OMG! I'm in my late 30s and I absolutely, thoroughly, completely, immensely enjoyed FOREVER GEEK. Hell, I'm notOriginally reviewed on This Chick Reads
OMG! I'm in my late 30s and I absolutely, thoroughly, completely, immensely enjoyed FOREVER GEEK. Hell, I'm not even that much of a fan of Young Adult and it's been a while since the last time I read one. However, Harriet is irresistible and has a special place in my heart.
I haven't read all of the books in the Geek Girl series and I blame my toppling TBR pile for that. So in case you're wondering if this one can be read as a stand alone, it sure can. If I did it, so can you. But of course, it's always best to follow the books in order, because...hey more Harriet Manners, what better reason than that.
Geek Girl is the series I wish I could read when I was a teenager. When I feared being in love with chemistry and all other sciences was uncool and geeky. Wish I had these books back then and embrace the little geek telling her one day she'll be a super mum, a wife and an employee and will have the best life ever. But there's a bumpy road to travel while we're able to see things more clearly. I am however happy for the new generations which have this book and can easily download/buy/borrow a copy and devour these fun, funny and comforting books.
As it's been a while since I've read a YA and I was a bit skeptical. I didn't doubt Harriet or Holly for that matter, but I wasn't sure if I'm the audience for these type of books anymore. I didn't need to worry though as I totally loved it and read it under 4 hours. Not that I'm a speedy reader, it's just that it's so damn good.
Harriet is off to Australia with Bunty, her fabulous grandmother and her best friend Nat. She's kind of dating Jasper and has promised to talk to him, though she still doesn't know how to define their relationship. Typical Harriet even leaves him a chart all marked with exact times when she will call, though being in such an exotic country, one she's never visited and has so many stuff to see, makes it a bit hard to stay on the schedule. During the trip she gets into a lot of funny situations, as all amazing geeks do, and I laughed out loud at her clumsiness. Yet she's so cute and adorable, always honest and full of random facts she shares with everyone and anyone. These facts and the situations where she would come up with them were too hilarious. It's absolutely amazing and fascinating how her brain could come up with such brilliant things in a second. But that's Harriet Manners, so special and lovable.
While there are many characters in the book (at least in my opinion) and some of them having their come back from the previous books, you will literally catch yourself turning the pages with the speed of light. You know what else is so special about this book and the whole series? There are just so many lovable characters, it's really hard to pick just one. This is usually not a problem for me when I read other books, but this time I simply can not make my mind. But if I had to pick only one, besides Harriet, it would definitely be Bunty. She's the woman I wish I have in my life, so full of life, pink hair, universe loving, spiritual, funny, caring, memorable. In my opinion, she and Harriet are the real stars of the book. I also loved Harriet's dad and step mum, Annabel and loved the relationship they have not only with each other but with Harriet too.
While most of the book is funny and light hearted, I have to say I was teary by the end. Unfortunately, I can't tell you why because it would be a big fat spoiler..but OMG! I could feel eyes filling with tears and remember asking myself..how do I go from laughing out loud to being a huge mess? It's all down to this book, wonderful, funny, light hearted yet with such an emotional ending. I applaud to you, Holly for doing this and I thank you for giving us Harriet. I haven't read many YA books but out of all those I've read, the Geek Girl series will stay my fave. Harriet is the ultimate YA heroine, a girl you wish you knew, a girl you wish was your family. She's the best teenage role model, speaking openly about her insecurities, being oh so awesome in everything she does and doing it her way. She's accepted who she is and we all know what teenagers are like. The raging hormones and society's expectations keep on pushing them, making them want so desperately to fit in. Harriet shows us that she doesn't need to fit anywhere cause she's in a league of her own.
Wonderful finale to an amazing series and I wish Holly decides one day to bring Harriet back. I'd love to see her grown up as well as see more of her friends and family. No matter how old you are, just read this book! If you're a teenager and ever felt left out (and we all did) just pick up this series and show the world your power!...more
HOW can this be a debut? I mean here I am double checking if this is actually Ms Gibney's first book. OMG can youOriginally posted on This Chick Reads
HOW can this be a debut? I mean here I am double checking if this is actually Ms Gibney's first book. OMG can you tell I am impressed? Actually I am BEYOND impressed! She's super talented, created a perfectly suspenseful thriller with loads of characters (something I usually don't like) and perfect past to present switch. Seriously guys, this book can't get any better!
The book opens with a crime in the 70s. We don't know much where it's happening, why or who is the victim. Fast forward to 2014 and a woman is killed in a Cathedral. Just when we meet 51 year old Susan, she's already dead. She's off to meet someone and ends up strangled. DI Lottie Parker and her partner, Detective Mark Boyd get immediately on the scene looking for clues as to why she's been murdered. However, Susan is one big mystery and an awfully contradictory character. Of course this doesn't help the police force, so after going through her apartment and not finding any clues (except some prescriptions), they're off to question her employee. Seems they've hit another dead end in the investigation (excuse the pun). And then another body is found and seems these two cases are somehow connected. The old handmade tattoo both victims have on their thigh seems not only to connect them but holds the secrets of their history. Many years ago they were connected by something, something which was so strong that bind them together always.
But Ms Gibney doesn't stop here, some people also go missing and believe me, you won't know what will happen next. This whole book felt like watching this super suspenseful police procedural that pulls you in from the start and once you're done, it seems everything finished in a blink. Yes, be prepared to lose track of time and postpone all your activities cause you won't be able to put it down.
Ms Gibney is another of Bookouture's gems and seems they have a hell of an amazing list of thriller authors. Angela Marson and Robert Bryndza to name a few and now Patricia Gibney as the newest member of the team...honestly, sky is the limit. I am absolutely in love with this book and have so many reasons, too many to mention in a review and I know that once I hit 'post' I will come up with some more to add. But anyway, in no particular order I'll mention some of the things which blew me away.
THE STORY is absolutely brilliant, there's something so mysterious and intriguing about these books revolving around old crimes. The author managed so gracefully and skillfully to connect these strange and horrible crimes with some new ones, intertwine their stories and mutual history. Everything is simply flawless and despite the fast pace you won't be distracted even for a second.
THE CHARACTERS are brilliant, from the main DI Lottie Parker, to her partner Detective Mark Boyd but also all the other side characters. If you've read Angela Marsons' DI Kim Stone series, you might see certain similarities, but that's only because both Kim and Lottie are kick ass, independent, bloody amazing at their job, women. But that's where all the similarities end. Lottie is a mother of 3 and has lost her husband few years ago due to cancer. It's a tragedy the family is still coping with and Lottie is really doing her best to juggle between motherhood and being in the force. She's got her usual ups and downs, fights anxiety and takes meds. But she's a tough cookie and is definitely one of the strongest leading characters I've ever read about.
THE PACE is perfect! I mean I'm telling you, it's action, action & more action. There are so many twists right till the end of the book that I really couldn't predict what will happen in the next chapter let alone the ending.
THE SETTING is amazing! Small town in Ireland during winter, it really can't get any chillier than that :). I absolutely loved it!
While I didn't find too many scenes of graphic violence, the book talks about some rather sensitive and awful topics, such as child abuse and pornography. At times it wasn't the easiest book to read because I would feel this awful rage towards beasts who commit such crimes.
The Missing Ones is undoubtedly one of THE BEST thriller/crime books I've ever read and a start of an amazing series I'll follow. I honestly can't wait for the #2 and can't hide it, I do have big expectations for it. If you're a fan of Angela Marsons' gripping thrillers, you'll definitely LOVE The Missing Ones. You'll simply devour it in one sitting, it's that gripping and fan -fucking-tastic! Oh and don't be scared by the +400 pages cause they will fly, baby! :)...more
'How to Mend a Broken Heart' is Anna Mansell's debut and a book I was really excited to read. I have to say, like Originally posted on This Chick Reads
'How to Mend a Broken Heart' is Anna Mansell's debut and a book I was really excited to read. I have to say, like so many reviewers here, that I did expect something else. When you look at the cover you expect a fluffier and funnier chick lit. But on the contrary, this is one emotional women's fiction/drama that will have your heart wrenched and make you go through a roller coaster of emotions.
There aren't really much characters and the story is focused on the lives of Kat, Susan and Rhys. The book opens when Susan is hit by a motorcycle and rushed to the hospital. No one really knows the reasons for the accident. Could be a suicide attempt maybe? Kat is a 28 year old nurse who's on her shift when Susan is rushed to the hospital. Rhys is a plumber who's still grieving for his brother, David who recently committed suicide. Among the few possessions of Susan, Rhys' number is found so the hospital calls him thinking they are related. However, Susan seems to much young to have Rhys as a son. Then why is the only number in the phone book those of Rhys?
Three complete strangers, three completely different stories will be interwoven into one. They all meet by chance, but there are ties they are not able to see. They are all grieving and searching for a way to mend their broken hearts. Susan is 56 and till recently has lived with her parents. She seems so sad, like the whole world is on her shoulders. Kat has just recently broken up wuth her boyfriend of 5 years. Seems like the exotic holiday won't help her heal. Rhys is mourning the loss of his brother, trying to understand why would he do such a thing. Why would anyone decide to take their own life?
As you see, this is not the easiest book to read. There are too many emotional moments and if you're looking for a tear jerker or perhaps you're grieving the loss of someone dear, then this is the book for you. While their stories blended nicely, what I didn't like is how much time it took for me to get inside of it. I wasn't really impressed with the first couple of chapters and felt pretty early on I will have trouble with the pace. It does pick up later on, but I had to be rather patient and keep on reading. I am glad I did though!
The characters didn't leave such a great impression on me. I must say I was rather interested in their stories, how they are connected and how everything will turn out. But I wasn't crazy about any of the characters because they didn't feel that real to me.
However, the story is told from different POVs and we all know how hard that is. Anna did an amazing job on that, showing each of her characters perspective and giving them interesting pasts. I also loved how their stories were delicately and masterfully intertwined and how the characters grew thanks to each other.
Overall, if you're looking for an emotional women's fiction and don't mind the slower pace, this is definitely the book for you. I think it's a good debut and I'll definitely be reading more by Anna.
'The Silent Wife' is the latest book by Kerry Fisher and one I've been so excited about. Back in 2015 I read Originally posted on This Chick Reads
'The Silent Wife' is the latest book by Kerry Fisher and one I've been so excited about. Back in 2015 I read Kerry's book 'The Island Escape' and immediately fell in love with her writing, the way she explores friendship and made me recognize parts of myself in both of her main characters. Needless to say then that I had such high hopes for 'The Silent Wife' and now after I've read it, I can say I wasn't disappointed.
As I'm already mentioning Kerry's books, unlike her previous ones this one has a more serious tone. It's like Kerry wanted to go even deeper, exploring family and it's dynamics and all the complex relationships as well as their secrets.
The beautiful thing about this book is that while it's mostly focused on two characters, the sisters in law Lara and Maggie, we learn so much about both their families. The book opens with Maggie marrying Nico and entering this new Italian family where she feels all but wanted. Nico's first wife died young due to cancer, so their daughter, Francesca is really not too crazy on the idea of her father marrying again. Especially not so shortly after her mother's death. As so isn't Nico's Mother, the cruel matriarch, Anna. But despite all her fears, Maggie is so happy to finally have a real man by her side, a true gentleman who respects her and who is willing to take care of her 10 year old son, Sam. It was so heartbreaking to read these pages. Maggie comes from a broken home and is the only one in her family which comes even close to marrying. Three generations of single women without anyone to care for them made Maggie a strong women yet thirsty for love. But real problems start when she moves in with Nico and watches her stepdaughter and mother in law trying to sabotage her marriage on every step. No matter how hard she tries, she's not appreciated. Out of this hard situation comes an unusual friendship though, the one with her sister in law, Lara. Lara is Massimo's wife, also a second wife just like Maggie. Massimo's first wife didn't want any kids so she left him. Lara gives him the child he's always wanted and yet Massimo seems never pleased. Their son isn't anything like the sporty, masculine Massimo so naturally, Lara feels disappointed and unhappy. However different Lara and Maggie seem at first sight, they will become allies and discover some secrets carefully hidden from the family. In the attic, Maggie finds a a box which belonged to Nico's first wife, a box full of secrets ready to shatter everyone's lives.
Wow, good e? When I started reading, I have to say it took me a while to get into the story. It seemed there were loads of characters, stories intertwining and I admit I found it a bit too much. But once I got into it, I couldn't put it down. I already knew Kerry will create a wonderful and layered story, with characters so vividly portrayed, however I was totally surprised by the mystery element. I can't say I really connected to or particularly liked any of the women, however their unusual friendship was what really kept me reading. They appear so different at the beginning so it was really intriguing to see their bond growing. While I liked Nico being the more sensitive one, Massimo was such a nasty guy. I didn't like him at all, but his character definitely added to the story.
While some books are all about the pace and action, this book is all about the characters and their relationship. It's clever, emotional and layered and I really enjoyed it. If you're a fan of women's fiction or family drama, this is definitely a book you mustn't miss out. It's also Kerry Fisher's best yet and I'm already looking forward to her next one....more
Beth Underdown, the author we'll be hearing about a lot in the future! I know this might not be the best way to s Originally posted on This Chick Reads
Beth Underdown, the author we'll be hearing about a lot in the future! I know this might not be the best way to start a review, maybe a short synopsis would be better, but I really had to get it out there. I am so fascinated with her writing and this debut. I adore the time period the book explores, seventeen-century England and how she manages to portray the witch hunt and trials raging through England during that time period.
At the very begging you'll learn that book was inspired by actual events and the main character, Matthew Hopkins is based on the real M. Hopkins who was connected with many crimes against innocent women. I don't know about you, but I do love a good historical fiction based on real events/people, this makes it even more fun to read.
The book is set in England in 1645. It is told by Alice Hopkins, Matthew's older half-sister who is back to her childhood home in Manningtree after her husband dies. She's got no one else left, except her little brother whom she hadn't heard from in long 5 years. Not even a single letter, though they promised to each other as kids they would keep in touch regularly. Oh , except the few lines Matthew sent to let Alice know their mother is dead and to be buried. Alice fears what she'll see in Manningtree, it's been so long and Matthews's probably changed...especially knowing that he never accepted and forgave her her choices. Alice left home years ago to marry a person she loved, a person who was her only love unfortunately didn't fit the social criteria of her family. Matthew never approved of him, the son of a servant, which only makes it harder for Alice, especially now she's pregnant and doesn't know how to approach Matthew with the news.
Once in Manningtree she learns about who Matthew has become, the little scarred boy whom she protected as a child. And this book reveals it all, all his crimes, victims, witch hunts. The sweet little boy she grew up with turns into an obsessive, evil, vengeful man full of hate. How is she supposed to keep quiet? She needs to reveal it all, all his crimes and journal entries.
This book is probably one of the best historical debuts I've ever read and I absolutely enjoyed the setting. I think Beth did and AMAZING job in portraying Manningtree and all the atmosphere in England at that time. I think I could simply close me eyes and be transported to this dark time in the history of human kind.
I wasn't the biggest fan of Alice, despite thinking she's a great narrator. But I didn't really feel her that much as I wish I had. While there's a lot of descriptions who just added to the facts on which this story is based, I really wish there was more about the actual hunting. I am by no means disappointed, however think I would enjoy it more if that was the case.
I was hooked from the very beginning. I just couldn't put the book down. I traveled with Alice to Manningtree, I was enjoying the scenery and felt the fear in her stomach as she was approaching her home. It was so vivid and so real. The first half of the book was simply unputdownable for me, but then the pace slowed down. As the story got slower, I would catch myself not being able to focus, so that's the only reason for the 4 * rating.
However, it's still an amazing, beautifully written debut and I'm sure we'll be hearing of Beth a lot in the future. Well researched, beautiful story and a must for all fans of historical fiction and 17 century England....more
In 2016 K.L. Slater made her debut on the thriller scene with 'Safe With Me' and instantly won the readers' Originally posted on This Chick Reads
In 2016 K.L. Slater made her debut on the thriller scene with 'Safe With Me' and instantly won the readers' hearts. The book was also recommended to me by many of my friends/bloggers as they do know I love a good, gripping thriller. I still haven't got round to reading K.L.'s debut but I'm so happy I got the chance to read her second and latest book, Blink.
First off, doesn't the blurb sound amazing? I couldn't wait to start reading! However, this is one of those psychological thrillers which you need to be really careful about when reviewing, as everything is so tightly woven and could be considered a spoiler. The book is told from several POVs and follows events 3 years before Evie's disappearance and after that sad event.
Toni and her 5 year old daughter Evie have just moved to a new house and a new neighborhood, which though not the nicest at least promises a new star. Toni and Evie had been through a lot, loads of pain and suffering. 18 months ago Toni's husband died in Afghanistan, such a sudden and heartbreaking moment for the new family. Toni's trying to be the best mum possible for Evie, but she's crushed. She turns to pills and the odd glass of wine for comfort. The move should do them good, they have Toni's mum to help them settle in, help with Evie and the new school and everything seems to be going great when Toni finds a new job.
However, what Toni hoped will be a fresh new start, turns to be the most devastating moment in her life. After Toni's mum is brought to hospital and Toni is late to pick up her daughter from school, little Evie is never seen again. No traces, no eye witnesses, like she disappeared in thin air.
Gripping, right? There are many things I liked about this book, however some I didn't like that much so this is gonna be a balanced review (I will really try). The pace was rather slow and until half of the book it seemed nothing is really happening. The accent was given to the emotional state of Toni, not so much on the actual disappearance of Evie. This I admit was a bit frustrating, as some scenes were explored to details yet seemed irrelevant to the actual plot. However, the slow pace gave enough time for me to portray Toni in my head as vivid as possible. As a mother, the pain she was feeling was excruciating even for me. I could feel through the pages her grief, hope to find her daughter and fight. This I really liked.
Toni is not a character you will immediately fall in love with. Hell, she might be a character you might not like at all even after you read the whole story. But in a way, with all her flaws and imperfections, she kept me interested in the story.
The story goes back and forth, 3 years before and after Evie's disappearance and I think the author did an amazing job in the past/present switching. Everything flows and you won't be confused even for a second. However, it takes a lot of time until things start moving and this frustrated me to a point. About the 80% mark everything starts to fall into it's place and there's an amazing twist which got me totally by surprise.
To sum it up, if you're a fan of psychological thrillers and you don't mind the slower pace and build up, this is definitely a book for you. The other day I've heard K.L. has signed a new 4 book deal with her publisher, bookouture so we'll be hearing about her a lot in the future. ...more
OMG this is one twisted book! I remember receiving the proof, one of the most gorgeous proofs I've ever seen. As Originally posted on This Chick Reads
OMG this is one twisted book! I remember receiving the proof, one of the most gorgeous proofs I've ever seen. As I stroked the gorgeous cover and dusty pink roses on it, I thought this is going to be one fantastic girlie read. Oh boy, was I wrong! This book is anything but girlie and I should be very careful when using the word enjoyable. Because as much of a page turner this is it's so dark and twisted I couldn't say I enjoyed it. I mean I did...but I didn't at the same time. A paradox I know, but that's what this book will do to you. It will screw up your logic as you read about the sad and tragic destinies of the beautiful Roanoke girls.
The book opens with Lane leaving for Kansas to live with her grandparents and cousin she's never met before on the mysterious Roanoke ranch. Her mum committed a suicide and one would say she's experienced some tragedy, something that made her depressing and sad, avoiding people and even her daughter. The thing is, Lane's mum has been like that always...at least that's how Lane remembers her. She could snap in a minute, once even hurting her bad. Lane doesn't know much about her mum's family and she romanticizes this Roanoke place she dreams of visiting. But Roanoke is far from the dreamy setting she imagined as a child. And she's going to find out why very soon after settling with her grandparents.
The Roanoke girls, their long black hair and beautiful, mesmerizing looks will always be remembered and their pictures have their special places on the wall. However, no one ever says anything about why they've all disappeared, ran away from the only place they ever knew and committed suicides. It's like the curse of Roanoke, to be beautiful and rich but die at a very young age.
Her grandparents are rich, yet there's something off with them and pretty soon you're going to find out the reason for the girl's disappearances. I found this approach of revealing the most shocking truth so early on in a book somewhat strange. It was like, where's the mystery now? What will keep me reading the next +200 pages if I already know why they are all dead? I really didn't need to worry as the author does an amazing work keeping you intrigued, throwing in short chapters about each of the Roanoke girls. And as you peel a layer after layer, learning more about their tragic endings you get on such a roller coaster of emotions, from sadness to anger towards the beast who caused their suffering. Except it wasn't really that they suffered...not in the way we're used to defining it. And that was for me the most disturbing part, knowing you're acting strange, being treated in such a wrong way...and yet not doing anything about it.
Lena's cousin Allegra was the hardest to understand. She'd go from being so high on life to cutting, hating, being angry. One very moody girl which I didn't like at all, but in a strange way she got under my skin. I really wanted to hate her but I would catch myself admiring her zest for life. The book is told mostly from Lane's point of view and the author did an amazing job when it comes to intertwining the past with the present. We follow Lane as she sets her foot to Roanoke place first time and after 11 years when her grandfather calls her to come back 'home' after Allegra is gone missing. They might have had a strange relationship, but then again Allegra is one peculiar girl. Still Lane owes her this much. As painful as it is to go back to that cursed place, she's back to Kansas and starts investigating Allegra's disappearance.
This is one very complex book to review, honestly. Because it's like paradox after a paradox. As I mentioned, the big mystery is revealed pretty early on and one's expected to quickly lose interest in the book after that. Maybe some will, who knows? If you want my advice, just persevere and you will definitely be rewarded. Because you'll still want to know the reasons why is someone behaving the way he is and what/who made them such a beast.
I try hard not to reveal anything so I won't spoil the book but it gets really hard, especially now when I want to talk about the characters. None of them I found likable, not even Lane, yet in a very strange way they've all got under my skin. There's one particular character you will love to hate. I hated him passionately, I hated how our eyes deceive us sometimes. How people put on these masks and pretend they are normal when they're everything but normal. Sick and twisted are the words I'm gonna use and let you see for yourselves what I'm talking about when you read the book.
Overall, this was certainly one very strange book to read. At least that's how it felt to me. I am shocked to say I liked it because a part of me got so disturbed I wanted to yell and give the girls a good shake. But that's the thing with The Roanoke girls, you can't be indifferent about it, it will leave a strong impression on you, of that I am sure. The reason why I'm giving it 4 stars instead of 5 when it's obvious I found it so gripping is that sometimes I was so confused with Lane as a character, she was so unlikable at times. I certainly didn't approve of everyone keeping quiet about the monster...and that kind of bothered me. Yet I kept on reading, page after page, eager to come to the end when everything would make sense.
If you're looking for a clever 'mystery' (use the term mystery very loosely here) this is definitely the book for you. This is also Ms Engel's first adult book and I think she nailed it! ...more
Feel like some questions remained unanswered & the mystery part could've been executed better in my opinion. But it's aSomewhere between 4-4.5/5.
Feel like some questions remained unanswered & the mystery part could've been executed better in my opinion. But it's a very emotional book & Ms Jio pulled this off very well, even made me cry at the end. ...more