Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Anybody Out There Abridged Compact Disc by Marian Keyes

Anybody Out There Abridged Compact DiscAnybody Out There Abridged Compact Disc by Marian Keyes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

'I had to go back to New York and try to find him. There was a chance he mightn't be there but I had to give it a go because there was one thing I was certain of: he wasn't here.'

Anna Walsh is officially a wreck. She's covered in bandages and she's lying in her parents' Good Front Room dreaming of leaving Dublin and getting back to New York.

To her friends.

To The Most Fabulous Job in the WorldT.

And most of all, back to her husband, Aiden.

But her family have other ideas (not to mention the usual problems that beset the Walsh sisters). And Aiden, for some reason, seems unwilling to get in touch.

What happened to Anna to send her so far from all that she loves? And what happened to her marriage that her husband won't talk to her?

This was my first Marian Keyes novels that I have read/listened to. I decided that this would be a good audio book to help me on my commute to work. I managed to finish the audio book in a week, which I was pleased about.

This is about Anna, she is a PR girl for a cosmetic company, however has had a bad accident, which has meant she is living back with her mum and cannot work in the beauty industry until she recovers. While she is there, she spends all her time thinking of her husband Aiden and her life in New York with him. During the story, I was convinced because of her accident she couldn't go back until she was well enough, however I didn't once think why didn't she call Aiden or why he wasn't in Ireland with her.

I really got into the story as I drove to and from work and looked forward to the next installment, the narrator was good and the book was funny in parts. Some people I have seen say the audio book misses out a lot from the actual book. I have't read the book and I enjoyed this, it doesn't listen like things have been missed out at all. The story jumps from past to present and you get to read about Anna and Aiden's lives, I enjoyed this as I have not read the other books where the Walsh family are present. This didn't matter though, it read/listened as a stand a lone story.

This audio book takes you though emotions, there are funny elements and sad parts too. This was not your average chick lit book, it is a little deeper than that. I think it would be good to read the book after listening to it and if I get the chance I will.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Everything, EverythingEverything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Madeline Whittier is allergic to the outside world. So allergic, in fact, that she has never left the house in all of her seventeen years. But when Olly moves in next door, and wants to talk to Maddie, tiny holes start to appear in the protective bubble her mother has built around her. Olly writes his IM address on a piece of paper, shows it at her window, and suddenly, a door opens. But does Maddie dare to step outside her comfort zone?

Everything, Everything is about the thrill and heartbreak that happens when we break out of our shell to do crazy, sometimes death-defying things for love.

This is a book that I am unsure how to rate, it has shock value and twists but at the same time I couldn't believe I was actually reading something like this towards the end. I can't say an awful lot as I don't want to spoil it for any of you who want to read it. But when you do read it, you will understand what I mean.

I really enjoyed the way the book was presented, through emails, letters, medical records and pictures. This was quite a quick read, I managed to read it in two sittings. (It could have been one but I had things I needed to do.) It is gripping, however there was a time in the middle that I was unsure exactly where the book was going.

Maddy has a rare condition called SCID, this is where I begin to have a little of a problem with he story. I have never heard of this before and to be honest I still don't no much about the condition after reading the book. We don't learn a lot about it at all through the book and I would have liked to have been educated on the condition a little as it is so rare. Maddy is not allowed to go outside in the world and everything she has is white, I am not quite sure why, but everything in her room is white and what she should eat. Saying that, she eats what she likes most of the time and nothing seems to happen to her. She also goes through a stage of buying orange t-shirts. Again, I am not sure why the white makes up such an important part of her life.

One day she notices a family, who move in next door. She watches them and makes up stories about them, she can comment on their daily routine. She finds it difficult when the children notice her and come round to ask her out. Obviously she is not allowed and her mother (a doctor) turns them away. Olly the boy who moved in becomes curious of Maddy, he sees her but never outside her room. One day he scribes on his window his email address and they begin to email each other.

Carla is Maddy's nurse and has been ever since she was little, she is one of the only people she gets to spend time with, except her mother and the occasional visit from her tutor. Maddy is fond of Carla and talks to her about everything, Carla believes Maddy should live her life as much as she can. She picks up on the change in Maddy since Olly has arrived and allows him to meet her, from a distance but keeps it just between herself and Maddy.

I really enjoyed reading about Maddy and Carla, I also felt I knew them better than Maddy's mother. She is not developed that much in the story and she comes across as a little secretive and unknown.

The pace of the story really picks up towards the end and to be honest I preferred the second half of the book. This is the part I can say very little about as not to spoil it for you. This is a book that encourages you to view the world differently and question everything you know.

If you enjoy YA or are looking for a book that will surprise and shock you, this is a must read.

Due to the fact I did have a few issues with this book, I have rated it as 4*.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Weekly Wrap up 4/10/15

I cannot believe we are in October all ready! Where is the year going??? Unfortunately I haven't read anything really this week, it is so annoying as there are some fab books that I want to start but haven't really had time for yet.

Books I have received this week:

Library of lost souls - Ramson Riggs

Books I have read this week:

Thanks for stopping by at The Book Corner, I loved hearing what you have got this week so please leave a comment to let me know

Friday, 2 October 2015

Savage Lane by Jason Starr

Savage LaneSavage Lane by Jason Starr
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Savage Lane is Jason Starr's most accomplished novel yet, a searing, tense domestic thriller with hidden motives and dark secrets, where nothing is as it seems, and an honest, raw meditation on a declining marriage and obsessive love. When recently divorced Karen moves with her two kids into a nice suburb of New York she finds peace and joy for the first time in years. But unbeknown to Karen, her neighbour Mark, unhappy in his own marriage, has been living a fantasy life with her in the centre - a fantasy life that becomes a full-blown obsession.

Not having read anything by this author before I was not sure what to expect; a nicely written psychological drama which centres around residents of Savage Lane a typical suburban street of middle class people living with secrets and lies.

There is no central character as such as these residents lives do seem to intertwine we therefore get multiple perspectives from several characters which help to build momentum. We are introduced to Karen Daily a divorcee and her two children and her neighbours Mark and Deb Berman. Mark seems to develop an obsession with Karen when his own marriage hits a bad patch which leads friends and neighbours to speculate whether they are having an affair or not. For her part, Karen does not reciprocate the feelings and Starr successfully creates a rather creepy character in Mark who spends most of his time fantasising about her. Certainly his wife Debs seems to think he is having an affair with Karen although she is not so innocent herself having her own affair with an 18 year old high school drop out Owen Harrison who works at the local golf club.

Owen is also a disturbed character obsessing about Debs and eventually becoming unpredictable, and along with other characters in this novel their behaviour spirals out of control as their paths collide.

I don't want to spoil this so will not say more on the plot line - this is a well written novel, not the greatest psychological thriller I have ever read but a good paced enjoyable story that kept me interested and eager to read on to the end. Easily a 3 star novel for me and I would be happy to read another Jason Starr book as a result.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

I Need a Hero by Emma Bennet

I Need a HeroI Need a Hero by Emma Bennet
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A lovely easy romantic read for anyone who's ever searched for the perfect man (and failed to find him!)

“If you read one romance novel this summer, choose “I Need a Hero,” it’s witty, fun, and completely addictive.” Ann Abrams

Romance writer Bronte Huntington has vowed she will never settle for anything less than ‘the one.’ When pleasant red-haired dentist Ryan moves in next door he just doesn't fit the bill. They have plenty in common but Bronte wants nothing more than friendship with him.

Then it looks like Bronte’s dreams have finally come true when dashing Sebastian Fairfax rescues her on his horse after she has an accident in the countryside around her idyllic little cottage. Sebastian is tall, dark, handsome, and heir to a massive country estate!

I have read a couple of Emma Bennets novels so far and I love the way she writes, very fluid and romantic. I knew from the beginning of this book there was going to be romance and to be honest I knew who with. That didn't matter though, I still enjoyed every minute of it.

Bronte lives at BlackBerry Cottage with her cat Mr Darcy. The cottage next door has been empty for some time. One night she notices the lights are on, Ryan is a dentist and the nephew of the woman who owns the cottage. Bronte doesn't find Ryan attractive, I mean he is a dentist, whenever was that attractive? But she does value his friendship and grows to enjoy having him next door.

Bronte writes about fairy tales, meeting a hero and living happily ever after. She wants that and hopes she will find her happy ever after. One day Bronte gets herself in trouble on some rocks and a dashing man comes to her rescue on a horse. Sebastian is perfect! Everything Bronte has ever wanted AND he is a lord of the manor in the village. Bronte cannot believe her luck!

This is such a sweet story, I love Ryan, he is loving, caring and a really good friend to Bronte. Camille, who is Bronte's best friend isn't in the book too much and I felt I didn't really get to know her until right at the very end. I think it would have been nice to know her better earlier on. For most of the book you just want to shake some sense into Bronte, her hero is right under her nose but she is just too stupid to see. Aiming for her ideal, when really they may not be right. I hated Sebastian, my hatred seemed to get stronger the further through the book I went and to be honest his parents aren't any better!

This story I am sure would make you think if you were single and maybe question what your interpretation is of a hero. Whether you may have one right under your nose but are looking else where.

I did enjoy this story and I would recommend it. I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, 28 September 2015

Beautiful Day by Elin Hilderbrand

Beautiful DayBeautiful Day by Elin Hilderbrand
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

The Carmichaels and Grahams have gathered on Nantucket for a wedding. Plans are being made according to the wishes of the bride's late mother, who left behind The Notebook: specific instructions for every detail of her youngest daughter's future nuptials. Everything should be falling into place for the beautiful event - but in reality, things are far from perfect.

While the couple-to-be are quite happy, their loved ones find their own lives crumbling. In the days leading up to the wedding, love will be questioned, scandals will arise, and hearts will be broken . . .

In BEAUTIFUL DAY Elin Hilderbrand takes readers on a journey into the heart of marriage, what it means to be faithful, and how we choose to honour our commitments.

Well what can I say? I never like giving a bad review and generally can find something about a book that I liked sadly Beautiful Day is the exception - I can't think of a single nice thing to say about this book. It was so boring and depressing in parts that I didn't even finish reading it which for me is unheard of.

Most authors manage to create a work of fiction that transcends all cultures and nationalities so that anyone can identify with it no matter where they are in the world. Not so this author - it was SO American that it seemed to want to exclude all non Americans. References that made little or no sense (unless I am assuming you are American) which was so frustrating. I found the whole subject matter very miserable and morbid, reminding the reader constantly that the daughters' dying mothers' wishes for the perfect wedding for her daughter will be one occasion that she will not live to see. There were attempts at humour but frankly the whole thing left me feeling depressed. This was one of 4 novels I took on holiday with me to review and it was the last one I read; thank goodness otherwise I may never have got round to reading anything else on holiday!

I can't tell you how it ended as I didn't bother reading to the end, I could not even bring myself to skim read it either. I feel bad about writing such a stinging review but feel that there was nothing redeeming about the book at all. I'm afraid that it only merits a 1 from me - the wedding still hadn't taken place by page 285 out of an astonishing 401 pages - this could easily have been cut down. Laboriously slow paced, it was schmaltzy, overindulgent and depressing - sorry.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Weekly Wrap Up - 27/9/15

This is my first weekly wrap up post for a couple of weeks, I have been super busy, I had a wedding last weekend and working all week has kept me busy. Luckily I have managed to schedule a few reviews so look out for them.

Books I have received this week:

Shopaholic to the Rescue - Sophie Kinsella

Colour me mindful - the next three in the series.

Books I have read this week:

Getting rid of Mathew - Jane Fallon - Audio book
Currently reading Shopaholic to the Rescue

Thanks for stopping by at The Book Corner, I loved hearing what you have got this week so please leave a comment to let me know