out throughout the course of the book that they were best friends at university and haven’t seen each other since. Until Ben moves back to Manchester…with his wife. Rachel is one of those characters that isn’t perfect, she’s not dislikeable, but she’s human. She makes mistakes and she says the wrong thing sometimes. That’s what makes her relatable and makes this book so enjoyable. The supporting cast of characters is equally as wonderful and I even found myself enjoying Simon, even in his nastiness when I wanted to kick him in the face. I wanted to bitch slap Olivia and you know that when fictional characters can elicit such violence that the author is doing something right. Ben, our love interest was one of those characters that is so easy to fall in love with. His ability to give Rachel as good as he gets makes him the perfect compliment to her sarcastic nature. The plot wasn’t just about Rachel and Ben and Rhys and her friends and OMG what is going to happen!? Rachel’s job is in jeopardy after she makes the mistake of trusting a co-worker. I knew when she did it that it was going to come back to bite her and I barely resisted the urge to shout “Rachel, no!” at my Kindle. I found the bits about Rachel’s work added to the story and definitely didn’t weigh it down. The author’s ability to keep us all guessing right until the very last page was what makes me want to give the book 5 stars. It’s a book I’m going to recommend to people whether they like contemporary adult fiction or not.

Anna Dressed in Blood

Anna Dressed in Blood - Kendare Blake

On Dublin Street (On Dublin Street, #1)

On Dublin Street (On Dublin Street, #1) - Samantha Young I love Samantha Young's books and was excited to hear she was releasing an adult contemporary book. I was even more excited to find out it's set in Edinburgh.I pretty much stayed up all night reading this book and I loved it. It reminded me a wee bit of 50 Shades Of Grey only much, much better and without the repetitive sex and characters that incite rage.Joss is an American living in Edinburgh, she has issues from her past and has successfully avoided dealing with them...until she moves in with Ellie...and meets Ellie's brother, Braden.The main character Joss is exactly what I love in female characters: snarky, strong and ultimately loveable. She has issues, she's effed up but she's awesome. Braden is exactly what I love in male characters: protective, tenacious and moderately adorable. I loved the snarky dialogue, the made up words, the side characters (how cute is Ellie?) and the sub plots, the setting and just everything.Love love love. Such a departure from Samantha's usual writing but equally as enjoyable.

I Heart London. Lindsey Kelk

I Heart London - Lindsey Kelk This is the fifth book in the I Heart… series and it’s one of my favourite series ever. It’s simple, cheesy chick lit and even though I really am not a chick lit fan these books just make me happy. CharactersThe series follows Angela Clark as she basically started her life over again. Angela isn’t perfect, she can be selfish and moody and definitely does not know when to shut up. And that’s why she’s a great character, she’s human and somewhat relatable. Angela ran away to New York after catching her other half cheating on her…and she didn’t come back. She changed completely over the course of the 5 books and became a somewhat responsible grown-up.Angela’s NY best friend, Jenny is loud and brash and just wonderful. I love Jenny although in this particular book she goes a bit nuts and reminds me a lot of the Angela from book 1…like they’ve done a complete role reversal. While Angela’s story came to a satisfactory conclusion I hope the author maybe does a spin-off series with Jenny.Angela’s boyfriend is adorable. Who doesn’t want a gorgeous musician boyfriend? He’s so chill and sensible and he compliments Angela’s chaotic personality perfectly.PlotBook 5 revolves around Angela trying to plan her wedding to Alex during a trip home to London. It all sounds nice and like Angela’s perfect wedding but as predicted it goes a bit tits up with the arrival of Angela’s ex and crazy chaos. I didn’t heart book 4 (I Heart Vegas), see what I did there? But I Heart London was great fun. ConclusionThese books are pure fantasy, the idea of running away to a new country, I think appeals to everyone on some level. I love the characters and their crazy shenanigans. It’s a quick read, nothing too deep and serious and just perfect chick lit. My favourite is still the first one, I Heart New York, but I really recommend I Heart London for a quick summer read.

The Duff (Designated Ugly Fat Friend)

The Duff (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) - Kody Keplinger I absolutely adored this book. I think it’s going to be one of those books that I want to read over and over again.CharactersThe main character, Bianca is offended at being called “the Duff” by a classmate. She hates this guy, Wesley, he’s a womanising, smug, arrogant asshole and Bianca despises him. But she’s going through some things, and she ends up sleeping with Wesley on a regular basis with the idea that she feels nothing for this boy so she can’t get hurt but gets the “distraction” provided by the sex. This is one of the reasons I loved this book, there wasn’t any of that insta-love nonsense. Bianca hates Wesley and says herself that she’s just using him to distract her from the trouble with her family.Bianca’s best friends, Jessica and Casey are great. They’re supporting characters but aren’t annoying, they constantly support Bianca and are in it until the end.Wesley, ah, Wesley. I have a tendency to fall in love with male characters in books. I didn’t fall in love with Wesley but I love him as a character. He wasn’t completely one dimensional, he had personality. He was funny, sarcastic and going through his own stuff that made him seem a lot more realistic than love interests can sometimes be.PlotI’ve been reading a lot of contemporary YA lately, I’m loving the cute, cliché drama and The Duff was no different. Bianca is a normal 17 year old with insecurities and issues with her family. Her insecurities are heightened by Wesley referring to her as the Duff until she realises that everyone feels that way in high school. Everyone feels like they’re not good enough.ConclusionI love love loved this book. I loved that Wesley and Bianca spent time together and started to fall in love. I love that both of their lives weren’t perfect. I love that these kids were depicted as having safe, consensual sex (it happens, pretending it doesn’t is silly and unrealistic). I just loved everything and recommend it for fans of contemporary YA.

The Man Who Loved Pride and Prejudice: A modern love story with a Jane Austen twist

The Man Who Loved Pride and Prejudice: A modern love story with a Jane Austen twist - Abigail Reynolds This is a modern day retelling of Pride & Prejudice. Cassie is a marine biologist with a past and Calder is part of a rich political family with secrets. Cassie makes for a great Lizzie Bennet with a quick wit and a teasing nature aware of her own independence and not reliant on a man to make her happy. Calder isn't a bad Darcy either, he plays the aloof member of high society quite well. The storyline was a bit...jumpy, with the last third of the book seeming almost like an entirely different story. If that last section hadn't been in the novel I might've given it 4 stars. Certain characters seemed to disappear for a while there as well without even a mention, Erin (Jane Bennet) and Scott (Bingley) vanished without any conclusion to their part of the story until they were briefly mentioned but still without any conclusion.I enjoyed this book as a contemporary romance, great for a summer read. I think even if you weren't familiar with the Pride & Prejudice story this is still entertaining if contemporary romance is your thing. I haven't read any of the authors other P&P retellings but I think I might give them a read here soon.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth (The Forest of Hands and Teeth, #1)

The Forest of Hands and Teeth (The Forest of Hands and Teeth, #1) - Carrie Ryan I did not love this book. In fact, it almost made it into the “unfinished” pile, which is a pretty small pile. I’ve been wanting to read this book for a while and I’ve read some glowing reviews and I tried to like it, I really did. It just did nothing for me. Maybe because it reminded me of The Village and I really hated that movie.Characters:The main character, Mary, was so selfish and unlikeable as a character. She risks everybody that she claims to love in order to chase the ocean. Is she just a selfish teenager or is she mentally unhinged?Mary’s brother Jed was just such a dick. He disowns Mary because their *adult* mother made the choice to go into the Forest after she had been bitten. Then at the end he declares that he’s her big brother and he will follow her anywhere in order to protect her. Does he have multiple personalities?Harry & Travis, the two brothers that are in love with Mary…Travis & Mary apparently fell in love while he was being cared for by the Sisterhood and Mary tended to him. I say apparently because Mary spent a few nights telling him her stories of the ocean and oh em gee she loves him! No development in their love story at all. Mary’s betrothed to Harry and Travis is betrothed to Mary’s best friend Cass, but hey, who cares? This love triangle (square?) was pointless and ineffective.I had no attachment to these characters and didn’t care if they lived or died, which is ok really because we don’t actually find out if some of them live or die.As zombies go, the Unconsecrated in this book were…kinda lame. They moaned and they pulled at the fence surrounding the village but I felt their threat was not immediate. Which isn’t really true because Mary loses both her parents to the Unconsecrated but I just feel they were surplus to the story.Plot:Where to start? So many questions were raised in this book and go unanswered and I’m not sure I want to read the sequels to see if they’re answered. What did the Sisterhood actually know about the Return? What did they do to Gabrielle? What else was written in that giant book Mary finds? The story seems to plod along with Mary living in the Cathedral and sneaking to see Travis, with them walking down these paths outside the gate and with them being trapped in the village. There’s no sense of time passing, really. These events happen and you don’t know if they’re taking place within days, weeks or months.Conclusion:I really don’t know if I’m going to read the rest of the series, even though I hate leaving series’ unfinished. I wouldn’t recommend this if you like zombie stories because it’s not really a zombie story. I was underwhelmed and gave it 1 star.


Scars - Cheryl Rainfield This book is deep, dark and terrifying. I was left feeling emotionally exhausted after I’d finished it. It covers the topics of sexual abuse, self-injury and homosexuality. Kendra has started remembering her abuse, she’s trying to remember who abused her while at the same time retreating from the memories. When she starts to remember she cuts herself to stop the memories. She’s also being stalked by her abuser, who’s trying to scare her into not remembering. At the same time as all this, she’s falling in love. I was desperate to find out who her abuser was and I was utterly shocked at the revelation, I wasn’t expecting that at all. I always like when authors take me by surprise. The fleeting descriptions of Kendra’s abuse were brutal and my heart broke for her. The same goes for the cutting scenes, the author pulled no punches in her descriptions and it was so real. The scenes between Kendra and Meghan were sweet and touching and I wish there had been more of a developing relationship between them both, rather than a BOOM! they’re in love. I wanted to know more about Meghan’s unhappy life. This book could be triggering for self-harmers so I’d advise caution in that regard. However, I think it offers a hopeful message for anyone suffering like Kendra was.

Cinder: Book One in the Lunar Chronicles

Cinder  - Marissa Meyer I love fairy tale retellings and this one promised to be completely different while still having the important features of the Cinderella story we all know and love,.It takes place in New Beijing far into the future. I love the world the author started to create and I hope the explanations and world building continue in the next books. The world is ravaged by a plague, the moon colonists are waiting for their moment to pounce on the planet and cyborgs and androids are commonplace. The character of Cinder ticked all my YA female protagonist boxes. She was strong, not at all simpering and was just generally kick ass. The character of Prince Kai fell a bit short for me and I was left feeling kind of mad at him towards the end of the book. Which isn’t really what we want, is it? I violently disliked Cinder’s “evil stepmother” and wanted to slap her stepsister. But I was sad when Cinder’s other stepsister was struck down by the plague. There are certain plot points I felt were a bit predictable, certain things were said between the characters that let me know exactly where the author was going to go, but I don’t mind that so much as long as the rest of the story makes up for it. And it did in this case. The one thing that drove me crazy was the giant cliff-hanger at the end. I think the other books in the series are different fairy tales retold in the same world, so I wonder if we’re ever going to find out what becomes of these characters…I might cry if I don’t find out. I highly recommend this if you’re enjoying the plethora of fairy tale retellings that are hitting bookshelves lately. I’m loving them.

The Truth about Lilly Barnes

The Truth about Lilly Barnes - Kimberly  Russell I had randomly spotted this on Amazon, downloaded it to my Kindle and read it in one afternoon. I’m drawn to stories about suicide, I’m interested to know the reasons behind the action. The reason behind Lilly’s decision isn’t immediately obvious and in fact I hadn’t guessed the reason until it was revealed.The story is told mostly from Lilly’s point of view but there are a couple of chapters told from the point of view of her best friend (and possible romantic interest?), Buddy. I liked the varying viewpoints because suicide affects the family and friends of the victims as well.I really liked this book and might even read it again some time in the future. I recommend it if you like books such as Thirteen Reasons Why or If I Stay (not suicide but death is a main theme)

River Dawn

River Dawn - Stephen Graff,  Joel Bahma I received this book from the author to review and after reading the synopsis I was really excited to read it. I was left with mixed feelings after finishing this book and I was left more than slightly confused. I often wonder when I read books that I don’t “get” if it’s me being stupid. That could be the case.After I finished the book I re-read the synopsis and some of my questions were answered there. The story takes place in two different times, I had originally thought maybe it was a parallel world kind of thing but the blurb clearly states it’s different times. There was no way to differentiate which time was being written about until a few sentences in to the chapter since all the characters had the same names. I don’t understand why they had the same names, they weren’t the same people.The two Alice’s apparently communicate through a journal…where did the journal come from? How did the the communication work? It was barely mentioned in the novel and that’s something else I got from the synopsis. There were several stories being told throughout the course of the novel and everybody’s story seemed to connect. I was left wondering what happened to all of these characters since their stories weren’t explained or brought to a conclusion. There is a sequel being released so maybe we’ll get some answers then. I think I got the point, global warming and the state of the world leading to the collapse of society. But the whole “two different times back and forth” aspect is unnecessary, the story works without it if I’m honest. It was excessively mysterious, everything is alluded to but never actually explained outright so the reader is left to draw their own conclusions. I don’t personally enjoy that kind of reading experience but I know it would appeal to some people.


Embrace - Cherie Colyer I received this book from the author to review and I really enjoyed it. It’s a YA paranormal romance and I found it to be the perfect balance of mystery, romance and paranormal. It was a quick, easy read that was fast paced and left me wanting to read more about the characters (I hope Cherie writes a sequel!).There was not a single vampire or werewolf in sight in this book which was nice. Don’t get me wrong I love my vampires and werewolves (some might say too much) but it’s refreshing to read something different. I like this particular kind of paranormal story **I won’t spoil the mystery** and I think there should be more of it. I recommend this for something quick to read if you like YA paranormal romance. It’s a great addition to any collection!

Dark Seeker

Dark Seeker - Taryn Browning I received this book from the author for review and I have already purchased the prequel and I can’t wait until the sequel is released. I really really liked this book. Certain elements of the story and the characters reminded me heavily of Buffy the Vampire Slayer which is, my all time favourite TV show. So of course I was going to love this book. There’s a lot going on in the book but not so much that it’s easy to get confused (I get confused easily, ok?). There’s a good balance of action and conflict and romance. Janie is not a simpering heroine who needs a guy to save her. She can save herself. Which is why she’s a great character, she’s independent and brave and knows her own mind. Kai is the kind of male character I enjoy reading, sarcastic and distant yet filled with emotion. The romance that happens between Janie and Kai was really well written. I hate in books when two people meet and instantly they’re together and they’re so in love. Kai and Janie both struggled with their growing feelings for each other which makes it more believable and relatable. I recommend this for fans of Buffy and for fans of YA fantasy.

Royally Yours: A Modern-Day Valentine's Fairytale

Royally Yours: A Modern-Day Valentine's Fairytale - Jude Ryan A really cute short story.