๐Ÿ™The Octopus by Tess little… A Review๐Ÿ™

Isnโ€™t this cover gorgeous!!!!

I just want to say a massive thank you to the wonderful and lovely Karen, from twitter and from my WhatsApp squad…. ( you know who you are ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) for sending me this gorgeous and highly intriguing copy. So lets get on to the blurb.

There’s more than one way to capture a life…….

When Elspeth arrives at her ex-husband’s LA mansion for his 50th birthday party, she’s expecting a crowd for the British film director. Instead, there are just seven other guests and Richard’s pet octopus, Persephone, watching over them from her tank.

Come morning Richard is dead!!!!

In the weeks that follow, each guest is investigated for his murder, and as stories of Richard’s past surface, Elspeth begins to question not just who killed Richard, but why these eight guests were invited, and what sort of man would want to trap this mysterious, intelligent creature.

From the LA hills to the Norfolk marshes, The Octopus is a stylish exploration of power.

Well, intrigued yet? I certainly was and couldn’t wait to get sucked into the story. From the outset we are introduced to all the characters, including Elspeth, Richard and the other cast of characters that make the story twist and turn. I have to say that all the characters were despicable and nasty, I was left afterwards with the thought that of all the characters I sympathised with it was the Octopus herself, Persephone, no one else. The narrator, Elspeth I really disliked, she did not like her husband, for various reasons which I will not divulge here (spoiler free blog guys!!!) and also had a love and slightly bizarre relationship with her daughter almost love/hate but then again thats too simple to describe their bond. There is at times a selfishness that makes her quite cold and calculating and slightly odd, you kind of feel that you need another persons view point to balance her views, ( I was hoping she would get framed for the murder, really thats how much I disliked her character)

There were other characters that were equally as awful ( not written badly I might add) just written I think for you to also thoroughly dislike, here are all these stinking rich people moaning and basically getting high and drunk in LA. I am sure things like that went on and still go on, but because I felt no sympathy or empathy for any of the characters it just made the whole story feel like you were constantly tripping. The only niggle I had about the whole novel was the character of the daughter, I couldn’t quite see her or even feel anything for her, maybe this story is not aimed at me, but I was mainly off put by most of the characters antics and the narrator being well quite horrible.

I don’t mean to suggest do not buy it, no no no you really need to read this to understand the whole situation, it also highlights what is wrong within the film industry and how toxic life within ( I will say it ) the cult of Hollywood has become. It does have a flavour of the old Agatha Christie style murder where everyone is suspected at a party of the deceased and who will it be?!!! but only slightly and then it just goes off into its own unique murder mystery.

For me I think this is good, bizarre, but good and I hope there is more to come from this author, because although this story was a bit odd, I really liked her writing style, it really flowed and gripped you that you had to carry on reading it even though you had no idea where it would lead you.

Ratings: 4 ๐ŸŒŸs with a cup of tea…. no sweet distractions (sorry run out and itโ€™s not one of those that require it…. maybe a glass of ๐Ÿท or ๐Ÿน)

So yes please grab yourself a copy of this weird and intriguing tale, and I grant you, you will be taken on a ride. You can get this from Waterstones, Amazon or all independent book stores that are near to you, the majority of independents will do delivery so if you don’t live near one don’t fear you can get hold of it.

Thank you for following me this far, I hope you like this little review, I really don’t want to give too much away and yet sometimes I feel there’s not enough information for you to get your teeth into? please feel free to leave comments on how you think of my blogs (please be polite in your criticisms if you have any lol) or you can just like it and that too is fine. So I hope you day has been good I am now going to head off and read….. how inspiring of me hehe. See you all soon.

๐Ÿงก๐ŸŠ Love Orange Review ๐Ÿงก๐ŸŠ

Look at this delicious cover isn’t it gorgeous!!!!

Love Orange…. What a title, what does it conjure up for you in your mind? an orange farmer? someone who loves oranges? Not sure? ok I will let you off the hook (considering this is a debut book) What you find here is my honest opinion and that I have not been coerced by anyone to write this review. I was able to and was kindly given by Elizabeth Ana at Quercus Publishing House a copy of this lovely wicked and seductive book by Natasha Randall, so any faults in my review on the story are mine and mine alone. I hope to do justice to this wonderful book and be able to help this brilliant author get the notice she definitely deserves. So lets get started, with the blurb….

While Hank struggles with his lack of professional success, his wife Jenny, feeling stuck and beset by an urge to do good, becomes ensnared in a dangerous correspondence with a prison inmate called John. Letter by letter, John pinches Jenny awake from the “marshmallow numbness” of her life. The children, meanwhile, unwittingly disturb the foundations of their home life with forays into the dark net and strange geological experiments. Jenny’s bid for freedom takes a sour turn when she becomes the go-between for John and his wife, and develops an unnatural obsession for the orange glue that seals his letters….

This is what caught my interest, the whole modern family (though this is set in America I can see this sort of thing happening here in the UK) idea and how toxic and destructive some of the thoughts that swirl around in the heads of the parents. The kids on the other hand are relatively ok, they are normal (whatever that word means) and are happy in their own ways. Though I feel this story is not solely focused on them, they hold the family together and I feel, help to try to bind them together. I am not going to spoil this marvellous and beautiful book. It has lots of themes to get your teeth into, some of it is quite shocking and at others you definitely sympathise with certain characters. All I will say is this is a great exploration into how, if you feel that, living in a predictable lifestyle, like being a housewife and how all the little niggles can make you feel that life outside is greener and freer, that actually it might not be as green or free as it might be.

I find Jenny very sympathetic, the fact that she was a working woman, who then had to give that up to look after her kids, is something that a lot of families go through. It cause a lot of frictions between the two who should be close and supportive to one another, which can be seen through her thought processes, it’s also the same for Hank, he is the man, needs to provide for the family, has to support them financially and for safety, and that is a weighty load to bear for anyone let alone a man. Yes there are moments you do feel he is a bit of a jerk, but there are moments when you feel that its not him that is a jerk its societies pressures that make him who he is, which is quite sad.

I love this book and cannot rate this highly enough, I was gripped from the first page to the last. It feels so well written that I am surprised to discover that the Author is new and this book is her first. I am so happy and excited what Natasha Randall can do next, if this is her first well her next is going to be glorious ( sorry Natasha don’t mean to pile on the pressure but you have written a good one with this) for those people who are looking for as close to now as possible, please don’t not with this, this has dates and times but it doesn’t feel that it should be set definitely in that time, I feel it can be a bit loose its definitely around 2015 but thats really the only date you get. So please no, where is coronavirus? where are the lockdowns? restrictions? that is not what this book is about and it shouldn’t be held up to that either. This book is looking and delving into the Idea of a modern American family and how the threads that connect each family member to each other are relatively thin and can snap at any moment. I also love the nod to the Simpsons, I won’t spoil anything but look out for an even more lil Easter egg for them too.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone. I love love love this.

Ratings: 5 stars with a mug of โ˜•๏ธ and 3 ๐Ÿช( possibly more)

This book and many more are out on the 3rd of September so please I beg you grab yourself a copy of this gorgeous, beautiful and enthralling book. You will not regret it I promise you. You can I am sure get a copy from Waterstones, Amazon and all independent stores around the UK or wherever you are in the world (sorry if I don’t know worldwide publication dates). I hope you enjoyed this review and when it comes out your more than welcome to leave a comment or like it, I will respond ( don’t worry you won’t be talking to a computer I can promise that) Thank you so much.

Love the spine ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

๐Ÿฆ‹ ๐Ÿ’Once Again by Catherine Wallace Hope blog tour review๐Ÿ’ ๐Ÿฆ‹

This is quite a stunning cover!!!

Publisher : Crooked Lane Books (8 Oct. 2020) in Hardback. You can find the link below to buy your copy.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Once-Again-Catherine-Wallace-Hope/dp/164385481X

What if you had the chance to save someone you lost? Isolated in the aftermath of tragedy, Erin Fullarton has felt barely alive since the loss of her young daughter, Korrie. She tries to mark the milestones her therapist suggests – like this day: the five hundredth – but moving through grief is like swimming against a dark current. Her estranged husband, Zac, a brilliant astrophysicist, seems to be coping better. Lost in his work, he’s perfecting his model of a stunning cosmological phenomenon, one he predicts will occur on this same day – an event so rare, it keeps him from being able to acknowledge this milestone alongside Erin. But when Erin receives a phone call from her daughter’s school, the same call she received five hundred days earlier when Korrie was still alive, Erin realises something is happening. Or happening again. Struggling to understand the sudden shifts in time, she pieces together that the phenomenon Zac is tracking may have presented her with the gift of a lifetime: the chance to save her daughter. As Erin is swept through time, she’s unable to reach Zac or convince the authorities of what is happening. Forced to find the answer on her own, Erin must battle to keep the past from repeating – or risk losing her daughter for good.

I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you so much to Anne Carter for my first ever blog tour!!! and I would also like to thank Crooked Lane books for allowing me to read the PDF, yes I know very scary. I hope to let you know that these are my honest opinions and that I am not out to hurt anyone or be rude either. These are my own thoughts and I hope that I can show my love of reading and especially the love of reading this wonderful and intriguing book.

What can I say about this book, it really grips you from the first page you want to know why she is so numb, out of sorts and why is she going through life robotically, also there are moments within the story where it was particularly heartbreaking and poignant. You really feel for Erin and Zac, but mainly Erin as her life is on hold from the moment of the tragic and horrific death. I don’t want to spoil this for you, but there is also a what if? as well… what if time could be twisted to stop or even to help you get your most fervent desires and what if that desire is to stop death from taking a loved one? I was literally blown away by how marvellous and incredibly real this felt. At first on hearing about this, I have to admit I was a bit wary anything that is set in a realistic frame but with a twist, I feel can not be what the author intended. But not with this, we get Zac, who’s an astrophysicist and who comes up with a way that seems to cause a disturbance in time for his wife.

I love how we get both sides of their lives and how one of them has work to get them through with a neglect of the other, and one has to struggle on with their own thoughts and memories, and sometimes not even living, more like a zombie. This book really portrays depression extraordinarily well, and that it never really lessens or goes with time.

If you love crime/thrillers and after something a little bit different, this book is one for you. Also just look at that cover, isn’t it gorgeous. I only had a few niggles, that sometimes you didn’t feel connected with the characters and sometimes they came across as cold, I am pretty sure for Zac you are supposed to feel a bit like wanting him to take notice of his wife rather than him staying at work all the time. Now I have to admit that I don’t have a child nor do I know what feelings get unleashed when you lose someone to something so awful, but I did feel at times a bit weirded out with some of Erins actions and thoughts ( but please these are my own opinions and not to be seen as judging or anything like that)

I feel that this book is one that you should definitely pick up and read, it is one that grips you and haunts you long after you have put it down. I would highly recommend this book.

Ratings: 5 โญ๏ธs with a โ˜•๏ธ and a ๐Ÿฐ ( honestly you will need all the sugar and caffeine that you can get)

This gorgeous and delightful book is already out so please go out and grab your copy and read it!! As this is my first book blog tour I would like to apologise if this comes across as amateurish (which I am) and quite scrappy. I hope you have enjoyed this review and would dearly love it and welcome any comments or feedback of it and yes any criticism would be appreciated so I know what I need to improve on and whether I am doing ok. So thank you for allowing me to waffle on, I hope when you read this you are relaxing with a nice mug of coffee and you have a good book near by. So I will only say Happy Reading!!!!

Glimpse of Author: Catherine Wallace Hope

Catherine Wallace Hope

Award-winner Catherine Wallace Hope grew up in Colorado, the setting for her thriller Once Again. She earned her degree in creative writing at the University of Colorado. She also delved into dance in New York and art and psychology in California. When she returned to Colorado, she became an instructor at the renowned Lighthouse Writers Workshop, offering creativity workshops for writers. Currently, she and her family are living on an island in the Pacific Northwest where they serve at the pleasure of two astonishingly spoiled dogs. If you would like to get in touch or just to see what sheโ€™s up to follow her on these social media links down below.

www.catherinewallacehope.com

Twitter @catwallacehope

Instagram @catwallacehope

๐Ÿ’ ๐Ÿฆ‹๐Ÿฆ‹๐Ÿฆ‹๐Ÿฆ‹๐Ÿฆ‹ ๐Ÿ’

๐Ÿฆ‡ ๐Ÿง™โ€โ™€๏ธ Hag: Forgotten Folktales Retold by Anthology of authors….. a Review ๐Ÿง™โ€โ™€๏ธ ๐Ÿฆ‡

I am sorry to say there is no image of this book, as I do not want to post a picture of this book and be in breach of something, I do not want any trouble… double or otherwise ( yeah I can make a joke…. badly but still a joke) so this might be a little short, but oh my god this is such a sharp, witty, creepy and chilling book, which I think is perfect for this month.

So what’s this book all about?…. lets get on to the blurb.

Dark,Potent and uncanny, HAG bursts with the untold stories of our isles, captured in voices as varied as they are vivid.

Here are sisters fighting for the love of the same woman, a pregnant archaeologist unearthing impossible bones and lost children following you home. A panther runs through the forests of England and pixies prey upon violent men.

From the islands of Scotland to the coast of Cornwall, the mountains of Galway to the depths of the Fens, these forgotten of folktales howl, cackle and sing their way into 21st century, wildly reimagined by some of the most exciting women writing in Britain and Ireland today.

Wow what a journey I had with this one. I absolutely loved this and would like to thank Virago publishing and Netgalley for my arc copy. This was such a gorgeously, engrossing and chilling read, all forgotten and now retold tales are given a new lease of life and an extra terror because it is set in our modern times. It also gives women a much stronger role and even gives them the tools to exact their revenge on violent and ruthless men.

Some of the tales have an almost vague, dreamy and eerie background feel, the green children and the boggart are just one of many that are still in my mind. This collection also has gorgeous illustrations that evoke folky and arts and crafts look, also a kind of nightmarish figures that kind of remind me of that hallucinatory scene in Disney’s Dumbo, where he sees pink elephants, its that terrifying mix of the strange and surreal figures which you are not sure are one or many. Honestly though I have an arc copy I really want the physical book, it is gorgeous and beautiful.

There are many famous authors names included in this collection, Daisy Johnson being one, and her tale A Retelling still haunts me and Emma Glass The Dampness is spreading just chills me and really freaked me out (in a good way) and there are many more glorious little treasures which intices you with their little angelic/strange voices. This book is not just about chills, hauntings, monsters and folk tales its also about the women and their strengths and how these retold tales are giving voices to the women that were either given a small role or the role of a weak and timid and love lorn fool. These tales give life, breath and strength to the fact that tales and folktales at that can survive in the modern day and that we need these tales now more than ever.

These tales are just fabulously, grotesque, sharp, intoxicating, morbid, gruesome and chilling as well as haunting. They will not leave you, their shadows will haunt your minding after you have put that book down. I loved this heart stopping, feminist romping collection of stories, I did find some of the tales at the end the originals, not as good as the retold tales which just shows that these tales are fabulous and women are awesome and these authors are just brilliant.

Ratings: 5 โญ๏ธ and because this is October and some of these tales are quite chilling hereโ€™s my haunting rating three ๐Ÿ‘ป s a ๐ŸŽƒ and a ๐Ÿ’€.

You can now buy this book as it is out now… in all Waterstone’s stores, on Amazon and any other independent store too. I would recommend you to go to Waterstones but I also urge you if you can to visit your local independent shop and get this book because one you will find that the independents are just brilliant and personal and also you will help them in these chaotic times. Please go out and buy this book, you will not regret it I promise you.

I am sorry for how short this review is and I hope you have had your appetite whetted for this book, its just fantastic. Hopefully you are not too spooked about this, so I will leave you to your slumber and I hope you keep one eye open…. you never know who’s watching or waiting!!!!…. see you next time… Happy Reading!!!!

๐Ÿ“– The Last Story of Mina Lee by Nancy Jooyoun Kim… A Review ๐Ÿ“–

Look at that cover!!!! Stunning..

I am very sorry that its taken me this long to 1. Get around to writing and publishing this review (really bad of me) and 2. That it took me awhile to get around to reading it. This a wonderful and brilliant book and I would like to thank Emily Patience at Headline Publishing (who was also kind enough to send me Hermit a review that I have already put up… if you want to go and check it out… wink wink) for this gorgeous copy. So lets get on with what this book is all about shall we?

Margot Lee’s mother is ignoring her calls. Margot cannot understand why, until she makes a surprise trip home to Koreatown, LA. What she finds there makes her realise how little she knows about her mother, Mina.

Thirty years earlier, Mina Lee steps off a plane to take a chance on a new life in America. Stacking shelves at a Korean grocery store, the last thing she expects is to fall in love. But that moment will have shattering consequences for Mina, and everything she left behind in Seoul.

Through the intimate lens of a mother and daughter who have struggled all their lives to understand each other, Margot and Mina’s story unravels the unspoken secrets that can drive two people apart – or perhaps bind them closer together.

Before I start my review I am just going to mention that this book was picked for Reese’s Book club, yes that is Reese Witherspoon!!! just so you understand how big this book is. So here we go!!! well as you can see I loved this book. As soon as I got this I just had to pick it up and read it, which makes my late review seem bad and I am really sorry…. looks shame faced. Anyway what I loved about it is this complicated, love hate, relationship between a mother and daughter, who really only have each other, but like most relationships there are times you love that person and will do anything for, but there are moments when you just want to live your life. Not necessarily that you wish that person harm, no thats too awful, but just some time for you to breathe. This is the kind of relationship between Margot and Mina, though with their background its a lot more complicated, how Americans look down on foreignness and difference even though Margot is an American and has not ever been to Korea, she is considered foreign because of how she looks and also because of her mother, who is Korean.

I have always loved these explorations into Identity and who we are? and why we are? this is amazing and how she creates these gorgeous but flawed characters that you see if you walk down the street in London or any other city. Its also incredibly heartbreaking just going to include a little snippet which explains what I mean so much better than I can.

“After blowing her nose, she pressed her palms together and whispered, ‘Please, God, help me. Please, God. Please. I’ll do anything you want. Anything. I promise. Please help me. Help me, please” she did not want to admit this to Him, but secretly she was asking God to keep her from ending everything, from throwing herself in front of the bus, which she thought about sometimes. As the bus pulled to a stop in front of her, she wondered what would happen if she stepped out in front of it. Only the fear of Hell kept her alive”.

And these thoughts have and are circling around Mina through most of her life, because this is the reason she eventually moved to America. I won’t spoil anything more to you, if you haven’t read this splendid book. But its not just filled with grief, it also a tale of love, romance, friendships, mother and daughter, there’s also sadness and regret. When Margot realises what she has lost, with her mother’s death, but also what she has gained when she goes off in search of who her mother was.

There’s a sense of how immigrants are treated and looked down upon even if they have lived in America for all their lives, the association with anything foreign especially Korean is a sore point when it comes to ‘general’ Americans and how they interact with and work with their colleagues of a different culture. Its also how difficult it was for the older generation (Mina) of immigrants from Korea to merge and interact with Americans, and how easier it is for the younger generation (Margot) to adapt and to be able to live fully outside of their own village (Koreatown) whereas people like Mina had to depend on the familiar and thats all they knew to the point they are not Korean but neither are they American.

This is the saddest part, the fact that Mina through all her struggles and working as a single mum alone with a daughter had to depend on the friends she knows who are also Korean. Though she does eventually become just about ok, she still has issues and set backs throughout her life. You become so engaged with the characters, and wanting them to find happiness that when things don’t end the way you want them to… ooo the feels. This book really hits hard in your gut.

This book also talks about how sometimes the freedoms you think of or wish for when you are young, might not be what you want or need when you gain those freedoms. Also that through death you gain an understanding of where your life can lead you and also how to go from where you are. This is not just a tale about a mother and daughter but about modern values vs old/traditional values, its about identity, shame of selfs as well as different types of freedom. This is a fabulous, multifaceted and riveting book, that I have read this year.

Ratings: 5 โญ๏ธs with a โ˜•๏ธ and ๐Ÿงs…. honestly this was such a wonderful book that I might just add a ๐Ÿช too.

This book is so good so please go and buy this amazing, heartwarming, heartbreaking book. I know that some of you might be put off by the celebrity pick on the front, please don’t let that stop you from reading this book, honestly its beautiful. So please go out and buy this book from Waterstones, Amazon and any Independents that is near to you, here are a few online ones that I can highly recommend http://www.thehive.co.uk and http://www.bertsbooks.co.uk also http://www.foxlanebooks.co.uk both of these are fabulous and are absolutely brilliant and need our support, plus if you buy from The Hive you can give money to your local independent even if you don’t buy from them, which I love.

So I hope your Sunday and weekend has been lovely and relaxing and I hope many hours has been spent with a book… but don’t worry if you haven’t… I forgive you. Anyway I am heading off for my own reading… thank you for reading this and Happy Reading!!!!!

๐Ÿ“š ๐Ÿ“š ๐Ÿ“š ๐Ÿ“š

๐ŸฆฉOdd Bird by Lee Farnsworth a review๐Ÿฆฉ

I love the cover itโ€™s just brilliant!!!

I would like to thank Farrago books and Fanny for my copy of this heartwarming and charming book. This book will come out on 1st October and I can definitely say this will warm your feathery chest (honest there’s a reason for that metaphor) anyway on to the blurb of this delightful book.

Simon Selwood is an academic expert on the mating behaviour of birds. Unfortunately, he’s rather hopeless at finding human love.

Then he meets Kim, and suddenly something is more important to him than ornithology. But Kim doesn’t give a hoot about birds. And at first, she doesn’t seem to be very interested in Simon either.

Relying on what he has learned from observing the opportunistic pied flycatcher and other bird species, plus the unorthodox advice of his best friend and wingman Phil, Simon spreads his wings and sets out to discover love for himself.

Will he make the right choice?

As soon as I picked this book up, and read the first few pages, I was hooked. This is a heartwarming and hilarious read. I feel the main character is a bit like Chris Packham on spring, Autumn and winter watch that comes a few times on TV. I also found certain facts about birds fascinating and was quite intrigued by them… does that make me as odd as ‘Bird’ Simon? who knows but this book is definitely one that will make you smile and chuckle to yourself.

The characters feel incredibly real and vivid, there are not just Simon, his best friend Phil who is that sort of guy that has a big heart but also is one that can embarrass you as well. Then there is Kim, yes the beautiful but incredibly flawed creature that knows she can hook men and doesn’t really trouble herself too much about what she does to them ( can you tell I really don’t like her… we all have that person we know who we like but can see they are a danger too) there’s also other characters that play a minor and some that play a major role in how this rom comedy falls about, but I won’t go further than that as I really don’t want to spoil this delightful and just charming book.

Now I have to admit it here and now, I was not a huge fan of The Rosie Project (TRP) why? you ask? well for me it felt too awkward and too stilted on the fact that here is a really odd person lets make this character be put in situations where they don’t want to be or find uncomfortable, it just left me not liking any of the characters and with a nasty taste of the author’s view point in my mouth. To say this book is like that one, gave me the heebie jeebies, at first, but what this book does so well, I think better than that other one, is it pulls you along gently and you get to feel for the main character and understand his quirks and foibles and grow to love and care about him. whereas in TRP where you are left feeling cold and clinical, with Odd Bird its like a nice warm hug or holding a warm mug of tea/coffee, warm and comforting and snuggly.

If you can’t tell I am raving about this book, well actually I am loving it. Simon is slightly awkward enough to pique your interest and naive enough for you to want to hug him or pat him on the head.. and say ‘awww you are such a sweetie’. I just love everything about this book, there are some awkward moments and some where you are literally shouting at Simon to stop being a prat and wake up ( I think you are meant to feel that way).

I also think the cover is brilliant, very simple effective and eye-catching. I love it, I can and will highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a unique and intriguing rom-comedy book to get them through this autumnal season. By the way if you are wondering why there are flamingo’s there is a reason but one which you’ll need to read the book for…. so what are you waiting for??? go and buy it now. You need a bit of an Odd Bird in your life.

Ratings: 5 ๐ŸŒŸs and a big โ˜•๏ธ with ๐Ÿง (this book is a generous helping of both cake and coffee, if you donโ€™t already know this is my alternative rating system…. I love coffee and cake like I do this book ๐Ÿ˜‰)

What else can I say to make sure you go out and buy this, heartwarming, charming, laugh out loud, gorgeous rom com of a book? well if that and what I have said above isn’t enough then I don’t know what is. But one thing I do know this is a treasure and one I am intending to read again and again. I am sure you will be able to get hold of a copy from http://www.waterstones.com

http://www.amazon.co.uk

http://www.bertsbooks.co.uk

http://www.thehive.co.uk

I hope this blog finds you well and enjoying all the goodness and happiness from books, right now we all need a bit of a lift and this book certainly does that. Happy reading!!!

๐Ÿ•ต๏ธ๐Ÿ•Hermit by S R White… A Review๐Ÿ•ต๏ธ๐Ÿ•

I know sacrilege!!!! But just look at this cover!!!! Utter beauty.

I feel I have to apologise, this has been on my to get round to on my blog list, really sorry but it is finally here… my review of this wonderful, thought provoking book. I would also like to send my thanks to Emily Patience for this as well as Headline publishers for this copy, it was truly a delight to read. So what is this book about you might ask? lets get on to the blurb.

He disappeared for 15 years.

Until the day of the murder.

After the puzzling death of a shopkeeper in rural Australia, troubled detective Dana Russo has just 12 hours to interrogate the prime suspect – a silent, inscrutable man found at the scene of the crime, who simply vanished 15 years earlier.

Where has he been? And just how dangerous is he? Without conclusive evidence linking him to the killing, Dana must race against time to persuade him to speak. But over a series of increasingly intense interviews, Dana is forced to confront her own past if she wants him to reveal the shocking truth.

Wow where do I start with this one, I guess it should be at the beginning rather than the end? But I just have to say I loved this amazing, slow burner of a mystery. This book gripped and held me in its pages, so much so I really did not want to finish it, it was that good. The characters are vivid and so relatable that you can almost visualise them in real life, the best character though is Dana who you get drawn into bit by bit, or page by page. I love how you get caught up into wanting to know more about her but at the same time wanting to know more about what happened with the crime. You also get a look into the criminal or the ‘hermit’ of the story, and gradually you warm to him and feel sympathetic towards his plight.

This is such a roller coaster of emotions, the story drags you in from the first page, where we are introduced to our main character, who is on the brink of some sort of emotional disconnection (I can’t say any more than that as I don’t want to spoil it for you) you then get pulled into the investigation and are as concerned from the very first moment with the solving of this case, there are so many moments when you think could it be this person or could it be that, and you are also trying not to think that it could be the main person suspected, this guy, this hermit.

There are few characters where you feel repelled or even dislike but, there is one character who throughout the book you come to loathe and despise and in the end, you feel a sense of sympathy and disappointment with the killer. This book evokes so many feelings and is an absolute gem when it comes to describing mental health and how it affects people in different ways as well as how it can also be felt similar too. The two main characters are almost mirror images, yet one is a reluctant survivor whilst the other wants to be left alone, has chosen it out of a need due to background information ( as I said I don’t want to mention anything here)

I have always loved crime/thrillers, I especially love Ann cleves’s Vera, Anthony Horowitz, and many others that make crime writing to delicious to read, and this book is definitely of that ilk. I cannot recommend this highly enough, its slow yes to begin with but by god does the speed, tension and suspense increase towards the end. This is one where I am excited about what this author will write next, I hope it is a start of a brilliant series and I for one am hooked and loving it.

Just look at that cover isn’t it lush, I have to admit I am hooked on crime/thrillers that take place in different countries and are solved by their own hardworking policemen, I just find it new and exciting and yet at the same time familiar if that makes sense? I feel that we lose so much knowledge and love for different countries when we only concentrate on our own country. I have always loved translated books such as Japan’s wave of amazing, brilliant crime writers ( Keigo Higashino, Hideo Yokoyama etc) as well as the usual influx from Scandinavian crime. I am excited to read something that is set in Australia (that is not from a historical point of view) and it just feels so real. I would have to say that this book is one of my top books of the year so far and definitely in my Top 10 and even Top 5.

Ratings: 5 ๐ŸŒŸs a โ˜•๏ธ x2 with a large slab of ๐Ÿฐ and a ๐Ÿช ( my ratings are unusual, but the more there is cake and coffee and biscuits the more I have loved a book ๐Ÿ˜‰ this one is a winner)

I hope you have enjoyed this blog as much as I have had writing this, the book is well worth a read, and I can definitely say you won’t regret it. You can buy this now from any store I would direct you towards Independents as much as possible, Berts books comes to mind. But if you are still wanting the safe option go to your local Waterstones or Amazon. I am now going to have a bit of a rest and hopefully a nice read… so all I have to say is see you next time and happy reading!!!

Nothing Can Hurt You by Nicola Maye Goldburg a review….

I just love the cover, just begging to pull you in.

Now this little beauty is one that was bought for my birthday by my long suffering husband (he’s an absolute sweetheart love him) along with another book which I am sure I have reviewed on here ( honestly my brain cannot remember recent past but anything to do with my child hood yep I am fine with) but anyway this one isn’t a proof, but I still want to thank Ravens Books ( part of Bloomsbury publishing group) for this wonderfully small delight of a book. Now you are all wondering, what is this book about? well here’s the blurb to help you…

On a cold day in 1997, student Sara Morgan was killed in the woods surrounding her liberal arts college in upstate New York. Her boyfriend, Blake Campbell, confessed, only to be acquitted following a plea of temporary insanity.

In the wake of this senseless act of violence, the case comes to haunt a strange and surprising network of community members, from the young woman who discovers Sara’s body to the junior reporter who senses its connection to convicted local serial killer John Logan.

As the years pass, others search for retribution or explanation, including Sara’s half-sister who, stifled by her family’s silence about Blake, poses as a baby-sitter and seeks out her own form of justice, and the teenager Sara used to babysit, who begins writing to Logan as part of a class project.

Wow where to start with this little firecracker of a novel, it doesn’t just tell a story about a killer and the victim, to be honest I am not sure thats the point of the story, its about the ripple effect which spreads outwards from the moment of the horrific crime to how people still react a few years afterwards. This is also about the questions that percolate around the crime, the why? the who? and really is there one person to blame? This fascinating book delves deep into the psyche of both the killer’s family but also into the victims life as well as the people on the periphery, such as a journalist, the child who was babysat by the victim and also the person that found the body. Each section is told by each different person and you gradually build up a picture of not just the loss of a person, but the scars that are left behind and how people can ever recover from such a tragic and sudden loss.

The book also explores vengeance and retribution, and whether its right or wrong to, as quoted from the bible “take an eye for an eye”, and whether to move on from such a tragic consequence is there a chance to forgive? is there a chance that one killing or accident should mean that the person responsible cannot ever redeem themselves to become better than what they did? for me this is a beautiful book and one that I can highly recommend to people who are interested in True Crime books, or documentaries because, sadly the majority of crimes are not always the “glitzy, creepy or horrific serial killers” that become big news, sometimes killings are the sad, lonely, and accidental deaths of not just the victim but also the killer themselves, who may not have done what he/she or they did if there had been say someone else there or as in this case he forgot to take his meds.

I love these sorts of novels that delve deep into the questions of is this a crime that should be punished with the full rigours of the law? or should there be mitigating circumstances? and if so how can you also give the victims family peace without hurting them further? also how do you support the killers family through this? because the repercussions don’t lie with the killer, it can also affect their families too.

I have to admit that this book gripped me from the very beginning to the end, its a powerful, gut wrenching and emotional roller coaster of a book, and I know I have said it before but I will say it again… go out and buy this wonderful book. If you are nervous about blood, guts and gore, don’t worry it is not that sort of book, they talk around it and yes there are mentions of it, but the main focus is on the ripple effects that stem from that moment and beyond.

Ratings: 5 ๐ŸŒŸ and a massive mug of โ˜•๏ธ with a huge slice of ๐Ÿฐ ( honestly itโ€™s that good it needs a cake)

Thank you so much for following my little posts and reviews on books it means a lot, knowing that other people can read this and hopefully will be inspired to buy it (maybe…. hopefully) fills me with joy, because this is all I really wanted from this was, not just for me, but to share my love of good books with all of you, and it really makes me smile when people have a look at my blog, you don’t have to leave a comment or even like it ( I would really love that though) just knowing you have spent some of your time on here makes me smile, so thank you. If you are wondering whether you want to buy it and where from you can always visit Waterstones, Amazon or any other independent stores (that includes online) or even visit your local library. So I hope you all had a lovely weekend, I know I did what with some lovely book mail (talk about them more at a later date… keep your eyes peeled) and just feeling good about life in general. So I am off to read and yes see you all another time… Happy reading everyone!!!

๐Ÿ‘ฎThe House of Correction by Nicci French a review…๐Ÿ‘ฎ

Looks great and the cover is brilliant

I would like to say thank you to Jess Barrett and SimonSchuster publishers for sending me this proof copy (shown above) I am sorry it has taken me so long to get out my review I have no excuse except procrastination and other books. I would also like to state that these are my honest opinions. ( yes I know no excuse… I have been thoroughly chastised) any way onto this spine chilling and intriguing story and onto the blurb.

She’s a Murderer….

Everyone knows she killed Stuart Reese – Why else would his dead body be found in her shed? So now Tabitha is in prison, awaiting trial.

Coming back to the remote coastal village where she grew up was a mistake. She didn’t fit in then, and she doesn’t fit in now.

That day is such a blur, she can’t remember clearly what happened. There is something she is missing, something important…..She only knows one thing. She is not capable of murder.

And the only one she can trust to help her out of this situation is herself.

So she must fight. Against the odds. For her life!!!!

Wow what a blurb… and it definitely gripped me. From the moment we see where she is ( in prison) we feel that we understand what is going on, obviously from the blurb we get the idea that she is innocent but has a weight of evidence against her being so. We have many questions whilst reading this. How and why? who? and what? are the questions we pose to the story as it unravels in front of us. I was gripped from the start and as you get in deeper into the story the questions do start to be answered but they are mainly dripped slowly to you till the tension ratchets up a notch. I am going to be quite honest with you, I was not wholly convinced by the main character. Not about her innocence or not, but the lack of any development, I found her hard to like and even at times she regressed into a teenager. I had to check a few pages to work out how old she was, and found that I was wrong and she was in her late forties.

To me her character did not feel fully formed or even believable at times, I found the whole courtroom scene an absolute farce and could not believe how she spoke and acted towards people, who were either trying to help her or found her behaviour incredibly awful… a scene where she starts attacking someone and gets guards on her case who then take her to the prison governor, who has given her a lot of freedom to do research on her case, has to then haggle with her and eventually capitulates even though she (Tabitha) has been a nuisance? I am sorry but this is taking my imagination on a whole new ride and I just found it odd and just bizarre.

So from about halfway through the book it really went into realms of utter bizarreness that I just at times wanted to hit or slap the main character, I found I had no sympathy for her or even care about her past, because due to how she is written I just couldn’t get into her or even connect with her. I also couldn’t place the setting as in time or even location of where this story was taking place. It didn’t feel modern and it didn’t feel like the distant past either it just was… like a strange Devon coastal village that has no connection to reality or the outside world. Sometimes I don’t mind that, but when this has been written by a famous author(s) I feel that doing this, is lazy and just a bit off.

So to wrap up I found this book a bit of a letdown, I was excited to receive a copy of a book by a famous pair of authors and was expecting high things from this. I guess my expectations were a bit too high, and as I have had no prior experience in reading their previous books I have no background to look at. This is not to say you should not read this book, please go and buy this, It definitely gripped and as a concept really intriguing and really good. Just for me I found the main character interacting with everyone a tad annoying and I found my attention wandering at points.

Ratings: 3.5 ๐ŸŒŸs and a cup of ๐Ÿฅค( itโ€™s still a good book just I need a cold drink to get me through the day itโ€™s quite ๐Ÿฅต)

I know there has been a question of do we give 3 stars out or how do we change the rating system? for me personally whatever rating system you choose there are always going to be no nice ones because thats just the way criticism works, I still think that 3 stars is better than 1 or even 2. So for this review I will show what my 5 star rating system is so you have a much better appreciation of what I mean:

5 ๐ŸŒŸ is omg this is excellent!!!!

4 ๐ŸŒŸ is this is brilliant

3 ๐ŸŒŸ is good/decent

2 ๐ŸŒŸ is ok/ alright

1 ๐ŸŒŸ could do better/DNF

So thats my rating system with a few fun ratings too thrown in, such as, coffee, cake and biscuits as in how many do I consume to read said book. So to authors and publishers please do not get offended or be upset by getting 3 stars its not meant to make you feel bad its just how I (my personal view) feel about your work, and other people might disagree with me, which is great because we are all unique and different. Any way enough of this if you would like to grab yourself a copy and have not been put off by my views on this book, please go to your nearest book shop be it Waterstones, Amazon or your local independents or even your local supermarket. I hope you are all well this lovely weekend and are enjoying the day with a glass/cup/mug of some drink or beverage with a good book in hand. I will say good bye for now and will talk again soon!!!

The Minders!!!! ๐Ÿคซ ๐Ÿ•ต๏ธโ€โ™€๏ธ

This is top secret information…….. can you keep a secret?!!!!

Where do I start with this one, I guess at the beginning, I managed to win this copy from Del Ray books which is an offshoot of Penguin Random House UK, and would just like to tender my thanks and appreciation for this copy I loved the little puzzle that came with it along with (what I hope is a fake government secret letter) hehe its fun though and makes the whole book mail exciting. So on to this books blurb….

Five strangers guard our secrets.

Only four can be trusted.

In the twenty-first century, information is king. But computers can be hacked and files can be broken into – so a unique government initiative has been born.

Five ordinary people have been selected to become Minders – the latest attempt to thwart cyberterrorism. Transformed by a revolutionary medical procedure, the country’s most classified information has been taken offline, turned into genetic code and implanted inside their heads.

Together, the five know every secret – the truth behind every government lie, conspiracy theory and cover up. In return, they’re given the chance to leave their problems behind and a blank slate to start their lives anew.

But not everyone should be trusted, especially when they each have secrets of their own they’ll do anything to protect……..

Pretty thrilling stuff from the blurb, and it didn’t disappoint. It really started from the first page and didn’t let up from the get go. I found myself gripped and wanting to know what happens, also who were these (bad) people? and who were the five?. This is set after the chain of events in the last book ( The Passengers and The One) but you really don’t need to read them in any order. There is a lot of ground that gets covered in this book. From spying, espionage, ruthless killers, psychopathy, post natal depression etc it has it all.

I have to admit I was expecting good things about this book, after reading the Passengers, which by the way you all should read an absolute cracker, I felt this will also be an absolute belter too. I wasn’t disappointed in that but I also was not blown away. I am sorry to say but some of the subject matter felt a bit too forced and a bit too blockbusterish. I am not a keen Bourne Identity watcher or even a fan of Mission Impossible ( to me they are just bang bang boom boom films with no depth) and though there is depth to this and I was gripped by the story, the plot got so bogged down by the characters side issues it felt a bit cloggy and claggy at times.

I also found certain characters a bit one dimensional and just fodder for the author to use as plot points, but having said all that its still an impressive feat. The story is readable and enthralling and by god does it make you want to sit up all night and finish it, just to see what the outcome is. Even though I found I wasn’t a huge fan of this book, doesn’t mean you should not go out and grab it when it comes out on 17th September!!!!(this post will be out then so when reading this blog keep in mind it was written earlier).

I would highly recommend this to anyone who loves a gripping thriller with all the twists and turns and nail biting moments that your heart would love. I think personally this would be better in audio book (that is not something I say very often) because you get here there tone and pitch from the narrator.

Ratings: 4 ๐ŸŒŸ with a cup of cold โ˜•๏ธ and some ๐Ÿช crumbs (cold coffee is due to how riveting the book is)

I would definitely recommend anyone to go out and grab a copy from Waterstones, Amazon or any other independent book stores near and far to you. You can also check out the author John Marr’s other works online if you want to read any others he has done, I will provide a list of his other works for you to check out down below.

Other titles by John Marr’s :

When You Disappeared (2014) can buy this from Waterstones/Amazon and Indie bookstores.

Welcome to Wherever You are (2015) can buy this from Waterstones/ Amazon and Indie bookstores.

The One (2017) can buy this from Waterstones/Amazon and Indie bookstores.

The Good Samaritan (2018) can buy this from Waterstones/Amazon and Indie bookstores.

Her Last Move (2018) can buy this from Waterstones/Amazon and Indie bookstores.

The Passengers (2019) can buy this from Waterstones/Amazon and Indie bookstores.

What Lies between us (2020) can buy this from Waterstones/Amazon and Indie bookstores.

Thank you for following/reading along with me on this wild and crazy adventure I hope you like the sound of this book and enjoyed what I have written. These thoughts and views are my own and honest opinion. Until next time…. Read, drink, chill and enjoy.