The Furies, Katie Lowe – Book Review

I received The Furies in exchange for an honest review

I raced through this book in a kind of surreal haze, coming up for air at the end and questioning what the hell did I just read?! This is a dark, twisted whirlwind ride through adolescence filled with toxic friendships, a touch of witchcraft and murder. I loved it.

In a dilapidated British seaside town we meet 16-year-old Violet, only survivor of a car accident with her father and sister. With the settlement money, her mother elects to send Violet to elite private girl’s school Elm Hollow Academy on the edge of town. It’s there that Violet meets Robin, Alex and Grace, her first real friends, and is drawn into a decades old secret society; a history of myths and legends, powerful women and dark rituals.

The Furies, Katie Lowe

“A centuries-long pattern of deaths, at the hand of those too young and innocent for any rational authority to suspect.” Continue reading

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The Girl Before, J.P. Delaney – Book Review

This book has got a lot of hype, and I’m late to the party on it. I have a bit of a love/hate with this genre, it gets very overhyped and some of it is excellent, while some of it is complete trash. This one, I’m undecided on. It feels like Gone Girl meets Grand Designs meets 50 Shades, but I gobbled up the bizarre combination anyway. I was gripped, intrigued and irritated by this book.

The Girl Before, J.P. Delaney

This book is about a house. One Folgate street. A very artistic, minimalistic, unique house. And the two women that live there at different times, under the dictation of the bizarre, perfectionist landlord, Edward. There’s Emma, in the past, who initially moves in to the place with her boyfriend, Simon. The relationship is relatively new and it’s safe to say she’s not 100% sure about it, but the house is sure to expose all their secrets.

In the present, the house has a new occupant – Jane. Jane is looking to start afresh following a tragic stillbirth, and the house seems like the perfect place. But it soon becomes clear there’s more to the house than the beautiful aesthetics that meet the eye, as she becomes more involved with the enigmatic owner and delves into the house’s past. Continue reading

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The Colour Of Bee Larkham’s Murder, Sarah J Harris – Book Review

I received The Colour Of Bee Larkham’s Murder in exchange for an honest review

This was an original, touching and gripping read. A brilliant blend of genres and clearly incredibly well researched. It’s about Jasper, a child with learning difficulties, who lives with his widowed father. He keeps his distance from his peers and spends his spare time watching all the comings and goings on his street, so when enigmatic, young and attractive music teacher Bee moves in next door, his interest is piqued. And he’s not alone.

This book has received some hype, but I’ve also seen some pretty mixed reviews. It seems to me, the main character Jasper is getting a pretty hard time; his distinct voice seems to have rubbed some readers up the wrong way. But the kid has autism, synthesia, facial blindness and he’s lost his mother – the one person who understood his condition – far too young. Yes, he’s obsessive, repetitive and he doesn’t see things the way we do – that’s what makes him special, and this book so unique.
“My life is a thrilling kaleidoscope of colours only I can see.”

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The Nowhere Child, Christian White – Book Review

I received The Nowhere Child in exchange for an honest review.

This Australian novel has had a lot of hype around it, having won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award which was previously won by The Dry and The Rosie Project both of which I loved. I’m happy to say I loved this one too! It definitely lived up to the hype; a clever and emotional psychological thriller which takes the reader on a journey from Melbourne to small-town USA and back again in Kim Leamy’s journey to find answers.

The Nowhere Child, Christian White

What if you found out everything you’d believed about your childhood was a lie? That your parents may not actually be your parents, and you were abducted from another country as a toddler. This is what happens to Kim in this compelling debut. Continue reading

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Do You Dream Of Terra-Two, Temi Oh – Book Review

I received Do You Dream Of Terra-Two in exchange for an honest review

I’ve been on a roll of excellent, character-driven debuts lately. This one is an epic saga that takes the reader on a journey through space, but at it’s heart it’s an emotional, complex tale of humanity.

Do You Dream Of Terra-Two, Temi Oh

The Terra Two of the title is a planet which humans believe has a similar terrain to earth; the only planet they’re certain human life can flourish. The Beta is a group of seven young people, primed for space travel from childhood and put through a strict regime of training and tests, ready for the day they set off on the long journey to start life on the new planet. Continue reading

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The Last, Hanna Jameson – Book Review

I received The Last in exchange for an honest review

This was a great, original post-apocalyptic tale which feels more authentic because it’s not sci-fi; this story could be real.

The Last, Hanna Jameson

It’s about Jon, an American  historian attending a conference in Zurich when the end of the world arrives by way of nuclear war. Major cities like New York, London and LA – not to mention the entire country of Scotland – are wiped out in an instant, but somehow the hotel Sixienne where Jon is staying remains. And he and his fellow guests are thrown together in order to survive. Continue reading

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I LOVED with Fewer than 2,000 Ratings on Goodreads

Yes, I’m aware it’s Saturday. I actually prepared my TTT way ahead of time then completely forgot about it on Tuesday, so here we are. I thought this was a really nice one to give some overlooked booked some recognition, so I’m getting involved. It was actually quite a struggle – there’s a LOT of people of Goodreads doing a LOT of rating. Many books I thought were little known still had between 5,000 – 10,000 reviews. But, I’ve done a lot of scrolling and found some books I rated 4 or 5 stars, with less than 2,000 ratings on Goodreads. Covers link to Goodreads, and I’ve included my reviews too.

 

A relatively new release which could explain the low ratings, but I really enjoyed this seasonal thriller set in the bleak Scottish Highlands on New Year’s Eve. My review.

 

This one really doesn’t seem to have got much recognition, but it was a clever, unique take on technology and AI. My review.

 

A tear-jerker of a romance set among the stars. My review.

 

This one seems to have mixed review, but I enjoyed this quirky psychological horror. It’s a weird read, but worth it. My review.

 

I read this one a few years ago now, but its characters stayed with me. A really beautiful, elegantly written romance which transcends many themes and genres. I highly recommend this one. My review.

 

I’m a sucker for a carnival story, and this one is based on a fascinating true story. My review.

 

This blend of crime and post-apocalyptic thriller worked really well. My review.

 

I was lucky to receive this one as part of the blog tour – it’s a really lovely story with such a brilliant main character in the young boy, Ethan. My review.

Another heartwarming story with a sweet young boy as the protagonist. Milo is slowly going blind, but that doesn’t stop him seeing things others don’t. My review.

 

The most recent read on my list, this one is another post-apocalyptic tale with a little crime thrown in. A great narrator and character mix made this book really readable. Review coming soon.

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The Light We Lost, Jill Santopolo – Book Review

It’s rare I read romance these days, but this one had been compared to one of my all-time favourites – David Nicholls’ One Day – so I picked it up for a change of pace as my Valentine’s read.

The Light We Lost, Jill Santopolo

It took me a little while to get into – this book is a romance and it is really romantic – it felt cheesy and a little over-the-top to me at times. But it is written well, and short, pacy chapters combined with authentic characters soon had me racing through the story.

The book opens on September 11th; the day the twin towers were hit and two students in New York, Gabe and Lucy, came together and their lives were changed forever. We then follow them through the years – all told from Lucy’s point of view – as the two grow up both together and apart, starting families, building careers and chasing their dreams. Continue reading

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The Dreamers, Karen Thompson Walker – Book Review

I received The Dreamers in exchange for an honest review.

This was such a unique, surreal book – it seems to have received mixed reviews, but I’m definitely a fan. The topic – a mysterious sleeping sickness which sweeps slowly over a town – was a new one to me, and the writing style had a unique, elegant quality which made it stand out.

In an isolated Californian town, a University student falls asleep in her dorm and doesn’t wake up. Soon, the mysterious sleeping sickness spreads. Doctors travel to the town to analyse what could be happening, the town begins to make national news and a quarantine is put in place as things worsen. But still, there’s no answers. People are just falling asleep and not waking up, with no explanation.

BThe Dreamers, Karen Thompson Walker

This novel deals with incredibly emotional subject manner while somehow not getting too emotionally involved. There’s a feeling of distance – almost dreamlike – in the lyrical prose with which the story is told, but it’s undoubtedly beautiful. The author offers vignettes of interconnected lives which come together to paint a picture of a town in crisis. A complete stranger could save another’s life, or pass on the fatal virus with the most innocuous contact. Continue reading

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The Hunting Party, Lucy Foley – Book Review

I received The Hunting Party in exchange for an honest review

This was a great little seasonal thriller which I read near the end of last year. It has all the elements of a classic whodunnit with tons of atmosphere; a fractured group of old college friends, a remote location in the Scottish Highlands and a cold, bleak winter. Throw in a snowstorm and a murder and you’ve got all the trappings for a great story, and this one didn’t disappoint.

The Hunting Party, Lucy Foley

There’s quite a large cast to keep track of here; nine friends (and a baby) plus the few staff who care for the estate where the group decide to spend New Year’s Eve. The book alternates between different viewpoints, and in the beginning I found it a little difficult to keep track of, but as the author goes deeper into our flawed collection of character’s lives, this wasn’t a problem. Continue reading

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