ARC – One Monsoon in Mumbai, Anitha Perinchery – A Review.

Hello fellow bookworms! I am very excited to (finally!) bring you my review of One Monsoon in Mumbai by Anitha Perinchery.

A huge thanks to NetGalley and BooksGoSocial for the free copy of this book to review. One Monson in Mumbai was published on the 19th June 2019.

The first 45% and the last 30% of this book were absolutely brilliant, I could not fault the author or the story, it was so joyful! The little bit in the middle of those two sections did feel a little bit confusing, I struggled to keep up a little bit with what was going and had to keep going backwards to remind myself of names and how the characters related to the story.

Once I closed this book I had this feeling of content settle over me, like when you’ve just finished watching your favourite film. I felt so happy.

I also felt a mixture of many other emotions reading this book, which was testament to the author and how well she could change the direction of the story with nothing more than a few words. Dropping us from the happiest of heights, down to the lowest lows…

The characters were the absolute making of this story for me, every single one brought something different to the story, but were woven together so well that you would think they were always meant to form these relationships with each other.

Seema was a truly beautiful soul, she was likable from the start and had some badass lines! Adidith and Veema had this wonderful relationship, that even though they weren’t blood family they still looked after each other as if they were. And all of the side characters who individually brought something so wholesome and relevant to the story.

The story itself was romantic AND thrilling, I couldn’t have asked for more from a story! It did start got get a little complicated at points but the author managed to bring it back around and finish it off on a flair.

A couple of stand out points that I wanted to mention as well:

How the author used traditional Hindi words and phrases.

How the author wrote very candidly about suicide and homosexuality within the later aspects of the story. Without giving too much away I thought it was really well done and cleverly introduced.

The ending of One Monsoon in Mumbai truly cemented this as a beautiful read, I enjoyed every second of this book and cannot rate it highly enough.

Once again, thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for the free copy to review.

Until next time, Em xxx

ARC – Level Zero, Dan McDowell – A Review.

Hello friends and bookworms, I’m here to share with you my review of Level Zero by Dan McDowell. I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of this book from NetGalley and Black Rose Writing in return for an honest review.

Level Zero was published on the 13th May 2021 and you can read the synopsis here.

Overall rating – 4 out of 5 stars.

I don’t want to give anything away with this one, as most of the enjoyment comes from not knowing what you were going to into, so this will be a shorter review from me.

This was a true GEM of a book! I honestly was obsessed when I started to read Level Zero, it had this hold over me as if I was in a trance like state reading it!

As soon as I started reading this book I felt this sort of unsettling and creepy vibe come over me, not enough to frighten me but enough that you knew it was going to build up into a great story. Which I’m pleased to say that Level Zero did.

This was completely different to anything I’d read before, in a horror novel at least, and it really strived to be different, you could feel that from the way the suspense built up and how the fear factor started to creep in, but all the while it was intriguing, you needed to keep reading, it was as if you didn’t have a choice.

One small irritation of mine was the sheer number of characters, it made it quite difficult for me to keep track of who was who, and I feel we didn’t get to see all of their true potential as some were more focused on than others. Which did, as we got closer to the end of the book begin to make the book a little confusing.

I will admit I was disappointed with the ending, it didn’t really make sense and I felt it didn’t encompass the rest of the book, it wasn’t fitting with the story and felt like it had been tagged on as an after thought.

WARNING MINOR SPOILER IN NEXT PARAGRAPH!!!!!!!

My favourite part of this book though was the idea of being able to call a number and have a scary story told to you, and you could pick what theme you wanted, like someone should set that up!

SPOILER WARNING OVER.

On the whole, Level Zero had all the makings of a really good horror story, something to get under your skin and creep you out but also not too scary that you couldn’t sleep at night! Aside from the minor irritations I had with this story, it was a truly good read and I’m really happy I read it.

It brought something new to the genre, and if you’re looking for something scary but a bit different Level Zero is the one for you.

Until next time, Em xxx

The Hangman series, W.L.Knightly – A Review.

Hello friends and fellow book bloggers! I am anticipating that this will be a LOOOOOONG post, so grab yourself a cup of tea and settle in.

I have recently read the first 3 books in the Hangman series by W.L.Knightly. I mistakenly thought there were only 3 books in the series, and there are actually more, but I’ve decided against continuing with the series, for reasons that I will explain below.

I’ve decided to write an overall review of the 3 books together and then a star rating of each book underneath.

I was really surprised when I saw this book was co written by two authors, and I thought I’d find it really easy to see the two different styles, but credit to these authors they were very similar and kept the flow of the book!

Without thinking too much while you were reading these books and just going with the flow, they were good. They had all the makings of a good crime thriller, with a really clever plot line to back it all up. The idea of corruption and injustice was really interesting and the way that played into the murders was like nothing I had read before.

But unfortunately once you delved deeper into the books, there were clear issues.

Namely, the way they wrote about women throughout the series and the way the female characters were portrayed were nothing short of horrendous. The men were degrading and the women were written to be treated like trash.

I also felt that they held back too much when it came to talking about the crimes and the crime scenes. They wanted these books to be thrilling but I found them to be too tame.

One thing I did enjoy was the chapters switching between characters, it kept the story fresh and offered different perspectives on the same situation. It also allowed us to see things from the Hangman’s perspective, and I love seeing things from the killers POV!

There were points at which it felt like the authors could have condensed the books into perhaps 2, that were a little bit longer, but cut out some of the crap that was there just to fill the space. So many times I found myself wanting to skim read or skip parts because they just weren’t relevant to the story and didn’t add any value.

And at the end of each book it said to be continued… Which bugged me no end. That is no way to finish a book, a chapter sure, but the whole book? Definitely not. It made the books seem cheap.

I made the decision not to continue with this series when we had had 3 books of the so called detectives trying to solve the case, being unable to and then the authors resorting to smut to try and fill the pages… I have no issue with smut, but it just didn’t the book at all and was pointless, an easy way to fill space.

On the whole, these books were good, but they just missed the mark for me. There was something missing and they didn’t quite have that grittiness that you come to expect from crime thrillers.

SILENT CRIME (Hangman #1)

Overall rating – 3 stars.

HIDDEN CRIME (Hangman #2)

Overall rating – 4 stars. I liked this one a little bit more than the other two. It was definitely the best of the series!

GUILTY CRIME (Hangman #3)

Overall rating – 2 stars.

Let me know if you’ve read this book series, and completed it and what you thought!

Until next time, Em xxx

📚Recent books I’ve gotten from the charity shop📚

Hi friends! Just a quick something different from me today! I wanted to showcase these absolute GEMS that I have recently picked up from local charity shops. (Feat my cat who wanted to help me).

All but one of these were books I’m actively looking for/adding to my wishlist/hoping that people will buy me for my birthday or Christmas but I am super excited to read them all!

I have recently purchased:

The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham (this was a bargain, it was only 50p)

American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis (would you believe me if I said I only watched the film of this like 8 months ago, I had been meaning to watch it forever and it was on Netflix so I thought why not – it was amazing)

My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithewaite (I actually let my mom read this before I did and she really enjoyed it so!)

The Strings of Murder by Oscar de Muriel (can’t lie to you friends, I only picked this up because I liked the spine and the cover)

The Holiday by T.M.Logan (now this is the one that I was actively searching for when I went into shops! I’m really excited to start this one as it’s been on my list for ages)

I am actively searching for some other books too, and I’m always checking charity shops as I love the feel that a pre loved book has.

I constantly have my phone open with my to buy shelf on Goodreads whilst I’m searching high and low for new books to bring to their forever home!

And there you have my most recent charity shop purchases. Let me know if you’ve read any of these books and what you thought, I’d love to hear your opinions.

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