Psychological thrillers are the "in thing" at the moment - every author is giving it a go, some with more success than others, and Linda Green has madPsychological thrillers are the "in thing" at the moment - every author is giving it a go, some with more success than others, and Linda Green has made the switch, with the release of her new novel While My Eyes Were Closed. I got myself a copy from the library, and I was immediately gripped. This is one of those books where there's definitely two sides to the story, and even now I am still questioning how I felt about it all, because it wasn't necessarily black & white. There were shades of grey in there, and this wasn't exactly your run of the mill cut and dry child going missing story.
Here's the thing: what happened to Ella was wrong. Of course it was. You cannot do that, no matter what you think is right or wrong, or how you try and justify it. A child being taken from its mother is not in its best interests, unless the parent can't take care of her child, and that is not true for Lisa Dale. Lisa seemed like a great parent, along with Alex. She's got three kids, two with Alex, and they're a lovely family. BUT, I actually agreed with a lot of the reasons for why Ella was taken (although they were no justification, because actually Lisa wasn't on the phone when Ella disappeared, she had her eyes closed, counting, in a game of hide and seek). In this day and age, parents ARE more concerned with their mobile phones than their children, I see people every day ignoring their kids because their phone is more important, or sitting a kid down with a tablet because actually playing with your kid is a hard task (begging the question of why they had their child in the first place...). I could honestly talk for AGES about that, because I think it's so wrong to have a kid and then ignore it.
I loved seeing both sides to this story, because like I say, it's not just a random grab, Ella doesn't just vanish, with some sicko, although perhaps that depends on how much you like who takes her? For what it's worth - I thought they took good care of Ella. Totally wrong, but after what we learn, you can kinda see why it happened. You can see everything leading up to it, almost like a breaking point, and I don't necessarily think there was malicious intent, either. I think it was done with good thoughts, but it's obviously not something that can ever be right. It also made it so heartbreaking to see what Lisa, Alex, Otis and Chloe go through, because they didn't deserve it, so it really does leave you in a moral quandary, but it's written so well you feel for both sides.
While My Eyes Were Closed was perhaps not an edge-of-your-seat novel, because there's no surprise in who takes Ella, we're kept up to date with all the goings on there, but it is thrilling, because you're never sure what's going to happen next - will Ella be found? What will happen? There are plenty of questions, and one heck of a plot twist, that I actually didn't see coming. Although it brought the plots together even more, even though it was unwitting. Linda Green has hit it out of the park with While My Eyes Were Closed. I was glued to the book the entire time I was reading, and I can see why it was over 800 glowing reviews on Amazon, each one is very, very well deserved, this was a great read. ...more
There are lots of books out this year about boybands. Kill The Boyband (which I can't WAIT to read), and Love Song is one of them. Now here's the thinThere are lots of books out this year about boybands. Kill The Boyband (which I can't WAIT to read), and Love Song is one of them. Now here's the thing, I've never been obsessed over a band. I've never cried when they broke up, or tried to get into their hotel rooms, or any of that kind of thing. It actually freaks me out. To see little girls crying over One Direction is just bizarre, I don't get it. Though I do love to read about books about boybands. And Love Song is one of those books that just makes you sigh with happiness.
At first I thought The Point were supposed to be One Direction, they're not. I've decided they're actually based on 5SOS. Boys with musical instruments and catchy songs and slow love songs? They're soooooo 5SOS. As it happens, I like 5SOS so yay. What I liked most of all is that Sophia Bennett really made me care about The Point. Sure, they're a bit off with Nina when she first goes to work for the odious Sigrid, but they're not bad boys by any stretch of the imagination, and that one scene with Angus, in his hotel room really made me see them all in a different light, and I am not ashamed to say I was #TeamAngus after that. I actually took longer to warm to Jamie. It would have helped if, when Nina was sacked, he'd actually stood up and opened his gorgeous mouth. But I came around to him eventually.
I loved Nina, though. Any girl who can meet 4 of the hottest, most famous guys on Planet Earth and not be fazed? Well, that's a girl after my own heart. And I really, really liked her. She was so down-to-Earth, and she just had that way about her of dealing with the boys like no one else. She was a rockstar herself. And as she warmed to the boys, I did, too. The whole Northumberland thing really brought it all together, though, and it was just magical. Especially because when you see famous people on tour, it never seems quite real, whereas in Northumberland it allowed for us to see them as people, not as famous people.
I genuinely loved this book. This is the most perfect summer read, with the romantic ending that had me swooning. I would LOVE a sequel. I was so sad to say goodbye to Nina and the boys. It was like I knew them, which is totally insane, but that's how I felt. I felt like I knew them, like Nina was a friend, and her family was my family (oh man, I LOVED Nina's family, especially Ariel - she SO needs her own book as well). If you love bands, or books about bands, you need this book in your life. It's amazing....more
Oh God. This book is actually horrific. It's been a while since a book offended me as much as this (look at whatever is on my DNF shelf).DNFed at 20%.
Oh God. This book is actually horrific. It's been a while since a book offended me as much as this (look at whatever is on my DNF shelf). I genuinely thought this was going to be a cute, fun, quick, summer read. I mostly wanted to read it because of Melissa de la Cruz, because I've never actually heard of Lele Pons (and I REALLY hope Surviving High School IS just a fictionalised memoir, because Lele does not come across well).
The fictional Lele is one of the most big-headed, weird people I've ever met. She talks in nothing but pop culture (it's like the Breakfast Club/I'm so "pwning" this day/any kind of twenty-first century pop culture you can think of is thrown in, including The Weeknd's Can't Feel My Face (and she loves it)). If you did a shot for every pop culture reference you'd be drunk SUPER QUICK. I only read a fifth of the book and the pop culture was everywhere.
Lele just does not come across well. I stopped reading when she started going on about how Alexei (who she's known for about three days) hadn't asked her out, because she was "pretty but not pretty enough". I legitimately hate girls who say stuff like that. It's my biggest pet peeve, because all you need to do is google Lele to know she's absolutely gorgeous, and maybe you'll come back and say to me that she didn't always look like that, but I doubt in her first year of high school she was a hag. Braces do not suddenly make you ugly, OK? For me that was my breaking point. I was just like, "Nope I can't do this."
The voice was just all over the place. The need to input so much pop culture - which means that this book will age super fast. The fact that Lele is just wow so full of herself, then in the next breath she's not "pretty enough" is enough to give you whiplash. It was just so inconsistent. Her parents were super chill, super cool, hip and happening, etc, but then she was like screaming at them about a party? And she had a bad day and just started literally screaming in school. WHO DOES THAT? This was just so bad. I have no idea what input Melissa de la Cruz had because she's a far superior writer to the tiny bit I read here. It was like a five year old's stream of conscious was just let loose, with no filter.
Holly Smale's Geek Girl series has been one of my favourites ever since I read Geek Girl. Harriet Manners is the kinda girl you want as your best frieHolly Smale's Geek Girl series has been one of my favourites ever since I read Geek Girl. Harriet Manners is the kinda girl you want as your best friend - she's clumsy, she's a geek, but she's got a heart of pure gold, and that's not something to say no to. She's had SUCH an incredibly journey so far, and here we are at book five, Head Over Heels. There's only one proper book left, but there's also a special, too, so it's NOT ALL OVER YET. But we're getting there and you have no idea how sad that makes me, because I'm so not ready to let Harriet Manners go. Although I am looking forward to re-reading the books IN ONE LONG GO, so yeah.
Head Over Heels is fabulous as always. After everything that's happened so far, Harriet just wants a bit of stability in her life, but if you know Harriet Manners, you'll know that's physically impossible, so she ends up in all manner of trouble. That's just Harriet's way. She doesn't do things the easy way, ever. And that's why I love her. She makes mistakes, she messes up, but in the end you know it'll be okay (or you hope TO WHATEVER GOD YOU BELIEVE IN that it will be okay). Honestly, this book series makes me genuinely happy. I'm always giggling to myself at Harriet's antics, or something her dad has done (he never learns - also interesting, are jaffa cakes biscuits or cakes? I SAY CAKE), or even Annabel who has her moments, or Toby who is SO the male version of Harriet.
Holly Smale has built an unforgettable cast of characters, and Harriet visits some stunning locations (although from what we see from the end of Head Over Heels the best is yet to come, and I have literal FEAR about what is to come, actually, but that's total spoiler stuff so I'll shut up) and once again, Harriet goes on some travels, does some modelling, and she's just so refreshing as a model. TAKE NOTE CARA. Honestly, I love these books, and each adventure just makes me so thrillingly happy, because these are HAPPY BOOKS. Happy books are so rare, because it seems these days YA has to be all death and doom and gloom, etc, so I like that the Geek Girl books are a ray of sunlight, and it's such a privilege to see Harriet grow up.
Head Over Heels had everything I wanted. Harriet, the most important part, duh. Some romance (I did a fist-pump, I've been waiting since All That Glitters for that). Tabitha was awesome in this book. She is SO the coolest baby ever. It made me laugh, it made me sad, it made me want to punch people (India, mostly, she irritated the absolute life out of me), and it made me so indescribably happy. My life will be a MUCH duller place with no Harriet Manners spouting facts here, there and everywhere. I am STOKED for book 6. I see some amazing things happening, and while I'm not ready to say bye, I am always ready for new Harriet Manners and I'm already itching. ------------------------------------------------------------- YES, I finished it in one sitting. Full review to come, but here are some spoiler-y, ending bits, so that when I come to read book 6 (SOB) I can remember what happened, so BEWARE.
(view spoiler)[HARRIET AND JASPER ARE TOGETHER. This literally makes my life. Harriet's going to Australia - dun, dun, dun, something tells me Nick is going to make A MASSIVE AUSSIE COMEBACK. Because why else is Harriet going to Australia in the FINAL BOOK? AND ISN'T NICK IN AUSTRALIA? Argh, holy love triangle batman, but I am team Jasper these days, so ya know, sorry Nick. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Relativity was a book I wasn't 100% sure was my cup of tea, but I was more than willing to give it a read because the publicist for the book was so inRelativity was a book I wasn't 100% sure was my cup of tea, but I was more than willing to give it a read because the publicist for the book was so insistent that it was such a good read. But, I was nervous to get started. I needn't have been, mind because Relativity was an awesome read. It was so nuanced, so beautiful, so evocative, and as I always say with books about geniuses, especially genius kids, Ethan reminded me of a certain Sheldon Cooper, and I have The Big Bang Theory to thank for my knowledge of physics, and this book made way more sense since I do watch The Big Bang Theory.
Relativity is very much a novel about family, and what Claire does for Ethan is extraordinary, and more women should get credit for raising a kid by themselves, whether it's someone special like Ethan or just a regular kid. Even more so with what happened to Ethan as a baby, because it's unforgivable - isn't it? How can you forgive something like that, get past it, let that person back in to your life? I was genuinely shocked by what happened. I was very curious to know why Ethan's father Mark wasn't around, what would happen when he returned, and the book didn't disappoint. There's no silly dramas, either, which was an absolute bonus.
There's honestly not a lot I can say about the book. It was really, really good, but I just don't have a lot to say, review-wise. It's one of those understated stories that you enjoy for the pure pleasure of reading. I lost myself in the world of Claire, Ethan and Mark, because it's such a captivating story, the kind that usually leads to reading group questions in the back. Antonia Hayes is an extraordinary writer, and this is an extraordinary book, I really, really loved it. ...more
The Summer I Became A Nerd is one of the greatest books I will ever read. Oh yes, I said it. Sometimes you just pick the perfect book at the right timThe Summer I Became A Nerd is one of the greatest books I will ever read. Oh yes, I said it. Sometimes you just pick the perfect book at the right time, and The Summer I Became A Nerd was that book. I put down soooo many before I started this one, but I knew I wanted a cute Young Adult book, because I've been reading more serious books lately, and this one just ticked ALL THE BOXES. All of em. With ease. A cute guy? TICK. Comic books? TICK. An awesome nerd-like MC? TICK TICK TICK. Cool parents? TICK. The cute guys ass-kicking, name-taking best friend who gets his own book this month? TICK.
I cannot state enough how good The Summer I Became A Nerd is. Right from the opening chapter, when Maddie dresses like her favourite comic book character for school and gets roundly laughed out of the place, before transforming herself into someone completely opposite to the younger Maddie. Was I sad she hid her nerd-like tendencies? Sure, but it actually made for some HILARIOUS scenes. From her grappling to get hold of #400 of her favourite comic book, to meeting Logan, dressed up like she's hiding from the mafia, it just provided so much good. And I loved that Logan just went along with it, for the most part, and tried to encourage Maddie to just be Maddie, whatever version that was: be it the cheerleader version or the nerd version. I will never understand why you can't be both, but that's high school for ya.
I loved Maddie, I loved Logan, I loved Dan, I loved the comic books aspect, the LARP-ing (which actually sounds amazing), it was food for this nerdy girls soul. Although I'm more bookworm than nerd, because I'm not actually a big comic reader. I WATCH the comic TV shows - Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl, the Marvel movies, I just have NO IDEA where to start in the comic book world. Also, comic book shops are few and far between in the UK which is devastating. So if you're reading this, and you love comics, hit a girl up with where the heck she can start, would you?!?
The Summer I Became A Nerd is one of those great books you'll remember forever. Yes, Maddie makes some mistakes, but the way she puts it right is legit the best thing ever. And the instantaneous feels between Maddie and Logan was everything I wanted and more. It made my heart sing, and I had the biggest smile on my face when I finished reading the book. I like it when a book just makes you happy. This book made me happy. We need more books that make us smile and laugh, especially with so much badness in the real world. Thanks Leah, not only do you have an awesome name, you have mad writing skills....more
This was an interesting read. I kind of wanted more pace - more action, more thrills, just MORE. It lacked something, and it proves that once again, tThis was an interesting read. I kind of wanted more pace - more action, more thrills, just MORE. It lacked something, and it proves that once again, trying to bill a book as the "next Gone Girl" is just tying a noose round the neck of a book like this. This is nothing LIKE Gone Girl. Not in the slightest. Not in tone, not in writing, not in plot and it's getting to be a really old thing for publishers to wheel out for every single thriller published.
I never cared for any of the characters. I tried so hard to like Olivia, but she was too cold. Too unemotional. Jack I couldn't have cared less for. The daughter was the only one who actually jumped out at me, and I can't even remember her name and I only finished reading half an hour or so ago.
The ending would have been a surprise, if it hadn't taken so long to get there that I guessed it. ...more