Mini reviews!

Hello fellow book bloggers! I have a couple of mini reviews coming your way, these are just for two short stories that I read this year, that didn’t warrant a full review post on their own!

Bobo by Richard Schiver.

Overall rating – 1 star.

I am SO GLAD this book was a free kindle one because I would not have paid money to read this.

The whole story from start to finish didn’t make any sense whatsoever, there were points where I think even the author got confused with his own story, the direction it was taking and what he had already written.

There were several seeds planted within this book which could have been expanded upon to make a really interesting story, but sadly they weren’t and we were left wanting and waiting for more from this. I have a lot of unanswered questions after reading it.

There was no fear factor within this book, which considering it’s marketed as a horror on Goodreads is highly disappointing.

It was just an exceptionally poor book and I didn’t enjoy it at all.

Cinderella Is Evil by Jamie Campbell.

Overall rating – 4 stars.

I want to start by saying how misleading I found the title of this book, it’s a retelling of the traditional tale of Cinderella, but the title implies something that the book and plot don’t match up with.

That being said, I did enjoy this retelling. It was a glorious little read and I’m so glad I picked it up.

The book itself simply retells the story of Cinderella from one of the step sisters POV, and focuses on their lives, which I was really impressed with. It reminded me that there are two sides to every story and that not everything may be as it seems.

The one thing that let this book down was the writing, it just didn’t quite hit the mark for me, but I can gloss over that as I enjoyed this story so much!

I definitely enjoyed this story, I just feel irritated with the title and a little bit let down with the writing.

Until next time, Em xxx

📚The opposite book tag!📚

Hello friends, I’m here again this time with the opposite book tag! I can’t remember where I saw this so if you do know the original creator please let me know so I can tag their blog.

Q – First in my collection and last book I brought.

The first book in my collection is my Chronicles of Narnia series and the last book I brought was If I can’t Have You by Charlotte Levin.

Q – A cheap book and an expensive book.

The cheapest book is one of my charity shop ones, it’s Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick and it was 50p. And the most expensive book on my shelf is my hardback copy of Midnight Sun.

Q – A book with a male protagonist and one with a female protagonist.

Male – Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh. Female – The End of Mr Y by Scarlett Thomas.

Q – A book you read fast and one that took you long to read.

One that I read fast is Percy Jackson and the Lightning thief and one that took me forever to read was The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson. (Absolutely no hate on that book, I loved it I just took soooo long to get into it haha).

Q – Pretty cover and ugly cover.

Pretty cover is Landline by Rainbow Rowell and ugly cover is The Canal Boat Cafe at Christmas by Cressida McLaughlin.

I don’t really have any books with ugly covers so I’ve just picked one that is my least favourite instead. I love the colours of Landline they’re so simple and work really well!

Q – A national book and an international book.

I don’t really think I have any to include for this one!

Q – A thin book and a thick book.

A thin book is my copy of Psycho by Robert Bloch and a thick book is IT by Stephen King.

Q – Fiction book and a non-fiction book.

The Chain by Adrian McKinty (fiction) and Very British Problems by Rob Temple (non-fiction). I picked these 2 because they are both red so I wanted to have matchy matchy ones!

Q – Very (way too) romantic book and action book.

Taken: Captive Romance by Esme Devlin. (I don’t read many action books so I picked this one instead) It Came From The Multiplex: 80s Midnight Chillers by various authors.

Q – A book that made you happy and one that made you sad.

One that made me happy is The Scam List by Kurt Dinan and one that made me sad is New Moon by Stephenie Meyer.

As always if you want to take part consider yourself tagged and be sure to let me know if you do so I can check out your post!

Until next time, Em xxx

His and Hers, Alice Feeney – A Review.

Hello friends and fellow bloggers! I’m here again with a review, this time of His and Hers by Alice Feeney. You can read the synopsis here on Goodreads.

Overall rating – 3 stars.

I’ve decided to rate this one 3 stars because I am in two minds about it. There are definitely aspects that I thought worked really well, but then there are other points where I was banging my head off the wall at how ridiculous it was.

From the start I felt that His and Hers was going to be a wild ride and I was right. At no point did I feel like this book let up on the drama and shock factor.

In some ways this was points in favour of the book, but in others it was definitely a negative, especially when some of the shocks didn’t add anything to the story and were there for shock factor alone.

The layout of the book, flitting between Anna’s perspective and Jack’s perspective was incredibly clever and helped to build the mistrust that stuck with me through the whole book. Every chapter from either POV brought another hint that implicated both characters, I was totally confused – in a good way.

The two POVs allowed the story to progress without it becoming stagnant, which made it feel like I got through this book quicker than I did.

One of my favourite things about this book is the depth of the writing, when Feeney was writing about a crime scene I felt as if we were there, seeing the scene through our own eyes. It felt so realistic.

There were also lots of links to the past and comments made about Jack and Anna’s previous relationship which brought another layer to the book, it added a personal feel and helped to bring the characters to life. While I didn’t form any attachments to any of the characters (they were all quite irritating) I did feel like they were 3D and had life in their eyes.

Towards the end of the book I did get incredibly frustrated, the ending really spoiled this book for me. I don’t want to give too much away but it just seemed so crazy, and unrealistic especially after what I’d read in the rest of the book…

On the whole, His and Hers was a good book. There were positives and negatives of the story, but it just didn’t stand out enough for me to rate it any higher than 3 stars.

Until next time, Em xxx

📚Books I’ve added to my to buy shelf recently📚

Hello bookworms and friends, I recently asked on Twitter for people to recommend me their favourite book of the year so far, and then I combined that with posts I’ve saved from blogs I follow to create this list of books that I have added to my to buy shelf!

Kololo Hill by Neema Shah – synopsis here.

Amelia Unabridged by Ashley Schumacher – synopsis here.

Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley – synopsis here.

Crown of Bones by A K Wilder – synopsis here.

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert – synopsis here.

Verity by Colleen Hoover – synopsis here.

Deity by Matt Wesolowski – synopsis here.

The Split by Laura Kay – synopsis here.

The Nothing Man by Cathrine Ryan Howard – synopsis here.

Black Coral by Andrew Mayne – synopsis here.

The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward – synopsis here.

The Castaways by Lucy Clarke – synopsis here.

Another Life by Jodie Chapman – synopsis here.

Greenwich Park by Katherine Faulkner – synopsis here.

The Lost Hours by Susan Lewis – synopsis here.

The Open House by Sam Carrington – synopsis here.

When I finished adding these to my “to buy” shelf on Goodreads, I also got rid of some that no longer interested me! Leaving me with a total of: 120 books that I want to read and 33 books that I need to purchase/lend from the library to read.

I honestly don’t know if I will ever stop adding books to my TBR (probs not) so I imagine I will be updating this list as time goes on!

Be sure to let me know if you’ve read any of these books and if you’d recommend them and if you’ve reviewed them.

Until next time, Em xxx

ARC – The Happy Family, Jackie Kabler – A Review.

Hello friends and bookworms, I’m so excited to share with you my review of The Happy Family by Jackie Kabler. I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of this book from NetGalley and HarperCollinsUK in return for an honest review.

The Happy Family is due to be published on the 4th June 2021 and you can read the synopsis here.

Overall rating – 5 out of 5 stars.

I’ve read books by Jackie Kabler before and I was not disappointed with her latest offering, I was completely addicted to reading The Happy Family, it drew me into the story and before I knew it I was halfway through without even realising. It was so easy to read and get swept up with.

Because the book was written in first person it felt as if we were in Beth’s head, which lent itself to the nature of the book so well. It felt as if we were falling apart, questioning everything and unsure of who we could trust… I felt myself becoming paranoid just reading the book, it really got under my skin.

There were points that felt unrealistic, with how Beth welcomed her mother back with open arms and with how she didn’t question certain things, but when you think that Beth is a divorced mother of two who really has her shit together (really refreshing to read by the way) you can understand why her mother suddenly reappearing out of the blue would throw her off kilter and lead her to make these decisions and assumptions.

Throughout the story Kabler dropped these small hints that built up the tension and lead into this great little backstory that eventually made it’s way to the forefront of the book and delivered the mother (excuse the pun) of all twists!

I did not expect the final third of the book to play out the way it did, and while I did guess some aspects of how it would pan out, there others that completely blindsided me and left me sitting with my mouth hanging open.

I also loved how the very end of the book showed everything coming a full circle, it rounded the story off and left me feeling really fulfilled with the story.

On the whole, I loved this book. It kept me guessing, had so many twists and turns that I thought I was on a rollercoaster and finished by wrapping everything up into this perfect little read!

Be sure to check out The Happy Family by Jackie Kabler on the 4th June when it’s published.

Until next time, Em xxx

June NetGalley Update!

Hello friends, I’m here (actually on time this month) to share my NetGalley update!

I have actually requested 2 more books (from an auto-approved publisher) and then like 5 or 6 more that I’m hoping the book Gods will look favourably on me for… PLEASE :)))))) so my ratio is down a little bit on where I’d like it to be.

So as of 1.6.21 my stats are:

Ratio – 85%

46 approved / 39 feedback sent (I do have one that I’ve read and need to submit feedback for but I haven’t gotten around to it yet).

My titles to read are:

– The House of Dust by Noah Broyles

– The Neighbour by London Clarke

– Unnatural by Luke Fitzpatrick

– Silvers Hollow by Patrick Delaney

– Level Zero by Dan McDowell

– The Face At The Window by Ruby Speechley

A couple of these have already been published so I’m going to try and get those read first so I can get my review out ASAP and then I will make some time (maybe in August) to read The House of Dust.

Please pray to the book Gods that I get approved for the other books I’ve requested and hopefully I can add them to my list!

Em xxx

I Am Watching You, Teresa Driscoll – A Review.

Hello fellow bookworms! Today I am sharing my review of I Am Watching You by Teresa Driscoll, published back in 2017, and you can read the synopsis on Goodreads here.

Overall rating 4 out of 5 stars.

Right from the start I was drawn into the turmoil that Ella felt, just from being on the train, and from then onwards I was pulled deeper into a story where I felt as if I could trust no one and that everyone was lying. It was different to anything I’d read for a while and it’s really stuck with me, even for weeks after reading it, I can’t stop thinking about this book.

I Am Watching You is multiple POV, which I thought worked really well and complimented the authors writing style perfectly. Reading through these different perspectives helped to prevent the story from becoming stagnant and kept our interest, as we were constantly being fed different snippets of information designed to throw us off the scent.

Driscoll gave absolutely nothing away, I was hooked!

The minor story lines within this book only enhanced the story that was already being told, they added an extra layer of doubt and really fleshed the book out. I loved how the author took the time to develop these stories too, instead of just mentioning them once and forgetting them.

I had so many theories going around my head when I was reading this book, that even when we got to the ending and things were being revealed I was still questioning if this was another red herring, sent to confuse us. And when we did get to the ending I was shocked and impressed in equal measures…

The only disappointment for me, was the stalker/watcher, I felt it could have been such a central part of the story but it fell to the wayside and was quite disappointing. I wanted to feel creeped out and scared as if someone was watching me, but I just didn’t get that feeling.

The stalker chapters were very lacklustre.

On the whole, I Am Watching You was definitely a good read, from start to finish I was drawn into this book and kept guessing until the very last second. A solid 4 star read.

Until next time, Em xxx

📚Top Ten Tuesday – Book quotes that are scary…📚

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Today’s topics was book quotes that fit X theme, and then the theme was a freebie, we could pick anything we wanted! So I picked book quotes that I thought were creepy/scary/frightening. Anything that gave me that shiver up my spine…

1 – “God! Whose hand was I holding?” The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson.

There are few things that scare me more than the thought of a ghost or entity or demon holding my hand while I’m standing there thinking it’s my companion or something…

2 – “I am your number one fan” Misery by Stephen King.

Honestly, the thought of being stuck inside with a psychopath, while I am confined to a bed, no thank you. But what makes this even worse is that you just KNOW what she’s about to put him through…

3 – “Oh yes,” said the other mother. “I put her in there myself. And when I found her trying to crawl out, I put her back.” Coraline by Neil Gaiman.

This book absolutely terrified me from start to finish, I actually refuse to watch the film because those little button eyes would give me NIGHTMARES.

4 – “It rubs the lotion on its skin. It does this whenever it is told.” The Silence of The Lambs by Thomas Harris.

Arguably not the scariest quote from the book, but one that definitely makes me stop dead in my tracks and sends shivers down my spine. I hate this line so much 😦

5 – “Wendy? Darling? Light, of my life. I’m not gonna hurt ya. I’m just going to bash your brains in.” The Shining by Stephen King.

Whenever I re-read The Shining I can’t help but see the film playing out in my head at the same time, and whenever I read this line I always think of Jack Torrence as he’s slowly losing his mind in the Overlook Hotel, and honestly him swinging that axe is something that has always stuck with me.

And a special mention for…

“Abandon hope, all ye who enter here.” Inferno by Dante.

I’ve seen these words time and time again in different places and they SHIT ME UP every time. Whether it be in film or written text, there is just something when I read these that makes me want to pack up everything and move to Mars where it is safe from whatever lies in the hellhole beyond.

So, there are my top 5 creep/scary book quotes! I only picked the ones that genuinely scared me, even though there are more that others would consider to be included!

Until next time, Em xxx

ARC – The House of Whispers, Anna Kent – A Review.

Hello friends I am pleased to bring you a review of The House of Whispers by Anna Kent.

A huge thanks to NetGalley and hq publishers for the advanced copy of this book. The House of Whispers by Anna Kent will be published on 27th May 2021.

Overall rating – 3 out of 5 stars.

I’m going to start with the end of this book, which is an odd place to start but will allow me to explain my 3 star rating of The House of Whispers.

The very last pages, and I mean the last 2 or 3, absolutely ruined this book for me. It felt very much like a cop out and didn’t give us any closure at all. I felt let down by the author, as if they took the easy way out in ending this book.

The remainder of the book was average, it was a very slow burn which usually I would enjoy but this one felt like it went at a snails pace and I found myself wondering if we would ever get to the point of the story… I felt like I was wading through treacle for the first few chapters.

Once we met Grace things started to pick up a bit, and if nothing else the introduction of her character brought some life to the story, sped things up and made it quite an enjoyable read, from that point onwards at least.

I did enjoy the way there seemed to be an interview with Abi’s husband, Rohan, in every few chapters. It really interested me, gave us a different dimension to the story and kept me guessing why it was placed in the story.

Character wise, my opinion did change once I completed the book, but that was based on how the ending unravelled.

I will admit, I wasn’t expecting the twist that came our way but I also feel it was very thrust upon us, there were no hints leading up to it for us to piece together, we were just thrown in at the deep end.

Overall, I just feel really disappointed by this book. It took me a while to get stuck in, the ending was abysmal (the last 2 or 3 pages) and I felt the interviews with Rohan were never really expanded upon or explained. We were left with more questions than answers…

If you do read this book or have done so already let me know what you thought!

Until next time, Em xxx

May NetGalley Update!

Hello fellow bookworms and bloggers! This is my slightly late (very late, we’re halfway through the month Emily…) May NetGalley update!

I am pleased to say that I haven’t requested any more books since my last update, I am very pleased with myself, I can’t promise I won’t have requested 10 books next time I update you all but here we are.

So, as of 14.5.21 my stats are:

Ratio – 93%

41 Approved / 38 feedback sent

My titles to read are:

– The House of Dust by Noah Broyles.

– The Perfect Life by Nuala Ellwood.

I have to review and then share my review of One Monsoon in Mumbai by Anitha Perinchery, which I just haven’t gotten chance to get to reviewing yet, but I have read it and IT WAS BLOODY BRILLANT.

I’m actually really proud of myself for managing to not only increase my ratio but also not request anymore books!

I will try and be more punctual with my June update but don’t hold out hope…

Until next time, Em xxx