Saturday, 29 December 2012

Review - Bared To You by Sylvia Day

Bared to You (Crossfire, #1)Bared to You by Sylvia Day
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time Taken To Read - 2 days

Blurb From Goodreads


Gideon Cross came into my life like lightning in the darkness…

He was beautiful and brilliant, jagged and white-hot. I was drawn to him as I’d never been to anything or anyone in my life. I craved his touch like a drug, even knowing it would weaken me. I was flawed and damaged, and he opened those cracks in me so easily…

Gideon knew. He had demons of his own. And we would become the mirrors that reflected each other’s most private wounds…and desires.The bonds of his love transformed me, even as i prayed that the torment of our pasts didn't tear us apart...

My Review

For lovers of 50 shades of grey you will love this book, even more maybe. Gideon Cross is the billionaire heart throb in this book and Eva is our main character. They accidentally bump into each other and after a "chance" meeting the attraction kicks off and Gideon pursues Eva. Both of them have a dysfunctional background that they try to work through whilst having a functional relationship. Women, insecurities and other factors come into play as they try to establish some boundaries and what they can and won't accept.

I really liked this story, the characters have more depth and the story is really engaging once you get by all the sex (of which there is a lot!). The sex scenes are very graphic and descriptive and in some ways despite there not being bondage it is more carnal than 50 shades and more sex content (I would say).

What I liked about this authors style is the characters are more real, for example Gideon comes away with a line that is very crude, borderline offensive and Eva calls him on it. She also doesn't accept everything he says or does and like real life women challenges him on things, I loved that and it was certainly one of the things missing from 50.

I mention 50 shades a lot as there are a lot of similarities between the two, apart from the most obvious ones ie rich guy, insecure, dodgy background - the way they meet (the second time), the previous love interest hanging around etc. I found it was well written considering a lot of the content is sexual but the story among it is very good and I loved reading how they deal with the obstacles from their past and how their relationship develops. 4/5 for me and I will be reading the second book to find out what happens next.

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Friday, 28 December 2012

Review - Foreign Fruit by Jojo Moyes

Foreign FruitForeign Fruit by Jojo Moyes
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time Taken To Read - 5 days

Blurb From Amazon

When a group of bohemians take over an Art Deco house in the 1950s seaside town of Merham, Lottie Swift and Celia Holden are as drawn to its temptations as the rest of the town is appalled. They set in place a chain of events which will have longstanding and tragic consequences for all.

My Review

The book starts off with Lottie Swift and Celia Holden, set in a small town in the 1950s. Lottie lives with Celia's family and is treated as Celia's sister although the whole town still see her "for what she is". The girls do everything together until Celia leaves for London and meets the man of her dreams. When she returns home Guys presence threatens everything Lottie holds dear.

The story flips forward 50 years to Daisy, life was perfect until her partner decides he can't handle life with a baby and walks out on them and their business. Daisy pulls herself together to work on the Art Deco house in the small town Lottie and Celia resided in, that caused so much controversy, and soon the past and present catch up.

I found this story really slow to get started with a big build up on the main characters, Lottie and Celia. Just when it finally got going we flipped to present day when I really wanted to keep going with the girls. The story with Daisy starts up really quickly though and I enjoyed reading how she dealt with her partners departure. The story is really well written and Jojo Moyes does really well to link the two together. I would have liked to have seen the book be a bit thicker to be honest and get more clarification on Celia and what happened than what was given, although they say a great author always leaves the audience wanting more and I do love her books so I guess it is a win win. I was a bit disappointed with how the book ended but this is a personal preference as the people who have also read it seemed to really enjoy it. 3/5 for me and I will continue working my way through her books.

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Friday, 21 December 2012

ARC - Deadlands by Lily Herne

DeadlandsDeadlands by Lily Herne
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time Taken To Read - 4 days

Blurb From Goodreads

Ten years after Cape Town was destroyed in the War with the living dead, zombies ramble free in Cape Town's suburbs (known as the Deadlands), and the remaining living are either in fenced in on farms or in urban shantytowns.

The living are watched over by the mysteriously robed Guardians, a race of humanoid figures who appeared at the end of the War and who keep the living dead at bay, albeit for a steep price. Every year the Guardians stage a human Lottery and select five aspiring teenagers to be whisked out of the enclave for a secret purpose. To be one of the chosen five is a highly sought after and prestigious accolade.

No one (yet) knows why it is that the Guardians prize teenage bodies so highly, how they control the zombies or what they look like under the robes that cover their bodies..


My Review

Ten years have passed since the war against the zombies happened and the Guardians appeared. They keep the undead away whilst the living are fenced in and safe or living on farms or Urban shantytowns (the book takes place in Cape Town (South Africa). But protection doesn't come free and every year the Guardians have a human Lottery and take 5 teenagers for reasons unknown to the people left behind. Where do they go and what happens to the teenagers and how do the Guardians control the zombies?

The main character of the story is a seventeen year old girl, Lele. She is a lively teenager who is unhappy with many aspects of her life, let alone the zombies and Guardians. Her step mother is a believer that the coming of the zombies made everything better (as is the teaching at Lele's new school). Lele sounds finds out she is not alone in her thinking and after hearing about the Mall Rats she wants to know more.

There is a lot to this book and the zombies don't really come into play until after 100 odd pages. The book is definitely Young Adult and covers the teenage angst issues,despite there being zombies and people dying, they play a huge part in the story. Lele's struggles to fit in, her budding interest in boys, heartache at losing her gran, relationship issues with her step mother etc.

It picked up for me when the Mall Rats came into play and you start to get a bit more background on how things came to pass. Lele finds out as slowly as the reader, the background, and I found myself getting really frustrated as she would ask the questions you the reader would but more often than not gets brushed off or a half answer. There is a twist with the zombies that you don't see coming and it is interesting to see them in a different light.

From the zombie aspect I was disappointed as I wanted a lot more zombie but as this is the first book in the series I think a lot of ground work has been covered to build the story. There are a lot of unanswered questions too however the second book is out October 2013 and I will certainly be getting is as I need to find out the answers to the questions.

The chapters are very short (we know by now how I love this) so you can dip in and out and the book as and when. The author also has a great way of ending each chapter in a way you can't put it down and you want to know what she means and what happens next. A good introduction to a new series, well written and flows well, 3/5 for me. This book is out to buy on April the 18th 2013, both paperback and ebook for £6.99. Thank you so much to Newbooks for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Thursday, 20 December 2012

December's pre-loved giveaway winner is............

Elizabeth Yeates. The winner has been contacted, responded and the book dispatched, I think this is the fastest sent out prize ever. Thank you to everyone who entered, I hope you all have a fabulous Christmas and wonderful new year.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Review - Dead Sexy by Kathy Lette

Dead Sexy: A NovelDead Sexy: A Novel by Kathy Lette
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Blurb From Goodreads

Why do men like intelligent women? Because opposites attract.

That's what shy London music teacher Shelly Green thinks when she meets hunky, boisterous American, Kit Kincaide...on their wedding day. Thrown together on the reality show Desperate and Dateless, they were predicted to be the perfect match--physically, emotionally, and intellectually. Proving their compatibility on at least one score (in the backseat of a limo), there appears to be some hope for this manufactured marriage...until their honeymoon on the tropical island of Reunion, where Shelly realizes that men and women have slightly different takes on the meaning of commitment. For Shelly it means love, kids, and happily ever afters. But for Kit it's a meaningful one-night stand. Or is it? What exactly is her husband trying to hide?

Will Shelly discover the truth about Kit? Will she find romance in spite of a civil war, a natural disaster, and a crew of dubious television lowlifes? Do she and Kit have a chance for a real marriage in the hyped-up, surreal world of reality TV?

Love may be blind.

But marriage is a real eye-opener.


My review

Oh My! Two people brought together in marriage via a television dating show, says it all really. Normally I would love this kind of book. The people don't meet until just before the wedding, they share a limo, some bottles of champagne and exchange some info. The computer has matched them up on the information they provided and if they get married and go on the honeymoon (all being filmed of course) and stay together for at least a year they get more cash incentives as well as other bonuses. What follows is utter mayhem as the two attempt to get to know each other and find out how much they didn't know and don't like about the other.

Shelly and Kit are worlds apart, she is a teacher and seemingly a plain Jane whilst he is buff, beautiful and too good to be true. As the story unravels though it becomes more ridiculous and unbelievable, things going from silly to down right outrageous.

Shelly's character becomes very unlikeable as she comes across as pathetic, begging for Kit's attention, believing or forgiving everything he says and does all in aid of attention. She comes across as a very weak female who is at the mercy of her wants of her body and has left her brain, and self respect, at home with her job. Kit flips from being a nice lovely sweet talking guy to an insensitive moron who expects women to fall at his feet, although with Shelly's behaviour you can't really blame him too much.

Some of it I laughed at, cringed at or rolled my eyes and sighed at it. It was just far too silly for me and the annoyance at Shelly being painted so pathetically really put me off it. Two quotes I must share with you from the book that may sum up what I am trying to say better than I am doing are

"Every time i see you a smoke-alarm goes off in my boxer shorts." and

"Hell, it was so magical, she wouldn't have been surprised to learn that Gandalf was behind it." Cringe, funny, embarrassing to name just a few words this book conjurers up. I have read Kathy Lette before and really enjoyed her, not sure what happened this time but this book wasn't for me, 2/5 this time.




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Friday, 14 December 2012

November's Pre-loved Giveaway Competition - UPDATE

The prize from November's pre-loved giveaway has not been claimed. I have given the winner over a week to claim the prize, this being December I realize people are very busy. I have now picked another winner, Claire Deakin, the new winner has been notified.

Thanks again to everyone who entered and remember Decembers competition is open for just under a week. The prize is a perfect condition book, a zombie story for Christmas.

http://www.alwaysreading.net/2012/12/decembers-giveaway-is-i-am-scrooge.html

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Review - Caught by Harlan Coben

CaughtCaught by Harlan Coben
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time Taken To Read - 1.5 days

Blurb From Goodreads

Reporter Wendy Tynes is making a name for herself, bringing down sexual offenders on nationally-televised sting operations. But when social worker Dan Mercer walks into her trap, and is tied to the disappearance of a seventeen-year-old New Jersey girl, the shocking consequences will have Wendy doubting her instincts about the motives of the people around her.

My Review

This book starts off fairly quick. There is a sting, set up by a reporter to bust a paedophile and it is all recorded and broad casted on tv. The case falls through and the reporter needs to sink her teeth into something else. Soon she stumbles on something that she will uncover, even if it ruins her life, or worse kills her.

The story splits into two main stories, the accused paedophile and the disappearance of a young respectable girl. There is a lot of twists in the story and after a bit of digging Wendy, the reporter, finds some coincidences between Dan and his old college friends and something that may explain recent going ons.

Some of the book was quite well paced, interesting and I was dying to find out what happened to the missing girl. I felt the disappearance dominated the first part of the story but quickly it was dealt with and another part focused on, only for it to be brought back up later. I didn't like this approach although I did like some of the other situations that arose after. To be honest I swayed between a 2 and 3 star rating and would have liked to have given a 2.5. Some of it was drawn out and didn't seem relevant, things that had dragged where then solved really quickly and moved onto something else. Whilst I like to have answers to everything in my books I don't like it convenient like that. So it says a 3/5 there but I would say 2.5 - I do enjoy this author but prefer the others I have read.

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Monday, 10 December 2012

ARC - All Fall Down by Louise Voss & Mark Edwards

All Fall DownAll Fall Down by Louise Voss & Mark Edwards
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time Taken To Read - 2 days

Blurb from Goodreads

Two years on from uncovering a terrifying conspiracy of rogue scientists, all Kate Maddox wants is to lead a normal life with her partner Paul and son Jack. But then a face from the past turns up, bringing chilling news.
A devastating new strain of the virus that killed Kate’s parents is loose in L.A. – and when a bomb rips through a hotel killing many top scientists, it becomes clear someone will do anything to stop a cure being found.
While Paul goes on the hunt for answers, Kate finds herself in a secret laboratory in the heart of California, desperately seeking a way to stop the contagion. But time is running out and soon it will be too late to save their loved ones, themselves, and the world…

My Review

Kate Maddox is a virologist and the world is about to need her. Terrorists have released a new strain of virus that spreads and kills quicker that its predecessor ever did. The terrorists means business and bomb a convention with top scientists and a specific target or two amoung them to stop any chance of a cure. Kate has to make a choice, to help the world and leave her family behind or stay with them and watch it collapse and die slowly. Time is running out and Kate finds herself targeted, under pressure and in a life threatening situations.

I really enjoyed this story from the start and it kicks off fairly swiftly with patient zero. We then are introduced to Kate and the story really goes from there when she is addressed to come and help deal with the situation. Paul is her boyfriend and plays a big part in the story too however he branches off searching out people relating to his brothers death. The story also breaks off into the terrorists and the main characters from there, building up a picture of how they work and why they are doing what they do. It sounds like a lot to take in but actually it isn't, they all slot into their parts and the story links in very quickly to each other.

The chapters are really short, which as you know I love, so as the story flips between them you can follow it easily and dip in and out as you have to. To be honest I could have read it in one sitting had time permitted. It has a great pace to it, really good story and you don't have to be virus savy or have a high IQ to follow the scientist viral stuff. There is some sex in the book but not a huge focus and you can skip by if without missing anything from the story. The idea behind what drives the terrorists is really interesting too and I enjoyed having a wee read up on that and learning something new from that side (sorry to be vague but I hate spoilers).

Even as you approach the big conclusion there are still more surprises and action to come. This is my first time reading these authors and it won't be my last. Kate Maddox has made an appearance in at least one previous book (I believe this would be the 3rd joint effort) and this can be read, as I did, as a stand alone. I will seek out their previous books as I did like the style of writing and quick pace, 4/5 for me.

Thanks so much to HarperCollins for sending me this ARC. You can get your own copy when this book comes out on the 14th of February 2013 (or you can get the ebook from Amazon.co.uk from the 20th of December 2012).



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Saturday, 8 December 2012

Review - The Casual Vacancy by J.K Rowling

The Casual VacancyThe Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time Taken To Read - 3 days

Blurb From Goodreads

A BIG NOVEL ABOUT A SMALL TOWN ...

When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock.

Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty fa├žade is a town at war.

Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils ... Pagford is not what it first seems.

And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?

My review

This is a whopping huge hardback, 503 pages long. The first thing I would say is go into this reading it as a new author rather than this is the Harry Potter writer as the content and writing couldn't be further apart. The story is based around a small town, Pagford, and follows the lives of many of the residents. Barry Fairbrother dies suddenly and the town is in shock, however his death leaves open a seat on the parish council and soon filling that becomes the main focus. The small town is ripped apart by this one event as the battle for the seat begins.

For me this story could have been two, one concentrating on the younger main characters and that of the adults and their interest in the council seat. There is a lot of swearing throughout and a number of issues covered including angst, secrets, emotions, violence, self harm, betrayal and underage sex to mention a few.

At some points I felt some of the issues could have been left out but were included to show this is an adult themed book and a far cry from her previous Harry Potter books. There also was more characters than at times I could keep up with (although once your in a few hundred pages you get a better feel for them). Because there is so many, I feel that the focus on some of them and their issues where brushed over or only briefly touched on. Had the book just been classed as a novel or some of the characters cut there could have been more substance given to others and made more of an impact on the reader and story.

That said I did enjoy the unraveling of the towns secrets and petty goings on, especially in the aftermath of the death of a young man. I can't say I loved any of the characters but I did like Krystal and would have loved to have had more focus on her. Despite having a foul mouth, loose moral and low self esteem with a bad attitude, her character had depth although only really shown when dealing with her younger sibling.

I felt the book was fairly slow going for a good part of it, the start kicks off quick with a death which is the catalyst for most of the following story, however come the end few chapters it went into overdrive and I didn't want to put the book down. The turnabout of events is rather shocking, especially as the book had been fairly paced throughout. If you enjoy small town scandal and don't mind cursing, underage sex and teenage angst you will enjoy this story. 3/5 for me, I would read J.K. Rowling again, I loved Harry Potter and although this is a different level altogether I still enjoyed the writing and story.

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Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Review - Please Let It Stop by Jacqueline Gold

Please Let It Stop: The True Story of My Abused ChildhoodPlease Let It Stop: The True Story of My Abused Childhood by Jacqueline Gold
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time Taken To Read - 3 days

Blurb From Goodreads

Please Let It Stop is a gripping and ultimately inspiring memoir of suffering and determination, of obstacles and inner battles. Jacqueline Gold was abused by her stepfather for many years, but one day she summoned the courage to ask him to stop. Jacqueline went on to become chief executive of British sex shop chain Ann Summers, but the journey was far from easy. In this, her no-holds-barred autobiography, Jacqueline describes her abused childhood, her tumultuous struggles to find love and conquer depression, and the heartbreak of undergoing IVF. Told with remarkable honesty, her story is a testament to one woman’s ability to overcome the darkest of times.

My Review

Going by the title and front cover you would assume this book is going to be focused mostly or wholly on abuse. This is not the case, Jacqueline Gold does indeed discuss her abuse that happened to her at the hands of her stepfather but it isn't one of these books that give you gory details or focus huge parts of the writing on the negative, the opposite actually.

The book is an autobiography, it takes us on the journey of Jacqueline's life, from early beginnings to how she became a wealthy and powerful business woman in the company most, if not all, of us have heard of. The book gives you an insight into the respectable business Ann Summers actually is and how it came to be so successful as well as the obstacles and prejudices people have against it. All of which I found fascinating however it was the strength of character she shows, all of the knocks she has taken and yet she refuses to become a victim and seems to pick herself up every time she is knocked down.

I also found it shocking how people have behaved and treated Gold purely because of who she is and her wealth. It is a sad day to learn so many scammers are out there, not to mention unprofessional people who clearly have no work ethics. This book is very positive and I feel a lot of people could take something from it and feel empowered. There are so many issues addressed in this book that everyone can relate to. Whilst it is how the author dealt with each of these issues and not a self help for other people, I still think the reader can take something from this book. 4/5 for me, very well written and I thought it was a great read.

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Monday, 3 December 2012

December's giveaway is I Am Scrooge, A Zombie Story For Christmas by Adam Roberts

This book is in perfect condition and could be given as a gift (just in time for Christmas). I will run this competition until the 20th of December so if your a UK resident you should have it before Christmas. Outside of the UK I am sure it will arrive later, although sometimes it has arrived fairly quickly.



As always you can leave a comment on this post for an additional entry or use the link below, fill in the form, to enter the competition.

Click here to enter the competition

Saturday, 1 December 2012

November's Pre Loved Giveaway winner is............

Alfredo Arraiza (our first Spanish winner) - the winner has been notified. If the winner has not claimed their prize within 48 hour another winner will be chosen.

Thanks to everyone who took part and keep your eyes peeled for Decembers giveaway.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Review - The Postcard Killers by James Patterson and Liza Marklund

The Postcard KillersThe Postcard Killers by James Patterson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time Taken To Read - 2 days

Blurb From Goodreads

Paris is stunning in the summer

NYPD detective Jacob Kanon is on a tour of Europe's most gorgeous cities. But the sights aren't what draw him--he sees each museum, each cathedral, and each cafe through the eyes of his daughter's killer.

The killing is simply marvelous

Kanon's daughter, Kimmy, and her boyfriend were murdered while on vacation in Rome. Since then, young couples in Paris, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, and Stockholm have been found dead. Little connects the murders, other than a postcard to the local newspaper that precedes each new victim.

Wish you were here

Now Kanon teams up with the Swedish reporter, Dessie Larsson, who has just received a postcard in Stockholm--and they think they know where the next victims will be. With relentless logic and unstoppable action, The Postcard Killers may be James Patterson's most vivid and compelling thriller yet.


My Review

A young couple are targeting married couples in love and brutally murdering them. They announce their intent by sending postcards to reporters in they city they are in at the time. This isn't their first kill and detective Jacob Kanon is on their tail. He has a professional and personal interest in them as one of their victims was one of his family and he can't rest as long as they are free. He teams up with an unlikely partner, Dessie, a reporter who has been contacted by the killers. There is more to the murders than first suspected and both the police and detective have to use their wits to catch and outsmart the killers.

This book has a great fast pace to it,the killers are introduced from the start yet it is written so well you are hooked into how it is going to play out. as always with James Patterson the chapters are short so you can dip in and out, or fool yourself with only going to read a chapter or two and still be reading 100+ pages in.

I didn't like Jacob's character if I am honest. I felt for him and everything he has gone through and the dedication he shows but too often he is rash and impulsive which I found very annoying. there was one of two sexual elements in the book that I felt could easily have been left out as, for me, it didn't really add anything. I don't mind a book having sex scenes but it should fall in naturally with the story, I didn't feel it did this time. Maybe because I am used to Patterson's books being mostly thriller and murder and this is why it didn't flow for me (in regards to the sex). However the killers passion for each other is an important element in the story so others may feel it works well.

The book ended rather abrupt for me too, it had a great pace all along and a huge build up toward the end but it seemed rather rushed and I would have liked more answers. Still a really good read though so 3/5 for me this time.

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Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Review - The End Specialist by Drew Magary

The End SpecialistThe End Specialist by Drew Magary
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time Taken To Read - 6 days

Blurb From Goodreads

A gripping, compulsive thriller set in a future where the cure for ageing has been discovered… to devastating consequences

“You got me. I don’t want to die. I’m terrified of death. I fear there’s nothing beyond it and that this existence is the only one I’ll ever possess. That’s why I’m here.”�(An excerpt from the digital journal of John Farrell, cure age 29)

2019. Humanity has witnessed its greatest scientific breakthrough yet: the cure for ageing. Three injections and you’re immortal – not bulletproof or disease-proof but you’ll never have to fear death by old age.

For John Farrell, documenting the cataclysmic shifts to life after the cure becomes an obsession. Cure parties, cycle marriages, immortal livestock: the world is revelling in the miracles of eternal youth. But immortality has a sinister side, and when a pro-death terrorist explosion kills his newly-cured best friend, John soon realizes that even in a world without natural death, there is always something to fear.

Now, John must make a new choice: run and hide forever, or stay and fight those who try to make immortal life a living hell.


My Review

What a fantastic idea for a story. Imagine a cure that stops you aging, a cure that stops death and the possibilities from there on in. This is what happens in the year 2019 and John Farrell has acquired some on the black market. A few years later the cure is available to all, bringing out all the crazies and vigilantes who think it unnatural and bomb the doctors and buildings they feel responsible. The world starts to go a bit crazy, marriages are put on as cycles, babies are tattooed and that is just the start of the chaos that ensues.

I really liked parts of this book, the premise of this and the very idea of never growing old, future cures coming that attack illness and preserve humans. What of a world where no one dies? Supplies become limited, religious people are out in force, end specialists are on hand to take the numbers down a bit. I disliked other parts as I felt they dragged a little or didn't offer much to those parts of the story.

The format of the book is taken from John Farrell's digital journal (blog format), cataloging his experience from the run up to getting the cure to everything he sees and experiences afterwards. It is well thought out and runs shivers down your spine at the thought of how much of this could actually happen if we ever did create such a "cure" and raises the inner question(s) of would you and how far would you go to survive? The end was a wee big lacking for me although maybe it is so there can be another book? Or just how the author wanted to end this one, I would have preferred more. This was my first time reading this author and I would give them a bash again, 3/5 for me this time.

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Monday, 26 November 2012

Review - Hoodie by Brendon Lancaster

HoodieHoodie by Brendon Lancaster
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time Taken To Read - Dipped in and out for 9 days

Blurb From Amazon

From the moment Ben Chapman ( 'Hoodie' to the other Shady Boys) crashes out of school, determined never to return and, incidentally, seeking his revenge on the school's drug dealer by stealing and concealing his stash in his trousers on the way out, you know that this is a boy to whom caution and reticence are alien concepts. Outwardly, he maintains that all he wants is a job, his own money and to follow his heart towards the girl of his dreams, Isabelle. But, underneath that concealing hoodie, Ben has a rich inner life, fed by dope, wine and the belief that he is someone special. During his 'summer of love', we follow his attempts to engage with the real world with frustration and compassion. His adventures cause him to question today's competitive, consumer-based values, eventually challenging his perception of reality and prompting him to reflect upon who and what his purpose in life is before finding himself faced with the definitive test of resolve and bravery. Hoodie's blend of up-to-date realism, dream-like escapism, fast-paced, hard-hitting action, wistful musings, humour and tragedy, all while the story navigates its way on a magical mystery tour of Ben's mind, ensures an enjoyable read. It provides the perfect antidote to alarmist Daily Mail reporting of youth issues, exploring the problems facing modern day Britain from the perspective of a disempowered, disaffected teenager. On a deeper level, there is a moral/spiritual sub-text, fed by Ben's belief that he has a secret weapon; the simian lines (fused head and heart lines) on the palms of his hands. These are extremely rare and noted as being a genetic abnormality shared by drug addicts, mass murderers, scientific researchers and religious fanatics (and, by sheer coincidence, Tony Blair). Could these lines hold the key to his future?


My Review

Ben aka Hoodie is the main character, he has just finished his exams and stolen a load of drugs from the school thug. Ben wants a job, to be respected, get the girl of his dreams and get out of his head on alcohol and substances until he reaches his goals. This is the tale of a sixteen year old boy on a journey, facing the dilemmas of a teenage boy and some issues from his past. The book deals with a whole host of topics, drugs, sex, violence, auras, relationships and a whole lot more.

To be honest I have debated whether I should rate this a two or 3 star. The things I liked I really liked but the things I disliked really irked me. I found it hard to relate to the main character who seemed to morph between two people, the really deep thinking one and the teenage thug. I liked the Simian Lines part and read a little more on it when I got past that part as I hadn't heard of that before.

There was a lot of mish mash and I sometimes got a bit caught up and wanted there to be more focus. For example the drug dealer was dealt with at the start, a little in the middle and picked
up again at the end. Old Joe was a great part in the story but then his round up wasn't told in length just in passing through someone else. Initially I had thought this was going to be like an Irvine Welsh and it does have some of the undertones but I think I can honestly say I have never read anyone like this before.

The reason I decided to go with a three star instead of a two is purely because of the ending which I neither expected or guessed was coming. After Ben got out of hospital with his "attitude" I got really annoyed and was going to go with a two star rating, however as I said the ending was so unexpected it brought it back to a three.

If your looking for something chaotic, different, rough around the edges that has a deep undercurrent with a splash of everything in it then I would definitely recommend this book, 3 out of 5 for me this time.

I won this book as part of a giveaway over at http://thebookworm07.blogspot.co.uk/2... you can read the full interview over there.



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Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Review - The Birds And The Bees by Milly Johnson

The Birds And The BeesThe Birds And The Bees by Milly Johnson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Time Taken To Read - 1 day

Blurb From Goodreads

Romance writer and single mum Stevie Honeywell has only weeks to go until her wedding when her fiance Matthew runs off with her glamorous new friend Jo MacLean.

It feels like history repeating itself for Stevie, but this time she is determined to win back her man. She isn't going to act as he might expect. She isn't going to wail and dig her heels in, she is simply going to pretend to let him go whilst she pursues a mad course of dieting, exercising and self-improvement.

And it feels like history is repeating itself for Adam MacLean too, who is also determined to win his lady, Jo, back with the same basic psychological tactics. Then he is going to initiate his master plan: Getting together with Stevie to drive Jo wild with jealousy.

So, like the Scottish country jig 'The Birds and the Bees', the couples all change partners and learn some revealing truths about each other along the way. But what happens when Adam's master plan actually starts to work? And just who will Stevie be dancing with when the music stops?


My Review

Stevie Honeywell is getting married in a few weeks, everything is going great until Jo's psycho husband shows up claiming Stevie's fiance has run off on holiday with his stunning wife. Sure enough it comes to light and Stevie and Adam, Jo's husband, team up to split them up and get them back for themselves.

Chick lit is not normally my first choice of book but sometimes you need something light and this was the perfect book for it. Stevie is a nice lady who seems to have no luck in love and comes off as a door mat. As the story progresses and the unlikely team put their plans into action we see a different side to Stevie emerge and Adam being more than a Scottish drunken thug.

The characters are well done although I must admit to disliking or hating at least 2 of the main ones, Jo and Matthew, and Stevie annoyed me with her placidity. However as her story unfolds you start to warm to her and by the end I was rooting for her.

I picked this up to read a chapter before bed and was still awake at 1am. It is very well written and easy to read. The chapters are short which is great as you can dip in and out or in my case just one more and your still reading 10 chapters later. This is my second Millie Johnson book and it won't be my last, 5/5 for me.

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Friday, 16 November 2012

Review - Inconceivable by Ben Elton

InconceivableInconceivable by Ben Elton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time Taken To Read - 3 days

Blurb From Goodreads

Lucy desperately wants a baby. Sam is determined to write a hit movie. The problem is that both their efforts seem to be unfruitful. And given that the average IVF cycle has about a one in five chance of going into full production, Lucy's chances of getting what she wants are considerably better than Sam's.

What Sam and Lucy are about to go through is absolutely inconceivable. The question is, can their love survive?

Inconcievable confirms Ben Elton as one of Britain's most significant, entertaining and provocative writers.

My Review

This is a story about a happily married couple who want a baby. The book isn't in chapters but rather diary entries. Lucy writes hers as Dear Penny, a childhood friend whilst Sam goes with dear book or sometimes without title. The entries follow their journey from hitting 5 years of trying for a baby but now seriously looking at why they aren't pregnant and investigating it.

For me the book reminded me of Bridget Jones diary, not just in format but in that there is a lot of humour involved. You can empathize with both characters and you get to see the same story from two view points. Despite the serious nature of the main issue there is a lot of humour involved in the book, there is also a lot of crass and crude language throughout, so not for the easily offended.

The book covers some serious issues and despite it being a fairly humourous book I did learn a bit about the IVF process and what couples have to go through when facing difficulties in trying for a baby. Funny, sad, emotional and a bit of a rollercoaster I did enjoy this and wasn't too sure how it would end which is always a plus, 3/5 for me this time and I would read Ben Elton again (I have read one or two of his before).

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Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Review - Freud by Ruth Snowden

Freud: The Key IdeasFreud: The Key Ideas by Ruth Snowden
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - dipped in and out of it over 1 month

Blurb From Goodreads

Learn about the man called "The father of psychoanalysis"

From Freud's upbringing and early work through his ingenious and revolutionary creation of psychoanalysis, you will learn about dream interpretation, the unconscious, the psychology of society, and his controversial theories, including the Oedipus Complex and penis envy.

Ideal for students, teachers, or anyone curious about this remarkable man, "Teach Yourself Freud" makes his ideas easy to understand with overviews, summaries, and illustrations.

My review

I hate reading non fiction books, more so when I have to actually retain the information. It seems the more you have to take in the more your mind shuts down and blanks it out. This book was actually really well done and it is broken down so that someone like me who does struggle can dip in and out and process it more easily.

The chapters have lots of page breaks so you can read a paragraph or two then put it down or go through it by chapters as they aren't excessively long either. At the end of each chapter you have a small summary of things to remember that have been highlighted from what you have just read, some people might find it easier to retain the information this way.

It is written without big confusing words or jargon that you find a lot of these kind of books are which is why I have opted to put this on my wish list and pick up a keeper copy at a later date so I can refer back to it (this is a loan book from the library). Did I learn from it? Yes. Did I take it all in? No. But I did enjoy it and have a better understanding of psychoanalysis and some of the famous cases associated with Freud.

The author has also put a fantastic list of further reading (also listing anti-Freud books) as well as a list of online websites. All in all a great resource and the first time I can say I have enjoyed reading this type of book, 4/5 for me.

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Review - Love Anthony by Lisa Genova

Love AnthonyLove Anthony by Lisa Genova
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - less than 1 day

Blurb From Goodreads


Two women, each cast adrift by unforseen events in their lives, meet by accident on a Nantucket beach and are drawn into a friendship.
Olivia is a young mother whose eight-year-old severely autistic son has recently died. Her marriage badly frayed by years of stress, she comes to the island in a trial separation to try and make sense of the tragedy of her Anthony’s short life.
Beth, a stay-at-home mother of three, is also recently separated after discovering her husband’s long-term infidelity. In an attempt to recapture a sense of her pre-married life, she rekindles her passion for writing, determined to find her own voice again. But surprisingly, as she does so, Beth also find herself channeling the voice of an unknown boy, exuberant in his perceptions of the world around him if autistic in his expression—a voice she can share with Olivia—(is it Anthony?)—that brings comfort and meaning to them both.


My Review

The book starts off with a slow introduction to both Olivia, Anthony's mum and Beth and her family situation. After a small chance meeting at the beach that isn't revisited or the significance shown until later, the story begins at present day. Olivia has come to the island to pick her life up after losing her son and the breakdown of her marriage. Beth is just about to have her world and marriage turned upside down with the shock news of her husbands infidelity. Both women are struggling with their own demons and life changes, living close to each other but unaware of the other.

I was expecting this to be about friendship right from the start however the ladies don't actually properly cross paths until over half way through. Olivia visits the past through her journals and slowly we are introduced to her life with Anthony and her journey after his diagnosis and back to what she is doing now to get back to 'normal'. Beth's path is her journey trying to cope with everyday life after the revelations with her husband and picking up the pieces with her girls, rediscovering who she is. Both women are on journeys and eventually their paths cross and an unexpected link will bring them together.

I enjoyed this story so much that I stayed up until after 3am to finish it. I loved the glimpses of Anthony and think any story that will open peoples eyes and begin an understanding into autism is always a good thing. I liked and disliked Beth's story almost equally, it gives a fantastic insight into what it may be like for an autistic child through the childs's eyes. However the person in Beth's story is identical to someone she has never really met with no real explanation of why. This is just a small issue, the rest of the book I devoured and wanted to read faster than my eyes could manage. I do enjoyed Genova's writing style and her subjects always leave you thinking so 4/5 for me this time.



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Monday, 12 November 2012

Review - Moon by James Herbert

MoonMoon by James Herbert
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time Taken To Read - 2 days

Blurb from the back cover

The nightmare begins before you go to sleep...

He fled from the terrors of his past. Finding refuge in the quietness of the island. And for a time he lived in peace. Until the 'sightings' began. Visions of horror seeping into his mind like poisonous tendrils. Violent acts that were hideously macabre, the thoughts became intense.

He witnessed the grotesque acts of another thing, a thing that glorified in murder and mutilation. A monster that soon became aware of the observer within its own mind. And relished contact. A creature that would eventually come to the island to seek him out.


My Review

I have always liked James Herbert and this is one of those books that reignites all the things you enjoyed and loved from previous books. FYI - I haven't read them in any kind of order. Jon Childes is a teacher with a past he would rather forget. It ruined his marriage, his every day life and almost cost him his sanity and freedom. After escaping to the island and starting a new it isn't long before history repeats itself and Jon finds himself in a horrible game of cat and mouse.

This book is filled with lots of spooky goings on, horrific murders and desecrations. The story reads almost like a sequel as it refers back a few times to Childes past and what happened the last time, however after checking this is a stand alone book.

The book goes along at a decent pace, keeping you hooked without giving away too much too quick. Sometimes a chapter starts with Childes and then one will visit 'the thing' and back to Childes however it flows fabulously and you will be caught up in the story in no time, especially if your a James Herbert fan. I really enjoyed it and wasn't left hanging as you are with a lot of these themed books so a 4/5 for me.



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Sunday, 11 November 2012

November's Pre-Loved Giveaway

I have actually managed to get more than 5 minutes to sort this so hurrah (sorry if anyone was hoping for another amazon voucher, maybe December). This months giveaway is Black Heart Blue by Louisa Reid, see my review through the link below. The book is is perfect condition, no breaks in the spine and could be given as a gift, it is actually in better condition than the last book I bought!

http://www.alwaysreading.net/2012/11/review-black-heart-blue-by-louisa-reid.html

As always it will run until the end of the month when a winner will be picked at random. You can get an extra entry by leaving a comment on this post. To enter please click the link below and fill in the short form, thank you.

Click here to enter the competition

Review - Ash by James Herbert

Ash (David Ash, #3)Ash by James Herbert
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time Taken to Read - 3 days

Blurb From Goodreads

David Ash – detective of the paranormal – is sent to the mysterious Comraich Castle, secluded deep in the Scottish countryside, to investigate a strange, high-profile case: a man has been found crucified – in a room that was locked. The reports suggest that the cliff-top castle is being haunted . . .

Who – or what – is the reclusive hooded figure that Ash has seen from the window walking across the courtyard in the dead of night?
What are the strange, animal-like sounds that come from the surrounding woods?
And why are the castle’s inhabitants so reluctant to talk about what they have seen?

. . . what Ash eventually discovers is truly shocking

My Review

I was torn between giving this a 2 star or 3 rating; I decided on the latter. I have followed David Ash's adventures and love James Herbert's writing however this is totally different. Ash is still trying to recover from his last encounters with the supernatural when he is hired to investigate the strange happenings at a Scottish castle that harbours those who have money to evade the law.

The story takes a while to start however when it gets going it quickly becomes twisted with murder, incest, conspiracy theories, and ghosts to name but a few of the aspects of this story. Some of the scenes are very descriptive and gory however if you have read James Herbert before you will be used to this, if not just a heads up. It is a big book (the printed version is over 600 pages) and goes from Ash's point of view and what is happening and flits between the other characters and back to Ash. Most of the Herbert books I have read focus on a theme (usually supernatural and horror) but this one covers a whole host of topics including love, sex and lesbianism.

Ash's character goes through different phases as the story progresses. He starts off as investigator battling his addictions and old ghosts whilst trying to keep on top of the new case with limited information. Then as he uncovers the history and secrets of the castle and residents he becomes more assertive, latterly the "hero" in him comes forth as he attempts to do his job and stay alive.

To be honest the story is simply madness. There is so much going on in it and even for a horror fan who loves "out there" and "it is never going to happen" stuff even this was a bit unreal for me. I still enjoyed it though and think if you're happy to read it knowing it really is quite silly and bizarre you will be fine with it. 3/5 for me.

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Saturday, 10 November 2012

Review - Black Heart Blue by Louisa Reid

Black Heart BlueBlack Heart Blue by Louisa Reid
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time Taken To Read 1.5 days

Blurb From Goodreads

Hephzibah: You've no idea what it's like having a freak for a sister.

Rebecca: Born first, prettier, Hephzi's always been the popular one.

The Father: When he was busy with his bottle we were usually safe. Usually.

The Mother: Her specialist subject was misery and lessons of painful silence ...

Hepzibah and Rebecca are twins. One beautiful, one disfigured. Trapped with their loveless parents, they dream of a normal life. But when one twin tragically dies, the other must find a way to escape. Because if she doesn't, she'll end up like her sister.

My Review


This story goes in fairly short chapters between Hephzibah and Rebecca (jumping between before the death of one twin and the aftermath). For the first few chapters you are not too sure what has happened as it jumps around a bit but not so much that you can't follow the actual storyline.

One twin is beautiful and popular, one is disfigured and shunned by her family and peers. Both the girls hide a dark secret whilst fighting for a place in society and a semblance of normality.

It is evident when you start reading that foul play has happened and the family situation isn't quite right but you don't know quite how or why. As the story unfolds you are drawn into a world of abuse and survival, cunning and bravery and a bond between two sisters that have to endure social and family pressures, each taking their toll on the twins as to how they both adapt and cope with it.

Whilst some of the content is horrific it isn't a story that dwells on all the sordid details, however there is enough for you to know exactly what has happened. The story is more focused on the girls and their relationship.

I read this book a few weeks ago and I am still thinking about it, despite having a lot of commitments I couldn't put it down and got through it in a day and a half. I would read this author again, despite the content this book was easily to get through so 4/5 for me this time.

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Octobers competition winner is............

Deb Robin - no website given. The winner has been notified and if the prize isn't claimed within 48 hours another winner will be picked. Thank you to everyone who entered and I apologize for taking so long to announce the winner. Novembers competition will be up hopefully within a few days, thank you for your patience.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Review - Something You Should Know by Melissa Hill

Something You Should KnowSomething You Should Know by Melissa Hill
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1.5 days

Blurb From the back cover

Her mouth went dry and for a second Jenny didn’t think she would be able to breath – it couldn’t be him, could it?

Just when everything was going so well for Jenny and Mike, Roan Williams had to come back into their lives. Four years earlier, while her friends Tessa, Gerry, Karen and Shane were falling in love and heading for happy ever after, love-rat Roan had broken Jenny’s heart and completely shattered her life. Harboring a terrible lie, Jenny had struggled to pick up the pieces of her life, but if Roan was going to be around, the truth would have to come out.

It would ruin everything but Mike had a right to know…

My Review

I haven't had much time for reading lately so went for something light and chick lit. It is what it is, a story about a girl and a guy and all the complications that follow, although this one is a little different. We start in present day and Jenny is happy as she can be with Mike, they are going to get married and life is bliss. As with these type of scenarios something is bound to go wrong. Jenny's old flame is back in her life and she has to come clean to her friend about why she is so upset. We flick back to the not too distant past and start from when she first met her ex and the bulk of the story goes from there.

We follow Jenny and Roans meeting, relationship ups and downs and meet all of Jenny's close friends and the ins and outs of their relationships. There is an unexpected, shocking turn of events nearing the end of the book that I didn't expect or see coming which did give you a jolt. Jenny I found irritating for a lot of the book but came to if not like here then at least tolerate her. An enjoyable story and I would read this author again, 3/5 for me this time.



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Friday, 26 October 2012

Review - The Walking Dead: Rise Of The Governor by Robert Kirkwood

The Walking Dead: Rise of the GovernorThe Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor by Robert Kirkman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read 3 days

Blurb From Goodreads

In the Walking Dead universe, there is no greater villain than The Governor. The despot who runs the walled-off town of Woodbury, he has his own sick sense of justice: whether it's forcing prisoners to battle zombies in an arena for the townspeople's amusement, or chopping off the appendages of those who cross him. The Governor was voted "Villain of the Year" by "Wizard" magazine the year he debuted, and his story arc was the most controversial in the history of the Walking Dead comic book series. Now, for the first time, fans of "The Walking Dead "will discover how The Governor became the man he is, and what drove him to such extremes.

My review

I have never read the comics of the walking dead but I do love the program and thought this book would link into it. There are no characters (that I have so far seen up to) from the show so don't go into this book thinking that there will be. The main characters are a small band of survivors, two brothers Philip and I think it was Brian, Phillip's little girl and his two friends of old. The story starts with the epidemic already underway and they are just trying to survive and understand what has happened. Soon enough you have zombies attacking and all their wits are tested to the max.

I did quite like this book (you know my love of zombies by now), and I found despite having a lot of real life things to catch up on I didn't want to put the book down. Love them or hate them the characters had their weaknesses and strength and you wanted to know if they made it.

A few issues I had with it was there seemed to be a lot of medical terms used, at times I liked this and other parts I felt it wasn't needed nor did it add to that part of the story. Phillip tended to have some severe behavior issues that I didn't notice right away and some of it let me thinking what is going on, did I miss something. As always there is gore and bad language so if your not a zombie fan and don't like that kind of thing then this book isn't for you. If your a fan of the zombie genre and fancy a fast paced adventure of the undead with some easy to follow characters then this is worth a go. I would read another by these authors, 3/5 for me.

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Thursday, 18 October 2012

Octobers pre-loved giveaway

Again the pre-loved giveaway isn't going to be listed this month and apologies for this being posted so late. I will be instead hosting another Amazon voucher give away for the value of £5. Please use the form below and leave a comment for an additional entry

The competition as always runs to the end of the month, good luck and feel free to share. Click here to enter the competition

Review - The Fall by Claire McGowan

The FallThe Fall by Claire McGowan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time Taken To Read - on and off for 10 days

Blurb From Goodreads

What would you do if the man you love was accused of murder?

Bad things never happen to Charlotte. She's living the life she's always wanted and about to marry wealthy banker, Dan. But Dan's been hiding a secret, and the pressure is pushing him over the edge. After he's arrested for the vicious killing of a nightclub owner, Charlotte's future is shattered.

Then she opens her door to Keisha, an angry and frustrated stranger with a story to tell. Convinced of Dan's innocence, Charlotte must fight for him - even if it means destroying her perfect life. But what Keisha knows threatens everyone she loves, and puts her own life in danger.

DC Matthew Hegarty is riding high on the success of Dan's arrest. But he's finding it difficult to ignore his growing doubts as well as the beautiful and vulnerable Charlotte. Can he really risk it all for what's right?

Three stories. One truth. They all need to brace themselves for the fall.

My Review

You live in a huge house, wear all designer clothes/jewelery, and you and your husband have high flying jobs - everything is perfect. Until one night everything changes, you have memory loss and your husband to be is arrested for murder. He remembers punching the guy and being angry but everything else is a blank and now Dan is arrested and awaiting trial and the story follows Charlotte, Keisha (a stranger who Charlotte needs in more ways than one) and DC Matthew Hegarty.

I liked some aspects of this book and others got under my skin. For example Charlotte's guy possibly being innocent and not knowing as they both have memory loss was good and hooked you in. Keisha was really irritating and hard to like, she is foul mouthed and stayed with a violent moron to the detriment of her child and relationship with the child (although this also shows a good sharp dose of realism as this happens often in real life). Charlotte is also irritating as she seems to display contradicting behaviors throughout the book. There is a lot of bad language throughout although this adds to the contrast between classy working upper class Charlotte and struggling lower class Keisha. I would have liked to have read more on Dans company and the issues behind what they did and also the issue Charlotte had with her boss earlier in her career but this wasn't covered in great detail.

There is a lot or moral issues going on in this story and I think some people may enjoy it on that level. I don't know if my lack of enjoyment stems from having to dip in and out of this over a 10 day period but I did like some aspects of it therefore I am giving it an on the fence 3/5.

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Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Septembers Competition Winners is.....

Cathy Grouchey - The winner has been notified. Thanks so much to everyone who took part. Apologies for the delay in picking a winner but as mentioned in a previous post I am not able to get on as much as before due to new commitments but as soon as I got a chance I sorted it. I will do the same for Octobers pre-loved giveaway or competition, whichever I manage to get time for.



The winner was picked by the method I always use for competitions but it has been a while since I explained so for the new visitors here it is. I used to use a hat and write all the names in but when you get over 200 entries (that was for the Mark Billingham book), I changed it. Now I have numbers written and I use a wee box I got at Christmas from my Secret Santa on Risi. (picture added below and the lucky number this time was 12).

Monday, 1 October 2012

Review - Still Missing by Chevy Stevens

Still MissingStill Missing by Chevy Stevens
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time Taken To Read - 3 days

Blurb From Amazon

On the day she was abducted, Annie O’Sullivan, a 32-year-old realtor, had three goals—sell a house, forget about a recent argument with her mother, and be on time for dinner with her ever-patient boyfriend. The open house is slow, but when her last visitor pulls up in a van as she's about to leave, Annie thinks it just might be her lucky day after all.

Interwoven with the story of the year Annie spent as the captive of a psychopath in a remote mountain cabin, which unfolds through sessions with her psychiatrist, is a second narrative recounting events following her escape—her struggle to piece her shattered life back together and the ongoing police investigation into the identity of her captor.

My Review

Annie Sullivan is your ordinary working girl, family arguments, a job she loves and a nice boyfriend. Thinking she is just about to sell another house and celebrate with her boyfriend, fate plays a terrifying card and everything Annie knew is now gone. Kidnapped, alone, scared and everything is about to get a whole lot worse - Annie is trapped with nowhere to run and no answers as to why she is suddenly in Hell on earth.

I loved the first 3 quarters of this book, and I mean loved - I was totally hooked! The book is written in sessions (like a diary form) to her "shrink", going from before the kidnap, to present day, to just after the kidnap. The story is written so well it grips you from the start and you hold your breath and even forget to breath out during some of it as you get so drawn in.

However in the last quarter things that happen just were a little to unrealistic (coming from a zombie/horror lover I realize how contradictory this sounds) but it did ruin it for me a fair bit. Also the conclusion and wrap up, I had some issues swallowing that too - it still makes for a good read and worth picking up, I am sure some people will love it but for me I was a tad disappointed considering how fantastic it started out. The author catches the psychological side of it perfectly and when I couldn't continue reading (life getting in the way), I did find myself thinking what is going to happen next. I would definitely read this author again and for a first book she has done a great job, I just wish the last part had stayed as good as the first 3 quarters, 3/5 for me.

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Saturday, 29 September 2012

Review - Flesh Eaters (Dead World #3) by Joe McKinney

Flesh Eaters (Dead World, #3)Flesh Eaters by Joe McKinney
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time Taken To Read - 5 days (due to commitments not an issue with the story)

Blurb From Goodreads

Battered by three devastating hurricanes in a row, the Texas coast is flattened. But for the people of Houston--and soon all of America--the most terrifying events are just beginning. . .

They Rise. . .

Out of the flooded streets of Houston, they emerge from plague-ridden waters. Dead. Rotting. Hungry. And as human survivors scramble to their rooftops for safety, the zombie hordes circle like sharks. The ultimate killing machines.

They Feed. . .

Houston is quarantined to halt the spread of the zombie plague. Anyone trying to escape is shot on sight--living and dead. Emergency Ops sergeant Eleanor Norton has her work cut out for her. Salvaging boats and gathering explosives, Eleanor and her team struggle to maintain order. But when civilization finally breaks down, the feeding frenzy begins.

They Multiply. . .

Biting, gnawing, feasting--but always craving more--the flesheaters increase their ranks every hour. With doomsday looming, Eleanor must focus on the people she loves--her husband and daughter--and a band of other survivors adrift in zombie-infested waters. If she can't bring them into the quarantine zone, they're all dead meat.


My Review

Houston is hit with hurricanes and storms, houses and towns are destroyed and it is about to get a whole lot worse. A virus has broken out turning people into flesh eating maniacs or better known as zombies. Eleanor is our main character, Emergency Ops Sergeant, mum, wife and a force to be reckoned with. She tries to do her job and keep her family safe amid the caos and mounting number of undead.

Whilst I liked this story I have a few issues, the zombies don't really appear until about 100 pages in (hints of them before this but it's about 100 before it kicks off). The run up to this is really interesting though as it shows you how it goes from a healthy functioning town to utter ruin from the storms.

The characters go from being likable, moral, strong to a complete turn about to the point your questioning are these the same characters? Did I miss something? The story also is a lot about the characters personalities, they think back to past times and then come back to the present. There is enough zombie action to keep you happy but it for me was a mixed bag. I would like to read more about the aftermath and would read this author again, 3/5 for me this time.

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Sunday, 23 September 2012

Review - The Life by Martina Cole

The LifeThe Life by Martina Cole
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time Taken To Read - 3.5 days

Blurb From Goodreads

The Bailey brothers are gangsters determined to make their mark in the world. Peter and Daniel are chalk and cheese in many ways - Peter's calm exterior belies his ruthless nature, while Daniel's penchant for spectacular violence is legendary - but together they are unstoppable. From the late seventies they rule London's East End and, when their sons join the business, it seems that no one can touch the powerful Baileys. Although it's never easy at the top; there is always someone waiting to take you down - sometimes even those closest to you... Lena Bailey is determined to shield her youngest child Tania from the Life. But when a terrible tragedy occurs, Tania's eyes are opened to their world in a way that forces her to make an irrevocable choice that will determine her future.

My Review

This is Martina's new novel and introducing a new family, the Baileys. Peter and Daniel and brothers, a tough upbringing with their mother being shunned as a single parent from a Catholic family. The story starts in 1997 briefly then revisits the 70s to build up a picture of the family and what happens to lead to the events in the 90s.

The characters are strong and stay with you, Daniel is a nutcase pure and simple. He acts first and thinks later (and even then is still convinced he was right on some level), Peter is the polar opposite - everything is thought through first and actions are always fair although can be just as brutal as Daniel. The story covers their rise to being the top family and the loses they suffer as a consequence. Despite some of the brutality and how they make their money, this book has a strong moral code of loyalty and how strong family bonds and honor can be.

There is pretty much non stop action from the very start, as with all her books there is bad language, violence, a little bit of sex and lots of suprises and skulduggery. If you like her books so far you won't be disappointed.

Had work not got in the way I could easily have read this in one sitting (all 500 pages of it). Martina is currently doing a book tour with this so check Waterstones website to see if she is visiting your town. She is a very interesting lady and I could have listened to her all night.

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