3 stars

Book Club: The Lake of Dead Languages by Carol Goodman

Book Club: The Lake of Dead Languages by Carol GoodmanThe Lake of Dead Languages by Carol Goodman
Genre: Mystery
Release Date: 2nd January 2002
Publisher: Ballantine
Source: Bought
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

Twenty years ago, Jane Hudson left the Heart Lake School for Girls in the Adirondacks after a terrible tragedy. Now she has returned to the placid, isolated shores of the lakeside school as a Latin teacher, recently separated and hoping to make a fresh start with her young daughter. But ominous messages from the past dredge up forgotten memories that will become a living nightmare.

Since freshman year, Jane and her two roommates, Lucy Toller and Deirdre Hall, were inseparable–studying the classics, performing school girl rituals on the lake, and sneaking out after curfew to meet Lucy’s charismatic brother Matt. However, the last winter before graduation, everything changed. For in that sheltered, ice-encrusted wonderland, three lives were taken, all victims of senseless suicide. Only Jane was left to carry the burden of a mystery that has stayed hidden for more than two decades in the dark depths of Heart Lake.

Now pages from Jane’s missing journal, written during that tragic time, have reappeared, revealing shocking, long-buried secrets. And suddenly, young, troubled girls are beginning to die again . . . as piece by piece the shattering truth slowly floats to the surface.

Some friends and I have started a monthly book club, and while discussing things with them, I came up with the brilliant idea of incorporating the book club into my blog. One of my friends, Gemma, is also a blogger, so we’ll be doing a joint post each month in which we share our separate thoughts on the book and talk about how the book went down with the book club as a whole.

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As I Descended by Robin Talley

As I Descended by Robin TalleyAs I Descended by Robin Talley
Release Date: 6th September 2016
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

Maria Lyon and Lily Boiten are their school’s ultimate power couple—even if no one knows it but them.

Only one thing stands between them and their perfect future: campus superstar Delilah Dufrey.

Golden child Delilah is a legend at the exclusive Acheron Academy, and the presumptive winner of the distinguished Cawdor Kingsley Prize. She runs the school, and if she chose, she could blow up Maria and Lily’s whole world with a pointed look, or a carefully placed word.

But what Delilah doesn’t know is that Lily and Maria are willing to do anything—absolutely anything—to make their dreams come true. And the first step is unseating Delilah for the Kingsley Prize. The full scholarship, awarded to Maria, will lock in her attendance at Stanford―and four more years in a shared dorm room with Lily.

Maria and Lily will stop at nothing to ensure their victory—including harnessing the dark power long rumored to be present on the former plantation that houses their school.

But when feuds turn to fatalities, and madness begins to blur the distinction between what’s real and what is imagined, the girls must decide where they draw the line.

Talley’s books have been very hit and miss with me so far. I adored Lies We Tell Ourselves, but her second book, What We Left Behind, didn’t live up to my expectations at all. I’d been looking forward to As I Descended, though, because I liked the idea of a genre switch-up. Thankfully, I did really like the book. I didn’t love it, but it was good.

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Oath Bound by Rachel Vincent

Oath Bound by Rachel VincentOath Bound by Rachel Vincent
Series: Unbound #3
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: 30 April 2013
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Source: Bought
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

The Tower Syndicate will fall...

The secret daughter of the head of an infamous Skilled crime family, Sera Brandt has hidden her past, her potential and especially her powers. But when a tragedy strikes her other family, Sera needs justice. And the only way to get it is to reveal her heritage–including a rare Skill–and take the reins of the Tower Syndicate from her cunning and malicious aunt.

If he can figure out how...

Kristopher Daniels might have the answer. He's fought the syndicate to protect his sisters, but he'd never realized just how close to the new heir he needed to get....

And if they can survive

Neither is used to trusting. But there's something between them that can't be ignored. And so Sera is on the run with a man she can't figure out, a target on her back and the new knowledge of just how powerful she really is...

Series enders are always difficult to take in, especially when they’re the end of my favourite series or trilogies. The Unbound trilogy is one of my favourites, and the reason it took me so long to read the final book is that I didn’t want to be disappointed. The first and second books are so amazing, and I wanted the trilogy to end on a high note. Sadly, everything must come to an end (and all that) and I eventually picked this one up. And even more sadly, it didn’t live up to my expectations.

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Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler

Bittersweet by Sarah OcklerBittersweet by Sarah Ockler
Genre: Contemporary
Release Date: 3rd January 2012
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: Bought
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

Once upon a time, Hudson knew exactly what her future looked like. Then a betrayal changed her life, and knocked her dreams to the ground. Now she’s a girl who doesn’t believe in second chances... a girl who stays under the radar by baking cupcakes at her mom’s diner and obsessing over what might have been.

So when things start looking up and she has another shot at her dreams, Hudson is equal parts hopeful and terrified. Of course, this is also the moment a cute, sweet guy walks into her life... and starts serving up some seriously mixed signals. She’s got a lot on her plate, and for a girl who’s been burned before, risking it all is easier said than done.

It’s time for Hudson to ask herself what she really wants, and how much she’s willing to sacrifice to get it. Because in a place where opportunities are fleeting, she knows this chance may very well be her last...

I read Bittersweet after Sarah Ockler reached out to me on Twitter and via email to say that her books are now going to be released in the UK. FINALLY. So being the awkward person that I am, I neither confirmed nor denied that I would promote her books until I read one of them. I had to see if I would like it, didn’t I?

So I waited and stealth-read Bittersweet in a matter of days.

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A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan

A Natural History of Dragons by Marie BrennanA Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan
Series: Memoir by Lady Trent #1
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: 5th February 2013
Publisher: Tor
Source: Bought
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

All the world, from Scirland to the farthest reaches of Eriga, know Isabella, Lady Trent, to be the world's preeminent dragon naturalist. She is the remarkable woman who brought the study of dragons out of the misty shadows of myth and misunderstanding into the clear light of modern science. But before she became the illustrious figure we know today, there was a bookish young woman whose passion for learning, natural history, and, yes, dragons defied the stifling conventions of her day.

Here at last, in her own words, is the true story of a pioneering spirit who risked her reputation, her prospects, and her fragile flesh and bone to satisfy her scientific curiosity; of how she sought true love and happiness despite her lamentable eccentricities; and of her thrilling expedition to the perilous mountains of Vystrana, where she made the first of many historic discoveries that would change the world forever.

A Natural History of Dragons is one of those books that you should love. It has pretty much everything you could want: fantasy elements, DRAGONS, a badass main character, some action, a bit of mystery… but for some reason I just couldn’t enjoy it fully. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the book, but I didn’t love it.

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