Murder In Little Shendon – A. H. Richardson

I received a free signed first edition copy of this book from the author and publicist in exchange for an honest and unbiased review of this edition.

A murder takes place in the small little village of Shendon. There is something that you should know about his murder that will make solving this crime just that little bit harder for the police trying to solve this murder; nobody liked the victim. This leave practically everyone in “Little Shendon” has a suspect, including the two tourists who are only visiting the town.

It was this concept that I loved when I was approached about reading and reviewing this book. I love murder mysteries. The joy of trying to solve and uncover the killer before they’re revealed. The adrenaline. I love it, and the fact that this book had so many possible killers with so many possible motives, giving more back stories as we were going along, just added to it all. The way that the plot was brought together, all lined up perfectly and I didn’t see it coming. I love it when a book takes me completely by surprise and I haven’t been able to guess the ending, the killer and so on. Then, when looking back on hindsight, you kick yourself not seeing how you didn’t see it coming.

My copy was only 248 pages long and for a book that wasn’t that long, there were a little too many characters introduced into this book. They weren’t all able to stay with me and I wasn’t able to remember each of them specifically, which was disappointing because I felt like I wasn’t giving them each their due respect. I know that this is meant to represent a small village, but some of the characters, including the main ones, just got lost for me possibly because of the vast amount of other characters. But, if you were to take out and reduce some of the characters, or spend some extra time building up and introducing the main characters, possibly making this book about 50 pages longer minimum, there would have been time for there to have been some great character development.

There were some editing mistakes in the copy that I received, that were present in the entirety of the book. Simple things like missing speak bubbles, simple spelling mistakes and other things, that over time did start to annoy me. There is one in particular spelling mistake that does stick out for me as it was then emphasised further by being put into italics. But when an author is so close with their work, things like these are often missed and it is understandable.

Each chapter has their own title name, which gives you a little hint at to what each chapter is going to be about. This could be a little temptation if you were going to end on that chapter, or, if you want to have a little flip through and see what Chapter the killer is going to be revealed in. Not that you would read that Chapter before it’s time, of course, but it’s still nice knowing how long you have left until all is revealed. I will admit though that this story did drag a little bit for me and I was tempted to skip to that chapter entitled “And the killer is…” Maybe it was because I was nowhere near guessing who the killer was and wanted to know who it the murder was.

So, I did enjoy the story, but it could have done with being longer to have developed more of the characters. I defiantly like the idea and the concept behind it and would have loved a whole Murder on the Orient Express ending, that’s here my head was going when I was reading the book. I loved that idea. How it was all brought together in the end was so good and clever and I’m gutted I that I missed it. I wish I could’ve rated it higher, but I’m defiantly giving it a strong 3 stars out of 5!

3 Stars

The Problem With Forever – Jennifer L. Armentrout

the problem

Growing up, Mallory Dodge learned that the best way to survive was to say nothing. And even though it’s been four years since her nightmare ended, she’s beginning to worry that the fear that holds her back will last a lifetime. Now, after years of homeschooling, Mallory must face a new milestone—spending her senior year at a public high school. But she never imagined she’d run into Rider Stark, the friend and protector she hasn’t seen since childhood, on her very first day.

It doesn’t take long for Mallory to realize that the connection she shared with Rider never really faded. Yet soon it becomes apparent that she’s not the only one grappling with lingering scars from the past. And as she watches Rider’s life spiral out of control, Mallory must make a choice between staying silent and speaking out—for the people she loves, the life she wants and the truths that need to be heard. – Goodreads Description

I hadn’t heard anything about this book before I bought it and deciding to read it, but I had heard several things about the author, both good and bad. So when I eventually went into this book, I think I was in a good place. I wasn’t going into this book with great expectations that may be let down, but I still wanted to read this book. And if I’m being honest, my copy was nice and floppy and had an amazing cover that was crying out to be read. The description was also intriguing and I wanted to read more.

This was an easy book to read and one of those books where you can put it down, if you put it down, and pick it up and still remember what was happening in the story from where you left off. That amazed me considering how much I had on at the time. That is impressive and I don’t know whether it’s the writing or the story, but that deserves major props because my memory sucks and I’ve seen myself re-reading chapters to play catch up.

There are characters in this book that are easy to imagine with little character development and others I think needed a little bit more time spent on them. It got a little bit repetitive on times and it was either down to poor character development or just poor story line development. On saying this, there was one moment that just took me by complete surprise and I don’t know why it did. It shouldn’t have. The way it was done just added to the plot and made it what it was to me. I’m not giving any spoilers away.

This book also did something that I love when books, films, TV, people do, even if it was unintentional. It recommended another book because it kept constantly mentioning this one book throughout and it got me wanting to read this other book as well, to see it’s importance and then understand the characters and connections in this book even better. Plus I take book recommendations from anywhere, so thank you Jennifer 😀

Who else has read this book? What were you thoughts? Do you know what part I was talking about?

I gave this book 4 stars as I did get emotional at one point and it was an easy book to read.

4 Stars

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.

Goodnight Mister Tom – Michelle Magorian

What can I truly say about this book?

Throughout this entire book, it was such an emotional and beautiful masterpiece that, in my opinion, really should be read by everyone. It’s one of those books that just speaks to you and that you can learn from, especially when you’re a child and then if you read it again as an adult. This book teaches you about so much and when I finished reading this book, I was left thinking about countless of things. It teaches you about right and wrong, loss and heartbreak and so much more. The innocence only a child has, mixed with the anger and rage of the war. There was so much truth, which made this book just heated with emotion. As an adult reading this book you can see everything and understand it all, whereas a child may not and does not it this book, and that breaks your heart to see. To see such audacity occur to a child. It makes you ask questions and look at yourself a little deeper. 

The two main characters, William and Tom, are so different at the start of this book, but by the time you get to the end of this book, they have become so similar. You can see how these two characters have developed and grown throughout the entirity of the book, as their development is and plays a part of the story. I can’t point to anything negative to say about this book, because of how much great the writing, the plot, the characters, the story is. This book just emotes so much. What you are left with and what you take away is important. 
I saw the movie adaptation when I was younger and had such a strong bond with that movie, that I was hesitant to read this book because I didn’t want those memories tainted. This book just added to those and is one of the closest and truest book to movie adaptations I have seen. I give this book a massive 5 stars with a recommendation to everyone, no matter what age or what genre you like to read. 

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – F. Scott Fitzgerald

This is a little curious read that I came across and recognised, because of the film adaptation I had seen a couple of years ago. I never knew that this movie was based on a short story, especially one written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, so this took my interest.

This is a book, that is in itself for a better word, curious. Benjamin Button is born, but he isn’t born as you would expect, or how his parents had expected. Benjamin is born old. He has a beard, he can talk. Not what you would expect from a new born baby. As Benjamin goes through his life and ages, his body actually gets younger. So, he is going through life kid of backwards. Now Benjamin and those close to him, have to deal with this bizarre abnormality and everything that comes with it.

I honestly wasn’t expecting much from this little read, especially when you think that this short story takes place over the whole of Benjamins’ life. What can you really get from a short story? Well, I ended up really enjoying it. For such a short read, it contained so much. The writing was so beautifully and carefully done, ensuring to emulate and capture the age that the character was at each stage of his life. The way that this book ended, with the pure gentle child like innocence, was literally breath-taking. The whole concept behind the idea of this book did make me think about what if this was my reality, or if this happened to my child.

I did believe that F. Scott Fitzgerald could have gone so much more into this story and made it into a novel, instead of the short story that it is. If it was done as a longer and more detailed novel, then there would have been so much more emotion at certain parts and made this a much deeper read. This is why I ended up removing a star. However, for the short story that it is, it was still a good read and one I do recommend for people to read and therefore I rated it 4 out of 5 stars. I can’t believe I’d only read The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald before today, this one definitely beat that for me.

Have you read this story before? Or any of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s works? What do you think?

4 Stars.png

Ready Player One – Ernest Cline

Ready Player OneThis is a book that I had once purposely avoided reading when it first came out, due to the extreme hype that surrounded this book. I was then given a few free credits to audible and decided to use one downloading Ready Player One and see what all the hype was about. After all, what was I losing? I can’t believe that I waited so long before immersing myself in this world.

Imagine a world, not far off our own, where majority of the world spend their time plugged into a Virtual Reality world, called the OASIS. The Oasis is a virtual world, which has become more like reality than reality itself. So much so, this is where children go to school, create businesses, earn a living and so on. The OASIS was created by James Halliday and just before Halliday death, he created a competition inside the OASIS that would have the power to change everything for someone. And Wade Watts dreams of winning this competition. But competition always brings out the best or the worse in others.

This book made me fall in love with audiobooks. Listening to this book instead of reading it, in my opinion made my experience of this book so much better. Instead, I got to fully emerge myself into the story, be a part of it, hear the story through Wade Watts voice. Almost emulating the OASIS in a way. This world was so easy to get into and to stay immersed inside for the entirety of the book, so much so that every time I had to knock it off, I did so with reluctance. The game references and 80’s pop culture references throughout, added something to this book. Even if you didn’t understand it all, there would be at least parts that you can connect to. It was so different from anything that I have ever heard or come across before and I loved it!

I first listened to this book last year, back before the mention of the movie adaption, while on holiday and I also finished it during that holiday. Now, after seeing the trailer to the movie and the time lapse since listening to it, I had to re-listen to it. I had no choice, obviously. This time, I listened to the entirety of the audiobook in a day and half and don’t regret it. There was no turning it off for anything, except for sleep. There was some that I had forgotten, or just not heard the first time, and I’m so glad that I listened to it again. Definitely a book I actually want to own and read physically, seeing if I have the same experience as listening to it, as if it improves or is worse. Massive 5 stars and highly recommended!!

Tell me what you think. Have you read this book, and if so, what format did you use? Are you excited about the upcoming movie adaptation? Comment below.

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

Blood Rights (Book 2) – Kyle Andrews

Blood RightsI received this eARC from the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review of this book.

This is the second book in the Freedom/Hate series and it picks up from where the first book left off. I am going to try and give this review without giving away to many spoilers from this book, or from the first book, Freedom/Hate, but I give no promises sorry. So to be on the safe side, I am going to provide the description from Goodreads:

“It’s in our blood.”
The last words spoken by Uly Jacobs, seconds before his death was televised across the nation.

Since that day, the authorities have been hunting Libby Jacobs. She doesn’t know why they want her, or why they killed her cousin. Desperation has forced her into hiding with a group of people that she once thought of as terrorists. Living among them, she soon comes to realize that everything she once believed in was a lie.

Justin Becker was Uly’s best friend. He grew up with Libby. Once upon a time, he even loved her. Now, Justin has taken on the task of picking up the pieces of Libby’s shattered life. The first step will be finding Libby’s mother. She is critically ill, alone and lost in the broken system. Finding her will be difficult. Saving her may be impossible.

The city is changing. Collin Powers was nobody until the authorities turned him into a symbol. Now his ideas have taken root. His words are forcing people to question their beliefs. His sacrifice will push Freedom out of the shadows and give them the courage to start living up to their name.”

I loved this book!! How much simpler can I put it? I had been waiting for this book ever since I first read the first book, which I received and read in advance, so you can only imagine the wait. Again, thank you to Kyle Andrews, for sending me this sequel in advance and let me tell you, I was not disappointed! I thought that I enjoyed the first book, but then after reading this one, it not only reminded me why I loved the first book, but it also added so much more, to my enjoyment, my excitement, and to the development of the story and to the characters. Freedom/Hate left off with an ending that left me desperately wanting more! Literally. I remember emailing the author back screaming NOOOOOO!! You can’t end it like that! So you can understand my excitement to finally be sent and asked to read and review the eARC sequel of that book 😀

Blood Rights picks up exactly where it left off in Freedom/Hate, so yes, you definitely have to read the first book in order to understand and fully grasp everything that happens within this book. You wouldn’t be able to get away with skipping the first book, Freedom/Hate and starting with this book, hoping to grasp everything and picking everything up from what’s being mentioned. But that is the fun part. You get to enjoy the full extent of the series by actually reading the whole series. Oh, by the way, this is a Dystopian themed series, in case you hadn’t guessed.

You get to know more about other characters  in this book, while still keeping the main ones from the original. We still have Libby Jacobs, Collin Powers, and Justin has our three main characters, but now we get to see some extra characters through their interactions. We get to see more of Libby’s boyfriend Sim and her mother Amanda, but now we get to see them with the aftermath from previous events and see if and how that’s might have affected them. We also get to see more of Freedom this time round, the actual Freedom and not just the Hate that everyone has been lead into believing is the truth. We also get to see another side of HAND that we haven’t got to see yet, the inside and vicious side that nobody wants to see.

He did it again!! The author knows how to leave you wanting more because that’s how I’m left right now. I finished reading, what I thought was the end of a chapter and turned a page to find out it was the end of the book! NOOOOOOO!!! I need more. I just finished reading a book that was just under 500 pages, my copy, (Goodreads says 352 pages), in almost no time and I could’ve gladly and easily have read more. But OMG that ending!! How could he do that again. I love this series and really do enjoy reading it, which shocked me at first at how much, because this type of book, and this whole dystopian theme and type, which isn’t really my usual type. But it’s really well written, has some strong characters, and the story and plot is what makes me beg for another book to arrive sooner.

I definitely recommend you read both books in this series, and I mean BOTH books in this series, with one of my highest recommendations I can and have given so far! Prepare for the cliff-hanger ending, needing the next book immediately, but knowing you’ll have to wait, which is the only disappointment I faced. However, the third book is out now so, lets see how it can compare. 😀 😀 Super Excited!!! I give this book a MASSIVE 5 out of 5 stars!!!

Have you read any of these books? What are your thoughts? Have you read a book or series where the ending made you need the next book in series right away? Or if it was a stand alone book, what stand alone book do you think just needs to have a sequel? Comment below 😀

5-stars

Freedom/Hate (Book 1) – Kyle Andrews

FreedomHateI was sent a free eARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review of the book.

This book tells the story of Collin Powers on the run from the police and even worse, HAND, who have convinced the world that he’s a murderer and terrorist, involved with the terrorist organisation known to the country as HATE, who have been blamed for countless more deaths and destruction. Collin, in fact, belongs to the group known as Freedom, whose incentive is trying to get theirs and everybody’s else’s freedom back to them. This is why they are all being targeted and why even their groups name has been changed in the media to the HATE, making out that they are the bad guys. This book also tells the story of Libby, a school girl who has problems of her own, at home, at school, family problems, boyfriend problems, food problems and so much more. When it comes to Libby we get to see the side of the story of the people who are living under the lack of freedom. The lives of people who have no choice of what days they are allowed to go shopping, allowed to picked what food they pick or put on their shopping list, what extracurricular subjects they take in school, as everything is picked and allocated for and to them. No freedom. Then one day everything changes….

There is no question in my mind that I am going to be giving this book a great review, as I finished this book in two days and stayed up reading until 3 am because I couldn’t put this book down!!. This book was amazing and now I really can’t wait to read the next book in the series so I can find out what happens next. I’m really invested in the characters, even the secondary characters had some great development and has me rooting and hoping that they’re going to be okay, especially because there is death and violence in this book so you’re afraid that you’re favourite characters may actually die next.

There were some editing issues, but that’s a very small issue, which can be expected with an arc, and the main aspect takes a long time to get discovered, which annoyed me a little because it was pretty obvious. This book is set in a dystopian world, which I will admit always takes me longer to get into, because the logical side of my brain always kicks in and asks a million questions. That’s when I have to try and just sit back and escape to the place where I’m reading, but once I’m there and connected, it’s like I’m there.

This book was so exciting, with so much packed in, that it flew by so quickly, getting to the end before I realised that I had read 435 pages by the time I had reached the end of the book. This was made worse by the fact it was an eARC which meant that when I went to slide for another page, the book had ended. I need to read Book 2 fast! This is definitely a series that I see myself becoming hooked into.

I definitely and highly recommend this book!! Enjoy and get ready to get hooked to this brand new series. Massive 5 stars.

5-stars