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

Teaser Tuesday 23/1/2018

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme that is currently being hosted by @Books and a Beat. All are welcome to participate😀

Rules:
●Grab your current read.

●Open to a random page.
●Share two ‘teaser’ sentences from somewhere on that page.
●BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (You don’t want to give too much away so as to not ruin the book for others!)
●Share the title and author so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers

Murder In Little Shendon – A.H. Richardson

Page 3: “Blood flew everywhere, seeping into the dark wood of the desk and into some papers and puddling onto the floor.

Mr Bartholomew Finches, open-mouthed and eyes glazed, his hands futilely clutching at the air, slumped over the side of his chair and onto the floor… very very dead.”

Book Description:

Nobody in Little Shendon particularly liked Mr. Finches. Thereforw, when he is murdered in a rather gruesome manner, the suspect list grows quite long – and includes everyone from his housekeeper to Lady Armstrong and her household staff, the shy librarian, a feisty major, the charming post mistress, owners of the town pub, even the vicar and the pair of American tourists. To aid the investigation, Inspector Stanley Burgess calls on his old friend, Sir Victor Hazlitt, and a new friend, the noted Shakespearean actor Beresford Brandon. The three sift methodically through the alibis and life stories of the suspects until they uncover…

What are you currently reading?

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

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 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

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

To Be Read: April 2017

I failed my TBR last month so I may be a little bit more cautious when selecting how many and what books I will choose to read for the month of April. I was sad to not read any Harry Potter books last month, especially considering I am in the middle of rereading the Harry Potter series. So my goal this month is to definitely include and to hopefully read at least two Harry Potter books. So let’s see what books I’m hoping to read during April…

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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, #3 – J.K. Rowling

Of course I’m including the book I sadly failed to read last month, the first being the third book in the Harry Potter series. I can’t wait to reread them all in the correct order this time.

Welcome to the Knight Bus, emergency transportation for the stranded witch or wizard. Just stick out your wand hand, step on board and we can take you anywhere you want to go.”

When the Knight Bus crashes through the darkness and screeches to a halt in front of him, it’s the start of another far from ordinary year at Hogwarts for Harry Potter. Sirius Black, escaped mass-murderer and follower of Lord Voldemort, is on the run – and they say he is coming after Harry. In his first ever Divination class, Professor Trelawney sees an omen of death in Harry’s tea leaves… But perhaps most terrifying of all are the Dementors patrolling the school grounds, with their soul-sucking kiss…”

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, #4 – J.K. Rowling

This is the other book that I sadly failed to read last month, even though it was on my TBR list. But, if I’m being honest, I didn’t think I would actually read and finish this book during March, but hopefully April will be different.

“There will be three tasks, spaced throughout the school year, and they will test the champions in many different ways… their magical prowess – their daring – their powers of deduction – and, of course, their ability to cope with danger.”

The Triwizard Tournament is to be held at Hogwarts. Only wizards who are over seventeen are allowed to enter – but that doesn’t stop Harry dreaming that he will win the competition. Then at Hallowe’en, when the Goblet of Fire makes its selection, Harry is amazed to find his name is one of those that the magical cup picks out. He will face death-defying tasks, dragons and Dark wizards, but with the help of his best friends, Ron and Hermione, he might just make it through – alive!”

The Judas Game.jpgThe Judas Game, #4 – Ethan Cross

The Shepherd series is one of my favourite murder, thriller series and I just love it! This is the fourth book in the series, plus there’s even a prequel novella. The best part about this series, for me anyway, is the villain. Is that wrong? This series has the most amazing villain I have ever read. I have been waiting so long for this sequel to come out and now I can’t wait to read it.

“When a correctional officer climbs to the top of his watchtower and opens fire on the inmates and guards, federal investigator Marcus Williams and serial killer Francis Ackerman Jr. mustjoin forces again to unearth the truth behind the incident. What they find is a serial killer using the prison as his hunting grounds. But the Judas Killer’s ambitions don’t end with a fewmurders. He wants to go down in history and has no reason left to live. With Ackerman undercover among the inmates and Marcus tracking down the mastermind on the outside, the team must learn the identity of the Judas Killer and stop a full-scale uprisingthat he’s orchestrated. But the more they learn about what’s happening at the prison and why the more enemies they must face. From inside the overrun facility, Marcus and Ackermanmust save the hostages and stop an elaborate escape attempt while trying to determine how a rival corporation, the leader of one of the world’s most dangerous criminal organizations, andan inmate with no identity only known as Demon fit into the Judas Killer’s plans. Launching a bold new cycle of novels featuring The Shepherd Organization, The Judas Game is searing, mesmerizing fiction it’s Ethan Cross at his very best.”

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.jpgMe & Earl and the Dying Girl – Jesse Andrews

I’ve had this book for a while, and I keep telling myself that I’m going to read it but other books keep getting in the way. So now I’m putting it down so I will have to read it, especially as it’s meant to be a good read as well. Sad and emotional, but funny as well.

“Greg Gaines is the last master of high school espionage, able to disappear at will into any social environment. He has only one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time making movies, their own incomprehensible versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics.

Until Greg’s mother forces him to rekindle his childhood friendship with Rachel.

Rachel has been diagnosed with leukemia—-cue extreme adolescent awkwardness—-but a parental mandate has been issued and must be obeyed. When Rachel stops treatment, Greg and Earl decide the thing to do is to make a film for her, which turns into the Worst Film Ever Made and becomes a turning point in each of their lives.

And all at once Greg must abandon invisibility and stand in the spotlight.”

April TBR.jpgI’m going to play it safe and leave it at just those four as the books I plan on reading during the month of April, considering last months lack of reading, and if I read anything extra then that’s a bonus. I think I’m the most excited about this months TBR and can’t wait to get started on them. Bring on the books 😀

What are you planning on reading during April? What is your biggest TBR book you currently own but haven’t read?

March Wrap Up – 2017

I would love to say that I succeeded in my first ever Month TBR prediction for the month of March, but sadly March was a slow month for me. I had originally wanted to read 5 books, but only thinking I would manage to read 4 of them, but I only actually successfully read 3 of my chosen books, which were the three of the smallest of the books, plus an additional which was an audiobook. I have already posted my reviews for each of these books, so I will be posting the book, the details, a link to my review and providing a description of what each of these books are about. So which books did I read?

To Die ForTo Die For by Alice Clark-Platts is a Short Story that I downloaded and listened to thanks to Audible. This is particular story was read by Rachel Bavidge.

“In 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.”

 

Glass Sword ReviewThe first physical book I read this month was Glass Sword (Book 2) by Victoria Aveyard. This is the sequel to Red Queen and comes before the recently released, King’s Cage (Book 3).

“Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control. The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors. But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?”

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I also read We Were Liars by E. Lockhart this month, which was definitely the book that took me the most by surprise this month, out of them all.

“We are the Liars.

We are beautiful, privileged and live a life of carefree luxury.

We are cracked and broken.

A story of love and romance.

A tale of tragedy.

Which are lies?

Which is truth?

You decide.“

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This is the last book that I read during the month of March and it is the book I won in a Goodreads Giveaway! The last book I read during March was an Uncorrected Proof copy of Spontaneous by Aaron Starmer.

“Mara’s senior year is proving to be a lot less exciting than she’d hoped, until the day – KABAM! – Katelyn Ogden explodes during third period. Katelyn is the first, but she won’t be the last senior to explode without warning or explanation. The body count grows and the search is on for a reason, while the students continue to pop like balloons. But if bombs or terrorists or a government conspiracy aren’t to blame, what is?

With the help of her oldest friend, her new boyfriend, a power ballad and a homemade disco ball, will Mara make it to graduation in one piece? It’s going to be one hell of a year, where the only test is how to stay alive and where falling in love might be the worst thing you can do . . .”

That sums up my reading and audio month of March. So that’s been my first TBR and first Wrap Up posts and they weren’t as bad as I was expecting, except for the disappointment of not meeting my March TBR list. Maybe my April TBR will be better and it is definitely something I want to keep doing.

What books have you been reading lately?

Book Review: All The Bright Places – Jennifer Niven

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I have heard so many good reviews of this book that I had to buy this it for myself and just see what all of this fuss was about. To be honest, I ended up buying two versions of this book, paperback and on audiobook and it was the later that I ended up experiencing this book through. Here is the books description thanks to Goodreads:

“Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.
 
Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.
 
When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.” – Goodreads

This would’ve been my third time listening to an audiobook, but for me and there was something special about listening to this book particularly as an audiobook. It may have been the fact that because this story is told from two different characters perspectives, as an audiobook they have used a male and a female voice in order to portray both Violet and Theodores’ voices, our two main characters. This added some realness to it all and a much deeper connection, for me anyway, towards them both as characters. This book is written from a first person perspective, so it felt as though they were each telling me their own story, like a diary or a friend, which may have been a completely different experience if I had actually read the physical book. The voices held and showed so much more of the emotions that the characters were mean to be having at the time of certain events, which make it feel more genuine, as you could hear that they were about the cry, the breaks in their voices, chuckles, nervousness, and so on, which just added those little extra bits that you definitely  wouldn’t get from reading the actual physical book. And you can connect more when you can hear things like that. Anyway, back to the actual review of the story.

Theodore Finch and Violet Markey are our storytellers and main characters of All The Bright Places, and even though I wasn’t sure what to expect before I started listening to this book, except that there was going to be something to do with mental illness and that the book is poplar, I am so glad that I picked it up! This was such a great experience for me. The storyline starts off big, with Theo and Violet meeting on top of the School Bell Tower, where they were each going to jump off, unbeknownst to them that the other person was there. Luckily however they were and that’s just where their story starts, getting better as time goes on. From there we get adventure, romance, sadness, happiness, times that make the reader smile and such tragic times that make you scream nooo! The emotions.

The characters themselves couldn’t have been any different. One of them looking forward to the future and counting down the days, while the other was always thinking and coming up with new ways someone could come up with killing themselves. But there was something a little off with them both. I found myself connecting so much more when it came to Theodore’s character, than Violet’s. Even though he felt more distant at times, it felt more real for his character. His quirks, his experiences in his life, I felt more for him, remember more about him and his life after finishing the story, therefore that’s shows how much more I connected with him. Whereas, when it comes to Violet, it just feels like she was an extra piece in the story at certain points. An extra point of view to add to the story, or some extra emotion or additional story to add and watch playout and unfold, adding even more emotion. Possible even using her character as a way to boost or show more of Theodore’s character.

It takes a lot in a book to create genuine emotion and make me care that much about a character or to get me so invested in a story that I cry or show, again, genuine physical sadness. This was one of those books! I didn’t cry, but the heartbreak I suffered because of this book, even though I had somewhat expected it, was still so unexpected and surprised myself. This is why I have given it 4 stars and why it’s going to stay with me for a while. Even the author’s note after the story had ended. I may have to read the actual book and see if I get the same reaction as I did while listening to the audiobook, only not anytime soon because I can’t handle the sadness so soon.

Definitely worth a read and I would recommend!

4-stars