WWW Wednesday 3rd February 2016


This meme is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. A similar meme, This Week in Books is hosted by Lipsyy Lost and Found.

Why not join in? Just answer the following three questions in a post and then put a link to that post in the Comments over at Taking on a World of Words.

The questions are:

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finish reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

As always, clicking on the cover image will take you to the book’s Goodreads page.

1. What I’m reading at the moment

Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill

Only Ever Yours by Louise O'Neill book coverDear lord but this is dark stuff. And possibly all the more terrifying because it’s so easy to imagine something like this happening. Particularly the obsessive preoccupation with weight and external appearance as indicators of a woman’s worth. Deeply troubling… in a good way… I think…

The blurb: In a world in which baby girls are no longer born naturally, women are bred in schools, trained in the arts of pleasing men until they are ready for the outside world. At graduation, the most highly rated girls become “companions”, permitted to live with their husbands and breed sons until they are no longer useful. For the girls left behind, the future – as a concubine or a teacher – is grim.

Best friends Freida and Isabel are sure they’ll be chosen as companions – they are among the most highly rated girls in their year. But as the intensity of final year takes hold, Isabel does the unthinkable and starts to put on weight… And then, into this sealed female environment, the boys arrive, eager to choose a bride. Freida must fight for her future – even if it means betraying the only friend, the only love, she has ever known…

2. The last books I read

The Silkworm (Cormoran Strike #2) by Robert Galbraith

The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith book coverBetter than The Cuckoo’s Calling, but still not quite “there” yet. Here’s my full review.

Will Career of Evil be the one to win me over? Will Robin leave all the useless men behind her and move onwards and upwards to the fantastically successful life she deserves? I can dream…

The blurb: When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days—as he has done before—and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home.

But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine’s disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were to be published, it would ruin lives—meaning that there are a lot of people who might want him silenced.

When Quine is found brutally murdered under bizarre circumstances, it becomes a race against time to understand the motivation of a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any Strike has encountered before…


The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Cycle #2)

The Dream Thieves The Raven Boys 2 by Maggie StiefvaterHmn. I’m sad to say I didn’t enjoy this as much as Book 1 in the series. Perhaps because it was rather Ronan-centric and he’s never been my favourite character. Here’s my full review.

The blurb: Ronan Lynch has secrets. Some he keeps from others. Some he keeps from himself.

One secret: Ronan can bring things out of his dreams. And sometimes he’s not the only one who wants those things.

Ronan is one of the raven boys—a group of friends, practically brothers, searching for a dead king named Glendower, who they think is hidden somewhere in the hills by their elite private school, Aglionby Academy. The path to Glendower has long lived as an undercurrent beneath town. But now, like Ronan’s secrets, it is beginning to rise to the surface—changing everything in its wake...

3. What I’ll read next

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton book coverI admit it: the cover won me over. Oh, and I’ve also seen some good reviews 🙂

The blurb: Foolish love appears to be the Roux family birthright, an ominous forecast for its most recent progeny, Ava Lavender. Ava—in all other ways a normal girl—is born with the wings of a bird.

In a quest to understand her peculiar disposition and a growing desire to fit in with her peers, sixteen-year old Ava ventures into the wider world, ill-prepared for what she might discover and naïve to the twisted motives of others. Others like the pious Nathaniel Sorrows, who mistakes Ava for an angel and whose obsession with her grows until the night of the Summer Solstice celebration.

That night, the skies open up, rain and feathers fill the air, and Ava’s quest and her family’s saga build to a devastating crescendo.


Out of Sorts by Aurélie Valognes

Out of Sorts by Aurelie Valognes book coverI got this from Netgalley. I haven’t read anything in translation for a while and this sounds like a light and breezy read to cheer me up after the darkness of Only Ever Yours (did I mention it’s dark?).

The blurb: Ferdinand Brun hasn’t always been a grumpy old man. Many years ago, he was a grumpy young man. Now he’d much rather spend time with his canine companion, Daisy, than any of his nosy neighbors. But as his behavior becomes increasingly peculiar, his daughter grows concerned and begins to consider moving him into a retirement home.

In order to maintain his freedom, Ferdinand must submit to an apartment inspection by his longtime enemy, the iron-fisted concierge, Mrs. Suarez. Unfortunately, he’s never tidied up a day in his life. His neighbors, precocious ten-year-old Juliette and vivacious ninety-two-year-old Beatrice, come to the rescue. And once he lets these two into his life, things will never be the same. After an eighty-three-year reign of grouchiness, Ferdinand may finally learn that it’s never too late to start living.

Have you read/are reading any of these? What are you reading? Let me know! 🙂

Heavenly chocolate cake with fudge frosting white chocolate shavings and gold sugar stars cut

Last week I made heavenly chocolate cake, covered in chocolate fudge frosting and decorated with white chocolate curl and gold sugar stars.

Claire Huston / Art and Soul

83 thoughts on “WWW Wednesday 3rd February 2016

    • I think Only Ever Yours would work for your book group, particularly if any of the members have daughters – it will scare the heck out of them! There is so much in there that’s recognisable, particularly when it comes to body shaming and obsession with celebrity.
      I’m going into Ava Lavender a bit wary… magic realism and I haven’t always got along… so we’ll see 🙂
      Happy reading!

      Liked by 1 person

    • There are echoes of The Stepford Wives, The Handmaid’s Tale, 1984… The author has taken her influences from lots of places and updated the ideas with more contemporary concerns about social media and body image. It’s dark and disturbing but very thought-provoking, so I think she’s done a good job.
      Thank you for visiting. I’ll check out your post now 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. That cake looks incredible! I’m in awe of your baking skills. Teach me your ways 😛
    I’m bummed that you didn’t like The Dream Thieves as much as the first book. I am also not a big fan of Ronan so now I’m nervous to read it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Dream Thieves was still good (particularly the last third), but if did feel a bit like the author was trying to stretch the series out with a diversion into “Ronan world” before continuing with the main story in book 3 and 4. We’ll see…
      Thank you! I’m currently coming up with ideas of a Valentine’s themed bake. I think hearts will feature (I’m SO original!). 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow but Only Ever Yours sounds super dark. ‘Ava’ doesn’t sound quite as dark, but I still sense tragedy and bad things. Sometimes I go through times when all the books I’m reading are ‘dark’ and I often find myself deliberately searching for something a lot lighter as a palate cleanser of sorts, like a favorite comedy from when I was a kid/teen. Do you have any sort of method to dealing with a lot of dark books on your plate?
    Thanks for visiting my WWW, and happy reading!

    Liked by 1 person

      • No kidding! I have about a third left to read and actually had to take a break today because I think I started to get indigestion, ha ha. :S It was just after the part where they are learning about sex-ed from pornos, basically. I think what I find most unsettling is how many of the perceptions and behaviours aren’t a stretch for many people in our present-day society, even if the story setting is extreme. Hope to finish it tomorrow! Might need some light YA, like Eleanor and Park, after this one!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I had to read bits of Carry On by Rainbow Rowell afterwards to cheer myself up!
        I think the bit that most disturbed me (and all of it did) was the scene where the girls are discussing a case of domestic violence between celebrities and one of the girls says something along the lines of “I’d give anything to have him hit me”. I actually felt ill at that point. Like you say, so many aspects of the way women are regarded, regard themselves and each other in the book are so true/close to the present, it’s chilling.
        I really need to read Eleanor and Park. I’ve enjoyed all the Rowell I’ve read so far and I’m sure I’d like it 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • I just finished it and…ugh…I need a hug! And some antacid tablets! :S I wish I had some Rainbow Rowell to dive into now, haha. Absolutely, the domestic violence part left me chilled, as did the many plot twists. Even when freida was Darwin’s favourite for a while, I knew it was problematic, and had this sickening feeling it was all going to blow apart – bingo! The Ceremony was so deflating, especially when some of the companions were so bewildered they couldn’t recall who they had been paired with. I kept hoping it would all turn out in the end, and isabel and freida would escape – like offred at the end of The Handmaid’s Tale – but then, theirs was a world in which women cannot win. I thought the author did an excellent job of demonstrating how the women internalized their oppression and turned on each other as ruthless competitors, despite being raised as “sisters,” right up to the end with chastity-ruth turning on freida, exerting what power she had. Sigh, I’ll be thinking about this book for a longtime. I guess my only real criticism was that I found the figurative language to be a hyperbolic at times, but then again, perhaps that is more accepted within the genre? All in all, I thought it was a great book, nothing like the YA I grew up with. I haven’t read something so compulsively in a while, and even though it was deeply unsettling, it was still great to be so drawn into a story. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Woah, Only Ever Yours sounds terrifying, it sounds like the young adult version of The Handmaid’s Tale. I might have to read it, as I’ve read The Handmaid’s Tale twice. And I actually ordered The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender yesterday, so it’ll show up in my mailbox soon 😀 I’ve wanted to read it ever since early last year.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Yikes! After glancing through a couple of reviews it seems like it might be too similar, but it’s only $4.34 on Amazon so I just bought it XD It got me curious.

        The Ava Lavender cover is stunning, it’s probably one of my favorite covers out there!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Only Ever Yours sounds like an intriguing read! I also want to read The Dream Thieves soon (maybe next month), and I got my copy of Ava Lavender mostly based on the cover and good reviews as well. 😉 That cake looks delicious by the way!

    Liked by 1 person

      • It’s been a while since I made anything chocolate, but I’m planning on making some chocolate-banana muffins this weekend since I have guests over. I love cake as well, but I will leave those recipes for when it’s colder outside. 😉 Good to hear Only Ever Yours was good!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Only Ever Yours sounds good, mainly because of the similarities with Handmaid’s Tale. I’m putting that on the TBR list! I’ve only read one Maggie Stiefvater (Scorpio Races) and always thought about checking out her others…maybe I won’t worry about it! Out of Sorts sounds adorable! Here’s my list http://hollykerr.ca/3325-2/

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Only Ever Yours sounds quite interesting, even if it is dark. If I get in the mood for a dark story, I’ll pick it up. I’m eager to see how you feel about it by the end. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender has been on my radar for a while, but I’m worried that it’ll turn out to be another depressing tale.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have slight misgivings about Ava Lavender too. I was seduced by the beautiful cover, but the title does stress the “sorrows” so I’m not expecting a cheerful story. Perhaps I should have planned to read a funny, uplifting book after Only Ever Yours and before Ava Lavender… I may have to rethink how I choose what I read – it’s all quite haphazard 🙂


  7. I think you’ll like book three of The Raven Cycle more. That one is more focused on Adam. Only Ever Yours sounds terrifying! I’m not sure if I could read that book. Here’s my post for the week. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. My friend read the strange and beautiful sorrows… and she really enjoyed that one. Hope you like it too 🙂 it’s on my TBR pile.

    Shame you didn’t quite enjoy the 2nd The Raven Cycle, I really want to read them all, eventually 😉

    Have another fab reading week x

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh, oh! I read The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender last year and I really loved it! I was also drawn in completely by the gorgeous cover but I really enjoyed the story. It’s very beautifully written. I’ll look forward to seeing your review!

    Thanks for visiting my WWW! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ll have to see how I get on with it. At the moment, I’m guessing whatever her sorrows are they can’t be as bad as the stuff going on in Only Ever Yours… nothing beautiful about that at all 😦
      Might need to re-read some Rainbow Rowell to cheer myself up! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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