Rachel Watts is an unwilling new arrival to Melbourne from the country. James Mycroft is her neighbour, an intriguingly troubled seventeen-year-old genius with a passion for forensics. Despite her misgivings, Rachel finds herself unable to resist Mycroft when he wants her help investigating a murder. And when Watts and Mycroft follow a trail to the cold-blooded killer, they find themselves in the lion's den - literally.
A night at the zoo will never have quite the same meaning again...
This is one of those books I found only because I saw other bloggers talking about it. And since everyone was loving it, I had to have it too so I could find out if I would love it as much as everyone else. And I’m so glad I did! This book turned out to be different than I originally thought it would be but I enjoyed it so much more.
When I first picked this book up, I thought it was a Sherlock/Mycroft retelling. But it turns it’s more of a completely new story with mentions of Sherlock. Mycroft has no actual relation to Sherlock and it’s really only coincidence that his name is related at all. But because of the familiar name, he makes references to Sherlock a lot and of course calls his friend, Rachel Watts, his Watson. This is also a murder mystery story, so they have that in common as well. But it isn’t a retelling. And I actually really liked that about it. I liked hearing Myroft mention Sherlock and I liked the little jokes about it. I liked that I wasn’t always on the lookout for things that were similar or different. Especially now that retellings have become so popular in the YA book world, it was refreshing to see a different kind of take on it.
Another thing that surprised me about this book was the characters’ backgrounds. Since I knew almost nothing about the book (I avoid detailed reviews of books I want to read and I don’t usually read most details in the synopsis either), so just based on my own ideas of what the book would be, I was surprised at how different from that the characters ended up being. I don’t know why, really, I just did. So when I read about them, I loved them even more. They’ve both come to be where they are because of difficult circumstances they experienced earlier in life and discovering what had happened and how they were dealing with them was one of the best parts of this book.
Of course, I can’t really talk about this book without mentioning the relationship between Mycroft and Watts. Since I don’t want to spoil anything, I’ll just say that I loved it. It was not at all what I expected but I loved how they were together, how they understood parts of each other, and how everything ended up. I can’t wait to read more about them! Also, don’t read the synopsis for Every Word if you don’t want to be spoiled.
I highly recommend this book. Especially if you’re a fan of Sherlock and murder mysteries and want that feel in a young adult book. Also, if you’re a fan of romance being the main focus, you should know that you won’t find that here. There are relationships and things do happen and I loved the romance but it isn’t biggest theme of the book so you’ll be disappointed if that’s what you want. I really enjoyed this book and bought Every Word as soon as I finished it because I needed more Watts/Mycroft as soon as possible!
Apparently, this is a very movie-heavy week here. I hope that’s okay with you guys! Now that it’s a new month (a little bit ago but who’s counting?), it means it’s also time for more movies! October is a pretty great month for movies because there are actually several book to movie adaptations coming out again. And they actually look really good. Sadly, I didn’t end up seeing any movies last month. I can’t believe I didn’t get out to even one! I still really want to see The Intern and will someday but now it’s time to focus on October movies.
The Martian: October 2
I’m so excited for this movie. I bought The Martian by Andy Weir a few weeks ago and finally read it earlier this week and really enjoyed it. I’m going to see the movie this weekend with a friend who’s also reading the book. I’ve seen the previews and it looks really good. I’m already anticipating some differences between the book and movie but hopefully the overall feel will be similar. And I think it will be. Plus there are a ton of great people in this movie besides Matt Damon. Have you seen it?
Pan: October 9
This is actually more of a Peter Pan prequel than a retelling, like I originally thought. It’s about Peter going to Neverland and befriending Hook and Tiger Lily and fighting Blackbeard. I don’t know that I’ll actually see this one. I know my kids won’t want to because they have some sort of weird thing with dark movies and there’s no way to convince them with this preview that the movie won’t be scary and sad. Also, I’ve never really found a Peter Pan movie that I really loved. And I just don’t think this would be the one. Plus, I’m not sure I can get past Hugh Jackman’s makeup. What is your favorite Peter Pan retelling? Hook from Once Upon a Time is definitely my favorite character to come out of a retelling.
Steve Jobs: October 9
This is definitely not my type of movie. I won’t see it but it has a fabulous cast and, so far, it’s getting good feedback on Rotten Tomatoes. If this were my type of movie, I’d be really excited to see it in the theaters.
Knock Knock: October 9
Oh boy. Once again, not a movie I’ll see. I don’t generally do thrillers and almost always hate movies about cheating spouses. I’m definitely not the intended audience for this. But I do love Keanu Reeves (I know, Woah, and all that, but still) and I wish he did more (good) movies that I’d see. Can I admit that I love Speed without you guys all running away? Because I do, I really do. Also, remember the movie Parenthood from a million years ago? As weird as it is, because it is weird that I grew up watching movies like that, I’ve seen that a ton of times and will always love him in it.
The Final Girls: October 9
Maeby!!!!!!!!! Elena!!!!!!! Bumper!!!!!!!! This is exactly the kind of horror movie I would watch if I were going to watch a horror movie. It looks so campy! I love it.
Goosebumps: October 16
This looks good! To be fair, though, I didn’t read these books as a kid. I was scared of everything so I pretty much avoided anything even slightly scary. But I do know there are a TON of Goosebump fans out there and I really hope that this will be a good adaptation for them. Jack Black is pretty hard to count on, though. Sidenote: My kids love the gnome scene.
Room: October 16
Wow, that looks intense. Did you guys read this book? It was like THE book a few years ago. I remember my family talking about it at one of the holidays. I didn’t end up reading it but I do have a copy of it. I really need to read it. And then watch the movie. I love Brie Larson. And this looks incredible. And insanely emotional. Not my typical choice but it looks really good.
The Last Witch Hunter: October 23
Am I the only one who never imagined Vin Diesel and Elijah Wood would ever be in a movie together? But I have to say, I didn’t hate it. But I also won’t see the movie. Because it just doesn’t look good. But still a fun pair! Fun fact: I had a huge crush on Elijah Wood when I was a kid.
Rock the Kasbah: October 23
Guys, I honestly don’t know what to think of this movie. The preview makes it look horrible but an article I read on the movie says it takes what we think will happen and turns it all around. So I really don’t know. I do love Bill Murray, though. Will just have to wait to pass judgement until I’ve seen it, I think.
Jem and the Holograms: October 23
This looks terrible. Terrible. Really. Maybe if you had never heard of Jem and the Holograms before right now or seeing this trailer for the first time, you might enjoy it. And that’s fine. But seriously, WHAT DID THEY DO TO JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS?!?!?! To be fair, I was too young to really remember much of the show when it was originally on, but I did see it and liked it. This isn’t the same. If you’re too young for the show or didn’t watch it and are therefore unbiased, how does the trailer look to you?
Burnt: October 23
Did anyone watch Kitchen Confidential with Bradley Cooper like a million years ago on TV? I think there was only one season and I only saw a few episodes, not the whole thing, but how different is this from that show? It’s not suppose to be the same thing, right? I don’t think so, the set-up just makes it feel very similar. Almost like this movie takes place several years after the show. Did any of you guys watch it?
What movies are you guys hoping to see this month?
I’m so excited to be participating in the Books to Movies Giveaway Hop hosted by BookHounds and I am a Reader, Not a Writer! I love seeing books made into movies. Even though I usually end up complaining about how horrible the movie is compared to the book, I still love it every time I hear a new book is being made into a movie. Because I love books and movies!
For this giveaway, I decided to highlight a few adaptations that I’ve really enjoyed. If I listed them as a book, it probably means I liked the book more, or haven’t seen the movie, and if I listed it as a movie, it means I liked the movie more. Or haven’t yet read the book. *gasp* I know! The winner of this giveaway will be able to pick one of the books or movies shown. Here are your options:
Rules for the giveaway:
You must be at least 18 years old or 13 years old with a parent’s permission to enter.
The contest is open to US addresses only.
There will be one winner who will receive their choice of one book or movie shown above.
I will contact the winner via email and they must respond within 48 hours or I will have to choose another winner.
One entry per household. No giveaway accounts.
I’m not responsible for items that may get lost or damaged in the mail.
I will delete entries that don’t follow the instructions. So read carefully and please don’t cheat.
In "Mistletoe and Mr. Right," Jessica (not Jessie) takes a flying leap and follows her boyfriend home for the holidays for Christmas break, sure that Ireland will provide the perfect backdrop to the beginning of their happily ever after. But it turns out his family--and his gorgeous ex-girlfriend--don't feel the same way, and the only person making the trip worthwhile is the local farmhand, who has a way of showing up when Jessica needs him most . . . and least.
The holiday hijinks continue in "Sleigh Bells and Second Chances," when Jessica's best friend makes her own way across the pond! Christina Lake does not want to be away at Christmas, but it's her duty to babysit one of London's hottest bands at their last-minute concert on Christmas Eve . . . even though she had a fling with Cary, the band's lead singer, that never officially ended. Now forced to reconnect, Christina is starting to think that maybe London is exactly where she's supposed to be to get the perfect New Year's kiss--at least until she finds out that he's been lying the whole time. Can Cary find a way to prove himself before the clock strikes twelve? Or will the New Year ring in a new romance?
Lyla Payne wraps up two perfect holiday novellas, ties them with a ribbon of romance, and tops them with a light dusting of snow. Perfect to curl up with under the tree. Just add hot cocoa!
I am a huge sucker for winter/holiday romances. I love them. I can’t help it. Give me a romance with snow and a cute couple on the cover, a hot drink and a cozy blanket, and I’ll be happy. So when I saw this book, I was very excited. I didn’t read the first novella when it came out last year but I’d had my eye on it. So when the chance to review both novellas together in this book, I took it. And I’m glad I did. While the book wasn’t the best I’ve read, it was definitely fun.
The first story features Jessica who travels all the way to Ireland to surprise her boyfriend during Christmas while he’s home visiting his family. I had so many problems with the beginning of this story it’s almost too hard to list. But my main problem was just how ridiculous she was. She knew it was a bad idea. She hadn’t been invited, didn’t tell anyone she was coming, and she and her boyfriend had only been dating for four months. Everybody knows you don’t show up unexpectedly at a family holiday like that. But she did. And it was horrible. Have you guys seen the movie Leap Year? It was adorable. But same concept. Girl travels to Ireland to see if her boyfriend really is The One. Turns out pretty much the same way as well. But with all of that being said, I actually enjoyed it. It was fast, it is a novella after all, but when she finally makes connections with people and relaxes a bit, it really turns around. Plus, I have to say, I really enjoyed the ending. I was just waiting for something over the top but it was really just adorable. I definitely recommend this story, but only if you can get over an annoying main character who just won’t listen to herself.
The second story features Christina, Jessica’s best friend and college roommate. I loved the connection between the main characters. They were great friends, even if we only saw small glimpses of their friendship. It was still fun. This second story is called a novella as well but it’s about 200 pages and felt long enough to be on its own. I would have preferred it to be a tiny bit shorter and faster for a novella, but it wasn’t and that’s okay because I enjoyed it. We follow Christina as she confronts a lot of pain from her past while getting to do her dream job. I liked this one more because even though it was a tad long and repetitive in parts, I felt like I understood Christina and her motives more than Jessica. It was easier to understand why she acted the way she did now based on her past than with Jessica. In this book she finally confronts two very painful parts of her past and tries to find a way to move on that isn’t just ignoring all of it. That I could relate to and was very hopeful for her. I thought the other characters were interesting as well and while I didn’t really like most of them, they definitely all served a purpose. And those I did like, I really liked.
These two novellas both take place over Christmas, one year apart. If you’re looking for holiday romances, I’d definitely recommend these. Though they weren’t my favorite, they were fun and fast. They also had some surprising depth, especially the second one. I would not say that these will end up as favorites of mine or that I’ll ever revisit the stories, but I really appreciated them as a nice escape. They had the same feel as a chick flick. I’m sure some people will roll their eyes at me making that comparison, but I love chick flicks. And I love romances. And I enjoyed this book. So there it is. I had a few issues with it but overall the stories are cute and the romances are swoony. So if cheesy romances are your thing, I’d check this one out.
Reading Queue is a monthly meme hosted by Books: A True Story and Book Tasty where we can get together and talk about the books we hope to read in the coming month and the books we read last month. So write up your own Reading Queue post and then go check them out!
Wow. September was a good reading month for me in terms of how much I enjoyed the books I read but it was bad as far as following my reading queue and actual numbers of books read. I’m not going to dwell on it much because the month is over and it happened and we all have months like that, but wow, it’s been a long time since I haven’t followed my queue as much as last month! Of the ten books on my list, I only read five. So if you remember last month’s list at all, you’ll definitely be seeing some repeats this month! Also, not listed below but I’m so excited for it, is Carry On by Rainbow Rowell!! I don’t know why I didn’t show it below, I guess I’m just nervous about the book and that if I put it down, I might not read it. I don’t know. But I preordered it and it should be here soon! Will you guys be reading it?
Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman Every Breath by Ellie Marney: These are books that I both really enjoyed and would recommend! VR is a western but really it’s about family and revenge and hurt and loss. With a little bit of romance. Every Breath is a Sherlock-like murder mystery. With a little bit of romance. I loved them! Perfect for when you want intense stories that aren’t drowned by romance.
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo and The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson: These are two more books that I would definitely recommend and really enjoyed myself. Six of Crows is one of the big books right now and just came out this week. It deserves the hype. If you like books that focus on characters rather than action, though there is also a lot of that, this is a good one for you. CoE was one of the best sequels I’ve read and I can’t believe I waited so long to read it. I highly recommend this series so far. I can’t wait to read The Bitter Kingdom!
Blood and Salt by Kim Liggett and Saga Vol 5 by Brian K. Vaughn: B&S was my least favorite read this month. I know a lot of people have loved it but it just wasn’t for me. On the other hand, I really loved Saga!!
Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas and Mistletoe and Mr. Right: Two Stories of Holiday Romance by Lyla Payne: QoS was on my list last month but the book is huge and I just didn’t get to it. My husband has now read it and said he will spoil it for me if I don’t finish it soon so we can talk about it. That’s some good motivation. I’m reading it now. I just finished the Mistletoe stories and they were cute but not great. Swoony and fun enough for holiday reading as long as you don’t expect too much from them.
Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin and Ice Like Fire by Sara Raasch: I’m so excited for both of these books! I really liked The Walled City and I’ve heard really good things about this new one. Snow Like Ashes was one of my favorites last year so it should be no surprise that I’m excited for the sequel. I hope it’s just as good as the first! (Though we all know I’m terrified it won’t be.)
A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis and Red Girl Blue Boy by Lauren Baratz-Logsted: I’m really excited about Madness because I loved McGinnis’ previous series and it’s based on an old asylum from Ohio. RGBB is getting pretty mixed reviews already so I’m a little nervous but always excited for a romance. We’ll see!
Every Word by Ellie Marney and Scarlet by Marissa Meyer: Every Word!! It came last month and I’m dying to read it! The last book was so good! A slow burn but totally worth it in the end. I loved it. I was suppose to read Scarlet last month for the readalong but time got away from me so I’m hoping to get to it this month. I hear good things about it so I’m looking forward to it!
Cress by Marissa Meyer and The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson: If by some crazy miracle I read all of the books above, these will be next on the list. More sequels I’m excited for. The Lunar Chronicles readalong is doing Cress this month so if I can catch up, I’ll be back on track. And I really want to read The Bitter Kingdom soon because I really loved CoE last month. Seriously. Hector and Elisa are the best.
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