Monday 29 December 2014

Review - Bridget Jones Mad About The Boy by Helen Fielding

Bridget Jones: Mad About the BoyBridget Jones: Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 5 days

Pages - 386

Publisher - Jonathan Cape

Blurb from Goodreads

What do you do when your girlfriend’s sixtieth birthday party is the same day as your boyfriend’s thirtieth?

Is it better to die of Botox or die of loneliness because you’re so wrinkly?

Is it wrong to lie about your age when online dating?

Is it morally wrong to have a blow-dry when one of your children has head lice?

Is it normal to be too vain to put on your reading glasses when checking your toy boy for head lice?

Does the Dalai Lama actually tweet or is it his assistant?

Is it normal to get fewer followers the more you tweet?

Is technology now the fifth element? Or is that wood?

If you put lip plumper on your hands do you get plump hands?

Is sleeping with someone after two dates and six weeks of texting the same as getting married after two meetings and six months of letter writing in Jane Austen’s day?

Pondering these and other modern dilemmas, Bridget Jones stumbles through the challenges of loss, single motherhood, tweeting, texting, technology, and rediscovering her sexuality in—Warning! Bad, outdated phrase approaching!—middle age.

My Review

Oh how I have missed Bridget! I have read the previous two books and watched the movies countless times so I couldn't wait for this book. Sadly I had heard the spoiler, which incase you have not, I will not repeat here. This of course gave me a heads up I may not enjoy the book but I decided to go in with an open attitude approach, since I had left it on the tbr for a long time.

We open in 2013, 18th of April & it is a Thursday. She is true to form sticking to the diary format and upon reading the first page, the reader, isn't disappointed, well I wasn't. Bridget is dating again, only this time she is in her fifty first year and the object of her affection is Roxster, thirty years old, fit, lean, young and utterly attractive. Whilst trying to keep her diary up to date, she is juggling a toyboy, two young children, trying to follow dating rules, not focus on the past, learn twitter & texting etiquette, keep her weight in check and get the kids to school in one piece. The introduction also gives the reader a headsup briefly to Mark Darcy. We then head back, to one year ago and the build up to present day, Bridgets trials and tribulations, done in a humerous or frank entry to her diary.

The first few pages and chapters, it was like sliding into your old favourite slippers. Bridget is humerous, bumbling her way through one mishap after another. Never fitting into that perfect sized dress, focusing on her weght loss and often failing to maintain her weight. However, once I got into it I noticed, quickly, that Bridget had changed to quite a different person. She still has the humour and I don't mean her age rather, just about every thing else. Her circumstances have completely changed she is not focused on her job pursuits in the way she has done previously. Her home and financial situation again has completely changed and I, for one, found that something I could relate to previously.

I think bringing children into the story was a downside, Bridget is still scatty and trying to impress the male species fumbling through dating, with two children it just didn't seem right with the added background. Sorry to be vague but I hate spoiler reviews. Of course parents date but Bridget has quite a unique take and recent sadness that it just didn't fit. There seemed to be two themes for me, the original funny Bridget trying to do all the things, with the addition of mother duties now, and a serious theme that, whilst not the main focus, certainly brings the overall feeling down. Even Daniel Cleaver, who still is a naughty boy in a mans body is still in the story, however even he has some adult catastrophy issues that ruined so much. You can't do heavy themes like that in a comedy, well I don't think you can and I don't think it had its place in Bridget Jones.

I would love to reach out to Fielding and beg her to make this book a Dallas moment, you know when Bobby was magically in the shower as it was all a dream. Make book four about Bridget and Marks wedding and all the silliness that can and does go wrong. The inlaws, cousins from abroad, families meeting and clashing, the dress disasters, I imagine it to be something like bridesmaids but funnier and all about Bridget.

I think the one thing we all loved about Bridget was her likeability, how we could relate to her, imagine ourselves doing all the silliness she does. This book was just so far removed from our original Bridget and her ordinary circumstances it really pulled the book down for me. I thought I would hate the book, I didn't but I disliked it for a lot more reasons than just the change in Bridgets relationship status. 2/5 for me this time, would I read another Bridget Jones diary? If the third one was disgarded as a dream and we go back to Bridget in her 30s, where we left her, then yes I would. Otherwise I think no, it was just too sad in some parts although I did enjoy reading the diary entries and Bridget trying to grasp dating, twitter and other disasters.

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Saturday 27 December 2014

Review - All I Want For Christmas by Amy Silver

All I Want for ChristmasAll I Want for Christmas by Amy Silver
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 6 days

Pages - 325

Blurb from Goodreads

Twelve days and counting...

It's Bea's first Christmas with her baby son, and this year she's determined to do everything right. But there is still so much to do: the Christmas menu needs refining; her café, The Honey Pot, needs decorating; and she's invited the whole neighbourhood to a party on Christmas Day. She really doesn't have time to get involved in two new people's lives, let alone fall in love...

When Olivia gets knocked over in the street, however, Bea can't help bringing her into The Honey Pot and getting to know her. Olivia's life is even more hectic than her own, and with her fiancé's entire family over from Ireland for Christmas, she shouldn't be lingering in the cosy warmth of Bea's café. Chloe, on the other hand, has nowhere else to go. Her affair with a married man has alienated her friends, and left her lonelier than ever.

But Christmas is a magical time, and in the fragrant atmosphere of The Honey Pot, anything can happen: new friends can be made, hearts can heal, and romance can finally blossom...

My Review

It's 11 days until Christmas, we open on Tuesday the 14th of December with Bea. Bea has a wee cafe that is popular, more so in the rush to Christmas, its not decorated and she needs to sort her Christmas menu. She is having a big party on Christmas for the people at a loose end and this year is her first with her wee boy. Bea is coming to terms with everything that has happened, it has been a rough year for her but she is getting on her feet and keeping busy.

Olivia meets Bea after being knocked over outside the shop, Olivia is distracted and distressed. She is recently engaged and has some major reservations, her fiance's family is coming to her for Christmas, she could do with a friend right about now.

Chloe, beautiful, slim, self obsessed and rude meets Bea and Chloe, starting off on the wrong foot. The trio are the main focus for the book, split into small chapters, labeled clearly so you know whose story you are following which is not only nice but makes for easy reading. As the story progresses we peel back some of the layers and get a better understanding of the ladies and where they are in life. There is some personal growth, romance, sadness, friendship, love and family themes to name just a few. It is a nice wee read for Christmas, quick to get through - I had to dip in and out as course work allowed, I could have read it easily in one sitting.

It is my first dance with this author, I would certainly read her again, 3/5 for me this time. Pleasant enough read with enough going on to keep you engaged.

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Wednesday 24 December 2014

Merry Christmas you lovely people!

This is just one of my jumpers that are out for December :) Apologies for the lack of reviews posted and indeed the lack of visiting to your lovely blogs. I have been so caught up in university work that reading, for pleasure, has taken a back seat. Even putting my Christmas decorations up, which are always 12 days before, was late. However, now it is Christmas eve, our decorations are up, most of the presents are wrapped and I have made a small dent in the assignments that are due.

The amazon giveaway still has just under a week left on it so if you haven't already, you can still enter. As long as you have an email address you can enter.

A little heads up on a fabulous wee facebook book club group, with authors and bloggers has been created and I am sharing the owners post for anyone interested. *Reposting for Tracy Fenton* "If any of my facebook friends love reading I set up a new book club on facebook 2 months ago and already we have 850 members. We also have huge big name authors involved in Q&A's including Elizabeth Haynes, Linwood Barclay, David Nicholls, Chris Carter, Mark Billingham, Julia Crouch, Charity Norman, Julie Cohen, Joanna Rees plus loads more." - It is called THE Book Club and is a secret privacy set group, you can find it via Tracy.

Now let me share some of my Christmas pictures with you all. We bought the cat a Christmas jacket, didn't think for one second I would actually get it on her and yet she let me put it on her. She is so very cute in it!

My mother always loved tacky and over the top decorations, as a result I have also embraced this. My house is covered in mismatched tinsel, even the bathroom has not escaped. When I saw this Santa seat, well I couldn't help myself, much to my o/h horror :P

We had a beautiful wee robin come visit us, I put out food so he comes by a fair bit however I can never quite catch a picture of him, I got one this day.

And the big star, is older than me. It is held together by quite a bit of tape, glue and staples. I love that even though my mother is no longer with us, we still have some of her decorations we can put out and she so loved Christmas.

I won't be on tomorrow so would like to wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a very happy new year. Here is to getting lots of wonderful new books, happy times with family and to new friendships. Thank you so much to my blogger friends who have recommended me so many new books, shared their love of reading and to all my followers and visitors who always come back, take part in the giveaways and leave comments.

Wednesday 10 December 2014

Review - The Death of Bees by Lisa O'Donnell

The Death of BeesThe Death of Bees by Lisa O'Donnell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - <3 hours

Publisher - Harper

Pages - 320

Blurb from Goodreads

A riveting, brilliantly written debut novel-a coming-of-age story with the strong voice and powerful resonance of Swamplandia! and The Secret Life of Bees—in which two young sisters attempt to hold the world at bay after the mysterious death of their parents.

Today is Christmas Eve. Today is my birthday. Today I am fifteen. Today I buried my parents in the backyard. Neither of them were beloved.

Marnie and her little sister Nelly are on their own now. Only they know what happened to their parents, Izzy and Gene, and they aren’t telling. While life in Glasgow’s Hazlehurst housing estate isn’t grand, they do have each other. Besides, it’s only one year until Marnie will be considered an adult and can legally take care of them both.

As the new year comes and goes, Lennie, the old man next door, realizes that his young neighbors are alone and need his help. Or does he need theirs? But he’s not the only one who suspects something isn’t right. Soon, the sisters’ friends, their other neighbors, the authorities, and even Gene’s nosy drug dealer begin to ask questions. As one lie leads to another, dark secrets about the girls’ family surface, creating complications that threaten to tear them apart.

My Review

I have had this book on my TBR for ages and picked it up last night as it had Christmas in it, the story was not anything like I was expecting. The blurb packs a punch immediately "
Today is Christmas Eve. Today is my birthday. Today I am fifteen. Today I buried my parents in the backyard. Neither of them were beloved." The story starts in Winter, just before Christmas with Marnie, 15 years old and her younger sister Nelly. The chapters are split and titled by the person who is talking in that chapter which makes for easy reading, despite their being a few voices telling their tale. As well as Marnie & Nelly, Lennie comes into the tale, he is the pervert next door, nosey and always watching, which causes concern for Marnie in case he sees them burying their folks. As the tale progresses we see there is more to Lenny than first suggested and we hear the tale from the perspective of the three main characters.

This is a great read, despite the dark content within it, murder of ones parents, abuse of the children, a pedophile next door, drugs, underage sex and thats just a few of the topics covered. Marnie is trying to cope with keeping up appearances so the authorities don't find out the girls are home alone, food, bills, education, keeping some semblance of a normal life. Nelly is a unique wee character, she is socially awkward, has no filter and sees the world in a unique light which cause Marnie concern and irritation in equal measure.

Lennie is a threat to the girls secret being exposed, between his nosey window watching and his wee dog constantly digging up their garden. However as the story progresses, the girls form a relationship with Lennie and he offers them support in ways they couldn't have imagined.

It is a story that is hard to put into one box, it covers a lot of content, is set in Glasgow so has some fresh language, swearing and behaviours that some people may find uncomfortable or upsetting to read. Whilst there is abuse, it is not heavily centred or described in the book, however it is enough for you to be aware it has taken place.

This is a fantastic, strong, gripping, dark and somewhat humourous in places, debut novel. I had never read this author before, got through this in under 3 hours, in one sitting and would certainly read more by this author! 5/5 for me this time and I would recommend it to anyone to be honest, certainly worth checking out and I will seek out what else is on offer from this author.

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Tuesday 2 December 2014

Decembers Giveaway is an Amazon voucher

The season of jolly is here! I am going to do an Amazon giveaway, a £5 voucher. I may try and add another wee additional themed giveaway in the next week or two.

As always, the competition will run until the end of the month. Entries can be gained by filling out the Rafflecopter, the more options you complete, the more entries you have. Please note, the entries are checked upon drawing a winner, any incomplete will be disqualified and another winner chosen, sadly this has happened a few times. No postal address required but the mandatory box will be for the email, this will be kept confidential and deleted after the competition, so I can send your voucher upon the draw ending.

Good luck everyone and as always, thanks for stopping by. Have a great week!

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Sunday 23 November 2014

Review - The House at Riverton by Kate Morton

The House at RivertonThe House at Riverton by Kate Morton
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - on and off over 7 days

Pages - 599

Publisher - Macmillan Pan Books

Blurb from Goodreads

Summer 1924

On the eve of a glittering society party, by the lake of a grand English country house, a young poet takes his life. The only witnesses, sisters Hannah and Emmeline Hartford, will never speak to each other again.

Winter 1999

Grace Bradley, ninety-eight, one-time housemaid of Riverton Manor, is visited by a young director making a film about the poet's suicide. Ghosts awaken and old memories - long consigned to the dark reaches of Grace's mind - begin to sneak back through the cracks. A shocking secret threatens to emerge, something history has forgotten but Grace never could.

Set as the war-shattered Edwardian summer surrenders to the decadent twenties, The House at Riverton is a thrilling mystery and a compelling love story.

My Review

Grace Bradley is 98 years old, reminiscing on her days as a housemaid, and later as a ladies maid at Riverton Manor. A movie is being made of its history and Grace is being interviewed, this brings back many memories and secrets, some of which the family, and Grace would prefer to stay in the past.

The story goes between the 1920s and present day, set to 1999. The story revolves around Grace going into employment within the Riverton Manor, where her mother worked years previously. There is a blatant theme from the servants that they know something about Grace, and her mother, that she isn't aware of. The story build up is long, drawn out and takes, I felt, forever for anything to actually happen or come to fruition. The last quarter of the book is where it really starts to come together, you get an insight into what has been hinted at throughout the book and some closure with the characters, past and present.

I think it is a nice tale if you like a sedate pace, a long and winding tale with lots of mundane stages that allude to something big coming. It was nicely written and a well received book by many, however, for me I prefer a bit more meat to my read. 2/5 for me this time, I would read this author again however I won't be rushing out to buy up her work.

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Friday 21 November 2014

Review - The Witching Hour by Anne Rice

The Witching HourThe Witching Hour by Anne Rice
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - on and off over 15 days

Pages - 1207

Publisher - Penguin Books

Blurb from Goodreads

Demonstrating once again her gift for spellbinding storytelling, Anne Rice makes real a family of witches-a family given to poetry and incest, to murder and philosophy, a family that is itself haunted by a powerful, dangerous and seductive being."

My Review

Rowan Mayfair was kept from her immediate family from birth, to save her from the family legacy and curse. Events take place that will bring Rowan home,the history of the witches and its ghost are about to come to a head and something new is coming along.

Rowan is a fabulous young doctor, she saves the life of Michael in a chance meeting that will change their lives forever. Michael is suffering from visions and his hands are picking up vibes and readings from anything he touches. He needs to figure out what it all means before going crazy. Rowan is desperate to meet her family, despite making a promise to the woman who raised her that she would never return. Together Rowan and Michael try to unravel the mystery of the Mayfair family and what it means for them and their relationship.

The book covers the past and present, the history of the family ghost and all of the Mayfair witches to date. It gives some insight into Lasher, the family ghost, although not in depth as this will follow in the second book.

The book covers secrets, murder, sex, incest, magic, history, lies and deception to name just a few of the themes covered within this tale. It is quite a long book standing at over 1200 pages, some of this I feel could have been trimmed off and not have affected the overall tale. It has mystical and magical happenings, sex is a strong theme throughout which may make some readers feel uncomfortable. For me, this is a reread, I read this as a teenager and loved it. I still liked it as an adult however, after having devoured so many books I find myself much more critical and clearly not as enamored with the tale as I had been as a teen. It is a great book, opening up a new world with ghosts (or demons if thats your preferred term for Lasher) and witches that spills over into our world.

This is the first in a trilogy, as I have said I have read it before and will track the others down, they are somewhere in my many book shelves. Despite the time line jumping around and there being quite a few characters, the story is quite easy to follow and Anne Rice has created a world that many will love. Certainly worth a read if you like mystical type tales laced with sex and family tragedy and secrets, 3/5 for me this time.

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Saturday 15 November 2014

Review - Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

Rot & RuinRot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time Taken to Read - 3 days

Blurb from Goodreads

Pages - 458

Publisher - Simon & Schuster

Nearly fourteen years ago, a freak virus swept across the world turning the living into the undead. Benny Imura was only a toddler, but his last memory of his parents is tainted by the image of them becoming zombies, and he blames his older brother, Tom, for not saving them.

Now Benny is fifteen, and Tom wants them to put their difficult relationship behind them and work together in the “family business”: as zombie killers. It’s the last thing Benny wants to do, but he needs a job and he thinks it’ll be an easy ride.

But when they head into the Rot and Ruin, an area full of wandering zombies, Benny soon realises that there’s more to the job than just whacking zombies. And, as he’s confronted with the truth about the world around him Benny makes the most terrifying discovery of all, that the worst monsters you can imagine might actually be human ...

My Review

Benny is fifteen years old, in a world where the living dead are ever a threat to humans, when you come of age (fifteen) you must contribute to the community in order to eat, live, survive there. Benny's brother Tom has quite a reputation, a hero, he kills zombies and is well thought of in the community. Benny knows differently, he knows Tom is a coward and he hates him, however he has to learn the business in order to earn his keep. Benny starts to realize there is more to the job and indeed his brother as he ventures out into the Rot and Ruin. As Benny starts to see the world differently, he realizes how dangerous the world around him is and the things he thought he knew aren't quite what they seemed.

I have read a Jonathan Maberry before, Patient Zero, and loved it. This is very different, although both are zombie stories. This one heavily focuses on the personal journey young Benny takes, from developing interest in the opposite sex, family grudges, secrets and making the transition from petulant teenager into a young man. There is of course zombies and danger although it has a very different feel from his other tale. Discovering the zombies may be different from what young Benny had imagined and learning that sometimes people can be worse than the zombies, Benny goes on a journey of self discovery, growth and survival.

It is a good introduction to a new zombie series, it isn't just all gore and guts as a lot of zombie books are. It isn't the best I have read but I certainly enjoyed it and will follow the series as I come upon it, 3/5 for me this time.

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Saturday 8 November 2014

Novembers giveaway is Watch me by James Carol

The book is in great condition, the spine is completely intact and looks as it did the day I bought it, little scuff around the corners but otherwise grand. I read and enjoyed it, 3/5 stars but haven't had time to review it yet.

Blurb from Goodreads Everybody's got something to hide . . .
Ex-FBI profiler Jefferson Winter has taken a new case in sunny Louisiana, where the only thing more intense than the heat is a killer on the loose in the small town of Eagle Creek.
Sam Galloway, a prominent lawyer from one of Eagle Creek's most respected families, has been murdered. All the sheriff's department have to go on, however, is a film of Galloway that shows him being burned alive.
Enter Jefferson Winter, whose expertise is serial criminals. But in a town where secrets are rife and history has a way of repeating itself, can Winter solve the case before someone else dies?

As always, competition runs until the end of the month. Enter using the rafflecopter below, the more entries you complete, the more chance you have of winning. Apologies it is late and good luck, thanks for stopping by.

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Friday 7 November 2014

Review - Night Music by Jojo Moyes

Night MusicNight Music by Jojo Moyes
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - <4 hours

Pages - 416

Blurb from Goodreads

The Spanish House is known to locals as an architectural folly, and it is now nearly derelict to boot. When its reclusive owner dies intestate the Spanish House is left to his city-dwelling niece. For the recently-widowed Isabel, the house is a potential lifeline. For her neighbour Matt McCarthy, the house is revenge.

My Review

Matt McCarthy and his wife, Laura, have pampered to their neighbour, taking him meals, cleaning his sheets, looking after him and putting up with his crude comments. All for the deeds of his house when he passes on, which should be soon they think, as he has no family. As it is, it passes to his niece and children, Isabel, Kitty, and Thierry, struggling with the death of her husband and their new financial issues they move to the country and learn a new way of life. However Matt isn't about to let his dream go and soon puts his plan into action, with consequences that change the lives of everyone.

I love Jojo Moyes, her books are always really different from each other and her style is so easy to follow, it is like getting into your comfy slippers. I normally take to one or more of her characters, especially the main players, however, I didn't find this the case in this story. Whilst Matt is deplorable and his wife a willing accomplice, Isabel isn't a great character either. Still wrapped up in the grief of losing her husband, her children have clearly suffered, she makes poor choices that impacts them and seems to take an age to come together. I did like the wee shop keepers right enough and the grumpy handyman had some redeeming quality's as the tale goes on.

As it is a country book there is some animal hunting which, whilst it doesn't go into minute detail it did still make me uneasy to read it. The story has some ups and downs, personal growth, a little bit of sex, manipulation, lies, family secrets and problems just to name a few of the themes within the book.

I got through it in 4 hours so it is a good story, it just isn't her strongest although still a good tale. 3/5 for me this time, I will definitely read more by Jojo Moyes, I have read most of them already and look forward to her next.

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Tuesday 28 October 2014

Halloween Giveaway - 30 days of night by Jeff Mariotte

I think as it is Halloween, a wee additional giveaway is required. This is a vampire book, I haven't read any of this series before. Blurb is from Goodreads.

A terrifying species of legend that exists in shadow and thrives in night, preying on and intriguing an unsuspecting modern world. An amoral, clandestine government operation that uses whatever means necessary to inflict maximum damage upon one of the most frightening and demonized forces humanity has ever encounteredÉ And all of mankind is threatened by the chain of events set in motion by this unrestrained conflict, and the ripple effects of a new element to the hostilities will forever alter the rules of engagement....

The competition will run until the 31st. As always, the more options you do on the Rafflecopter, the more entries you have. Good luck guys and gals. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday 18 October 2014

NR - The Golem of Hollywood by Jonathan & Jesse Kellerman

The Golem of HollywoodThe Golem of Hollywood by Jonathan Kellerman
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 5 days

Pages - 550

Publisher - Headline

Blurb from Inside of the book cover

Detective Jacob Lev wakes one morning, dazed and confused: He seems to have picked up a beautiful woman in a bar the night before, but he can’t remember anything about the encounter, and before he knows it, she has gone. But this mystery pales in comparison to the one he’s about to be called on to solve. Newly reassigned to a Special Projects squad he didn’t even know existed, he’s sent to a murder scene far up in the hills of Hollywood Division. There is no body, only an unidentified head lying on the floor of a house. Seared into a kitchen counter nearby is a single word: the Hebrew for justice.

Detective Lev is about to embark on an odyssey—through Los Angeles, through many parts of the United States, through London and Prague, but most of all, through himself. All that he has believed to be true will be upended—and not only his world, but the world itself, will be changed.

My Review

The book opens in Prague with Heap, a serial killer who is stalking his next victim. Just as he swoops in for the kill, he is intercepted by a supernatural presence stops in him in tracks. We flick then to Los Angeles, Jacob Lev a police officer with an alcohol dependency and a woman he becomes obsessed with who leaves his life as quickly as she entered it. A case has come up, Lev is getting on peoples nerves and this combined with his Jewish background puts him forward to investigate a murder. A decapitated body, in part, a message left in Jewish writing at the scene and Jacob has little else to go on. As well as this we have another story, Cain and Abels sister, Asham, her choices or lack of and their repercussions, this is visited periodically throughout the book. Feeling confused? Exactly how I felt!

This book has too much going on in it for my liking. Too many different story lines, seemingly unrelated to each other, religious themes throughout, murder, bizarre sex, supernatural creatures, beasties, violence and thats just some of the content. The sexual element, for me, held no major significance, maybe there was and it was just over my head. However it was very weird, disjointed and didn't add to the story. When Jacob is investigating, I liked that although he did seem to get nowhere fast and constantly met resistance, even by those who put him on the case.

His relationship with his father is another line in the story, a seemingly nice, vulnerable Rabbi, worried about his son, who has lost his face and met alcohol since the death of his mother. His father often is featured along with some Jewish tales which I did find interesting however, like I said it is a busy busy book. It seemed to go off on tangents, I had a headache trying to keep up with it and work out what was relevant to what I had already read.

It isn't all bad, like I say I liked when Jacob got into investigating, I liked reading the Jewish stories and learning of some of the Jewish relation. The descriptions where some of the story took place was very detailed and painted a good picture, there is no doubt these writers are good however, maybe together it just doesn't gel. I have read and enjoyed Jonathan before but not Jesse, maybe that was my issue, along with the jumping about and weird sexual scenes. I also had issues with how some of the story lines were wrapped up, I don't like to be left hanging but I would prefer that to things that make no sense or just don't flow. That said a lot of people love this book, including Stephen King, whom I love, so if you have no issue with the previously mentioned give it a go, sadly it wasn't for me. 2/5 this time, I would read Jonathan Kellerman again and I would try Jesse Kellerman, both writing alone, I doubt I would pick up a joint effort by them again though as I really struggled with this and the things I disliked far outweighed those that I did.

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Wednesday 15 October 2014

Review - Hot Flush by Helen Fitzgerald

Hot FlushHot Flush by Helen Fitzgerald
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 hour

Pages - 97

Publisher - Barrington Stoke

Blurb From Goodreads

Menopausal probation officer Eileen McDonald has lived an ordinary life, without taking any risks, unlike Jim Bain, a car-thieving probationer she's responsible for. When she finally cracks during a hot flush in a changing room, it's him she turns to for help, and he accompanies her on a journey she will never forget.

My Review

What a short sharp wee blast of a read. Weighing in at only 97 pages, you could get through this in half an hour. Our two main characters are Eileen McDonald, probation officer and hitting the menopause. Next up is Jim Bain, young, cocky and has a wrap sheet that has only the crimes he has been caught for. Jim and Eileen are forced together in group, Jim to complete the program or face jail and Eileen by choice, it is the profession she has chosen. When Eileen's boring, set routine life is turned upside down by a rash decision, she finds that instead of reporting boy wonder for his fresh mouth, she needs his help, for the skills he knows best. Together they embark on a journey that changes life as they know it, for both of them.

I thought this was going to be a unexpected romance, don't ask why I got that idea, however it isn't. This is a tale about a woman who follows rules and routines, every day of her life, until one snap decision and quickly has to deal with the fall out from it. Jim has an attitude, in trouble with the law, young, set in his ways, quickly realizes he needs to help someone to save his own bacon.

The whole event is spread out over one day, although both have glimpses into their past that explains or gives more detail to the person they are now. It is fairly easy to read, some sexual content is in the tale although nothing excessive and the chapters are small which also contributes to it being a quick read. The tale is set in Glasgow, which, it is always nice to read somewhere you know. This is the third story I have read by this author, all of them very different from the last, she certainly holds your attention. 3/5 for me this time and I will buy up more of her work.

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Tuesday 14 October 2014

Apologies and finally Octobers competition

Apologies for the massive delay in getting this months competition up and for my lack of posting. University has been a lot more demanding than I imagined. In fact, normally I still read my fiction on the bus, to and from University but have even been reading coursework on the journeys and even at night before bed, usually reserved for my fiction.

As a result, I haven't been getting through many books at all, therefore this month I have to put up a wee £5 Amazon voucher in place of a book.

As always, the competition will run until the end of the month. Entries can be gained by filling out the Rafflecopter, the more options you complete, the more entries you have. Please note, the entries are checked upon drawing a winner, any incomplete will be disqualified and another winner chosen, sadly this has happened a few times. No postal address required but the mandatory box will be for the email, this will be kept confidential and deleted after the competition, so I can send your voucher upon the draw ending.

Good luck everyone and as always, thanks for stopping by. Have a great week!

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Saturday 11 October 2014

Review - Bridesmaids by Jane Costello

BridesmaidsBridesmaids by Jane Costello
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 419

Blurb from Goodreads

Four weddings, three disgruntled ex-boyfriends in the congregation, two wayward 'chicken-fillet' boob enhancers, and one gorgeous man, it's tough being a bridesmaid.

My Review

This is a great chick lit book. Evie is one hour away from walking down the isle in front of her best friend, Grace, who is getting married. It's stressful, things are going wrong however, her chicken fillets are in place and she spots a hot specimen whilst on an errand. Things go hilariously wrong from there on in and this is only the first of a few weddings Evie is part of. Evie has a string of ex boyfriends who seem to crop up at the most inopportune moment. Her mother is quite unique and a little embarrassing and all of these weddings are filling her with dread.

This book covers friendship, relationships, wedding preparations, betrayal, secrets and love to name just some of the themes. The book is made up of short chapters which is great for picking up and putting down however the content will make you want to read it in one sitting.

It is light hearted with some serious themes, it reminded a bit of the movie Bridesmaids, if you liked that you will love this. First time reading this author, I would certainly read her again. She had me laughing out loud, recalling some of my own past relationships and sympathizing, and hating, some of the characters. 4/5 for me this time and if your just wanting something light or a good holiday read, look no further.

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Saturday 27 September 2014

Review - Feed by Mira Grant

Deadline (Newsflesh Trilogy #2)Deadline by Mira Grant
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Time taken to rad - 8 days

Publisher - Orbit

Pages - 524

Blurb from Goodreads

Shaun Mason is a man without a mission. Not even running the news organization he built with his sister has the same urgency as it used to. Playing with dead things just doesn't seem as fun when you've lost as much as he has.
But when a CDC researcher fakes her own death and appears on his doorstep with a ravenous pack of zombies in tow, Shaun has a newfound interest in life. Because she brings news-he may have put down the monster who attacked them, but the conspiracy is far from dead.
Now, Shaun hits the road to find what truth can be found at the end of a shotgun.

My Review

This is the second book in this series, I would strongly suggest reading Feed, the first in this series, to get an idea of the background story. Shaun Mason has nothing left to lose, nothing is what it used to be, nothing is fun, he has only one purpose left now. Reporting the truth, reporting what is happening with the zombies and trying to unravel what happened in the first book is what drive Shaun. When a CDC researcher reaches out to Shaun and his team, after faking her own death, she puts his team in peril and gives him another opening to pursue the truth and try and expose the conspiracy, once and for all.

Ok so yes it is a zombie book however, it is more dealing with whats happened in the past, focusing on and unraveling the conspiracy and, I felt, product endorsement! There isn't a whole lot of zombie action, the threat is always there, always looming, however it is who is the bad guys, why have they done what they did and picking up the pieces and trying to escape and get the truth. Shaun and his team blog the news, they have cameras following them, reporting to the people about the zombie situation whilst the surviving public go to work in controlled environments.

I have to say, for large portions, I was bored or frustrated. I wanted something to happen, don't get me wrong, sometimes something did but it was a long time coming. There isn't enough zombies, if there was one comment about why the main character drinks copious amounts of coca cola, there was thirty. Not quite as much, but still in repetition, Avon skin so soft, mentioned several times that I did feel if there isn't a product endorsement, there should have been as she mentioned them often enough!

The story itself could have been cut down by at least a quarter and not affect the tale that is told and the main character Shaun I could have slapped at times. Often he is threatening violence towards other characters, women included and sees nothing wrong with this, which really annoyed me. That said, the last three pages made me want to get the next installment of this trilogy, three pages generated enough spark for me to want to find out what happens. I can't say I liked many, if any, of the characters. I didn't hate the book, I just didn't like a whole lot of it, the parts I did like, reminded me a bit of resident evil, especially the last three pages. So 2/5 for me this time, I feel I have to read the next one, for closure and just because I am too nosey not to.

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Tuesday 23 September 2014

ARC - The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion

The Rosie Effect (Don Tillman #2)The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 6 hours

Publisher - Text Publishing Company

Pages - 411

Blurb from Goodreads


GREETINGS. My name is Don Tillman. I am forty-one years old. I have been married to Rosie Jarman, world's most perfect woman, for ten months and ten days.

Marriage added significant complexity to my life. When we relocated to New York City, Rosie brought three maximum-size suitcases. We abandoned the Standardised Meal System and agreed that sex should not be scheduled in advance.

Then Rosie told me we had 'something to celebrate', and I was faced with a challenge even greater than finding a partner.

I have attempted to follow traditional protocols and have sourced advice from all six of my friends, plus a therapist and the internet.

The result has been a web of deceit. I am now in danger of prosecution, deportation and professional disgrace.

And of losing Rosie forever.

My Review

Don & Rosie are back, yay! They are now married and Don is learning to adapt to no longer having the Standardised Meal System, schedules are abandoned and lots of changes are afoot. Rosie has another suprise for Don, one that will turn his world upside down, more so than when she exploded into it the first time. Can Don adapt? He finds himself seeking advice from avenues he knows and going into places he hasn't in order to process and adapt. This leads him into trouble he could not have predicted, they may have to leave their lives as they know it, deal with being on the wrong side of the law, his career may be at risk and worst of all, he may lose Rosie. For a man of schedules, predicted outcomes and liking routine, this will blow everything out the water and change his world forever.

Aw I loved the first book and was delighted to read that this book was coming out, more so to get an advanced reading copy. I forgot how much I loved Don's unique outlook on life. He is adapting well to the changes Rosie has brought to his life whilst still having his own unique way. The book still has some humour, touching moments, friendship, love, lies and some darker themes. There is at least one character who had my blood boiling with their prejudices and vile attitude. This book certainly is, I feel, a more adult feel to it with some of the not so nice side of humanity and the knock on effects and consequences of some peoples attitudes. It isn't all serious or doom and gloom however I feel, compared to the first book, it is fair to give a heads up there is a dramatic theme change. I still laughed out loud at a few parts and like I say, I have missed Don Tillman so it was great to catch up with him and Rosie and read their journeys progress through life together.

Would I like there to be a third? Of course, I would love to read more on these two, well Rosie, I must say wasn't one of my favourite characters this time round. In fact, at parts I quite disliked her, however Don I love and could easily read another book about. 4/5 for me this time, thanks so much to NetGalley for this ARC and PenguinBooks UK for approving the request. You don't have to wait long for your own copy, the book is available from all good retailers from the 25th of September 2014. If you haven't read the first book, I strongly urge you to do it, this is a great follow up book however I don't think you would enjoy it as much without the fabulous back story.

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Wednesday 17 September 2014

WBC - A Meal in Winter by Hubert Mingarelli

A Meal in WinterA Meal in Winter by Hubert Mingarelli
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - a few hours

Pages - 138 pages

Publisher - Portobello Books

Blurb fro Goodreads

One morning, in the dead of winter, three German soldiers are dispatched into the frozen Polish countryside. They have been charged by their commanders to track down and bring back for execution 'one of them' - a Jew. Having flushed out the young man hiding in the woods, they decide to rest in an abandoned house before continuing their journey back to the camp. As they prepare food, they are joined by a passing Pole whose outspoken anti-Semitism adds tension to an already charged atmosphere. Before long, the group's sympathies have splintered as they consider the moral implications of their murderous mission and confront their own consciences to ask themselves: should the Jew be offered food? And, having shared their meal, should he be taken back, or set free?

My Review

Three German soldiers have been given a break from shooting prisoners at their concentration camp, to head out to the Polish countryside, to track down any Jews to bring back for execution. It follows their cold journey and how they track one of the Jews and take refuge in an abandoned house before they continue their journey back to the camp. It's cold, theres not a lot of food and a Polish man joins them, taking an aggressive attitude towards their prisoner. What follows is a tense evening of hunger, anger, and decisions as the men share a meal together and bring up the decision of taking the Jewish man back to the camp for certain death, or, after sharing a meal with them, do they let him go and find some internal peace.

The three Germans are: the narrator, who is never named, Bauer a thief and Emmerich a man who is worried about his son whilst he isn't there for him. The arduous journey through the bitter freezing cold, what they discuss during their hunt and what they watch out for. Once they have captured their man and decide to be hospitable and share their food, thats when they contemplate if they should free him or now. Going through memories of what they have done to their prisoners previously and how setting this man free could impact upon their equilibrium.

To be honest, I started this 5 days ago, then read the blurb and put it down until a few days later when I read it in a few hours. I hadn't realized what it was going to be about and sometimes, when your not sure how dark a book is going to be, you need to mentally prepare for it. Whilst the book subject matter is disturbing, there is no brutality in gory detail although it does mention Jewish people being executed. The focus of this novella, and it could really be labeled a short story as it is only 138 pages long, is the capture of the young man and the meal and night they all spent together. It is something different from my normal genre choice and had Waterstones not sent me it as a review copy I may not have picked it up. The writing is very well done, it pulls you into the scene and paints the picture so vividly you shudder at some of the descriptions of the harsh weather. I would possibly read this author again, I may have to see what else they have written. A sad and haunting tale in that, I feel, anything written about the Jewish people and their treatment from the German soldiers does tend to stay with you. 3/5 for me this time, thanks to Waterstones for sending me a review copy in exchange for my honest thoughts.

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Wednesday 10 September 2014

PRR - Someone Else's Skin by Sarah Hilary

Someone Else's SkinSomeone Else's Skin by Sarah Hilary
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1.5 days

Publisher - Headline

Pages - 420

Blurb from Goodreads

Some secrets keep you safe, others will destroy you...

Detective Inspector Marnie Rome. Dependable; fierce; brilliant at her job; a rising star in the ranks. Everyone knows how Marnie fought to come back from the murder of her parents, but very few know what is going on below the surface. Because Marnie has secrets she won't share with anyone.

But then so does everyone. Certainly those in the women's shelter Marnie and Detective Sergeant Noah Jake visit on that fateful day. The day when they arrive to interview a resident, only to find one of the women's husbands, who shouldn't have been there, lying stabbed on the floor.

As Marnie and Noah investigate the crime further, events begin to spiral and the violence escalates. Everyone is keeping secrets, some for survival and some, they suspect, to disguise who they really are under their skin.

Now, if Marnie is going to find the truth she will have to face her own demons head on. Because the time has come for secrets to be revealed...

My Review

The book opens five years ago, DI Marnie Rome arrives at her parents home, cordoned off by the police. She knows it is bad, the way the scene is, the glimpses she can have from the house, the way her colleagues talk to her. Then we flick to present day, almost five years to the day it happened. The book teases the details along of what happened to Marnie's parents. But the world of crime stops for noone and she has a job to do. Arriving at a refugee house for abused women, to interview one of the woman who can help with an investigation they happen upon a bloody scene, one of the women have stabbed her partner she had fled from. Each of the women need to be interviewed, each has reason to hide, distrust and secrets are something they all have. As DI Rome tries to cope with her personal trauma and do her job, she needs to keep her wits about her to figure out what truly happened and how to solve the case.

The opening chapter pulls you in, your given enough to know something bad has happened but you don't know who done it or what they actually did. Present days packs quite a punch as one of the women meant to be kept safe has attacked her husband in self defense. There is a lot of tension within this book, the topic of abuse these women have endured is always present. It is a subject that if you have been touched personally by it the book will pack more of a punch with you. If you haven't it gives an insight into what these women endure and why they behave as they do.

I would say it is a psychological thriller, laced with crime and violence. Whilst the matter is dark and may be close to home for some readers, it is handled in a way that I feel didn't cheapen the subject but stayed true to the issues and reflected real life.

For a debut novel it packs quite a punch, I was up past 6am reading this, I could have gotten through it in one sitting had I not had other things to attend to. The chapters are nice and short which I do light in stories, it makes it easier to read more when you have other things to do in between. The time period jumps about a bit, between some of the characters although it is sign posted well enough, in parts it took a wee bit or getting used to. A great introduction to some new characters that I hope to see more of, 4/5 for me this time. I would certainly read more by this author and think Detective Inspector Rome and the other characters (especially Stephen) have some great tales still to come. Thanks so much to Headline for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, and for introducing me to a new author.

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Review - The Ship Of Brides by Jojo Moyes

The Ship of BridesThe Ship of Brides by Jojo Moyes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Publisher - Hodder

pages - 482

Blurb from Goodreads

The year is 1946, and all over the world, young women are crossing the seas in the thousands en route to the men they married in wartime - and an unknown future. In Sydney, Australia, four women join 650 other brides on an extraordinary voyage to England, aboard the HMS Victoria, which also carries not just arms and aircraft but 1,000 naval officers and men. Rules of honour, duty, and separation are strictly enforced, from the aircraft carrier's captain down to the lowliest young stoker. But the men and the brides will find their lives intertwined in ways the Navy could never have imagined.

My Review

It is 1946, brides are desperate to be reunited with their husbands, some who haven't seen they said I do and the men went off to war. The HMS Victoria is carrying weapons and naval officers and now 650 brides, coming from Australia to America. Putting such a mix together, in a confined space, under such conditions is a recipe for disaster, one the Captain can see but has no choice but to press on. Four ladies join the 650 and it is their story we follow through the voyage. Danger, lies, friendship, honor and secrets are just a few of the subjects covered throughout this tale.

I must admit, ever since Me Before You I have loved Jojo Moyes, something about her writing just draws you in to the time period and characters lives. Avice, coming from money and heading off to her new life and husband, can't help but judge along the way and flaunt her good fortune as she goes. Margaret, home girl who looked after her brothers and father after their mother left, not afraid to get dirty and muck in and takes people as she finds them. Frances, a nurse who is very reserved, cold at times and keeps herself to herself and lastly Jean, only sixteen and a live wire, quick to look for fun and find trouble fast. These ladies are shipped together for six weeks in a small cramped room and learn to live with each other and form unlikely friendships and learn how to accept each other.

The story took a bit for me to warm up to, we start in present day, an elderly lady happens upon something that takes her back to her voyage in 1946. We do not know her identity and learn the story as it goes. Once it warms up and you get to know the characters, I couldn't put it down and got through it in one day. Not her strongest novel but quite fabulous in its own right, it made me want to read about actual brides and their travels during that period of time. 4/5 for me this time, I intend on finding any of her other novels I have not yet read and eagerly await ones in the future.

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Tuesday 9 September 2014

September's giveaway is The World Is A Wedding by Wendy Jones

You can find my review here - As always, the competition will remain open until the end of the month. Apologies it has taken so long to list, I was on holiday and have a few reviews to catch up with too.

Just fill in the rafflecopter below, the more options you do the more entries you have. Good luck.

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Review - Possessed by Kate Cann

Possessed (Rayne, #1)Possessed by Kate Cann
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 3 days

Pages - 331

Publisher - Scholastic

Blurb from Goodreads

Rayne can't wait to start her summer job at a remote country mansion, far from the crowded, noisy London she so desperately wants to escape. But the retreat soon turns into a nightmare -- the mansion is creepy, the legends of ghosts keep Rayne up at night, and she doesn't feel safe anywhere.

Can Rayne figure out why she's so freaked -- before she becomes a ghost story herself?

My Review

Rayne is our main character, living with her mum and little brother, on a rough estate and dating Day Damian, a bad boy lusted after by many but hers alone. She is frustrated by her situation and ready to break free, when a job opportunity arises at a secluded country manor she has to go. It is quiet, spooky and feels spooky, it also has the pull of St John, a young chap and his group of friends who welcome Rayne with open arms although all is not as it seems.

The author described the setting of the ancient house and its grounds perfectly, it had the feel for some spooky and ghostly happenings. However the biggest focus on the story surrounds Rayne, her feelings, her playing her boyfriend and mum, screening their calls and some teen angst behavior which I didn't much care for. When the story gets into the heart of the spookiness and mystery surrounding the manor and it's history it did pick up. I would say this had more of a gothic or teenangst person growth type feel to it, I certainly wouldn't rate it as a horror.

I enjoyed reading about the growth of Rayne's character however I can't say by the end of the book I was much liking her. The mystery surrounding the whole book also was a bit, for me, anticlimactic . That said, the writing is easy to follow and I would read this author again, in fact this book has a follow up which I would read although not actively seek it out. 2/5 for me this time, I would certainly suggest you try it as I seem to be in the minority with this one, it just wasn't for me.

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Monday 8 September 2014

Review - Double Fault by Lionel Shriver

Double Fault (Five Star Paperback)Double Fault by Lionel Shriver
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Publisher - Serpent's Tail

Pages - 339

Blurb from Goodreads

Ever since she picked up a racquet at the age of four, tennis has been Willy Novinsky's one love. But when she falls for fellow pro Eric Oberdorf, their relationship is tested to breaking point by their competitive urges.

My Review

Tennis is not something I am interested in at all however when on holiday we do pick up something we normally wouldn't read. Willy Novinsky is on a journey to becoming a professional tennis player, her ranking score is going up, she is smashing her competition and winning her matches. She has no time for friends, romance or really anything that isn't tennis, until Eric Oberdorf comes along. They embark on a relationship and she teaches him some pointers to strengthen his game. As their relationship deepens, Willy finds herself struggling with her game and watching Eric go from strength to strength. Tennis brought them together, it may very well tear them apart.

It has been a while since I have really disliked a character as much as I ended up disliking Willy. As her game declines she becomes a vindictive, nasty, horrible character, Eric is understanding, sweet, competitive and no matter what he does it further enrages or prompts her to behave like a brat.

Without going into spoilers as I hate that, sex and sexual terminology is used and the subject of abortion is mentioned, in what some people may feel, distressing detail. I found Willy to be a cold fish, a character with little to no redeeming qualities. As much as tennis is not my thing, I must say I wasn't as bored as I thought I would be reading this type of theme. I have read Shriver before and I would read her again, I don't particularly like her style however I cannot put her books down until I have got through the whole story. There is something about how she writes that pulls you along and in, even when you don't like or find the subject content particularly interesting. 2/5 for me this time, I can't say it is like any of her books I have read before as they all seem very different, I would certainly say give it a bash if you came across it but I wouldn't actively encourage you to seek it out.

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Sunday 31 August 2014

PRR - The World Is A Wedding by Wendy Jones

The World is a WeddingThe World is a Wedding by Wendy Jones
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1.5 days

Publisher - Corsair

Pages - 265

Blurb from Goodreads

Wendy Jones picks up where 'The Thoughts and Happenings of Wilfred Price, Purveyor of Superior Funerals' left off. It's 1926 and Wilfred Price, purveyor of superior funerals, is newly married to the beautiful Flora Myfanwy. His brief and painful marriage to Grace is in the past. He's busy with funerals - and preparing for fatherhood by reading a philosophy book and opening a paint and wallpaper business. As much as he loves Flora, he senses her distance from him - are marriage and fatherhood going to be very different from how Wilfred imagined?

Grace has fled from Narberth to London, where she is working as a chambermaid at the luxurious Ritz Hotel. But Grace has a secret, one that can't be hidden forever, and binds her to her old life in west Wales.

Despite Wilfred's earnest effort to embrace the future, he is beginning to wonder if the past has too powerful a hold on him.

My Review

Having read the first book I would suggest you read it before picking this one up. You can read this one without having read the first but I think you would enjoy it more checking out the first part of the story. We pick up with Wilfred Price, undertaker and funeral director, set in 1925. After a quick and painful marriage to Grace, he is now looking toward his impending marriage to the lovely Flora. Their tale covers their union, the business and the small town they live in and the happenings of Narbeth. Grace has since fled to London, trying to find work and hiding a secret meaning she can't quite escape Narbeth or her past.

This is a tale with happiness, sadness, confrontation, secrets & the heart of relationships. We see Wilbur's character continue to grow, looking after her new bride, trying to expand his business and trying to prepare for the future. Although Grace has gone and Flora is everything he hoped for her can't quite forget about Grace and her misfortune.

The is a book that has a few layers and deals with subjects that can be difficult to read, it is dealt with in a sensitive manner yet still evokes sympathy and feeling from the reader. There was just a few things that I didn't quite get although I feel I may be in the minority with it. One character has quite a change in their personality and behavior with not a great deal of explanation and I found a few things that one or two characters done came from nowhere which I personally don't like. However, over all it is a good read, the author has a gentle style that flows and despite the book being set in the early 1900s, which isn't always a bit hit with me, she covered it very well. 3/5 for me this time, I would read this author again and much thanks to Little Brown Book Group for sending me a copy.

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Monday 25 August 2014

Review - The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks

The Wasp FactoryThe Wasp Factory by Iain Banks
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Publisher - Abacus

Pages - 244

Blurb from Goodreads

Two years after I killed Blyth I murdered my young brother Paul, for quite different reasons than I'd disposed of Blyth, and then a year after that I did for my young cousin Esmerelda more or less on a whim.

That's my score to date.


I haven't killed anybody for years, and don't intend to ever again.

It was just a stage I was going through.

Enter - if you can bear it - the extraordinary private world of frank, just sixteen, and unconventional, to say the least.

My Review

I am so very glad to be finished this book, if you have problems reading about animal torture and cruelty then avoid this book at all costs. Frank Cauldhame is sixteen and our main character, his brother has been sectioned after terrorizing the children of the island and torturing local dogs. His relationship with his father is dysfunctional, he has killed three people and makes regular animal sacrifices and game of torturing them.

The book goes back and forth between events in recall, Frank talks about something that happened to him as a child so he is different, later in the story this comes up and we get an explanation. The same with his brother, he is very matter of fact about his brother being crazy and later this is brought up and explained.

The story is about a dysfunctional young man, his day to day life and some glimpses into how he is the way he is and his family life. For me, I couldn't get into the story as the animal torture which starts on page one. Any kind of animal torture I find affects a story for me however it is so strong and prevalent throughout this one that it affected the entire tale. To be honest it does emphasize how unhinged Frank is and for people who can read this kind of content and be untouched by it I am sure they will enjoy the story. There are some shocks in it, aside from the animal torture and the end I didn't see coming which is why it has the second star. It isn't that it is a terribly written book, it isn't, I just couldn't get on board or past the cruelty. 2 out of 5 for me this time, I would try Mr Banks at another time however I will research it before picking it up.

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Sunday 24 August 2014

Review - Warhol's Prophecy by Shaun Hutson

Warhol's ProphecyWarhol's Prophecy by Shaun Hutson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Publisher - Pan Books

Pages - 447

Blurb from Goodreads

"Everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes," said Andy Warhol. And fame is something certain people will go to any lengths to achieve: whether to be revered or reviled, the lure of notoriety is strong for those lacking it.When five-year-old Becky goes missing in a crowded shopping centre, her mother's worst nightmare has come true. But Hailey Gibson's nightmares are just beginning. After Becky is safely returned by Adam Walker, Hailey finds her initial gratitude turning to something else. With her marriage close to ruins, she is tempted to begin an affair with this likeable newcomer. Besides, Hailey wants revenge against her husband and his mistress. And Walker seems willing -- only too happy to please. But maybe he has his own agenda? As she wisely ends their budding relationship, Hailey begins to wonder if Walker could be behind the acts of vandalism committed against her home and family. Or is someone else seeking revenge, who she has not yet encountered? When petty harassment turns to open violence, Hailey finds herself caught in a spiralling vortex of suffering and death . until the shattering truth forces her to make the the most horrendous decision of her life.

My Review

Shaun Hutson has always been horror for me, this is more of a psychological thriller with some gore and suspense thrown in. The book opens with the line "There was blood everywhere". It is from the scene where Sharon Tate was murdered by Charles Manson's "family" - every so many chapters there is an opening like this from a true life murder. The first line of our actual tale is "HER CHILD WAS dead". Hailey Gibson's little girl Becky, five years old, is missing from a busy store. However Adam Walker comes to the rescue, a helpful stranger who finds Becky and reunites her with her mother. Hailey is going through hell, trying to cope with her husbands infidelity, attracted to Adam, trying to be a good mum. Things start to spiral and soon Hailey finds someone has been in her house, violence is at her doorstep and she doesn't know who she can trust!

This is a book that draws you in quickly, you know something seems a bit off but you can't quite put your finger on it. The chapters are quite thin so you can fire right through them as you want to know, will she won't she. Who is responsible for the skulduggery afoot and how will it all end. This is a difference theme for me for what I have come to expect from Mr Hutson however I did like it although like seems a bit inappropriate considering the content and how dark some of the book is.

It is not for the faint hearted as it does have scenes of graphic violence, there is also some explicit sex scenes which some may find uncomfortable. Fast paced, it keeps you guessing and if you like thriller or dark scenes with some gore, this is a hit for you. 4/5 for me, I have read quite a few Shaun Hutson and I would read his work again.

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Liebster Award & Questions

I was nominated for the Liebster Award from Felicia over at A Silly Girls Thoughts so thanks for that.

I know most of my fellow bloggers don't like these type of nominations where you need to nominate so many others. I am not a huge fan either but I do like the book questions, therefore I will post the ones put and if you wish you can carry them to your blog and answer, or answer on the comments here. I don't mind either way.

Hope your all having a lovely weekend and a nice Sunday planned, we are heading to Waterstones after this YAAAAY, be ready for new books post ;p

These are the questions Felicia asked me and the other nominated people:

1. If you had to pick max three favorite books, what would it be?Oh this is too hard, only three! I would have to say the Lord of The Rings books (I have all three in one book so it counts), The Green Mile by Stephen King and Still Alice by Lisa Genova.

2. If you had to pick max three of your least favorite books, what would it be? Moby Dick by Herman Melville it took me a full week to read and I honestly really hated it. In The Woods by Tana French, I was enraged by the ending and felt totally cheated although loads of people loved it so it really shows how everyone is different. My last one would be Shadows Behind the Rainbow by Otis Randolf, I tried to read it over 6 days and couldn't finish it. It is a dark book that covers abuse and had a jump in the language used by different characters. That said the author appreciated the honest review I gave and was really nice which you can say about all authors when they have a negative review.

3. Do you ever read a book, not so much because you think you will like it, but because it's one of those books you feel like you have to read? I did with Moby Dick, I felt I should try and read a classic however it was such a struggle and task I haven't yet ventured back to try another, I will one day though.

4. What's your thought on audio books? I think they are a wonderful idea, especially for people who are visually impaired. I recently found out they are a lot more expensive than print books which I think is a shame and something should be done about it. They are not for me, I have never listened to an audio book, I prefer to have my book in front on me and sitting absorbed into it.

5. Do you re-read books? Yes, I have read Lord of the Rings three times, Harry Potter (all of them) twice, others by accident and today I am going to buy another copy of Still Alice and re read it before it comes out in the cinema.

6. What's the best school-assigned book you've read? The Pigman I think it was called, I don't even remember the author or much about the actual story however that book prompted me to search out more in the class cupboard where I found JAWS so definitely that one.

7. Are you the type to usually root for the hero or the villain? It depends on the story to be honest, I hate mean characters and usually root for the underdog however if they save or are nice to an animal I am usually rooting for that one.

8. What's the one thing you wish everyone knew? Thats a really hard question, in general I have no idea however if related to literature I wish everyone could read and write. In this day and age it is so sad that not everyone can and people feel so much stigma and embarrassment when they can't.

9. If you had the power to fix one thing you think is wrong with the world, what would it be? (And if you can, what would you do?) People hurting each other, I would make it so whatever they were going to do, they experienced the pain and devastation they were going to cause before they did it. Hopefully that would stop them in their tracks and get them to go in a different path.

10. If you could meet anyone, dead or alive, fiction or real, who would it be? First choice would obviously be family who have gone as why wouldn't you. Famous, I think I would go for Stephen King so I could discuss all my favourite of his books with him and get an insight. It was Mr King that sparked my interest in reading as a child and I have never looked back.

11. What got you into blogging? I was reading so many books that I would find myself reading a book and thinking it sounded familiar only to find I had read it before. I decided to do a blog and keep track of my reads (Goodreads is also great for this and the two link in together). It has since led me to meet some great people who also love books, put me in touch with publishers and introduced me to authors I may never have discovered otherwise.

Book Soulmates

Well from I first started reviewing

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