review

Review: Puzzle Girl – Rachael Featherstone

Book Review (8)
Release Date: 2nd August 2018
Publisher: The Dome Press
Pages: 320
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones
Souce: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review.

Synopsis

Clued-up career girl Cassy Brookes has life under control until one disastrous morning changes everything.

When she finds herself stuck in a doctor’s surgery, a cryptic message left in a crossword magazine sends her on a search to find the mysterious ‘puzzle-man’ behind it.

Cassy is soon torn between tracking down her elusive dream guy, and outwitting her nightmare workmate, the devious Martin.

Facing a puzzling love-life, will she ever be able to fit the pieces together and discover the truth behind this enigmatic man?

Review

This is a fun and enjoyable read and one that I absolutely raced through. I enjoyed it because it was a fresh take on the finding Mr right story.

The story centres on a surprise conversation through a puzzle book, and the protagonists subsequent attempts to find out who the person writing back is. I don’t read an awful lot of chick-lit but I this struck me as a really interesting and unique take, so I was really excited to pick it up. It was definitely worth it, I really enjoyed Cassy’s antics as she attempts to juggle her work life and find out who this mystery man is.

As for Cassy herself she’s the perfect protagonist. Fond of making lists (much like myself) and prepared for almost every occasion, it’s really fascinating to watch as her obsession with solving the puzzle begins to take over her life. She spends less time with her friends and family, and begins to lose sight of what is really important, in order to solve the puzzle. She’s also far from perfect, she makes mistakes does things wrong and definitely lands herself in a few tricky situations.

I really enjoyed the work place rivalry within the story too. Cassy is up for a big promotion, but she’s not the only one. Her and Martin don’t really get along and it’s fascinating watching the plot develop as they attempt to undermine each other and get ahead.

Puzzle Girl is also set in London, and the mentions of the DLR and other little London landmarks make for a really nice touch, and add to the overall feel of the book.

The story develops at a good pace, and gives the reader time to come up with different theories, without being too obvious at who the mystery man is. For me that is often the down-fall of chick-lit reads, I can guess the ending before the first few chapters are over and that somewhat spoils my enjoyment. That didn’t happen with Puzzle Girl, you pick up little pieces of information along the way, and that makes for a really fantastic story.

If you’re looking for a fun and clever book to read – especially now the that the sun is shining a bit more – this is definitely one to pick up!
untitled-design-4.jpg*This post originally appeared as part of the Puzzle Girl blog tour in August. I recently lost a lot of my content when I migrated sites and so am reposting as many of them as possible!
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review

Contemporary-athon TBR!

Book Review (7)
So last month I managed to read thirteen books. This month has been pretty busy and I was ill for a week so I haven’t gotten through that many books yet (current tally is 5 books). I’ve also been really enjoying reading contemporary books recently which is absolutely not my usual genre. I figured the perfect solution then was to join in with the contemporary-athon, which is happening from the 17th to the 23rd of September and is hosted by @BookHangover_ on Twitter and Youtubers Page and Pens, Chelseadolling and MyReadingIsOdd.

There are seven challenges and I doubt I’m going to manage all seven but I will try and see where we end up!

342204801. Read a book with orange on the cover
I toyed with a few different books – my first instinct was to go with I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman but I spied Another Place by Matthew Crow on my shelves and I have been meaning to read it forever. I tried to go with shorter books so I can get through all seven, but this sounds like a really gripping read and it has orange on the cover!

2. Read a book that is dark/taboo/spooky
39018329I found it difficult to pick just one book for this because I have quite a few spooky books I’m dying to read. I decided to go with Easy Prey by Catherine Lo as it’s coming out in October and means I can get a review up when I’m done. Easy Prey is a mystery following three high school students who are suspected or releasing racy pictures of a teacher online. Each of them has a motive, but which one is guilty? This sounds so intriguing and I can’t wait to read it!

352477693. Read a diverse book
I first picked up The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas because I still haven’t read that yet (I know I’m terrible), but I’ve really been loving the To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before books so I thought I could round off the series with Always and Forever Lara Jean. I really enjoyed the first two and I raced through them so hopefully that will help with reading seven books in such a short time period!

4. Read a book in a non-traditional format34613312
I was a bit unsure about what this meant but the description says it can be anything whether that’s a graphic novel, an audiobook or a ebook. I had a look at my audiobooks and I didn’t have anything that fit the bill but I do have a ebook of Sarah Nicole Lemon’s Valley Girls, so I picked this. I loved Done Dirt Cheap so I’m hoping this is just as good! I’m not a big ebook person as they tend to give me headaches, but I do also have a physical copy and can cheat a little!

38185855 (1)5. Read a book with your initials on the cover
For this I’m going with The Con Artist by Fred Van Lente. I was sent this by the lovely folks at Quirk Books a couple of months ago but I haven’t had the chance to pick it up. It looks so cute and fun that I thought it would be the perfect choice. My initials are NLS so they all appeared on the cover too.

6. Read a book by a new to you author36389267
Pretty much every book I picked up for this readathon fitted this category. I’m hopeful that if I don’t get all seven read I can double up with this challenge as well. In case I manage to fly through them all I’ve gone for A Thousand Perfect Notes by C. G. Drews. I got this in an Illumicrate and have been meaning to read it ever since.

359608147. Read a predicted five star read
This was another that I had loads of choice for but I ended up going with The Accidental Bad Girl by Maxine Kaplan. I’ve been meaning to read this for ages and it sounds so good. After getting caught hooking up with her best friend’s ex boyfriend, Kendall just wants to keep her head down and graduate but she is drawn into a web of drug dealing after her online identity is hacked and used to steal from a dealer. It sounds so intense and gripping and I really hope it will be a five star read!

So that’s my Contemporary-AThon TBR. Are you participating in the readathon? If you are what are you reading? And if you’ve read any of these let me know if you enjoyed them or I should swap them for something else!

review

Book Review: The Humans – Matt Haig

Book Review (6)
Release Date: 23rd April 2014
Publisher: Canongate Books
Pages: 304
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones
Source: I picked a copy of this up from a second hand bookshop.

Synopsis

 After an ‘incident’ one wet Friday night where Professor Andrew Martin is found walking naked through the streets of Cambridge, he is not feeling quite himself. Food sickens him. Clothes confound him. Even his loving wife and teenage son are repulsive to him. He feels lost amongst a crazy alien species and hates everyone on the planet. Everyone, that is, except Newton, and he’s a dog.

Who is he really? And what could make someone change their mind about the human race. . . ?

Review

I read How To Stop Time by Matt Haig and absolutely loved it. I’ve heard amazing things about The Humans so picked it up as soon as I saw it in a local bookshop. Our narrator is an alien sent to planet Earth to erase any mention of a mathematic equation that will far advance the human race. What follows is a set of awkward encounters as the alien attempts to navigate life on Earth.

This book was completely different to what I expected. There were plenty of really funny moments as the alien attempts to understand why we do the things we do and I really enjoyed this unusual concept, however the main focus of this story is what it means to be human. It read like an in depth study into human nature.

This is a really profound and original novel and one that will stick with you. It’s quite a short book and I read it very quickly, but I was still talking about it a few days afterwards. So many people love this book and have rated it really highly however I had a few minor issues that made me rate this book a bit lower. I in no way think this is a bad book, I was felt really put off by the incredibly short chapters – some are only a page. It felt a bit jarring to the story and that lessened my enjoyment. My second issue was the vague ending which I didn’t really like. I won’t say too much about that because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone but it definitely wasn’t how I wanted things to end.

The Humans is an interesting look into human nature with a fun and humorous twist. If you’re a fan of science fiction novels this is definitely one to be on your wishlist.
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review

Book Review: Show Stealer – Hayley Barker

 

Book Review (2)
Series:
Show Stopper #2
Release Date: 2nd August 2018
Publisher: Scholastic
Pages: 400
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review.

Synopsis

Hoshiko and Ben have been on the run since they burned Silvio Sabatini’s  circus down to the ground at the explosive finale of SHOW STOPPER. But Ben’s mother will stop at nothing to track him down  and get her revenge: backing him into a corner where he is forced  to sacrifice himself to save Hoshiko. The deadliest show on earth  has been resurrected and if Ben thought he’d seen into its dark  corners as an outsider, the true extent of the horrors that lurk  beneath the Big Top are about to be revealed as he becomes the circus’ new star attraction…

Review

Showstopper was one of my favourite books of 2017. As soon as Show Stealer came through the door I was desperate to pick it up and find out what happens next. Picking up just after Showstopper ends, this instalment had me on the edge of my seat and I could not put it down. Hayley Barker’s beautiful writing draws you in deeper and deeper until you completely immerse yourself in the action of this story.

As with the previous book the story is told in alternating chapters from Hoshiko and Ben. I really loved this narration style as you get to see how they both react to certain situations and what is happening to them when they aren’t together. Both characters are really fascinating – they come from completely different worlds but they’re both strong and determined to fight for justice.

One of the things I loved most about Show Stealer is that it really dived into the politics of the world. Things are changing but not everyone is happy about the idea of Dregs getting more rights and freedom. The world that this gripping series is set in is not a million miles away from the society around us. In that respect it makes Show Stealer even more vivid and brutal.

With the new cirque comes even bigger shows, and more horrifying moments. Show Stealer is action packed and you never know who is going to survive the night. After reading about them for two books you definitely become attached to the characters and there were more than a few heart pounding moments where I couldn’t believe what was happening to them.

Show Stealer really is an incredible sequel and I just didn’t want it to end. I have no idea what is going to come next but I cannot wait to see what’s in store. If you haven’t picked up this series yet then get buying because you absolutely won’t regret it.
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review

Book Review: Darksoul – Anna Stephens

Book Review (3)

Series: Godblind #2
Publisher: HarperVoyager UK
Pages: 400
Find it on: Goodreads.  BookDepository.   Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy to review.

Synopsis

The Wolves lie dead beside Rilpor’s soldiers, slaughtered at the hands of the Mireces and their fanatical army.

The veil that once kept the Red Gods at bay has been left in tatters as the Dark Lady’s plans for the world come to fruition. Where the gods walk, blood is spilled on the earth.

All that stands between the Mireces army and complete control of the Kingdom of Rilpor are the walls of its capital, Rilporin, and those besieged inside.

But hope might yet bloom in the unlikeliest of places: in the heart of a former slave, in the mind of a soldier with the eyes of a fox, and in the hands of a general destined to be king.

Review

This is the highly anticipated sequel to Godblind – one of my favourite books of 2017. I was so excited to receive a copy of this book and I honestly couldn’t wait to dive in. After reading the opening chapter I was completely hooked and ended up devouring this book in a few sittings. It’s dark, bloody and gripping and I didn’t want it to end.

Darksoul picks up right where Godblind leaves off, the Mireces are attempting to lay siege to Rilporin and the soldiers are holding it as best they can. This epic story alternates between the characters that we’ve already met in the previous book – but don’t get too attached because not everyone will make it to the end.

Much like the previous book this story is violent and full of the sights, sounds and smells of battle. Anna Stephens has such a fantastic way of bringing the action to life, and that is never more apparent than in this bloody battle. The fighting scenes are jam packed and I was practically on the edge of my seat to find out how it was going to play out.

I’ve seen comparisons between Darksoul and The Two Towers and I think that’s a really apt comparison. The whole book focuses on this one battle, but so much happens in this action packed few weeks. I love so many of the characters – they are so complex and fascinating. Each one is flawed, determined and fighting for his or her own desires. Everyone schemes and you never know what they truly want.

Darksoul certainly feels darker and more intense than the first book in the series, and the short alternating chapters definitely had me racing through the story. The story touches on so many subjects – not just fighting and war but friendship, family religion and politics. Darksoul is a magnificent gripping read that I loved just as much as book one, and I cannot wait to find out what’s in store next.

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