Mind Me, Milady – Anne Rothman-Hicks & Ken Hicks

​I was approached and sent a free copy of this book by the authors and publicist, in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion of this book. 
I didn’t know what to expect from this book and I was surprised by how quickly I was able to immerse myself in this book and the world within it. The characters of Jane and Susan were strongly developed to the point that you start caring about them, which is what you want with this type of book. The same can be said with the male characters and the suspicion that surrounds them and the possibility that they could be the guilty character, the Gentleman Rapist. Not knowing who to trust. 
This book is surrounded in so much mystery, which is fantastic has it keeps you guessing right up to the last few pages. This mystery and these questions are answered in the last few chapters, which is where everything is so brilliantly brought together.
There were some editing issues in my copy where wrong names were used when talking about certain characters and so on, as though there were some last minute switches. These were just silly mistakes that could’ve been sorted with a once over, but it’s something I had to mention as it happened several times and it did begin to annoy me. But on saying that, it didn’t interfere with the story. 
I just discovered that this book is the second book in the Jane Larson series and I’m interested to read the first book.

The Art Of Going Home – Nicole Sorrell

The Art Of Going Home.jpgI received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review of the book and as part of a Goodreads Bookclub.

When Maddie Chandler was ten years old, her twin sister, Angeline, was murdered. Her mother then goes insane, being placed into an institution and with her father being who he is, Maddie is placed into the care of Aunt Ceci, who then raises and treats Maddie as though she is her own daughter. Maddie goes through high school being blamed for her sisters death, also for being constantly told that and therefore believing that wrong sister died. So, Maddie leaves this town as soon as she’s able and leaves for college. It takes her ten years before she comes back to her home town, but sadly, she only come back to attend the funeral of her beloved Aunt Ceci. But as soon as she is back, she is forced to face her troubled past that she has hidden even from herself. There is some happiness, in the form of her old high school crush Zac, her friends and her home made family. Will she find the truth behind the murder of her sister? Is she going insane or is she really seeing her sisters ghost?

I was genuinely shocked that I enjoyed this book as much as I did, simply because I thought that I thought I wasn’t going to, I put off reading it until the last minute it had to be read for the bookclub on Goodreads. There are so many topics in this book, which was surprising as it isn’t that big of a book, such as; Mystery, Romance, Crime, Death, Paranormal, that I wasn’t sure which was the main theme of the book. There is another topic/theme, but I didn’t want to include it above, as it will give away one of the main surprises to the plot of this book, but it may be a trigger warning for some.

Some of the characters did have some strong developments, and I did like the relationship between Maddie and Zac. I even liked the relationship, or lack there of, between Maddie and her father. Even the writing was good and easy to follow and once I started reading it, it took me less than 2 days to finish it. There were so many questions left unanswered when I finished this book, which left me wanting answers and unsatisfied. On saying that, there is going to be another book coming out, so maybe that’s why there were things left unanswered, as they will be included in it’s sequel, but this book didn’t leave me wanting more and I wouldn’t rush out to buy it. So for that reason, I had to give it 2.5/3 stars out of 5.

Now if you like mysteries you may like this one. It keeps you guessing right up until the last page, with constant twists and turns. If you’ve read this book, let me know what you thought of this book. Do you agree or disagree with my rating?

2.5 Stars

Book Review: Spontaneous – Aaron Starmer

wp-1488893370918.jpeg*I was lucky enough to win an Uncorrected Proof Copy of this book in a Goodreads Giveaway, so I would first like to say thank you for choosing me as one of the winners.*

“Mara Carlyle’s senior year is going as normally as could be expected, until—wa-bam!—fellow senior Katelyn Ogden explodes during third period pre-calc.

Katelyn is the first, but she won’t be the last teenager to blow up without warning or explanation. As the seniors continue to pop like balloons and the national eye turns to Mara’s suburban New Jersey hometown, the FBI rolls in and the search for a reason is on.

Whip-smart and blunt, Mara narrates the end of their world as she knows it while trying to make it to graduation in one piece. It’s an explosive year punctuated by romance, quarantine, lifelong friendship, hallucinogenic mushrooms, bloggers, ice cream trucks, “Snooze Button™,” Bon Jovi, and the filthiest language you’ve ever heard from the President of the United States.

Aaron Starmer rewrites the rulebook with Spontaneous. But beneath the outrageous is a ridiculously funny, super honest, and truly moving exemplar of the absurd and raw truths of being a teenager in the 21st century . . . and the heartache of saying goodbye.”

When I read the premise of this book I was so excited and even more so when I won this book on Goodreads and was eager to read it. It’s not every day you read a book about teenagers/young adults just spontaneously combusting, so this definitely had me intrigued. There were some really good and enjoyable aspects to this book. This book did make me laugh, in certain parts, considering that this is a book about 17/18 year olds randomly exploding, so it’s good to have those little light hearted parts in this book. Trust me, I got some weird looks off my mum when she saw my me reading this book, which she knew was about exploding people, and randomly chuckling every now and again. Yeah, she thinks I’m kind of weird.

However, I was disappointed when it came to actually reading Spontaneous as a whole. I was expecting something more or something different, but this book just let me down and disappointed me. When it came to the development of the characters in this book, it was very sloppy and poorly done. This book is told from a first persons perspective, told from the point of view of the character Mara Carlyle, who witnesses a lot of these combustions. Considering the vast number of characters in this book, we maybe get three main characters, and a couple of additional characters who also play essential parts in the story. It is hard to therefore get strong character development on all of these characters, but even the main three characters, Mara, Tess and Dylan, I don’t believe that they had a strong enough development throughout the whole book. And the most disappointing part of the whole book is that YOU DON’T GET ANY ANSWERS at the end! It basically tells you to make up your own mind, literally. Plus, it gives you an ending where you can interpret two ways.

I was so hoping to enjoy this book way more than I actually did and all of the potential was there with the initial storyline. I think that disappointment just let this book down as I had built up this hype in my own mind. For this I am going to give this book, 2.5 stars, for the let down, the frustration, but it wasn’t the worse book I’ve read. It had so much potential!

2.5 Stars

Book Review: We Were Liars – E. Lockhart

wp-1488929385768.jpegA beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

Read it.

And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.”

I went into reading this book, completely and utterly oblivious to what this book was about whatsoever! All I knew was the title and that I had seen it popping up here and again, so I wanted to see why this book was so popular. Sometimes, I love to just dive into a book that I have no idea what it’s about. I haven’t read the description, any reviews, nothing. Just taking the cover and the title and going for it. Have you ever done that? Because that’s exactly what I did when it came to this book and I will admit that it was different to what I was expecting. Honestly, I don’t really know what I was expecting if I’m being honest.

I will admit that there were parts of this book that were a little bit blah when I was reading it. It felt like I was reading some ramblings or something and I wasn’t that keen to keep reading. It felt like a chore, which is sad because it’s only a short book, at about 200 odd pages. But then I didn’t want to put the book down and I became engrossed and felt as though I was involved in the mystery of the story. I wanted to discover the truth, just like Cady. But believe me, I was completely shocked by what I discovered towards the end of the book. That kind of ending is either cleverly or poorly executed, in order to surprise the reader and I was completely surprised and I think in this case it was cleverly done. I felt so stupid for not realising and uncovering the truth for myself, because once I knew, parts were obviously hinted at. It’s now making me want to re-read the book again, as soon as I finished it tbh, to see if I can now see the plot better and spot what so clearly put in place for the readers, especially knowing what I now know. But also to see all the ways to see where the author tried to trick the reader, seeing if I can spot any inconsistencies.

I don’t want to give too much away when it comes to this book, because I am glad that I went into it completely blind. The less you know the better. There is something that did irritate me and I’m am stilling questioning as I’m typing up this review, but that may cause a spoiler. But props to this book as not many surprised me and get me like this book did, which is why I’m giving it four stars out of five! So if you want to read a Young Adult, Contemporary book with a lot of Mystery, then give this book a read. Plus, it’s a quick read with only 227 pages.

4 Stars

Book Review: To Die For – Alice Clark-Platts

To Die ForIn an empty car park, Ryan James sits in his car contemplating death. He has set up a hose pipe that is pouring carbon monoxide into the car, and his deciding whether or not to close the last window and end it all. Finally, he gets a text and decides to end his life.

Detective Inspector Martin is called to the scene the next. At first she is convinced it is a simple suicide but as she looks deeper into the boy’s life and his relationships she begins to wonder if someone else was involved.”

I selected this audiobook to download and listen to for two reasons, it is a short little story, just over a hour long and because it was a free download. FREE!

This was a quick and easy listen, which was exactly what I was looking for, to listen to while I was working out in the gym, instead of listening to music. This audio book did exactly what I wanted it to do, especially for such a short story, listening to the whole story in one listen!

The story reminded me of something that has actually happened and just kept me thinking throughout the whole duration of the story. So I had no problem believing this story one bit. There were some extra twists and turns in this book that I wasn’t expecting and it did keep me hooked throughout its entirety, although that isn’t hard to do as it’s only roughly 1hr and 9mins long. For a book that is only this amount of time you wouldn’t expect to be able to enjoy it as much, but maybe because this is so similar to something I read in the news it was easier and quicker to get into the story.

One thing that I didn’t like was the poor character development, which is expected with such a short story with the short amount of time. The development was at its minimal, topped then with its sudden change in how the reader/listener is suppose to suddenly change their feeling and emotions from hatred to sympathy towards one particular character. That just took me by surprise and frankly this was impossible for me to do.

But overall I did enjoyed this little short story. It was easy to listen to, to follow, to keep myself hooked while busy doing other things surrounded by other people. A nice quick little read/listen and it was FREE and didn’t use any credits or anything.

3.5 Stars

Book Review: The Loney – Andrew Michael Hurley

the-loneyI received this eARC thanks to Netgalley and the publisher and author, providing an honest and unbiased review of this book.

Where do I start with this book… There is this place, a truly strange, somewhat near deserted place, between Wyre and the Lune, that is known only by what the few locals who remain there call it. That place is called The Loney. Every Easter, Mummer, Farther, Mr and Mrs Belderboss and Father Wilfred, the parish priest, would take a pilgrimage here for its mystical Shrine, along with the unnamed boy narrator and his suggested mentally ill and mute brother Andrew, known better as Hanny, in order to help heal Andrew thanks to God. However, this year is different. Father Wilfred is dead, declared accidental, but is there more to the story? So now there is a new priest to take his place, Father Bernard, who has his own ways, but are people willing and ready to accept him and his new ways or do they prefer things how they were?

In all honesty, I’m really in two minds when it comes to this book and about whether I enjoyed it or not. It took me a while to get into the story and when I say a while, I mean at least a third of the way through. If I hadn’t been reading this book for Netgalley at the time, then I don’t think I would have finished reading it, that’s how long it took me to get into this book. It started off with a slow pace and for me it wasn’t until they actually got to the coast or The Lonely, where it started to actually pick up the pace. But that’s when I got into the book and it hooked me. I wanted to find out more and therefore needed to keep reading on! I had questions and wanted answered, or I just simply wanted to read another chapter and another chapter because I didn’t want to stop.

I will admit that I didn’t realise how much this book was going to be centred and based on religion and maybe that’s why it took me so long to get into the storyline, as it was a bit off putting. It was interesting to read a book that did focus so fully on religion in this way, but it did come a bit unexpected. This cover grabbed my attention instantly and has to be one of my favourite covers I’ve seen in a while. I love it, and I knew it was meant to be a horror book, so I barely read the description before requesting to read this book on Netgalley. Maybe that’s my mistake, but descriptions can sometimes give away too much information and then spoil the entire book. Like trailers with movies.

One thing I loved about this book was how it was told. The beginning of the book starts off with the unnamed protagonist narrator beginning his story to us, the readers, at his current age, trying to get his point of view of past events across, before it’s too late. The book then goes back to when he was younger and he then begins that part of his story to us. We get to see everything from his eyes and how he saw and remembers it all, which shamefully took me a while to realise what was happening. Throughout the whole book, we never get to know his name! This does annoy me, but yet I also think that it’s fitting for his character, as he never really gets any of the attention in this book. The character who shows him the most attention is Father Bernard, who subsequently gives him his own little nickname, which is the only name we hear him called throughout the entire book, and that’s Tonto.

I personally believe that there are some very strong characters, with great development behind them, illustrated in this book. Even though I couldn’t connect to several of the characters because of their strong religious beliefs and how much it defined them, how they were presented in the book was strong. There were others I loved. I loved the relationship between the brothers ‘Hanny’ and the main protagonist ‘Tonto’ and how only siblings are and how they have their own special relationship. They are able to communicate in way that no one is able to in the whole entire book. In fact, ‘Tonto’ is maybe to only person who is able to properly communicate with Hanny. Their relationship kind of reminds me of George and Lennie’s relationship in “Of Mice and Men”.

I don’t think that I would class this book as a horror book, as it didn’t frighten or scare me, especially compared to more thrilling and terrifying books. It just wasn’t creepy enough. But maybe that aspect was lost on me as I wasn’t fully engaged enough to be afraid of what I was reading. There are elements of supernatural, I think, mixed in with religion, but it’s hard to identify which is meant to be which.

When it came to the ending, it definitely left me wanting more. In my eyes, it had been building up to this big ending, or big reveal, and it just left me completely unsatisfied, with questions left unanswered. I’d even been expecting some plot twist at the end for some reason, which didn’t occur. For a book that was 367 pages and wasted pages on unnecessary parts, it could have used that time to spend it answering those questions and building towards a better ending.

So when it comes to my recommendation of this book, I will say that it all depends on what your personal preferences are. This book does have some high reviews, so I may be in the minority that didn’t appreciate it to its fullest. I did enjoy it, but was left dissatisfied and it did take me a while to get into it. If you don’t like overly religious books, then maybe pick a different book. I’m only giving this book 3 out of 5 stars because it wasn’t a bad book, but it wasn’t my favourite either, just maybe the wrong book for me.

3-stars

Book Review: Baby Doll – Hollie Overton

baby-doll-hollie-overtonI would like to thank NetGalley, the author and publisher for allowing me to read this eARC in exchange for an honest and unbiased review of this book.

OMG!! From the very first page this book had me hooked! Told from different characters perspectives, we discover how Lily, who was kidnapped at aged 16, was beaten, raped, “trained” and manipulated over the course off 8 years, even mothering a child from the man who took her and did all of these terrible things to her. The story starts eight years later, when her taker, her former beloved English teacher Rick, has too much on his plate or becomes too cocky and too greedy, forgets to put the deadlock back on the door. Lily thinks that she’s just imagined this, or that it’s another test that she will get punished for, but then seeing her daughter curled up sleeping, she risks yet another punishment, for her daughters safety and checks the door. Discovering it’s not a test and he’s finally made a mistake after eight years, Lily wraps her daughter Sky up warm and starts running to safety before Rick remembers his mistake. And that’s where the book gets really, really good….

This book is hands down my one of my favourite books that I have read lately and it came out of nowhere! I found this book so captivating right from page one and every page just managed to grab me, pull me in and keep me hooked. It was written amazingly, with characters that I cared so much about, each and everyone. With a villain that I simply hated. A normal, every day man to people’s faces, but behind closed doors, sadistic and PURE EVIL!! When you have a book with so many characters, who each have their own problems, and to care and understand each of them and their problems, it’s, in my opinion, really good writing. There were chapters written from the perspective of individual characters, which was brilliant and something that I love as a reader in certain books because I get to see inside each of their minds in a deeper way, and I creepily loved being able to see inside the mind of Rick. Seeing why he did what he did, in a way that he could never explain to anyone, in a way that he truly believed was right and acceptable.

I would have loved, to have seen just one chapter, maybe at the end of the book, to have had one chapter from the point of view of Sky, Lilys daughter, just to see what she had thought of it all and how she had felt after going though it all and come through everything. It would have added something extra, especially coming from a child’s perspective of it all. Even more considering Sky had been born not knowing anything different, to then discover a new way of living after “leaving” the cabin, thanks to her mum, Lily. It would have made it interesting to have included one chapter at the end to see how Sky had interpreted it all and see it from her point of view. But I understand not having that and I loved how it did end. In fact, when a certain part happened, without giving away spoilers, I was in utter shock!!! I was reading this book and genuinely gasped out loud out with shock, being surprised towards the end, telling everyone around me to be quiet because I had to find out what was about to happen next!! Not caring what people said or how they were looking at me, I just needed to know.

Trying to put myself in Lilys place is a scary thought, which is why I think I got so engrossed in this book. It took something that could really happen, and has been known to happen, and brought it to life. It’s not ghosts or vampires or anything pretend scary, and it didn’t even have a vicious villain, not really. It had a well liked, or really loved man in the society that nobody knew what he was like, really like, deep down, not even his own wife. That’s the scary part! It could be reality. That’s the truth of this story! That you don’t know what people are really like, not really, no matter how well you think you do. Your next door neighbour. Your friends. Your husband. Your cool english teacher who offers you a lift home. It’s realistic and scary.

I can’t recommend this book highly enough!! This book will stay with me for a while and have talked about and recommend this book to so many people. I will definitely be checking out Hollie Overton and keeping my eye out for more of her books coming out.

5-stars

Book Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children – Ransom Riggs

miss-peregrines-home-for-peculiar-children-rabsom-riggsThis is a book that I saw everywhere! When I say everywhere, believe me, I mean everywhere. All over Book Tube, the Book Blogging community, online shops, as this book was the biggest suggestion for me to buy and in all the shops, not just book shops. I will admit that I was already intrigued but weirdly not enough for me to buy this book. That is until I went to the cinema one day and saw the trailer for the upcoming movie adaptation of this book. That’s when I bought this book, with no hesitation!

This book has something special about it. I can’t pinpoint exactly what that is but it kept me hooked and so gripped to this book, from the instant I opened it and began reading it. Maybe it was the photos that were included, which meant that picturing the people the author was trying to explain and express was just so much easier to do, and made the whole story feel so much more realistic. For the first time ever, I saw the people the author wanted me to see and not the characters and people I had seen in the trailer for the movie, while I was reading this book, because I had seen the trailer first.

You have Jacob, who is so close to his grandfather, who grew up listening and being told all of these wonderful and magical stories about this house in Wales he was sent to during the war. There were these children, these peculiar children, who could do peculiar things, sharing these photos he had of these children. As time went on and Jacob got older, he disbelieved his grandfathers stories and believed them to be just that, stories. That is until one day changes everything and leaves Jacob with so many questions, with nobody to answer them, or so he thinks…

This book starts off slowly, which I personally think it needed to, in order to build the story and some of the background information to the plot, to characters and so on. The way that Jacob slowly begins to work and unravel certain clues and begins to develop his own investigation, further and further, building the story up until he finally gets some answers. Building perfectly. It is Jacob that I was able to relate to the most out of any other character. Maybe it is because he begins not really knowing anything, so we are somewhat similar. So has he is learning and discovering, so are we as a reader, making him more relatable. All of this is all brand new to him, so he has so many questions, as do I, and it is through him that I start getting my questions answered. I read this book in a day, through excitement, frustration of wanting answers and because the photos took up quite a few of the pages.

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs is unique in its own ways, although I have heard so many comparisons to different things. I have heard it compared to Harry Potter and X-Men or both of them combined, which maybe I way it is, but this is also so much more and so different. It’s itself. This is one of those hypes where I believe the hype was well deserved. The ending ended on a place where you are required to read the following book Hollow City, which I don’t own at the moment but I will definitely be buying soon, which is quite irritating because now I honestly don’t know when I’ll get round to reading Book 2. If I already owned the book, trust me, it would be straight away!

I would therefore very highly recommend this book as I would Re-Read this one, and am going to buy the next book in this series!

5-stars

Book Review: The Girl On A Train – Paula Hawkins

the-girl-on-the-trainI have recently read this book, but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t own this little title for a while now. I bought this book when it become the big phenomenon that The Girl On a Train had become, with the intention of reading it straight away to discover what the big fuss was about, but as usual, I got a little distracted, probably by a different book. But now with the release of the movie onto DVD (well in my country) it really got me excited for this book again, so of course I had to read it. Now how to explain this book without giving away too many spoilers, because I personal hate it when that happens, so I wouldn’t want to spoil it for anyone else.

This book is told between three women’s perspective; Rachel, Anna and Megan. Rachel rides the train everyday, or every weekday, with every other commuter who is going back and fore to work and back. She loves the train. She knows everything about it. Every stop, every signal. Every house it passes, the people in those houses. At least the lives she makes up for those people in her head. She always sees her favourite couple, Jess and Jason, although that’s not their real names of course. She fantasies about their perfect relationship. That is until one day she sees “Jess” kissing someone who isn’t “Jason” and she get’s angry. But, Rachel has a secrets also. One of those secrets is that Rachel is an alcoholic who sometimes blacks out. And when she blackouts this time, “Jess” a.k.a Megan is missing, and Rachel has woken up at home in bed hurt and covered in blood, with no idea what’s happened.

I will start off by saying that I was really disappointed and massively let down with this book. I don’t even think it has anything to do with the anticipation and build up of waiting to read it and then finally doing so after so much time, that it just let it all down. I just personally think that it wasn’t as good as what it could have been. There was definitely story there with the potential for it be great, but the way it was written and executed, I think was poorly managed. The way that it was setup and organized, Morning  and Evening, was a good idea when it came to Rachels’ character because of the train and how she spent majority of her days on the train, but I don’t think this needed to be carried on indefinitely. Those two are not the only times of the day.

I couldn’t really connect to any of the characters, and when you think that you are starting to, they say or do something that just pushed you further away from them. I don’t know if this was done intentionally or not, but this even included Rachel and Megan. Then you have Anna, who I think I disliked the most out of them all. Even when it came to the other character’s, such as Tom and Scott. I will admit that I did guess the ending. It wasn’t to difficult to work it out as it was all PLAINLY laid out in front of you. I actually said to myself very early on that it couldn’t be that simple or easy, but yepp.

I think why I’m so frustrated when it comes to this book, is because the story is there for it to have been so great. The whole idea of it and the story is, without a doubt my favourite part, but you have to forgive, or rather I have to forgive some major parts to accept that, such as the writing. For a book to have had such a massive hype that this book has had, I honestly did expect it to be better than what I read.

I wouldn’t recommend this book, purely on the fact of how disappointed I was when I finished it, plus the fact that I would NOT re-read this book again. But if you are going to read this book, please go into it not expecting great things, at least that way, it may turn out a little better than expected.

2-stars