Book Stripping Blog

Upcoming Read-a-thon: Bout of Books 23

— feeling excited


Perfect timing! Just as I was looking for some low key read-a-thon this month to read a The Conqueror's Saga by Kiersten White this even showed up :) So I definitely signing up. Anyone else planning to participate?


The official blurb:


The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 20th and runs through Sunday, August 26th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 23 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team


Reading progress update: I've read 11%.

Heart-Shaped Hack - Tracey Garvis-Graves

Guy has really stalkerish tendencies that is very off-putting and not okay... Don't understand how to someone it might look cute, I see only red flags...



Halloween Bingo 2018


I'm so excited about this! Never participated in book bingo before, but this seems like really fun way to finally get to some forgotten books on my TBR :)


Big thank you to Moonlight Madness for the card and all the work put into organizing this bingo.


Here are my book choices:


Terrifying women: The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware


Ruth Ware is highly acclaimed psychological crime thriller author, but for some reason I never read any of her books. Will see, maybe she will become my go-to author after this :)


Southern Gothic: Fantasy Lover (Hunter Legends Series #1) by Sherrilyn Kenyon


Sherrilyn Kenyon books never disappoints me before, hopefully this paranormal romance set in New Orleans won't be an exception.


Spellbound: Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman


It's sitting on my TBR shelf already about 5 years, finally will have a chance to push myself to read it.


Deadlands: My Life as a White Trash Zombie (White Trash Zombie #1) by Diana Rowland


Heard a lot of mixed reviews about this book. Just because of great cover I have to read it and hope for the best.


Country house mystery: Decanting a Murder (A Sommelier Mystery #1) by Nadine Nettmann


Know nothing about this book, but somehow a year ago it ended up on my TBR.


Darkest London:  A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab


Another book sitting on my TBR shelf for far too long. Read so many good things about it, but some newer shinier books were always distracting me from picking it up.


Creepy Carnivals: Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern


Oh my, another old-timer on my TBR. I really need to get my act together and start tackling those books.


Modern Noir: Coffin Road by Peter May


I'm not much of a Noir genre reader. Was hard to choose something not knowing any of the authors. But after some search on Goodreads ended up with this one.


Relics and CuriositiesBlood Symbols by Izak Botha


Few days ago I won it in a giveaway, so this bingo will be perfect opportunity to read it. Blurb sounds like something out of the Dan Brown repertoire.


Terror in a small town: We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson


Had nothing on my TBR to fit this category, so going with Moonlight Madness suggestion.


Murder Most FoulThe Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand


Some lighter mystery to balance it out.


New release: The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn


Really excited about this one, just bought a book few weeks ago, so perfect timing for bingo!


Cryptozoologist: Iron and Magic (The Iron Covenant #1) by Ilona Andrews


Well about damn time, a book I can get behind. Kate Daniels are one of my favorite kick ass heroines in Urban Fantasy. Hugh was a bad guy in Kate Daniels series, so see him becoming main character in this new spin series was kinda of surprise. Can't wait to see how this bad boy transformation will work out!


Modern Masters of HorrorThe Outsider (Finders Keepers #4) by Stephen King


Shame to admit, but I never read any of Stephen King's books. This will be big push out of my comfort zone, hopefully I will manage to finish it.


Amateur sleuthFront Page Fatality (A Nichelle Clarke Crime Thriller #1) by LynDee Walker


Wanted some light fluffy read to not make my first bingo experience too tough, so choose this one :)


Genre: SuspenseThe Thinnest Air by Minka Kent


Another resent purchase. Seems I unintentionally was preparing for Halloween bingo not even knowing about it!


Shifters: The Art of Seducing a Naked Werewolf (Naked Werewolf #2) by Molly Harper


I liked first book in the series with it's humorous approach to paranormal romance. Hopefully this one won't disappoint me either.


Romantic suspense: Shelter in Place by Nora Roberts


The book topic - mass shooting - is very relevant to nowadays. Can't wait to see how romance part will be entwined into the story.


A Grimm Tale: The Bear and the Nightingale (Winternight Trilogy #1) by Katherine Arden


Fairy Tale set in Russian wilderness? Truly something new for me.


Fear the Drowning Deep: To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo


Dark retelling of Little Mermaid with spins that pull from other folklore. Mmmm, sounds intriguing.


Doomsday: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel


Another long timer on my TBR.


Baker Street Irregulars: Truly Devious (Truly Devious #1) by Maureen Johnson


I'm not much into YA mysteries so will rely on Moonlight Madness recommendation.


Gothic: Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye


A Gothic retelling of Jane Eyre, one of my all time favorite books.


13: The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater


"Series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before." Sounds promising :)


Wild Cards: Anthony Horowitz - The Word Is Murder (Hawthorne #1) and Magpie Murders

A Murder in Time (Kendra Donovan #1) by Julie McElwain

A Murder in Time: A Novel - Julie McElwain
“She shook off her sense of amazement, and tried to pretend she was watching a period play. There was a lot of flirting going on, plenty of fluttering of ivory fans and eyelashes. It was weird to think that in another two hundred years people would flirt by pole dancing, twerking, and sexting.”


Title: A Murder in Time (Kendra Donovan #1)

Author: Julie McElwain

Genre: Historical | Time Travel | Mystery


Goodreads Amazon


*** BOOK BLURB ***


Beautiful and brilliant, Kendra Donovan is a rising star at the FBI. Yet her path to professional success hits a speed bump during a disastrous raid where half her team is murdered, a mole in the FBI is uncovered and she herself is severely wounded. As soon as she recovers, she goes rogue and travels to England to assassinate the man responsible for the deaths of her teammates.

While fleeing from an unexpected assassin herself, Kendra escapes into a stairwell that promises sanctuary but when she stumbles out again, she is in the same place - Aldrich Castle - but in a different time: 1815, to be exact.

Mistaken for a lady's maid hired to help with weekend guests, Kendra is forced to quickly adapt to the time period until she can figure out how she got there; and, more importantly, how to get back home. However, after the body of a girl is found on the extensive grounds of the county estate, she starts to feel there's some purpose to her bizarre circumstances. Stripped of her twenty-first century tools, Kendra must use her wits alone in order to unmask a cunning madman.


*** REVIEW ***


I started reading this book just for entertainment rather than a literary challenge, but I was still disappointed. Firstly, I was annoyed at how long it took for Kendra to actually time travel. Maybe it would have worked out for me if the events and bad guys she was chasing in nowadays would have related to the story in the past, but it had no connection whatsoever.

While the parts of the novel set 200 hundred years prior was considerably more interesting, it still had flaws. POV changing in mid-paragraphs annoyed me.
Negatives aside, I really enjoyed the mystery of this book. If you like good mystery with time travel aspects and kick ass heroine hunting down serial killer in Victorian era, read the book and just for yourself.

Born to Be Wilde (The Wildes of Lindow Castle #3) by Eloisa James

Born to be Wilde - Eloisa James

"She wanted a husband who, although he might not share her interest in bonnets, would nevertheless respect her fascination with the artistry of fashion, in the ways clothing could transform a person."




Title: Born to Be Wilde (The Wildes of Lindow Castle #3)

Author: Eloisa James

Genre: Historical Romance


Goodreads Amazon


*** BOOK BLURB ***


For beautiful, witty Lavinia Gray, there's only one thing worse than having to ask the appalling Parth Sterling to marry her: being turned down by him.

Now the richest bachelor in England, Parth is not about to marry a woman as reckless and fashion-obsessed as Lavinia; he's chosen a far more suitable bride.

But when he learns of Lavinia's desperate circumstances, he offers to find her a husband. Even better, he'll find her a prince.

As usual, there's no problem Parth can't fix. But the more time he spends with the beguiling Lavinia, the more he finds himself wondering…

Why does the woman who's completely wrong feel so right in his arms?


*** REVIEW ***


This book can be read as standalone, but to better understand the secondary characters I would recommend first read previous two books in the series.


Born to Be Wilde is kinda "enemies to lovers" type of romance. Story spins around two main characters - Parth and Lavinia - who claim not to care for each other while the opposite is blatantly obvious. 


I liked how through the book Lavinia's self-esteem is growing and she learning new things about herself. And her ingenious way of solving money problems by starting to work was not commonly found in regency romance either.


"Starting this evening, she would be herself around him: not flirtatious, not foolish, not insulting. Herself. No more and no less than her true self. A bonnet lover—an unabashed, unrepentant bonnet lover."


The book has subplots related to addiction and fashion, which for me were more interesting than the main plot. Maybe because it's not often you would find these topics in historical romance.


Overall I liked the book, but it didn't blow my mind. It was just fun and light story.


If You're Not Yet Like Me by Edan Lepucki

If You're Not Yet Like Me - Edan Lepucki


“There is a moment, when a woman’s foolishness slips into delusion. The former is forgivable, the latter isn’t. You will never live it down. Remember that.”




Title: If You're Not Yet Like Me

Author: Edan Lepucki

Genre: Contemporary | Short


Goodreads Amazon



*** BOOK BLURB ***


Joellyn—as judgmental as she is insecure—tells her unborn daughter the story of her courtship with an unemployed, terribly-dressed man named Zachary. The novella is a romantic comedy—if romantic comedies were dark and screwed up and no one got exactly what they wanted.


*** REVIEW ***


 Joellyn, the sarcastic and painfully honest narrator of this book, is one of the most realistic and relatable characters I've encountered in a long time. If You're Not Yet Like Me is Joellyn's confessional explanation of her unborn baby's origins, told directly to her child. This raw, one-sided conversation is so vivid that reading it feels like reading a stranger's diary.


Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children #1) by Seanan McGuire

Every Heart a Doorway - Seanan McGuire

“We went down, and at the bottom there was a door, and on the door there was a sign. Two words. ‘Be Sure.’ Sure of what? We were twelve, we weren’t sure of anything. So we went through."




Title: Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children #1)

Author: Seanan McGuire

Genre: Fantasy | Young Adult


Goodreads Amazon



*** BOOK BLURB ***


Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere... else.

But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.

Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced... they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.

But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.

No matter the cost.


*** REVIEW ***


 I ended up going into this book with low expectations because of all the hype around it and because it didn't seem like my kind of read. I'm honestly so glad I did, I ended up absolutely loving it!


To every kid who crossed a portal and is kicked back comes the moment of what-happens-next and what-do-I-do-now. There are those who never want to go back, who just want to move on and forget. They find a way. But what happens to those who have been inexorably changed and want to go back? Who are just bidding their time hoping that their door will reopen one day? They go to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children.


And this is what I though the book will be about - children readjusting to their lives. But... Then, a couple of gruesome murders throw everything up in the air!


It's short, and while I wish it were longer so that I could have extended my reading enjoyment, it was really just the right length for what it was.


Every Heart a Doorway is the story of fantasy I never knew I needed.


We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

We Were Liars - E. Lockhart



"The four of us Liars, we have always been. We always will be."





Title: We Were Liars

Author: E. Lockhart

Genre: Contemporary | Young Adult


Goodreads Amazon



*** BOOK BLURB ***


A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from New York Times bestselling author, National Book Award finalist, and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.

Read it.

And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.


*** REVIEW ***


If I had to summarize We Were Liars in one word, I think I'd pick boring. The whole thing felt rather pointless. I kept reading it only because this books became Goodreads Choice Winner in 2014, so I thought maybe I'm missing something.


The book didn't have much of a plot other than Cadence understanding what happened during Summer Fifteen. So, we stumble through this book to find out the big secret and... That's it. Here's the secret and here's the end of the book.


The writing was odd and felt disjointed. I didn't develop any sort of emotional attachment to any of the characters, so by the time the "big revel" happened... I didn't care.


I'm still not sure where the raving reviews for this book comes from. I'd suggest to better skip this one and find another book to enjoy.


Puddle Jumping by Amber L. Johnson

Puddle Jumping - Amber L. Johnson

"I don't believe there's such thing as conventional love. Love is bending. Love is breaking. Love is constantly learning about the other person until you go crazy because it will never be perfect, but there's no fault in trying."




Title: Puddle Jumping

Author: Amber L. Johnson

Genre: Contemporary Romance | Young Adult


Goodreads Amazon



*** BOOK BLURB ***


When it comes to love there’s no such thing as conventional.

Everyone thinks Colton Neely is special.

Lilly Evans just thinks he’s fascinating.

Once friends when they were younger, their bond is cut short due to her accident prone nature and they go their separate ways. Years later, they meet again and Lilly learns that there is something special about the boy she once knew, but she has no idea what it all means. And she’s not sure if she’s ready to find out.

When he walks through the corridor of her school the first day of her senior year, she knows that it’s time to get to know the real Colton Neely. The more she learns, the deeper she falls.

Their friendship grows into love, even as Colton does not express it in words. But one decision threatens to break down the world that Lilly has tried so hard to integrate into and she must figure out if the relationship can survive if they are apart.


*** REVIEW ***


It is a coming of age story about an unconventional relationship between a beautiful teenage girl and a wonderful teenage boy with Asperger's. This book is so much more than Lilly falling in love with Colton. It's about realizing true unconditional love has no boundaries.


What makes the story beautiful, is that everything Lilly does, encouraging Colton to be himself while helping him to navigate an altogether strange social world, is that she doesn’t consciously do it for him. She does it because of him, because she’s fascinated by him and cares about him and truly wants to understand his mind. She wants other people to see him as she does, this straightforward, socially inadept boy who simply wants to be near her.


The only reason this book for me isn't 5 stars, is the ending. As strange as it may seem, I didn't want story to end with Hollywood type happily ever after ending. I would have left the story with the last chapter, without Epilogue. And after finishing book, I found out author decided to make it series and is writing a second book, continuation of Lilly's and Colton's story. Don't know how I feel about it...


ETERN1TY (EXP1RE Duet #2) by Erin Noelle

ETERN1TY - Erin Noelle


"People say your life is a story, and this may very well be the outline of my last few chapters, so I made sure it's exactly what I want."




Title: ETERN1TY (EXP1RE Duet #2)

Author: Erin Noelle

Genre: Fantasy | Paranormal | Romance


Goodreads Amazon




*** BOOK BLURB ***


They complete me.
Nothing makes sense without them, the building blocks of logic.
A math teacher by day, a statistics doctorate student at night, my obsession to solve problems is constantly fed.
I'm exactly where I want to be in life, no unknown variables or unsolved formulas.
Until I meet her.
The woman beyond the numbers.
How can I stay away, when everything about her draws me in?
But how can I fall in love, when she won't promise me eternity?


*** REVIEW ***


Unfortunately ETERN1TY was a bit of disappointment for me. I really liked the first book in this duet, so was expecting the same quality. But it ended up being mushy and  rushed read without any action.


This book falls more to the contemporary romance genre. The only fantasy/paranormal aspect in the story is that main characters - Lyra and Tavian - can see everyone's date of death in their eyes. And these numbers was the main driving force for me to finish the second book. I wanted to get the answers: Why only they can see the numbers? Why numbers started changing? And of course, Can fate be changed? But... Author didn't gave me any closure, only the happy ending love story.



Dewey's 24h Readathon Finished

-- 24 HOURS -- 6 BOOKS -- 1084 PAGES --


I'm wiped out, finally time to hit the bed :)


#READATHON 22 hour progress update

— feeling terminator

5 books (988 p.) finished, another 2 hours to go.


Decided to go for Midsummer Delights: A Short Story Collection (Fairy Tales) by Eloisa James as a final book for this #reversereadathon. Need something light and fluffy, don't think my brains would be able to absorb any deeper book after reading without sleep for 22h :)


#READATHON 18 hour progress update

4 books (819 p.) finished, another 6 hours to go.


Few stretches, another cup of coffee and on to the next book :)


#Readathon reading progress update: 39% We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Still don't get how it became winner of Goodreads Choice Awards. I'm only mildly interested in what's going on. Staying hopeful - maybe second part will blow my head off.


#READATHON 12 hour progress update

3 books (577 p) done, another 12 hours to go. Sleep is finally catching up with me, but staying strong :)


#Readathin reading progress update: I've read 6%.

Puddle Jumping - Amber L. Johnson

"It begins with a boy and it ends with a boy, but what story doesn’t?"


Currently reading

Heart-Shaped Hack
Tracey Garvis-Graves
Progress: 11 %
Vengeance Road
Erin Bowman
Progress: 24 %
The Darkest Minds
Alexandra Bracken
Progress: 11 %