Top Ten Tuesday – Books I want to read because someone recommended them to me📚

Hello fellow book bloggers and book lovers it’s Tuesday again and this weeks Top Ten topic is books that I want to read because they’ve been recommended to me!

In case you weren’t already aware Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by Jenna at That Artsy Reader Girl and is born out of a love of books and wanting to bring us bookish people together.

I technically wasn’t recommended to read these books, but these are ones that I have loved and added to my wish list after I saw them…

Number 1 – A Song of Isolation by Michael J Malone.

Number 2 – The Mistress by Jill Childs.

Number 3 – Killian’s Dead by Josie Jaffrey.

Number 4 – The Guest List by Lucy Foley.

Number 5 – One Eye Open by Paul Finch.

Number 6 – Lock Every Door by Riley Sager.

Number 7 – Obsession by Amanda Robson.

Number 8 – Lies Lies Lies by Adele Parks.

Number 9 – Liar by Lesley Pearse.

Number 10 – His and Hers by Alice Feeney.

I’ve seen these on various peoples blogs and on my twitter feed and after looking into them and reading the blurb I KNEW I wanted to read these!

Let me know if you’re taking part in TTT so I can check out your post too, and see what you guys are interested in reading and maybe get some more ideas for myself haha.

Until next time, Em xxx

Dr Sleep, Stephen King – A Review.

Dr Sleep by Stephen King.

Synopsis… “Following a childhood haunted by terrifying events at the Overlook Hotel, Danny Torrance has been drifting for decades. Finally, he settles into a job at a nursing home where he draws on his remnant ‘shining’ power to help people pass on. Then he meets Abra Stone, a young girl with the brightest ‘shining’ ever seen. But her gift is attracting a tribe of paranormals. They may look harmless, old and devoted to their Recreational Vehicles, but The True Knot live off the ‘steam’ that children like Abra produce. Now Dan must confront his old demons as he battles for Abra’s soul and survival…”

Overall rating 2 out of 5 stars.

My review…

I’m sad fellow book bloggers, I’m super sad 😦

I thought I would adore this book, I usually LOVE Stephen King and rate all of his book incredibly highly, but I just can’t do that with Dr Sleep… I would be lying if I said I enjoyed it.

The actual layout of the book put me off right from the start, with the different parts and then chapters within chapters, it confused me and I found it very hard to keep a track of where I was in the book.

The story itself, and whilst I shouldn’t compare it to The Shining you can’t help but not because it literally is the follow on story from that, was awful and should have just stayed in the drafts.

It felt, to me, like there was no clear direction this story was going in and a lot of the elements from The Shining were brought into this book but they felt different and wrong somehow. Almost as if King had forgotten to reread his own book before he wrote the sequel.

At points the book would jump years in the space of a few lines, which frustrated me no end and made it hard to keep up with what was going on.

The introduction of the True Knot was good, it added another angle to the story and I loved how the members were described and written, they had this real earthy feel to them and they felt quite cult like.

But the true standout of this novel was Abra, she was the shining star in a book that otherwise would have been unredeemable for me. I loved how she was written, how headstrong she was and I enjoyed any parts of the book that featured her immensely.

To top off this book the ending was absolutely appalling, it just summed up the rest of the book for me.

I definitely will not read this again and I’m sad to say how disappointed I am in this one because I usually love King’s books. Let me know if you’ve read it and what you thought!

Until next time, Em xxx

NETGALLEY – I Can’t Sleep, J E Rowney – A Review.

I Can’t Sleep by J E Rowney. As always a huge thank you to NetGalley and BooksGoSocial for the ARC of this book.

Synopsis… “I can’t sleep. Not since June 16th, 2018.Not since what happened… Traumatised by the events of her past, exhausted by insomnia, Becky Braithwaite believes that a new start will help her to recover. She leaves home to fulfil her brother’s dreams, and honour the life he never had but she soon finds that escaping from the past is not as easy as she imagined. Is her fatigued mind playing tricks on her, or is danger really lurking in the shadows?

Overall rating 4 out of 5 stars.

My review…

This book had great promise, and I was super keen to read it but I feel at some points it did let me down a little bit.

The book is based on Becky a journalism student who experienced a traumatic event in her life that turned her into an insomniac, who throughout the book becomes increasingly more paranoid and jumpy.

From the get go I was intrigued by this book, but I do feel a lot of that came down to us not knowing what said trigger event was and obviously wanting to know… That being said, as the book built up we were able to piece together elements of said event.

As the book was written entirely from Becky’s POV I felt we didn’t get to see much of the other characters, which was a good thing as it made us super aware of how little Becky observed and how her life had been overtaken by her insomnia.

The writing itself was good but I do feel the author tried a bit too hard to build suspense into every sentence. The chapters were the perfect length though and helped me devour this book in a day!

The ending was what put this book so high in my rating, I had goosebumps when I was reading it and now I have no idea what to trust or who to believe when I think back on everything I read during it…

I wouldn’t say this is the best thriller I’ve read but it definitely pulled me and made me question everything I had read previously. Let me know if you’ve read it and what you thought.

Until next time, Em xxx

NetGalley – The Proctor Hall Horror by Bill Thompson – A Review.

The Proctor Hall Horror by Bill Thompson. Thank you so much to NetGalley and Ascendente Books for the ARC of this book.

Synopsis… “Set along the beautiful Bayou Lafourche near Thibodaux, Louisiana, it’s a more traditional ghost story than some of the others from this author. Back in 1963, a fourteen-year-old boy who’s never spoken a word is found sitting quietly on a stairway in his house. In a nearby sitting room, his mother, father and younger sister sit next to each other on a couch.

At least most of their bodies are on the couch. Their heads are neatly arranged on the mantel. The boy – the only living person at Proctor Hall — is deemed unable to stand trial and spends decades locked away. When he’s released at last, he comes back to live at in the old house.

For a class assignment, a university professor sends a team to the old plantation with a goal to learn about the now-abandoned house and its mysterious past. As the students uncover secrets, the school project becomes a tragedy beyond imagination. Landry and the crew are called in to investigate. As they learn the truth, the dark things that lurk inside Proctor Hall may claim even more victims.”

Overall rating 5 out of 5 stars.

My review…

I think this may be my favourite read of the year so far, it had everything I could have wanted from a ghost story.

From the opening pages I was hooked by the story of a young girl who goes missing in front of the Proctor house and as the first chapter progressed I was drawn deeper into the story.

As we start the main bulk of the story we meet a group of teenagers who are attending a class led by a professor seemingly interested and drawn in by all things ghostly, we later discover this isn’t the case and there are far more sinister things going on…

I was drawn in by every character in this story, they all had a role to play and they did so perfectly. They were woven together creating the perfect mix to make this book explode into ghostly goodness.

A personal favourite of mine was Professor Julien Girard who was written so well that I did not see his twist coming at all…

The writing itself was excellent, the chapters were the perfect length to build up shock and suspense and there were several points I had goosebumps and I was scared (it’s not that easy to scare me with a book or horror film haha).

Because the book was written in third person we got see the story through multiple sets of eyes, which I loved because we saw so many different angles.

I loved the ending too, it was the perfect way to round off what was a truly excellent ghost story.

And despite being the 7th book in the series everything made perfect sense without having to had read any of the previous books, which I thought was great!

Until next time, Em xxx

October Horror Reading Update #2!

👻👻👻 It’s update time! 👻👻👻

So here is my first update for my October Horror Reads which marks exactly 1 week since I shared I would only be reading horror and thriller books of October.

Number of books completed – 6. I’ve read Dr Sleep, I Can’t Sleep, Be Careful What You Wish For, The Ghost in the Closet, Typhoid Mary and Psychosis: Tales Of Horror.

Number of pages read – 845.

Currently reading – Absolutely nothing, as I’ve gotten through 6 books already (granted some where short stories) I’m taking a small break to play Animal Crossing as the fall update has been released!!!

Next read – I haven’t quite decided yet, I’m going to run a poll on my Twitter of the 2 books I’ve narrowed it down to so if you follow me on there be sure to vote.

My next update may not (definitely won’t) have as many books as this but I’m super pleased with my start so far.

Em xxx

Mini reviews!

Sleeping Beauti by D B Green and A K Steen. Published December 2019.

I wanted to enjoy this book so much, it sounded absolutely amazing from the description. Individually, each section of this book was excellent, but when you put them together to form a story it didn’t gel. I felt confused by Rose and Philip to begin with and then even more so later in the story, which definitely did not help with the lack of gelling.

Sleeping Beauti had all the makings of a good story, and I do think it would have been better had the story been longer and allowed the author to expand more on the background, which would have enhanced the story. 

Secrets on Sale by Willow Morgan. Published September 2020.

I don’t want to sound horrible but I’m just going to say this… I hated this story.

There were far too many people introduced to us in such a short space of time, which made it incredibly difficult to keep up with and to know what was going on. Which was made worse when the plot was all over the place and seemed to at one point focus on something entirely different to the end game.

And the “romance” aspect was just downright unnecessary in the grand scheme of the book…

It’s hard with a short story, I find, to get the balance between including enough and then including too much. There has to be a good plot but that also has to be well developed within the few pages the author is allowing themselves, something I felt neither of these books did well.

Until next time, Em xxx

Top Ten Tuesday – Books that remind me of fall📚

Happy Tuesday fellow bloggers and book lovers! Today is Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by Jenna at That Artsy Reader Girl and is a weekly post born out of a love of books and wanting to bring us book lovers together.

I’ve picked my top 5 books on my bookcase that remind me of the upcoming season and festivities! And that includes Halloween and Christmas (in case you hadn’t guessed!)

Number 1 – One Week Till Christmas by Belinda Missen. Just looking at this book cover makes me feel all festive inside.

Number 2 – The Shining by Stephen King. I watch this film (and try to read the book) every year around Halloween, for me it just reminds me so much of Halloween!

Number 3 – The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty. Again, just looking at this book on my shelf reminds me of Halloween it’s like an involuntary reaction haha.

Number 4 – Murder on Christmas Eve by Cecily Gayford. I mean this literally has Christmas Eve in the title of course it’s going to remind me of the festive season.

Number 5 – The End of Mr Y by Scarlett Thomas. I’ve picked this one because of the orange and yellow themes on the cover of the book that literally remind me of falling leaves and kicking through them while I’m walking!

And those are my top 5 books that remind me of Autumn, Halloween and Christmas because for me Autumn just equals festivities.

Let me know what yours are so I can come check out your post too!

Until next time, Em xxx

Death’s Door, Paul Finch – A Review.

Death’s Door by Paul Finch.

Synopsis… “When a stalking case lands on DS ‘Heck’ Heckenburg’s desk it seems pretty straightforward. But when Heck discovers that the victim lives in the same house that a young woman was brutally murdered in six years earlier, instinct tells him that it’s not so simple after all. Before long Heck is entangled in something far more dangerous than he had expected. In a race against the clock, can Heck and Gemma stop history from repeating itself – or will they end up getting caught in the crossfire?

Overall rating 2 out of 5 stars.

My review…

I had high hopes for this book! It started out with someone watching possibly my favourite slasher film of all time so I was definitely invested and wanted to keep reading. It also helped that the fear was built up straight away, the atmosphere was tense…

Death’s Door hooked me in from the start and built up so much intrigue within just a few pages. As a short story I was worried the book would feel rushed, but we moved through at a steady pace, and even though quite a lot was packed into the few pages we had it didn’t feel like too much.

Reading this book was like being on a roller coaster, it was a wild ride!

Admittedly, I was disappointed in the ending of the book, it felt a bit anti climatic and I was left feeling underwhelmed and wanting to know more about the killer.

What did really piss me off about this book is that we got to around 73% of the way through and then the rest was a sample from another novel, we got a underwhelming ending and then when I thought there was another chapter or two to redeem it LOL NOPE.

Whilst this shouldn’t have bugged me as much as it did, it lead me to really drop down my rating.

Until next time, Em xxx

October Horror Reading Update!

Hi fellow book friends and HAPPY OCTOBER, it’s finally spooky season and I am EXCITED. If you saw my Top Ten Tuesday post back in September you’d have seen my Autumn TBR is actually a list of 10 horror or thriller books that I want to read in October…

As it’s only the 1st October I am literally a few pages into some of these books so I don’t really have a lot to share haha! I’ve kicked October off by selecting I Can’t Sleep by J E Rowney and Dr Sleep by Stephen King.

I’ll be sharing my progress on these books, and my other October Horror Reads at least once a week, maybe more it depends how quickly I start getting through them.

EEEEK, I’m so excited to do this, I just love Halloween and can’t wait for spooky season!

Until next time, Em xxx

Evangeline, E.A. Gottschalk – A Review.

Evangeline by E.A. Gottschalk.

Synopsis… “Angeline Gottschalk, bullied in school and abused on the farm, is hiding a dark and terrifying secret– one buried so deep that not even she knows the truth. That secret is Evangeline, the homicidal twin “sister” who narrates this extraordinary memoir of a teenaged serial killer out for revenge and living her dream in the American Heartland.”

Overall rating 3 out of 5 stars.

My review…

This book was so different to anything I had read before, and I’m airing on the side of caution with my rating…

The opening lines to Evangeline were certainly different and grabbed my attention as soon as I read them, I was hooked on wanting to know what was going on.

At first I was kind of put off by the sarcastic tone that our dear Evangeline was talking to us in but as I got deeper into the story I found myself really rooting for her and I really learnt to love her way of narrating.

The book itself was intense. Evangeline was a lot to take in, and had some dark themes that added the shock factor to this book – which at points for me did make it feel over the top and as though the author was trying to cram too much in.

The actual murdering parts I did find difficult to read, not because they were gross or disgusting, more so that Evangeline took so few precautions it was a wonder she wasn’t caught the first time around.

Towards the end my interest did start to wane a little bit but it was soon picked back up with the shock twists that we were treated to and they definitely redeemed some of the ill feelings I may have towards other aspects of this book.

I did enjoy this book on the whole but certain aspects just really frustrated me with how easy it could have been to improve them!

Until next time, Em xxx