Monday, 30 April 2012

Review - Let The Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist

Let the Right One InLet the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time Taken To Read - 3 days

Blurb From Goodreads

Let the Right One In Takes Top Honors at Tribeca Film Festival!

It is autumn 1981 when the inconceivable comes to Blackeberg, a suburb in Sweden. The body of a teenage boy is found, emptied of blood, the murder rumored to be part of a ritual killing. Twelve-year-old Oskar is personally hoping that revenge has come at long last---revenge for the bullying he endures at school, day after day.

But the murder is not the most important thing on his mind. A new girl has moved in next door---a girl who has never seen a Rubik’s Cube before, but who can solve it at once. There is something wrong with her, though, something odd. And she only comes out at night. . . .

Sweeping top honors at film festivals all over the globe, director Tomas Alfredsson’s film of Let the Right One In has received the same kind of spectacular raves that have been lavished on the book. American readers of vampire fiction will be thrilled!

My Review

This book is a bizarre wee read. A teenage boy is found killed, upside down and drained of blood with the authorities speculating the murder is ritualistic. Oskar is our main character and hoping it is revenge for the bullying he has suffered for as long as he can remember.

There is so many parts to this book, the bullying, the budding friendship between Oskar and Eli (the new kid who only comes out at night and is weird in many aspects). The victims and the one who survives and the impact it has upon them and their close (est) friends and what follows from there.

It is hard to do a full review without giving away spoilers. Some of it makes for uncomfortable reading, Eli's "carer" has an unnatural obsession for children and some scenes are quite descriptive and stomach turning. I loved reading about how Eli came to be where and how she is, I would have liked to have known more about their time before she came to live in Oskar's estate and a few other questions answered but overall it was a good read so 3/5 for me. (I need to go find a spoiler discussion now to go over some of the finer details I like and disliked!).



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Wednesday, 25 April 2012

ARC - Apocalypse Cow by Michael Logan

Apocalypse CowApocalypse Cow by Michael Logan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time Taken To Read - 2.5 days

Blurb From Goodreads

'Apocalypse Cow made me snort with laughter' - Terry Pratchett.

Forget the cud. They want blood. An outrageous an anarchic comic take on the zombie apocalypse - and joint winner of the first Terry Pratchett ‘Anywhere But Here, Anywhen But Now’ prize.

It began with a cow that just wouldn’t die. It would become an epidemic that transformed Britain’s livestock into sneezing, slavering, flesh-craving four-legged zombies.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, the fate of the nation seems to rest on the shoulders of three unlikely heroes: an abattoir worker whose love life is non-existent thanks to the stench of death that clings to him, a teenage vegan with eczema and a weird crush on his maths teacher, and an inept journalist who wouldn’t recognise a scoop if she tripped over one.

As the nation descends into chaos, can they pool their resources, unlock a cure, and save the world?

Three losers. Overwhelming odds. One outcome . . .

Yup, we’re screwed.

My Review

I love zombies books (as you may have noticed), so when I heard about this one I thought I just had to give it a read. Geldof is a 15 year old Vegan boy, embarrassed by his hippy parents. If they aren't screaming at the neighbors for their murder and consumption of flesh(animals of course), forcing him to be a Vegan and wearing God awful natural fiber clothes his mum is bartering for food in the shop with vegetables. What follows is an unlikely team against the zombie animals. Something goes wrong at the abattoir, a weird plague amongst the cows gets out and spreads among domestic animals and soon everyone in Glasgow (and Britain) is at risk of being humped, mauled and or eaten.

This book is hilarious, disgusting and so UN PC - it has everything rolled into one story. The nerdy boy with the crush on the teacher, the hippy parents, the teenage bullies that need to be addressed or obeyed and of course the threat of being killed by rabid flesh eating animals from cows to rats.

Some of the brutality to the animals is a bit uncomfortable reading (in any kind of context) but taking the book as it is with silliness you can get through it, after all it the small matter of survival. This is my first encounter with this author and I would read him again, I also secretly (not so secret now) hope there is a follow up to this book. Will Geldof survive? Does he get the woman of his dreams and be the hero at the end? Well you have to read it and find out for yourselves folks. Thanks to Transworld publishers for giving me the chance to review this and introducing me to a new author, 4/5 for me this time. *Available to buy from Amazon.co.uk & other good retailers in May 2012.

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Tuesday, 24 April 2012

WBN Giveaway - Winners are.......

Geoff Leone (no website given) and Rochelle Benson (no website given).
Both winners have been notified and if the prizes aren't claimed I will pick new winners. Thank you to everyone who took part and I hope you had a nice World Book Night, if you did anything for it please feel free to share it with us.
Apologies this is later in the day going up but blogger has had a makeover and I am trying to get to grips with the format and layout changes ( I do loathe change!).

Monday, 23 April 2012

My First ever World Book Night (2012)

Well as you will have seen from my previous posts I got my books and was delighted (and a bit nervous) to be taking part for the first time in the World Book Night. My books were Let The Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist.


My first book I gave to my friend who pretty much never ever reads and I was surprised how easily he agreed to give it a go. He says he will read it whilst traveling to England and I believe he is going to give it a bash. This is him below with his book (I had to get a picture to prove it actually happened!).


I then went into town with as many as I could carry (as I signed up saying I would take them into work and put one or two as a giveaway on here), and of course I had a few wary people say no thanks. To be fair how often do you get something for free with no conditions or payment attached so I understand people being wary. Anyway I passed them out to strangers and people where very grateful but it was a lovely wee old lady who made my day for me. At first she thought I was trying to sell her the book (she was hard of hearing) and when I explained it was free her voice quivered and she looked like she was going to cry and said she it had been a long time since anybody had given her anything that was free <3 - such a lovely wee lady. She then asked what it was about and I admitted I hadn't yet read it but it had a vampire in it to which she chuckled and said she hadn't had one of them before, thanked me and went on her way. Then if that wasn't enough I ran into another giver, I couldn't believe it I didn't expect to find anyone doing it in Glasgow or run into them as when I searched I couldn't find any events listed in Glasgow. Anyway I met the lovely Nicola B who was giving away a Roahl Dahl's Someone Like You. You can find Nicola on Twitter @robotnic and check out her lovely website http://www.unculturedcritic.com/

Would I do it again next year? In a heartbeat and I would take most if not all of my books into town and give them out there. Such a great way to introduce people to books or a new author and teach them about World Book Night as it is amazing how so many haven't heard about it!

The giveaway for this book ends tonight at midnight and I will pick and announce the winners tomorrow (giving a chance to any last minute late night stragglers).

Review - Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3)Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Time Taken To Read - 1 day

Blurb From Goodreads

My name is Katniss Everdeen. Why am I not dead? I should be dead.

Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. Gale has escaped. Katniss's family is safe. Peeta has been captured by the Capitol. District 13 really does exist. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding.

It is by design that Katniss was rescued from the arena in the cruel and haunting Quarter Quell, and it is by design that she has long been part of the revolution without knowing it. District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overthrow the Capitol. Everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plains--except Katniss.

The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss's willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem. To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust. She must become the rebels' Mockingjay--no matter what the personal cost.

My Review

Katniss has survived even if her home, District 12 hasn't. We follow the story of her trying to come to terms with what has happened and the information that follows of the uprising and the part she and everyone else has played/to play.

As much as I enjoyed this book I feel it didn't have quite the same impact as the others. Sure you get your answers to most of your questions and there is still enough blood and murder to keep the gore fans happy but instead of flying through it like I had with the previous two I found myself having to work at it. I wasn't happy about what happens with and to some of the characters although it is still written well enough to keep you reading.

I think part of the problem for me as well is the first two are so packed and crammed and a lot of it is new whereas by the time your at the third one you expect a lot of what is going to happen and are very familiar with the story. Also Katniss changes(as does a few of the characters personalities), from being an unbeatable character who nothing seems to penetrate to being fairly vulnerable in this book (I think this went down well with a lot of fans but irked me!). Still enjoyable and a great wee trilogy series, 3/5 for me this time.







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World Book Night 2012 - Book Giveaway

So I am giving mine away as I listed but I have one or two copies specifically earmarked for here. If you would like to win a copy just leave a comment below and send me a way to contact you (so you aren't getting spammed by putting your email here) - if you have a website you can leave that link if you want. (click the link below to send your email/contact details). Good luck and thanks for taking part!

Form to leave contact details Click here to contact me via my email link

My book is Let The Right One in by John Ajvide Lindqvist

Synopsis
It is autumn 1981 when the inconceivable comes to Blackeberg, a suburb in Sweden. The body of a teenage boy is found, emptied of blood, the murder rumored to be part of a ritual killing. Twelve-year-old Oskar is personally hoping that revenge has come at long last---revenge for the bullying he endures at school, day after day.

But the murder is not the most important thing on his mind. A new girl has moved in next door---a girl who has never seen a Rubik’s Cube before, but who can solve it at once. There is something wrong with her, though, something odd. And she only comes out at night. . . .

Sweeping top honors at film festivals all over the globe, director Tomas Alfredsson’s film of Let the Right One In has received the same kind of spectacular raves that have been lavished on the book

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Review - Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2)Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Time Taken To Read - 1 day

Blurb From Goodreads

Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Suzanne Collins continues the amazing story of Katniss Everdeen in Catching Fire, the second novel of the phenomenal Hunger Games trilogy.

My Review

Katniss and Peter are still trying to adjust after winning the hunger games, living in their new houses with all the luxury's they could only dream of before the hunger games. But if they think their safety and horror is over (for them and their families) they couldn't be more wrong. The Capitol have not forgotten or forgiven showing them up and disobeying them in the arena and payback is coming!

I have heard a few people say they knew exactly what would happen in this book, well I didn't and was jaw dropingly stunned when it becomes clear what the Capitol have planned. Without spoiling it for anyone (I do hate spoiler reviews!) they find themselves and their families in grave danger unless they perform accordingly for the Capitol but sometimes you just can't pull off miracle after miracle.

The Peeta, Katniss, Gale triangle still features but the focus is on survival and the aftermath of the first games. I found it a wee bit slow going to start but once your on the homeward run (about a quarter way to the end) it is just action packed, death, destruction and survival. A great follow up to the first book and I would advise getting the third before reading or finishing this one as it leaves you with one of the best cliff hangers I have read in a while, 4/5 for me and just going to start number 3.







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Saturday, 21 April 2012

World Book Night 2012 - Are you participating?

Well this is my first year. I have picked up my books and tonight I am labeling them all for Monday. I had said I will be giving them away to randoms, at work and maybe one or two via my website. My books are John Ajvide Lindqvist's Let The Right One In.


I am really looking forward to this and having a chance to introduce people to reading and a new author/genre. I haven't read the book yet myself (I will) but have seen the movie and with all the vampire hype I am sure this will entice one or more people to pick up a book when normally it would be tv all the way.

Technically as it isn't until Monday I still have all my books but 2 are spoken for and one of which is to someone who never reads but is going to give it a go (the books are fairly thick so I am delighted.)

Are you taking part? If so what are you doing and what is your book?

Happy book night when it comes and I hope you all have a blast

Review - Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Me Before YouMe Before You by Jojo Moyes

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Time Taken To Read - 1 day

Blurb From Goodreads

Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time.

My Review

Oh. My. God! I loved this book (she says recovering from a whole host of emotions!)

Louise (Lou) Clark has lost her job, her options of a new one at the job center are rubbish until one comes in to be a private carer. Going in with no experience and the idea of looking after an old man she sykes herself up and finds it is nothing like she expects. Will is a grumpy, cheeky, angry, young man who isn't interested in a whole lot since his accident leaving him a quadriplegic. Lou and Will have to find a way of working together and soon changing each others lives as they know it.

This book had me hooked from the first handful of pages. The banter and attitude between these two is brilliant. Lou is basically a misfit, take me as you find me kind of girl, Will was a high powered business man with a lust for life and everything physical. Two years since his accident and he is still in a world of anger, hurt, annoyance and pain (not to mention the health issues). You couldn't pick two more different people to be thrust upon each other and watching their relationship and how they respond with each other was captivating.

The writing is so smooth and powerful you can see the characters coming to life and pulling reactions that I can honestly say I haven't experience many times (if ever before) and I have been devouring books for years. I think this book struck so much emotion with me as I could relate to each of the characters and where they were coming from but mostly it is just a fantastically written book. My first encounter with this author and I will definitely be reading her again, 5/5 for me!







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Thursday, 19 April 2012

ARR - Ugly Beautiful by Seanpaul Thomas Cairns

UGLY beautifulUGLY beautiful by Seanpaul Thomas Cairns

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Time Taken To Read - 3 hours

Blurb From Amazon

Jason, a tormented soul and small town, womanizing gangster, double crosses his only friend and does a runner with a suitcase full of drug money, disappearing into the heart of the gorgeous Scottish highlands to lay low in a secluded cottage and start a new life.

On his second day of hiding out Jason discovers the mysterious body of a young and hauntingly beautiful woman lying unconscious at the bottom of a nearby hill. The woman though has no memory of who she is or how she even ended up there. So Jason carries the beauty back to his cottage, tenderly nursing her back to health and gradually gaining her trust and friendship by confessing his own past crimes, misdemeanors and infidelities, while also coaxing the woman to unravel her own forgotten past and tormenting mad visions... But doing so without the hindsight of the chilling, terrifying and sickening horrors which are about to be unleashed.


'Strong language and graphic scenes of violence in parts.'

My Review

First thing I have to say this novel starts with some pretty bad language and the theme stays for most of the book (I felt this was overdone and didn't really add to the story to be honest). Jason is a thug, a small time gangster who basically screws over his partners and does a runner with the money. Whilst hiding out he finds what he thinks is a dead body only to discover a beautiful woman who has no memory of who she is or what has happened. what follows is a journey of self discovery for Jason and an abundance of horror you couldn't imagine.

The book goes along at an ok pace but your sitting not sure of which direction it is going to go or if your going to like it. The skin crawling, stomach turning side of the book comes out well over the half way mark and if you liked movies like the hills have eyes, hostel etc you will love what follows.

I did like that your not left hanging and most of everything is explained for you. I didn't like the overuse of bag language which doesn't normally bother me but in some parts it just felt overdone and not required. The writing itself is easy reading and the story whilst it has undertones of something else going on isn't hard to follow which is always a bonus. Overall it had it's moments but if you like gore and graphic scenes this is the book for you and at only £0.99 on amazon.co.uk (kindle) it is definitely worth a read, 3/5 for me.

Thanks so much to the author for introducing me to his work and giving me the opportunity to review this book. I would be tempted to read something by him again.







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Review - Decorated To Death by Dean James

Decorated To DeathDecorated To Death by Dean James

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Time Taken To Read - 1 day

Blurb From Goodreads

Hardly one to become star-struck, Simon nevertheless deigns to attend a tea at Blitherington Hall in honor of celebrity interior designer Zeke Harwood, star of the popular television show, "Tres Zeke." The self-acclaimed King of Home Decorating makes it immediately obvious that he's there to give the drawing room a makeover--not make friends. So, it's little shock to Simon when the drama-queen decorator meets his demise; he's only surprised it hasn't happened sooner. Now, in a locked-room puzzle worthy of Agatha Christie, Simon must peel away layers of lies to reveal who killed the decorator in the drawing room with a blunt instrument.

My Review

Simon's village is about to be shaken up by the visit of a tv "celebrity" interior designer. Zeke is aggressive, self obsessed, has an over inflated sense of self worth and everyone is below him. He comes to Snupperton Mumsley to makeover one of the residents home and starts ruffling feathers and making some enemies. Before long our "Tres Zeke" is found dead and Simon soon gets in the thick of it to find out who amongst them is the killer.

As always the book is a great light hearted, silly adventure and gossip fest. The continuing flirting between Simon and Giles steps up a notch as more pretty people come into their life and their try to figure out who done it.

These books always remind me of murder she wrote although instead of a little old lady as the investigator we have a well bred, camp intelligent man who happens to be gay and a vampire. The book is filled with humor, flirting and has a few wee twists. This is an easy fun read and also part of a series but you could easily get away with picking this up and reading as a stand alone, 3/5 for me this time.






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Wednesday, 18 April 2012

ARR - What Were Once Miracles Are Now Children's Toys by Ira Nayman

What Were Once Miracles Are Now Children's ToysWhat Were Once Miracles Are Now Children's Toys by Ira Nayman

My rating: 1 of 5 stars


Time Taken To Read - Around a month, dipping in and out of it

Blurb From Goodreads

Without fear, favour or the faintest connection to a universe that makes sense, Alternate Reality News Service reporters strive to bring you the most interesting, informative or least expensive news from the multiverse. This new collection of science fiction journalism includes news articles about: -a world in which the best way to cure cancer may be to negotiate with individual diseased cells; -a project to collect, rebuild and reanimate the atoms that made up Albert Einstein's body (so far, they have most of his ankle ); -China avoiding a war with the United States (without firing a shot) by repossessing the American military in payment of the country's debt; -a woman suing General Motors for palimony, claiming that the corporation, legally a person, was the father of her child. This volume also contains a seven-part behind-the-scenes look at the Alternate Reality News Service called "The Weight of Information." What Were Once Miracles Are Now Children's Toys: because, now, more than ever, if you don't like this reality, choose another one Praise for the previous Alternate Reality News Service book, Alternate Reality Ain't What It Used To Be "T]his is a great little volume to leave lying in the bathroom. Or on the coffee table. Anywhere people might pick it up to leaf through. And if you do, you won't be able to stop at just one entry." - Charles de Lint, Books To Look For, Fantasy and Science Fiction "Thanks for the terrific book I love it." - Andrei Codrescu, author of The Posthuman Dada Guide: Tzara and Lenin Play Chess Ira Nayman has written radio plays, film and television scripts, produced a short film and is the creator of the offbeat humor website Les Pages aux Folles. Mr. Nayman received his M.A. in Media Studies from the New School for Social Research and his Ph.D. in Communications from McGill University. He grew up in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. When he is not being funny all over the place, Mr. Nayman teaches New Media at Ryerson University. Publisher's website: http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/WhatWereOnceMiraclesAreNowChild...


My Review

I have been on this book for the best part of a month, dipping in and out of it as I couldn't read it continuously. The book consists of one chapter dealing with the head office at the alternate news headquarters and alternates between that and a chapter of random newspaper articles.

Their is no introduction, you are just thrown right into the story(s) - the newspaper articles you don't need to have read any of the others as they are unconnected (from what I remember). The headquarters does have a few characters that you get to know briefly along the way but there is no real story.

It is a tongue in cheek book with silliness pretty much being the theme which will strike a cord with a lot of people but it just wasn't for me. I just couldn't get into it. I like to know how things came to be and what the point to it is - you don't get this with this book. I am sure it will be popular with readers who like randomness and silliness but I personally need some kind of context in my books. Sadly there was nothing I liked about this book at all so can only give it a 1/5 rating. Thanks to the author for giving me the chance to try and review his work.







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DRC - Where The Bodies Are Buried by Chris Brookmyre

Where the Bodies Are Buried. Chris BrookmyreWhere the Bodies Are Buried. Chris Brookmyre by Christopher Brookmyre

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Time taken to read - 2.5 days

Blurb From Goodreads

Detective Catherine McLeod was always taught that in Glasgow, they don't do whodunit. They do score-settling. They do vendettas. They do petty revenge. They do can't-miss-whodunit. It's a lesson that has served her well, but Glasgow is also a dangerous place to make assumptions. Either way she looks at it, she recognises that the discovery of a dead drug-dealer in a back alley is merely a portent of further deaths to come. Elsewhere in the city, aspiring actress Jasmine Sharp is reluctantly - and incompetently - earning a crust working for her uncle Jim's private investigation business. When Jim goes missing, Jasmine has to take on the investigator mantle for real, and her only lead points to Glen Fallan, a gangland enforcer and professional assassin whose reputation is rendered only slightly less terrifying by having been dead for twenty years. Cautiously tracing an accomplished killer's footsteps, Jasmine stumbles into a web of corruption and decades-hidden secrets that could tear apart an entire police force - if she can stay alive long enough to tell the tale.

My Review

To be honest I have struggled between a 2 or a 3 star rating, I decided on a 3 for two reasons. One it is ok for a crime novel and not the worst I have read by any stretch of the imagination and secondly I have loved all his previous books so that has got to count for something, right?

The story is split really in two, with the police investigating (mainly Detective Catherine McLeod and associates) and Jasmin. Jasmine is a want to be actress working for her uncle at his private detective agency since her mum died and in between her few and none call backs. When a local known criminal is found assassinated Detective Catherine is called in, meanwhile Jasmines uncle is investigating something from way back and goes missing. The story goes chapter to chapter switching from each one.

Most notably from the opening of the book it is now Chris Brookmyre not Christopher, a show of out with the old and in with the new. Gone is the hilarious, outrageous, bizarre and captivating characters and story lines. In it's place we have a crime story with very little of the signature Brookmyre we know, now I like crime stories anyway and as far as that goes it was ok. I did find myself slogging through it and bored at times although the last quarter did pick up and save it from a definite two star review. I can't say I liked any of the characters much, Jasmine was very weak and out of place - detective Catherine had a few moments of potential for liking but really none of them had a patch on Jack Parlabane who you couldn't help but love (or hate) - I didn't feel any draw towards these characters. However that said it is the first in the series and it did give a good introduction to the characters that will no doubt be in the next installment which I will be getting. I just hope we see Brookmyre in it and not this new echoing of Rankin as I always loved his unique style and not sure I would be as loyal to this new style. A respectable 3/5 for me and hopeful for the next one.

Thanks to NetGalley and Grove/Atlantic Inc for providing me with a copy of this to review.







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Monday, 16 April 2012

Winner of the Author ebook competition is............

Brenda Vidler (no website given) - the winner has been notified and the author will be sending the ebook shortly. Thank you to everyone who took part. Please note April's pre-loved giveaway is running until the end of the month so if you haven't entered already there is still time (it is a print book).

Competition below

http://www.alwaysreading.net/2012/04/aprils-pre-loved-giveaway-is-whistle.html

ARC - Lethal by Sandra Brown

LethalLethal by Sandra Brown

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Time Taken To Read - 1 day

Blurb From Goodreads

When her four year old daughter informs her a sick man is in their yard, Honor Gillette rushes out to help him. But that "sick" man turns out to be Lee Coburn, the man accused of murdering seven people the night before. Dangerous, desperate, and armed, he promises Honor that she and her daughter won't be hurt as long as she does everything he asks. She has no choice but to accept him at his word.

But Honor soon discovers that even those close to her can't be trusted. Coburn claims that her beloved late husband possessed something extremely valuable that places Honor and her daughter in grave danger. Coburn is there to retrieve it -- at any cost. From FBI offices in Washington, D.C., to a rundown shrimp boat in coastal Louisiana, Coburn and Honor run for their lives from the very people sworn to protect them, and unravel a web of corruption and depravity that threatens not only them, but the fabric of our society.

My Review

Well this book kicks off really fast. A few pages in and the action starts, Emily spots a sick man in her garden and tells her mum, Honor rushes out to aid him and there stops the world as she knows it. What follows is a whirlwind of murder, suspicion, lies, deceit, this book has it all. Coburn, Honour and Emily go on "an adventure" to find out the truth and stay alive.

I really liked this story, you are drawn in from the beginning and immediately get hooked into the story (well I did). I worked out fairly quickly who I thought the bad guy was however was still like OMG when it was revealed. I don't normally like young children in these kind of books but Emily worked so well and added a lot to the story and characters despite not being a huge character.

I liked more about the book than I didn't however apart from the bad guy and my feelings on that (I won't go into it as it would spoil the story for you but after you read it you will know what I mean), I had issue with the ending. I did like it and the author has done her job in that she has definitely left me wanting more but I would have just liked a bit more, just a wee bit more.

I hadn't read Sandra Brown in a few years and this has re sparked my interest so will bump her other book(s) up my tbr. Action packed and has ticked a box from every criteria so 4/5 for me. This book is out to buy from the 26th April 2012, publisher Hodder and available for £6.99.

Thank you so much to Hodder and Emma Knight for giving me the chance to read and review this and reintroducing me to Sandra Brown.









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Sunday, 15 April 2012

Review - Haunted Love by Cynthia Leitich Smith (ebook)

Haunted LoveHaunted Love by Cynthia Leitich Smith

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


Time taken to read - 1 hour

Blurb from goodreads

Spirit, Texas, is a town of secrets, and as the new owner of the local haunted movie theater, Cody Stryker is juggling more than his fair share. When a mysterious new girl comes to town and runs afoul of the ghost that lives in his theater, Cody's caught in the middle and needs to figure out exactly who he can trust. HAUNTED LOVE is a short story by New York Times Bestseller Cynthia Leitich Smith -- set in the same dark universe as her novels TANTALIZE, ETERNAL, and BLESSED. This story includes a sneak preview of Cynthia Leitich Smith's latest novel, DIABOLICAL, which unites characters from the previous three novels in the Tantalize Series along with a fascinating cast of all-new characters for a suspenseful, action-packed clash between the forces of heaven and hell

My Review

This book is so short I could have read it in 10 minutes (I started it when out hence taking the hour). We have a vampire, a ghost and "normal" people who flit in and out of the story. Cody has bought the "haunted" local movie theater and a new girl offers to help get it running and sorted. Soon it seems maybe there is something to the "haunted" rumors and Cody has to keep the new girl safe from both himself and the ghost.

To be honest it is hard to write a lot about it as it is so short that just about anything would give the story away. The thing I liked was it gave you a different spin of how the vampire came to be, however there is a lot unanswered or that could have been elaborated on. I would love to have read this as a novella or even a full novel as it has so much potential but you need a lot of background of pretty much all of the characters. I did like it but felt it was just getting started when it ended and it rushed along at breakneck speed at the end so 2/5 for me. However this book is free on amazon and some people love tiny stories like this so give it a try.






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Author giveaway While I'm still Myself by Jeremy Lane (ebook)

For 24 hours only

To win please fill out the form below and for an additional entry just leave a comment on this post. Feel free to share and spread the word, 24 hours only.

Click here to contact me via my email link


My thoughts on it http://www.alwaysreading.net/2011/11/review-while-im-still-me-by-jeremy-mark.html

Authors website http://jeremymarklane.com/while-im-still-myself/

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Review - The Facebook Killer (pt.1) by M L Stewart

The Facebook Killer: Part OneThe Facebook Killer: Part One by M.L. Stewart

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Time Taken To Read - 3 days (although started 11 ago)

Blurb From Goodreads

Dermott Madison has lost everything. His wife, his daughter and his cherished home. One man is responsible; Abdul Hamid. When his Old Bailey trial collapses, Madison takes matters into his own hands.
His manner of revenge comes to him in a dream; but how can you track down someone's nearest and dearest? Friends & Family? You log in, look closely and let the revenge begin.
Madison takes you on his journey from being a middle-class banker to a serial killer, through his own eyes. You will feel his emotions, the hatred and rage, pain and guilt. But at the end of the day. You will still be haunted by the question. Would I have done the same?

My Review

Take a man who loses his wife, daughter and identity when a criminal rips his life apart. This is what happens to Dermott Madison who takes matters into his own hands. Using the social network Facebook Dermot begins to pick off people and become quite an elusive serial killer to pay back the people responsible (in his eyes) for his loss.

Well I started this on and off on my phone but a quarter of the way through I read it on my kindle as it got quite interesting. It is pretty far fetched in some parts but still an engaging story. Some of it is rather brutal and may be too much for some readers but for those who like their murders grisly this book is for you.

I think the fact it ends on a cliff hanger and is really only part of a story seems to have annoyed some people but I think for £0.77 (and the same for part two) it isn't that big a deal. If you get by the improbability of the stalking process it is actually really well done showing how one person can spiral so quickly and violently through grief and you get to watch as his reality alters and 1 becomes 3 (I can't explain that without spoiling some of the story, sorry).

This was my first encounter with this author and I got the story when it was free, I am intrigued to see what happens next so may well buy the next one, watch this space. A respectable 3/5 for me this time.







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Friday, 13 April 2012

Review - Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult

Lone WolfLone Wolf by Jodi Picoult

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Time Taken To Read - 1.5 days

Blurb From Goodreads

A life hanging in the balance…a family torn apart. The #1 internationally bestselling author Jodi Picoult tells an unforgettable story about family, love, and letting go.

Edward Warren, twenty-four, has been living in Thailand for five years, a prodigal son who left his family after an irreparable fight with his father, Luke. But he gets a frantic phone call: His dad lies comatose, gravely injured in the same accident that has also injured his younger sister Cara.

With her father’s chances for recovery dwindling, Cara wants to wait for a miracle. But Edward wants to terminate life support and donate his father’s organs. Is he motivated by altruism, or revenge? And to what lengths will his sister go to stop him from making an irrevocable decision?

Lone Wolf explores the notion of family, and the love, protection and strength it’s meant to offer. But what if the hope that should sustain it, is the very thing that pulls it apart? Another tour de force from Jodi Picoult, Lone Wolf examines the wild and lonely terrain upon which love battles reason.

My Review

Edward comes home (6 years after he left his family with minimal contact) after hearing of his father and sisters car crash. Dad is in a coma, his sister is recovering and they have to make some difficult decisions, the doctors don't have great news and the decision is whether to end Luke's (the father) life or leave him on life support. Edward wants to pull the plug and Cara wants to give her dad a fighting chance, what would you do?

Luke was an absent father and after taking time away from his family and life as we know it to live wild with wolves he now dedicates his life to taking care of and teaching wolves in captivity. The story flicks between Luke before the crash and his relationship and learning with the wolves and the family present day after the crash and their take on events. We see a family that has been torn apart trying to come to terms with what has happened, what they will do and how they can face the future when they haven't addressed the past.

I really liked this book, it is so very different from anything I have read. For me it split into two, the story of the wolves and how they live and that of a family trying to cope after a tragic event. I think some people may not like the book because of the amount dedicated to the wolves but I loved it and learning about them (I am also going to buy the book written about someone who actually did this) and maybe some of the medical terms but again I liked it. The story stirs up a lot of emotions especially if the reader has been in a position where they have lost someone like this. A great read, something different and as always for me Jodi has written a book that you might find hard to put down, 4/5 for me.







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Wednesday, 11 April 2012

ARC - Fatal Frost by James Henry

Fatal FrostFatal Frost by James Henry

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Time Taken To Read - 2 days

Blurb From Goodreads

Jack Frost returns in this gripping sequel to bestseller First Frost.

May, 1982. Britain celebrates the sinking of the Belgrano, Jimmy Savile has the run of the airwaves and Denton Police Division welcomes its first black policeman, DC Waters -- recently relocated from Bethnal Green. While the force is busy dealing with a spate of local burglaries, the body of fifteen-year-old Samantha Evans is discovered in woodland next to the nearby railway track. Then a fifteen-year-old boy is found dead on Denton's golf course, his organs removed. Detective Sergeant Jack Frost is sent to investigate -- a welcome distraction from troubles at home. And when the murdered boy's sister goes missing, Frost and Waters must work together to find her... before it's too late.

My Review

The book starts with us introduced to a fair few police officers and to be honest for the first few chapters I was just trying to establish who was who. DS Frost is not favored by his superiors, he does things his way and does what he needs to to get the job done (I quite liked him!).

The story kicks off with the body of a teenager being found and the police trying to determine is it murder or suicide? Whilst the investigation kicks off and other petty crimes are being investigated another teenager is found brutally murdered and the heat is on.

To be honest I really wanted to love this book, it is set in the 80s and it was nice reading snippets of the past. However despite 2 bodies in found fairly quickly into the story I didn't find myself riveted or pulled in by the story. The burglary story and the dead teenagers crossed over, you could be reading about one and theres a page break and the story shifts to the other with no obvious reason or connection.

The last quarter of the book did pick up pace and for that it gets its third star but I am used to my thrillers having more thrill. I would give this series another try at a later date if only to find out what happens with the characters so it's a 3/5.

Thanks to Transworld Publishers and Lynsey Dalladay for introducing me to a new author and giving me the opportunity to read this book.

Available on Amazon.co.uk for pre-order and released in early May, priced under £8 for hardback or paperback







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Sunday, 8 April 2012

ARC - I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

I Hunt KillersI Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Time Taken To Read - 2 days

Blurb From Goodreads

What if the world's worst serial killer...was your dad?

Jasper (Jazz) Dent is a likable teenager. A charmer, one might say.

But he's also the son of the world's most infamous serial killer, and for Dear Old Dad, Take Your Son to Work Day was year-round. Jazz has witnessed crime scenes the way cops wish they could--from the criminal's point of view.

And now bodies are piling up in Lobo's Nod.

In an effort to clear his name, Jazz joins the police in a hunt for a new serial killer. But Jazz has a secret--could he be more like his father than anyone knows?

My Review

I am always nervous when I accept a new author to read (new to me) but I am delighted I had the opportunity to try this one.

Imagine your dad is a well known serial killer, world wide! Well that is how it is for Jazz (Jasper) Dent. Jazz is trying to live a normal teenager's life whilst dealing with the aftermath of being raised by a serial killer who taught him the ins and outs of the trade. Jazz's little town has had and barely recovered from it and now someone has been murdered and Jazz knows it is a serial killer. How long before the town thinks it is Jazz and how can he persuade the Chief this is a serial and there will be more murders!

This isn't the best book I have ever read nor amazingly written but it is compelling reading. Jazz battles with all the killer instincts and tweaks his father has molded and brainwashed into him as a young child. He knows killing is wrong and yet his view on people and killers is very different from your average person which is why he knows the town has another serial killer on it's hands. As he starts to investigate, the bodies start to pile up leaving Jazz to question himself and ability to connect and understand the killer.

I think the reason I liked this book so much was because of all the crime/slasher books I have read this gives you the point of view from a could be killer, how he views humans compared to how he should and the inner battle he faces practically everyday. There is some gruesome details with the killings but nothing too over the top and there is a wee twist or two that was done very well. I am glad there is another one to come as I have a few questions I hope will be answered in the next book and hearing more about Jazz's father and childhood. A book that leaves you wanting more is always something in favor for the author and a good compliment to their work so 4/5 for me!

Thanks so much to Transworld publishers especially Lynsey Dalladay for giving me the opportunity to read this and introducing me to a new author.

You can find Barry Lyga here http://barrylyga.com/new/home.html and http://fanboyandgothgirl.com/ and on twitter @barrylyga

This book is a new release (April 12th 2012) and available on amazon.co.uk for pre-order on hardback for £8.44 with free delivery.







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Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Review - I Zombie by Nick Spalding

I, ZombieI, Zombie by Nick Spalding

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Time taken to read - 9 days

Blurb From Goodreads

A story of the thinking dead...

"My name is Jim Monroe, and I am a zombie.
"My natural life on this planet has ceased and I've been re-animated to stalk the world as a pale, hollow imitation of my former self.
"I'm different from my undead brethren though... I'm a zombie with a brain.
"This is the short, shocking story of how I came to be this way."

My Review

Well it really was a short story (took me so long as I only read it on my phone at breaks!). Jim Monroe wakes up dead, takes stock and figures our he is a zombie. What follows is a very short account of what he does next, what he thinks and experiences.

It is what it is, free, short and a different spin on the zombie tale. I think it had so much potential to be so much more however as I said it is so short in length you only get a wee taster if you like. However if you like your zombies there is no harm in checking it out. Get it for free on amazon - it's worth checking out but nothing to write home about. I would love to see this as a novella and more done with Jim, 3/5 this time.








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Review - The End Of My World by Emma Jackson

The End of My World: The Shocking True Story of a Young Girl Forced to Become a Sex SlaveThe End of My World: The Shocking True Story of a Young Girl Forced to Become a Sex Slave by Emma Jackson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Time Taken To Read - 1 day

Blurb from goodreads

In this harrowing memoir, Emma, at 13-years-old, was pimped by her older boyfriend into servicing other men. Young and na├»ve, she didn’t know how far this was from normal. Eventually she found a way out. Emma is writing this book to give hope to other girls in this situation.

My Review

Emma is just your typical 13 year old, going through the motions from a straight A student to dropping grades, going from sweet to aggressive and angry - just the normal for a teenager right, wrong. Emma has been duped into one of the most terrifying situations you could imagine as an adult let alone a child.

I have read a few books like this and I think for me this one got more under the skin than the others. Why? Well like the others it does have some graphic and horrific scenes however I have read much worse. I think the reason is how they manage to dupe her and then trap her into a world or abuse, fear and torture.

The story is quite slow going as just under the first half we are learning all about Emma, growing up, school, routine and what life is like but it works so well as rather than giving you a host of vile abuse you get to know her as an innocent and see how they took advantage of her in slow and devious steps and this is what shocked me. Even the most streetwise kids could have fallen for this which makes it all the more terrifying. The language is written how she speaks "me mam says" (instead of my mum says) which may affect the way you read the book but it is a minor distraction. I think she has done really well to face the situation and tell the world what happened to her considering the "justice" she got, a book that will stay with me so 4/5 for me this time.







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Tuesday, 3 April 2012

A.R.C - The Boy Who Fell To Earth by Kathy Lette

The Boy Who Fell to EarthThe Boy Who Fell to Earth by Kathy Lette

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Time Taken to read - 1 day

Blurb From Goodreads

Meet Merlin. He's Lucy's bright, beautiful son - who just happens to be autistic.
Since Merlin's father left them in the lurch shortly after his diagnosis, Lucy has made Merlin the centre of her world. Struggling with the joys and tribulations of raising her eccentrically adorable yet challenging child, (if only Merlin came with operating instructions) Lucy doesn't have room for any other man in her life.
By the time Merlin turns ten, Lucy is seriously worried that the Pope might start ringing her up for tips on celibacy, so resolves to dip a poorly pedicured toe back into the world of dating. Thanks to Merlin's candour and quirkiness, things don't go quite to plan...
Then, just when Lucy's resigned to a life of singledom once more, Archie - the most imperfectly perfect man for her and her son - lands on her doorstep. But then, so does Merlin's father, begging for forgiveness and a second chance. Does Lucy need a real father for Merlin - or a real partner for herself?

My Review

Meet Lucy, mum to the wonderful Merlin. Merlin's dad dumped them both after being told Merlin is autistic, what follows is Lucy learning how to raise and understand her child and his need for routines and accommodate them. Over a decade passes and Lucy starts to find some happiness for both her and Merlin when a blast from the past barges into their lives and change life as they know it.

I have ready a couple of Kathy Lette before and whilst her signature is still in there (sex, laughs, naughtiness) - this book is so very different in that it deals with a serious issue. Autism is such a huge subject and yet if you don't have a child with it it is hard to imagine living with it, what a whole day must be like. Whilst the book focuses a lot on Lucy and her dating I found it gave an insightful view into what life can be like for a single mum living with her autistic child. It isn't often I find a book that makes me laugh, gasp, mad and horrified all in one go. There are a lot of one liners in it (maybe a few too many for some people) but from what I remember this is par for the course in her books (it's been a while so I could be wrong, it does happen!).


Overall I enjoyed it - I got through it within a day. As I said it has been a while since I have read Kathy Lette so I think I will maybe reacquaint myself with her work. Thanks to Waterstones for the chance to review this and see an author with her hand at something different, 4/5 for me this time.







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April's Pre-Loved Giveaway is Whistle Blower by Tess Gerritsen

The book has been read a few times so has a heavily creased spine, a few residue marks from the sticker on the front cover and a few light indents.

Blurb From Goodreads

The man emerged from the mist, right in front of Cathy Weaver's car--running from killers who were closing in on him. Victor Holland's story sounded like the ravings of a man on the brink of madness, but his claim to be a fugitive was confirmed by the haunted look in his eyes--and the bullet hole in his shoulder. As each hour brings pursuers ever closer, Cathy has to wonder, is she giving her trust to a man in danger or trusting her life to a dangerous man?

Competition is as always, it will run to the end of the month and then a winner will be picked at random. To enter click on the link below and fill in the short form and for an extra entry just leave a comment on this post.


Click here to fill out the competition form

Monday, 2 April 2012

Review - You're Next by Gregg Hurwitz

You're NextYou're Next by Gregg Hurwitz

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Time taken to read - 4 days



Blurb From Goodreads (such as it is)



I know you don't I? Five words - that's all it takes to plunge Mike Wingate and his family into mortal danger.



'Thriller writing at its best' Tess Gerritsen



My Review



Abandoned by his father at 4 and remembering very little about it Mike is about to get some answers but at what cost. His life and his families lives are being threatened and all Mike knows is it is something to do with his past. Quickly becoming public enemy number one Mike finds himself on the wrong side of the law and slowly running out of places to go and people he can trust.



Although I liked this book, I struggled a bit when I was a quarter of the way in because I wanted answers and although there was a lot of action I was frustrated by the walls he kept hitting.



The action is pretty face paced and there is twists throughout but for me it was the last quarter that made the book for me. It just picked up and I could not put it down so 4/5 for me.






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March's Pre-loved giveaway winner is

Olivia Kirby (no website given), the winner has been notified.

Well done and the book will be posted out to you today. Thank you to everyone who took part, April's pre-loved giveaway will be listed soon.

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