Sunday, 17 July 2016

***Review*** The Perfect Lie by Emily Barr



The Perfect Lie by Emily Barr


Released: May 2010
Publisher: Headline
Series: No
Format: Audiobook
Source: Libray Lend
Find at: Goodreads | Amazon UK | Waterstones


Synopsis:

For Lucy Riddick, Venice has always been the dream destination. A dream inspired by the pretty picture pinned to her mother’s kitchen wall. To Lucy, Venice seems the ideal place to lose herself. And now she needs to do just that. 

The secret she’s been keeping from her boyfriend and her friends has finally caught up with her and Lucy needs to disappear – and fast. There’s no better time to pack her bags and head for Italy. But what if, when she sets foot in Venice, Lucy finds that the one thing she has been running from, the one thing she has been trying to escape, is already there, lying in wait for her? Time to run away again? Or time to end the chase, once and for all?




My Review:

This was an audio book version.  There were three narrators which really helped the story, it gave each character a more personalised feel.  One thing this book has which I love is short chapters.  When you're on the go and dipping in and out of books, short chapters really help.  

This book is set in two different times.  You have the story of Marianne when she was a teenager and then you have Lucy who is the grown up version of Marianne, this is interspersed with the voice of Eliza who is the friend and brother of Lucy's fiance.  I love how the story built as you got to learn more about the past and what effects this has had on the main character.  I know when I'm on to a five star read as I go above and beyond my normal reading pattern.  I couldn't wait to get this one finished and find out the whole story.  I was not disappointed.  I really felt for this poor hunted woman, how her past was dictating everything around her.  I was happy with the ending and there were a few surprises along the way which added to the story.

I've never been to Venice but the decription of the scenery and area really helped me get a feel for it.  I don't like overly descriptive or flowery reads and this was just right, just enough to set the scene and take me there.

I have moved straight on to another of Emily Barr's books, I look forward to reading/listening to more books by this author.  A well deserved 5 stars. 


 Overall: Thorouhly enoyed this book, gripped me from start to finish.  Can't wait to read more of this authors books.

My Thoughs on the Cover:  It's really pretty!  Lovely colour scheme.
 

Saturday, 16 July 2016

***Review*** All Is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker

All is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker

Released: 14th July 2016
Publisher: Harlequin UK, Mira
Series: No
Format: Digital ARC
Source: From Netgalley
Find at:  GoodreadsAmazon UK | Waterstones

Many thanks to the publisher & Netgalley for my copy, this is in exchange for an honest review

Synopsis:


You can erase the memory. But you cannot erase the crime. Jenny's wounds have healed. 

An experimental treatment has removed the memory of a horrific and degrading attack. She is moving on with her life. 

That was the plan. Except it's not working out. Something has gone. The light in the eyes. And something was left behind. A scar. On her lower back. Which she can't stop touching. And she's getting worse. Not to mention the fact that her father is obsessed with finding her attacker and her mother is in toxic denial. It may be that the only way to uncover what's wrong is to help Jenny recover her memory. But even if it can be done, pulling at the threads of her suppressed experience will unravel much more than the truth about her attack. And that could destroy as much as it heals.



 My Review:

Wow!  This one was certainly a little on the shocking side and a thrilling read.   It shows how everything can have consequences, the smallest of changes, the decisions of others and yourself. All - have - consequences.  One way or another things will catch up.  This book is very much like a pressure cooker, it sets off at a high fast temperature and then just keeps on building.  This is not a book for young readers or for the faint hearted, the story has an adult theme.

One element this book does it take time to educate the reader on the scientific side of things.  I do like this as it's good to have the information, it adds to the book.

 The investigation that follows the rape of Jenny is very indepth and recorded.  Then on the other hand you have the aftermath and the effects on the family.  Each member reacts and tries to cope in different ways.  This book is narrated in a way that might not appeal to some readers, at times it can come across as clinical and detached.  I think this is why this book doesn't quite get the full five star rating.

There was a good mixture of characters.  I think my favourite was Charlotte, the mother of Jenny.  Charlotte is a complex character, who on the outside is trying to hold things together but on the inside was a very different kettle of fish.  She was the one who interested me the most, her actions and her behaviour to the attack and the aftermath, these actions are all perceived by the narrator who observes.

Overall: Not a light hearted read, at times it can come across a bit clinical. 

My thoughts on the cover:  It looks really striking and suits the story.




Sunday, 10 July 2016

***Review*** Night Shift by Charlaine Harris



Night Shift by Charlaine Harris


Released: 5th May 2016
Publisher: Gollancz
Series: Yes, book 3 in the Midnight, Texas series
Format: Hardback
Source: From Publisher for review purposes
Find at:  Goodreads | Amazon UK | Waterstones

Many thanks to  the publisher for my copy, this is in exchange for an honest review


Synopsis

Welcome to the most intriguing mystery you'll read this year.

Welcome to Midnight, Texas.
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Sookie Stackhouse novels-"the Mark Twain of things that live under your bed"-comes a new novel of Midnight, Texas, the town where some secrets will never see the light of day...
At Midnight's local pawnshop, weapons are flying off the shelves-only to be used in sudden and dramatic suicides right at the main crossroads in town.
Who better to figure out why blood is being spilled than the vampire Lemuel, who, while translating mysterious texts, discovers what makes Midnight the town it is. There's a reason why witches and werewolves, killers and psychics, have been drawn to this place.
And now they must come together to stop the bloodshed in the heart of Midnight. For if all hell breaks loose-which just might happen-it will put the secretive town on the map, where no one wants it to be...

My Review

As this is book three in the series I am no going to give and spoilers to the character and their development nor the plot.  What I will say is that this series keeps on getting better and better and that I am not disappointed one little bit after reading this book.

When you are given a new book by your favourite author there is a certain level of expectation, the bar is set so high.  I never thought I would ever read a series as good as the Sookie Stackhouse series and when I started this brand new series I was a little 'mmmmmmm I do hope it doesn't disappoint.' Well guys it does not.

The setting of the series is a town called Midnight, it's very mysterious and has some unlikely characters all living together.  Not always so harmoniously, but when things do go down you can see them all rallying together like one big family.

As always I pick out my favourite character, throughout the three books Fiji has been my favourite.  She is sweet, charming and when the needs arises one kick ass witch, plus the addition of her talking cat, Mr Snuggly, injects some much loved humour.

I really do hope this series does go on for so many books.  I would love to know more about each character, there's some deep history with each of them.  They all bring a richness and supernatural edge to the book.

So yes, if you do love Charlaine Harris you will not be disappointed.  Do read the books in order, as they do loosely follow each other.  I think this really deserves the five star rating I'm awarding it.



Overall: Fantastic.  Never thought I'd get over the end of the Sookie Stackhouse series, but this injects much needed southern charm.

My Thoughts on the Cover:  It's really spooky.  I love the colour and it really draws me in.

Books in the series: 

Book 2 - Day Shift
Book 3 - Night Shift

Saturday, 13 September 2014

***Review*** The Good Girl by Mary Kubica


The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

Released: 1st August 2014
Publisher: Mira
Series: No
Format: Digital ARC
Source: From Netgalley
Find at:  Goodreads | Amazon UK | Waterstones

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for my copy, this is in exchange for an honest review

Synopsis:

"I've been following her for the past few days. I know where she buys her groceries, where she has her dry cleaning done, where she works. I don't know the color of her eyes or what they look like when she's scared. But I will."

Born to a prominent Chicago judge and his stifled socialite wife, Mia Dennett moves against the grain as a young inner-city art teacher. One night, Mia enters a bar to meet her on-again, off-again boyfriend. But when he doesn't show, she unwisely leaves with an enigmatic stranger. With his smooth moves and modest wit, at first Colin Thatcher seems like a safe one-night stand. But following Colin home will turn out to be the worst mistake of Mia's life.

Colin's job was to abduct Mia as part of a wild extortion plot and deliver her to his employers. But the plan takes an unexpected turn when Colin suddenly decides to hide Mia in a secluded cabin in rural Minnesota, evading the police and his deadly superiors. Mia's mother, Eve, and detective Gabe Hoffman will stop at nothing to find them, but no one could have predicted the emotional entanglements that eventually cause this family's world to shatter.

An addictively suspenseful and tautly written thriller, The Good Girl is a compulsive debut that reveals how even in the perfect family, nothing is as it seems….




My Review

Mmmmm little book, you are dark, twisty and just how I like psychological mind bending stories.  This one jumped straight in, no messing no fuss.  Thrust into the story like a fast flowing river, I did have to come up for air to re-evaluate what was going on. It is a little bit confusing to get into, but when things settle down it's rivetting.

Three different perspectives and all jumping around from past to present.  I had to keep my witts about me to keep up with what was going on. Maybe this is the real reason why it didn't come in as a five star.

Did I gel with the characters, maybe not as much as I wanted to.  There was a bit of a lack of connection there, maybe again the bouncing from past to present didn't help with this.  But it was nice to see the story unravel from the different characters look on things.  I did start to think I knew where the plot was going, but it took a turn and I didn't have time to see it coming.  I do like a few twists in a  book, good to keep me guessing.  I really don't like flat line books as I call them, I do like a few heart stoppers to add adrenaline.  This book did have those I'm pleased to say.

If you like a good thrilling, twisty and dark read, then go for it.  It might not be the best thriller I've read, but it is damn good.

I do look forward to reading more books from this author.  

 photo 4-star.pngOverall:
Enjoyed this and would definitely recommend this to fans of psychological thrillers

My Thoughts on The Cover:
I like this cover.  The more you look at it the more you analyse the girl.  I would certainly pick this one up as it does appeal to me.  I especially love the title font and the way some of it is missing and the R is backwards, very interesting and eye catching indeed.






Saturday, 26 July 2014

***Review*** Who Are You by Elizabeth Forbes


Who Are You by Elizabeth Forbes

Released: 1st July 2014
Publisher: Cutting Edge Press
Series: No
Format: ARC
Source: From Publisher
Find at: Goodreads | Amazon UK | Waterstones

Author Twitter: Elizabeth Forbes

Many thanks to Cutting Edge Press for my copy of this book, this is in exchange for an honest review

Goodreads Synopsis:


 Alex, a career officer in an elite regiment, returns from Afghanistan a changed man. He has left the Army behind and is attempting to forge a civilian career as a security advisor. His wife, Juliet, is delighted. She, Alex and their son Ben now live in a well-appointed house in a leafy London suburb.
But all is not well. Juliet's research on the internet suggests that Alex is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) but pride means that he will not seek professional help.
Finding solace in web forums, Juliet is offered the use of a cottage and is urged to remove Ben to a place of safety. After a lot of secretive planning and the financial support of Alex's mother who had suffered at the hands of her husband, Juliet and Ben escape the tyranny of their home with the hope of starting afresh...





My Review
I don't normally go for books with military themes but this one seemed to jump out at me.  I noticed that it also had great reviews by people I really trust in the blogging community.  Well I can say they were not wrong.  It was gripping right from the first page.  I know when a five star book is in the making as I stay up late reading it, I love my sleep and usually nothing comes between me and sleep, but Who Are You did.  Yes I feel tired now, but it was worth it.  Explosive from start to finish and totally mind blowingly dark.

If you are fainthearted do NOT read this book, it is gritty and realistic and at times a little uncomfortable.  There are some disturbing moments and I did have to put the book down a give myself a moment before I could carry on.  I think this is why it was five stars, Elizabeth Forbes does not hold back.  This makes the book very realistic and also has a way of playing with your emotions. 

 At times I really hated the main character Alex, but on the flipside sometimes I felt a glimmer of pity.  Circumstances throughout his life have totally destroyed him.  The same for Juliet she has her problems too.  Flawed characters are so interesting because they are multi-dimensional, it does make for interesting reading.


I really did rate this book so I have gone and bought Nearest Thing to Crazy which is the other book Elizabeth has written. I can't wait to see how this one compares.

Things I liked about this book:
It was realistic, I've never had experience of PTSD before and this was very enlightening to the effects it can have on not just the person but the family too.

Things I disliked about this book:
I wish it was longer!  
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Overview:
A gripping and chilling read. I was hooked

My Thoughts on the Cover:
It's a bit menacing, there is something unnerving about the eyes.  Creeps me out a bit but perfect for a psychological thriller.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

***Review*** Savage Drift by Emmy Laybourne


Savage Drift by Emmy Laybourne

Released: 1st May 2014
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
Series: Yes, #3 in the Monument 14 series
Format: Paperback
Source: From Publisher
Find at:  Goodreads | Amazon UK | Waterstones | Books With Bite

Author Site:  Emmy Laybourne

Many thanks to the Publisher for my copy, this is in exchange for an honest review

Goodreads Synopsis:

The stunningly fierce conclusion to Emmy Laybourne's Monument 14 trilogy.

The survivors of the Monument 14 have finally made it to the safety of a Canadian refugee camp. Dean and Alex are cautiously starting to hope that a happy ending might be possible.

But for Josie, separated from the group and trapped in a brutal prison camp for exposed Type Os, things have gone from bad to worse. Traumatized by her experiences, she has given up all hope of rescue or safety.

Meanwhile, scared by the government's unusual interest in her pregnancy, Astrid (with her two protectors, Dean and Jake in tow) joins Niko on his desperate quest to be reunited with his lost love Josie.

Author Emmy Laybourne reaches new heights of tension and romance in this action-packed conclusion to the Monument 14 trilogy.




My Review

First of all I will kick off and say how fantastic this series was, it gripped me right the way through.  I really thought Savage Drift was a great finish to the series.  I am sad that it's all over now.  I've read a few post apocalypse stories now and I think that the Monument 14 series is my favourite.  It  does make you stop and think about certain scenarios and is completely believable, biological catastrophes are just as likely to happen compared to natural ones.  Humankind can just as well manage to end civilisation if it so chooses, it's not just Mother Nature who can end things.

Really great characters and so nice to see how each of them evolved throughout the three books.  I think my favourite character would have to be Josie, I thought her own personal journey was amazing.  

I'm  not going to spoil the story, if you haven't already read Monument 14 then go get a copy now!  Go on! What are you waiting for??

Each book in the series was consistently brilliant.  The only reason this did not get five stars is because I don't think it could quite compete with the first book in the series.


 photo 4-star.png
Overall:
Fantastic series, definitely one I would recommend.

My Thoughts on the Cover
I think the cover really does capture the story, it is detailed and I really like it.  It would instantly draw my attention in the bookshop.


You can find my reviews to book one and two below, just click on the links.

#1   Monument 14
#2   Sky On Fire 


 

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

***Review*** The Wicked We Have Done by Sarah Harian


The Wicked We Have Done by Sarah Harian

Released: 18th March 2014
Publisher: Headline
Series: Yes, #1 in the Chaos Theory series
Source: Neygalley
Format: Digital ARC
Find at: Goodreads | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble

Author Site: Sarah Harian

Many thanks to Netgalley and the Publisher for my copy, this is in exchange for an honest reveiew

Goodreads Synopsis:

Evalyn Ibarra never expected to be an accused killer and experimental prison test subject. A year ago, she was a normal college student. Now she’s been sentenced to a month in the compass room—an advanced prison obstacle course designed by the government to execute justice.

If she survives, the world will know she’s innocent.

Locked up with nine notorious and potentially psychotic criminals, Evalyn must fight the prison and dismantle her past to stay alive. But the system prized for accuracy appears to be killing at random.

She doesn’t plan on making friends.

She doesn’t plan on falling in love, either.



My Review

From just reading the synopsis I felt quite excited about this book.  I mean can you imagine what would happen if you got locked up with 9 potentially lethal criminals, it sounded like the survival of the fittest.  Yes, it does scream a little bit like a Hunger Games themed book, but that is where the similarities end.  It is more graphic and yes there are bloody deaths, but the way it plays with the prisoners is sheer evil.  You do get to see them as more than just criminals, suddenly a bit of compassion kicks in.  They have all committed crimes, but you should never judge people until you get to know the real person.

I did enjoy this book, but I wouldn't say it blew me away.  I would like to read book two in the series just to see where this goes.  

Some of the characters I didn't really care about, their life in the compass room was just a blur, but the main character Evalyn was the most interesting. Evalynn was multi dimensional and a very complicated person to understand, I think as the story progressed I seemed to see a different person.

I think the main reason this didn't get full marks from me is that even though there was a lot of action in the book, it still didn't grip me fully.

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Overall:
A thrilling and deadly ride

My Thoughts on the Cover:
I think the blood spatters are clever, it does hint that there will be violence and death.  I do like this cover and I like the title font and colour scheme.

 
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