April Wrap Up!

April Wrap Up!

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I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus these last two weeks but I’m back and today I thought I would share my April wrap up. I seem to have managed to get out of the slump and managed to complete 12 books in April!

405541411. Daisy Jones and the Six – Taylor Jenkins Reid
Daisy Jones and the Six is definitely not the kind of book I would normally read but it completely sucked me in and totally lived up to the hype. I ended up loving it way more than I thought I would and I can’t wait to read more from Taylor Jenkins Reid. My full review for Daisy Jones can be found here. (4/5 stars)

2. Muse of Nightmares – Laini Taylorbook cover - 2019-04-02T135442.190
To coincide with the paperback release of this gorgeous book I was asked to participate in the blog tour. Muse of Nightmares is the sequel to Strange the Dreamer, a beautifully told fantasy story full of magic and adventure. I loved Muse of Nightmares just as much as I loved the first book in the series and I’m so glad I finally got around to reading it. You can check out my stop on the blog tour here. (5/5 stars)

3. Sleep – C. L. Taylorbook cover - 2019-03-24T181054.124
C. L. Taylor is fast becoming one of my favourite crime writers. Every single one of her books has had me on the edge of my seat. Sleep is a dark and twisty tale about a group of people staying at a hotel on a remote Scottish island. Everyone has secrets, but is one of them planning murder? I was completely shocked by the ending and I loved every second. Full review for this one is here! (4.5/5 stars)

4. Star Crossed – Minnie Darkebook cover - 2019-04-03T105924.120
This was such a cute and fun contemporary story! Star-Crossed revolves around star signs and really brings a fresh perspective to the contemporary genre. I completely adored the characters and was hooked on the story. This was another blog tour that I participated in so if you want to find out more you can check out my stop here. (3.5/5 stars)

5. The Devil Aspect – Craig Russellbook cover - 2019-04-19T094103.467
This book was so dark and creepy I couldn’t get enough. Craig Russell completely sucked me in with this story and I almost missed my train stop a few times because I was absorbed in the story. A mixture of historical fiction, horror and thriller – this story packs a punch and is full of excitement and quite a bit of gore. If you’re intrigued and you can find my full review here. (4.5/5 stars)

6. The Fandom Rising – Anna Day42768840
Anna Day is back with a fun and exciting sequel to The Fandom. In this instalment some of the characters return to the world of The Gallows Dance and there’s an added mystery going on in the real world. It was great to return to the characters we fell in love with in book one and I really enjoyed the story. (Review here!) (3.5/5 stars)

7. Summer Bird Blue – Akemi Dawn Bowmanbook cover - 2019-04-03T110806.863
Starfish was one of my favourite books of 2018 so I was really excited to read Summer Bird Blue. The story follows a young girl dealing with the loss of her sister in a car crash. The story is emotional and I loved the connection with music, but I didn’t mesh with the characters in the same way I did Starfish. (3/5 stars)

8. The Sandman: Preludes and Nocturnes – Neil Gaiman6657541
I absolutely adore Neil Gaiman but for some reason I’ve never picked up The Sandman graphic novels. I rectified that this month by reading the first instalment – Preludes and Nocturnes. It was dark and gripping and the art work was completely stunning. I’m really looking forward to continuing the series and can’t wait to pick up volume two! (3.5/5 stars)

9. Release – Patrick Ness31194576
I picked this up while on holiday because it sounded like a really fascinating story about a day in the life of young Adam Thorn and a mysterious ghost that brings about the end of the world. It felt like I was reading two completely different stories and it left me feeling a bit disappointed. (2.5/5 stars)

10. The Hobbit – J. R. R. Tolkien38819529
I’m trying to reread some of my favourite books of all time so I figured this was the perfect opportunity to reread The Hobbit. No matter how many times I read it I still completely fall in love with the story. It’s such a well written tale and I already want to reread it again sometime soon. I’m definitely going to try and reread the Lord of the Rings books before the end of the year too. (5/5 stars)

11. The Lives Before Us – Juliet Conlinbook cover - 2019-04-09T224206.829
I absolutely loved The Uncommon Life of Alfred Warner in Six Days by Juliet Conlin so I was so excited to pick up her new book. This is such a beautiful and moving tale set during the Second World War. It’s full of heart and and it’s definitely a book I still think about even though I finished it ages ago. I can’t wait to see what Juliet writes next! (4/5 stars)

12. Emily Eternal – M. G. Wheatonbook cover - 2019-03-24T180649.748
I’m pretty sure I read this book in a single day. Emily Eternal is a science fiction story about an AI named Emily who is designed to help human trauma. The sun is dying and Emily discovers a secret that might save humanity, she must go on the run with her human friends and attempt to stop the end of the world. It’s jam packed with danger, excitement and adventure. It’s definitely a must read. (4/5 stars)

So those are all the books I read in April! I had an excellent reading month with lots of really brilliant books and I’m hoping that it will continue for the rest of the year!

January Wrap Up!

January Wrap Up!

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January felt like the longest month ever but I only ended up reading ten books. I felt like I kicked 2019 off quite well as a few of these were really fantastic reads, so let’s dive into my January wrap up!

gfsrThe Awakening – Kate Chopin
This little book has been on my TBR forever so I thought I would kick 2019 off by getting it off my to read list. The story is a feminist classic about a women who has an affair and becomes increasingly unhappy with the role thrust on her by society. It was a really interesting read and I found it pretty fascinating to learn how much this shocked readers when it was first published in 1899. (3/5 stars)

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The Fork the Witch & the Worm – Christopher Paolini
I really adored The Inheritance Cycle growing up so when I was given the opportunity to return to this world and all the characters I loved I was so excited. This book offers three short stories from the world of Eragon and provides an insight into what happens after the original series ends. I participated in the blog tour for this one so if you fancy reading my full review, you can check that out here. (4/5 stars)

book cover (13)The Wicked King – Holly Black
This was one of my most anticipated releases of 2019 and I was so excited to see if it would live up to my expectations. I’m happy to say that I thought The Wicked King was brilliant, the plot was so addictive with even more twists and turns that I just didn’t see coming. I’ve really grown attached to the characters in this series and I honestly can’t wait to find out what’s in store in The Queen of Nothing. (5/5 stars) 

book cover (75)Stain – A. G. Howard
This was my first time reading a book by A. G. Howard and I loved it so much. This beautiful gothic fairy tale follows two kingdoms, one that only contains day and one that only contains night. The heir to the kingdom of day cannot speak and sunlight burns her skin. The story follows her as she is cast out of the kingdom by her aunt and attempts to regain her kingdom. It’s gorgeously written with excellent world building and you can read my full review here. (4.5/5 stars)  

book cover (40)The Wolves of Winter – Tyrell Johnson
This was another one that I’ve had on my TBR for quite a while. The Wolves of Winter is dystopian in which disease has destroyed much of the planet. Lynn and her family survive in the harsh landscape of the Yukon but when a strange visitor appears in their community he brings with him a whole host of secrets and shadows. I loved the setting and the atmosphere in this story and it was a really enjoyable standalone story. (3.5/5 stars)

cacsArtificial Condition – Martha Wells
I read the first book in The Murderbot Diaries at the end of 2018 so I decided to continue on the series with Artificial Condition. These short novellas follow a security bot gone rogue – “Murderbot” – and his adventures. In this instalment he teams up with a research vessel named ART to explore his past and the place where he went rogue. It’s a fun quick read and while I didn’t enjoy this one as much as I enjoyed All Systems Red I’m still looking forward to continuing the series. (2.5/5 stars)

ssdThe Witch Doesn’t Burn in This One – Amanda Lovelace
I read The Princess Saves Herself In This One quite a while ago so when I spotted the second book in this series in my local bookshop I quickly snapped it up. I really enjoyed the first book but this one is definitely my favourite. Powerful and inspiring, I read the poetry in one sitting because I was completely absorbed in this collection of poems about the resilience and power of women. (5/5 stars)

book cover (98)The Puppet Show – M. W. Craven
The first in an all new crime thriller series, The Puppet Show opens with a series of murders in the Lake District. A serial killer is burning people alive at stone circles throughout the area and the police don’t have much to go on. When a clear message is sent to disgraced detective Washington Poe, he’s brought back onto the force but as he investigates these dark murders he uncovers a whole lot more than he bargained for. This book is so dark, twisty and unforgettable. It’s definitely one of my favourite crime thrillers of all time and I can’t wait to read the next instalment in the series – full review here! (4/5 stars)

book sdsThe Mermaid’s Voice Returns in This One – Amanda Lovelace
After I read The Witch Doesn’t Burn in This one I requested the next instalment from Netgalley and was so excited when I got approved. This is the final collection in the Women are Some King of Magic series and whilst I still really enjoyed this, it was my least favourite of the three collections. The poems were beautiful, but they didn’t speak to me in the same way the others did. (3.5/5 stars)

book cover (100)Slay On Tour – Kim Curran
Slay are back! I read and loved the first book in this series last year and was super excited to be back with the boy band that are world famous by day and demon hunters by night. This instalment sees the gang go to Japan to investigate a series of demons that have been causing havok. They go on tour with a band of holographic girls but when things start to go wrong during the tour they soon learn they might have even bigger problems. The book is fun, fast paced and has a really great storyline. It’s a brilliant addition to the series and I’m hoping the series will continue with the band travelling to more places around the world. If you want to read my full review you can check out my blog tour stop here! (4/5 stars)

So those are the books I read in January! If you’ve read any of them definitely let me know what you thought and tell me some of the books you read and loved in January!

Book Review: Fear – Dirk Kurbjuweit

Book Review: Fear – Dirk Kurbjuweit

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Release Date: January 25th 2018
Publisher: Orion Books
Pages: 303
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Synopsis

YOU’D DIE FOR YOUR FAMILY.

BUT WOULD YOU KILL FOR THEM?

***

Family is everything.

So what if yours was being terrorised by a neighbour – a man who doesn’t listen to reason, whose actions become more erratic and sinister with each passing day? And those you thought would help – the police, your lawyer – can’t help you.

You become afraid to leave your family at home alone. But there’s nothing more you can do to protect them.

Is there?

Review

deaeThis was such a gripping thriller and a really unique read. The book made me feel uneasy and uncomfortable – partly because the story is somewhat based on the authors own experiences, and also because it was so believable, it could so easily happen to you or someone you know.

The book is a really interesting look at the family dynamic and the effect that a difficult situation can have on that. Randolph starts to wonder whether his wife could possibly commit the acts that their neighbour accuses them off, and she thinks the same of him. Fear really hits the nail on the head with the psychology behind such an event.

One of the things I found really interesting was the ambiguous nature of the murder. Normally with crime thrillers you feel sorry for the victim and condemn the murderer for their horrific act, but it was much more ambiguous. Was the murder justified? Was the victim at fault? These were questions I kept thinking about long after I’d finished reading.

The book was well written in a tense, exciting style. The short chapters kept the reader hanging on and itching to know more. The book is tense and enthralling, all the more so because this is every new homeowner’s worst nightmare. I really enjoyed the way that the Fear was written in quite a personal style, making the story seem much more like a realistic account.

Fear is divided up into chapters which explores the nightmare the family experience at the hands of the downstairs neighbour, as well as a look at Randolph’s childhood, growing up around his father – a devout gun enthusiast. The book puts forth some really interesting ideas about the effects such things can have on a child.

Fear is almost certainly set to be one of the hottest thrillers, so what are you waiting for?
4 stars

Blog Tour: The Puppet Show – M. W. Craven

Blog Tour: The Puppet Show – M. W. Craven

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Series:
Washington Poe #1
Release Date: 24th January 2019
Publisher: Constable
Pages: 352
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review.

Synopsis

A serial killer is burning people alive in the Lake District’s prehistoric stone circles. He leaves no clues and the police are helpless.

When his name is found carved into the charred remains of the third victim, disgraced detective Washington Poe is brought back from suspension and into an investigation he wants no part of.

Reluctantly partnered with the brilliant but socially awkward civilian analyst, Tilly Bradshaw, the mismatched pair uncover a trail that only he is meant to see. The elusive killer has a plan and for some reason Poe is part of it.

As the body count rises, Poe discovers he has far more invested in the case than he could have possibly imagined. And in a shocking finale that will shatter everything he’s ever believed about himself, Poe will learn that there are things far worse than being burned alive…

Review

M. W. Craven’s The Puppet Show is the definition of gripping.

book cover (98)This dark and twisted thriller follows disgraced officer Washington Poe who is brought back into the force after a serial killer begins burning people alive in the Lake District. After discovering his name carved into one of the victims, Poe is forced to team up with analyst Tilly Bradshaw in an effort to uncover who is behind these murders and what that has to do with Poe.

This first in a new crime series is everything you could possibly want in a thriller novel. I read it so quickly because it was so fast paced and intense. When I wasn’t reading it I was thinking about what could possibly happen next. The Puppet Show features quite a few twists that I never saw coming and the finale was brilliantly executed.

I won’t say too much about the plot because I this is definitely the type of book to go in knowing as little as possible. One of the things that really caught my attention about this (other than the terrifying plot), was the immense amount of character development in The Puppet Show. Washington and Tilly are a really fascinating duo and I loved watching them work together to uncover the truth behind these murders. Washington is your tough rogue cop kind of character but pairing him with intelligent and super awkward Tilly makes for a really interesting dynamic.

In all honesty The Puppet Show is one of my favourite crime thrillers in a very long time. It will have you on the edge of your seat and you’ll be desperate for more of Washington Poe. Luckily the next instalment is due in June – so you don’t have too long to wait!
4 stars

Book Review: The Fear – C. L. Taylor

Book Review: The Fear – C. L. Taylor

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Release Date:
22nd March 2018
Publisher: Avon Books
Pages: 400
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review

Synopsis

When Lou Wandsworth ran away to France with her teacher Mike Hughes, she thought he was the love of her life. But Mike wasn’t what he seemed and he left her life in pieces.

Now 32, Lou discovers that he is involved with teenager Chloe Meadows. Determined to make sure history doesn’t repeat itself, she returns home to confront him for the damage he’s caused.

But Mike is a predator of the worst kind, and as Lou tries to bring him to justice, it’s clear that she could once again become his prey…

The million copy Sunday Times bestseller returns with a taut, compelling psychological thriller that will have you glued to the edge of your seat.

Review

This is one tense book. I love reading C. L. Taylor’s work but honestly, this might be her best one yet. Dark and gripping, this book will hook you from the very first chapter and will not let you go.

book cover (66)One of the things I really love about C. L. Taylor’s books is that they always keep me guessing. Psychological thrillers can sometimes be really predictable, but with The Fear I was constantly second guessing myself, completely unsure of what was going to happen next. This is an imaginative and twisty thriller and fans of Taylor’s work will no doubt enjoy it immensely.

The Fear is fast-paced, but you’ll no doubt be racing to find out what happens next. I found myself trying to read little snippets at every opportunity of the day. I devoured this book in a few days because it doesn’t let up, leaving your heart pounding. I found it interesting that the book focused on the topic of grooming children, a subject which is often explored in crime fiction. The Fear puts a different slant on things, bringing new ideas to this well used topic.

C. L Taylor writes really fascinating characters and that is definitely the case with The Fear. Her characters feel like real people, all working to their own motivations and schemes. I thought Lou was a particularly interesting one, she’s flawed and damaged but ultimately trying to do the right thing. The characterisation and development in this book is brilliant and you definitely become attached to the characters.

The Fear is a completely unputdownable book. If you’re looking for a twisty, turny thriller that will keep you hooked well over the Easter break, The Fear is exactly what you’re looking for.
4 stars