200 Followers!

I am THRILLED to say I now have 200 fantastic followers! Thank you all and a special thank you to the official 200th Rebecca at Bibliogalblog. Smiles and fake tache’s all round!

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I absolutely love blogging and unfortunately had a less active April due to other commitments. I am on holiday in Croatia next week (yay, I get to see some cool Game of Thrones locations!) then I’ll be back and posting much more regularly.

Some of my planned holiday reads….

Has anyone read these? Or do you have any recommendations for me? 🙂

Book Review: The Silent Twin

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Title:
The Silent Twin
Author: Caroline Mitchell
To Be Published: 14th April 2016
Publisher: Bookouture

Many thanks to NetGalley and Bookouture for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Synopsis:

I’m alone in the dark, please can you find me …

Nine-year-old twins Abigail and Olivia vow never to be parted. But when Abigail goes missing from Blackwater Farm, DC Jennifer Knight must find her before it’s too late.

Twin sister Olivia has been mute since Abigail’s disappearance. But when she whispers in Jennifer’s ear, Jennifer realises it is Abigail’s voice pleading to be found.

A damp and decaying house set in acres of desolate scrubland, the farm is a place of secrets, old and new – and Jennifer must unravel them all in order to find the lost girl. But could Olivia’s bond with her twin hold the key to finding Abigail? And can Jennifer break through her silence in time to save her sister’s life?

I was absolutely hooked right from the very start.  An interesting plot and I really enjoyed the supernatural twist. You seamlessly get pulled in to each character so you feel like you know them really well… but be prepared that nothing is ever as it first appears to be!

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Complex, dark and utterly compelling. It takes a skilled writer to capture emotion so perfectly, with action that effortlessly flew me from start to finish I can’t remember the last time I read a book so quickly! DC Jennifer Knight is a fantastic character, so likeable as I understood her caring nature and happily traveled alongside her as she tried to fit misshapen jigsaw pieces together to find Abigail. This book contains some seriously edge-of-your-seat stuff… be prepared for the ride!

The only reason I have given 4 instead of 5 stars is that I was DESPERATE for there to have been more depth to the paranormal angle as it was soooo intriguing!

Let me know what you thought of the book! Did you love the paranormal slant?

Rating:

four stars

TBR List March/April

Wow I have a lot of amazing books to read over the end of March and spilling into April! After a very busy couple of months am desperately trying to salvage some reading time!

Some of my most looked forward to reading:
In Too Deep – Samantha Hayes
The Missing – C.L.Taylor
The Last One – Alexandra Oliva
The Good Mother – A.L.Bird


I’ve just started reading David Videcette’s The Theseus Paradox, a crime thriller based on the London 7/7 bombings of 2005. David is a former Scotland Yard investigator who worked on the London bombings and I cannot wait to read and review this – the reviews I’ve seen so far have been absolutely outstanding!

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Any of these on your reading list? Or if you’ve already read these let me know which one I should go for next after The Theseus Paradox!

Book Review: The Girl in the Ice

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Title: The Girl in the Ice
Author: Robert Bryndza
Published: 12th February 2016
Publisher: Bookouture

Many thanks to NetGalley and Bookouture for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Her eyes are wide open. Her lips parted as if to speak. Her dead body frozen in the ice…She is not the only one.

When a young boy discovers the body of a woman beneath a thick sheet of ice in a South London park, Detective Erika Foster is called in to lead the murder investigation.

The victim, a beautiful young socialite, appeared to have the perfect life. Yet when Erika begins to dig deeper, she starts to connect the dots between the murder and the killings of three prostitutes, all found strangled, hands bound and dumped in water around London.

What dark secrets is the girl in the ice hiding?

Fantastic debut in a new police procedural series. Mysterious, dramatic and absolutely gripping. DCI Erika Foster is such a brilliant character; her back-story had me hooked and I rooted for her with her investigation – Bryndza is a hugely talented writer. In fact, I would happily read a prequel of this book to find out more about Erika’s past and what actually happened with the investigation that went wrong and led to the death of her husband.

The twist at the end took me by complete surprise and don’t you just love it when a book can do that? (And I’m usually so suspicious of everyone at some point I get on the right track to guessing the end). I had fun pointing the finger at a number of characters throughout and the plot is terrific, you are pulled in from the get go desperate to know what vicious creature is responsible for the girl in the ice.

Descriptive writing was absolutely nailed to make you feel as though you are there when the bodies are found, I could literally feel my heart pounding at so many moments. If you are a fan of police procedural thrillers I promise that The Girl in the Ice will not disappoint.

Bryndza is currently writing the next novel ‘The Night Stalker’ and I cannot wait to read it!

Rating:
five stars

Indie Book Review: The Pharaoh’s Cat

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Title: The Pharaoh’s Cat
Author: Maria Luisa Lang
Publisher: Self-published
Published: 16th May 2015

Many thanks to author Maria Luisa Lang for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

A well-paced, light-hearted and wonderfully unique story which includes a touch of interesting Egyptian history.

Wrappa-Hamen, feline narrator of The Pharaoh’s Cat, is a stray cat who is gifted with the power of speech and the ability to walk like a human. He befriends the lonely Pharaoh of Egypt, a seventeen year old who hasn’t laughed since his parents’ death. The Pharaoh is overjoyed to meet Wrappa-Hamen and brings him back to live alongside him at the royal palace.

The plot moves along well, flowing nicely through adventures which seem to follow Wrappa-Hamen around like a bad smell and his character certainly doesn’t get boring! He is an eclectic mix of sassy, mischievous and hilarious.

‘He points to a spot under a sycamore tree. “This is my favourite place.”
The Pharaoh and I have the same taste–I’ve peed against this tree.’

If you are a cat lover, this is the book for you!

I would like to have been able to delve a bit deeper in to the world of Egyptian mythology as the bits that were covered in the book were so interesting I was left wanting more.

Imaginative and gave me some real belly laugh moments.

Rating:
four stars

Book Review: Fractured

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Title: Fractured
Author: Clár Ní Chonghaile
Published: 1st Feb 2016
Publisher: Legend Press

Many thanks to Clár Ní Chonghaile and Legend Press for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Synopsis:
Peter Maguire has been kidnapped in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu. He does not know where he is or what is going to happen to him. The journalist is filled with fear and, as the days go by, this dread of the unknown is shot through with remorse for the mistakes of his past. Peter’s mother Nina comes to Somalia to wait for her son’s release. His plight forces her to relive another trauma—the fatal shooting in Liberia of Shaun Ridge, a young photographer she once loved, and Peter’s real father. Abdi, a Somali teenager working with Peter’s captors strikes a tenuous friendship with the prisoner based on a shared feeling of captivity. He decides to help Peter escape. Together they set off into the barren vastness of a land filled with danger. Three people must journey into one of the world’s most dangerous places, the human mind, to answer the question: are we ever truly free?

Wow. Hard-hitting, revealing and unreservedly thought provoking, Fractured is an intense political thriller which covers themes of captivity, terrorism and jihadism. Absolutely relevant to current issues with extremist acts affecting countries around the world.

The narrative is split in to three points of view following Peter, his mother Nina and Abdi, the Somalian teenager who has grown up around violence and death. It’s quite stunning how much depth Chonghaile goes to and how it pulls you in to connect to each character on different levels. There are moments captured which resonated so strongly with me they took my breath away. I could imagine specific scenes with an unnerving and frankly, brutal clarity.

‘Without life, we are nothing more than a pile of rags, good for nothing. I looked up and the vultures were already circling. They too know that what we do is always the same. They know they must just bide their time. In the end, someone always dies.’

It was heart breaking to see such a convincing portrayal of Somalia, and how “living” includes death and bloodshed as part of daily life with people resigned to their fate. I knew extremely little about Somalia before reading Fractured and I was fascinated to learn about AMISOM and Al-Shabaab; I’m shocked that my awareness was so minimal.

This story could not be more captivating, I was pulled head first in to the story of Peter and his openness about mistakes he has made throughout his life. I was able to explore the idea of humanity and become a witness to how circumstances change an individual. Peter has made some incredibly selfish decisions and he bares his soul to reveal his flaws and focus on how he could right the wrongs if he is given a chance at life.

I was completely engaged with Abdi, whose honest and at times blunt account of life in Somalia had me riveted. Chonghaile does brilliantly with throwing you in to this unfamiliar, volatile world where you can almost feel the fear around you. Abdi clutched at my heartstrings and I found it difficult to read about the things he has witnessed and the grief he has had to deal with on his own. As the story progressed I felt that I was alongside Abdi, learning about his past, his lifestyle and the special relationship between him and his mother. Abdi is not a character I will forget in a hurry.

This is a brilliant debut novel which is so clever in its approach. Well-written, pacey and unforgettable.

Rating:
four and a half star

About the Author

Clár grew up in the West of Ireland, the eldest of seven children. She left Ireland aged 19 to work as a graduate trainee journalist at Reuters in London. Clár has worked
as a journalist for over 20 years and has lived in Madrid, Paris, the Ivory Coast, Senegal and Kenya.

Whilst in Nairobi, she freelanced for the Guardian and travelled to Somalia to cover the African Union’s battle against al Shabaab and the plight of thousands of displaced people.

Fractured was published today 1st February – what are you waiting for?! Go go go! 

 

Book Review: Viral

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Title: Viral
Author: Helen Fitzgerald
To Be Published: 4th February 2016
Publisher: Faber and Faber

Many thanks to Helen Fitzgerald, Faber and Faber and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

Leah and her adopted sister, Su, go on holiday to Magaluf with friends. Su is the opposite of Leah – studious, organised and in control. But it’s Leah that comes home from Magaluf while Su goes in to hiding. A drunken video of her performing a sex act in a bar goes viral and Su can’t face coming home. Ruth is both the girls mum and a court judge and she is furious. How could Leah let this happen? And more importantly, how she can find Su to bring her home?

I was hooked immediately with a shocking opening line – honest and unabashed. A pacey read; I quite literally could not put this down. A modern subject matter which makes you question your own morals about sharing online video content and whether you think about the individual when you watch and discuss video’s like this.

I fell in love with Su. I felt her shame and despair and was on the edge of my seat wishing that in the end everything would be okay. This is a compelling and thought-provoking modern read exploring the impact of public humiliation on a family. At times, this made for some difficult reading. You can’t help but imagine yourself and your family if something like this ever happened to you and it sharply made me understand how important it is to have loyal friends and family to listen to all sides of the story.

Su and her family have a distinct lack of control during this dramatic episode and are locked in a comprehensive and convincing struggle. A story of this nature was intended to provoke thought rather than give you a traditional happy ending, which it certainly did. Absolutely fascinating to read – moving, uncomfortable but unputdownable.

Rating:
four stars

100 Followers!

Today I have reached the 100 followers milestone! Yay! Celebratory dance!
(Special thank you to my 100th follower Glaiza at Glimmer of Happiness blog)

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Thank you all millions for following my blog and keeping me bookishly inspired, you are awesome and I love being part of the book blogging community 🙂

My next posts are going to include a book review for Viral by Helen Fitzgerald, an indie book review for The Pharaoh’s Cat by Maria Luisa Lang (a hilarious read, and if you are a cat lover you will ADORE it) and also a book review for Fractured by Clár NĂ­ Chonghaile, which was sent to me via Legend Press.


All very different books that I’m excited to write about! I hope you continue to enjoy my posts, very soon I’m going to try and go a step further and do some writing of my own – my 2016 goal!

 

Book Review: The Girl You Lost

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Title: The Girl You Lost
Author: Kathryn Croft
To Be Published: 5th February 2016
Publisher: Bookouture

Many thanks to NetGalley, Kathryn Croft and Bookouture for the ARC in return for an honest review. 

Eighteen years ago Simone Porter’s gorgeous baby girl, Helena, was abducted when she was just six month’s old. Simone and Matt supported one another through the following years of grief and torment, staying together and praying that one day they would find out what happened to their daughter.

And then a young woman named Grace tracks Simone down and tells her that she has information about Helena. Can Grace be trusted? Before she can decide, Grace disappears without a trace. Simone embarks on a journey to try and find the woman who might be the key to finding Helena but the closer she gets to the truth, the more dangerous her journey becomes…

This book is nothing short of mind-blowing because there is no doubt you will be kept guessing right until the very end. The dark theme of child abduction had me gripped from the first few pages, and at no point does the story disappoint. Love a good twist? Then this is the ULTIMATE thriller for you and you need to buy this when it comes out shortly on the 5th of February!

Your perceptions will change throughout the book, it’s a whirlwind of betrayal, deception and hope. A fantastic plot which makes you question your sense of right and wrong and leaves you wondering what you would do if faced with the same situation.

Simone is such a great character, there is real depth to her and I understood her motives and the way she approached her journey from start to finish. In fact, there’s also amazing depth to every character you are introduced to. They are completely individual, time has been spent on making sure you’re able to visualise them all and get a sense of either liking them, mistrusting them or even just being suspicious of their behaviour at different points – all part of keeping you guessing until the VERY last second.

When I read those last few jaw-dropping (trust me) pages and it all came together, I made such a commotion my partner ran in to the room to ask if I was ok – any book that can give such a reaction cannot be any less than a 5 star!

Rating:
five stars

 

New NetGalley Badge – Top Reviewer!

I was absolutely chuffed today when I logged on to NetGalley and saw that I have now achieved the Top Reviewer badge! Wahey!

Reviews Published

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You get this badge when 3 or more of your reviews have been added to any NetGalley title details page by a publisher. NetGalley is one of the most fantastic things on the planet. You register for free and it allows you to request or be invited to read titles, often advanced reading copies, on your favourite device.

I was also thrilled this month to have Stripes Publishing tweet my review of The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl and a direct quote from it! It was such an awesome read; you can see my review here. 🙂

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