#BookReviews: Lake Child | Stop At Nothing | The Escape Room | The Family Upstairs

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Today I’m sharing some more reviews of books that I’ve read and loved in recent weeks!

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Lake Child by Isabel Ashdown

I love the author’s writing so have been really keen to read Lake Child and I’m so happy to say that it more than lived up to expectations! This novel follows Eva who wakes up to find she is locked in the attic room of her parents house. She doesn’t know what happened or how but she’s on edge. She starts to have memories but she can’t quite figure things out and her parents are being evasive. Gradually secrets and lies are brought to the fore and the speed of this novel begins to ramp up. The writing in this book is stunning – I felt like I was right there with Eva in this house in the snow and icy cold. I could envisage everything that was being described and got completely swept away in this novel. I read this book in one sitting as I just didn’t want to put the book down. It’s a perfect read for the colder weather and I highly recommend it!

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Stop at Nothing by Tammy Cohen

Tammy Cohen is such a great writer and I always look forward to a new novel from her. Stop At Nothing was a really compelling read and I was completely entralled in this story. Tess is a protective mother who tries to do her best by her children so when her teenage daughter Emma is attacked one night in the street she is horrifed. Emma is understandably frightened and Tess becomes increasingly desperate to find the man who did this. This leads to Tess’ growing obsession with finding the man. She’s also dealing keeping an eye on her elderly parents so has a lot of stress weighing her down. I felt quite sorry for Tess as you can see she just wants to fix things but she does go beyond what a rational thinking person would perhaps do. I got so engrossed in this book and read it every spare minute I had as I just needed to know how it was all going to end! I recommend this one!

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The Escape Room by Megan Goldin

This book is such a brilliant read, one that is hard to put down. It follows two timelines – one where we meet a group of ruthlessly ambitious investment bankers who are brought to an ‘escape room’ on a team building exercise that turns out to be way more than they could have ever thought. We also go back in time and follow a new member of their team as she tries to find her place and settle in. Seeing the characters through her eyes as she gets to know them, and then later seeing them in the elevator is so good. We really get to know who these people are and how they are who they are. I did find this book waned a little after the opening chapters but it did pick back up again, and the second half of the book was impossible to put down. I was desperate to know how it was all going to end! This is such a fun read and I recommend it.

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The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

Lisa Jewell is one of my favourite authors so a new novel by her is always such a treat. This book follows Libby who receives a letter and hopes it’s going to tell her more about her birth parents but instead she finds out that she’s inherited a house in Chelsea! It turns out that around the time Libby was born three people were found dead in the house! This sets Libby on a part to discover more about the past. The novel is told in multiple perspectives so we get to slowly fill in the blanks of the story as it builds towards its final conclusion! There are a lot of unlikeable characters in this book, which I loved. I really felt for Libby as she tried to find out her history and to make connections, but was also on the edge of my seat as I began to piece things together from the other timelines and knew things that Libby as yet did not know. This was such a good read, I loved it and definitely recommend it!

 

 

 

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WWW Wednesdays (31 Jul 2019)! What are you reading this week?

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WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open for anyone to join in and is a great way to share what you’ve been reading! All you have to do is answer three questions and share a link to your blog in the comments section of Sam’s blog.

The three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

A similar meme is run by Lipsyy Lost and Found where bloggers share This Week in Books #TWiB.

 

What I’m reading now:

Gone by Leona Deakin

I was delighted to receive an ARC of this book as it sounded so intriguing and I’m happy to say that I’m really enjoying it so far. It’s about people who have gone missing after receiving birthday cards with a code to enter a game!

The Eleventh Day by Anthony Summers 

I bought this book a few days ago and immediately started reading it after rating another book by this author earlier this week. It’s a detailed account of 9/11 and whilst hard to read in places it’s really interesting to have insight into the wider picture of what led up to it and how the security services investigated it.

 

What I recently finished reading:

Unnatural Causes by Richard Shepherd

I just finished reading this last night and it was such a good book. I found it really fascinating to learn what is involved for a forensic pathologist. I also appreciated the author’s honesty about how the work has affected him.

Bone Deep by Sandra Ireland

I also finished listening to this audio book yesterday and really enjoyed this one. It was different to what I was expecting but so engaging and hard to put down. I’ll be reviewing this one soon for the blog tour.

The Escape Room by Megan Goldin

This was such a fun thriller read! I was gripped from start to finish so recommend it!

Someone We Know by Shari Lapena

I read this book in one sitting and very much enjoyed it. I do love Shari Lapena’s writing, she never lets me down! I’ll be reviewing this one for the blog tour in a few days time so please look out for that post if you want to know more.

The Back Road by Rachel Abbott

I’ve had a few of this author’s books on my TBR for ages so after enjoying the first book in this series late last year I was keen to get to the next one. This book was even better and I can’t wait to carry on with the series!

Looking for Madeleine by Anthony Summers

I bought this book after watching the recent Netflix series about the case. I ended up listening to the audio book from my library and found it such an interesting book. It gave me a different perspective to the case than I previously had.

A Nearly Normal Family by M. T. Edvardsson

I had an ARC of this but listened to the audio book instead. I enjoyed this one but felt a little too distanced from the characters so didn’t feel as invested as I might have done. It was an interesting story though and I did find it really hard to put down.

In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume

I really enjoyed this one and am so glad that I finally got to read it as part of 20 Books of Summer.

 

The July Girls by Phoebe Locke

I was thrilled to receive an ARC of this a while ago and have put it on my 20 Books of Summer list so really want to get to this one in the coming week if I can.

The Wayward Girls by Amanda Mason

This is another ARC that feels like it should be read over the summer so I’d like to get to this one this week too.

The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

I’ve been so keen to read this one so am hoping I get a chance to start it this week.

Those People by Louise Candlish

I love this author’s writing so am also hoping to get to this one too!

 

 


 

What have you been reading this week? I’d love to hear. And if you take part in WWW Wednesdays or This Week in Books please feel free to leave your link below and I’ll make sure to visit and comment on your post. 🙂

WWW Wednesdays (17 Jul 2019)!

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WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open for anyone to join in and is a great way to share what you’ve been reading! All you have to do is answer three questions and share a link to your blog in the comments section of Sam’s blog.

The three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

A similar meme is run by Lipsyy Lost and Found where bloggers share This Week in Books #TWiB.

 

What I’m reading now:

The Darkest Summer by Ella Drummond

This book is so good! I really enjoyed Ella Drummond’s first novel and this one is even better, it gripped me from the first chapter and I’m keen to read more asap!

A Question of Trust by Penny Vincenzi

This is one of my 20 Books of Summer picks and I’m thoroughly enjoying this one. I’m trying to savour is because it but it’s hard not to keep reading when I pick it up. I recommend this one!

Gary Speed: Unspoken by John Richardson

I bought this one recently and started reading it straight away. It’s not really the book I thought it was going to be but I do want to finish it. I was hoping for more of a biography but really it’s more his friends sharing memories of him.

What I recently finished reading:

A Simple Favour by Darcey Bell

I’ve had this on my TBR mountain for about a year so when I spotted the audio book on BorrowBox (my local library’s audio book service) I decided to download it and listen. The novel wasn’t as good as I hoped it would be but listening to it on audio kept me engaged when I might have put the ebook down.

A Better Me by Gary Barlow

I also downloaded the audio book of this on a whim from BorrowBox after seeing a recommendation in a book group on FB. I actually enjoyed this more than I was expecting and I’m glad I listened to it.

Pain-Free Life: My Journey to Wellness by Andrea Hayes

This is another audiobook from BorrowBox and the title just caught my eye. I’ve worked really hard on finding ways of treating and coping with my severe neuropathic pain so am interested to read the stories of other people who’ve been through similar. Andrea’s story is so similar to mine in many ways so I found this book really life-affirming and recommend it.

The Spider and the Fly: A Reporter, A Serial Killer and the Meaning of Murder by Claudia Rowe

This is a book I’ve wanted to read for ages but have only seen quite expensive secondhand copies that are in not great condition so I was really pleased to spot the audio book on BorrowBox. I found this an interesting book about a reporter’s obsession with a serial killer, and her exploration of her own obsession.

The Stranger on the Bridge: My Journey from Despair to Hope by Jonny Benjamin

I finally got to read this book which I’ve been wanting to read since it first came out as I’d seen interviews with the author on TV.  This was a really moving book about the author’s struggle with mental illness.

Watching You by Lisa Jewell

I finally read this book having had an ARC on my TBR for over a year. I’m not sure how I missed reading it before now but I’m glad to have read it. I very much enjoyed this thriller and have already reviewed it. You can find my thoughts here if you’d like to know more.

Dead Girls: Essays on Surviving an American Obsession by Alice Bolin

I was really keen to listen to this book but I found myself disappointed with it as it just wasn’t the book it’s made out to be. It’s more about the author moving to L.A. and her obsession with Joan Didion’s work than it is about America’s obsession with young women who have been murdered.

 

What I plan on reading next:

Fire Sermon by Jamie Quatro

This book has been on my wish list for a while so when I spotted it on BorrowBox I decided to request it. I now have the book on my phone so it will be my next audio book.

Looker by Laura Sims

I hoped to read this one over the last week but I could only manage audio books so had to put this one on hold. I’m still keen to read it so fingers crossed for the coming week.

The Closer I Get by Paul Burston

I’ve been desperate to read this book so again I’m hoping I’ll be able to read print this week so that I can get to this one.


 

What have you been reading this week? I’d love to hear. And if you take part in WWW Wednesdays or This Week in Books please feel free to leave your link below and I’ll make sure to visit and comment on your post. 🙂

Mini Reviews: Watching You, Nobody’s Wife, The Night Olivia Fell, and The Flower Girls!

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Today I’m sharing another selection of mini book reviews as I try to catch up. I LOVED all four of these books so wanted to make sure I shared my thoughts here.

 

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Watching You by Lisa Jewell

This book is such a brilliant psychological thriller. From the title you can guess that someone is being watched but what is so good about this book is the way that lots of people are being watched, or feel like they are, and sometimes it’s by people who are unaware that they shouldn’t be so invasively tracking someone’s movements and other times it’s by people who have more sinister motives. The novel opens with a body having been found and there appears to be an important piece of evidence left at the scene. We then get a picture gradually built up of who the victim is but also who might have wanted to hurt this person. The novel follows quite a few characters and figuring out how they might connect to each other, if at all and in what possible way, was brilliant! I really did enjoy this book and I already can’t wait to read Lisa jewell’s next novel!

 

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The Flower Girls by Alice Clark-Platts

I read this novel quite a while ago now so I’m embarrassed that I’ve somehow managed not to review it before now. I will say that despite the gap the novel is still really quite fresh in my mind so it shows it’s a book that really gets under your skin! This is about two sisters who murdered a young child when they were also young children. One of them was old enough to face trial and the other wasn’t. They’re now adults and Laurel is out of prison and trying to build a new life under her new identity. This all comes unstuck when she goes on holiday with her partner and a child goes missing from the hotel. This is such a brilliant novel that explores lots of angles to a case like this in a sensitive and thought-provoking way. I flew through the book because I was desperate to know what was going to happen in the end. I highly recommend this book if you haven’t already read it.

 

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The Night Olivia Fell by Christina McDonald

This is another book that I’m mortified to realise I haven’t reviewed yet, especially when I loved the novel so much. This is an incredible novel that is a great thriller but more than that it’s a brilliant exploration of the relationship between mothers and daughters. Abi is a single mum to Olivia, and one morning she’s woken to a phone call telling her that her daughter has been in an accident and is badly hurt. It turns out that Olivia had secrets from her mum and Abi is devastated that her daughter hadn’t felt she could confide in her. We also get Olivia’s story and gradually build up to the night she fell, and what actually happened to her. This is another book that I just didn’t want to put down, it  is a real page turner and I wanted to know how things were going to turn out. More than that I felt so emotionally invested in Abi and Olivia’s stories. It really reminded me of being a teenager and even though I was incredibly close to my mum there is always going to be a point when a teen begins to pull away and wants to keep some things private. This is a book that is really staying with me, and I can’t wait to read more by the author.

 

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Nobody’s Wife by Laura Pearson

This is another novel that I got utterly emotionally invested in very quickly. Initially the opening chapter made me think this was going to have thriller elements but it hasn’t really, it’s much more an exploration of the relationship between two sisters and their relationships with their respective partners. The characters in this book aren’t particularly likeable but they are all so real, and I could see bits of me and bits of people I’ve known in them. It’s easy to judge matters of the heart when they don’t affect you but this novel by showing the perspectives of all four characters really does show that nothing is black and white and it’d be so easy for us all to make a decision that has consequences we never could have foreseen. I only read this fairly recently but it’s really lodged itself in my heart, I keep thinking of the characters and wondering what’s happening in their lives since the final page. I definitely recommend this one!

 

 

Stacking the Shelves with a Bumper Book Haul (11 May 2019)!

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Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews and Reading Reality, which is all about sharing the books that you’ve acquired in the past week!

I’m not sure how I’ve missed joining in with Stacking the Shelve for the last four weeks but somehow I have. So today I’m sharing all of the books I’ve got in the last month! It’s rather a lot but I’m excited to read them all!

 

Purchased Books

Becoming by Michelle Obama

The Good Enough Mother by Bev Thomas

The Swap by Fiona Mitchell

Midnight Chicken by Ella Risbridger

Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser

On The Front Line with the Women Who Fight Back by Stacey Dooley

The Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth

The Nanny by Gilly MacMillan

The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer

Can’t Stand Up For Falling Down by Allan Jones

Apple of My Eye by Claire Allan

Love You Gone by Rona Halsall

No Way Out by Cara Hunter

Stranger Child by Rachel Abbott

The Passengers by John Marrs

 

Borrowed Books

Keep Her Close by M. J. Ford

We Are Not Such Things by Justine Van Der Luen

ARCS

The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone by Felicity McLean

Rewind by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Stop at Nothing by Tammy Cohen

The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

The Dangerous Kind by Deborah O’Connor

The Holiday by T. M. Logan

Living My Best Life by Claire Frost

When I Lost You by Merrilyn Davies

 

 


 

Have you bought any new books over the last week (or month)? Please tell me below. 🙂 If you join in with Stacking the Shelves please feel free to leave your link and I’ll make sure to read and comment on your post.

 

This Week in Books (27 June 2018)! #TWiB

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Today I’m taking in part in This Week in Books, which was started by Lipsyy Lost and Found! If you want to join in you just need to share what you’re reading now, what you’ve read over the last week, and what you hope to read next.

 

Now

The Death of Mrs Westaway by Ruth Ware

I just started reading this last night and am only four chapters in so far but it’s got me very intrigued and I’m looking forward to reading more soon.

Her Name Was Rose by Claire Allen

This is the main book that I’m reading at the moment as it’s got me gripped. I only started this yesterday too but I just don’t want to put it down.

F*** You Very Much by Danny Wallace

I haven’t read any more of this book over the last week but I definitely plan on making it more of a priority in the coming week.

 

Then 

Girl Up by Laura Bates

I’m way older than the target age for this book and yet I still got so much more out of it than I was expecting. I wish this book had existed when I was a teenager and it’s definitely a book that I’ll be recommending for teenagers from now on.

The Afterlife of Walter Augustus by Hannah M. Lynn

This book was so wonderful, I adored it! It was different to anything I’ve read recently and I can’t stop thinking about it. I’m saving my review for the blog tour in July but I can say now that I highly recommend it.

The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton

I read this book in just a couple of sittings and I loved it. It was one of those books that pulls you in and keeps you gripped all the way to the end.

Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier

This was such a great thriller and I very much enjoyed it. I read most of it in one sitting because it was so fast-paced that there just wasn’t a moment where I felt I could put it down as I just wanted to know what was going to happen next.

 

Next

Toxic by Nicci Cloke

I’ve had this on my TBR for a few weeks now and the stunning summery cover is really making me want to pick this up during this heatwave. It sounds like a good YA thriller too so I’m sure I’ll fly through this one!

Watching You by Lisa Jewell

I love Lisa Jewell’s writing so I was thrilled to get approved to read this on NetGalley recently and I don’t think I can wait any longer to start reading it.

Ivy and Abe by Elizabeth Enfield

This is a bit of a change from the crime fiction and thrillers I’ve been reading recently and I’m just in the mood to add this one to my currently reading. I love novels that explore the idea of fate and whether we’re destined to meet certain people in our lives.

 


 

What have you been reading this week? I’d love to hear. And if you take part in This Week in Books or WWW Wednesday please feel free to leave your link below and I’ll make sure to visit and comment on your post. 🙂

Stacking the Shelves with my May Book Haul!

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Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews and Reading Reality, which is all about sharing the books that you’ve acquired in the past week!

It’s been a while since I joined in with Stacking the Shelves; it’s partly because I’ve not been blogging regularly for the last few months but also because I’m not buying so many books at the moment (although I did acquire rather a lot of books in May, hence this haul!).

So, here are all the books that I got in May…

The Wanderers by Meg Howrey

I’ve read really mixed reviews of this book but it still sounds really appealing to me so I decided to buy a copy.

Don’t Make a Sound by David Jackson

I really like David Jackson’s previous novels and this new crime thriller sounds brilliant so I couldn’t resist buying this. I hope to read this soon as it’s a kindle book and I can fit it in around the print books that I’m reading for my 20 Books of Summer challenge.

The Man Who Didn’t Call by Rosie Walsh

I didn’t think this was my kind of read but I kept hearing great things about it so I bought it and read it straight away; I honestly couldn’t put it down and really enjoyed it.

The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton

I couldn’t resist treating myself to this hardback as I love Sharon Bolton’s writing and have been waiting for this book to be released.

Big Bones by Laura Dockrill

I’ve seen quite a bit of hype around this book and I had to get a copy to see what the fuss is all about. It does sound like a lovely YA novel with a body positive message.

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

I’ve been interested in reading this for a while but have read mixed reviews about it so couldn’t decide. It ended up in a kindle deal recently so it seemed a good time to buy it!

Only Fools and Stories by David Jason

I love David Jason – especially his roles as Del Boy and Inspector Frost so I bought this book as soon as I saw it. I think it’ll be a nice book to curl up with one evening and I’m looking forward to it.

Left and Leaving by Jo Verity

I’ve been sorting through my huge wish list recently and when I re-read the blurb for this book it sounded really good so I bought it on kindle.

You, Me and Everything by Catherine Isaac

I just bought this the other day because it was on offer for kindle at 99p and I decided to give it a go as I’ve seen lots of good reviews of it.

The Poetry Pharmacy by William Sieghart

This was a bargain buy that I was really happy to spot as I was sorting through my wish list and discovered it was the kindle daily deal on that very day so I snapped it up! I think this will be a lovely book to dip in and out of, and if I enjoy it I will buy a physical copy.

The Songs of Us by Emma Cooper

I saw the author tweet that it was her ebook publication day this week so I went straight to Amazon and one-clicked as it sounds like a really intriguing premise. I hope to get to this one over the summer as it sounds like a good, summer read.

The Lying Game by Ruth Ware

The premise of this book grabbed me as soon as I read the blurb so I had to get a copy. This is another ebook purchase so I’m hoping to read it in between my planned print summer reads in the coming weeks.

Fatal Weekend by Tom Rubython

I was a huge fan of Ayrton Senna and so after watching some documentaries about him on the anniversary of his death earlier in May I decided to look and see if there were any new biographies of him. I found this one so bought it and read it straight away. It was a decent read but not the best biography of Senna.

The Reservoir Tapes by Jon McGregor

I got Reservoir 13 for my birthday earlier this year and whilst I haven’t read it yet I still couldn’t resist buying this book as I do love Jon McGregor’s writing. I hope to get to both books before too much longer.

Ivy and Abe by Elizabeth Enfield

This is a review book that I got from NetGalley, I think it’s due out later this month so I plan on reading it soon. It sounds like a lovely, comfort read and I feel sure I’ll enjoy it.

The Date by Louise Jensen

This is another NetGalley book also due out later this month. I love Louise Jensen’s writing so I couldn’t resist downloading this one. I’ll definitely be getting to this very, very soon!

Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh

I’ve had my eye on this book ever since I first heard about it earlier this year so I was thrilled when my wish was granted on NetGalley recently. I actually read it as soon as I downloaded it and thought it was brilliant. I’ll be posting my review soon.

Watching You by Lisa Jewell

I love Lisa Jewell’s writing so this was another book that I requested on NetGalley as soon as I heard about it. It sounds like a great read so I’m eager to get to it soon. I think it’s due out in July so not too long to wait.

Snap by Belinda Bauer

I was thrilled when I was sent a copy of this in the post. I read the novel in one sitting earlier this week and I loved every minute that I spent reading it. I’m hoping to finish and post my review in the next week or so but I can say that I highly recommend Snap!

Toxic by Nicci Cloke

I adore the cover of this book and when I read the blurb I was very keen to get my hands on a copy as soon as possible. I was so happy when NetGalley approved my request! I’ll be reading this a little bit nearer publication date as it’s not due out until the end of July.

Falling Short by Lex Coulton

This book arrived as a total surprise recently and it sounds like a really good read so I’m adding it to my TBR. Hopefully I’ll get to it soon!


Did you get any new books recently? I’d love to know. Have you read any of the books in my book haul? Are there any that you recommend me getting to sooner rather than later? Feel free to leave a link to your own stacking the shelves post in the comments! 🙂

Reading Bingo Results for 2017!

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I really enjoyed looking through my reading at the end of 2016 to see if I could complete this reading bingo so I couldn’t resist having another go at it today to see if my reading in 2017 could fill the whole square. I didn’t plan my reading around the bingo, I’m purely looking back at the books I read to see if they fit! Here goes…

 

A book with more than 500 pages

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The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton

I read a few books that were over 500 pages last year but I’m choosing this book because it has 849 pages and was the longest book I read in 2017!

 

A forgotten classic

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The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald

I’m not 100% sure that this counts as a forgotten classic but it’s the only book that I read last year that sort of counts so I’m using it for this square. It’s a brilliant novel so if you haven’t read it already I definitely recommend it.

A book that became a movie

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Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

I really enjoyed reading this book and I’m intrigued to see how they’ve gone about making the movie adaptation when it comes out later this year!

A book published this year

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Anything You Do Say by Gillian McAllister

This book was published in 2017 in ebook and I loved it. If you want to read my review on it please click the title above.

A book with a number in the title

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Three Days and A Life by Pierre LeMaitre

I read a few books with a number in the title last year but I’m using this one for this square because it’s one of those books that really got under my skin and I still think about it. I love this author’s writing.

 

A book written by someone under thirty

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Sofa So Good by Scarlett Moffatt

I was unsure how many of the books I read last year had authors under 30 but I knew Scarlett Moffatt definitely was and I very much enjoyed this book so decided to choose it for this square!

 

A book with non-human characters

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The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber

This is a wonderful novel about a man who on a missionary trip to another planet, so this novel features alien beings.

 

A funny book

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How to be Champion by Sarah Millican

This is a funny book, because Sarah Millican is a very funny person so it counts as my choice for the funny book square. The book is also very honest and moving and I recommend it. You can read my review if you click the title above.

A book by a female author

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Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

Most of the books that I read last year were by female authors so there were many books that I could have picked for this square but I decided to go with this one as it’s a book that I really enjoyed.

A book with a mystery

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The Surrogate by Louise Jensen

I picked this book for my mystery square because it’s such a good novel with more than one mystery at its heart. I read most of this book in one sitting because I just had to know.. and the reveal when it came was stunning!

A book with a one-word title

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Snare by Lilja Sigurdardottir

I wanted to feature this book in a post looking over my reading as it was such a great read. It meets the criteria for this square and gives me a chance to shout about it again. The follow up to this book is one of my most eagerly anticipated books, I can’t wait to find out what happens next! You can read my full review if you click on the title above.

A book of short stories

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How Much the Heart Can Hold

This is a gorgeous short story collection and I very much enjoyed reading it. The stories are each written by a different author and some I loved more than others but all gave me something to think about.

 

A book set on a different continent

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Little Deaths by Emma Flint

This book is set in America and I live in the UK so it definitely meets the criteria for this square. It’s also another chance to shout about this brilliant novel that still lingers in my mind almost a year after I read it.

 

A book of nonfiction

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Fragile Lives by Stephen Westaby

This is a brilliant book by a leading heart surgeon all about his time as a surgeon. It’s a very open and honest memoir, a book that really moved me. I recommend this if you haven’t already read it.

 

The first book by a favourite author

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I Am I Am I Am by Maggie O’Farrell

This is a bit of a cheat for this square but I’m counting it because it’s the first non-fiction book by my favourite author. This is an incredible book, it was my favourite non-fiction book of 2017 and I’m going to be recommending it for a long time to come. I already can’t wait to re-read it!

A book you heard about online

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The Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell

I heard a lot of booktubers talking about this book a while ago and so I bought a copy. It then languished on my TBR for a little while but I finally picked it up last year. I really enjoyed reading about Helen Russell’s year in Denmark and I recommend this one.

A bestselling book

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The Cows by Dawn O’Porter

This was such a great novel, I really enjoyed every minute of reading it. It really does look at female friendship and also how society views women. It’s a book that’s stayed with me and one I hope to re-read in the future. If you’d like to read my full review please click on the title above.

 

A book based on a true story

One Night in November by Amelie Antoine

One Night in November by Amelie Antoine

This book was the first that came to mind when thinking of a book based on a true story because I actually picked this up thinking it was a work of non-fiction. It’s a really harrowing book where the writer explores the terrorist attack at the Bataclan in Paris. I read it because I’ve been exploring trauma again as I worked through my own PTSD last year. You can read my full review by clicking on the title above.

A book at the bottom of your to be read pile

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The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

This book was on my TBR for around twenty years before I finally read it last year! I bought it the year it was first released in hardback and it’s been with me through three house moves. I always knew that I would read it one day but for some reason it intimidated me and I kept putting it off. I’m kicking myself now because I when I finally read it, I loved it.

 

A book your friend loves

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

I could have used a lot of books for this one as I’ve made a lot of friends through blogging and see many book recommendations. I chose this one as I’ve not seen anyone say that didn’t enjoy it. I very much enjoyed this book and highly recommend it if you haven’t read it yet. My review is in the link in the title if you’d like to know more.

A book that scares you

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Final Girls by Riley Sager

This book really scared me! I knew it was going to scare me when I first got it and I wasn’t wrong. I ended up finishing this late at night because I simply had to know how it was going to end before I went to bed, and I was so glad my husband was home with me because I was properly unnerved! I highly recommend this one though, it’s so good. My full review can be found by clicking on the title!

A book that is more than 10 years old

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Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

I chose Bel Canto for this square because it fits the criteria but also because it was a chance to feature it on my blog. I took a long time to come to this book but found it a beautifully written novel and one that really got to me. I recommend it.

The second book in a series

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Watch Me by Angela Clarke

I had a couple of books that I could have picked for this square but I went with this one because I’m really enjoying the Social Media series. I have the third one on my TBR but haven’t managed to get to it yet, I definitely plan to read it in 2018 though.

Book with a blue cover

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Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands by Chris Bohjalian

I picked this book for this square because this book is such a beautiful thing to behold. I have read it and while I enjoyed it it isn’t my favourite by this author, the book itself is gorgeous though.

Free Square!

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The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell

I listened to the audio book of this between Christmas and New Year and I loved it so wanted to use this for my free square. I highly recommend this to all book lovers!

 

So I managed to complete my reading bingo for 2017, which I’m happy about! Have you filled in the reading bingo square for your reading last year? I’d love to know your results if you have.

Mini #bookreviews: #CrimeFiction featuring Anything You Do Say, The Good Daughter, Then She Was Gone & Lily Alone!

Today I’m sharing some more mini reviews of books that I’ve read and enjoyed over recent weeks!

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Anything You Do Say by Gillian McAllister

This novel is brilliant! The premise had me so keen to read it as soon as I possibly could – the idea of a sliding doors type story always appeals to me and this one is the best I have read! The idea of walking home from a club on a dark night and becoming aware that someone is following you, becoming increasingly fearful that the man is going to attack you and you lash out in sheer terror. Then you have to make the decision to either dial 999 and get help, or to run away and say nothing. This is such a clever novel, it really explores the realities of what might happen in each of the two scenarios in such a believable way. It also looks at the impact of guilt and how punishment can come in many forms, and that maybe there is no getting away with it. I loved this book – I finished reading it weeks ago and I still find myself thinking about it. I’ve even bought a couple of copies as Christmas presents as I know people who will enjoy this book every bit as much as I did. I can’t recommend this book highly enough!

 

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

I’ve been a fan of Lisa Jewell ever since reading Ralph’s Party when it was first published and I love how her novels have become darker over the years. This book is my new favourite by her – I literally couldn’t put it down once I started it and read it in one sitting! The premise is that Laurel’s teenage daughter disappeared ten years ago and has never been found. Laurel is trying to make a life for herself and one day meets a new man and his young daughter Poppy. Laurel sees a lot of her missing daughter in the young Poppy and it stirs up her pain and her anguish at what might have happened to her own daughter. This is a book that was pretty much impossible to work out how it was going to end, and yet when the denouement came it felt believable and true to the story. This is a novel that has stayed with me since I finished it and it’s one I highly recommend!

 

The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter

The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter

I’m going to admit something here, something that I can’t quite believe to be true myself but this was my first ever Karin Slaughter novel! After reading it I can honestly say that it absolutely won’t be my last – in fact I’ve already bought a couple of her books and am really looking forward to reading them. This novel pulled me in from the very first chapter and it had me hooked right through to the very end. It’s a book that begins with a crime that happened years previously but now another crime has happened in the present day and it pulls back the people who were affected by the first. This is a crime thriller but it’s also an exploration of family dynamics and how people react in awful circumstances. It’s a novel that has stayed with me in the weeks since I read it and I recommend it.

 

Lily Alone by Vivien Brown

Lily Alone by Vivien Brown

I was drawn to this novel as soon as I read the synopsis – the idea of a young child being found home alone and there being no sign of where her mother had gone sounded like such an intriguing plot. I’m happy to say that this book lived up to expectations! I’ll be honest and say that I was expecting this to be more of a thriller or crime novel but it’s more of a family drama but that didn’t stop me getting completely engrossed in the book.  I was rooting for Lily to be found and to be safe, and also for her mother to be found safe and well. This is a really engrossing novel and one I recommend.

 


 

 

These books were received from publishers via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

All four of the above books are out now!

 

See my new #bookhaul in my Stacking the Shelves post (15 April)!

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Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews, which is all about sharing the books that you’ve acquired in the past week!

Here is the print book I bought this week:

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A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness & Siobhan Dowd

I’ve been wanting to read this book for ages so I finally treated myself to the illustrated edition last weekend and I’m looking forward to finally reading this. I’ve heard it’s a real tearjerker so I’ll wait for the right time to sit and read this.

Synopsis:

The bestselling novel about love, loss and hope from the twice Carnegie Medal-winning Patrick Ness, soon to be a major motion picture. Conor has the same dream every night, ever since his mother first fell ill, ever since she started the treatments that don’t quite seem to be working. But tonight is different. Tonight, when he wakes, there’s a visitor at his window. It’s ancient, elemental, a force of nature. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor. It wants the truth. Patrick Ness takes the final idea of the late, award-winning writer Siobhan Dowd and weaves an extraordinary and heartbreaking tale of mischief, healing and above all, the courage it takes to survive.

Here are the 5 eBooks I bought this week:

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

I already mentioned this in my WWW Wednesday post but I hadn’t written about it in a haul yet. I’ve seen so many tweets about this book and everyone seems to be raving about how good it is so I couldn’t resist buying a copy. It sounds like such a powerful book. I hope to read this over the weekend. 

Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping YA novel about one girl’s struggle for justice.

Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor

Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor

I’ve always loved Jon McGregor’s writing so had this on pre-order and was very happy to see it on my kindle the other day. I really like to sit and savour his writing so will save this for when I have time to read it over a few hours. 

Synopsis:

Midwinter in the early years of this century. A teenage girl on holiday has gone missing in the hills at the heart of England. The villagers are called up to join the search, fanning out across the moors as the police set up roadblocks and a crowd of news reporters descends on their usually quiet home.

Meanwhile, there is work that must still be done: cows milked, fences repaired, stone cut, pints poured, beds made, sermons written, a pantomime rehearsed.

The search for the missing girl goes on, but so does everyday life. As it must.

As the seasons unfold there are those who leave the village and those who are pulled back; those who come together or break apart. There are births and deaths; secrets kept and exposed; livelihoods made and lost; small kindnesses and unanticipated betrayals.

Bats hang in the eaves of the church and herons stand sentry in the river; fieldfares flock in the hawthorn trees and badgers and foxes prowl deep in the woods – mating and fighting, hunting and dying.

The Mothers by Brit Bennett

The Mothers by Brit Bennett

I heard about this on YouTube and thought it sounded like an interesting read (not to mention it having such a gorgeous cover). I got sent a 50% off code for any book on kobo this week so decided to get this one. I’m really looking forward to reading it.

Synopsis:

It is the last season of high school life for Nadia Turner, a rebellious, grief-stricken, seventeen-year-old beauty. Mourning her own mother’s recent suicide, she takes up with the local pastor’s son. Luke Sheppard is twenty-one, a former football star whose injury has reduced him to waiting tables at a diner. They are young; it’s not serious. But the pregnancy that results from this teen romance—and the subsequent cover-up—will have an impact that goes far beyond their youth. As Nadia hides her secret from everyone, including Aubrey, her God-fearing best friend, the years move quickly. Soon, Nadia, Luke, and Aubrey are full-fledged adults and still living in debt to the choices they made that one seaside summer, caught in a love triangle they must carefully maneuver, and dogged by the constant, nagging question: What if they had chosen differently? The possibilities of the road not taken are a relentless haunt.

The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher

The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher

I’ve been wanting to read this since it was published last year, and now I’ve listened to the audio of her previous memoir I decided to finally get this too. I think it will be a sad read but also nice to read more of her life story.

Synopsis:

The Princess Diarist is Carrie Fisher’s intimate, hilarious and revealing recollection of what happened behind the scenes on one of the most famous film sets of all time, the first Star Wars movie.

When Carrie Fisher recently discovered the journals she kept during the filming of the first Star Wars movie, she was astonished to see what they had preserved—plaintive love poems, unbridled musings with youthful naiveté, and a vulnerability that she barely recognized. Today, her fame as an author, actress, and pop-culture icon is indisputable, but in 1977, Carrie Fisher was just a (sort-of) regular teenager.

With these excerpts from her handwritten notebooks, The Princess Diarist is Fisher’s intimate and revealing recollection of what happened on one of the most famous film sets of all time—and what developed behind the scenes. And today, as she reprises her most iconic role for the latest Star Wars trilogy, Fisher also ponders the joys and insanity of celebrity, and the absurdity of a life spawned by Hollywood royalty, only to be surpassed by her own outer-space royalty. Laugh-out-loud hilarious and endlessly quotable, The Princess Diaristbrims with the candour and introspection of a diary while offering shrewd insight into the type of stardom that few will ever experience.

 

The Vegetarian by Han King

The Vegetarian by Han Kang

I’ve heard so much hype around this book and have been wanting to read it for ages. I spotted it at a bargain price this week so snapped it up. Hopefully it won’t be too long before I get to this but I do think I’ll need to be in the right frame of mind to read it.

Synopsis:

Yeong-hye and her husband are ordinary people. He is an office worker with moderate ambitions and mild manners; she is an uninspired but dutiful wife. The acceptable flatline of their marriage is interrupted when Yeong-hye, seeking a more ‘plant-like’ existence, decides to become a vegetarian, prompted by grotesque recurring nightmares. In South Korea, where vegetarianism is almost unheard-of and societal mores are strictly obeyed, Yeong-hye’s decision is a shocking act of subversion. Her passive rebellion manifests in ever more bizarre and frightening forms, leading her bland husband to self-justified acts of sexual sadism. His cruelties drive her towards attempted suicide and hospitalisation. She unknowingly captivates her sister’s husband, a video artist. She becomes the focus of his increasingly erotic and unhinged artworks, while spiralling further and further into her fantasies of abandoning her fleshly prison and becoming – impossibly, ecstatically – a tree.

Fraught, disturbing and beautiful, The Vegetarian is a novel about modern day South Korea, but also a novel about shame, desire and our faltering attempts to understand others, from one imprisoned body to another.

Here is the audio book that I bought this week:

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

I’ve been wanting to read this book ever since I first heard about it. I decided to use my latest Audible credit to get the audio book this week and I’m really looking forward to starting this as soon as I finish my current listen.

Synopsis:

Effia and Esi: two sisters with two very different destinies. One sold into slavery; one a slave trader’s wife. The consequences of their fate reverberate through the generations that follow. Taking us from the Gold Coast of Africa to the cotton-picking plantations of Mississippi; from the missionary schools of Ghana to the dive bars of Harlem, spanning three continents and seven generations, Yaa Gyasi has written a miraculous novel – the intimate, gripping story of a brilliantly vivid cast of characters and through their lives the very story of America itself.

Epic in its canvas and intimate in its portraits, Homegoing is a searing and profound debut from a masterly new writer.

I also received 6 ARCs:

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The Child by Fiona Barton

I was thrilled to be contacted by the publicist for this book this week asking if I’d like to review it. I immediately said yes and am so looking forward to reading it. It was lovely to received a thank you card signed by Fiona Barton in with the book too.

Synopsis:

When a paragraph in an evening newspaper reveals a decades-old tragedy, most readers barely give it a glance. But for three strangers it’s impossible to ignore.

For one woman, it’s a reminder of the worst thing that ever happened to her.

For another, it reveals the dangerous possibility that her darkest secret is about to be discovered.

And for the third, a journalist, it’s the first clue in a hunt to uncover the truth.

The Child’s story will be told.

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The Betrayals by Fiona Neill

I was excited to receive this book this week too, it sounds like such a good read and I really want to read it as soon as I can.

Synopsis:

When Rosie Rankin’s best friend has an affair with her husband, the consequences reverberate down through the lives of two families.

Relationships are torn apart. Friendships shattered. And childish innocence destroyed.

Her daughter Daisy’s fragile hold on reality begins to unravel when a letter arrives that opens up all the old wounds. Rosie’s teenage son Max blames himself for everything which happened that long hot summer. And her brittle ex-husband Nick has his own version of events.

As long-repressed memories bubble to the surface, the past has never seemed more present and the truth more murky.

Sometimes there are four sides to every story.

Who do you believe?

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The Comfort of Others by Kay Langdale

I was sent a copy of this to read ahead of doing a Q&A with the author for the blog tour at the end of the month. I’ve already started reading it and it’s such a lovely, enjoyable novel.

Synopsis:

Minnie and her sister Clara, spinsters both, live in a dilapidated country house in the middle of a housing estate, built when their father sold off the family’s land. Now in their seventies, their days follow a well-established routine: long gone are the garden parties, the tennis lessons and their suffocatingly strict mother. Gone, too, is any mention of what happened when Minnie was sixteen, and the secret the family buried in the grounds of their estate.

Directly opposite them lives Max, an 11-year-old whose life with his mum has changed beyond recognition since her new boyfriend arrived. Cast aside, he takes solace in Minnie’s careful routine, observed through his bedroom window.

Over the course of the summer, both begin to tell their stories: Max through a Dictaphone, Minnie through a diary. As their tales intertwine, ghosts are put to rest and challenges faced, in a story that is as dark as it is uplifting.

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Gone by Min Kym

I requested this on NetGalley and was thrilled to be approved. I’m fascinated by Min Kym’s story, I think it will be an emotional read but a really interesting one too.

Synopsis:

At 7 years old Min Kym was a prodigy, the youngest ever pupil at the Purcell School of Music. At 11 she won her first international prize. She worked with many violins, waiting for the day she would play ‘the one’. At 21 she found it: a rare 1696 Stradivarius, perfectly suited to her build and temperament. Her career soared. She recorded the Brahms concerto and a world tour was planned.

Then, in a train station café, her violin was stolen. In an instant her world collapsed. She descended into a terrifying limbo land, unable to play another note.

This is Min’s extraordinary story – of a young woman staring into the void, wondering who she was, who she had been. It is a story of isolation and dependence, of love, loss and betrayal, and the intense, almost human bond that a musician has with their instrument. Above all it’s a story of hope through a journey back to music.

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

I spotted this on NetGalley this week and requested it immediately. I’ve loved Lisa Jewell’s novels ever since I read After the Party when it first came out a few years ago. Her novels have got darker in recent years but I love them just as much. I can’t wait to read this one!

Synopsis:

THEN
She was fifteen, her mother’s golden girl. She had her whole life ahead of her. And then, in the blink of an eye, Ellie was gone.

NOW 
It’s been ten years since Ellie disappeared, but Laurel has never given up hope of finding her daughter.
And then one day a charming and charismatic stranger called Floyd walks into a café and sweeps Laurel off her feet.

Before too long she’s staying the night at this house and being introduced to his nine year old daughter.
Poppy is precocious and pretty – and meeting her completely takes Laurel’s breath away.

Because Poppy is the spitting image of Ellie when she was that age.
And now all those unanswered questions that have haunted Laurel come flooding back.

What happened to Ellie? Where did she go?
Who still has secrets to hide?

An Act of Silence by Coletee McBeth

An Act of Silence by ColletteMcBeth

I loved Collette McBeth’s previous two novels but had no idea she was due to publish another one. I was excited to spot this on NetGalley and even more excited to be approved to read it. I want to read it soon but am going to try and wait until a little nearer publication.

Synopsis:

These are the facts I collect.

My son Gabriel met a woman called Mariela in a bar. She went home with him. They next morning she was found in an allotment.

Mariela is dead.

Gabriel has been asked to report to Camden Police station in six hours for questioning

Linda Moscow loves her son; it’s her biological instinct to keep him safe. But if she’s not sure of his innocence, how can she stand by him? Should she go against everything she believes in to protect him?

She’s done it before, and the guilt nearly killed her.

Now, the past is catching up with them. As old secrets resurface, Lind is faced with another impossible choice. Only this time, it’s her life on the line…

 


 

So, that’s all of my new books from the past week. Have you bought any new books recently? Tell me all in the comments below, or if you have a stacking the shelves post on your blog feel free to post the link below too.:)

My weekly wrap up post will be on my blog tomorrow so please look out for that.