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BellesBookshelf

Belle's Bookshelf

"With a dreamy far-off look, and her nose stuck in a book..."

Currently reading

What Maisie Knew
Henry James
My Friend the Enemy
Dan Smith
Worlds of Arthur: Facts and Fictions of the Dark Ages
Guy Halsall
Reblogged from TezMillerOz:

"But a personal boycott is not censorship because the reader isn't saying author A with the bad attitude shouldn't be published... Deciding not to read a particular author or buy a particular author does not suppress the author's right to publish (particularly in this day and age). Concerted boycotts can have that effect but only if the numbers are large enough which is highly rare in the case of a reader and an author."

-- Jane Litte, Dear Author
http://dearauthor.com/book-reviews/the-personal-boycott-and-how-its-not-censorship/

In short, being boycotted won't destroy your career, so stop claiming that it will. Only what YOU say/do will destroy your career. But that's just my opinion.

Reblogged from The Reading Perusals of Rose Summers:
Good advice, all.
Good advice, all.

I stayed up until 4am reading All The Truth That's In Me

Reblogged from TheBookofJules:

Reblogging

I wish reblogging on Booklikes was clearer. There's no format to show who wrote the original post and what's been added to it.

"“The loss of a husband is nothing to the loss of a good butler.”

"

— Aunt Julie, The Forsyte Saga 

Reblogged from JennyJen:
Reblogged from The Girl in a Cafe:

I am really, really confused. This looks like a great site, especially with the Tumblr style layout, but at the moment I feel like this;

 

 

 

And then because I don't understand, I just am.

 

 

 

Also,

 

 

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

YEP

 

Reblogged from elspeth's ephemeral musings :
How I'm feeling on this site right now.
How I'm feeling on this site right now.

^^^^^^ so much this!

Six Impossible Things - Fiona Wood Just landed in my mailbox, so keen to read this soon.

Brideshead Revisited

Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh Need to digest I think.
Dare You To - Katie McGarry 4.5 stars. To be honest, I don’t know what possessed me to read Dare You To. I wasn’t a massive fan of Pushing the Limits and the idea of a book focused on Beth, a character I couldn’t stand in the first book, wasn’t exactly appealing. Plus the suggestion that Beth would somehow ditch the sweet, caring Isaiah sounded awful. Combine that with the fact that people who did love Pushing the Limits didn’t love Dare You To, and I thought I would surely hate it. I wasn’t going to bother.So don’t ask me how I ended up staying up until 2am reading this. I honestly can’t say how I started. Only that once I had, I couldn’t stop. Dare You To is told from a dual perspective, like Pushing the Limits, only this time it’s about troubled Beth and baseball jock Ryan. The two meet at a fast food restaurant and don’t exactly hit it off. When Beth has to live with her uncle, a baseball superstar, Ryan is keen to get back into her good books – especially with a dare riding on a date with her.You can totally see where this is going, right? But it doesn’t matter. Because getting there is so much fun. Having insight into Beth’s thoughts and motivations makes her a much more sympathetic and, dare I say, likable character. I understood why she’s awful to Echo. I understood why she treats Isaiah the way she does. And boy, did I understand why she likes Ryan.Ryan is adorable. OK, he’s a bit of a douche to start with and does get a little possessive in a couple of instances, but it’s nowhere near as bad as Noah in Pushing the Limits, and Beth doesn’t exactly put up with it. There’s great chemistry between these two, and their budding relationship – and the complications that go along with it - feels quite realistic. There are some really sweet, not to mention totally hot, scenes, and I loved the fact that the usual tropes were reversed and Ryan was a virgin while Beth wasn’t. I am so over the pure, good girls being seduced by experienced, bad guys. It’s so not true to life and reinforces restrictive roles and screwed up expectations. It was really great to see something different here.While I loved the romance, I really liked the other aspects of the plot, too, and appreciated that there was more going on in each character’s life. Perhaps because my husband is obsessed with baseball, I actually found myself enjoying that part of Ryan’s story, and I felt for his family situation, too. But of course, Beth’s story is much more dramatic and emotional. My heart broke for her, yet the terrible moments made the good ones that much sweeter.In addition to liking the two leads, I adored the secondary characters in Dare You To. Ryan’s friends are great, and there are some very funny moments between them. I especially loved Lacy, Beth’s childhood friend and Ryan’s current friend. The way she accepts Beth back into her life and has her back in the end is so awesome. On Beth’s side, we see Noah and Echo make a few appearances, which is nice, even if I’m not their biggest fans, and Isaiah, oh Isaiah... I felt for him, but at the same time I was happy with the way things turned out. I’m looking forward to Isaiah hopefully (who am I kidding - definitely) getting his own happily ever after in Crash Into You. So, despite thinking I would hate it, I actually really loved Dare You To. It was a page-turning, swoony, emotional ride. I’m so glad I went on it. Head Cast Austin Butler as RyanKsenia Solo as BethBonus: Couple shot courtesy of Life Unexpected.RelatedKatie McGarry includes a playlist in the back of Dare You To, which I compiled here. It is a bit too country for my taste, but fits the book pretty well overall.Note: I received a review copy from the publisher via Netgalley.For more of my reviews and other features, check out Belle's Bookshelf.Earlier...OK, I didn't get it with the first book, but this one...

The Goodreads Killer

The Goodreads Killer - Dave Franklin Um... WTF is this?

Pushing the Limits

Pushing the Limits  - Katie McGarry I am in the minority on this book. Coz I didn't love it. I did like it. Kind of. It was a quick read and entertaining enough, but so many things annoyed me about it. I was actually quite perplexed as to what people see it in that I didn’t, especially at the beginning. There’s been a lot of comparisons to Perfect Chemistry and I can definitely see the connection: the dual narrators, the good girl and the bad boy who are paired together for school and find themselves falling hard for each other, the melodrama and the cheesiness. I was worried it would be too similar, but in the end there were enough differences to separate the two stories, and it was actually something else that annoyed me entirely. Noah. Noah is a foster kid, separated from his little brothers since their parents died a few years ago. He's been in bad situations and has a serious chip on his shoulder. The only thing he cares about is getting his family back together. Until he meets Echo. Cue sparks and professions of undying love. While it's not quite insta-love, it's pretty damn close. Noah's internal monologue, especially when he's thinking about Echo, didn't feel authentic to me. It was like a fantasy of a guy, as opposed to a real teen boy. I also didn't really buy the bad boy act - for most of Noah's life, he had a stable family and a promising future. I know what he's been through would screw someone up, but I don't think it would change your personality that dramatically. I could be wrong, but it bugged me anyway. But what really bugged me was his possessiveness. Note to YA/NA authors: this is not romantic. At all. As for Echo, I didn't like or dislike her. Except for her name. That's just really stupid. Other than that, "meh" about sums up my feelings about her. Like Noah, she's been through a lot, and she has the emotional and physical scars to prove it. I was interested in discovering what had happened to her to make her this way, but I have to say I was a little dissatisfied with the resolution of that plot point. The way mental illness was dealt with made me a little uncomfortable at times. Something that made me really uncomfortable was the fact that the only explicitly black character in the book dropped her Gs. This was something I noticed with the portrayal of non-white characters in the Perfect Chemistry series too. A lot of people probably drop their Gs in real life, but why is it only non-white characters that seem to do it on the page? It annoyed me so much in Pushing the Limits I almost stopped reading at the 10 per cent mark. I'm glad I kept reading, because it did get a bit better. It was predictable, but it still kept me turning the pages. Despite my problems with it, it was highly readable. Though I still don't quite get the hype around it.I received a review copy via Netgalley.See more of my reviews and other features at Belle's Bookshelf.
Life in Outer Space - Melissa Keil Life in Outer Space is an adorable Aussie contemporary YA novel. It’s told from the perspective of Sam, a film nerd who gets bullied on a daily basis. His world is rocked when the quirky, cool Camilla shows up at school – and surprisingly takes an interest in him. She provides a welcome distraction from his best friend’s strange behaviour and the fact that his family is slowly falling apart. Maybe too much of a distraction…I really liked that this book was told from a guy’s perspective - it’s not something you get very much in YA these days, and Keil does it really well. I loved all the film references, the relationships Sam has with his mum and his mates, and the many cute moments in the budding relationship between Camilla and Sam. The secondary characters all had substance and played an important part in the story. I am torn on how I feel about Camilla. She annoyed me a bit at first because she just seemed like the perfect Manic Pixie Dream Girl, but as the plot unfolded and she acted on her own dreams and dealt with her own issues I warmed to her a lot more. I enjoyed the subplots a lot, even more than the main romance plotline at times. The reason Sam’s best friend, Mike, quits his much-loved karate is an intriguing mystery, and the effect of the disintegration of Sam’s parents’ marriage on both him and his mother is heartbreaking and touching. Keil beautifully combines this drama with a snarky, pop culture-laced humour to create a very fun read. What stopped this book from being perfect for me were the few things that were hard for me to believe. Like the fact that Camilla managed to make friends with everybody, and Sam's bullying mysteriously stops when she appears. Sam acknowledges this “magic” in the story, which helped a little, but it still didn’t feel realistic to me. There was also the fact that from the descriptions, Sam and Mike don’t sound like the kind of guys who really get bullied or even ignored. But the thing that really bugged me was the fact the high school had more of an American vibe with the lack of school uniforms and the spring dance and so on. I wanted to recognise Australia and what it's like to grow up here more than I did.But these were only minor niggles in what was overall a really enjoyable book. It’s a quick, easy read, with just the right mix of humour and heart. And, of course, plenty of my favourite thing - pop cultural references! I received a review copy of this book via Netgalley.Read more of my reviews and other features at Belle's Bookshelf.
Tales of the Macabre - Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Baudelaire, Benjamin Lacombe Rating: 2.5/5Tales of the Macabre is a collection of Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories, combined with gorgeous new illustrations. This was my first Poe experience and I have to say I am not a fan. I really enjoyed The Tell-Tale Heart – I thought it was atmospheric, tense, creepy and clever. But the rest of the stories I thought were either boring or downright awful.The Black Cat in particular horrified me, and not in a good way. I just can’t handle animal cruelty. It truly sickened me. Instead of being deliciously terrified I was just offended and upset. I nearly stopped reading the book then and there.I’m glad I continued for The Tell-Tale Heart, but not much else. Berenice was my next favourite but I didn’t love it. While there was some exquisite language scattered throughout the stories, overall I found them quite slow, predictable and incredibly repetitive. I got so over seeing a beautiful, ill woman in every story, who the protagonist loved or hated or both. It was very tedious to have basically the same thing happen again and again.I did really appreciate the illustrations in this edition. They’re creepy and beautiful and complement the stories really well. Unfortunately the ebook I had was not well formatted for my kindle, and half of the illustrations – and some of the stories – were chopped up and all over the place across pages. This didn’t help my enjoyment of the book.After finishing Tales of the Macabre, I looked up The Raven, to see if Poe’s other famous work (read: as featured on The Simpsons) was as good as the hype. And it is. I loooooved it. Maybe I should stick to Poe’s poetry and stay away from his prose. It’s just not my cup of tea.I received a review copy via Netgalley.See more of my reviews and other features at Belle's Bookshelf.