ARC – She Had It Coming – Carys Jones

Link to book – She Had It Coming by Carys Jones.

Overall rating – 3 out of 5 stars.

Huge thanks to NetGalley and Orion Publishing Group for the advanced copy to read and review.

I feel like this book needs a trigger warning for bitchy, borderline bullying teenage girls, because the second I opened this book I was hit with it and immediately I was taken back to my high school days, where I was bullied so that was FUN!

All that aside, something didn’t feel 100% right with this book, I think it was a mixture of everything… It was good but it lacked that little extra that made it thrilling.

Starting with the characters, I found it really difficult to get attached to any of them tbh, whilst I did think Pippa had some redeeming qualities (and I know firsthand how hard it is to be a teenage girl) I still struggled to feel anything for her throughout the book. I did think the way the author demonstrated motherly (and fatherly love to an extent) was cleverly done though.

And as I said above, I felt the atmosphere just really lacked that little bit of something that made it thrilling, for me until the last 4 or so chapters really.

Onto the writing now, I did think it was good but as the book was written in 3rd person I found it really difficult to keep track of which perspective the story was coming from. At points, it felt like Abbie was the lead character, but it was actually Pippa and then back to Abbie. It didn’t feel like the story every settled on one person and it wasn’t overly clear where the divide and change in the story was.

It was the same with the plot, I did enjoy the plot and I thought it had some real potential, but it felt kind of obvious what was going on and what was going to happen. I’m not sure if I’ve just read too many thrillers so I know what to expect or if it was just really transparent what was going to happen (I’m hoping for this books sake it was the first one!)


I hated how the author threw in the whole sociopath and narcissist bit at the end of the book, there had been ZERO mentions of this throughout the rest of the book and it was like the author was just going for the shock factor without any consideration for what those words and definitions actually mean. It really annoyed me.


On the whole, I think this book had the right idea, it was a good plot and premise, it just needed a better execution and that lil extra something to make it a real standout 5 star read.

Until next time, Em xxx

ARC – Prep School for Serial Killers – Tara Platt.

Link to book – Prep School for Serial Killers by Tara Platt.

Overall rating – 3 out of 5 stars.

Huge thanks to NetGalley and BooksGoSocial for the advanced copy of this book to read and review.

I really wanted to enjoy this book, and to an extent I did, but it did feel like this book didn’t really hit the mark for me. There wasn’t a moment though that went by when I was reading this book that I ever thought about not finishing it, so that’s a win for me!

Character wise, I just found it really hard to warm to Anathema, but that was actually a really good thing because I felt it lent itself well to the dystopian and emotionally unavailable vibe that the book had going on! The characters were meant to feel unavailable to us, they were meant to feel a bit off and a bit prickly and the author did that so well.

The writing was good and the story flowed nicely, but I did find the blocks of text to be too much, it needed breaking up a bit more. And this may seem really nit picky, but it really bugged me and kinda ruined my reading experience, but I feel the book would have benefitted from a better distinction between the main body of text and the journal entries.

On the topic of the journal too, I didn’t enjoy how long it took for the journal to become relevant to the story… It almost felt that until around the 55-60% mark it was just used as a space filler and I found it hard to see how it would fit into the book and provide value.

Plot wise, I did find it a little hard to follow at points, I felt the book got lost in itself and I found it difficult to keep track of what the story actually was. Which was really sad as I thought the premise of the story was good! A dystopian world where children are trained to become serial killers seemed SO cool but it just wasn’t executed (pardon the pun) in the best way.

It just felt like certain elements of the plot caused the book to lose its way, there were too many things going on and the author would have been better focusing on one or two of them.

I also really liked how the ending was left open, but on the other hand I felt a bit like I’ve just read the entire book for that ending? It really had a mixed vibe at the end 😦

Overall, I did quite enjoy Prep School for Serial Killers, it had a great premise and some really clever, well thought out story lines. I just feel it would have benefitted from a closer focus on one or two of those story lines and a little change in the writing and way the book was presented.

Until next time, Em xxx

[ARC] The Murder List – Jackie Kabler

Link to book – The Murder List by Jackie Kabler.

Rating – 5 out of 5 stars

Huge thank you to NetGalley and HarperCollinsUK and One More Chapter for the advanced copy of this book to read and review. 

OH MY GOOD GOD what an AMAZING book this was! It was definitely a 5 star read and one that I will be recommending for months to come I’m sure. 

From the start I thought the writing was impeccable, and this standard was upheld throughout the entire book, every word and sentence cleverly crafted and written to provide the reader with a truly excellent book. Every single feeling I had, paranoia, shock, terror, were all down to the incredible writing style that Kabler has. 

And the atmosphere was just perfectly presented throughout the entire book. It was atmospheric and intriguing in equal measures, both of which compelling me to just keep reading for one more page, even long after I should have been asleep!

Character wise, I absolutely thought they were brilliant, whilst some of them weren’t as integral to the plot as others they were all afforded the same time and build up, it was hard to not feel attached to them. They balanced each other out perfectly and created just the right level of suspicion around them, never really knowing who was to blame until the last possible second…

And the plot, oh my lordy, it was amazing, in fact damn near perfect. The author had these different storylines interweaving with each other, creating an overarching story that just was MINDBLOWINGLY good. The twists and turns were off the chart, but also still incredibly believable. We were led on such a wild goose chase and I suspected everyone except who it actually was, so kudos to the author for that. 

Which does lead me to the ending. The ending was just mind blowing, and whilst it isn’t necessarily a book I would read again, that was more so because a lot of the books appeals and value was the shock factor of the ending and knowing what was going to happen would spoil a reread. 

On the whole, The Murder List was just a true JOY to read, I thoroughly enjoyed it and I will be recommending it for a long time!

Until next time, Em xxx

ARC REVIEW – The Couple on Maple Drive by Sam Carrington.

A big thank you to NetGalley and Avon Books UK for the advanced copy of this book to read for free in return for an honest review.

The Couple on Maple Drive by Sam Carrington – read the synopsis here.

Overall rating – 3 out of 5 stars.

This book was not what I thought it was going to be, and I only rated it 3 stars because there wasn’t anything wrong with it, it just wasn’t wowing me, and I did (at points) find it really hard to read.

I feel as though The Couple on Maple Drive started off poor and then around the 60% mark everything about it got better.

The atmosphere, for example, was absent for the first section of the book but did pick up later on when things started to get more tense. The same with the intrigue, I wasn’t overly interested in the first half but things seemed to explode and it was as if I couldn’t get enough of the book, I had to keep reading. I NEEDED to know what was going to happen.

It was the same with the writing, which definitely seemed to pick up around the 60% mark as if the author had come into their own and really started to flourish.

And again, the same with the characters. To start with they were fairly non-descript and I found it hard to even stir up some kind of feeling towards them, but as we got more into the story I did find myself rooting for Isla and Jase.

The plot is the only bit I’m having a hard time deciding how I felt about it, I change from absolutely loving it to thinking it was a complete waste of time…

I did really enjoy the podcast element, I’d not read that in a book before and it really added something new to the story, and I liked how it didn’t just focus on Isla’s situation, it also spoke about other cases they were investigating.

However, towards the end of the book the plot did get a little unrealistic and a bit just WTF is going on. It felt too far fetched for me.

Overall, it wasn’t a bad read and I certainly enjoyed aspects of it. I just felt that some aspects could have been done better. 

Happy reading bookworms! Until next time, Em xxx

ARC – The Dead Hand of Dominique, Simon Marlowe – A Review.

Hello friends and fellow bookworms! I’m here today to bring you my review of The Dead Hand of Dominique by Simon Marlowe. I was lucky to receive a free copy from NetGalley and Cranthorpe Millner Publishers in return for an honest review.

You can also read the synopsis of The Dead Hand of Dominique here on Goodreads and it was published on the 23rd November 2021.

Overall rating – 3 out of 5 stars.

I’ve rated The Dead Hand of Dominque as 3 stars because it just felt average to me, there were parts that I really enjoyed and parts that I felt let the book down and going straight down the middle felt the only fair way to rate this book.

The writing was the best part of this book for me, despite the slow burn nature of this story the author kept us interested and built sentences and paragraphs that hooked you like a fish on a line. I couldn’t fault the writing itself, it was high quality and had everything you could want to grab your attention and make you read the book.

That being said, I did feel at points that the author introduced too many strands of the story and it became quite difficult to keep up. I struggled to see how everything could come together in a way that would give us the answers we needed.

My other favourite part of this book was the characters, which surprised me a little bit as they didn’t seem like the focal point of the story. Steven took the lead role and narrated the story, and I did find myself drawn to him. He was an incredibly interesting and complex person and his narration of the story was part of the reason I enjoyed this book. However, I did feel that the other characters weren’t as well developed and didn’t add as much value. which isn’t a criticism as I don’t feel like the characters were meant to be the focal point.

I did enjoy that the other characters weren’t as well developed though, because it meant I could focus on the plot and the story and really try and piece together what was happening.

The plot itself was (for the first 75/80%) was brilliant, it was convoluted in the best way and really worked to lead us on a wild goose chase! But, when we reached the final 20% of the book it just undid everything that I’d just read… It just became confusing, in the worst way possible and I don’t feel like we ever reached a proper conclusion.

I finished the book feeling very let down and unsure about what had actually happened to end the book. Plus, certain parts of the book weren’t wrapped up properly, which really bugged me.

One of the things the author did incredibly well though was to keep the intrigue building for the entire story. Because we were being led on this wild ride it was hard not to be incredibly intrigued by the whole thing!

But, the atmosphere did let this book down, and I feel that was due to the slow pace of the story. It felt like I had to really be in the mood to read this book, which is why it took me so long to read it. It wasn’t something I could just pick up and relax which, you had to really concentrate otherwise you would have lost track.

Overall, The Dead Hand of Dominique did have it’s elements that were incredible, like the plot and the characters, but it’s actual entertainment value and the final 20% of the book just let it down for me and weren’t what I would have expected.

Until next time, Em xxx

ARC – An Elderly Lady Must Not Be Crossed, Helene Tursten – A Review.

Hello fellow book bloggers and book lovers! Welcome back to my blog, where I am today sharing my review of An Elderly Lady Must Not Be Crossed by Helene Tursten. Thank you to NetGalley and Soho Press for the advanced copy to read and review!

Silvers Hollow was published on the 5th October 2021 and you can read the synopsis here on Goodreads.

Overall rating – 5 out of 5 stars.

I absolutely loved this book and will definitely be looking out for the other books written by this author, as I’m sure they will provide just as much enjoyment!

But back to An Elderly Lady Must Not Be Crossed, just from the description of this book I was intrigued, and within just the first few pages I was hooked. I cannot find fault with this book at all, every single aspect worked together so well to form a brilliantly thought out and well crafted story.

The premise itself, of a little old lady who is seemingly just trying to get on with her life but is constantly found to be in sticky situations may seem a little odd to start with, but within minutes of reading it’s clear to see that Maud is definitely not what she seems to be… And from there the book just progresses into a truly entertaining read.

Maud herself is certainly an interesting character and despite my best judgement, I found myself quite warming to her. The way she is portrayed in her tales and trips down memory lane, she actually has a bit of spice to her! Her character also makes you question what you would do in similar situations, it’s very morally grey, which I think is why I like her so much.

And it isn’t just Maud that’s the only interesting thing about this book…

The way the story is laid out, as six interlocking stories, is very clever. And the stories themselves bring something different each time, whilst also retaining that bit of Maud that you grow to love the more you read. I particularly enjoyed how a couple of the stories happened in real time, and weren’t just memory lane trips, it helped the book flow nicely.

The ending of the story as well seemed to finish everything off nicely, it was so in keeping with the rest of the book and meant that the story came a full circle in the end – which I particularly enjoyed as it meant there were no cliff-hangers haha.

Everything from the plot, to the storytelling, to the writing, to the characters, to the scene setting was just done to perfection. An all round brilliant book.

On the whole, An Elderly Lady Must Not Be Crossed is an entertaining, different, amusing and refreshing read, that I loved every single second of! It was well worth the read and I would definitely recommend it.

It also features a cookie recipe at the end!!!!!!!!!!! What more could you need?!

Until next time, Em xxx

ARC – Silvers Hollow, Patrick Delaney – A Review.

Hello fellow book bloggers and book lovers! Welcome back to my blog, where I am today sharing my review of Silvers Hollow by Patrick Delaney. Thank you to NetGalley and Oblivion Publishing for the advanced copy to read and review!

Silvers Hollow was published on the 1st June 2021 and you can read the synopsis here on Goodreads.

Overall rating – 5 out of 5 stars.

Just from the description of this book I knew I was going to be obsessed with it, and I was completely right! From start to finish I was sucked into this book, and I couldn’t bring myself to put it down.

The story was written in first person, and I became oddly attached to our main character, without even knowing their name… In fact, and this might just be me with my terrible memory, I don’t recall ever finding out their name, which I feel made the book better. It left an air of ambiguity, which completely lent itself to the plot.

Being written in first person also lent itself well to the story, because we felt as if we were the main character, as if their mind was our mind. For me, it felt as if I was living their life and experiencing their emotions and confusion.

Admittedly, I was confused by Silvers Hollow but that was a good thing, it meant that the book achieved it’s goal… It was a completely bizarre, strange, and overwhelming book, whilst also being so incredibly enjoyable (if that’s the right word to use). It was like nothing I had read before and managed to really worm it’s way into my head and made me question everything.

A lot of that has to be attributed to the writing, it was immersive, descriptive and at points eerie and haunting. The author created the perfect mix of words and sentences to build this world around us.

I actually surprised myself with how patient I was reading this book, usually I’m desperate to know what’s going on and get quite frustrated when things are taking ages to get to the point, but this was different. Because the plot was so good and so intriguing I just sat back and enjoyed the ride!

Everything within Silvers Hollow came together to create the perfect storm, the pace, the plot, the first person POV, the story itself, everything was woven so perfectly to create this excellent, immersive story that left chills down my spine and thoughts in my mind for days after I finished reading.

In fact, I enjoyed it so much I’m considering doing a reread already!

If you’re on the lookout for something a little thought provoking and a whole lot immersive and atmospheric then Silvers Hollow is the one for you.

Until next time, Em xxx

ARC – The Neighbor, by London Clarke – A Review.

Hello friends and fellow bookworms! I’m here today to bring you my review of The Neighbor, written by London Clarke and published by BooksGoSocial on the 10th March 2021. You can read the synopsis here on Goodreads.

Also huge thank you and shout out to NetGalley and BooksGoSocial for the ARC of this one to read and review!

Overall rating – 5 out of 5 stars.

From the start the atmosphere of this book was tense and frightening, set in a secure community it’s made even scarier by the thought of something going wrong and spoiling the idyllic lifestyle they’ve all made for themselves. I love the whole secure/gated community thing, it makes it feel so much creepier when things start to go wrong…

We’re introduced to Claire (who seems like she’s one bit of bad news away from becoming completely unhinged) and her family of 4 girls. Throughout the book the 5 of them play key roles in making the story, the children act like proper children of their age too, which gave it a real relatable feel.

And then once we start to meet others in the community and Steel… Well, the characters just absolutely made this book for me. They were so well crafted and linked with each other and the story so well. I felt as if I knew them personally, which made it easier for the rest of the book to influence me.

As the backstory builds, so do the creepiness levels, shadows and bumps in the night become frequent, and the book started to really unnerve me. I’m not usually easy to scare but this book definitely managed to scare me.

The author did an excellent job with setting the scene and making us feel as though we were there, we were hearing things go bump in the night, we felt the way Claire did, we too were drawn in by characters in the book that we shouldn’t have been…

And the supernatural element was weaved so effortlessly into the story that even someone who doesn’t believe in those kinds of things couldn’t help but be drawn in and enjoy the rollercoaster that was this story.

I did worry as we got deeper into the book that there may be too much going on, too many strands and plot lines to bring together, but as we neared the end of the book and it eventually reached it’s conclusion everything just seemed to fall perfectly into place.

The whole story from start to finish, including the smaller plot lines were absolutely made to work together and flowed perfectly. Every single plot used within this book was superb in it’s own right.

I finished this book and felt not only a profound sense of fear, but also a sense of awe. I hadn’t read anything so scary for a very long time, I was covered in Goosebumps towards the end and read it with my eyes open so wide I’m surprised they didn’t pop out of my sockets!

On the whole, The Neighbour by London Clarke was a superb read, and I will definitely recommend it anyone who is in need of a good thrill…

Until next time, Em xxx

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 – The House of Whispers, Anna Kent – A Review.

Hello friends I am pleased to bring you a review of The House of Whispers by Anna Kent.

A huge thanks to NetGalley and hq publishers for the advanced copy of this book. The House of Whispers by Anna Kent will be published on 27th May 2021.

Overall rating – 3 out of 5 stars.

I’m going to start with the end of this book, which is an odd place to start but will allow me to explain my 3 star rating of The House of Whispers.

The very last pages, and I mean the last 2 or 3, absolutely ruined this book for me. It felt very much like a cop out and didn’t give us any closure at all. I felt let down by the author, as if they took the easy way out in ending this book.

The remainder of the book was average, it was a very slow burn which usually I would enjoy but this one felt like it went at a snails pace and I found myself wondering if we would ever get to the point of the story… I felt like I was wading through treacle for the first few chapters.

Once we met Grace things started to pick up a bit, and if nothing else the introduction of her character brought some life to the story, sped things up and made it quite an enjoyable read, from that point onwards at least.

I did enjoy the way there seemed to be an interview with Abi’s husband, Rohan, in every few chapters. It really interested me, gave us a different dimension to the story and kept me guessing why it was placed in the story.

Character wise, my opinion did change once I completed the book, but that was based on how the ending unravelled.

I will admit, I wasn’t expecting the twist that came our way but I also feel it was very thrust upon us, there were no hints leading up to it for us to piece together, we were just thrown in at the deep end.

Overall, I just feel really disappointed by this book. It took me a while to get stuck in, the ending was abysmal (the last 2 or 3 pages) and I felt the interviews with Rohan were never really expanded upon or explained. We were left with more questions than answers…

If you do read this book or have done so already let me know what you thought!

Until next time, Em xxx