Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Season to Taste or How to Eat Your Husband - Natalie Young

Season to Taste or How to Eat Your HusbandSeason to Taste or How to Eat Your Husband by Natalie Young
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

'Always let the meat rest under foil for at least ten minutes before carving...

Meet Lizzie Prain. Ordinary housewife. Fifty-something. Lives in a cottage in the woods, with her dog Rita. Likes cooking, avoids the neighbours. Runs a little business making cakes.

No one has seen Lizzie's husband, Jacob, for a few days. That's because last Monday, on impulse, Lizzie caved in the back of his head with a spade. And if she's going to embark on the new life she feels she deserves after thirty years in Jacob's shadow, she needs to dispose of his body. Her method appeals to all her practical instincts, though it's not for the faint-hearted. Will Lizzie have the strength to follow it through?

Dark, funny and achingly human, Season to Taste is a deliciously subversive treat. In the shape of Lizzie Prain, Natalie Young has created one of the most remarkable heroines in recent fiction.'



I was sent this book in exchange for a honest review.

Once I had read the blurb I thought the book sounded really different and intriguing, I was a little apprehensive of starting it as I had heard it was gruesome, something that I don't really like in books. However I had also heard a lot of people talking about this book so thought I would give it a go.

This is about Lizzie, the opening few pages we realise that she had murdered her husband, Jacob. She hit him over the head with a garden spade and now she needs to dispose of the evidence. She did not have a happy marriage to Jacob and now that he has gone she does not intend on paying for his departure. She intends to get the deed over with and begin a new life in Scotland.

I found the book way too gruesome for me, I did not enjoy reading about Lizzie chopping him up, freezing him and then finding ways to cook him. I understand that the book is meant to have dark humour, it was dark - humorous? Not for me.

The story is told with very little emotion and I feel that I could never really get to know any of the characters. I found it written quite bluntly, there is no remorse from Lizzie she is truly focused on how she is going to get to Scotland and when. I also didn't find it a particularly quick read. The recipes do break the text up, however I didn't enjoy reading the recipes, these were also written in scrawly hand writing which at times became difficult to read.

Overall I did not enjoy this book at all, which is unfortunate as there was quite a lot of hype about it, it just wasn't for me. If you enjoy dark humour books and are not squeamish then you will probably enjoy this read. It just wasn't for me.

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

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

A kiss in the Dark - Cat Clarke

A Kiss in the DarkA Kiss in the Dark by Cat Clarke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars



'When Alex meets Kate the attraction is instant.

Alex is funny, good-looking, and a little shy – everything that Kate wants in a boyfriend.


Alex can’t help falling for Kate, who is pretty, charming and maybe just a little naive…


But one of them is hiding a secret, and as their love blossoms, it threatens to ruin not just their relationship, but their lives.'





I found out about this book through Twitter, I had never read any books by Cat Clarke before and other than the fact she writes YA books I knew nothing about this.

From looking at the front cover and reading the blurb I had got a completely different impression of this book and it was not what I expected! A classic - don't judge a book by it's cover!

I read the blurb and I must say it tells you very little and left me feeling intrigued. Due to the vague blurb (and now I know why) I am going to be finding it very difficult to review this book without giving the plot away.

This is a love story, about Alex and Kate, not in the conventional way, one that goes wrong and the struggle of teenagers dealing with this as a 'first love' The book takes you through a range of emotions, love, hate, betrayal and revenge.

When reading the book, you find out about what one of them is hiding right from the off set and from that moment on you know it is not going to be ending well for the two characters.

I really liked Alex in the story, I felt that the character was developed very well and emotions were raw in it, I also took a shine to Jamie as I thought he was especially caring towards Alex and tried to help the best way he felt he could. As the story goes on Alex's problem gets worse and the hole gets bigger. Alex believes that the relationship with Kate can work and they can both be happy, they are after all soul mates...

Alex and Kate gradually fall in love, but this makes it even worse when the truth is going to be coming out.

The first part of the book is written from the preservative of Alex, and I enjoyed reading this part, more than the second part of the book, which is written from Kate's POV, I found this a little harder to connect with, I am not quite sure why. I began to have sympathy for Kate but not in the beginning. Her friends played an important part in my sympathy for her and it reminded me how cruel kids can be. By splitting the book in two and reading from both main characters perspective's it allows the reader to get a whole picture of the the story.

A kiss in the dark was a really interesting book, like nothing I had read before. Current and challenging issues are brought to light in this book and I feel Clarke addressed them well. I feel that this is a good book for YA audience and I would recommend others to read this.

Monday, 28 April 2014

The Strangler's Honeymoon - Hakan Nesser

The Strangler's HoneymoonThe Strangler's Honeymoon by HÃ¥kan Nesser
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

'Desperately lonely, sixteen-year-old Monica Kammerle has little idea of what she is getting herself into when she begins an affair with her mother’s latest partner; the sophisticated Benjamin Kerran . . . Months later, when a woman’s strangled body is found decomposing in her flat, the Maardam police must discover who has committed this terrible crime. It isn’t long before they realise the perpetrator may have killed before – and is likely to do so again. Meanwhile former Chief Inspector Van Veeteren finds himself drawn into the mystery when a priest, who has learned dreadful secrets, appeals to him for help. But when the priest falls beneath the wheels of a train and the police find more dead ends than leads, it seems Van Veeteren will have to come up with a new approach to unearth this dark serial killer, before he chooses his next victim . . '


This novel was originally written in Swedish and translated into English by Laurie Thompson and for me it lost a lot of fluidity in the process. The humour didn't translate well and unnecessary breaks in sentences made it a challenging read overall. I constantly had to think what the writer meant as the translation in some parts was not clear which did impact on my enjoyment of the book.

I kept reading as there was such a good degree of suspense and intrigue that I wanted to find out more about this murderer and who it was. I believe the author could have taken far less pages to get to the point but believe this was intentional in order to slowly build up suspense and to convey the long process of solving crimes of this nature.

The characters were all believable and necessary to the plot; once I got to grips with the translation I even enjoyed the humour that Nesser managed to bring through the detectives on the case and the retired Van Veeteren. I had not read anything by this author before and although I learnt that this was one of a series of books involving Van Veetern it was not necessary to have read any of his other novels in order to enjoy or understand this one.

The opening starts with a murder in Greece then switches back to Sweden in the small town of Maardam where a lonely and damaged 16 year old girl begins a relationship with her mother's lover. From here were are introduced to other characters as the novel builds and the storyline develops.

The character of Van Veeteren the retired police chief is superb, he has now bought an antique bookshop and after a visit from a priest troubled by a confession he finds himself unable to resist the temptation of becoming involved in the mystery that unfolds. Nesser seems to have a unique ability to be able to connect the reader with his characters in such a gentle way that it seems the characters are familiar from the start. Van Veeteran works on a combination of intuition and experience, he is highly respected by his former colleagues and as they try to solve the crime the reader is doing so at the same pace with all the information they have and all the clues (in this case not many) so that when the novel is concluded the reader gets a real sense of achievement as well as having had a good read.

This had a nice twist to the story that wasn't predictable and made the ending seem justifiable and allowed one character to turn the tables on the killer.

I would have given this novel a 5 star rating had it not been for the 'lost in translation' issues so I have given this a 4.5 star rating, having said this I would possibly attempt another Nesser novel if only to revisit the wonderful Van Veetern and his colleagues - also to find out if he was able to 'retire' or not!

I would like to thank the publisher for sending me this copy in exchange for a honest review.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Things we never say - Sheila O'Flanagan

Things We Never SayThings We Never Say by Sheila O'Flanagan
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

'Abbey Andersen's life in San Francisco is in serious danger of hitting a rut. She's pretty sure it doesn't get worse than being dumped by post-it note, and her current job is hardly the best outlet for her creative talents. Meanwhile in Ireland Fred Fitzpatrick is finding it impossible to keep his grown-up children and their families on side, and they're a demanding lot at the best of times. But when Fred asks solicitor Ryan Gilligan to contact Abbey about a long-buried family secret, things start to change dramatically. And not everyone affected is happy about it..'

I have never read any books by Sheila O'Flanagan, I have a few on my shelf but I just haven't got round to them. When I was sent this by the publisher I thought Yes! Finally I can start on her books. Unfortunately I don't think this was a good one to start with as I didn't finish it.

I do not like not finishing books and I always try my hardest with them, however this book just wasn't for me.

Abbey lives in San Francisco and finds out that her past has not been what she thought it was, because of this she gets on a plane and head over to Ireland in search of her roots. The family she thought she knew are not pleased with her return and things don't run smoothly.

I found the book a little confusing, there were many characters to keep up with, maybe it was the way I read the book for my lack of enjoyment with it. I was not in a position to sit and read a huge amount of it in one sitting and perhaps this added to my confusion with the characters. It took me a long time to remember the relationships between them and in the beginning I had to go back to work out who was who.

I found that it was a very slow paced book and not a lot happened which made me lose interest pretty quick, I think again, had I had the opportunity to have read it in a couple of sitting perhaps I would have connected with the characters better and want to know what happened to them. Unfortunately the part I read nothing happened, there were no twists and nothing shocking that Abbey found.

I do not like writing reviews on books that I have not enjoyed or not finished as I feel that if I haven't finished I cannot give a true account on the book. This has just been my opinion, my honest opinion of the book and that is that I didn't enjoy or finish it. Saying that Sheila O'Flanagan is a very popular author who is very successful, a book will never be to everyone's tastes and I am just sorry that this has been my first experience of her books.

I am sure that if you regularly read and enjoy her books this will be one for you. Unfortunately it just wasn't for me.

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

End of event Meme - Readathon


So I cannot believe the 24 hours are up! Wow! Thanks for a great readathon! 

 End of Event Meme:

  1. Which hour was most daunting for you?
I would say hour 14, I was tired and falling asleep but really wanted to finish the book!

2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?

I would say ketchup clouds was a really quick read! 

3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?

No

4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?

Cheerleaders cheering me on, came at just the right time! 

5. How many books did you read?

2 1/2

6. What were the names of the books you read?

Life Drawing and Ketchup Cloud - finished Smart too

7. Which book did you enjoy most?

Once I got into it, life drawing

8. Which did you enjoy least?

Smart 

9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?

I wasn't one 

10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?

I would love too! Think it's been great!! 

Readathon - half way point!!!



Mid-Event Survey
1. What are you reading right now?
Ketchup clouds by Annabel Pitcher
2. How many books have you read so far?
1
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?
This one, although if I do finish this I intend to start white trash beautiful which I am looking forward too! 
4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day?
Nope, I have been lucky, staying at the inlaws and my husband has been at football all day
5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?
Mother in law chats - don't see her too often so had a lot to catch up with! And dinner of course!!! 
6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?
So many people have joined in and everyone seems to be on task! 
7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
As this is my first, I don't think I can comment other than it's brill!! 

8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year?
I think I would like to have a go at hosing a mini challenge, they seem a lot of fun! 
9. Are you getting tired yet?
Yes, my eyes are stinging a bit 

10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered?
If you read a heavy book make sure the next is a lighter read! 

Saturday, 26 April 2014

24 hour Read - a - thon

This is the first year I am participating in the 24 hour read - a - thon and I am super excited about it! I found out about it through Vicky on Twitter and I am so glad I did! I have a huge TBR pile and I am hoping to be able to get through some of the books on the list. Whether I am going to be able to stay up for the whole 24 hours is another matter but I will give it a go! 

So here in the U.K the start time for the read-a-thon is 1pm 

These are the tips for readers taken from 24hourreadathon.com which are really going to help me. 

1. Pick shortish books. When you’re reading for such a long time, you might get really sick of the same book for hours on end. 2007 Readers recommended that you start with a short book so that you have a feeling of accomplishment when you finish it early in the read-a-thon.

2. Choose something light (children’s books, humorous books, graphic novels, books you already know well) and save those for the end when you’re tired and sick of reading.

3. Try not to pick really dense nonfiction unless you have the most enormous attention span ever.

4. If you’re going to use this time to catch up on other challenges, try to have a big variety available. You don’t know what will hold your attention, so don’t assign yourself specific books without alternates.

5. Give yourself permission to put a book aside and try something else if it’s not holding your attention.

6. Careful with caffeine! If you drink more coffee than you’re used to, you’ll be jittery at first and then crash later. Drinking something lightly caffeinated (green tea?) throughout the day seems to work better.

7. Don’t sit in the same spot/position all day! This could make your back hurt. Instead, move to different places in the house every hour or two.

8. In general, don’t be a masochist. This is supposed to be fun! And if anything about the challenge makes you start picturing us with little devil horns and wanting to strangle us, please stop and change it so that it works for you. Or, you know, go ahead and scream TO HELL WITH THIS CHALLENGE and go to sleep. We don’t want sleep deprivation making you hate your friendly read-a-thon organizers.

If you have any suggestions of the books I should be reading for the readathon leave me a comment below and I will try to source it if I don't already have it! I would love to know if you have participated before and how it went. 


Please help cheer me and other readers on by using #readathon


Friday, 25 April 2014

The Geography of You and Me - Jennifer E Smith


The Geography of You and MeThe Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


'For fans of John Green, Stephanie Perkins and Sarah Ockler, THE GEOGRAPHY OF YOU AND ME is a story for anyone who's ever longed to meet someone special, for anyone who's searched for home and found it where they least expected it.

Owen lives in the basement. Lucy lives on the 24th floor. But when the power goes out in the midst of a New York heatwave, they find themselves together for the first time: stuck in a lift between the 10th and 11th floors. As they await help, they start talking...

The brief time they spend together leaves a mark. And as their lives take them to Edinburgh and San Francisco, to Prague and to Portland they can't shake the memory of the time they shared. Postcards cross the globe when they themselves can't, as Owen and Lucy experience the joy - and pain - of first love.


And as they make their separate journeys in search of home, they discover that sometimes it is a person rather than a place that anchors you most in the world.'



Although I have another book by Jennifer E Smith sitting on my bookshelf I have not yet read it. So this was my first encounter with this author. There has been a lot of hype surrounding this book on Twitter and Booktube and I was expecting great.

The story idea is a good one, Lucy and Owen both live in New York in the same apartment block, one day the city loses power and they both happen to get stuck in a lift together. They begin to talk to help pass the time until someone comes to rescue them. After this night they have both left lasting impressions on each other. As their lives take them down different paths, they find themselves in opposite directions of the globe.

On visiting a new place they send each other postcards keeping in touch, a small joke between them that was started after that fateful night.

We follow Owen and Lucy as they move from city to city - something that I particularly enjoyed reading about as a keen traveler myself this appealed to me. The description of the cities was excellent and the book flowed well.

I would say that at times I thought the book was moving a little slowly and a chunk in the middle felt like not a lot happened. I found that the story picked up again around part 3 and really enjoyed the book from this point.

The story is told from both Lucy and Owen's point of view and we learn bits about their family from their own perspective. I particularly enjoyed reading Lucy and knowing more about her life. I felt sorry for her at times that she was always left at home while her parents went off traveling without her. I also feel that the relationship Lucy had with her mum was very real, and a mistake like not asking a question can dramatically change things. If only Lucy had asked to be taken away maybe she would have been.

I didn't feel like I connected as well with Owen and his family, there were times when I really enjoyed reading about him, especially with his dad but I found him a bit depressing, a lot of the time he would be down about his mum and didn't seem to ever have anything to look forward to, this was until I would say getting into part 3 of the book and this is where I began to enjoy his character more.

The story is a sweet one, but not a massive page turner for me. This gives you hope and faith that long distance relationships can work if you want them to.

Overall I did enjoy the book, it was not taxing and quite a light read. I did not find that it gripped me but I loved to read about places in the world to visit and I liked the idea of how a long distance relationship like this could work.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending me this copy in exchange for a honest review.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Reading Habits Tag

I have been tagged in the Reading Habits Tag by the wonderful Megan over at Reading in the Sunshine I love book tags, you find out wonderful things about fellow bloggers so thanks so much for tagging me! Hope you enjoy my tag!

Lets get started!

1. Do you have a certain place at home for reading?

I tend to read a lot of places at home, my favourite places are the garden in the sunshine and in bed! There is nothing better than chilling with a lovely cold drink outside in the summer or tucked up with a cup of tea in bed. I love those nights when I can go to be early and get a few hours reading done!


2. Bookmark or random piece of paper?

Hmm this is a tricky one!  I like to use bookmarks, however depending on where I am reading and what I am reading I sometimes just grab the nearest thing to me, which can be a scrap of paper! I do have a wonderful new bookmark though that I am trying to use for all books at the moment.


3. Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop after a chapter or certain number of pages?

O.K, I like to finish at the end of chapters really, it makes it easier for me to slip back into the story when I get the time to start reading again. However some books I have been reading lately have really long chapters and it is not always possible for me to get to the end of one. - When I am in bed and I cannot keep my eyes open! So I have to try and find a paragraph to stop at instead!


4. Do you eat or drink while reading?


I like to drink, not all the time while I am reading but I love a cup of tea or coffee with my book. I don't like to eat though, this is mainly because I don't want to ruin the book, get chocolate on the pages or anything.


5. Do you watch tv or listen to music while reading?

No, I get too distracted! Unless the hubby is watching the football, that's O.K as I have zero interest in that and can just zone out! If others are watching T.V then I have to go into another room just so I can get immersed into the story.


6. One book at a time or several at once?

Normally I only like to read one book at a time, to allow myself to really get to know the story well and the characters, however at the moment I have a couple on the go, the reason? There are so many good books out there at the moment that I want to get through, also one of the books I am reading has really tiny writing and I am finding it a bit of a struggle, so to break it up I started another...


7. Reading at home or everywhere?

Normally I only read at home, if I have a long journey on a train/plane then I will take my book to read. I cannot read in the car though, makes me feel really ill so that sucks as I regularly go on long car journeys. I also enjoy reading at the in-laws house, they are really good and I have to do very little when I am there so I can just sit and enjoy a book for the whole weekend.


8. Reading out loud or silently in your head?

Unless I am teaching at school I always read in my head, I can read a lot faster when it is in my head. The only other exception is if I am sharing a book with my hubby - something about travel normally, then we will read this together.


9. Do you ever read ahead or skip pages?

Noooooooo, never skip pages or read ahead. I do sometimes check to see when the chapter is going to be ending - for sleeping purposes ha ha! I don't want to spoil anything for myself though so would never read ahead.


10. Breaking the spine or keeping it like new?

I HATE breaking the spine, I like my books to look new and if I lend a book out and it comes back with the spine bent I am not happy!


11. Do you write in your books?

No and I would never! A book needs to be respected any by defacing it in any way is not respecting it! I sometimes make notes for review purposes but on a separate piece of paper that I can slip in and then refer to when writing the review. 

Once again I would like to thank Megan for tagging me in this and so my tags go to: 

@janetemson

@bookhi_blog

@chapteronepgone

@erinschoicee

I think this tag has been around for a long time and if you have already done the tag then please pass to someone else, however if you are reading this blog and you have not been tagged and would like to be then please consider yourself tagged :D

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Birthday Book Haul!

It was my birthday on Monday so I know I have left this a little while before posting but I have been waiting to make sure no other books arrive before I posted! 

This has been a fab weekend and birthday for books and I have a HUGE amount to show you!! I will begin by showing you the post I have been lucky enough to receive from publishers this week. 


So this week/weekend I have received:
  • Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. 
I am super excited about this, I have never read any books by Rainbow Rowell before but have heard such a lot of good things about her work, especially this one. I am hoping to get round to this one very shortly. 

  • One Crow Alone by SD Crockett
This is one of those books you get sent and have no idea what its about and whether its going to be a book for you, so I am excited to find out what this is about. 

  • Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge
This is another one of those books you know nothing about, this however is like nothing I would have ever picked up in the shop so I am excited about this to discover a new author to me and probably a new genre. This one sounds a bit spooky which is going to be something completely different on my bookshelf! So I am looking forward to this!

  • The Finisher - David Baldacci
Hmmm, this one I am not too sure about. I have never read anything by Baldacci before and I am not sure if its my type of books. 

  • Amy and Matthew by Cammie McGovern
This is a book that I requested, I have heard a lot about this book and its all good! I can't wait to get round to reading  it for myself and find out. 

  • Gloss Summer Scandal by Marilyn Kaye
This book was another that I was not expecting, I have read that it is part of a series, I have not read the first one, at some point I will get a copy of the first before reading this. It does sound like fun though. 

  • Landline by Rainbow Rowell
This is another book I requested and I am super excited to read this! Again a lot of people talk about Rainbow Rowell and how good her books are - I feel like I have been in the dark ages as I haven't read any! I am hoping to change this very quickly!

  • Last Bus to Coffeeville by J Paul Henderson
This is one of those books you think, intriguing and when I was offered this to review I jumped at the chance as it sounds so different to anything I have read before. 

Right that's it from lovely publishers this week - thank you so much! On to the birthday books argh!!! There are just too many books to fit into the day!!! I feel really pleased though, I have managed to read two books I got for my birthday already and the reviews for these are scheduled to be coming in the next week or so. 




This was the first book I got for my birthday, Geek Girl, I had heard so many good things about this on Twitter so I was really pleased. This is one of the books that I have actually already read and scheduled my review for next week so check back soon for the review of this! 
 


This book Geek Girl 2, I bought after I had finished Geek Girl as I wanted to continue with the series. I don't know an awful lot about this only that Harriet is back! It will not take me very long to read this book  so I am guessing a review for this one will be up shortly. 









I have heard so many things about this book and I am super excited about it! I read How to Love before and loved that book, I am thinking this is along the same lines as that and can not wait to get stuck in!







This sounds an amazing book and brilliant to help introduce me to YA - as you can see I have gone through a huge YA mood and a lot of the books I have got for my birthday are YA! I am so looking forward to reading this and the cover is amazing!!







This sounds like another amazing book! I haven't heard anything about this anyway online so I feel I will be going into this a little dark, which I am actually looking forward too as I wont have any other opinions on it. It is about a girl who knows the truth about a death but no one will believe her as they think it is a drug deal gone wrong. 







This book I found in The Works and I thought I had to have it, I have never heard of it before but it sounds like something I would like. Friends go on a Spring Break together and one of them gets murdered... what's not to like??




This is another one of those books I have heard so many good things about doing the rounds on Twitter and I am so excited to finally have a copy. 







Last week I was sent a copy of Colleen Hoover's Hopeless, this I found out was the first in the series and so I went and got myself a copy of Losing Hope for when I have finished. I recently finished reading Finding Cinderella, Colleen's novella based on the characters from this series so I am really excited to read about them from the beginning. 








These two books I am excited about, they are a collection of short stories by some of the most popular authors out there today! These are going to be perfect for reading in between novels. 



Sorry about the picture of these! I can not seem to get them the right way up!!! These is a series that I have bought and are all YA, these sound like something completely different and I cannot wait to start them.



This book I have been reading a lot about and I had to have a copy! I love the pages too they are so cute with  printed birds down the side. I am super excited to be able to start reading this.


This is another book I got from The Works this weekend and I have heard a lot of things about this one too! I can not wait to start reading it, I love a thriller and I am sure this book is going to deliver. 


So these have been all my book purchases/ presents etc this weekend and week. I am planning to participate in the 24 hour readathon this Saturday and plan to read some of these. Please let me know in the comments below if you have read any of these books, what you thought of them or want to read any of them. Please let me know which one you think I should start with for the readathon and if there are any other books you think I should be reading for the challenge let me know!

Thanks for stopping by on the blog today 

Kiss Me First - Lottie Moggach

Kiss Me FirstKiss Me First by Lottie Moggach
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

'Leila knows more about Tess than anyone else in the world. But not even Leila knows what really happened to Tess . . .

A sheltered young woman raised by a single mother, Leila often struggled to connect with the girls at school. On an internet community for philosophical and ethical debate, she finally comes into her own, and is flattered when the website’s brilliant, charismatic founder invites her to be part of Project Tess. Communicating only through online channels, Leila immerses herself in Tess’s world. She must learn every detail about this other woman’s life: her mother’s birthday, her favorite songs, her best friends, her first kiss. Because soon, Leila will have to become her. And Tess will disappear.'




Review:

I had seen this been out and about for a long time and kept hearing things about it. When I received it from the publisher I was doing back flips! I couldn't wait to begin it!

Although the genre of the book is in the contemporary adult area, I would have said it crosses over in the YA genre, due to the subject nature of the internet and how a young person can connect to Leila. Many young people spend a lot of time on the internet and this book also carries a message about who you are talking to online.

This book covers a lot of different themes, all of which seem to be quite challenging to write about and read about, suicide, eating disorders, confidence issues, identity theft and obsession to name a few. With all those themes in a book you think it would not be a great read but they are covered well and I was thoroughly surprised at how well Lottie Moggach covers them. For a debut novel I thought it was very brave as she was taking a huge risk writing about all these sensitive themes but it is clear she has researched well and has not turned the book into something depressing or unattractive to read.

Leila spends most of her time on the internet, she doesn't have 'real' friends and is a bit of a hermit. She stumbles across a forum called Red Pill, this discusses philosophical ideas and after her mother died from MS she has developed strong views that people should be allowed to choose to die. Not long after joining the creator of the site contacts her with a project he thinks she may be interested in. Leila meets with the creator - Adrian to discuss this project, Tess wants to end her life but doesn't want her friends and family to suffer because of it. She is looking to pay someone to 'pose' as her online for the next 6 months to slip away unnoticed.

Through the book Leila begins communicating with Tess day after day learning more about her life and how to 'be' Tess. Before long time is up and it is time for Tess to leave, Leila has created a whole new life for her and for her friends and family to believe, posing as her on facebook and replying to emails. One day Leila/Tess receive an email from someone she has no information on Connor. Over the next few weeks Leila develops a relationship with him online as Tess.

I felt sorry for Leila, a young woman without friends, without the confidence to find any and recently lost her mother. She spends day in, day out in her room and doesn't leave the house for days, she doesn't even see her house mate. However as the story goes on Leila begins to develop an obsession for Connor an unhealthy obsession and gets so involved in being Tess. She also can be naive in the way she is thinking, if she thinks something it has to be the right thing and doesn't consider others opinions and see the way things are.

I feel the identify theft online is a relevant one, in today's age everyone is online, we take it for face value we are talking to who they say they are, but how do we really know? This leaves a chilling feeling with you as it makes you question if who you are talking to is who you think they are. It also makes you think about all your 'facebook friends' and how well you know them. What if someone was posing as them? You wouldn't know, you trust them to be who you know...

I whizzed through this book, it kept me entertained and wanting to find out what was going to be happening next. I loved the ending, however I felt it could have been a page shorter - I know, only a page but if you read it you may agree. I felt like I didn't need the last page of information. I loved the way it ended other than that, there were some questions unanswered but I enjoyed that aspect of the book.

Overall I feel that this book was an interesting read, like nothing I had read before but written well and kept me engaged. It covered many 'tricky' topics that were written well. I would recommend this book to anyone who goes online as it questions your thoughts. This book has stayed with me long after I finished it. I am looking forward to seeing what Lottie Moggach writes next.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending me this book to read.

Buy your copy here - bookdepository.com

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Top 5 time travelling Rom Coms by Nicola Doherty

Exclusive blog tour content written for you by Nicola Doherty


My Top Five Time-Travelling Rom Coms

Why do we tend to find time travel in rom coms rather than in science fiction films? I think it’s because it allows us to ask the ‘what if’ questions that fascinate us. What if you could be a teenager again? What if you could meet your own parents when they were young? What if you had to live the same day over and over again? Oh, and time travel also allows for all of the mishaps, misunderstandings and complications which make a story fun! Here are my Top Five Time-Travelling Rom Coms …

1) 13 Going On 30
Jennifer Garner is brilliant as a thirteen-year-old who wishes she could escape her teenage years … and wakes up as a 30-year-old. She doesn’t like the person that she’s become; she’s cold and selfish and estranged from her best friend Matty (Mark Ruffalo). So she sets about improving her adult life by (among other things) singing ‘Love is a Battlefield’ into her hairbrush during a slumber party. And making everyone at a snooty magazine party do the Thriller dance. With a brilliant eighties soundtrack and Mark Ruffalo: what more could you want?

2) Groundhog Day
One of the best romantic comedies of all time. It’s a brilliant concept: grumpy weatherman Bill Murray has to relive one day over and over – stuck in the small town of Punxutawney, Pennsylvania, waking every morning to the sound of ‘I Got You Babe’ on the radio. At first, it’s hell, but he manages to change it into heaven. Like It’s a Wonderful Life this has a simple and beautiful message: every life, no matter how seemingly humble and unimportant, can have meaning if you live it to the full.

3) Back to the Future
This Spielberg classic needs no introduction. It’s quite a daring film in that Marty McFly goes back in time to the 1950s where his own mother develops a crush on him (and in fact Disney rejected it for that reason). But he manages to set it all right in the end – until Back to the Future II of course. When I first saw it I was very taken with Michael J. Fox in his snazzy red gilet; especially when he plays ‘Johnny B. Goode’ – a scene that was nearly cut, apparently, as it didn’t advance the plot, but test audiences loved it.

4) Sliding Doors
This isn’t strictly speaking a time travel rom-com … But it asks a similar ‘what if’ question about the tiny events that affect our lives. Gwyneth Paltrow’s life splits into two when she misses a tube train: in one path, she finds out her boyfriend has been cheating on her and in another, she doesn’t. I love the way they resolve the two parallel universes at the end and I drew a little bit of inspiration from it when I was writing the ending of If I Could Turn Back Time.  

5) Peggy Sue Got Married
I have a confession: I have not actually seen this 1986 film yet. But it sounds amazing: it’s about a woman (Kathleen Turner) who faints at her high school reunion, and wakes up as a teenager 20 years before. What a great concept, and one I might have to steal for a future book …


I would like to thank Nicola for appearing o The Book Corner and I wish her every success with her book 'If I could turn back time' I know it is going to be massive!


You can follow Nicola on Twitter: @nicoladoherty_

If I could turn back time - Nicola Doherty


Thanks for stopping by at The Book Corner for my first Bookbridgr blog tour, and a huge thank you to Fran for adding me in at short notice!

My stop on the tour also includes an exclusive blog post from Nicola Doherty the author of this fabulous book! 


If I Could Turn Back Time by Nicola Doherty
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
If I Could Turn Back Time
'What if you found The One, then lost him again? 

Or not so much lost him as became the neurotic, needy girlfriend from hell. The girl who tried to make him choose between her and his job, and got seriously paranoid about his relationship with his best female friend...

Zoe knows she doesn't deserve another chance with David. But if there's the tiniest possibility of making things right, she'll snatch it. Even if it means breaking the laws of physics to do so.'





This is the first book I have read by Nicola, I was unsure what to expect. The blurb really grabbed me and I thought I would give it a go, I am so glad I did!

This has to be one of the quickest books I have ever read! I would put it in the same category as Sophie Kinsella and Lindsey Kelk! The writing style makes it very easy to loose track of time and spend a whole day devouring the book. It flows fantastically and I felt that you could really connect to Zoe, the main character.

To begin with I was a little unsure of how the story was going to pan out, everything seemed to be doubling up, Zoe has gone back in time, making a wish and we seem to get double conversations which began to become annoying. However saying that it was as if Nicola knew this would become the case and quickly dropped doubling up, which I found a lot better. Occasionally we slipped back into 'past' events and conversations, but these worked in relation to what was happening in the book.

As the reader, we know how Zoe's 6 months should pan out - we have seen it and now she has a chance to go back and change things for the better, but are they for the better?

I really felt myself getting involved in Zoe's life and wanting things to change for the better, I loved how she managed to gain a new job by making fashion 'predictions' and at times felt I was cringing at how this was turning out. Something that every good chick lit needs in my opinion! I connected with Zoe on every level, I liked how down to earth she is and how she now uses a book to help her try to keep hold of David... the main reason she wanted a second chance!

My favourite part of the book was around Zoe with her job, for me this made the book, I loved how she got thrown into the deep end and ended up getting deeper and deeper into situations she found hard to get out of. I also loved that she dropped in some little 'white lies' that caught up with her and borrowed THAT dress! Which of cause you knew was going to end up in a disaster but didn't mind that it was predictable as you knew it would be funny. This really made me think of Rebecca Bloomwood in The shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella.

I began to hate Jenny, argh!! she is the most annoying person ever and I wanted to give her a good slap for Zoe myself! I also felt genuinely sorry for Zoe's relationship with David, three is definitely a crowd! Really could David not see this was weird???

Max, argh Max is another wonderful character! You can feel the tension and the developing bond between Zoe and Max and are just hoping they work things out. I loved the part of the book where they go to the beach with Max's friends, I feel this was a key eye opener for Zoe and also for the reader to begin to fall in love with him.

I loved the story and didn't want to put it down, I was intrigued as to how Nicola was going to end the story and for me this was the only negative, I found it fell a bit flat and could have gone a completely different way.

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a good chick lit! This book is certainly going to make you smile and wish you had your own Max! I will definitely be on the look out for more titles by Nicola and she will be taking a firm place on my book shelf. I'm just sad that I have come to the end of 'If I could turn back time' and wish it never had to end.

I would like to thank the publisher for introducing me to a fab chick lit author, and for squeezing me into the blog tour! 




Buy your copy now from thebookdepository.com

Monday, 21 April 2014

Precious Thing - Colette McBeth


Precious ThingPrecious Thing by Colette McBeth
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

'Remember the person you sat next to on your first day at school? Still your best friend? Or disappeared from your life for good?

Some friendships fizzle out. Rachel and Clara promised theirs would last for ever.

They met when Rachel was the new girl in class and Clara was the friend everyone wanted. Now in their late twenties Rachel has everything while Clara's life is spiralling further out of control. Then Clara vanishes.

Imagine discovering something about your oldest friend that forces you to question everything you've shared together. The truth is always there. But only if you choose to see it.'




When I had the opportunity to read and review this book I jumped at the chance after hearing so many great recommendations and the blurb sounded really promising.

The story is about Rachel and Clara, they have been the best of friends since school. One night Clara goes missing and Rachel must find her. Not only for her job as a news correspondent but as her best friend.

The story is written in the style of a long letter to Clara, this I found extremely hard to follow and did not enjoy this style of writing.I think if it had been written in a different style it may have been easier to follow and more enjoyable. It also jumped from memories in the past to the present, this was something I also found difficult with in the book as it would take me ages to work out if we were in the past or in the present.

I found the book to be a real slog, and it didn't flow very well. This is unfortunate as I haven't read a book that has made me feel like this for a very long time. I love psychological thrillers, however this didn't push the buttons for me.

Unfortunately I couldn't connect to any of the characters and cared for them very little, this is a shame as it made it harder for me to enjoy.

I was hoping for a real page turner when this turned up and I was so excited to read it, however I felt let down and left feeling flat.

I don't like to write a negative review on any book as the author has taken time to write it and it is their work and it's better than anything I could write! However this book just wasn't for me.

Saying this, this is only my opinion and as others out there have shown with their reviews, they have enjoyed the book very much.

I would like to thank the publisher for supplying me with this copy in exchange for a honest review.

Book Trailer:


Buy your copy from thebookdepository.com