Saturday, 29 February 2020

Review: Then She Vanishes

Then She Vanishes Then She Vanishes by Claire Douglas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve put this on my “unputdownable” shelf. Although this month has been a difficult one in our family life as regards worry, Stress and sorting stuff out, I’ve picked this book up with every chance I got. Sometimes I fell to sleep as soon as my head hit the pillow, it’s been an horrendous month.
I never once wasn’t eager to get back to this book, it made me mad I just couldn’t sit and continue to read it.

That being said, I absolutely loved this writing. It flowed so well, it’s difficult to explain as it’s thriller yet the writing flowed so relaxingly comfortable for me. No leaping so that I couldn’t follow it even when the chapter heading may have flipped to the past.

Don’t be mistaken about the title. It’s not your usual ‘girl vanishes’ type of read. I’ve also read far too many of those. This is so different.

I’ve heard it say that the blurb and titles gives away the plot. I disagree strongly.

You will get several twists and loopholes and cul-de-sacs within this book.
Even if you did guess some things (which I did) there are more revelations to be had right to the final page.

I’m enthusiastic about this one. Taking my time reading it I took so much away about all of these characters and how complex love can be.

For those that enjoy good flowing stories, ease of reading, guessing games, character driven. 
This is for you.

Remember. Never make a judgement on others reviews, always make your own mind up on what you read 😁
I’d be interested in knowing how your thoughts, good, not so good. That’s what makes for great discussions!


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Friday, 28 February 2020

Review: The Dog Walker

The Dog Walker The Dog Walker by Lesley Thomson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3* for me.

I received this from the publisher when it was released. I put it aside as it was a book in my mailbox unsolicited which I thought I’d get to soon. I hadn’t agreed to read it so I intended to read it it released date had come and gone. So no rush I thought. But it slipped down my physical shelf and here I am! Ages later.

As with a lot of us, we read proofs and arcs first. I decided to pick this one up when sorting my shelves and unhauling some books I no longer needed.

Anyhoooo.....

I did like the premise of this story, but in places found I was completely lost.
It swapped between years which when done well, works, doesn’t make it a struggle for someone like me to keep up. I know I’m getting old and my brain cells get tired but they were left exhausted at times trying to place it all in my head.

I think it’s a case of, it’s perfectly understandable by the person who wrote it but it wasn’t to me.

Then I discovered the publisher had sent me a book in a series and this was book 5!

Why do they do that! It definitely isn’t a standalone as there is backstory to the main characters. Mwah.

So based on all that. ......that’s how I felt


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Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Review: Find Me

Find Me Find Me by J.S. Monroe
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a super creepy, intriguing beguiling read that will keep you guessing.

Jar doesn’t believe that his girlfriend Rosa could take her own life. He knows her. She wouldn’t do such a thing. Why?

In his dreams he sees her, on the tube, doing this, doing that, going here going there. He’s convinced this is not dreams, it’s not his imagination.

He discovers her diary. That convinces him that she didn’t take her life, maybe she’s hiding, but, from what?

This is full of intensity that shuck me.

The authors writing is amazing. I loved it


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Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Review: Now You See Her

Now You See Her Now You See Her by Heidi Perks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another book from my “busting my backlist” shelf.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it hD eerie feels, chills and intrigued me. 
There are so many “missing children’s” books that they can all merge into boredom don’t you think?
Well this one had that little ‘something’ extra for me.

It’s a slow plodder at the beginning so don’t expect it to be fast paced but then suddenly......boom....right between the readers eyes, what! WHAT? 

I enjoyed it


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Review: Christmas for the Halfpenny Orphans

Christmas for the Halfpenny Orphans Christmas for the Halfpenny Orphans by Cathy Sharp
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Yes I know, I should have read this around Christmas time if 2016. 
I know!
It’s 2020 now! 

No excuses. I missed it out.

I hadn’t realised that this was book 3 in the series. In 2016 I went made requesting books on Netgalley. I’ve since learnt! Hence my “busting my backlist” shelf here on Goodreads..

Lots of characters to get your head around in this book. I wonder if it’s people who were in book one and book two? Probably!

The story was well put together. The children made the story though for me.


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Monday, 24 February 2020

Review: In Safe Hands

In Safe Hands In Safe Hands by J.P. Carter
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is most definitely a 𝐒𝐮𝐬𝐩𝐞𝐧𝐬𝐞, 𝐓𝐡𝐫𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐫, and it’s the start of a brand new series. 

We get introduced to DCI Anna Tate. Unlike a lot of police procedures I’ve read in the past they come with huge pasts. Drinking problem, hard, rugged, and some unbelievable.

Anna has a past that is current.
Her child was never found now she’s on a case where nine young children have been kidnapped.

I question if she was best placed for this job, but this is fiction and it needs to appeal. It certainly did that.

It’s a time running out “catch and mouse” tale which you fly through quite quickly.

I loved the writing, I loved how it was fast paced. I didn’t much like the ending, it seemed a bit far fetched in my humble opinion.

It’s a subject matter that’s been written about over and over, yet this ones on the whole comes in my recommendation for how well written and fast it was.


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Review: The Second Wife

The Second Wife The Second Wife by Sheryl Browne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

𝕎𝕆𝕎 𝕛𝕦𝕤𝕥 𝕎𝕆𝕎 𝕕𝕚𝕕𝕟’𝕥 𝕣𝕖𝕒𝕝𝕚𝕤𝕖 𝕥𝕙𝕚𝕤 𝕨𝕠𝕦𝕝𝕕 𝕓𝕖 𝕤𝕠 𝕘𝕠𝕠𝕕!

I wasn’t expecting that!

So two friends. Then these two haven’t seen each other for a while.


🆃🅷🅴🅽

One of them hears the other one has committed suicide. No no....not acceptable, so the friend whose left decides to find out and dig deeper.

I Absolutely loved this shocking thriller.

It’s been sitting on my kindle far too long, that’ll teach me. 


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Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Review: American Dirt

American Dirt American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

*i am revising my star rating to 2
My reason not for the controversy but for the contents of the book itself.

The more I think about this book and it’s contents the more I see a political element to it.

AND UNLESS YOU'VE BOUGHT YOUR COPY OFF OF AMAZON.....YOU CANNOT ADD A REVIEW! Only verified purchases!

THATS THE FIRST TIME IVE EVER......EVER......SEEN THAT!

I’d had this book on my radar to read way before it was released. Simply because I love the authors writing and she’s an automatic click for me to buy her books.

When the book was published and readers read it, I saw the blow up on social media, but, I skimmed past it. I also don’t read others reviews until AFTER I’ve read ANY book that’s on my TBR.
Because I like to make my own mind up.

The same as I hear rumours in real life, but, they don’t influence me. I’m stubborn 😂

I’ve read the uproar and links to the controversy since.

I have to say, I’m ignorant to all that basically went on, going on etc so my review is based solely on the story, characters, development and how it made me feel.

It started off with sheer intensity and kept my attention. Then the events on the train started to linger on, and on and on. Some things were just a little too graphic for my taste. I know was important to the story but had me skimming and shuddering. So that wasn’t a great experience.

If this was non fiction, I’d accept it as a journalistic or historical point of view or research.

But this is fiction and I was overwhelmed by it.

So that’s when I read up on the subject matter and facts on Google to educate myself.
I was appalled, I was angry, because people are people no matter the colour of our skin. I saw some racist comments which I hated.

Some parts were very slow.

I struggled a lot in the reading of this.

I kept going because the parts Luca played kept me going.

But it did leave me with a lot of questions like.....
What happened next?

Positives

It made me look up things and learn, yes at the age of 61!
It made me aware.


Negative

I found it exciting and fast moving but only in parts
Was this fiction trying to verge on non fiction?
It left me unsatisfied as the epilogue didn’t even round the story off

So my long anticipated book turned out OK. But just not YEEK I enjoyed that.

The subject matter when I ordered this book I wasn’t aware of anything other than the blurb sounded exciting.
A mother going to lengths to protect her son. I thought was going to raw and emotional.

Now I know differently I can see it’s raw and emotional but in a different way.

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Review: The Wayward Girls

The Wayward Girls The Wayward Girls by Amanda Mason
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I can’t lie.
I struggled with this.

It’s a book I’ve had since last year. I tried reading it then, but I couldn’t connect.
So I put it down intending to pick it up again. I thought it might be my mood or something as in theory this sounds like a book I would love.

Sadly, I put it down and forgot.

Again this year I promised myself I’d read my backlist of books in and out and remembered this one.

Ding dong, I had an idea. I’ll listen to it on audio.

I didn’t like the narrators voice at all. Too grinding for me. So that didn’t work.

I went back to reading it.

So many characters to retain and work out.

Ok I plodded on.

The twist.....was that it?

The writing was ok, but this story just wasn’t a good match for me.


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Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Review: American Dirt

American Dirt American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’d had this book on my radar to read way before it was released. Simply because I love the authors writing and she’s an automatic click for me to buy her books.

When the book was published and readers read it, I saw the blow up on social media, but, I skimmed past it. I also don’t read others reviews until AFTER I’ve read ANY book that’s on my TBR.
Because I like to make my own mind up.

The same as I hear rumours in real life, but, they don’t influence me. I’m stubborn 😂

I’ve read the uproar and links to the controversy since.

I have to say, I’m ignorant to all that basically went on, going on etc so my review is based solely on the story, characters, development and how it made me feel.

It started off with sheer intensity and kept my attention. Then the events on the train started to linger on, and on and on. Some things were just a little too graphic for my taste. I know was important to the story but had me skimming and shuddering. So that wasn’t a great experience.

If this was non fiction, I’d accept it.

But this is fiction and I was overwhelmed by it.

So that’s when I read up on the subject matter and facts on Google to educate myself.
I was appalled, I was angry, because people are people no matter the colour of our skin.

Some parts were very slow.

I struggled a lot in the reading of this.

I kept going because the parts Luca played kept me going.

But it did leave me with a lot of questions like.....
What happened next?

Positives

It made me look up things and learn, yes at the age of 61!
It made me aware.


Negative

I found it exciting and fast moving but only in parts
Was this fiction trying to verge on non fiction?
It left me unsatisfied as the epilogue didn’t even round the story off

So my long anticipated book turned out OK. But just not YEEK I enjoyed that.

The subject matter when I ordered this book I wasn’t aware of anything other than the blurb sounded exciting.
A mother going to lengths to protect her son. I thought was going to raw and emotional.

Now I know differently I can see it’s raw and emotional but in a different way.

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Sunday, 16 February 2020

Review: Wilder Girls

Wilder Girls Wilder Girls by Rory Power
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was so out of my comfort zone.
But again this year I’ve got a couple of personal challenges going on.

*busting my back list
*reading a book out of my comfort zone

And I actually liked this. A bit far fetched at times but truly a remarkable compulsive read. One that I finished very quickly.

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Saturday, 15 February 2020

Review: How to Walk Away

How to Walk Away How to Walk Away by Katherine Center
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I don’t think I’ve given a 5* rating this year yet (2020) so here it is!
I was so invested in this story. I’m glad I became a part of Books and Jams reading group. This was the monthly pick by book tuber Krista. I loved it.

It brought out every emotion you could ever think of feeling.

It’s good that this didn’t have quite the ending you would be rooting for. Not in a nasty way, but realistic human life events way. Not everything is tied up in ribbons and bows......yet......the ending was just as fulfilling as any great climax of events.

All of these characters lived inside my head for as long as I read it, and, I’m sure beyond time. A book with a punch, a book with meaning and certainly a book full of hope.

Just once in a while you get a book that gives you all of the tingles.

I’m certainly going to send for her other book lots rave about.

Loved it!

Some think for such a tragic thing that’s happened the author has made certain aspects too jovial.

My dad lost his leg, it was amputated after a tragic accident. Over 30 years ago now! And it WAS tragic and life changing for us all. The medics said he needed support and positivity. Each of us had a role to play. He reached suicidal point as this character does in the story. She gave herself a year.
Within a year things change, people change, circumstances change and the disabled person minds change along with those whose also had to adapt around them. What I’m saying is, doom and gloom helped no one. The IMMEDIATE effect is doom, it’s gloom, it’s the pits. But sooner or later you learn life goes on, but in a different way. Like traffic being diverted, the person and family and friends go down the diverted path of life.

I thought the author showed a good positive side to this.

So I hope no one minds....
I thought I’d share our experience with you

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Friday, 14 February 2020

Review: How to Walk Away

How to Walk Away How to Walk Away by Katherine Center
My rating: 5 of 5 stars



I don’t think I’ve given a 5* rating this year yet (2020) so here it is!
I was so invested in this story. I’m glad I became a part of Books and Jams reading group. This was the monthly pick by book tuber Krista. I loved it.

It brought out every emotion you could ever think of feeling.

It’s good that this didn’t have quite the ending you would be rooting for. Not in a nasty way, but realistic human life events way. Not everything is tied up in ribbons and bows......yet......the ending was just as fulfilling as any great climax of events.

All of these characters lived inside my head for as long as I read it, and, I’m sure beyond time. A book with a punch, a book with meaning and certainly a book full of hope.

Just once in a while you get a book that gives you all of the tingles.

I’m certainly going to send for her other book lots rave about.

Loved it!

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Review: The Christmas Wedding

The Christmas Wedding The Christmas Wedding by Dilly Court
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Dilly Court is a well known author in this genre high in esteem. I’ve always loved her books no matter how diverse my reads have expanded over the years I can easily return to my most favourite past reads and authors. So it was a delight to see this up on Netgalley.

Book 1 in the series, although the main character was in a previous book as a Governess. But this seems to have moved on into her new life.

I enjoyed every minute of this read.

I had dental surgery yesterday so I’ve been in some pain (you know how it is!) so reading kept my mind (slightly) off of it.

Good start to a new series.

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Thursday, 13 February 2020

Review: The Christmas Wedding

The Christmas Wedding The Christmas Wedding by Dilly Court
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Dilly Court is a well known author in this genre high in esteem. I’ve always loved her books no matter how diverse my reads have expanded over the years I can easily return to my most favourite past reads and authors. So it was a delight to see this up on Netgalley.

Book 1 in the series, although the main character was in a previous book as a Governess. But this seems to have moved on into her new life.

I enjoyed every minute of this read.

I had dental surgery yesterday so I’ve been in some pain (you know how it is!) so reading kept my mind (slightly) off of it.

Good start to a new series.

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Saturday, 8 February 2020

Review: The Other People

The Other People The Other People by C.J. Tudor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Definitely a 4.5* read for me.

Creepy
Dark
Puzzling
Sinister


Definitely expect the unexpected in this story!

Lots already have been written about this book, believe the hype.

Many readers go in expecting it to be dull, but, lots that have read this end up being hooked and dangled like a flapping fish at the end of a fishing line. There’s no release. Once you “get into” the bowels of this dark, creepy, sinister world you have so many questions you need answers to.

I read this as part of a book club here on Goodreads I belong to. The title is on my shelf, if you want to look it up.

It’s made for great discussions. There’s lots in there that keep your mind ticking for sure.
It’s one of the best books I’ve kicked off with this year as regards thrillers. My mind was ticking around so fast I’m sure my brain was on fire! But a thrilling fabulous feeling. I love how this made me react.

There’s a deep sinister side to this that most say they are disappointed with, references to supernatural. I didn’t feel that at all. Spooky yes. Unexplainable, yes. But if supernatural I would have put the book down as stuff like that give me eebie geebies 😳 100% some unexplained activities though, like I say, creepy.

If you notice I’m staying away from the subject matter, names etc. I really think you’ll enjoy it reading it from no angles, just your own.

Happy reading.

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Review: The Forever Gift

The Forever Gift The Forever Gift by Brooke Harris
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I can’t fail to give this 5*
For content
For ease of following the story
For characters that have depth
And....

ɪᴛ ᴍᴀᴅᴇ ᴍᴇ ᴄʀʏ!!

Although this is sad, it also brings love into your heart, hope, laughter and a reason to say “ ʟɪᴠᴇ ʟɪꜰᴇ ᴛʜᴀᴛ ᴍᴀᴋᴇꜱ ʏᴏᴜ ʜᴀᴘᴘʏ”. None of know what around the corner.

There’s a little girl in here named Molly. I loved her. As children accept things more quickly than us adults and while life got tough she livened up things no end.

Kayla and her Mother, Heather have a wonderful relationship. Maybe because there’s just the two of them. Her Father married again. But, it’s a good pairing and they all mostly get on. Tension sometimes as to be expected. He has a daughter (Molly) from his marriage to Charlotte.
The bound between his former wife is strong bringing up Kayla. Kayla is now in her teens.

Tragedy strikes and they all need to stick together. But will emotions rip them apart?

The ending of this book gave me everything I wanted and life not always being wrapped up in tiny little bows. Although I cried buckets.

If you like books about relationships, not always happy endings, facts, reality of life. You will not do badly if you pick this one up.
A tearjerker for sure.

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Wednesday, 5 February 2020

Review: The Vagabond Mother

The Vagabond Mother The Vagabond Mother by Tracey Scott-Townsend
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I didn’t think I’d like this as much as I did.
I was drawn to this by the book cover, then the blurb.

Also the word “Vagabound” meaning to travel with no home of your own. Don’t be mislead by ‘backpacking’ or ‘wanderers’ or indeed ‘gypsy”. You will learn the distinction clearly within this novel.

Everyone has hope, dreams and inspirations in life, many of us do not or cannot achieve those for many reason. And as parents we sometimes want much more for our children.

What I learnt from this fictional story was, life can take you in directions you don’t anticipate.

As parents we may inflict on our growing children a sense of worth, or what you think they she do with they’re lives. But can we sometimes stifle their growth?

Maya who is married to Con and have grown children are comfortable and have a nice respected lifestyle.

Their two sons have flown the next and joe has taken up a Vagabound lifestyle.

His emails/letters to his mum painted a great picture. His life, his choice.
The other son too.
However, their Father (Con) has other ideas and aspirations for his sons, and actually, the eldest son felt the “black sheep of the family”.

There was an undercurrent ripple within this perfect family I felt.

Then Maya decides (for reasons you need to discover) to join and be a Vagabound too. She hitch hikes around Australia, she meets interesting folk along the way. She’s truly living the life of sleeping rough and under the stars.

Her two daughters are so different in how they react to their Mother choosing to do this.

There is so very much to this story than I can ever tell you.

I’m enthusiastic about it. Because I was stunned on how much this story impacted on me.

I super duper loved the ending.



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Saturday, 1 February 2020

Review: Before My Actual Heart Breaks

Before My Actual Heart Breaks Before My Actual Heart Breaks by Tish Delaney
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is due to be released July 2020

The one quote that sticks out in my mind from this book is “I’m not yours and you’re not mine”


As the author lays the ground work for this must touching awesome story with heartbreak, tears and growing, maturing and learning, stick with it.

Mary starts off at sixteen in this book and we experience with her her good times, her life and the wonderful conversations between her Aunt Eileen.

This is Northern Ireland around 1970’s. When the bombing, the IRA, Protestants and Catholic’s were head on.

Ireland was and is a very religious Country governed a lot by “their Priest or Vicar. We see this when Mary is told by her Mother that she had better pray before bed as she can’t keep the ghosts away.

Mary isn’t the only sibling, her brother left, and she blames him for clipping her wings.
Her older sister leaves, and she reflects that will leave her all alone in the dark in the bedroom on The Hill. No electricity remains burning at night for silly children who should know there is only one thing to fear-losing Gods live and His Good Holy Mother. So Mary was raised with thoughts and her own emotional worries.

As we follow Mary on her life’s journey and the era of time in 1970’s we see how things were so different then.

It’s told mostly from a Mary, and the dialogue is written in a different format without speech bubbles but easily followed.

I could hear the Irish accent in my ears which showed how well the author had written this.

I’m saying no more about the story, you need to read this yourself.
For me, the pace really picked up a third of the way in when I felt completely committed to keep reading for as long as I could and as much as I could.

The life that Mary had been pushed into wasn’t physically harsh as emotionally traumatic for her.

The growth of Mary, the maturing of Mary and the development of love and intense emotion brought tears to my eyes at the end.

When Mary became ill, I was truly scared for her.

The character Bridie I absolutely came to adore as I did John John but he exasperated me at times as so did Mary although I fully understood why they acted in such a way, and when we find out about john johns past that was so touching.

So now Mary is in her adult life, and the lessons, hardship and things she’s been through has made her into the woman she is now.

Her wanting a better relationship with her Father, I felt the urge there. Her mother and her relationship was not ideal, far from it. All this is in the book.

If you enjoy a meaty solid story full of intense raw emotions, hardship faced, and 25 years of being together with someone but.......as I started with the quote from this book, I’m going to end with the quote from it too....

“I’m not yours, and you’re not mine”

Would you like to find out what that means?
May I urge you to preorder this, buy it. I’d live to discuss this with someone once I can.



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