21 September 2017

Book Mix & Match

I get through way too many books to properly review them all for my blog so now and then I thought I'd to put in a bunch of shorter reviews, just so I don't end up missing any of them on here. This time I'll start with the cocktail and you can pick a book to match.

I found this recipe for the Lavender Martini and couldn't wait to try it out. You need a shot of vodka, 1/4 shot each or orange juice, lemon juice and lavender syrup*, plus a pinch of black tea powder (I just opened up a teabag). Shake it all up with ice and then double strain into a martini glass to make sure you get all the tea granules and ice shards out. This tastes amazing but the only disappointment for me was that I would have liked it to be lavender coloured.

Shadow Faerie - Rachel Morgan
Emerson always thought she was human but has found out that she is actually a faerie, and not even a normal faerie. She has a griffin ability that makes her one of the most powerful faeries alive. Frustratingly for her, this still doesn't seem to be enough to save her mother and she finds herself agreeing to marry Roarke, the prince of the Unseelie court as part of a deal to make him remove the enchantments and wake her mother up. Although this book is continuing Emerson's story, many of my favourite characters made appearances at various parts of the story, which I love. This book was full of revelations and I actually exclaimed YES! at one point as I was so happy to see one of my hunches come true.

Things a Bright Girl Can Do - Sally Nicholls
Three very different girls from all walks of life, fighting for the same thing. For many reasons they all know that women deserve the vote just as much as men do and they are all willing to do whatever they can to get it. But then the war starts and most people's priorities are suddenly very different. I felt quite emotional throughout the book, reading about what these girls and women went through, and the different reactions to the start of the war. This is one of those books that stays with you even when you're not reading it.

One of Us is Lying - Karen M. McManus
Five very different teenagers get detention but only four of them come out alive. Though they all seem to have been tricked into it, their teacher is determined to keep them all in detention, until things turn deadly. Obviously it's in the title, but when I realised I could be reading from the killer's POV it suddenly got much more interesting. I started to pay much more attention to what the four characters were saying and exactly how they said it, looking for clues in the details. The growing relationships between the four were great to read. It was a bit difficult to keep the characters straight in my head at the start and I had to flick back a couple of times where I missed a character change but I soon got the hang of it. I didn't guess what was happening until almost when it was revealed so the mystery continued pretty much all the way through. I really enjoyed this book, I haven't read anything like this for ages and I don't often read mystery/thriller books but I'm so glad I had the chance to read this one.

A Monster Calls - Patrick Ness
Ever since Conor's mother fell ill, he has been getting terrifying nightmares and school life has been incredibly difficult though he welcomes the bullying, feeling like he deserves the punishment somehow. His mother convinces him she will get better and he refuses to believe the terrible alternative. Then one day a monster arrives, just after midnight. But it's not the monster from his nightmares so he finds it hard to be all that scared, until the monster asks the most terrifying thing of all from him. I have to admit I heard of the film first and thought it looked interesting so wanted to read the book before watching. Now I'm not even sure if i can watch it! I cried my eyes out at the end of the book, it was so emotional. I felt Conor's heart wrenching feelings throughout.

The Siren - Kiera Cass
After nearly drowning with her family, the Ocean saves Kahlen and turns her into a Siren. But this comes with a price, for 100 years she will have to serve with the other Sirens, luring people to their deaths to feed the Ocean. After this she will be free to live her life again, but for Kahlen this is too long and after 80 years she accidentally meets and falls in love with Akinli. Though she vows to forget him and continue to serve, for all their sakes, there are stronger forces at work. I loved Keira Cass' Selection series so was excited to read this. It's not quite up to the same level as those but I still really enjoyed it.

Wishbones - Virginia Macgregor
All her life, Feather's love for her mother has been unconditional. Even though her mother never leaves the house and she has to do so much to help look after her, despite the fact that her mother doesn't support the most important thing in Feather's life, her swimming, she still loves and takes care of her. But when her mother collapses due to her obesity, the aftermath reveals so many things that she never could have imagined and Feather finds it harder and harder to accept things as they are. Feather always thought she knew everyone in the village but as she discovers past secrets she doesn't know who she can trust any more. I really loved Feather's character, she tries so hard to help those she loves and sees so much of the good in people. I had to stop reading quite a few times throughout the book so I wouldn't start bawling on the train. I went through so many emotions reading this book and wholeheartedly enjoyed it.

* You can easily make all kinds of flavoured syrups. In a pan, heat up sugar and water (twice as much sugar) until the sugar is dissolved. Add in 1g dried lavender buds for 500ml of water and leave to cool and infuse for an hour. Then strain into a container. I also love making rosemary syrup and you can pretty much make whichever flavour you want.

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