The Cult on Fog Island – Mariette Lindstein.

Link to book – The Cult on Fog Island by Mariette Lindstein.

Rating – 3 out of 5 stars.

I’m really on the fence about my overall feelings towards this book because there were several aspects that I really enjoyed and then others just completely ruined it for me, but HEY that’s what review writing is for!

To start with, and I have to get this off my chest… I hated Sofia. She’s our main character and honestly I could not have disliked her more if I tried, she just really wound me up the wrong way and I found her to be a difficult character to enjoy. I’m not sure if it was made worse by the fact the book was written in third person, perhaps she would have been more likable if we were able to see the story from her perspective.

HOWEVER, the rest of the characters absolutely SMASHED it. They brought the entire book to life with their personalities and traits just weaving through the pages. They really sold the story to me.

Moving on though to the writing, I did enjoy the writing and the style of it, there were just a couple of things that niggled me… Namely the time jumps mid chapter, we would be part way through a page and we would just skip forward 3 weeks?! Without any break in the page either, I just felt the time jumps could have been better executed.

I did LOVE how the author managed to make the entire story so atmospheric though. Of course helped by the idea of a foggy island but they ensured that we had the scene set perfectly, a tense and eerie atmosphere created when the fog came and it made me feel as though I was caught up in it too. The same with the intrigue, the author built this story that reached it’s crescendo at just the right point, whilst also leaving breadcrumbs throughout the earlier story to keep us on edge.

The plot is possibly the biggest area that I’m split on… The story was really good and I love anything to do with cults so this was a real selling point for me. However, I did find that there were a couple of aspects that were bigged up (for want of a better phrase) that never really came to fruition throughout the story and it made me wonder why they were included at all.

On the whole though I did enjoy this book! The idea of the cult on an eerie, foggy island really intrigued me and I’m glad I took the time to read this one.

Until next time, Em xxx

The House Guest – Mark Edwards

Link to book – The House Guest by Mark Edwards.

Rating – 3 out of 5 stars.

I’m kind of still in two minds abut this book, I mean don’t get me wrong it was good, and I didn’t want to DNFR it at any point, I just felt like something was missing. For me, I feel like there wasn’t enough focus on the cult aspect of the story, and there was too much focus on Adam running around trying to solve the mystery… It felt as though it lacked that little bit of direction to make it into a great book.

But, I did think that the writing was good. The story flowed nicely, there was no awkward silences so to speak and the author clearly has a way with words that translated onto the page. This was best shown through the intrigue that the author managed to build up in every line and paragraph – part of the reason I was pushed to keep reading.

That being said I did find the characters lacked that extra bit of jazz that would have made them more 3D and more likeable. I found it really difficult to form an attachment to any of them and tbh at points they pissed me off more than anything!

It was the same with the plot, it was good but it definitely lacked something. And whilst I did enjoy the idea of the Cult, how they recruited people and the whole vibe they had going on, I do feel like the story got a little lost and there wasn’t much discussion around the Cult. The only time we really got any glimpses into it were the scenes with Ruth and Adam, but they were too focused on Adam trying to play vigilante. It just felt like the balance was tipped in the wrong direction.

And without sounding too mean, the last few chapters were a waste, they didn’t add any value and didn’t really compare to the high stakes vibes of the rest of the book.

On the whole, The House Guest had all the makings of a good story, it had a solid foundation and some characters that just needed a little bit more jazz, however, it wasn’t executed in the best way and the balance of the book just tipped the wrong way, leaving me disappointed and underwhelmed.

Until next time, Em xxx

The Burning Girls – C J Tudor

Link to book – The Burning Girls by C J Tudor.

Rating – 5 out of 5 stars.

Oh my goodness, this book was everything I had hoped it would be and more! I cannot wait to do a reread of this one and see if it holds my attention in the same way that it did on my first read…

Starting with the characters, I actually really enjoyed reading all of them. It’s not often that happens for me, usually I get quite nit-picky and find fault but I enjoyed reading about every single character in this book, they were all worthy to be included.

Focusing on Jack and Flo, who are two most featured characters, they were portrayed excellently. The author worked hard to make their relationship as realistic as possible was a positive point for me, it was written really well and the way Flo was portrayed as a rebellious teen only added to the excellently written relationship.

And the intrigue and atmosphere that the author built throughout the story were second to none. I honestly couldn’t put this book down I was so desperate to keep reading, it had me hooked.

This was only enhanced by the authors impeccable writing style that allowed the book to flow and grow (soz for the rhyming lmao) as the story progressed.

I’m not a religious person so upon first reading the blurb I was a bit worried I would struggle with it, but it was the complete opposite. Religion didn’t feature heavily within this story, it was more there for scene setting purposes.

Onto my absolute favourite part now though… The plot. The story was absolutely excellent, the way everything came together and clicked into place was just out of this world. I shouted out loud when I finished the book because I was just in shock at the ending! And the way the author made sure to finalise everything and tied off the lose ends only added to my enjoyment of this book.

On the whole, I absolutely adored reading The Burning Girls and I cannot wait to reread it in the new year!

Until next time, Em xxx

The Switch – Beth O’Leary

Link to book – The Switch by Beth O’Leary

Rating – 4 out of 5 stars

This book was an absolute joy to read, I loved it! From just reading the blurb I was instantly excited to read it and it definitely didn’t disappoint. 

Throughout the book we mainly focus on our two main characters, Eileen and Leena, who were both gold! They were written to be funny, heartfelt people who you just couldn’t help but love and want to be best friends with. And the supporting characters were given the same level of attention by the author, who wrote them to be the perfect accompaniment to our two leading ladies.

One of the best bits about having two leading characters, for me, was how the chapters bounced between the two of them. It worked really well with the premise of the book and really aided my visualisation of the story. 

And the story itself was fabulous! I loved it, and I loved the whole premise. It felt fresh and different, and it was just a truly lovely story – plus it had a happy ending which is literally the best thing ever.

I also found The Switch to be incredibly easy to read, it felt like an easy going book, one you could just get lost in and sit there with a small smile on your face the entire time. It made me feel warm and fuzzy inside when I finished it. 

On the whole, I loved reading The Switch and I definitely will be doing a reread at some point in the future!

Until next time, Em xxx

Men I would let punch me and then say thank u daddy

GOOD MORNING (or afternoon or evening depending when you’re reading this post) another non-bookish related (and kinda wild) post from me today!

I think my followers on twitter were SICK of me lusting after these fictional characters, so I’ve decided to IMMORTALISE my thoughts with this blog post.

I want to preface this post with several things…

I have a wonderful and loving and gorgeous boyfriend, who I absolutely think the WORLD of and this post is just a bit of fun! And that I am 10000000000% a whore and probably going to hell after writing this post (Like I wasn’t already going there LMAO).

I’m including some GIFs because well, ya know.

1 – Geralt of Rivia, but (and this is oddly specific) only if Henry Cavill is playing him because there is something about him wielding a sword and him sitting in the bath and him fighting monsters, basically I just love Geralt aka Henry Cavill OKAY. Honestly, though this man is the OG could punch me in the face. Plus he seems super respectful and would definitely put you first – if ya know what I mean.

2 – Draco Malfoy. I will not be taking questions or providing any reasonings other than this man is a GOD and I have been obsessed with him since I was like 12.

3 – Billy Hargrove. OKAY, let me start this by saying I know Billy is a dick of a character, but just going off pure sex appeal alone, you can’t deny he’s fit as fuck. Granted he would be extremely cocky (with good reason) and probably would be super rough, but that’s fine because 1) he’s hot and 2) I like that kinda thing soooo🤷‍♀️

4 – Enzo (Dmitri Antonov). Sure this man is cute at the start of the series, but at the end when he’s all battered and bruised and clearly STARVED of a woman’s touch, yes please. He’s definitely going to pick you up and throw you round like a ragdoll, but only after discussing it first with you and making sure you consent. That alone would have me saying thank u daddy I swear to god.

I can’t get a gif that fits so you’ll have to make do with a photo, soz

5 – Jasper Hale. SWEET JESUS that southern accent is enough, let’s not even THINK about the baseball scene. It did things to me at 13 years old when I first watched Twilight and 10+ years later it STILL does things to me. He probably would be selfish but that’s not gonna stop me.

6 – Rick Grimes – I have LITERALLY just restarted The Walking Dead (from the beginning) and I forgot how HOT this man is. Clean shaven – yep, 5 o’clock shadow – yep, stubble – YEP. And a man in uniform is just drool worthy. He’s the type to be quiet but also firm and ALWAYS gets you to do what he wants…

I can’t lie, there will likely be additions to this list so expect to see me immortalising more fictional characters that I would let punch me in the face.

Also, if you’re my BF and you’re reading this I love u and would not trade you for any of these fictional men I promise ❤

Until next time, Em xxx

Guess who’s back, back again!

I’M BACK!!!! And ready to start posting again, I’m so excited!

I just want to say HELLO to the new people that have followed me recently, even though I wasn’t posting anything and a huge thank you to everyone who has stuck around during my brief break.

I’m back on my own terms this time though, there will be no set schedule to my posts and it won’t always be bookish related when I do post, though anything non-bookish will be few and far between.

There are LOADS of reviews I have in my drafts, so expect a flurry of posts from me over the next few weeks before I taper off a little bit.

And (a bit of shamless promo now) I also have a twitter account, so if you like reading my ramblings you cna also read my 240 character ramblings on WhatEmsReadingX (it’s chaos over there I apologise in advance).

ANYWAY! My reviews will start going live soon and I can’t wait to ge tback and enjoy my hobby again!

Em xxx

Why I’m going on a hiatus…

Hello friends and welcome to What Em’s Reading, which has been home to my book reviews, book tags and all manner of bookish content for nearly 4 years now!

In that 4 years A LOT has changed and that is why, with a heavy heart, I am taking a hiatus from my blog.

Book blogging doesn’t hold the same joy and passion that it used to at the moment, and whist I try not to get brought down by poor views and engagement on my posts, especially as this is a hobby for me and not something I am trying to make money from, it’s hard not to.

And with me taking on more responsibility at work, alongside undertaking my AAT qualifications, I feel like I can’t commit the time to this blog that I used to.

I plan to continue writing my reviews and sharing them on Goodreads and StoryGraph, both of which you can add/follow me on, I’m here on Goodreads and @whatemsreadingx on StoryGraph.

I just feel I can’t commit to the other bits that come with posting the reviews on my blog, the editing of the post (still h8 you wordpress block editor), the linking everything, the scheduling and then the boosting the post for minimal views and engagement.

Ever since I joined the bookish community all those years ago I have felt at home and welcomed, and my taking a break is nothing to do with not feeling like I belong or like I’m unwelcome. In fact, it’s completely the opposite, I feel so incredibly safe in this community that I know no one will judge me for the decision to take a step back for a lil while, at least from my blog.

Before I finish and say see ya soon, I wanted to share some of my favourite posts from over the years in the hope that you too will get some enjoyment from reading them.

My 2019 TBR back when I was young and foolish and barely had any books to read!

My take on the TTT books that would make good band names…

And the characters I would like to be stranded with, ya know if I had a choice when I got stuck on an island.

My top books of 2020!

My top ARCs of 2021!

And my personal favourite, my review and discussion post of the PJO series reread I did.

This isn’t a goodbye as such, it’s more of a I’m taking an extended break and hope to be back soon when I’ve got the time and energy to commit to this blog. In the meantime, I am on Goodreads and StoryGraph and you can always find me tweeting random shit over on @WhatEmsReadingX

Lots of love to you all and happy reading.

Em xxx

ARC – Unnatural, Luke Fitzpatrick – A DNFR review.

Firstly, I want to say thank you to NetGalley and BooksGoSocial for the ARC of this book to read and review. Unnatural was published on the 23rd March 2021 and you can read the synopsis here.

I wouldn’t usually review or rate a book that I have DNFR, but I feel like I need to give my reasoning behind why I couldn’t finish this one.

From the start, I picked up on how similar it felt to the X-men series (absolutely nothing wrong with taking inspiration from media already out there) but this immediately made me think critically about this book. I adore the X-men series and I was having a hard time thinking how this book would live up to it.

As we changed from chapter to chapter we ended up being introduced to 4 or 5 different characters, which is A LOT to take in, especially with their abilities.

I also felt that the chapters featuring Jonathan lacked in quality compared to the others within the book. These chapters didn’t have the same feel to them as the previous and following chapters, they felt very descriptive and featured large, heavy blocks of text instead of actually progressing the story.

I don’t think it helped that despite these characters having telekinetic powers they just wanted to fly around…

The other characters focused on within the book, however, were well written, brought something different each to the story, and had really interesting abilities. I loved how they were open with their families about these abilities and how their family members reacted.

On the whole, the characters in Unnatural certainly were interesting enough but the large blocks of text and excessive description made this book incredibly hard to read, it was like wading through treacle at points.

I DNFR at 34% but it honestly felt like I should have been much further into the book with how much I had already read.

I don’t like to DNFR books, but I honestly couldn’t keep going with this one. Others might read this and absolutely love it, but for me it just didn’t hit the spot and I wasn’t enjoying it.

Until next time, 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

Thirteen, Steve Cavanaugh – A Review.

Hello friends and bookworms! I am sharing my review of Thirteen by Steve Cavanaugh today… Published in 2018 and you can read the synopsis on Goodreads here.

I am thoroughly pissed off by this book, to put it bluntly. I was expecting a lot more from this book and I felt like it completely missed the mark. I found Thirteen to be a very forgettable book.

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t intrigued by the prologue of this story and the opening chapter, but after those first few pages, it went downhill and I found myself getting more and more frustrated with the decisions the characters were making, how the characters were acting and just the book in general.

Throughout this whole book I kept expecting it to get better, for it to get more exciting, for it to improve and for it to be brilliant and it just never peaked.

The plot was, at points, downright ridiculous and just seemed like a pissing contest, as if whoever won the trial was the better lawyer. It felt like a badly written TV court drama.

The book was dragged out far more than it needed to be, and when we eventually got to the ending I felt tired and lethargic.

And after reading the ending I just felt as if I’d completely wasted my time reading the book, it was a cheap cop out and didn’t conclude what we had read for the last however many pages.

The characters are the only redeeming quality of this book. Kane was incredibly interesting, despite us not knowing much about him, we were kept guessing about who he was. We did get more of a background on him as the story progressed but almost like little breadcrumbs to keep us on our toes.

Eddie was another superbly written character, he seemed very morally grey which I loved! There was a lot of reminders and comments about his past as a con artist but I’m glad this wasn’t an overpowering theme through the book as it allowed us to get to know him better. I found him really endearing and you couldn’t help but like him.

On the whole, this book just didn’t hit the mark, it was very easy to forget and didn’t live up to the hype I was expecting.

Until next time, Em xxx