Sunday, 12 November 2017

Countdown to Christmas: Week Seven - 5 Books On My Wish List!

Hi guys! It's time again for another Countdown to Christmas, however being that I have been away in London this week I still haven't finished a Christmas book or watched a Christmas film that I can review, so instead I'm bringing you 5 books that are on my Christmas wish list! I hope you enjoy!

1) Stalking Jack the Ripper/Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalo

2) They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

3) This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada

4) More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

5) All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater

What books are on your wish list this festive season? As always feel free to leave a comment below or  @ me on Twitter!

Thanks for reading!

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf

6 Weeks To Go!

ARC Review: Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart

Hi guys! It's time for another book review, and this time I'm reviewing Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart. I received an E-ARC of this book on Netgalley from the lovely Hot Key Books in exchange for an honest review; this in no way affects my opinion of the title. I hope you enjoy reading my thoughts about E. Lockhart's latest.

From the author of the unforgettable bestseller WE WERE LIARS comes a suspenseful new psychological thriller - the story of a young woman whose diabolical smarts are her ticket into a charmed life. 
But how many times can someone reinvent themselves? You be the judge.
Imogen is a runaway heiress, an orphan, a cook, and a cheat.
Jule is a fighter, a social chameleon, and an athlete. 
An intense friendship. A disappearance. A murder, or maybe two. 
A bad romance, or maybe three.
Blunt objects, disguises, blood, and chocolate. The American dream, superheroes, spies, and villains. 
A girl who refuses to give people what they want from her.
A girl who refuses to be the person she once was.

Genuine Fraud tells the story of two girls, Imogen and Jule, unlikely friends who come from two very different backgrounds. Imogen is rich, spoiled, and an heiress. Jule feels grateful to be called her friend, happy to stand in Imogen's shadow. Imogen is tired of her parents' influence on her life and runs away. Jule is always by her side. But the story is far from being that simple, and Jule is much more than she appears to be.

Told via a non-linear narrative that starts in the present and goes back in time we see the events that led up to Jule's life in a hotel in Mexico and why she ends up having to leave on the run from a special agent on her tail. As time progresses slowly backwards we see how Jule's upbringing brought her to the life she is living, that Imogen has gone missing, and the dark reasons why that occurred. Lockhart moulds the tale itself with a twisting, weaving backstory so dark and complex it's like a drop of blood upon the floor and the millions of DNA strands contained within.

As the story delves deeper it becomes clear that both Imogen and Jule are hiding secrets, from themselves and from each other, and that their relationship is not entirely how it appears on the surface. We see crackling tension, breaks in the very foundation of their friendship, and how this affects the outcome of the entire story. As the conclusion comes to pass, light dawns on characters we the reader thought we knew, the novel exploding into jaw dropping clarity.

Honestly this story is a hard one to review as I normally would, because to say too much would be to spoil the story. This is part of the reason why it's taken me this long to write this review; it's really too complex a story to be summarised without spoiling in a few paragraphs.

Overall I will say that Genuine Fraud is equal parts tense, exciting, creepy, but also a bit confusing. I adored the story to a degree in the sense that the characters were addictive in their actions and flaws, how they affected the entire dynamic of the story, and the plot as a whole was so tense, so dark, I was determined to uncover the truth. But as each section delved further back in time I was getting quite confused with the timeline of events and linking everything together. This is personal opinion however. I scarcely like being kept too much in the dark when reading/consuming any type of media. I like being able to follow what's going on and while everything became clear in the end, I couldn't do this with Genuine Fraud, and that did affect my overall enjoyment of the book. Still it was a highly enjoyable read that I would recommend; I'd simply say that it's not an easy read and definitely one for when you have the time/energy to commit to the complex narrative.

Overall I give Genuine Fraud four stars, and end with saying I'd be interested in seeing whether a sequel is released, being that the end did leave things more than a little open for further story.

Have you read Genuine Fraud? What did you think of it? As always feel free to leave a comment below or @ me on Twitter!

Thanks for reading!

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf

Friday, 10 November 2017

Fancast Friday: The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

Hi guys! Today I'm delighted to bring you the first in a new feature series entitled Fancast Friday. Every two weeks on Friday I'll be presenting my own fancast for some of my favourite books and book series'. I do hope you'll enjoy them. Today I present my fancast for The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee!

Henry "Monty" Montague: Thomas Brodie Sangster.

Percy Newton: John Boyega.

Felicity Montague: Dakota Blue Richards.

Obviously they'd be in period costume to actually the play the characters, were it to ever come to pass, but this is pretty much how I imagine the characters when reading TGGTVAV.

Who would you cast as Monty, Percy and Felicity? As always feel free to leave a comment below or @ me on Twitter!

Thanks for reading!

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: Floored - A Novel by the UK's Best YA Authors!

Hi guys! It's time for another Waiting on Wednesday and today I'm so excited to talk about how ecstatic I am waiting for Floored! With some of my favourite authors working on this project such as Melinda Salisbury, Sara Barnard and Holly Bourne I just cannot wait for this book!


Told from the perspective of each character and a mysterious narrator, Floored is about all the ups and downs of life.

After they go through a traumatic experience together, the lives of six strangers become intertwined, and they decide to meet once a year to commemorate the day they met and the person they lost.

To me Floored sounds a little like The Breakfast Club meets a black and white thriller movie, so to speak. The Breakfast Club with more secrets and probably a good few pinches of the evilness that Melinda Salisbury is known for, and that makes me so amazingly excited.

I managed to get a sampler from YALC and can so far say that what I've read is amazing, and really is making me hanker for more. July 2018 cannot come soon enough!

I think what I love the most is that we've not - and never will be, I believe - been told which author has written which character (or the narrator) so I'm loving trying to guess!

Are you looking forward to Floored? As always feel free to leave a comment below or @ me on Twitter!

Thanks for reading!

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Characters Who Are/Would Have Made Great Leaders

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish, here, inviting bloggers and readers to list their top ten for a certain category.

It's time again for Top Ten Tuesday and today I'm talking about my favourite characters who are leaders, or who would have made great leaders. Yay! I hope you enjoy!

1) Enjolras - Les Miserables: I can't not talk about the great leader of the albeit failed revolution that is Enjolras. Hugo knew when he wrote Les Mis that Enjolras would be a beloved character, you can see that in the way he's written him, but oh how I do adore our beloved Apollo.

2) Twylla Morvern - The Sin Eater's Daughter trilogy: You all know how much I love this book right? Then you also know how much I love Twylla, right? Enough said.

3) Wing Jones - Wing Jones: I adore Wing and she's so strong throughout the whole book that she is and would be a fabulous leader.

4) Vivian Carter - Moxie: I'm currently reading Moxie and Vivian is amazing. I'd follow her into battle 100%!

5) Liv - All the Feels: Leader of the fandom revolution!

Who are on your TTT for this week? As always feel free to leave a comment below or @ me on Twitter!

Thanks for reading!

Holly @The_Arts_Shelf