The Jazz Files is a wonderful novel. From the moment I first saw the cover I was very keen to read the book, it’s such an eye-catching and memorable cThe Jazz Files is a wonderful novel. From the moment I first saw the cover I was very keen to read the book, it’s such an eye-catching and memorable cover. The novel then opens with a poem by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, which meant it immediately appealed to me as she is one of my favourite writers. I was sure that I was going to be in for a real treat with this book and I was absolutely right.
Poppy Denby arrives in London to look after her ailing Aunt Dot, who was a part of the suffragette movement. Dot quickly encourages Poppy to go out and find herself a career. Poppy finds herself a job as an editorial assistant at The Daily Globe but is soon working as an investigative journalist after a reporter falls to his death in the newsroom.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I loved how spirited Poppy was, and her Aunt Dot was such a character. I really enjoyed the flashbacks to 1913 and all the references to the suffragette movement as it’s such a fascinating period in history. Smith acknowledges in the notes for this book that she played with the timeline of real events ever so slightly but it doesn’t affect your reading of the novel at all; there is so much truth and believability in this novel, it is impossible not to enjoy it. I love how the struggles that women had gone through, and were still going through, run through this book, and yet it remains such a celebration of what women were beginning to achieve. The female characters are at the forefront of this story; they all have such tenacity to achieve their goals that you just so want them to succeed and you can’t fail to admire them.
I loved Poppy’s friendship with the slightly eccentric Delilah; the things they got up to in the name of investigating the mystery were such fun and I was so engrossed in the story that I felt like I was along on the ride with them.
I very much enjoyed Poppy’s flirtations with Daniel too. I adored the way that she was falling for him and how she was so forward-thinking in many ways but then all of a sudden she would tell him off for being too bold. It was delightful to read and I can’t wait to see what might happen next for these two!
I was intrigued by Elizabeth and I very much enjoyed how the mystery around her and her family was revealed. I noticed what was perhaps another reference to Charlotte Perkins Gilman later in the novel when Elizabeth thinks the mould on the walls in her room is changing and moving, it reminded me of the woman losing her mind in The Yellow Wallpaper. It meant the reader was never absolutely sure about Elizabeth and what she had to tell, which heightens the sense of mystery.
I am thrilled that this is the first in a new series of books and I absolutely cannot wait to read more of Poppy’s adventures; I’ll be first in line to pre-order the next book as soon as it’s available. I can’t recommend this novel highly enough; I’m actually going to be putting it on my favourites shelf and there aren’t very many books that make it on to there. Even though this was a mystery novel and I now know the outcome, I will still re-read this because I loved the characters and the story so much. I’m also about to buy a couple of copies to give as gifts to friends who I know will enjoy this novel as much as I did.
I rate this novel 5 out 0f 5 and give it pride of place on my all-time favourites shelf!
This book was sent to me by Lion Hudson in exchange for an honest review.
The Jazz Files is out now and available on Amazon....more
I’m a huge fan of Abby Clements and always look forward to a new novel from her. I especially loved her Christmas novel, Meet Me Under the Mistletoe,I’m a huge fan of Abby Clements and always look forward to a new novel from her. I especially loved her Christmas novel, Meet Me Under the Mistletoe, so when I was offered a chance to read this novel, I jumped at the chance.
Hazel feels lost when her sister moves out of the flat they share. She struggles with the idea of a new flat mate and she’s not getting the chances she deserves at work. Her life seems to be standing still while those around her are moving on at great pace. Lila asks Hazel to help plan her wedding and a sideline job is born for Hazel as guests at Lila’s wedding ask her to help plan their big day. She enjoys helping these couples out but her heart is really in the miniature sets she’s been creating in secret.
Hazel’s love life is at something of a standstill too ever since she made a pass at her best friend Sam the previous Christmas. With terrible timing she begins to realise she has fluttery feelings for her work colleague Josh just at the time he asks her to plan his wedding to Sarah.
I loved Hazel and was willing her on to find happiness throughout this novel. She was such a likeable character who I warmed to straight away, she is such a well-rounded character that she felt like someone I actually knew. I loved seeing her friendship with Amber grow.
I enjoyed how the novel kept taking me in different directions with regards to not only who Hazel might end up with but also if she’d end up with someone at all. I so wanted her to find her Mr Right and didn’t want her to either settle for steady or to be responsible for breaking up someone else’s relationship. I felt all warm and fuzzy when the right man saw Hazel’s miniature set designs and encouraged her to follow her dreams.
I loved the descriptions of the miniature sets that Hazel created, I could picture them so vividly. I wish these sets really existed, I’d love to see them and be able to buy them as gifts. How lovely it would be to have a miniature set of your wedding day!
This book is a warm and cosy read, perfect for curling up with on a cold winter night. It’s not a festive read but it still has a sense of the festive because it is mainly set in the winter and in the run up to a Christmas wedding.
I rate this book 4.5 out of 5.
I received this book from Simon and Schuster in exchange for an honest review.
The Winter Wedding is out now and available from Amazon....more
Freddie is fed up with her life, she is trying hard to make it as a journalist but has spent three years writing for free and is desperate to find a wFreddie is fed up with her life, she is trying hard to make it as a journalist but has spent three years writing for free and is desperate to find a way to get paid for her work. One day while working a shift at a coffee shop she spots an old friend, Nas, in amongst a group of people. Freddie finds a way to follow Nas and ends up in the middle of an horrific murder scene. Nas covers for Freddie but she ultimately gets found out, though when the murder appears to be linked to twitter Freddie ends up being hired by the police as a social media consultant.
The killer tweets as Apollyon. He tweets coded messages and initially only follows one person despite his follower count growing at an incredible rate. The murders were gruesome and made me feel really quite sick. Freddie’s shock at each of the crime scenes, and the terror she felt each time apollyon tweeted was tangible, there were times when I felt like I was right there with her and I could hardly breathe either.
I expected this book to be terrifying, I was actually a little scared to even start reading it if I’m being completely honest. I’ve been on social media for years, I’ve shared details of my life on there so the idea of a serial killer finding their next target on twitter sounds so scary. This novel was actually more creepy than terrifying but it really does get under your skin as the tension ramps up. It was very unsettling and unnerving and it does get more scary as it goes along. It’s cleverly written because you initially think this would never happen to you because you’re careful with what you tweet and then you begin to see how Apollyon is finding his victims and it’s insidious how the fear gets to you.
None of the characters in this novel were particularly likeable but I don’t think characters have to be likeable for a book to be great; it works really well in this novel because it causes you to become suspicious of everyone. I have to admit that I did develop a soft spot for Freddie over the course of the novel; it felt like she was so brash because it was her way of protecting herself and pushing people away but as a result she was often misunderstood, which then led to her being more brash. It was a self-fulfilling prophecy.
I did guess who the murderer was before it was revealed but only a little while before, and even then I was doubting myself as there are so many red herrings and twists and turns that it’s impossible to be sure about who the killer is. I think I’d suspected just about ever person in this book by the end! I had to keep reminding myself to breath whilst reading the last few chapters, it was incredibly tense!
This is the such a good, contemporary psychological thriller and I highly recommend it. I rate this book 4 out of 5.
Follow Me is due to be published on 3rd December but can be pre-ordered now from Amazon.
I received this book from Avon via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review....more
This is the second short story in Katey Lovell’s new Meet Cute series. I loved the first one because I can’t resist books or stories about bookshops (This is the second short story in Katey Lovell’s new Meet Cute series. I loved the first one because I can’t resist books or stories about bookshops (my review for that one is here). This second book was irresistible to me because it’s about two people who meet online. I met my husband on twitter many years ago so stories about couples who met online always interest me.
This story is a little different from the first one in that the majority of the story is about the two characters getting to know each other online, but it always feels absolutely believable that Lauren was beginning to fall for this boy through emails. I could feel the butterflies that Lauren had in the build up to her meeting Toby; she had already developed feelings for him and so badly wants to feel the same way when he’s standing in front of her, to find out if the chemistry they’ve felt through emails is there in real life. For me, this story had more depth to it than the first one because there is naturally more back story with them communicating online from the start.
The actual meet up is gorgeous. I reckon a few years from now these two could well be happily married and planning their whole lives together!
The amount of detail Katey packs into these short stories is incredible, she is such a talented writer. I’m not the biggest fan of short stories but these stories have me hooked, I found myself completely absorbed in this one. They are so succinctly written, it feels like it surely must have been longer than it was because it’s such a complete story – it has everything you could want in a meet cute!
I was very pleasantly surprised at just how different this story is to the first one, I did wonder if a series of very short stories all with the same theme of a meet cute might seem a little formulaic but I could not have been more wrong. Katey’s writing style is recognisable but beyond that this story is completely different. I can’t wait for the next one now!
This story cannot fail to make you feel smiley; it’s impossible for it not to give you a mood boost too so it’s perfect for a coffee break when you might want a little escape to a different place for ten minutes. I highly recommend this story, it’s fabulous! I rate it 10 out of 10.
The Boy at the Beach is available now on Amazon. The third story in this series, The Boy at the Bakery is available for pre-order on Amazon and is due to be published on 12th November....more
The Boy in the Bookshop is the first in a new series of short stories. I don’t normally buy single short stories but I just couldn’t resist giving thiThe Boy in the Bookshop is the first in a new series of short stories. I don’t normally buy single short stories but I just couldn’t resist giving this one a try; I’m utterly powerless to resist a book or short story set in a book shop and I’m so glad I picked this up, it’s gorgeous!
This is a very short read and is absolutely perfect for a coffee break. Katey has packed so much into this story, it’s wonderful. The Beautiful Books bookshop sounds amazing and I really want to go there. Jade works in the book shop, and the cute boy is a customer; it’s very succinctly written with all the detail you need to fall in love with the characters and the story itself. You’re left with such a warm, fuzzy feeling by the end of the story!
This is such a fabulous meet cute, I love Katey’s writing style and I can’t wait to read more by her. In fact, I’ve just been to Amazon and bought the second one in the series, and pre-ordered the third! I’m hooked on these Meet Cute books!
I rate this 10 out of 10.
The Boy in the Bookshop is out now and available from Amazon....more