Monday, 31 August 2020

Review: Clap When You Land

Clap When You Land Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review

I went into this book half hearted and came out with my heart broken.

Was this book too young for me?
Definitely not!
Was it in a writing style I’m not used to?
Definitely it was!
Did it matter?
Not one jot!

A man with two separate families.
A wife, daughter in one part of the world and a plane ride away another woman in his life bringing up his other daughter.

Did each know of the other?
No, did they heck!

But when tragedy strikes and secrets and lies revealed the impact on the girls when it’s discovered each exist with the same father they dearly clearly love and adore the reader will experience the pain from them.

It’s an awesome read.

I did listen to this on audio, the narrator being the author herself.

A bit of history at the end and how she came up with this story was really good.

Have I read other books by her?
Will I?
Hell, yes!


Sunday, 30 August 2020

Getting doggy looks

 This is the face I see each time I sit down to read, lol


Book club read

 Hi Readers


This is the book I’m starting ion 1st September reading with an online group hosted by BooksandLaLa on you tube.


Really looking forward to starting it.


Have you read this?

Thoughts



Thursday, 27 August 2020

Review: The Blossom Twins : An absolutely gripping crime thriller

The Blossom Twins : An absolutely gripping crime thriller The Blossom Twins : An absolutely gripping crime thriller by Carol Wyer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh my, oh my oh my! I feel totally emotionally floored, but in a good satisfying way.

This is one if not THE best book in this series so far.

Natalie Ward is so dedicated to her job, her and her team no matter what case they’ve taken on they are going to give it their all. No stone unturned. But......this comes as a sacrifice to her own personal life at times and we see the human side of Natalie and her struggles.

An absolutely engrossing read.

I think this could be read as a stand-alone but, to reap the benefits I’d say start at book one.

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Review: For the Best

For the Best For the Best by Vanessa Lillie
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’m going to be totally honest. I’ve been veering away from a Police Procedure type books as they’ve been merging one into another, but, I had read this authors first book and I absolutely loved it, so how could I ignore this? I just had to give it a go.

I’m glad I did.
I love her style of writing, always so easy to follow.
If you are looking for a fast paced thriller, this is not for you. But if you are happy to read and get into the mechanics of you’re brain power, I say yes, go for it. Your brains wheels will be turning for sure.

Following the main character whose been accused of murder was fascinating. The police mostly only had to go on finding her red purse at the scene. Her replies to questions fascinated me as she couldn’t recall a darn thing.

Over indulging in alcohol was a problem for this lady!

Buried secrets.
I love secrets that come out in the wash don’t you?

*3.75 from me as I found it hard going at the start, bit slow. Worth it though.



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Review: Nine Perfect Strangers

Nine Perfect Strangers Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Those who like contemporary with a thrust, friendships, fun but also with serious issues
ReviewI love this authors books so I knew I’d love this. Her style of writing, characters and writing flair appeals to me as a reader.

As in most health resorts you are limited in what you can and cannot have. So this makes full discussions.

Each character has never met before. Obviously health issues. The way the author brings these very different people together was superb.

I listened on audio to this one and the time flew by

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Monday, 24 August 2020

Review: The Minders

The Minders The Minders by John Marrs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Oh my. What did I just read.
It’s exciting, it’s gripping, it’s edge of your seat, it gives you trembles, it gives you an open mouth “what,” feeling.

One of his previous books The One was one of my top books of that year, can this surpass that?

This is set into the future BUT it’s so hands on up to date you’ll be amazed at this science.

Imagine keeping hackers out and not gaining Top Secret Security information inside their heads. Yes that right.

First they have to go through procedures to be selected. Just every day public people selected.
Five of them
But......only four can be trusted.

It leaves the reader very suspicious.

So all this information is taken offline and these people become Minders. Yes Minders of the data implanted in their brains.

This is truly a remarkable story.

I deep breathed and gasped all the way through it!

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Review: Gathering Dark

Gathering Dark Gathering Dark by Candice Fox
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have read a couple of Candice Fox books before so, when this dropped through my letterbox from the publishers I thought I’d hunker down this weekend and read this.

It’s the start of another series, which is exciting.

It’s set in LA.

Jessica loves her job.
Then something surprising happens, one of her clients dies and she inherits a huge amount of money.
Life changing.

You can see the struggle she has getting her head around it all.

Then there’s Blair.
Blair is a top Paediatric Surgeon.

Here sets the layout of chapters between the two characters. Very interesting.
Easy to follow.

But Blair was accused of murder. Jessica is well aware why.

After spending ten years in jail, the only thoughts Blair had was finding the son she gave birth to in jail.

We know that Blair was innocent, so having to go through giving birth in prison and her child being taken was harrowing.


But something brings these two women together.
Was Jessica wrong about Blair?

Very tense, moved with a good flow and kept my attention.

Great start to a new series.

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Wednesday, 19 August 2020

Review: It's Always the Husband

It's Always the Husband It's Always the Husband by Michele Campbell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

So what did Kate have that made her such a powerful leader to her friends?
The friends who said they would stay loyal to the bitter end.

None of these characters appealed to me, but that’s ok, I’m not that kind of reader where I don’t like a character so I dislike the book. I’m quite ok with ratty, I likeable written characters, it usually challenges me to try to find out why they act the way they do.
It didn’t happen in this though.

Many times I was confused over it all......but.....
The latter part of the book was much stronger.

I listened to this on audio and I wish I hadn’t. I found the narrators voice a bit jarring at times.

When action in dialogue speeded up all I could take note of was
“He said”
“She said”
So I missed the gist of the sentences as it was constant.

Overall though, the plot was good.

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Monday, 17 August 2020

Review: The Forgiving Jar

The Forgiving Jar The Forgiving Jar by Wanda E. Brunstetter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Whoops I’ve done it again!
Book 2 without reading book 1

I strongly suggest you read book 1

I think the previous book lays down foundation for what happens in this one.

The authors books I used to read everyone that came out, eagerly awaiting each one.

I veered away from this genre, I don’t know why, but coming back has been refreshing.

A lovely story, love, redemption and a lot we could learn from this.

My only one fault is that it was a bit too preachy for me.

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Review: The Child

The Child The Child by Fiona Barton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A haunting family drama that holds so many secrets behind its invisible vault.

The author weaves an interesting story that will keep you guessing.

I chose to listen to this on audio with a full cast of players, it really brought this book to life, I’m glad I did listen instead of read it. I became very intrigued in its story when in the rubble of a construction there are the remains of a little child, a baby.

The case was closed well over twenty years ago, nothing to go on.....

But this journalist needs her big break, and this is her venture.

It uncovers more than a child’s bones though.

Really good mystery thriller.

Thoroughly enjoyed piecing all the puzzles together.



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Review: Based on a True Story

Based on a True Story Based on a True Story by Delphine de Vigan
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I just can’t do it.
I’ve tried hard to like this book. It’s not the authors fault I think it’s the translation.

In its own language it has high ratings. In other languages it seems not.

Reading it was hard going as it seems it’s being told quite flat. No pitch or pace to it. Sort of slow and a bit repetitive.

The amount of times she referred to “L” was jarring on my mind. Really impacted on me in a very negative way.

So I switched to audio.

For me it wasn’t much better. The narrators voice was making me fall asleep.

I’m so sorry to be negative but this story was good towards the second half but by that time I’d lost my investment in the story and the characters.



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Sunday, 16 August 2020

Review: A Better Me: The Official Autobiography

A Better Me: The Official Autobiography A Better Me: The Official Autobiography by Gary Barlow
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An absolutely absorbing read.
I borrowed the audio book from my library and occasionally followed along in the book when I could.
I loved that Gary himself read his own book it added to it and makes the reader feel like he’s talking to you.

The bonus bit is good, it’s added to the audio but not in my copy, it will be in future ones. You’ve not missed out so don’t rush and go buy it just for that.

No holds barred in this book.
He tells it as it is.
What I liked was that there was no pulling anyone down.
He saw faults in himself.
He admitted his mindset with various events in his life.

When he got to his “dieting” bit in the book he was so honest, and so exact.

He had me laughing out loud in some places as I could relate so much to what he said about being fat.
There were some gems in here that I shall take away with regards to his thoughts and where he’s at now with his health.

The loss of their daughter Poppy was so upsetting and heartbreaking as I can relate to how that feels having gone through that myself.

The rise to fame and fortune, the depths of despair is paramount and no amount of money can shield you from that.

His wife Dawn sounds like his perfect partner by his side. I’m very sure life was difficult for her at times watching him go through this.

You don’t have to be a fan of Gary Barlow to read this, just an open mind.

Brilliant songwriter, very well know in Take That!
And just a normal human being going through things in the limelight.

Loved it for lots of reason.



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Review: Home Before Dark

Home Before Dark Home Before Dark by Riley Sager
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a definite 5* because it ticked all the boxes for me.

My very first Riley Sager book I’ve read although I own all of his others.
When this came up in a group read choice, count me in. It’s thriller borderline horror I’d say but mild.

Creepy.
Sinister.
Haunted house.
Lies.
Discoveries.
Sinister characters.

A book I actually was glued to.

You will gasp in many places, your jaw will drop and you will get hairs on the back of your neck stand up on edge.

This really sucked me in hook line and Center. I didn’t know what was what and what to expect next.

My poor little heart was pumping fast in plenty of places.

I’m so glad I read this. It’s urged me to pick up his other books, this chap really can write a book that affects the reader.

The dialogue is brilliant.

The plot fantastic.
The characters definitely identifiable with personalities of their own, distinctive and some worrying.

There’s a lot of nail biting moments that will make you flick through the pages not wanting to put it down.

Did I say I loved this book......yes!

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Saturday, 15 August 2020

Review: The Girl With No Name

The Girl With No Name The Girl With No Name by Lisa Regan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Loving book 2. This is a story involving a baby, fertility and lies.

It gripped my attention from chapter one and mostly keep on going.
Intense just as any suspense should be.

You also have characters popping in from book one so be sure to read that one first, also, you will get to see some changes in Josie.

Really enjoyed the writing, the plot and the pacing of the plot.

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Review: Vanishing Girls

Vanishing Girls Vanishing Girls by Lisa Regan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the start of a DI Josie Quinn series. They seem quite popular at the moment. I’ve read this under my shelf of #bustingmybacklist.

At this moment in time I rarely am reading police type procedure stories as they’ve been “Samey” and all rolling into one. I thought a break might help.
Alas, this is one I requested ages ago.

This starts off good, bit of a lull now and again but on the whole I enjoyed it.

What put me off was......yet again we have a DI with a drinking problem, an almost Ex husband, she’s troubled and this seems to follow suite with loads of DI books lately. I’m a bit burnt out.

Apart from that, the storyline does suck you in and I was invested in that.

If you love a good DI series, this is the start of this one.

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Review: Nobody's Child

Nobody's Child Nobody's Child by Victoria Jenkins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Alex and Chloe the DI’S in this series are really such strong females. Each one struggling with things in their own lives.

In this investigation there has been found a burnt body in a building, yet the body was burnt beforehand. Then more things are discovered.

One thing I’ve discovered with this author is that she does like a lot of characters in her stories.

I’ve read book 1, book 2 now book 3. All with many varied characters.

The story is good, you follow along with the investigation every step of the way with many thoughts of your own.

A very good suspense.

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Review: The First One To Die

The First One To Die The First One To Die by Victoria Jenkins
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I liked this, but didn’t love it. I really loved book 1 it started out really good this series but I didn’t feel this story was up to par.

It danced around suspense and wasn’t as gripping.

Some things were over the top however it did sorta make sense eventually although my brain was concentrating on the fact of the negative so I had to push it to fully “get” why it was written a little OTT.

I’m glad I read it.
It wasn’t so bad I had to put it down, just more like it wasn’t exciting me like I expected it too.

Maybe after reading book 1 my expectations were too high.

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Review: Lie in Wait

Lie in Wait Lie in Wait by G.J. Minett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4.75*

An amazing gripping twisty thoughtful thriller.

I listened to this on Audio and it was SO good.

Owen, one of the main characters is a little slow, not too good with social skills and a bit of a stutter. Regardless, he’s very, very clever with numbers. He reads life basically interpreting it into numerals for his ability of understanding.

A crime has been committed and he’s been pulled right into it.

The chapters go back and forth, not a problem though.
And......
Loads of characters, normally that can confuse me but not this time.

I got through this within two days. I took it everywhere with me it was habitual reading.


I’m very late reading this, first book by this author. So good I want to buy her others.

If you like a fast moving thriller, this is definitely for you.

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Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Review: Brutally Honest

Brutally Honest Brutally Honest by Melanie Brown
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I had this book laying on my shelf, then it became available on audio from my library. Seeing as I was struggling with the physical book and kept putting it down, I thought, you know what.....maybe it’s best I listened to it.

There is no doubt that this woman struggled. 
I’m thinking the way she wrote certain things or had it read it was and came across as very glorified. 
Not the acts itself more like the “setting the scene”. It’s hard to explain but I’ll try.

She mentions lots of times her glorious home, it centres at times on what she has, what’s she achieved.

I am aware right at the beginning when she explains she has dyslexia. But there are ghost writers, editors, publishers etc that could have brought this together much better not distorting anything but arranging it in some sort of order.

It tends to jump around a bit.

Like I say, I’d never knock someone’s life experiences and tragedies but there’s something in this that seems hidden within her relationship with her secound husband. 
A feisty woman which she admits to herself. 

I’m not sure if it’s the way it’s been told that’s given me this feeling or what.

I’ve learnt more about her from this book and she definitely has a bad side to her.

I’ll probably get hung for my thoughts, but I’m only writing my opinion and what I took from this book.


Anyone in the U.K. want me to send this to you? I’d be happy to hear what you think.

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Monday, 10 August 2020

Review: A Simple Hope

A Simple Hope A Simple Hope by Rosalind Lauer
My rating: 0 of 5 stars

An Amish read. Back to my roots. I used to read loads of this genre back in the day, so it was a huge treat to get to this one by Rosalind Lauer. Thing is, I didn’t realise it was book 2. Yes I’ve gone and done it again.

A couple so deeply in love planning to marry. Her fiancĂ© has an accident that leaves him in a wheelchair. He doesn’t want her caring for him all they’re married life so he wants to let her go.

Of course, she’s not going to agree to that is she.

To top it all, there’s a young girl found in the Orchard.

A very moving read with lots of turmoil to get you’re thoughts going.

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Review: The Million Pieces of Neena Gill

The Million Pieces of Neena Gill The Million Pieces of Neena Gill by Emma Smith-Barton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A well told story of a young girl Neena. Her parents are strict, more strict since the event of her brother.

There are many pressures on this young girl as culture too living in Britain she can be torn.

It becomes clear that Neena has mental health problems, she’s not coping well with all this.

The author did a good job with this book which I think many parents of mixed cultures and YA should read.

Sometimes we put pressure on our kids without realising the effects.

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Review: The Suspect

The Suspect The Suspect by Fiona Barton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I didn’t care much for a few of the characters, some were pretty shallow and weak in my humble opinion.

The basis of the story is nothing new. You’d be familiar with this in other books or real life newsworthy stories of young adults travelling abroad (in this case, Thailand) and after a few weeks they go missing.


The complications and intrigue of why and what happened to them kept me reading but the ending was quite weak.

I loved the audio version of this book, if I’d had stayed with reading it on ink and paper I think it wouldn’t have got 3*. 

It flowed well. It was put together well, it’s just not a story that stands out. 

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Friday, 7 August 2020

Review: Rosie the Dragon and Charlie Say Good Night

Rosie the Dragon and Charlie Say Good Night Rosie the Dragon and Charlie Say Good Night by Lauren H. Kerstein
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a great story.

Us whose had children or have young children, know the rituals of bedtime and how looooong that process can become!

In this book it’s a young boy trying to get his dinosaur to bed, oh wait, where’s his cuddles he takes to bed with him, where’s Vern! And parents know how long that takes to find it.....
Teeth to brush
Oh a last drink etc etc

Oh no, a thunder storm ......

The pictures are exceptional in this book.

I think any parent or grandparent reading this to their child will find it so true but also hilarious.





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Review: Unmasking the Spy

Unmasking the Spy Unmasking the Spy by Janet Kent
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was going through my list and saw this one I had requested a few years ago.

It was definitely the kind of Regency books I used to read.
But since my requesting books have veered to other genres over the years this kind of book isn’t one I tend to favour. However, I read it.

It’s a fair enough story with great characters and a good story line in my opinion. I enjoyed it but I didn’t love it.

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Review: The April Tree

The April Tree The April Tree by Judith Arnold
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.75 from me.

This was a devastating story of a group of young people having had a great time when tragedy strikes.

When one of their friends die each of them deal with the death differently. 

A very well thought out book. The excessive swearing I thought was OTT in MHO

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Review: Don't Ever Tell

Don't Ever Tell Don't Ever Tell by Lucy Dawson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Revenge is sweet, or is it.

This is a mind blowing book. A tale that’s so gripping, so compulsive so habitual you will not want to leave it alone.

I read parts of this then was listening on audio which I borrowed from my library, I ended up staying with the audio as the voice was so emphatic in places reaching various tones, pitch and pace that had me either gasping, holding my breath or shocked.

It’s certainly a fast paced book and I loved it.

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Review: Hair Love

Hair Love Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is such a fun, touching and heartwarming story. 
I remember many years ago my friends hair. She was from Jamaica and I learnt early on the techniques she went through to adorn and enrich her hair and as she would put it “ make me presentable for the men imma gonna meet at large” always made me chuckle.

This is about a little girl whose dad is left in charge. His daughters hair he has to tackle each day.

Embrace your hair. As she embraced her dad.
This was such a loving story. 
The graphics are beautifully done.

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Saturday, 1 August 2020

Review: Quintland: A Novel

Quintland: A Novel Quintland: A Novel by Shelley Wood
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This can be nothing more than 5*

It’s written with such truth and in part actual letters and manuscripts from the past.

Imagine, May 1934 and 5 baby sisters are born, one after the other.

The reporters went mad, the publicity was enormous. Everyone wanted a peek, everyone wanted a piece, curiosities of this proportion became other’s curiosity.

Mostly narrative from the viewpoint of the nurse looking after the babies was a huge sometimes hard emotional impact to listen to.
How these girls growing up became a commodity.

They didn’t belong to the parent, they belonged to the Goverment. Things were controlled by others mostly and later it was a way to lay up money for the girls when they grew. No need to worry for anything.

They were like animals being looked and stared at at a zoo.

Three times per day they had visitors ogling them through a see through Perspex.

Catching up on two of the surviving sisters it is written that although they feel it didn’t have an effect on them at that time, they were aware people were there and played up to the crowds.

I think the one stabilising person was the nanny. There from beginning to the end of her job.

It wasn’t all doom and gloom because the story depicts how each little girl had such distinctive personalities.

The Father was an ogre.
The mother knew less of them than any mother should.

Money features all the time. In the aim to “set the girls up” for the future. That didn’t happen.

I just had to research what become of these lovely innocent girls.

An emotional, revealing thought provoking account of this very publicised family story .
 

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Review: Mine

Mine Mine by Susi Fox
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A surprisingly good read and very interesting although I’m a bit sceptical about the way the story opens.

I keep questioning myself if I’d know my own baby if I had a caesarean and was put out, would I question when I woke up and my baby was placed in my arms, would I question if this was my baby?
Unless I was put in that situation I guess I’d never know.

That aside, the book was full of twists that will get you tied up in knots, hidden secrets.

Definitely worth your time.


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