Nine Lives Book Review

Posted June 8, 2022 by louisesr in Review / 0 Comments

Nine Lives Book ReviewNine Lives by Peter Swanson
Published by HarperCollins Publishers on May 27, 2022
Pages: 336
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Buy on AmazonBuy on Bookshop

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

Goodreads
three-half-stars

Nine strangers receive a list with their names on it in the mail. Nothing else, just a list of names on a single sheet of paper. None of the nine people know or have ever met the others on the list. They dismiss it as junk mail, a fluke--until very, very bad things begin happening to people on the list.

First, a well-liked old man is drowned on a beach in the small town of Kennewick, Maine. Then, a father is shot in the back while running through his quiet neighborhood in suburban Massachusetts. A frightening pattern is emerging, but what do these nine people have in common? Their professions range from oncology nurse to aspiring actor, and they're located all over the country. So why are they all on the list, and who sent it?

FBI agent Jessica Winslow, who is on the list herself, is determined to find out. Could there be some dark secret that binds them all together? Or is this the work of a murderous madman? As the mysterious sender stalks these nine strangers, they find themselves constantly looking over their shoulders, wondering who will be crossed off next...

Nine strangers, seemingly unrelated. Each one of them receives a list containing their name. Most of them looks at it and promptly forget about it or ignore it, they don’t know anyone on the list apart from themselves so dismiss it. However, they soon start to turn up murdered.

Swanson has stated that he drew inspration from Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None for this book and there were definitely some heavy parralels to be found between the two. However, there is a warning to be had in imitating a master of the craft. You’re work, no matter how good, is never likely to live up to the original.

“The awful thing about loneliness, Jack thought, not for the first time, is that it isn’t always cured by other people.”

There are a lot of characters to keep on top of in this, there’s obviously the 9 people on the list, there’s also the murderer and there’s the police who are (not really) investigating. I did find it quite difficult to keep on top of who was who, I didn’t feel that I really got a chance to get to know the characters all that well.

“He’d always wondered what was worse: to feel emptiness and not know what would make it go away, or to feel emptiness and know exactly what was missing. Tonight, for whatever reason, he seemed to have the answer. He understood with evangelical clarity how fleeting our lives are, and how foolish it is to mourn those who’ve left too soon.”

three-half-stars
Divider

Top Ten Tuesday – Books With a Unit of Time In the Title

Posted June 7, 2022 by louisesr in Review / 2 Comments

This just happens to coincide with my review of 22 Seconds by James Patterson. I’d like to tell you it was intentional, but I am honestly not that organised!

So my top 10 books with a unit of time in the Title

  1. 22 Seconds by James Patterson
  2. Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult
  3. One Day by David Nicholls
  4. The Distant Hours by Kate Morton
  5. My Penumbra’s 24 Hour Book Store by Robin Sloan
  6. Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton
  7. In Seconds by Brenda Novak
  8. The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson
  9. Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes
  10. The Vanished Days by Susanna Kearsley

I have read all of these, however, I haven’t yet reviewed them all on here. Maybe I should use this as a prompt to try and remember what I thought of them and then I can add reviews

Divider

The Stories of my Life Book Review

Posted June 6, 2022 by louisesr in Review / 0 Comments

The Stories of my Life Book ReviewThe Stories of my Life by James Patterson
Published by Hachette UK on June 6, 2022
Genres: Autobiography
Pages: 400
Format: ARC
Source: NetGalley
Buy on AmazonBuy on Bookshop

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

Goodreads
three-half-stars

How did a kid whose dad lived in the poorhouse become the most successful storyteller in the world?

  • On the morning he was born, he nearly died.
  • His dad grew up in the Pogey– the Newburgh, New York, poorhouse.
  • He worked at a mental hospital in Massachusetts, where he met the singer James Taylor and the poet Robert Lowell.  
  • While he toiled in advertising hell, James wrote the ad jingle line “I’m a Toys ‘R’ Us Kid.”
  • He once watched James Baldwin and Norman Mailer square off to trade punches at a party.
  • He’s only been in love twice.  Both times are amazing.
  • Dolly Parton once sang “Happy Birthday” to James over the phone.  She calls him J.J., for Jimmy James. 

How did a boy from small-town New York become the world’s most successful writer? How does he do it? He has always wanted to write the kind of novel that would be read and reread so many times that the binding breaks and the book literally falls apart. As he says, “I’m still working on that one.” 

This is a strange one for me to review. I had mixed feelings about it and I’m not entirely sure they’re the fault of James Patterson. I had expected this to be an autobiography, and in a way it is – just not in the traditional sense. This is a group of stories of various events that have happened in James Pattersons life but there is no logical groupings and they’re non linear, which is confusing. For example, we have a couple of chapters about working with Bill Clinton and the books they wrote together and then shortly after that we have them meeting for the first time on a golf course.

For the first quarter of the book I was getting very annoyed at the constant name dropping, I had it in my head that this was showing an arrogance on Pattersons part. However, as I read more of the book and got to understand Patterson more I came to realise that it wasn’t arrogance or showing off but that he is genuinely excited and surprised that he has the level of fame that he does and that he has met the people that he has.

I read an arc of this so it was unfinished and the formatting was terrible, this is something that i know will be fixed before it goes on general sale, Im also hoping that it will be more readable. it did feel like an editor still needed to do their job on it.

There is very little about writing in this, I had really hoped for more. Patterson does tell us about books and authors that he loves, and touches on his writing process but its nothing deeper than what he’s revealed in other interviews. One thing that Patterson does do very well in this book is too give credit to other people, be they people he’s worked with in advertising or people involved in the publishing process.

Ultimately, I was disappointed in this book, I much prefer Patterson’s fiction work.

three-half-stars
Divider

Book Blogger Hop – What is your method for writing reviews

Posted June 6, 2022 by louisesr in Review / 0 Comments

Ah writing reviews. Without them I wouldn’t remember a thing about the books that I’ve read. I don’t know whether it’s mum brain or middle age but I have got a memory like a sieve. There are so many books that I’ve read where I didn’t write the review straight away and now I just wouldn’t be able to.

So, yes, straight away. As soon as I finish a book. Before I started blogging I would have just logged into Goodreads and wrote down my immediate thoughts. Since I started blogging I have a diary with a page for each book, I write notes as I go along about things I found important and want to mention, feelings that I have as I’m reading and interesting quotes. I also use the highlight facility on my kindle and have post it notes with me for physical books.

Since I started blogging I feel that my reviews have improved, they still have a long way to go to be where I’d like them to be but I can see a difference from what they were a few months ago.

Divider

Stacking the Shelves

Posted June 4, 2022 by louisesr in Review / 1 Comment

As I’m away this week visiting my parents I thought it was going to be a quiet one for books.

I was wrong

There were 2 things that I didn’t take into account.

  1. Random Things having loads of amazing tours coming up
  2. Start of the month meaning that the new Kindle deals are available

So, firstly, the Random Things Tour Books I received

  • The Dark Remains by Ian Rankin and William McIlvanney
  • The Eye of the Beholder by Margie Orford
  • Deep Water by Emma Bamford
  • Listen To Me by Tess Gerritsen

The kindle bargains that I treated myself to

  • Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult
  • The Vanishing of Audrey Wilde by Eve Chase
  • Razorblade Tears by SA Cosby
  • The Mermaid of Black Conch by Monique Roffey
  • Cracking The Menopause by Mariella Frostrup

I won What She Left Behind by Mily Freud in a competition on Twitter

I may have also got 2 more tour books to read from publishers

  • The Way Back to You by James Bailey
  • The Friendship Pact by Jill Shalvis

I really need to stop buying books, or figure out how to read at least 10 a week!

Divider

Let’s Talk Bookish – Have you ever considered quitting blogging?

Posted June 3, 2022 by louisesr in Review / 1 Comment

Oh if ever there was a question that was meant for me then this was it!! Not only did I consider quitting. I did quit. For about 8 years.

I used to run a blog called BookBliss, I had to for around 3 years and I did really enjoy posting to it but I found the whole WordPress side of things really difficult and I could never get it to do what I wanted. I got so frustrated that I hated the look of it and doing the maintenance side of blogging (such as setting up the archives, doing back ups and anything like that) was so time consuming that I just lost heart and gave up, especially when I could never get it to look “professional” (I know this is a hobby but i have standards and want my blog to look good).

Fast forward to now and I’m back. I have Nose Graze doing the hosting for me, they supply my theme, the Ultimate Book Blogger plug in and they do all the updates. I literally come in here and create posts and publish them. There is so little additional work that needs to be done as they have formatted my main posts for book reviews, the menu’s for archives are set up by them and automatically updated when I post, they have shortcodes set up for so many things that my blogging life is so easy. I can concentrate on writing posts and engaging with other blogs. I love it!

Divider

My Name is Parvana Book Review

Posted June 2, 2022 by louisesr in Review / 0 Comments

My Name is Parvana Book ReviewMy Name Is Parvana by Deborah Ellis
Series: Breadwinner #4
Published by Groundwood Books/House of Anansi Press on May 1, 2015
Genres: Childrens, Autobiography
Pages: 208
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on AmazonBuy on Bookshop

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

Goodreads
four-stars

The fourth book in the internationally bestselling series that includes The Breadwinner, Parvana's Journey and Mud City.

In this stunning sequel, Parvana, now fifteen, is found in a bombed-out school and held as a suspected terrorist by American troops in Afghanistan.

On a military base in Afghanistan, after the fall of the Taliban in 2001, American authorities have just imprisoned a teenaged girl found in a bombed-out school. The army major thinks she may be a terrorist working with the Taliban. The girl does not respond to questions in any language and remains silent, even when she is threatened, harassed and mistreated over several days. The only clue to her identity is a tattered shoulder bag containing papers that refer to people named Shauzia, Nooria, Leila, Asif, Hassan -- and Parvana.

In this long-awaited sequel, Parvana is now fifteen years old. As she waits for foreign military forces to determine her fate, she remembers the past four years of her life. Reunited with her mother and sisters, she has been living in a village where her mother has finally managed to open a school for girls. But even though the Taliban has been driven from the government, the country is still at war, and many continue to view the education and freedom of girls and women with suspicion and fear.

As her family settles into the routine of running the school, Parvana, a bit to her surprise, finds herself restless and bored. She even thinks of running away. But when local men threaten the school and her family, she must draw on every ounce of bravery and resilience she possesses to survive the disaster that kills her mother, destroys the school, and puts her own life in jeopardy.

A riveting page-turner, Deborah Ellis's final novel in the series is at once harrowing, inspiring and thought-provoking. And, yes, in the end, Parvana is reunited with her childhood friend, Shauzia.

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

When the book starts 15 year old Parvana is already being held by American soldiers on suspicion of being a terrorist, we quickly learn that although she speaks near perfect English she is refusing to speak. Over the course of the novel we learn of the events that have led up to her being held and the reasons behind her silence.

This is the fourth book in the series and although it was strong enough to be read as a standalone, I would have liked to have had a better understanding of the relationships between Parvana, Mrs Weera and Shauzia which would have been gained from reading the earlier books in the series.

This book is aimed at the 10 year olds + age range, it’s part of the Accelerated Reading program, as are all of the other books in this series. Although not an easy book for this age range to read, it tackles some difficult subjects but is done in an easy to understand manner which I don’t think younger readers would find too difficult or traumatising.

Although aimed at children I think it’s a good read for all age ranges, I wanted to read a novel centred around the trouble in Afghanistan but I didn’t want something that would be too heavy going. This book was perfect for it.

four-stars
Divider

May 2022 Wrap Up

Posted June 1, 2022 by louisesr in Review / 1 Comment

I’ve posted 16 reviews in here this month. Not all of the books I’ve read but I find reviewing books so much more difficult than reading them! If there’s any of them that you’ve missed then you can find the links to them below

I’ve managed to read a grand total of 21 books this month, equating to 8121 pages! This month has been a really good reading month, there hasn’t been any books which I DNF’d and there have been a lot of 4+ stars.

Although it’s showing as it taking an average of 7 days to finish a book, obvously I wouldn’t have managed to read 21 books if they took this long! These figures were skewed by 2 books – 22 Seconds by James Patterson and The Vanished Days by Susanna Kearsley both of which took me a couple of weeks to get through as I was only reading the odd chapter at a time. The majority of books were read in 1-2 days.

No surprise that I read predominantly thrillers this month, this is definitely where I naturally gravitate to, although I have been drawn to romance and literary fiction a little bit more recently.

My favourite read this month was Lesson’s In Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus. Honestly, everyone should read this book! I’m going to be reviewing it in June, I’m not sure anything I say about it can do it justice.

How was your reading month?

Divider

The Cherry Robbers

Posted June 1, 2022 by louisesr in Review / 0 Comments

The Cherry RobbersThe Cherry Robbers by Sarai Walker
Published by Serpent's Tail on June 2, 2022
Genres: Literary
Pages: 471
Format: ARC
Source: NetGalley
Buy on AmazonBuy on Bookshop

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

Goodreads

The reclusive Sylvia Wren, one of the most important American artists of the past century, has been running from her past for sixty years. Born Iris Chapel, of the Chapel munitions dynasty, second youngest of six sisters, she grew up in a palatial Victorian 'Wedding Cake House' in New England, neglected by her distant father and troubled, haunted mother.

The sisters longed to escape, but the only way out was marriage. Not long after the first Chapel sister walks down the aisle, she dies of mysterious causes, a tragedy that repeats with the second sister, leaving the rest to navigate the wreckage, with heart-wrenching consequences.

“This story is jagged, could cut a deep wound. It isn’t a story I can tell with a thread and a needle, stitching in clean lines. It’s shards or nothing.”

You know when they say “don’t judge a book by it’s cover”? I chose this book because I loved the cover. Didn’t actually have a clue what it was about but I thought it looked pretty. It was such a good choice, the writing and the story are both excellent.

The whole novel is told as diary entries from Sylvia Wren, an artist and recluse who barely leaves the house. She is haunted by the ghosts of her past that she has been running from most of her life. Her life when she was Iris Chapel.

“Sylvia Wren is a ghost …What a terrible thing to be a ghost while still alive.”

The Chapel firearms dynasty are an odd bunch. Their father is absent, even on their annual holiday he stays in the room working, away from his family, only making an occasional appearance to ensure that all appears to be ok with his wife and children. Their mother never wanted to marry, didn’t want to have children and yet has had 6 girls, all of whom rely on each other for company.

“Most children can’t imagine their mothers having a life before them, but for my sisters and me, it was the opposite. The wedding day was always the end of her story. We were the epilogue.”

From the start of the novel we know that Iris is the only one of the 6 sisters to survive, she has escaped her past and is living under a new name.

This is a slow burn, gothic mystery. It’s an exploration of femininity and neglect. The need to be loved and the need to escape. I was completely sucked in by the story and the writing, there are unanswered questions at the end which was frustrating but the journey to the end was amazing.

About Sarai Walker

Sarai Walker is the author of the novel THE CHERRY ROBBERS, which will be published by Harper Books on May 17, 2022. Her first novel, DIETLAND, has been published in more than a dozen countries and was adapted as a television series for AMC. She has lectured on feminism and body image internationally, and has spoken about these topics widely in the media. Her articles and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian and elsewhere, and she worked as a writer and editor on an updated version of Our Bodies, Ourselves. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Bennington College and a PhD in English from the University of London.

Divider

With A Mind To Kill (007) Book Review

Posted May 31, 2022 by louisesr in Review / 0 Comments

With A Mind To Kill (007) Book ReviewWith a Mind to Kill by Anthony Horowitz
Series: James Bond #2
Published by Penguin Random House on May 26, 2022
Narrator: Rory Kinnear
Length: 7hrs 24mins
Genres: Thriller
Pages: 288
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
Buy on AmazonBuy on Bookshop

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

Goodreads
four-half-stars

It is M's funeral. One man is missing from the graveside: the traitor who pulled the trigger and who is now in custody, accused of M's murder - James Bond.

Behind the Iron Curtain, a group of former Smersh agents want to use the British spy in an operation that will change the balance of world power. Bond is smuggled into the lion's den - but whose orders is he following, and will he obey them when the moment of truth arrives?

In a mission where treachery is all around and one false move means death, Bond must grapple with the darkest questions about himself. But not even he knows what has happened to the man he used to be.

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

It’s a long, long time since I read a James Bond novel. Many years ago I read one of the original Bond’s written by Ian Fleming but it’s so long now that I couldn’t even tell you which it was. I have however, watched all of the films many times.

It says a lot for the writing skills of Anthony Horowitz that he has been entrusted to continue on the James Bond novels, as well as the Sherlock Holmes novels, although I believe that he has said this will be his last

At the start of this novel there is a brief update on what happened in the previous novels

In You Only Live Twice, James Bond was sent to Japan, where he tracked down Ernst Stavro Blofeld on the island of Kyushu. Following a pitched battle in Blofeld’s ‘Garden of Death’ Bond received a traumatic head injury which resulted in amnesia. He spent the next year in a Japanese fishing village. He was reported as missing in action. His obituary was published in The Times.

In The Man With The Golden Gun, the twelth and final James Bond novel written by Ian Fleming, Bond returned to London after having fallen into the hands of the KGB. He had been brainwashed and ordered to assassinate M with a cyanide pistol. The attempt failed. Bond was deprogrammed and sent to Jamaica to kill the freelance assassin ‘Pistols’ Scaramanga.

With A Mind To Kill begins 2 weeks after that mission ends.

Both You Only Live Twice and The Man With The Golden Gun are referenced throughout Horowitz’s writing and Fleming’s work has obviously heavily influenced this storyline (I believe there were notes that he had for future stories which were made available to Horowitz’s previous 2 books, but not for this one).

What immediately struck me was how this novel is following on from where Fleming left off. This hasn’t moved to a modern day setting but is still set in the 1960’s when the original books were. Horowitz is (I think) the fifth author to take on the Bond novels and I found it interesting that he has chosen to pick them up in this way, staying true to what Fleming would have (presumably) done, rather than modernising them as other authors have done.

Bond still has an eye for the ladies with Russian Katya Leonova playing his ‘love interest’, as ever with Bond you are asking the question as to whether she is simply a conquest or the real deal, and whether he is capable of the feelings everyone else actually succumb to.

I found him to be less arrogant in this novel than I expected, he’s more subdued than the Bond that I am used to seeing on my screen, more level headed. He will do anything to protect his country and his colleagues, the danger to his life seems to be secondary in his thoughts.

I listened to the audiobook of With A Mind to Kill which was narrated by Rory Kinnear who has played Tanner in 4 of Daniel Craig’s Bond films and has also voiced other audiobooks of Harowitz’s work. I really think he was the perfect choice, he captures Bond expertly and was easily distinguishable between all of the characters. Reviews of Harowitz’s previous novel, A Line To Kill, have commented that Kinnear had a tendency to overact, while I’ve not yet listened to that book myself (it is sat in my Audible downloads) I can confirm that this definitely wasn’t the case here.

four-half-stars

About Anthony Horowitz

Anthony Horowitz, OBE is ranked alongside Enid Blyton and Mark A. Cooper as “The most original and best spy-kids authors of the century.” (New York Times). Anthony has been writing since the age of eight, and professionally since the age of twenty. In addition to the highly successful Alex Rider books, he is also the writer and creator of award winning detective series Foyle’s War, and more recently event drama Collision, among his other television works he has written episodes for Poirot, Murder in Mind, Midsomer Murders and Murder Most Horrid. Anthony became patron to East Anglia Children’s Hospices in 2009.

On 19 January 2011, the estate of Arthur Conan Doyle announced that Horowitz was to be the writer of a new Sherlock Holmes novel, the first such effort to receive an official endorsement from them and to be entitled the House of Silk.

Divider

Top Ten Tuesdays – Comfort Reads

Posted May 31, 2022 by louisesr in Features / 9 Comments

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Hmm so, this kind of works on the assumption that as readers we reread books when we’re looking for comfort. I NEVER reread books. I tried it a couple of times and was really disappointed. Two books which I’d previously loved and they were both DNF for me the second time round. Maybe I just don’t like knowing how something is going to turn out.

There are however authors that I class as “feel good fiction” these are the books that I know are going to make me feel warm and fuzzy inside. If I’m a bit down and I need a lift then these are the authors that I turn to, in no particular order

  1. Jill Mansell
  2. Milly Johnson
  3. Lucy Diamond
  4. Cathy Bramley
  5. Heidi Swain
  6. Carole Matthews
  7. Sarah Morgan
  8. Trisha Ashley
  9. Veronica Henry
  10. Jenny Colgan
  11. Sue Moorcroft

I know it’s top 10 Tuesday and there’s 11 of them but I couldn’t cut any of them out.

Divider

How I read ebooks

Posted May 30, 2022 by louisesr in Features / 1 Comment

The Book Blogger Hop was originally created by Jennifer at  Crazy-For-Books in March 2010 and ended on December 31, 2012. With Jennifer’s permission, Billy at Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer relaunched the hop on February 15, 2013. Each week the hop starts on a Friday and ends the following Thursday. There is a weekly prompt featuring a book related question. The hop’s purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to your own blog. 

This weeks question was “Do you use the Kindle app on your phone or ipad to read books?” and it was submitted by Elizabeth over at Silver’s Reviews.

I love ebooks, they’re so handy, I can carry multiple books with me wherever I go and, more often than not, they’re a lot cheaper than a physical book. I mainly use the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition. Why did I go for the all singing, all dancing version? It has extra storage space, a longer battery life and it plays audible books! I have a serious book buying obsession and if I had to limit myself to physical books I’d need a bigger house!

However, I do still use the app on my phone for reading books. There are 2 main reasons for this

  1. I ALWAYS have my phone with me so if I find myself waiting at the doctors, for my daughter to finish school, in the chip shop. I can just whip out my phone and continue my book from where I left off. It’s amazing how many slots of 10 minutes you get throughout a day and if you read a chapter of your book rather than scrolling Bookstagram you get through a lot more books.
  2. Test To Speech. When you go into the accessibility section on your phone there is the ability for the phone to speak aloud whatever text is on the screen. Now, it is a robotic voice (think Siri or SatNav) but if I own an ebook and I’m sat in work doing data entry then rather than having the radio on, I would have my book playing.

Do you use the Kindle app?

Divider

Bookouture Tour: The Daughters

Posted May 30, 2022 by louisesr in Tour / 0 Comments

Bookouture Tour: The DaughtersThe Daughters by Julia Crouch
Published by Bookouture on 26 May 2022
Genres: Thriller
Pages: 312
Format: ARC
Source: NetGalley
Buy on Amazon

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

Goodreads
four-stars

My husband says his first wife’s dead.
His daughters say he killed her…

Ever since Carys married Bill, she has tried to look after his daughters. Particularly sweet, troubled Lucy, who was only six when her mother died.

Over the years, Carys has done everything she can think of to help Lucy. Now, she has found a therapist who specialises in cases like hers. His methods are unusual, but Carys is desperate.

Sitting in the sunlit waiting room, staring at the framed diplomas on the wall, Carys allows herself to hope. Then Lucy comes running out of the room, wailing, her eyes wild.

Lucy says she saw her father kill someone.

Carys is certain that the memory isn’t real. Bill wouldn’t hurt anyone.

But then a body is found buried in overgrown woods near their home. And Lucy says if they keep looking they’ll find her mother next…

I had so many mixed feelings about this book. I’ve read quite a few by Julia Crouch and I know that she is an expert at crafting a good story which will keep you guessing. But I also know that her stories are a slow burn. This started as a slow burn, more of a slow simmer really and I honestly wasn’t sure I was going to like it.

The first chapter is meeting a lot of characters, I had to read it more than once to get my head around everything. Now, I will caveat this with the fact my daughter changed bedroom this week and keeps getting lost in the middle of the night. I’m beyond tired from having to guide her round the house when she’s trying to find the loo at 1am. So, I struggled with the first chapter, but it might not be the fault of the chapter, it might just be that my head wasn’t working right.

When Lucy starts seeing a hypnotherapist she suddenly starts to remember details from her childhood, including what really happened to her mother. Are these repressed memories? Are these planted memories? Or are they just a teenagers overactive imagination?

Throughout this book I was questioning who to trust. Lucy is damaged but can you trust what she’s now saying? Is Ajay (the hypnotherapist) the real deal or is he planting things into Lucy’s head? Carys is too good to be true. Can she be trusted or is it all a facade to throw you off?

This then begs the question – Was Alice killed? Did she commit suicide? Or is she still alive?

four-stars
Divider

Around the Blogosphere

Posted May 29, 2022 by louisesr in Discussion, Features / 2 Comments

My reader has been particularly busy this week. Book blogging is all about the community and I loved reading other people’s opinions on books. I get so many recommendations from reading other book blogs, not just from reviews but from lists and opinion pieces as well. I’m trying hard to make this blog a mixture of posts so that there’s something for everyone.

Here’s a look at some of the posts that I’ve enjoyed this week.

  • Once Upon a Time reviewed The Daughters by Julia Crouch as part of the Bookouture Tour. Look out for my post on the tour coming tomorrow.
  • Reading Between The Dunes has some alternative beach read selections, these were all books that I’d never heard of before
  • Stephanie at Adventures of a Bibliophile has been reading Japanese fiction, this includes one of the books that I’m really excited to read over the summer (Before The Coffee Gets Cold)
  • Kristin at Kristin Kraves Books has recently celebrated her 5 year blogivesary and asked the rest of the blogging community if we had any questions for her. She has answered these this week
  • Lotus Writing Therapy has reviewed The Midnight House by Amanda Geard, the cover of this reminded me of an Eve Chase novel, who I love so I was excited to see what she had to say
  • Janet at From First Page to Last has interviewed Jinny Alexander, I love hearing about a writers process and how they get from initial thought to published book
  • Jen Med’s Book Reviews has reviewed The Last Thing to Burn by Will Dean, while I loved his most recent work, First Born, The Last Thing to Burn was a DNF for me (although I’m in the minority) so I wanted to share what someone else thought of this novel
  • Dedra at A Book Wanderer is taking part in 20 books of summer and has some great looking books lined up to read

What are your top blogs to follow? How do you find blogs to follow?

When I first started blogging I googled “top book blogs” and “top uk book blogs” which provided me with links to a variety of posts. It was quite frustrating that posts over 12 months old often featured blogs which were no longer active. The fact that someone had enjoyed a blog enough to put it on a top blog list but then the blogger had given up made me kinda sad. It also led me to Feedspot, which aggregates active book blogs and looks at their current traffic, how active they are, their social media presence, domain authority and freshness. This is their list of the Top 100 UK Book Blogs – guess who managed to rank at number 27?!?!

Divider

Stacking the Shelves

Posted May 28, 2022 by louisesr in Features / 5 Comments

I was trying to be “good” this week, honest I was. I really thought I was going to have a quiet week book wise. It didn’t quite happen

Esme King messaged me at the start of the week to tell me about her novel Reasons to go Outside. This looks like a fabulous read, I’ve already shared the epilogue here on Thursday as I loved it so much. I’m also recommending this one to my irl bookclub.

I then got a message from Charlie King to ask if I’d like a copy of her book Wolfgang and the Baby Lunatic, this is one I wouldn’t have considered based on the name but having read the synopsis, and all the glowing reviews it’s had so far I’m really eager to read this, I’m thinking it might be like a mummy banter type book, funny but covering the serious issues affecting mothers. As my irl book club is formed from a birthing group I’m part of from when I had my little monsters, I figured they might like this one as well. I’m sure when they formed the group they had no clue how much I was going to bombard them with options!

I’m trying to read more independently published and debut novels so when Sarah Bell shared about her book, The Murder Next Door, on Twitter I went and had a nosey and downloaded that via Kindle Unlimited.

Georgie over at Penguin RandomHouse kindly sent me an audio copy of With A Mind To Kill by Anthony Horowitz, read by Rory Kinear, I’d actually already downloaded A Line To Kill (Horowitz’s previous book) last month and haven’t got round to listening to it yet.

I did manage to limit my NetGalley books this week, I only got two – Hooked by AC Wise, a feminist take on what happened to Wendy and Captain Hook after Neverland and One of the Girls by Lucy Clarke, I read The Castaways earlier this month and loved it so I’m excited for this.

I was reading Years of Reading Selfishly on Wednesday and there were a few books on their that caught my eye, I added them to my wishlist and then they just somehow got added to my cart, I’ve no idea how it happened 🤷‍♀️ A Tidy Ending by Joanna Cannon, Young Mungo by Douglas Stuart and The Exhibitionist by Charlotte Mendelson

Divider