Mini Reviews!

Hello fellow bloggers! I have a couple of mini reviews to share with you of books I read recently! They weren’t long enough for a full review so I’ve just done a few lines on each.

Kellie’s Diary #1 by Thomas Jenner.

Overall rating – 2 stars.

The story itself and how it was presented to us, reading a book in a diary format from a child’s perspective as they navigate the end of the world. It was a completely different take on the world ending trope. I will admit I did find it difficult to warm to Kellie (our narrator and child) for no other reason than I just felt she was a bit annoying…

There are other books in the series after this one, but I felt like it still cut off really abruptly and felt like a marketing ploy to get others to buy the next book.

I will say I was really bugged by this one once I reached the end of the book, the kindle version had a text only format at the end (the story was actually done as if written in a diary on lined paper, with childlike handwriting) and it made it feel as if the book was much longer.

The Killing Type by Jane Corry.

Overall rating – 2 stars.

My main issue with this book was it’s length, it could have easily been a longer story and had so much more value and quality to it.

No sooner had I started reading this book I guessed where it was going and how it would end, I feel if it was longer it wouldn’t have been so easy to do so, the author could have spent more time building up to the story, teasing us with little hints and comments.

The story itself was clever, the premise was good I just felt like it lacked that length to make it into a really good plot and book.

Until next time, Em xxx

The Bohemian Rhapsody Book Tag!

Hello fellow bookworms! I am ever so slightly Queen obsessed so when I saw this book tag on Pinterest I HAD TO DO IT IMMEDIATELY.

If you do know the OG creator please let me know as I would love to give credit to them!

“MAMA, JUST KILLED A MAN” – A FICTIONAL CHARACTER’S DEATH THAT REALLY UPSET YOU?

I can’t really remember any characters that really upset me when they died, I mean sure I probably felt a bit sad but nothing that really stuck with me. I guess I’m just cold hearted haha.

“CARRY ON, CARRY ON” – PICK A BOOK THAT WAS HARD TO KEEP READING BUT WAS WORTH IT IN THE END.

I struggled with Ariadne, I Love You by J Ashley Smith, not because it was a terrible book but because I kept having to put to one side and just take a breather. It was really good it was just very overwhelming (I think that’s the best word for it!)

“SENDS SHIVERS DOWN MY SPINE” – PICK A BOOK WITH A BEAUTIFUL SPINE/COVER.

I actually have one on my shelf at the moment which is The Good Girlfriend’s Guide to Getting Even by Anna Bell. It’s purple and has little confetti bits on it, it’s soooo cute!

“GOODBYE EVERYBODY, I’VE GOT TO GO” – A BOOK THAT YOU COULDN’T FINISH.

IT by Stephen King, I’ve tried two or three times to read this one now and I couldn’t finish it at any point.

“THUNDERBOLT AND LIGHTNING, VERY, VERY FRIGHTENING” – WHICH BOOK DID YOU FIND VERY, VERY FRIGHTENING?

I don’t often get frightened by books but one that really stuck with me was The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson.

“BISMILLAH, NO! WE WILL NOT LET YOU GO” – WHICH BOOK/SERIES DO YOU WISH THERE HAD BEEN MORE OF?

I actually want more Twilight books, but them when they’re all vampires and how they just deal with daily life, like Charlie wanting to see his grandchild and Renesmee going to school etc!

“MAMMA MIA, MAMMA MIA” – WHICH BOOK/SERIES SHOULD BE MADE INTO A MUSICAL?

Could you IMAGINE Percy Jackson as a musical?!

THE HEAD BANGING BIT – WHICH BOOK MADE YOU FACE-PALM?

Sooooo many, too many to mention! But I think the most recent one was The Face At The Window by Ruby Speechley, it was just so WTAF that I had to face palm.

“OH BABY, CAN’T DO THIS TO ME, BABY” – PICK A MOMENT FROM A BOOK WHERE YOU FELT LIKE THE AUTHOR WAS BEING MEAN TO YOU?

It was in The Pastel Effect, I felt like the author was trying to rip my heart out and trample on it…

“NOTHING REALLY MATTERS TO ME” – WHICH CHARACTER(S) DID YOU NOT CARE ABOUT?

One that really sticks in my head, at the moment anyway! Is Parker from This Lie Will Kill You, man he was an asshole :)))))

I tag anyone who loves Queen, just give this tag a go. I had to go and listen to bohemian rhapsody after I finished this post!

Until next time, Em xxx

ARC – Autumn Falls, A R Kingston – A Review.

Hello friends and fellow bookworms! I’m here today bringing you my review of Autumn Falls by A R Kingston. I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of this from NetGalley and BooksGoSocial in return for an honest review.

Autumn Falls by A R Kingston was published on the 14th May 2021 and you can read the synopsis here on Goodreads.

Overall rating – 3 out of 5 stars.

The beginning seems like a good place to start (both with the book and the review!) and it was from the very start that I was in two minds about this one… Straight away, we were launched into the story, with a lot happening in such a short of space time that you’d be forgiven for thinking the author was going straight for the shock factor and not focusing on much else.

As we progressed through the story I was gradually drawn in, and as the intrigue built so did the sense of fear and foreboding. The author definitely managed to create a creepy and eerie atmosphere. Sadly, though, towards the end of this book when it reached the climax this atmosphere seemed to fade away.

I felt the same with the writing style as well, to begin with it was excellent I was getting goosebumps, paranoia and I kept looking over my shoulder, it was well written and captivating. It was confusing, but not in a bad way, in a way that keeps you guessing and makes you want to keep reading to find out what’s happened. But that did taper off and I started to feel as if the fear factor was missing.

I started feeling as if I wanted the book to just hurry up and get to the point…

Character wise, I felt these were the poorest part of the book. They just didn’t stand out for me, they weren’t as well written as the descriptive aspects were and they felt very 2D. I couldn’t feel anything for them, which as we reached the climax of the book became an issue because I didn’t care if they survived.

I also feel as though first person would have benefited this book and perhaps endeared the characters more to the reader.

The overall entertainment value of this book just didn’t hit the spot for me either. Some of the more superficial details that make the story were just unnecessary and didn’t add value, and the more menial details seemed too easy – for example, how easy it was for Kevin to walk back into their lives. It was too simple.

Overall, Autumn Falls just didn’t feel right to me, it didn’t have the right flow to the story, which wasn’t helped by the dips in the atmosphere and writing and the poor characters. The plot itself and the intrigue the story built were definitely there, and they elevated the book and did bring some enjoyment from Autumn Falls. Sadly, this just wasn’t the finished product in my eyes.

Let me know if you’ve read Autumn Falls and what you thought or if it’s on your TBR list!

Until next time, Em xxx

Mini Reviews!

Hello fellow bookworms, I’m here today with 2 smaller reviews of full length books. I’ve decided to do smaller ones as there wasn’t much I had to say about them both, other than that I really enjoyed them so I decided to just condense them into this smaller post.

The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum by Kirsten Weiss.

Overall rating – 4 out of 5 stars.

For a freebie off the Amazon Kindle store The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum did not disappoint!

I found this book so easy to read, and to get sucked into – which is no way a criticism, it was just a well written and enjoyable story.

The whole book was just so cosy and mysterious and really played on that whodunnit theme, which I thought was done really well. It built up the suspense, dropped little hints and clues here and there and wasn’t totally outlandish with the perpetrator.

The finger was pointed at absolutely everyone and I loved it. We were really kept guessing right until the author wanted to reveal to us who it was – it literally could have been anybody!

Everything within this story just made sense and concluded brilliantly, it held a steady pace the whole way through and built the tension up and dipped it down again as and when it needed to. Everything just worked so well together to craft this really interesting little read.

Explicit by Roxy Sloane.

Overall rating – 5 out of 5 stars.

As another freebie from Amazon I wasn’t holding out much hope for this one, but I was absolutely BLOWN AWAY!

I devoured this book so quickly, it was easy to just get lost in the story and when I was rooting for our main character (Ellie) I had to keep reading because I had hoped so much that she got her happy ending.

The characters were the real standout of this book for me, Ellie was independent and driven, Jackson was painted as the bad boy we all love, but really was a softie with some issues and Ellie’s friends added that feeling of girl power the story.

Explicit just flowed so well, the story built up and dipped at the right moments, it made me laugh out loud, gasp and even cry at points, and the sex scenes were brilliantly written, they were perfectly smutty! While I do wish it was longer, I appreciate that there couldn’t have been much more to go into the story without losing some of those feelings it had already crafted.

Oh and special mention because Ellie works in publishing, it was a book about books! And sex and love of course, but it featured books!

I loved both of these books, and I would definitely recommend, although probably to different audiences! They were both well worth the read and I’m glad I decided to pick them up.

Until next time, Em xxx

Another book tag!

Hello friends I’m here with another book tag which I actually can’t remember or find the official name of, I’m such a bad blogger honestly… But, this is one that has some absolute classic songs on it that I was super excited to take part in!

Today’s post is a tag courtesy of Jemma and Milly – and it’s a nostalgic one. I used to be obsessed with some of these songs (read as still am obsessed with some of these songs lmao)

As always if you want to take part please consider yourself tagged.

What’s My Age Again? – blink 182
What age did you discover your love of reading?
Probably around 7 or 8, I used to love reading in school and around that age was when I started to pick my own books at the library (under my Mom’s watchful eyes!) and would really look forward to visiting the library.

All Star – Smash Mouth
What is your favourite genre?
Thriller, horror or psychological thriller. They are my absolute FAVE.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Deep Blue Something
What is your go to reading snack/drink (or just your favourite)
I don’t really eat or drink while I’m reading but if I am it’s usually a cup of tea and a squares rice krispie bar. They don’t make as much mess as biscuits!

Give It Away – Red Hot Chili Peppers
What book do you ALWAYS recommend to people
At the moment, this is The Pastel Effect by Arly Carmack or usually The Shining by Stephen King, or Red Dragon by Thomas Harris.

…Baby One More Time – Britney Spears
A book or series you have read more than once
Harry Potter, Percy Jackson & The Olympians, the Hannibal series and the Goosebumps horrorland series.

Tearin’ Up My Heart – N’Sync
A book that broke your heart to finish
I absolutely sobbed when I finished Midnight Sun, I’m not sure if it was the emotion of re-reading the entire series in preparation or what but I broke my heart when I finished it 😦

Crush – Jennifer Paige
Who was your first bookish crush
Thinking back probably Draco Malfoy, or Edward Cullen. It’s a toss up between the two who I crushed on first.

Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana
A book that you read as a teen that you still love today
Animal Farm by George Orwell. The older I get the more my opinion on this book changes. We had to read it for our English lit class and then had a GCSE exam based upon it, so at the time I absolutely detested it. But, now I’m older I’m starting to appreciate it more and am thinking of doing a re-read.

Let me know if you’ve read any of the books I’ve spoken about and what you thought of them!

And if you do take part in this tag be sure to let me know so I can check out your post.

Until next time, Em xxx

September plan onwards!

Hey guys! September is here which is why I wanted to take the time to actually type up my thoughts of how I’ll be doing things on my blog from now until I feel like another change!

So, from now onwards…

I will be posting two days a week, possibly a third if I get backed up again with reviews. Tuesday will be other bookish related content and Friday will be review day. The only other day I will post is a Sunday, which is in case of a backlog.

Some of my posts recently have used the CAWPILE rating system, and some haven’t, due to how they were scheduled. Going forwards all books will be rated using this system – it’s a much better way (for me personally) to give a book a star rating, without just gushing that I absolutely loved it 5 stars.

Not all book reviews will be fully written and long, some of them will be 10 or 15 thoughts whilst reading [book tittle] this is because sometimes it’s just really hard to write a full review of something! I will still rate the book out of 5 though. And this will not be something I do for ARCs, they will always get a full review from me.

I’ve also had a little bit of a rebrand! Which you may have already noticed, but will start to see more of in my posts. I’ve created some new graphics and changed the colours around – I just fancied something different! Do let me know what you think (unless you don’t like it then please keep that opinion to yourself, I’m very sensitive haha).

This theme is now consistent across my blog and Twitter page (you can find me @WhatEmsReadingX).

I am super excited to get started with this new plan and I will be hopefully sharing a NetGalley update with you all tomorrow to get my month off to a good start.

Let me know what upcoming blog posts you’ve got, as I’m more determined to spend time interacting with all my fellow bloggers and friends!

Until next time, Em xxx

My Not So Perfect Life, by Sophie Kinsella – A Review.

Hello fellow bookworms! I’m bringing you my review of My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella! You can read the synopsis on Goodreads here.

Overall rating – 4 out of 5 stars.

I want to start by saying I’m a huge fan of Sophie Kinsella, I love her books and My Not So Perfect Life was no different. Straight away I was drawn into this book by Kinsella’s relatable writing and story.

Whilst the literal story itself wasn’t relatable to me personally (Katie is trying to make her way in London after moving from Somerset and thinking she’s broken her Dad’s heart in the process) the whole idea of just wanting to fit in at a company, and make something of yourself, and being a capable and strong and independent were all something I could relate to. And I think that’s why this book worked so well.

Katie even has an Instagram page where she shows photos of her seemingly perfect life, which are actually just snaps of other people’s hot chocolates, or steps to their house, or other beautiful aspects of the city she lives in. But it’s false, she lives in a tiny room in a flat share, with barely any money.

Just like in real life, people only share the glamorous parts of their lives on social media. We are getting better at being honest and showing the less exciting and less glamourous parts of our day on these platforms, but there is still a culture of having to show yourself as being wonderful and happy and fab all the time.

Which is why the idea of Katie having this page makes this story feel so relatable.

Character wise, the book mainly focuses on Katie and her relationship with those around her, but that doesn’t mean the others weren’t playing vital roles in the book…

Her Dad (Mick) and Step Mom (Biddy) were absolutely cracking characters, I laughed out loud with some of the things they came out with and swelled with love and adoration for them at other points. They blended so well into the story, I don’t think the book would have been as fun without them!

And Demeter, I don’t want to give too much away but the character development she had across the book was brilliantly written. And as for Alex, my only wish is we got to see more of him.

Throughout the whole story I felt as if I were standing alongside Katie, whether that be in London or Somerset. Kinsella has this talent of writing the settings and locations so well you feel as if you’re there with the character. Especially the countryside, I could almost feel my worries and concerns being eased away as I read this book, just like they would be standing in the fresh countryside air.

Oh and the ending was just so perfect, it wrapped everything up into this fab happy ending – which I love!

I find Sophie Kinsella books so easy to read and devour and this one was no different. On the whole, My Not So Perfect Life was just an easy to read book, that brought me joy and happiness to read. It’s definitely one I would take on holiday to read by the pool when I wanted to chill out.

If you’ve read this one, let me know what you thought in the comments.

Until next time, Em xxx

Abra-Cadaver, Matt Drabble – A Review.

Hello fellow book lovers and bookworms, I’m very excited to bring you my review of Abra-Cadaver by Matt Drabble (you can see the synopsis here on Goodreads).

Overall rating – 4 out of 5 stars.

WOOOOOW, this book was a wild ride that I absolutely loved! Straight away I was hooked into this book, and I could not put it down.

Everything about this book from the premise, to the characters, to the writing, to the actual plot itself and the chapters I thoroughly enjoyed, although there were a couple of little niggles, hence my 4 star rating.

When you first start reading we are introduced to our characters 24 years ago, which is great as we got to see the full background of the story through their own eyes. These first few pages absolutely packed a punch and set up for what would become a truly brilliant and clever book.

Character wise, we stick with the same handful throughout the whole story, and while they weren’t the most inventive characters and they retained a lot of their childhood traits they were certainly likable enough.

One thing I did enjoy is how they all seemed to slip back into those childhood roles once they got back together, it cleverly set up for a lot of the later story.

The book itself was written in 3rd person, which I enjoyed as it meant we got a chance to see Great Cosmos X from various points of view, and how he was perceived by each character.

While at points it was a predictable and slightly sloppy story, the introduction of the “magic tricks” used by Great Cosmos X within his wicked games were an original and clever twist on the story.

It did get better though and from about 77% through I literally could not stop reading, it took a complete twist that I wasn’t expecting and completely turned the book on it’s head – I could not put the book down, I needed to know what was going on!

On the whole, Abra-Cadaver was a really good book, I thoroughly enjoyed it and while some aspects were predictable or sloppy, others were completely original and brought something new to the story.

Let me know if you’ve read Abra-Cadaver and what you thought!

Until next time, Em xxx

The Tanglewood Teashop, Lilac Mills – A Review.

Hi friends, I’m back again with another book review to share with you all! Today it’s my read of The Tanglewood Teashop by Lilac Mills. You can check it out here on Goodreads.

Overall rating – 4 out of 5 stars.

At the start of this book it was quite a slow burner, but I’m so glad I stuck with it because that warm and cozy vibe that I picked up on straight away only grew into full on enjoyment and fun once I’d finished this book!

The descriptions within this story were so well written that I could almost feel myself sitting in the cafe with the customers and eating the cakes that Stevie had made, or feel the pouring rain and the fear of the residents when the town flooded, or the excitement and joy of the ball.

I could not fault the descriptive writing at all, I honestly felt as though I had been whisked away to Tanglewood.

Straight away I loved Stevie as a character, she just had something about her that endeared her to me. Maybe it was the way she kept her connection with Peggy (who seemed like a gem by the way!)

It took me a little while to warm to our other characters, I felt they weren’t given the same time and care as Stevie was to begin with, and Nick came across as a bit of a dick to be honest. He did grow on me as the story progressed but I found him hard to like and quite irritable at the start.

There were points in this book when I laughed, points when I gasped out loud and points where I cried, it had everything that a good romance book needed!

Oh and the ending, it was beautifully written and I cried so much. It was worth picking this book up for the ending alone honestly.

On the whole, I really enjoyed The Tanglewood Teashop, it was definitely a good little read!

Until next time, Em xxx

The Hunted, Rachel Blackledge – A Review.

Aloha fellow bookworms! I am here today to share with you a review of The Hunted by Rachel Blackledge, published in 2020. You can read the synopsis here on Goodreads.

Overall rating – 3 out of 5 stars.

I’ve rated The Hunted 3 stars because there were aspects of the book that I thought were truly brilliant, well thought out and well written. But, there were other parts that I thought were really poor and would have rated 2 stars.

The writing style, whilst I found difficult to get into at first, really lent itself to the story. It’s all first person POV, and shown through the eyes of Eugenia, who is a brilliant storyteller, she was very in tune with her surroundings, so we didn’t miss anything.

Through the first few chapters as we were introduced to the story and our characters and their history there was this sense of foreboding that was building up, word by word. Sadly, it seemed to reach a natural peak and things all got a little bit out of hand from there, which is where I would rated parts much lower.

It felt like we’d done a complete 180 to the way the story was going and the way the blurb made the story sound. Which was really disappointing as the blurb is what hooked me onto this book in the first place.

The characters were one of the key redeeming points of this story though, they were cleverly crafted to build the story up and they all brought something different.

Virginia was not the character I thought she would turn out to be, there was some real growth there. And I completely guessed Ben wrong, I couldn’t have been further from the truth with him! (It’s testament to the author that she planted this clever seed of doubt about everyone in this book so when their true colours were revealed, some were a shock).

There were points of this book that I devoured page after page desperate to find out what was happening and what would happen next, and there were others that I skim read the page and shook my head at because it seemed so ridiculous to the picture that the author painted previously.

The ending was the real let down for me, I felt like what could have built up to SOOOOO much just kind of crashed and burned and left me feeling a bit empty and drained.

Overall I thought The Hunting was inconsistent, hence my 3 star rating.

Let me know if you’ve read this one and what you thought!

Until next time, Em xxx