Review: Sinful Cinderella

Sinful Cinderella (Dark Fairy Tale Queen Series - Book 1)Sinful Cinderella by Anita Valle

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I’m not who they think I am. A docile girl who meekly obeys her stepmother and stepsisters. Some kind of sick angel who cheerfully bears their mistreatment. That’s what I WANT them to think. Because then they won’t suspect what I’m really up to.
The ball, the prince – it’s all part of my plan to come out on top. Stepmother and her demented daughters will pay for every floor I have scoured, every sneer I have borne. They don’t know about the white magic, how I use it to enhance myself. They can’t see that my heart is black as midnight, rotten as a poisoned apple.
They’re about to find out.

A twist on the timeless tale of Cinderella, Sinful Cinders brings us a darker side to the beautiful princess we all grew up reading (and sympathising with) about.

(Highlight next paragraph to view spoilers)
Cinders uses “white magic” which she gains when she is nice to people (namely her terrible step sisters and step mother) to make wishes. Only small wishes, like changing the size of her feet or the colour of her eyes, but wishes all the same. But at the root of it all, Sinful Cinderella is not that much better than her horrible family members.
A prince who isn’t very princely soon shows her that not everything is as black & white and a revelation from her step mother tells us that maybe Cinders really is bad. What I felt about this was that it was plugged with so little importance that although it was supposed to be the main reason Cinders was dark, nothing more was really built upon it. And it occurs near the end of the story so it seemed to have been thrown in for effect.

This is a short but fairly decent retelling of the traditional story but I wish it was longer, maybe a bit more substance to some of the characters would have pushed this into a higher rating for me. That being said, I have added the second in this series to my TBR pile.
And although I mentioned that it brings a darker side, I would like to have seen this go a bit further, made her truly darker instead of just a little bit mean. I can almost sympathise with her being mean after the situation she has ended up in.

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Review: Clockwise

Clockwise (Clockwise, #1)Clockwise by Elle Strauss

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Casey Donovan has issues: hair, height and uncontrollable trips to the 19th century! And now this –she’s accidentally taken Nate Mackenzie, the cutest boy in the school, back in time.
Protocol pressures her to tell their 1860 hosts that he is her brother, and when Casey finds she has a handsome, wealthy (and unwanted) suitor, something changes in Nate. Are those romantic sparks or is it just “brotherly” protectiveness?
When they return to the present, things go back to the way they were before: Casey parked on the bottom of the rung of the social ladder and Nate perched high on the very top. Except this time her heart is broken. Plus, her best friend is mad, her parents are split up, and her younger brother gets escorted home by the police. The only thing that could make life worse is if, by some strange twist of fate, she took Nate back to the past again.
Which of course, she does

To be honest, the blurb for this book that is on GoodReads and other platforms practically gives the whole story away. There isn’t much left to be discovered when reading it. For this reason, I felt a bit let down by the story in general. There are a few bits that you wouldn’t expect but the majority is already listed.
I like the idea of a time travelling character, that was what drew me to the story in the first place. I also liked the fact that the character could take other people back with her, either on purpose or by accident.
I appreciate that the author would have had to have done some research in order to write the story due to having to cover different time periods. That was obvious in the story, everything seemed to be well planned and thought out.
I felt that the main character was very cliched amongst these type of YA stories. A not-very-popular girl, with lots of quirkiness (and I love quirkiness), has a crush on the most popular boy in school. So many other stories have this similar theme or start to them I am beginning to get a bit tired of it.
A solid 3/5 for me, but I’m not sure whether I will bother reading the other books in the series.

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Why Amazon’s Free Books are Dangerous

As I have said in many other posts I have always read books. When the eBook phenomenon hit the world I was originally dead set against it, would rather have a physical book. I couldn’t ever see me actually reading an eBook.

Then one day, something happened and I bit the bullet. I bought myself a Kindle. At the time (somewhere around circa 2012) there wasn’t much choice available, in fact, if my memory serves me right, there was only the Kindle Keyboard 3G. So that was what I bought. Within the first few days, I went on a mission downloading FREE books. I was in heaven. Books for FREE. Who doesn’t want FREE books? That you get to keep. Not rentals like the library, but completely and utterly FREE to own. This was how my life went for months on end. Actually, make that years.

I reached a point where I had over ONE THOUSAND eBooks waiting to be read on my Kindle, I would go through the FREE bestseller lists and download everything with an interesting cover. I also signed up to two websites – Kind of Book and Daily Free Books. Both websites send daily emails with FREE and Bargain books. Well, that just added to my total soaring to somewhere near the TWO THOUSAND mark. (See the bottom of page for links to both sites).

Also, as I dislike using the cloud, I prefer to have all UnRead books already downloaded and only the ones I have read (or attempted to read) in the cloud. This, on more than occasion, has broken my Kindle, resulting in Amazon sending me a new one as it stopped downloading books. Read about my ordeal here.

I used to read, on average, 2-3 full length (300+ pages) novels in a month but was downloading easily over 50 each month. That’s when I realised I had a problem. I was downloading books that I would probably never get around to reading and as the majority of the FREE books were only downloaded based on the cover. I didn’t read the blurb or reviews so am going in completely blind. I have also noticed that some of them have had the cover changed by the author, and after looking at the revised cover I wouldn’t have downloaded it in the first place.

A few months ago, I made the decision that enough was enough. I vowed to only download FREE books if they were something that was on my wishlist. So now, when I come across a book I really want, rather than buying it I add it to my wishlist and wait until it has dropped in price or until I get to a point where I am running out of books. At the moment, my Amazon cloud stands at 1899 books and around 1600 of those are WAITING TO BE READ. I also made the decision that I will not worry if I don’t like a book or don’t want to finish one, purely because I have too much to read. I wrote about abandoning books here and am logging books I didn’t finish, here.

If you want to receive emails for FREE and Bargain books, check out both of these sites. The links are for the UK site but they can be changed to various different countries.

KIND OF BOOK

DAILY FREE BOOKS

 

July 2017 Reading Summary

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I read 6 books in July 2017. It was a somewhat slow month for me. However, on a brighter note, I did manage to reach and beat my Goodreads Reading Challenge for this year. I am currently deciding whether to increase it or leave it as it is.

I’ll talk a little about each of the books, ranked according to my favourites.

Wicked Wonders by Ellen Klages

This was a book of short stories that I stumbled upon by accident, whilst browsing my local libraries app. I’m glad I did because it was a thoroughly enjoyable read. I even managed to convince someone else to read it so I must have done a good job at writing my review.

Memory Man by David Baldacci

This is the first crime thriller that I have read in a long time and I must say that I really enjoyed it. David B managed to grab my interest very early on and keep me enthralled right until the end. This is why this one makes my number 2 for this month.

Paper Girls #1 by Brian K. Vaughan

This series of graphic novels has been on TBR pile since forever. I was super excited when the first issue became available for free via Amazon Kindle. I really enjoyed this and have now added the second issue to my TBR pile (who knows, maybe that one will end up free).

Gotham Academy Second Semester Volume 1 by Brenden Fletcher

This series has also been on my TBR pile for a while, further down than Paper Girls but still there. However, I was unsure whether I’d like it, so when this version was available through Netgalley I decided to go for it. As this is the second semester, I plan on going back to the beginning and reading them all.

Dark Screams: Volume Seven by Brian James Freeman

This is another short story collection, from Netgalley this time. Falling within the horror category there was a good mix of decent stories. I like short stories at the moment as they are quick to read, usually at the most taking only a couple of days to read each one. 

The Rage For Life by David Taransaud

This book was created as an aid for psychologists and councillors when approaching difficult subjects with children. The only reason that it is at the bottom of the list is that it is the one that I connected with the least. It was a complete blind download, again free from Amazon Kindle.

Stay tuned for more posts soon, I’m on a go slow at the moment at the kids are at home for the summer holidays

 

 

 

Currently Reading – 17th July 2017

Having recently cleared out my "Currently Reading" pile, I tried very hard to keep it to one or two books at a time. I failed big time. Now I am currently reading six books. Five of those are eBooks and one is a paperback. Five of those are brand new reads and the sixth is a re-read. I thought I'd share what I am hoping to finish and review over the coming weeks.

The Re-Read

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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J K Rowling

I hadn't planned on re-reading this just yet but my daughter asked me to read it at bedtime having finished The Chamber of Secrets a month or so earlier. Hence, my journey towards Harry meeting Sirius for the first time begins all over again. As well as the only re-read on my list at the moment, this is also the only paperback.

 

The New Reads

All of these reads were offered free on iBooks, therefore I downloaded them and decided to start them all at the same time.

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Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

This one is off to an interesting start that's for sure. I bought this based on Facebook book group chatter alone, I'd heard it discussed multiple times so decided to start it.

 

 

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Clockwise by Elle Strauss

This is a complete blind buy. Decided to try something I hadn't read before, and this fit the bill perfectly. Time Travel. We are off to a good start.

 

 

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Sinful Cinderella by Anita Valle

Sinful Cinderella was chosen because I have an interest in retellings or reimaginings of Fairytales. I'm pleased with what I have read so far.

 

 

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Memory Man by David Baldacci

I've heard good things about Baldacci's books but never gotten around to reading any of them. This is my first, and also, coincidentally, the one I have read the most of so far from this list. I'm loving the main character, Amos.

 

 

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Lie with Me by Sabine Durrant

Again with this one, I had heard people mention it in book groups so when I saw it was the "book of the week" on iBooks, and they were offering it for free, I decided to purchase it. I like this one so far, and when I planned to read two chapters of each I actually ended up reading four of Lie with Me.

Once I've finished reading them, reviews will be posted here on my blog so stay tuned. If you want to see my progress, check out my Goodreads page.