Ok, shallow stuff out of the way first. Beautiful cover, yes?! It is gorgeous, and reflects the atmosphereCopy received for review via bookbridgr.com
Ok, shallow stuff out of the way first. Beautiful cover, yes?! It is gorgeous, and reflects the atmosphere of this story perfectly!
Set in the harsh, unforgiving landscape of Swedish Lapland in 1717, this historical fiction/ murder mystery/coming of age story starts quite slowly, gradually building, gradually pulling you in until its' icy cold fingers have you firmly in its grip. It is mysterious and mystical, intriguing and atmospheric. The bleak and foreboding landscape is masterfully described and the clever twists in the story will keep you guessing to the end.
It did take me a little while to get into the story, but I am so glad that I persevered. A slow burning read with an underlying current of sinister tension and suspense, coupled with memorable and interesting characters, this story will stay with me for a long time. Thank you to bookbridgr.com for the chance to read and review this book! I will be recommending it to everyone I meet!...more
This book makes a lot of sense, and I'm looking forward to putting the principles into practice. The recipes look very tasty. I haven't listened to thThis book makes a lot of sense, and I'm looking forward to putting the principles into practice. The recipes look very tasty. I haven't listened to the downloads yet, but I'll be starting this evening!...more
The Boy Next Door is a perfectly satisfactory novel set against the turmoil of a country going through massive political change. The story begins withThe Boy Next Door is a perfectly satisfactory novel set against the turmoil of a country going through massive political change. The story begins with Lindiwe, an awkward black teenager who falls for a white boy of questionable character and follows her through different points in her life as she grows up in a time of great political discontent.
I grew up in South Africa and I enjoyed much of this story as it brought back a lot of memories for me. However, I was never able to fully connect with the main characters, and while I certainly felt sympathy for them, I somehow didn't care enough about them. The relationship between Lindiwe and Ian seemed a little forced, not very natural and I just didn't believe in them as a couple. But maybe that was a reflection of the politic strife going on around them, I don't know.
So while this did not live up to the great hope I had for it, it is still an enjoyable read and provides some insight into the history of Rhodesia/Zimbabwe. I would recommend this for anyone interested in dipping their toe into this time period.
Irene Sabatini won the 2010 Orange Award for New Writers with this debut novel. Her latest novel, Peace and Conflict, was published in November 2014 and I will probably pick this up at some point. ...more
I requested an ARC of this book through bookbridgr.com as I was immediately intrigued by the plReview also posted on my blog: www.cookcreateread.co.uk
I requested an ARC of this book through bookbridgr.com as I was immediately intrigued by the plot. I love a good mystery/crime/thriller and this one sounded right up my alley. I had not heard of the author before, though I now know that this is Muddiman's second novel. I was not disappointed and am excited to have found a great new (to me) British crime author!
I read Gone over three days. If I'd had my way I would've read it one sitting, but I had the annoying inconvenient interruptions of my children's birthdays and a christening at which I was to be Godmother. Seriously, all I could think about during the christening was getting back home to finish off this book! I was hooked and needed my next fix!
The plot has more twists and turns than the best roller coaster Just when you think you have it figured out, Muddiman throws another spanner into the works. Along with the main plot of confirming the identity of the dead girl and discovering what happened to her, there is an engaging side story involving DI Gardner (who doesn't love a troubled policeman, right?!) which is interesting and satisfying.
The characters in Gone are perfect. There is the deplorable, despicable one that you love to hate (and, indeed, made my skin crawl the moment he was introduced), the slightly clueless, seemingly harmless (or is he?!) bumbling one, a handsome, troubled policemen, feisty girls, desperate girls ... all against a sleazy backdrop of drugs and violence - this book has it all.
I would highly recommend this to any reader who enjoys a good, well-written British crime story. I feel this will be one of my favourite books of 2015!...more
Oh my. So apparently I read this when I was in my late teens I think, but I had very little memory of it, and actually am doubting whether I had actuaOh my. So apparently I read this when I was in my late teens I think, but I had very little memory of it, and actually am doubting whether I had actually read it! I've definitely seen the film, but that was many years ago too and my memory of it was pretty dim. So this was like a new read to me. Loved every word, straight on to my favourites shelf. Some attempt at a full review to follow!...more
In those limbo days between Christmas and New Year, I found myself browsing the books in WH Smith. I had been very generously given a gift voucher by my uncle and cousin a couple of months previously but had not yet had the urge to spend it. I hadn't read a book in weeks so was quite surprised to find myself fondling the books on display! I ended up buying this and a couple of other books which were on special offer, and I picked this one up almost as soon as I got home. Something about it was calling to me.
From the title I was prepared for a bit of tear jerker, and I was wise to prepare! This book had me alternately smiling and wiping my eyes with almost each turn of the page. It truly is a roller coaster read. With subject matter so grim and sad, McPartlin manages to lighten the mood with humour without detracting from the seriousness of the subject. This is a sensitive, heart-rending story about loss and love with such wonderful characters who you wish you could be friends with. A great big hug in a book, and just what I needed to bring me out of my reading slump.
Anna McPartlin was a new author to me, but I have since discovered that The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes is her sixth novel. I will definitely be tracking down her other works. 4/5 stars...more
Set in the 1920s, this book is just about as far from the decadent, glamorous 1920s of my imagination as it is possible to get. A retelling of an old Russian fairytale, this is spellbindingly atmospheric. The descriptions of the bleakly beautiful Alaskan countryside are mesmerising, and the hard labour involved in working the land is vividly brought to life. The characters are so wonderfully drawn, with their own quirks and personalities, and I wanted to meet each and every one of them in real life! My favourite character was the wonderful, no-nonsense Esther who comes bustling into Mabel's life and opens her eyes to a whole new way of living.
Ivey's writing throughout the book is poetic and beautiful. She tackles the themes of grief and loss in a sensitive and realistic way, countering this with hope and love in many forms. There is a subtle magical thread throughout the book, lifting the story with fairytale qualities from what could otherwise have been really sad and quite depressing. But Ivey makes this a wonderful, uplifting and hopeful book that is well deserving of its Pulitzer Prize Finalist tag. 4 stars
This book will shortly be re-published with a gorgeous new cover (seen above) which I think matches the writing within gorgeously. ...more
Copy received from the publisher for honest review
First of all, let it be known that I am a huge fan of the Crime Fiction drama. If I could only readCopy received from the publisher for honest review
First of all, let it be known that I am a huge fan of the Crime Fiction drama. If I could only read one genre for the rest of my life, I would probably choose Crime Fiction. So it was with some excitement that I received this novel for review, the first in what will hopefully be a long and thrilling series by Sarah Hilary!
It is quite difficult to say much about this book without giving away the plot. It is a gritty and cruel piece of fiction with a believable twist (take note Gone Girl fans!) that I did not see coming. The women in the refuge are a sad and desperate group screaming out for your empathy. DI Rome herself is a woman struggling to come to terms with a tragic past and at times I just wanted to give her a hug (though I'm not sure she would appreciate it!). My one little niggle is something silly ... it really annoys me when police officers go off on their own, putting themselves into situations you just know are not going to end well. Don't they ever learn?!
The book contains some fairly graphic and descriptively gruesome violent scenes, but this just adds to the grittiness of the novel. Several different plot lines weave together to create an intriguing and memorable debut and I am waiting impatiently for the second instalment in this series. Hurry up Sarah Hilary! A glowing 4 stars....more
First of all, can we just appreciate the beauty of this book cover?! It's shallow, I know. The picture(received from the publisher for honest review)
First of all, can we just appreciate the beauty of this book cover?! It's shallow, I know. The picture truly does not do this book justice - it is gorgeous!
Ok, so that's out of the way ... I read this book after The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson, and I was in the mood for something light and fluffy. And that is exactly what I got. I wouldn't say that 'chick lit' is one of my favourite genres, but every now and then a light fun read is what is needed. This books fills that spot nicely, although I did have some issues with it.
The main characters in this story both have flaws. One is suffering from mental illness as a result of a tragic 'mystery' from his past (which really isn't that much of a mystery, to be honest) and the other is a workaholic, dedicating her life to a charitable cause. But everything just seems a bit too perfect, in spite of their difficulties - Ben is hugely successful in his career, rolling in money, gorgeous looking, adored by women everywhere and Effy is beautiful, successful in her charitable endeavours, loved by everyone who meets her. It all just felt a little bit too easy and perfect, and this was not helped by a several ridiculous coincidences within the story.
This book was well written, though sometimes a little formulaic, and at times it felt the author was trying a little too hard to be funny and on trend. Due to the mental illness aspect of the plot, I couldn't help but compare this to The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer which I read recently, and unfortunately Paper Swans pales in comparison to Filer's book. But I think I am wrong to compare the two - Paper Swans is primarily a love story rather than a novel about mental illness.
Having said all this, I did not dislike this book. It is a nice, light read, a sweet story in which love conquers all. It is ultimately uplifting and positive and I think it will appeal to fans of Katie Fforde and Jill Mansell. A perfectly acceptable 3 stars from me....more
Sigh. I really wanted to like this. Maybe it was the translation. I found the writing to be really awful, the characters were really immature and juveSigh. I really wanted to like this. Maybe it was the translation. I found the writing to be really awful, the characters were really immature and juvenile (I know they're high school students, but come on! How many times do I want to read about who has a crush on who, do you have a crush one someone?, he has a crush on her, she has a crush on him! YOU ARE ABOUT TO DIE AT THE HANDS OF YOUR CLASSMATES, PEOPLE, FFS!!!). The idea, however, is a good one, and I liked the final section. I'd like to say I would read a different translation to see if it's any better, but to be honest I don't think that's ever going to happen. Sad that I didn't love it....more
I read this short story collection slowly throughout the month of August, in between other books. My first experience of Jhumpa Lahiri, and an interesI read this short story collection slowly throughout the month of August, in between other books. My first experience of Jhumpa Lahiri, and an interesting collection of stories. Look forward to reading more of her work....more
I always approach hyped books with some trepidation, YA hyped books even more so. They rarely seem to agree with me. So I was a little hesitant to borI always approach hyped books with some trepidation, YA hyped books even more so. They rarely seem to agree with me. So I was a little hesitant to borrow this one off my teenage daughter's shelf. But I'm glad I did.
As with most people, I knew virtually nothing about this book and was happy to go into it blind - I knew it was set in summer, based around 4 teenagers and one of them befalls a terrible accident. That's about the level of detail I like anyway, so it didn't bother me in the slightest, although I do understand those reviewers asking why all the secrecy ...
Anyway, I really enjoyed this story. It was a quick read, I really had no idea how it would turn out (I rarely do! I must be dim :)). I was intrigued and I think for the first time I can remember I actually physically literally came out in goosebumps! Definitely worth the couple of hours of your time this will take to read....more
I nearly gave up on this book so many times, but kept plodding on because everyone seems to love it so much and I thought it had to get better!
Two extI nearly gave up on this book so many times, but kept plodding on because everyone seems to love it so much and I thought it had to get better!
Two extremely irritating, horrible, unlikable characters, ridiculous plot - what was all that hype about?! This one was not for me ... this may be an unusual case of the film being better than the book, though I won't be rushing out to see it!...more