Dear Amy, Helen Callaghan – Book Review

I received Dear Amy in exchange for an honest review

I received this ARC a couple of months ago, and I have to admit I’d been dragging my heels and prioritising other novels ahead of this due to the distinctly average rating it has received so far on Goodreads. But, I finally got around to reading and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. I raced through this book; it’s a fun, fast-paced psychological thriller packed with unexpected twists that had me glued to the pages.

dearamy

The protagonist is Margot, a schoolteacher who also doubles as ‘Amy’, an agony aunt for the local newspaper. Aside from an impending divorce, her life is pretty humdrum until she starts receiving some mysterious letters from Bethan Avery, a girl who was abducted over a decade before. Continue reading

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Filed under Book Reviews, Crime, Thriller

Stacking The Shelves (August 20th)

stackshelves

The rules of Stacking The Shelves

  • Participants are to create their own Stacking the Shelves post and link back to Tynga’s Reviews so more people can join the fun!
  • Posts can be laid out any way you want.
  • The host site posts updates on a Saturday but bloggers taking part can post any day they choose.
  • Visit Tynga’s Reviews on a Saturday and add your link.
  • Visit other participants sites to find out what they have added!

Here’s mine for this week! (Click the covers to go to Goodreads).
Continue reading

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Smoke, Dan Vyleta – Book Review

I received Smoke in exchange for an honest review

I have to give this debut author kudos for his imagination. Smoke has a fascinating premise and a brilliant setting. Combining fantasy and historical fiction, Vyleta’s tale is set in an alternative English past, which feels distinctly Victorian, in a world where people’s sins cause them to emit a type of smoke. Dependent on the thought or deed the smoke will vary in colour and consistency, but it settles in a soot which will mark that person’s clothing, leaving a stain of their sin for all to see.

Smoke

The notion of soot and smoke is quickly developed into a tool which divides the rich and poor. The rich find ways – either through strict discipline or more underhand means – to not smoke in the public, whilst the poor are constantly marred by soot and smoke, leaving a distinct mark of their sins and passions on their clothes. Continue reading

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Stacking The Shelves (August 13th)

stackshelves

The rules of Stacking The Shelves

  • Participants are to create their own Stacking the Shelves post and link back to Tynga’s Reviews so more people can join the fun!
  • Posts can be laid out any way you want.
  • The host site posts updates on a Saturday but bloggers taking part can post any day they choose.
  • Visit Tynga’s Reviews on a Saturday and add your link.
  • Visit other participants sites to find out what they have added!

Here’s mine for this week! (Click the covers to go to Goodreads).
Continue reading

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The Muse, Jessie Burton – Book Review

I received The Muse in exchange for an honest review

It’s inevitable that Jessie Burton’s new novel, The Muse, will be compared wth her smash-hit debut, The Miniaturist. And I seem to be in the minority in thinking that this novel is better than her first. It’s certainly cemented Jessie Burton as my my current favourite historical fiction writer. The Muse effortlessly brings to life other eras, cultures and life-like, three-dimensional characters, all wrapped in up luscious descriptions and a gripping plot which had me completely hooked. Not to mention, another stunner of a cover too.

The Muse

We are first introduced to Trinidadian immigrant Odelle, who has moved to London in 1967 to pursue the dream of a better life. She gets off to a difficult start, but through plucky perseverance and a little help from the enigmatic Marjorie Quick, she secures a role as a typist at an art institution, where she encounters a famous, long-lost painting Rufina and the Lion by Spanish painter Isaac Rubles who died young in violent circumstances. But its history is murky, and as Odelle settles in her role preparing for a major exhibition around the painting, she becomes determined to uncover the truth about its origins.

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Filed under Book Reviews, Drama, Historical

Author Interview: Tiffany McDaniel

Recently Tiffany McDaniel reached out to me and offered me a review copy of her new novel The Summer That Melted Everything which is released today in the US. This unique, thought-provoking novel has to be a stand-out for me of 2016 so far and I’m so pleased I got the opportunity to read it and interview the author! You can take a look at my review here and view the book on Amazon here. Continue reading

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The Summer That Melted Everything, Tiffany McDaniel – Book Review

I received The Summer That Melted Everything in exchange for an honest review

Check back here tomorrow for an interview with the author to coincide with the US release!

Dear Mr. Devil, Sir Satan, Lord Lucifer, and all other crosses you bear,

I cordially invited you to Breathed, Ohio. Land of hills and hay bales, of sinners and forgivers.

May you come in peace.

With great faith,

Autopsy Bliss

Despite the intriguing, unusual premise I don’t know if I’d have picked this novel of my own accord, but the author approached me directly and I’m so glad I took a chance on this. It’s definitely one of the most unique, thought-provoking novels released this year. Continue reading

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The Last One, Alexandra Oliva – Book Review

I received The Last One in exchange for an honest review

I’ve had my eye on this book for months; the plot alone sounds so intriguing, so different and such an amalgamation of things I love, I had to give it a try.
The Last One

Based around a reality TV show called ‘Into The Woods’, the novel follows ‘Zoo’ (a nickname given to the main character by the producers due to the fact that she works with animals) and eleven other contestants as they journey across woods and countryside. The contestant have to complete challenges and overcome obstacles, living off the land, building shelters and skinning animals in order to eat. But there’s a twist to this survival game, and it takes on a dark reality when, unbeknownst to the contestants, a real-life pandemic breaks out wiping out a large amount of the population and leaving every citizen fighting for survival. It’s a clever, original concepts which acts as a spring-board, allowing the author to explore both the staged drama of reality TV shows and the fear-inducing landscape of a post-pandemic world. Continue reading

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Filed under Book Reviews, Drama, Dystopia, Thriller

Stacking The Shelves (July 23rd)

stackshelves

The rules of Stacking The Shelves

  • Participants are to create their own Stacking the Shelves post and link back to Tynga’s Reviews so more people can join the fun!
  • Posts can be laid out any way you want.
  • The host site posts updates on a Saturday but bloggers taking part can post any day they choose.
  • Visit Tynga’s Reviews on a Saturday and add your link.
  • Visit other participants sites to find out what they have added!

A nice little haul of Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Dystopian this week which is a little bit random as they’re not genres I usually read a lot of. But, I am trying to read more of them and diversify my reading tastes, so it’s all good!
Continue reading

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Teaser Tuesday (June 12th)

teaser-tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme, hosted by MizB of Books And A Beat. Anyone can play along, just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

I haven’t taken part in this for a while, but I thought I’d get involved again today. I’m teasing from an ARC of The Last One by Alexandra Oliva which, according to Netgalley is “the thriller that’s gripping the nation”. And, so far, it’s pretty good! It’s released today, and you can click on the cover to read more about this title on Goodreads.

 

 

lastone

The sudden absence of sound strikes Cheerleader Boy like a blow.

“Please,” he says, and the first of his tears fall.

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