📚The Book Snob Tag📚

Hey everyone I’m taking part in the Book Snob Tag today, I got this from Flowers In The Brain and you can see this tag in action right here!

ADAPTATION SNOB – Do you always read the book before you see the movie? A – I make an effort to, I feel like films are so different to the books (for many reasons) and I always prefer to let my imagination run wild with a book before I see it on screen.

FORMAT SNOB – You can only choose 1 format in which to read books for the rest of your life. Which do you choose: physical books, ebooks or audio books? A – I would pick ebooks, simply because I find it so much easier to just grab my Kindle and go, it’s practically weightless.

SHIP SNOB – Would you date or marry a non-reader? A – Yes! Not everyone is the same and it’s healthy to have different interests.

GENRE SNOB – You have to ditch one genre never to be read again for the rest of your life. Which do you ditch? A – This is really hard, I don’t really hate a certain genre, I just enjoy less books from that particular one! I will say sci-fi.

UBER GENRE SNOB – You can only choose to read from one genre for the rest of your life. Which genre do you choose? A – Horror/thriller. EASY.

COMMUNITY SNOB – Which genre do you think receives the most snobbery from the bookish community? A – I don’t really think any of them receive that much snobbery… If I have to pick I would say romance novels, there seems to be some unreachable bar set for romance books!

SNOBBERY RECIPIENT – Have you ever been snubbed for something that you have been reading or for reading in general? A – I haven’t, everyone has been super nice so far and is so friendly.

As always if you want to play along please consider yourself tagged, but make sure to tag back to Flowers In The Brain!

Em xxx

Mini Reviews!

Hey everyone! Here are a selection of mini reviews for short stories I read during July. I’ll put their title, author and length, along with a short description prior to the review of them.

Turn Her Face to the Wall by William Hussey. 45 pages on Kindle.

Synopsis… Turn Her Face to the Wall is a free short story so chilling, it is sure to leave your blood running cold. In this creepy tale, the twist comes with the very last word…

I was so excited to read this story no sooner had I read the first couple of pages, Hussey really builds up our intrigue from the get go. The story builds up perfectly and you can feel the emotions written on the page.

The ending was wild, I was not expecting it and the twist was left until the very last sentence, we were kept on edge until the last second and even then, we were still left wondering exactly what happened.

Overall rating 4 out of 5 stars.

The Garage by J Dispenza. 27 pages on Kindle.

Synopsis… “It’s 1996 and high school sweethearts, Zoe and Stefano, are enjoying a valentine’s night in when Zoe realizes she is about to miss her midnight curfew. Worried about losing her car privileges, she jumps into her Ford Escort and begins the long and dark drive home. Meanwhile, Stefano is caught off guard by a troubling psychic premonition of blood – lots of blood. As the clock ticks down to midnight, Zoe comes to the bone-chilling realization that she has a bigger problem than answering to her strict father about the time. Will Zoe and Stefano survive the night?”

In such a short space of story the author definitely built up the suspense and had us questioning every little thing! In the end, it turned out to be something so completely different to what we expected that I think I’m still digesting what happened.

I honestly expected this to be like so many urban legends I’ve read so I was pleasantly surprised with how this one turned out! The ending was just CRAZY.

The only criticism I have is that we didn’t really get introduced to Zoe, who the story focused around, and we were left to imagine her in our own mind. I feel the author could have taken an extra few lines to describe her.

Overall rating 4 out of 5 stars.

See you soon, NC Marshall – A Review.

See You Soon by NC Marshall.

Synopsis… “When Emily receives an e-mail from her estranged childhood friend, Ali, she instantly looks forward to reading what it has to say. She hasn’t seen or heard from Ali in a very long time and hopes that they can begin to rekindle the perfect friendship they once had. But when Emily opens the e-mail, she finds it isn’t the friendly message she had hoped for. Instead, it is a desperate plea for help from Ali to tell Emily she could be in danger. Growing increasingly concerned for Ali’s safety, Emily is forced to return to the seaside town where she and Ali had grown up. The same town that she had fled from over fifteen years ago, when she had sworn she would never return. Once back there, Emily is quickly thrown into a game of cat and mouse, where she must follow the clues to help her old friend. But time is against her and she is constantly looking over her shoulder. It appears Emily isn’t alone, and must hurry before her past finally tracks her down…”

Overall rating 3.5 out of 5 stars.

My review…

I’m a little bit unsure how I felt about this one, and whilst it certainly had some aspects that I wouldn’t have anticipated, other parts were just awful and so I went down the middle (ish) with my rating.

Our main character, Emily, I really liked, I felt her personality shone through and I loved how open and honest she was with the reader. And I loved how she was pulled back to her childhood home and that began to unravel lots of little stories within it.

On the flip side, it did frustrate me how we would go off on a tangent, just at the moment something big had happened and we wanted to know how it would continue.

The other characters though (and there were only a few) didn’t get the same courtesy and we were left wondering about Mark and Tom and even Ali herself who the story was focused around were a mystery.

Some aspects of the story were just plain stupid, the way Ali just assumed (as if she’s psychic) that Emily would be at a certain place so she could drop off a note there?! And the mysterious relationship that Ali had, which ended up being someone completely different to the trail that had been laid so you had absolutely no chance of guessing that one right!

The ending ruined this book for me though, I could see what the author was trying to do and that’s what hurt me the most.

It would have been the most amazing twist had we actually known who the person was. Part of a suspense/mystery novel is trying to guess who the murderer is or who-dunnit and then when it’s someone completely out of the blue who we’ve never met before it feels like a waste of time. Which is exactly how I felt with this book.

On the whole, I feel this book had a real promise to it. The premise was good and if only the author had spent a little bit more time on the important details and less on others I feel it could have been an excellent read.

Em xxx

Top Ten Tuesday – FREEBIE! Top Ten Books of 2020 so far📚

Hello everyone and happy Tuesday! It’s Top Ten Tuesday which is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. TTT is a weekly post, born out of the want to bring us bookish people together and great for those of us that love a good list.

This weeks topic is a freebie where we come up with our own topics for TTT… And this week I’ve decided to share my favourite ten books of 2020 so far!

I’ll link them all as the reviews have now gone live and you can have a nosey if you like.

1 – One Week Till Christmas by Belinda Missen.

2 – Coraline by Neil Gainman. P.S. This book literally terrified me.

3 – It Will Just Be Us by Jo Kaplan.

4 – Schooled by Piper Lawson.

5 – The Night Stalker by Robert Bryndza.

6 – The Lost War by Justin Lee Anderson.

7 – The Whisper Man by Alex North.

8 – Twilight by Stephenie Meyer.

9 – Goosebumps Horrorland Series by R L Stine.

10 – The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown.

There you have my top 10 books of 2020! I enjoyed reading all of these for different reasons and instead of rehashing why I loved them all I’ve just included the review links so you can see for yourself.

Until next time! Em xxx

Mini Reviews!

Hey everyone! Here are a selection of mini reviews for short stories I read during June. I’ll put their title, author and length, along with a short description prior to the review of them.

The Text by Claire Douglas. 40 pages long on Kindle. Published August 2017.

My review – I feel let down by this book, if I’m being completely honest. The blurb really grabbed me and when I actually read the book I was disappointed and felt as though we were led on. I felt like we went round in circles and just lacked the spark to make this book good and the ending was just too easy.

Alive by Sharon Bolton. 58 pages long on Kindle. Published March 2018.

My review – I really enjoyed this story, it might have helped that I read it at night in the dark but it really gave me creepy feels! Bolton creates an atmosphere that’s intense and builds up really well. I love a mystery but I was disappointed that we didn’t find anything else out about the Craftsman, just a little bit to tie the story together would have been perfect.

Tell Him He’s Dead by Tony Parsons. Published January 2018.

My review – I am shook, I thought this story was excellent. For a short story there was so much packed in, but it didn’t feel rushed at any point. I couldn’t have predicted anything about this story and I was so shocked when everything unravelled. I had literal goosebumps reading this story, it was really good!

I think short stories can be quite hard to get right, you don’t want to pack too much in so it feels rushed but at the same time you need to give the reader something to get stuck into.

Let me know if you’ve read any of these stories and what you thought about them!

Em xxx

Virtual Insanity, Charlie Dalton – A Review.

Virtual Insanity by Charlie Dalton.

Synopsis… “Four friends celebrate a stag weekend at Virtual Insanity, a cutting-edge virtual reality company. Built on a disused military research facility, the futuristic headsets scan existing landscapes and re-imagines them with post-apocalyptic environments. They battle zombies, overcome obstacles, and fight to stay alive. But when one member of the team falls off the grid, he uncovers a secret even the game’s designers aren’t aware of”.

Overall rating 3 out of 5 stars.

My review…

I have mixed feelings about this book, the premise sounded excellent and I was hooked straight away just from the description. However, I can only describe it as if you saw a film trailer, then watched the film only to realise they put all the best bits in the actual trailer and the rest was, well, shit.

I was intrigued by this book to start with, I’m a big fan of VR technology and so as soon as I saw this would feature heavily in the book I was desperate to read it. The technology seemed simple enough and didn’t go into too much detail that would turn people off reading it.

As the book progressed though my enjoyment waned. The dialogue was very clunky, it was always “he said” after every sentence and for a group of people supposed to be friends I didn’t get that feeling from their interactions.

The characters themselves were interesting enough, and there was an underlying tension between two of them which added another level to the story – though I guessed what that would be from the start, it was a little too obvious.

Whilst the book did leave us guessing with what was real and wasn’t real it also left us with a lot of other unanswered questions and unfulfilled potential. I feel the author could have put more time into developing the story and giving the readers something to get stuck into.

On the whole, Virtual Insanity was different and certainly made good use of up and coming tech to enhance the story but it left me feeling empty with a lack of explanations and a poor ending.

Let me know if you’ve read this book as I’d love to hear what you thought!

Em xxx

Top Ten Tuesday – Book events/festivals I’d love to go to someday📚

Hello everyone and happy Tuesday! It’s Top Ten Tuesday which is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. TTT is a weekly post, born out of the want to bring us bookish people together and great for those of us that love a good list (me!)

This weeks topic is book events/festivals that I’d love to go to someday. I have to admit I wasn’t really aware of any events or festivals and obviously covid-19 has ruined any plans for this year so I did some Googling and these are the ones, past and future, I would have love or love to attend.

I’ve only picked 5 this time as it was quite overwhelming with the choices of festivals and I wanted this list to also be something achievable for me to do and attend.

1 – Hay Festival. Taking place on the border of England and Wales they are famed for their number of bookshops. AKA my perfect weekend trip!

2 – Cheltenham Literature Festival. This is set in October which is my birthday month so it’s like fate that I must attend this one!

3 – Bloody Scotland. An event for crime lovers that also features a free to watch football game between Scotland and England crime writers. What is not to love? It’s my 2 favourite things in one place.

4 – Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival. This takes place in Harrogate and celebrates the very best of crime fiction, with winners of their award including Lee Child and Cal McDermid. I mean, it’s a festival about crime books I would be in my element!

5 – Jewish Book Week. Put on by the Jewish Book Council it features Jewish themes and writers and discussions around important topics of the day.

Story time! My great great grandparents on my Dad’s side fled Poland in the Second World War, they were Polish and Jews, and came to England to start a new life. My surname only goes back 4 generations and so if I ever wanted to trace my family tree I wouldn’t get very far on my Dad’s side.

And there you have my bucket list of festivals and book events I want to attend!

Until next time, Em xxx

Reckless Nights in Rome, CC MacKenzie – A Review.

Reckless Nights in Rome by CC MacKenzie.

Though the name of her celebration and wedding cake business is up in lights, Bronte Ludlow doesn’t care for the trappings of success. All that matters to her is her company, her independence and her heritage,The Dower House. Home to her ancestors since the seventeenth century, no way will she part with it to ‘a man with too much money and no soul’.”

Overall rating – 4 stars out of 5.

My review…

The main bulk of the story focuses around Bronte and Nico, who are clearly attracted to each other (and from the authors descriptions of Nico, I can see why!) Along with Bronte’s brother, best friend and a few other minor characters.

Bronte is written as a strong independent woman with her own business and a stubborn streak that could rival my own! Which I enjoyed reading, it was nice to see a woman not be bulldozed by a man and to stand up for herself and what she wanted. I’m pretty sure I fell in love with Nico through the words on the page, and I loved how he could be forceful but caring and cautious of Bronte at the same time.

Nico and Bronte were both introduced to us in depth, and the author was very descriptive of them, but we didn’t get the same courtesy with the other characters. Which was a shame as they played quite large parts of the story line.

Within this story we had two or three different plot lines, that on their own weren’t brilliant but when the author brought them together they just fit.

The link between her parents accident and her brothers later in the book brought a different feel to the story and really pulled at my heartstrings, it became more than a romance novel at this point.

The plot of Bronte’s father was a shock that I didn’t see coming and Nico’s dislike towards his father was understandable, but when they were interwoven with the rest of the story they just fit, there’s no other way to explain!

MacKenzie didn’t rush this book at all, and for that I was pleased. We were teased with the seduction and feelings and they made their appearance at just the perfect time.

My favourite part of this book is how it was clearly a romance novel but it didn’t focus solely on sex, and when there were sex scenes they were written in the same tone as the rest of the book.

I also love a happy ending which this book has so I was over the moon!

On the whole, I thoroughly enjoyed this book it was definitely worth the read and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to others looking for a romantic read.

Until next time, Em xxx

Origin, Dan Brown – A Review.

Origin by Dan Brown.

Synopsis… “Robert Langdon, Harvard professor of symbology and religious iconology, arrives at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao to attend the unveiling of a discovery that “will change the face of science forever”. The evening’s host is his friend and former student, Edmond Kirsch, a forty-year-old tech magnate whose dazzling inventions and audacious predictions have made him a controversial figure around the world. Tonight is to be no exception: he claims he will reveal an astonishing scientific breakthrough to challenge the fundamentals of human existence. But Langdon and several hundred other guests are left reeling when the meticulously orchestrated evening is blown apart before Kirsch’s precious discovery can be revealed. With his life under threat, Langdon is forced into a desperate bid to escape, along with the museum’s director, Ambra Vidal. Together they flee to Barcelona on a perilous quest to locate a cryptic password that will unlock Kirsch’s secret”.

Overall rating 4 out of 5 stars.

My review…

The setting of Origin was perfect, it was set in Barcelona so it was nice to read one of Brown’s books where I knew the places being described, as I’ve been to Barcelona in the last few years. For me, this piqued my interest straight away and I loved reading how Brown described each location. Brown has this way of making you feel as though you are in the location, heightened only by the fact I know the city in question.

Character wise, I’ve always loved Langdon throughout the books, but Ambra was awesome. She was such a badass, despite the fact she was due to become the future Queen of Spain she didn’t hesitate in following what was right and doing what was necessary. And Winston, that was the biggest shock I’d read all year! I thought they all gelled together really well too, the dialogue was easy and really flowed between them despite the clear differences in the characters.

The story itself wasn’t Brown’s best, in my opinion, but it did still grip me. He has this clever way of writing a chapter with a cliff hanger and then in the following chapter completely swapping characters or locations so we want to keep reading!

It did get quite confusing, with the Church and Valdespino, the Regent and a lot of other minor characters that weren’t really fully developed but contributed to the story. There were also a couple of smaller plot lines that didn’t get tied up and were forgotten about, which frustrated me.

The ending though did give me the shock of my life and I wasn’t expecting it at all. But for me it wasn’t enough to bring the book up to the same standard as his other work.

Let me know if you’ve read Origin as I’d love to hear what you thought!

Em xxx

Top Ten Tuesday – Books that make me smile📚

Hello everyone and happy Tuesday! It’s Top Ten Tuesday (of course) which is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, and is a weekly post, born out of the want to bring us bookish people together!

The topic today is one I’m very excited for and I had a huge grin on my face writing it! It’s books that make me smile😄

12 – Percy Jackson and The Lightning Thief. While this isn’t my favourite PJO book it’s the start of the series and it will always be something special to me for that reason. Picking it up makes me smile because I know I’m about to restart one of my favourite series of all time.

2 – Matilda. This is one of my all time favourite children’s books, I loved it when I was little and I still do now! I will reread this (and watch the film) so often that I could recite it backwards haha.

3 – The End of Mr Y. I love this book anyway but it’s the cover and coloured edges that made me pick this one, it’s such a pretty book!

4 – You Kant Make It Up. This is actually a non-fiction book that I picked up back when I was in high school doing my a-levels and it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read. I picked it for this because the title reminds me of this video our ethics teacher used to show us that made me howl with laughter whenever I watch it!

5 – One Week Till Christmas. I reviewed this book early in the year, you can read it here, and it’s become a firm favourite of mine. It was such a sweet read and I read through it with a huge smile on my face!

As you can see I only did 5 as a lot of my books are crime/horror related and so I thought I would be a bit weird if I started talking about how I loved reading the Hannibal Lecter series and they made me smile when I picked them up lmao.

Be sure to let me know if you’re taking part in today’s TTT prompt so I can check out your post too!

Em xxx