23 Jan 2018

, ,

Book Review / The Song is Rising by Samantha Shannon


To avoid spoilers, below is the description for book 1, The Bone Season:

The year is 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people’s minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant and, in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing.

It is raining the day her life changes for ever. Attacked, drugged and kidnapped, Paige is transported to Oxford – a city kept secret for two hundred years, controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. Paige is assigned to Warden, a Rephaite with mysterious motives. He is her master. Her trainer. Her natural enemy. But if Paige wants to regain her freedom she must allow herself to be nurtured in this prison where she is meant to die.

The Bone Season introduces a compelling heroine and also introduces an extraordinary young writer, with huge ambition and a teeming imagination. Samantha Shannon has created a bold new reality in this riveting debut.


Published:     7th March 2017
Publisher:  Bloomsbury
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Book 3, The Bone Season
Source:  Bought



MY REVIEW

I loved this book.  As this is book 3 in The Bone Season series there is a lot that I can't talk about because I don't want to spoil this for you but what I can say is that this book is action packed.  Annoyingly, this book gave me a lot more questions than answers but that was what I expected being that this is not a last book in a series. 

The first half of this book was very slow paced and I did wonder whether that was going to pick up and it did, which I was glad of.  If this book had not have picked up pace I would not have given it the star rating that I did.  I was also surprised by how much I remembered from the first two books in this series.  This series has many characters and parts to it I thought I would find it hard to pick it up but it wasn't.

The only part of this book that I was slightly disappointed with was the fact that this book was approximately 200 pages less than its previous two in the series.  I am not sure whether this was deliberate or just circumstances made it smaller but I would have loved a bit more to this story.  I am hoping the next book in the series is longer...



Continue reading Book Review / The Song is Rising by Samantha Shannon

22 Jan 2018

,

Book Review / The Magic Misfits by Neil Patrick Harris

From beloved award-winning actor, Neil Patrick Harris, comes the magical first book in a new series with plenty of tricks up its sleeve.

When street magician Carter runs away, he never expects to find friends and magic in a sleepy New England town. But like any good trick, things change instantly as greedy B.B. Bosso and his crew of crooked carnies arrive to steal anything and everything they can get their sticky fingers on.

After a fateful encounter with the local purveyor of illusion, Dante Vernon, Carter teams up with five other like-minded kids. Together, using both teamwork and magic, they'll set out to save the town of Mineral Wells from Bosso's villainous clutches. These six Magic Misfits will soon discover adventure, friendship, and their own self-worth in this delightful new series.



  

Published:     21st November 2017
Publisher:  Little Brown
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Book 1, Magic Misfits
Source:  Owned




MY REVIEW

I am and have always been a very big believer in every book is for everyone.  Just because a book is classified as middle grade doesn't mean that only middle graders can read it.  I will be honest and say that the main reason I picked this up was because it was written by Neil Patrick Harris, a celebrity that I respect highly and always make a point to try and watch whatever he is in whenever I can.   The second reason is because of what the book was about, magic.  I have always loved watching and reading about magic since I was a young child.  This book was so much fun to read.  We follow street magician Carter as he leaves his past behind and comes across a 'gang' of characters that are up to no good, using magic to commit crimes.   He meets up with a few misfits who work against this gang to help restore good in the community.  What gave this an added level of fun was the 'hidden' magic lessons in between - such great fun to have a go at!  I listened to the audio book and would highly recommend that, particularly as Neil Patrick Harris reads his book himself.

I am very intrigued to find out what is going to happen next...








Continue reading Book Review / The Magic Misfits by Neil Patrick Harris

21 Jan 2018

Book Review / The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving A F*ck by Sarah Knight

THE "GENIUS" (Cosmopolitan) NATIONAL BESTSELLER
ON THE ART OF CARING LESS AND GETTING MORE
Are you stressed out, overbooked, and underwhelmed by life? Fed up with pleasing everyone else before you please yourself? It's time to stop giving a f*ck.

This brilliant, hilarious, and practical parody of Marie Kondo's bestseller The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up explains how to rid yourself of unwanted obligations, shame, and guilt--and give your f*cks instead to people and things that make you happy.

The easy-to-use, two-step NotSorry Method for mental decluttering will help you unleash the power of not giving a f*ck about:

Family drama
Having a "bikini body"
Iceland
Co-workers' opinions, pets, and children
And other bullsh*t! And it will free you to spend your time, energy, and money on the things that really matter. So what are you waiting for? Stop giving a f*ck and start living your best life today!


Published:     29th December 2015
Publisher:  Little Brown
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Library



MY REVIEW

I picked up this book purely because the title of it made me laugh.   I am often found guilty of taking things too seriously and not being able to relax and have a laugh so I thought this would be a bit of fun and it was.  I have to admit that the author tended to use the word f*ck far too much in this book (I know the heading gives the game away that this is what it is about but didn't think that there was any need for overuse of the word - I got the point).  Basically, this book goes through many many ways in which you need to choose whether you care or not for a certain thing or person, choose what makes you happy and if something or someone doesn't they have to go.  To be honest, a lot of this was just plain common sense but  I found it fun following this book and seeing how I could apply this to my day to day life. 


Continue reading Book Review / The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving A F*ck by Sarah Knight

18 Jan 2018

Book Review / Turtles All The Way Down by John Green

#1 bestselling author John Green returns with his first new novel since The Fault in Our Stars!

Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.

Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

In his long-awaited return, John Green, the acclaimed, award-winning author of Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars, shares Aza’s story with shattering, unflinching clarity in this brilliant novel of love, resilience, and the power of lifelong friendship.


Published:    10th October 2017
Publisher:  Dutton Books
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Library



MY REVIEW

What I liked about this story...  Despite what the description (found on Goodreads) says, this story is more about Aza.  Seeing her for most of the story struggling with her OCD and trying to overcome this time and time again, that was the most interesting part of this story for me.  For the majority of this book Aza is consumed by her thoughts of illness and disease and whether she is going to catch anything from whatever she does.  Not to the same extreme extent but I can relate to having those thoughts and can see how easy it might be for that to escalate into a bigger problem that Aza is now facing.  This book was more of a learning experience from me, learning all about OCD and how it affects the individual person. 

What I didn't like about this story...   I would have loved to have had more of the story line focus on the actual mystery of what happened to Russell Pickett and also Aza's newly found friendship with Davis, Russell Pickett's son.  Both of those stories are what caught my attention and made me want to read this book but neither of these story lines featured a great deal. 




Continue reading Book Review / Turtles All The Way Down by John Green
, , ,

Book Review / Origin by Dan Brown


Robert Langdon, Harvard professor of symbology and religious iconology, arrives at the ultramodern Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao to attend a major announcement—the unveiling of a discovery that “will change the face of science forever.” The evening’s host is Edmond Kirsch, a forty-year-old billionaire and futurist whose dazzling high-tech inventions and audacious predictions have made him a renowned global figure. Kirsch, who was one of Langdon’s first students at Harvard two decades earlier, is about to reveal an astonishing breakthrough . . . one that will answer two of the fundamental questions of human existence.


As the event begins, Langdon and several hundred guests find themselves captivated by an utterly original presentation, which Langdon realizes will be far more controversial than he ever imagined. But the meticulously orchestrated evening suddenly erupts into chaos, and Kirsch’s precious discovery teeters on the brink of being lost forever. Reeling and facing an imminent threat, Langdon is forced into a desperate bid to escape Bilbao. With him is Ambra Vidal, the elegant museum director who worked with Kirsch to stage the provocative event. Together they flee to Barcelona on a perilous quest to locate a cryptic password that will unlock Kirsch’s secret.

Navigating the dark corridors of hidden history and extreme religion, Langdon and Vidal must evade a tormented enemy whose all-knowing power seems to emanate from Spain’s Royal Palace itself... and who will stop at nothing to silence Edmond Kirsch. On a trail marked by modern art and enigmatic symbols, Langdon and Vidal uncover clues that ultimately bring them face-to-face with Kirsch’s shocking discovery... and the breathtaking truth that has long eluded us.


Published:     3rd October 2017
Publisher:  Doubleday
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Book 5, Robert Langdon
Source:  Owned



MY REVIEW

Dan Brown is one of my favourite authors of all time so it is not a surprise to me that I loved this book.  His writing style always draws me in each and every time (but, to be honest, the image of Tom Hanks as the Robert Langton character pictured in my head certainly helps me connect to this character even more because Tom Hanks is just brilliant!).  Also, Dan Brown is one of those authors for me that I really like the fact that he writes similar stories (not the same but has the same theme of conspiracy and mystery) so I know that when I want to read that type of book I know to pick up a Dan Brown book.  I love that about an author.  I always find it confusing when authors change what they write and I don't know what to expect (sometimes it is good and sometimes not).

Even at 461 pages, with smallish font, I didn't envisage reading this in one day, but I did!  It was a quiet Sunday and all I wanted to do was read so I did.  I started reading when I got up in the morning at about 7am and only really stopped for breakfast and dinner and the obligatory bathroom breaks!  I finished it just after 8pm.  I wasn't rush reading or anything like that, I just read at my normal pace but I just could not put it down!  I had to know what was happening.

I was very surprised by the ending of this book and the various twists and turns that come up as well.  There's more than one 'reveal' in the story line that I was not expecting and I loved that!  This is also a book that does make you think about the consequences afterwards.  If you haven't picked this up yet you need to!!!


Continue reading Book Review / Origin by Dan Brown

17 Jan 2018

Waiting on Wednesday / All We Can Do is Wait by Richard Lawson

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme started by Breaking the Spine blog to spotlight new releases.





In the hours after a bridge collapse rocks their city, a group of Boston teenagers meet in the waiting room of Massachusetts General Hospital:

Siblings Jason and Alexa have already experienced enough grief for a lifetime, so in this moment of confusion and despair, Alexa hopes that she can look to her brother for support. But a secret Jason has been keeping from his sister threatens to tear the siblings apart…right when they need each other most.

Scott is waiting to hear about his girlfriend, Aimee, who was on a bus with her theater group when the bridge went down. Their relationship has been rocky, but Scott knows that if he can just see Aimee one more time, if she can just make it through this ordeal and he can tell her he loves her, everything will be all right.

And then there’s Skyler, whose sister Kate—the sister who is more like a mother, the sister who is basically Skyler’s everything—was crossing the bridge when it collapsed. As the minutes tick by without a word from the hospital staff, Skyler is left to wonder how she can possibly move through life without the one person who makes her feel strong when she’s at her weakest.

In his riveting, achingly beautiful debut, Richard Lawson guides readers through an emotional and life-changing night as these teens are forced to face the reality of their pasts…and the prospect of very different futures.


Goodreads Link:  Click Here




Continue reading Waiting on Wednesday / All We Can Do is Wait by Richard Lawson

15 Jan 2018

, ,

Series Review / The Diviners Series by Libba Bray (Books 1 to 3)


Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City—and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult.

Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.

As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened.


Published:     2012
Publisher:  Little Brown
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Books 1, 2 and 3, The Diviners
Source:  Owned




MY REVIEW

This has seriously been on my TBR pile for years!  I can't believe that I have left it so long before picking it up!  I loved this series and so happy that it is not yet finished.  You will see that I have given this a four star rating even though I am saying I loved this series and that is because it is not yet finished.  There are so many questions and unfinished story lines that are going on at the moment, I just can't give it a 5 star rating until I have seen that play out and I can see where the story is headed.  I can see that this is one of those series that will be a 5 star read, hopefully, when I get to the end based on what I have read so far.

Each of these books obviously has the same characters and there is one larger story line that runs right through each of them but each book then has its own mysteries and problems to solve.  I suppose that you could pick these up as individual reads but I would recommend reading them in order to get the full picture of what is going on and where the story is headed.

In terms of characters and story lines, this book really surprised me with a lot of the topics that it covers.  As it is based in the 1920s you have the issues that you would expect to see in that era such as racial prejudices and LGBT themes and, to me, those issues were dealt with very well in this series.  In fact, one of my favourite romantic plot lines in this book has a LGBT theme but I won't say too much more about that because of spoilers.

What an addicting series that I can't wait to dig into when the next book in the series comes out...







Continue reading Series Review / The Diviners Series by Libba Bray (Books 1 to 3)

10 Jan 2018

, ,

Book Review / $10,000,000 Marriage Proposal by James Paterson and Hilary Liftin


Will you marry me for $10,000,000?

I am a creative, open-minded businessman with limited time and desire to play the field. This is a serious proposal.

A mysterious billboard intrigues three single women in LA. But who is this Mr. Right? And is he the perfect match for the lucky winner?













Published:     20th October 2016
Publisher:  Book Shots
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Owned, Audiobook




MY REVIEW

Where to start...  I honestly picked this up because it was the start of the year and I thought this would be a quick read to get through to get the reading ball rolling.  How could you go wrong with a cute little romance?  Well,  as you can see I didn't really enjoy this one and this is why.  Firstly, it was predictable.  Everything that you would expect to happen happened.  No surprises whatsoever.  Next, you have the main character who you see at the beginning as being a fairly smart individual, capable of making her own decisions but as the story goes on that changes.  She applies for this 'competition' at the insistence of her mother (given the incentive of if you go ahead with this I will give you $500) and carries on from what we are told is curiosity and not for the money, which I found very hard to believe.  Why would you enter a competition like this to marry a man you don't know and not want to win the money?!

Honestly, I lost interest in this story about halfway through but I have to admit that I was intrigued to find out what would happen at the end.  The end was meh.  I wasn't thrilled by it but wasn't surprised by it either.

Overall, this was predictable and not very interesting to me at all.  I don't think I will be picking up any more bookshots based on this (unless someone can persuade me otherwise...)


Continue reading Book Review / $10,000,000 Marriage Proposal by James Paterson and Hilary Liftin

Waiting on Wednesday / The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme started by Breaking the Spine blog to spotlight exciting new releases.




Alaska, 1974.
Untamed.
Unpredictable.
And for a family in crisis, the ultimate test of the human spirit.
From the author who brought you the phenomenon of The Nightingale.

Goodreads Link:  Click Here

Continue reading Waiting on Wednesday / The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

9 Jan 2018

,

Book Review / The House at the Bottom of the Lake by Josh Malerman

Both seventeen. Both afraid. But both saying yes.

It sounded like the perfect first date: canoeing across a chain of lakes, sandwiches and beer in the cooler. But teenagers Amelia and James discover something below the water’s surface that changes their lives forever.

It’s got two stories.

It’s got a garden.

And the front door is open.

It’s a house at the bottom of a lake.

For the teens, there is only one rule: no questions. And yet, how could a place so spectacular come with no price tag? While the duo plays house beneath the waves, one reality remains:

Just because a house is empty, doesn’t mean nobody’s home.


Published:     30th October 2016
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source: Owned



MY REVIEW

What I liked about this book...  Well, this was an interesting read!  Basically, this story is what it says on the title.  There's a house at the bottom of a lake.  What I really enjoyed about this story was actually the two main characters who meet at the beginning of the story and are attracted to each other.  They go on a date but instead of going for dinner or going to watch a movie they take a canoe and go for a trip around the lake.  This is where they discover a cave that they can just about get through which leads them to a 'third lake'.  That is when the wierdness begins.  I was fascinated to find out what they do next and what they discover.  Truly creepy.

What I didn't like about this book...  Basically, the ending.  After all that build up and suspense to end the way it did I was left wanting more than what I was given.  I won't say too much because of spoilers but I will say that to me it appeared to be a very open ended finish, left up to the reader to decide.  Although that is great, I was just left feeling like I wanted more.  I wanted an explanation that I didn't get. 

In summary... A very weird and spooky read with an open ended finale but definitely worth a read if you like spooky reads...


Continue reading Book Review / The House at the Bottom of the Lake by Josh Malerman

7 Jan 2018

, , ,

Book Review / A Time to Kill by John Grisham

Before The Firm and The Pelican Brief made him a superstar, John Grisham wrote this riveting story of retribution and justice -- at last it's available in a Doubleday hardcover edition. In this searing courtroom drama, best-selling author John Grisham probes the savage depths of racial violence...as he delivers a compelling tale of uncertain justice in a small southern town...Clanton, Mississippi.

The life of a ten-year-old girl is shattered by two drunken and remorseless young men. The mostly white town reacts with shock and horror at the inhuman crime. Until her black father acquires an assault rifle and takes matters into his hands.

For ten days, as burning crosses and the crack of sniper fire spread through the streets of Clanton, the nation sits spellbound as young defense attorney Jake Brigance struggles to save his client's life...and then his own.



Published:     1989
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Owned




MY REVIEW

John Grisham is an author I have loved since my teenage years but I have only ever read a few of his books.  This is one of those that falls into the category of I really want to read all his books but never get around to it and is something I am going to change this year. Of course, John Grisham has to be the first author I catch up with, starting with his first book.

This was a very uncomfortable read but one that I enjoyed reading, if you could possibly mix those two words together in one sentence - uncomfortable and enjoyable.  This story explores racial justice but not just that it explores the dynamics of a small town, how they all interact and how they deal with a case like this.  There so many twists and turns, back hand deals and if you know the right person you never know what you can do.

If I had to pick my favourite character in this book it has to be Jake.  Jake is the lawyer who is representing the victim's father who has been arrested and faces trial for shooting his daughter's attackers.  He obviously knows what he is doing and how to play the game.  I enjoyed following him as he works his way through the hurdles he has to face. 














Continue reading Book Review / A Time to Kill by John Grisham

4 Jan 2018

My TBR / January 2018

It's 2018, already!  I can't wait to start my year of reading big.  When I first started blogging (and booktubing on YouTube for a while) I read a lot.  Over the past few years although I have come close to 100 books and in 2017 getting to 100 I wanted to push myself again to read more like I used to do.  I have become a very relaxed reader, read when I want and only when I am in the mood to do it but sometimes I have irritated myself my not reading as much as I wanted to simply because I wasn't in the mood.  Adding a little pressure (not you read this or you die type of pressure) but by setting goals and looking to meet them I hope to read a lot more.

I have decided to set a TBR (To Be Read) pile for each month, which I will post like this one, and then I'm going to bring back the monthly wrap ups.  My hope is that this will kick my reading gear up a notch.  Let's see!




As you will see above and below, I am being a little ambitious for January with several larger books along with quite a few littler books but why not start as I mean to carry on.  All those in the first picture above are ones that I have bought new and have been 'meaning to get to' but haven't yet.  That's another habit I am hoping to break in 2018.  If I intend to read a book, I will.  The books in the second picture below are the Babysitter Club Specials collection, a series that I read when I was younger and I wanted to re-read them this year simply because I want to.



Let's see how I get on!

Happy reading!

Debs:-)



Continue reading My TBR / January 2018

3 Jan 2018

Waiting on Wednesday / The Unbinding of Mary Reade by Miriam McNamara

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme started by Breaking the Spine blog to spotlight exciting new releases.


A swashbuckling, smart novel based on the true story of a girl who disguised herself as a boy in order to sail with the infamous pirates Anne Bonny and Calico Jack.

There’s no place for a girl in Mary’s world. Not in the home of her mother, desperately drunk and poor. Not in the household of her wealthy granny, where a girl could never be named an heir. And certainly not in the arms of Nat, her childhood love who never knew her for who she was. As a hired sailor aboard a Caribbean merchant ship, Mary’s profession—and her safety—depend on her ability to disguise the fact that she’s a girl.

Leastways, that’s what she thinks is true. But then pirates attack the ship, and right in the middle of the swashbuckling crowd of bloodthirsty pirates, Mary spots something she never could have imagined: a girl pirate. The sight of a girl standing unafraid upon the deck, gun and sword in hand, changes everything. In a split-second decision, Mary turns her gun on her own captain and earns herself a spot among the pirates’ crew.

For the first time, Mary has a shot at freedom. But imagining living life as her true self is easier, it seems, than actually doing it. And when Mary finds herself falling for the captain’s mistress, she risks everything—her childhood love, her place among the crew, and even her life.


Goodreads Link:  Click Here 

 





Continue reading Waiting on Wednesday / The Unbinding of Mary Reade by Miriam McNamara

1 Jan 2018

Reading Challenges 2017 and 2018

Its been a bit of a roller coaster this year for me in reading.  I have gone through periods where I can't get enough of reading and periods where I just didn't want to read at all.  I am so pleased with myself to be able reach my goal of over 100 books this year as my plans for next year are even bigger!

I hope you have all had a wonderful reading year and looking forward to all the fantastic new and reading in 2018.




Goodreads 100 Book Challenge - Done it!  I can't actually believe I achieved this one as I really didn't think I would.  So pleased!

Read Your Own Book Challenge - I read a total of 35 of my own books this year which is good but I plan on doing better next year.

Big Book Challenge -  26 books on this list and I wasn't even trying, to be honest.  I just picked books I wanted to read and they just happened to be big books. 

Jodi Picoult Challenge - Failed on this one I am afraid. I read one of hers but the problem I have is that I love her writing but they are always very slow reads and I just wasn't in the mood for that this year. 

Read 5 Classics Challenge - Nope, failed on this one too.  I don't think I even read one classic.  That's really bad of me...


2018 Reading Challenge Goals

Goodreads 150 Book Challenge - Yes, this one is on my list again but I have upped my game.  I have never read that many books before so I am intrigued to find out how I do.

Read Your Own Book Challenge - Always a goal of mine to make sure that I read from my own shelf and not review books or books that I have only just bought..

Big Book Challenge -  A true staple in my challenges that can often get forgotten.


As you can see, I am keeping it simple this year.  There may be one or two other challenges I set myself along the way but as I intend to read 150 books I thought it was best to keep it simple!

Continue reading Reading Challenges 2017 and 2018

31 Dec 2017

,

2017 Wrap Up / Favourite Series

It has certainly been a very interesting reading year for me.  Although I have read quite a few books in a series, there really is only one series that I 'completed' and I would call an absolute favourite which is the Throne of Glass series but that was before Tower of Dawn came out (which is in the top of my pile to read in 2018).  However, there have been one or two starts of a series that I have really enjoyed but the next books either haven't been written yet or are not yet released.  I have included them in this post because they are series that I am very excited about...




My Review:  Click Here

Hands down, this was my favourite series of the year and quite possibly one of my most favourite series of all time.  I just could not put this down.  I now have Tower of Dawn which is on the top of my list for 2018.

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king's council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she'll serve the kingdom for four years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. But she's bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her ... but it's the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead ... quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.




This series is nearly into its 50th book I believe so its a long series and one that I fully intend on starting from the beginning at some point but just because it is part of a series doesn't mean you can't read it independently of the series, which is what I have done.  I do feel that to get the bigger picture it would be better to start from book 1 and I am planing to find that out... 

This chilling new suspense novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author J.D. Robb is the perfect entry point into the compelling In Death police procedural series featuring Lieutenant Eve Dallas.

As NY Lt. Eve Dallas and her billionaire husband Roarke are driving home, a young woman—dazed, naked, and bloody—suddenly stumbles out in front of their car. Roarke slams on the brakes and Eve springs into action.

Daphne Strazza is rushed to the ER, but it’s too late for her husband Dr. Anthony Strazza. A brilliant orthopedic surgeon, he now lies dead amid the wreckage of his obsessively organized town house, his three safes opened and emptied. Daphne would be a valuable witness, but in her terror and shock the only description of the perp she can offer is repeatedly calling him “the devil”...

While it emerges that Dr. Strazza was cold, controlling, and widely disliked, this is one case where the evidence doesn’t point to the spouse. So Eve and her team must get started on the legwork, interviewing everyone from dinner-party guests to professional colleagues to caterers, in a desperate race to answer some crucial questions:

What does the devil look like? And where will he show up next?




Songs about a Girl Review - Click Here
Songs about Us Review - Click Here

This book was so much fun to read.  The perfect series to read when all you want to do is sit, relax and read.  I am really hoping there will be a third book to this series as I would love to know more.  

Charlie Bloom never wanted to be 'with the band'. She's happiest out of the spotlight, behind her camera, unseen and unnoticed. But when she's asked to take backstage photos for hot new boy band Fire&Lights, she can't pass up the chance.

Catapulted into a world of paparazzi and backstage bickering, Charlie soon becomes caught between gorgeous but damaged frontman, Gabriel West, and his boy-next-door bandmate Olly Samson. Then, as the boys' rivalry threatens to tear the band apart, Charlie stumbles upon a mind-blowing secret, hidden in the lyrics of their songs...






Continue reading 2017 Wrap Up / Favourite Series

30 Dec 2017

,

2017 Wrap Up / Favourite Stand Alones

As we reach the end of yet another year, I thought it would be interesting to see, for myself and for this post, what books I truly enjoyed this year.  In this post I am specifically highlighting my favourite stand-alones.  Now, I do have to say that I have been very picky with what I have chosen and although there have been many more reads that I have enjoyed, the below are the ones that particularly stand out as being unforgettable reads for me.




My Review:   Click Here


What made this one of my favourites for the year was the difficult subject of the story and the way Jodi Picoult, yet again, makes me think about not only the individual character's dilemmas but the bigger picture.


Sage Singer befriends an old man who's particularly beloved in her community. Josef Weber is everyone's favourite retired teacher and Little League coach. They strike up a friendship at the bakery where Sage works. One day he asks Sage for a favor: to kill him. Shocked, Sage refuses... and then he confesses his darkest secret—he deserves to die, because he was a Nazi SS guard. Complicating the matter? Sage's grandmother is a Holocaust survivor.

What do you do when evil lives next door? Can someone who's committed a truly heinous act ever atone for it with subsequent good behaviour? Should you offer forgiveness to someone if you aren't the party who was wronged? And most of all—if Sage even considers his request—is it murder, or justice?









My Review:  Click Here


Jennifer McMahon has been around for a while now but for some reason I have only just discovered her.  Right in the middle of my 'I need to read a lot of thrillers' stage I found this one and loved it!


"The New York Times" bestselling author of the acclaimed "Island of Lost Girls" and "Promise Not to Tell" returns with a chilling novel in which the secrets of the past come back to haunt a group of friends in terrifying ways.

Dismantlement = Freedom

Henry, Tess, Winnie, and Suz banded together in college to form a group they called the Compassionate Dismantlers. Following the first rule of their manifesto--"To understand the nature of a thing, it must be taken apart"--these daring misfits spend the summer after graduation in a remote cabin in the Vermont woods committing acts of meaningful vandalism and plotting elaborate, often dangerous, pranks. But everything changes when one particularly twisted experiment ends in Suz's death and the others decide to cover it up.

Nearly a decade later, Henry and Tess are living just an hour's drive from the old cabin. Each is desperate to move on from the summer of the Dismantlers, but their guilt isn't ready to let them go. When a victim of their past pranks commits suicide--apparently triggered by a mysterious Dismantler-style postcard--it sets off a chain of eerie events that threatens to engulf Henry, Tess, and their inquisitive nine-year-old daughter, Emma.

Is there someone who wants to reveal their secrets? Is it possible that Suz did not really die--or has she somehow found a way back to seek revenge?

Full of white-knuckle tension with deeply human characters caught in circumstances beyond their control, Jennifer McMahon's gripping story and spine-tingling plot prove that she is a master at weaving the fear of the supernatural with the stark realities of life.









My Review:  Click Here


We all know that it is not possible for me to have a favourites post without including a Nicholas Sparks book!  As always, such a beautiful read.

#1 New York Times bestselling author Nicholas Sparks returns with an emotionally powerful story of unconditional love, its challenges, its risks and most of all, its rewards.

At 32, Russell Green has it all: a stunning wife, a lovable six year-old daughter, a successful career as an advertising executive and an expansive home in Charlotte. He is living the dream, and his marriage to the bewitching Vivian is the center of that. But underneath the shiny surface of this perfect existence, fault lines are beginning to appear...and no one is more surprised than Russ when he finds every aspect of the life he took for granted turned upside down. In a matter of months, Russ finds himself without a job or wife, caring for his young daughter while struggling to adapt to a new and baffling reality. Throwing himself into the wilderness of single parenting, Russ embarks on a journey at once terrifying and rewarding—one that will test his abilities and his emotional resources beyond anything he ever imagined.



My Review:  Click Here

Creepy and kept me on the edge of my seat all the way through.  Enough said!

A mutilated body discovered in the woods.
A murderous plan conceived in the past.
A reckoning seventy years in the making . . .

When lawyer Charlie Priest is attacked in his own home by a man searching for information he claims Priest has, he is drawn into a web of corruption that has its roots in the last desperate days of World War Two.

When his attacker is found murdered the next day, Priest becomes a suspect and the only way to clear his name is to find out about the mysterious House of Mayfly - a secret society that people will kill for.

As Priest races to uncover the truth, can he prevent history from repeating itself? 




 My Review:  Click Here


 I went into this book having not read or listened to any reviews or read any description of this book.  Going in that way, I enjoyed the journey the story took me and was really surprised by the twist at the end.  

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.























Continue reading 2017 Wrap Up / Favourite Stand Alones

29 Dec 2017

, ,

Series Review / Cormoran Strike Series by Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling)


When a troubled model falls to her death from a snow-covered Mayfair balcony, it is assumed that she has committed suicide. However, her brother has his doubts, and calls in private investigator Cormoran Strike to look into the case.

A war veteran, wounded both physically and psychologically, Strike's life is in disarray. The case gives him a financial lifeline, but it comes at a personal cost: the more he delves into the young model's complex world, the darker things get - and the closer he gets to terrible danger . . .

A gripping, elegant mystery steeped in the atmosphere of London - from the hushed streets of Mayfair, to the backstreet pubs of the East End, to the bustle of Soho - The Cuckoo's Calling is a remarkable debut. Introducing Cormoran Strike, it is a classic crime novel unlike any other book you will read this year.


Published:     2013
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Books 1, 2 & 3, Comoran Strike
Source:  Owned








MY REVIEW


What I liked about this series...  As one of the many series that I have been meaning to pick up, I am so glad that I decided to get on with it and read it mainly for the reason that this was really good but also for the reason that while getting this post ready I noticed that there will be a book 4 in this series and that is something I am very excited about!  You have Cormoran who is a private detective and a bit down on his luck until two things happen,  he meets and hires an assistant who is more valuable to him then he will realise and he is about to stumble across a case that is going to make his career.  He has not always been a private detective.  He used to be in Afghanistan but lost half his leg in the war.  Although a hindrance sometimes, the loss of his leg doesn't seem to affect him too much.

With each of these stories, you have a new problem to solve but there's also the bigger picture to do with Cormoran's past that flows through each of these books and that is the main reason I kept reading.  I wanted to know what was going on.

You also have the two main characters Cormoran and his assistant Robin.  You can clearly see there is something there between them, whether romantic or not.  Over time they clearly respect each other and can become great friends.  I enjoyed following them as they discover how their relationship works both at work and as friends. 

What I didn't like about this series... If I had to be picky, this series is very slow paced so even though I wanted to keep reading and keep the momentum going the pace was so slow which meant that even though I thought I had read a lot I really hadn't made much of a dent in the book.





Continue reading Series Review / Cormoran Strike Series by Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling)

28 Dec 2017

,

Book Review / The Angel by Katerina Diamond

THE TRUTH WON’T STAY LOCKED UP FOREVER

When a burned body is found in a disused signal box, suspicion falls on lonely teenager Gabriel Webb. There’s no doubt he was at the scene of the crime, but does he really deserve what awaits him in prison?

DS Imogen Grey is certain there’s more to the case than meets the eye. But while she struggles to convince those around her of the truth, her partner DS Adrian Miles is distracted by his own demons.

When a brutal double murder is reported, their investigation is stopped in its tracks. Is the body in the box even who they thought it was? The duo realise Gabriel might have been locked up for a crime he didn’t commit. But with enemies watching Gabriel’s every move, they may be too late.

Miles and Grey are back in the thrilling new novel from bestselling author Katerina Diamond, perfect for fans of Karin Slaughter and M.J. Arlidge.


Published:     21st September 2017
Publisher:  Avon
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Book 3, DS Imogen Grey
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher


MY REVIEW

 What I liked about this book...  Although I think I would have enjoyed this more if I had read the previous books in this series, I did enjoy the journey.  It was fast paced and I was definitely hooked enough to want to follow the detectives and find out whether Gabriel was guilty or not.

What I didn't like about this book..  I hadn't realised when looking into this book that it was book 3 in a series.  There was nothing on the cover that I had to say that it was and is a pet hate of mine.  If books are part of a series, it should be noted either on the cover or on the spine as what book in a series it is.  When picking up a book to read, I don't like to look too much into it apart from reading the description in the back so if there's nothing obvious to say that it is part of a series, I would not know. 






Continue reading Book Review / The Angel by Katerina Diamond
,

Book Review / Lucky in Love by Kasie West

Can’t buy me love…

Maddie’s not impulsive. She’s all about hard work and planning ahead. But one night, on a whim, she buys a lottery ticket. And then, to her astonishment—

She wins!

In a flash, Maddie’s life is unrecognizable. No more stressing about college scholarships. Suddenly, she’s talking about renting a yacht. And being in the spotlight at school is fun…until rumors start flying, and random people ask her for loans. Now Maddie isn’t sure who she can trust.

Except for Seth Nguyen, her funny, charming coworker at the local zoo. Seth doesn’t seem aware of Maddie’s big news. And, for some reason, she doesn’t want to tell him. But what will happen if he learns her secret?



Published:     25th July 2017
Publisher:  Scholastic
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Library


MY REVIEW

Unfortunately, this is one of those books that is going to fall into the 'this is just not for me'.  Although it was fun and easy to read,  this story had a lot of aspects that I didn't believe in or aspects that could have happened but didn't.  You have Maddie who is in school, so must be a teenager, who wins the lottery.  Instead of her parents helping her or a guardian appointed until she is an adult or finished school etc she is just left to sort out her own finances.  The money is just handed over, no questions asked.  As a response to that, she makes very silly decisions such as investing in an uncle's investment idea, an uncle she didn't know exist until she had the money.

The very reason she bought the lottery ticket in the first place was because it was her birthday and none of her friends turned up or let her know they weren't coming.  After winning, there was a little mention of why they didn't turn up but it was just dismissed as if it didn't matter.  If that had happened to me, it would have upset me a lot more than that.

There's also the character of Seth who Maddie first meets when she goes out to buy her lottery ticket.  There was such potential that Maddie and Seth could have made the story very interesting but for me there was not enough of that story to be able to get invested in the relationship.

Very disappointed by this one but I did enjoy the writing style and am planning to pick up more by this author. 








Continue reading Book Review / Lucky in Love by Kasie West