The Road Trip – Beth O’Leary

Link to book (GR) – The Road Trip by Beth O’Leary

Link to book (StoryGraph) – The Road Trip by Beth O’Leary

Overall rating – 5 out of 5 stars.

Oh my goodness, as per usual a book written by Beth O’Leary was absolutely excellent! I was crying with tears of laughter reading this book, it was so good.

Whilst the book focused on Addie and Dylan mainly, we were able to meet an AMAZING range of side characters, Deb and Marcus who were a brilliant addition to the story. Every single character added another layer of fun, excitement, joy, sadness, and level to the story and they were so well written. They were all really well written to have their flaws and be open about them, which was really refreshing to read and I loved how that was portrayed through the split POV.

And as usual the writing was absolutely excellent and I cannot fault it, I love how this author writes and this book was no exception. I felt as though I was wrapped up in a fluffy blanket whilst reading this, it was just such a joy to read.

The fact, as well, that this book basically took place in a yellow mini is an absolute testament to the authors ability to craft a plot that was still so interesting and compelling, whilst relying on flashbacks and memories. It just demonstrated to me that books don’t always need to flit around the country or the world, they can just happen and be static and still be so bloody good.

I also really loved how each layer of the story was separate but still woven together to form the book and the way it all fell together at the end (with a happy ending, my fave!!!!)

And the stop/start of the chapters for then and now was really cleverly done as this helped to build up the intrigue and atmosphere of the story and definitely helped the book move along at a good pace. I never felt like it was dragging but it also felt like I’d consumed a good, long enough book.

It was such an entertaining read I literally could not put it down!!!!

Until next time, Em xxx

The Serial Killer’s Wife – Alice Hunter.

Link to book – The Serial Killer’s Wife by Alice Hunter.

Overall rating – 3 out of 5 stars.

I went down the middle with my rating on this one because it wasn’t terrible, but it just didn’t have that extra little something that made a book really stand out to me.

To begin with, the characters were really hard to gel with, I found them unlikeable and selfish, BUT I can’t help but feel that was intentional, so I tried not to let it sway me too much. (Also, if that was the intention for them to come across that way then I will happily say that it was well done!)

In terms of the writing though, it was good. The story flowed well, there was no awful dialogue that made me cringe and it was easy to read – I’m so easily pleased when it comes to writing.

Atmosphere wise though, I did think it lacked a bit here. Because the book was so speedy to get to the actual point of the story I feel it didn’t have time to really build anything up and it left me feeling lackluster. It was the same with the intrigue, although this may have been because I guessed the direction of the story. Both key elements of a thriller like this that just fell a little bit flat for me.

And finally, the plot… I did enjoy the plot, but I saw it coming. It was entirely too clear the direction the book was going to take, which was disappointing. I also felt that the epilogue was just a bit too much, the book would have been better ending at the end of the previous chapter and leaving us on that little bit of a cliffhanger instead of making it clear that the author wanted to write a second book off the back of it…

This may just be me, I feel like I’ve read sooooo many thrillers that it’s hard not to know the direction a story is taking, idk.

Overall, the book was good, I just feel it could have been executed better and had a little bit more about it to make it more thrilling and less easy to figure out the direction the story was heading.

Until next time, Em xxx

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

The Cousins – Karen M McManus.

Link to book – The Cousins by Karen M McManus.

Overall rating – 5 out of 5 stars

LET ME TELL YOU I ABSOLUTELY BLOODY LOVED THIS BOOK!!! Everything from the characters, the atmosphere, the setting, the writing, THE PLOT everything about it was just top tier.

Starting with our characters, because (other than the plot) I think this was my favourite part of the book… They were absolute standouts, the way Milly, Jonah, and Aubrey were written was just excellent and how the book was split amongst their different points of view AND each chapter was written in first person – basically my dream book. I also feel that the way the characters were written meant the reader was able to form a really good connection with them, which I think helped strengthen that family protection vibe.

Then onto the plot (my other fave part) it was just so GOOD. The whole thing from start to finish was just superb, I can’t find a single fault with it, it was WILD and the ending wrapped everything up perfectly.

Everything was supported within this book by the intense atmosphere, brought to life by the island setting and the idea of family closing ranks to protect itself. The flashbacks to the 4 teenagers on the same island as well gave a feeling of almost ghostly vibes, which really helped with the remote island feel, without the author needing to make a point of talking about how creepy and eerie the island was.

As for the intriguingness of the story (is that a word, idk?!) it was SO intriguing, but not in the way that made you feel irritated that it kept leaving us on edge but in the way that made you want to stay up all night reading because you NEED to know what happens next.

And all of this just came together, tied up beautifully by the writing… It had the most amazing atmosphere, excellent characters, and a shock factor that made the sleepless night to finish reading this book so worth it!

Until next time, Em xxx

Semblance – Logan Patricks.

Link to book – Semblance by Logan Patricks.

Rating – 2 out of 5 stars.

I finished this book quite a while ago and have been holding off on my review because I wanted to take some more time to evaluate my feelings toward this book in case I was being harsh – spoiler alert, I was… I have since rewritten my review and adjusted my rating now that my anger has simmered.

However, my overall feeling towards this book is disappointment. Disappointment that I waited so long to read this thinking it was going to be SO GOOD and then it ended up being, to be quite honest, a waste of my life. Or rather, the ending was a waste of my life and completely ruined the story for me. Maybe I’m a sucker for a happy ending (I defo am) but did it HAVE to end that way?! I was genuinely devastated and have actually since given this book away to the charity shop lmao.

Okay let’s start with the ending, when I tell you that the ending of this story ruined it for me (as you’ve probably gathered) I’m not being dramatic… Like, the rest of the book was SO GOOD, maybe slightly out there, but good nonetheless, and I loved the idea of a secret society of rich people, but the ending just spoiled everything. I also wish that we had more of an expansion on the secret society, it felt like that part was meant to be such a key part of the story and it was almost forgotten about.

And the writing did make me cringe at points, I can’t lie…

Character wise, OF COURSE I was obsessed with Shadow, I have a thing for unobtainable fictional men (who are also insanely hot) so he fit the bill. And as for Aria, I did find her to be a bit odd, I’m not sure if it was the fast paced nature of the story, but she went from being disgusted by the idea of a secret society to suddenly (because Shadow was hot) wanting to be involved and just going along with everything without question?! She just seemed really shallow it annoyed me – a lot.

I do however, feel like the story had redeeming qualities, it flowed well and was really intriguing, and the whole premise was actually read good, just perhaps not executed as well as it could have been.

Until next time, Em xxx

Mortmain Hall — Martin Edwards

Link to book – Mortmain Hall by Martin Edwards.

Rating – 5 out of 5 stars.

The cover of this book was what initially drew me in to picking it up and then it lingered on my shelf for 2 years and I wish I hadn’t left it for so long, it was so good and worth the read!!!

It’s really hard to pick a standout element of this book for me because all of it was so just good, but if I had to pick it would be the plot… I thoroughly enjoyed the entire story, it was the perfect balance of murder and mystery, neither side taking up too much “space” within the story. And the crescendo at the end of the book was perfectly done, it couldn’t have reached a better conclusion.

I think a lot of that was down to the writing too, whilst there was a small bit at the start that felt a bit complicated it was quickly ironed out and with the way the book bounced around the characters it started to make perfect sense and the writing just fell into this natural, well written pace. And the atmosphere was done to PERFECTION! The story itself really lent to the atmospheric vibe of the book too and the intrigue that was built through the clever writing… I literally did not want to put this book down I needed to know what was going on.

I also loved the characters, especially Rachel and Jacob, I love how their friendship/potential relationship wasn’t a focal point of the story, it didn’t feel like it was being shoved down our throats, we were allowed to enjoy them as their own character. Especially Rachel, who was allowed to stand alone and be a BADASS female main character. And all of them were interesting in their own right, they all added value and a layer to the story.

For me, everything in this book just worked together to create something that was so intricately woven, but didn’t tie us up in knots trying to figure out the story AND meant that we were left with a clear ending and no cliffhangers!

I also really loved the very very end of the book, where it had the clue finder and the author went back through and showed us some of the clues they had left in the book, it was really clever and a super cool touch.

Until next time, Em xxx

The Kiss Quotient – Helen Hoang

Link to book – The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang.

Rating – 2 out of 5 stars.

I feel really disappointed by this book and I also feel as though I’m in the minority for feeling that way, so if you absolutely loved this book PLEASE don’t read this post because I can already feel your judgement through the screen lmao.

To begin with, I do feel this book had a really good premise and the right ideas, but they were poorly executed. I felt the story didn’t focus enough on the right parts, given how the blurb had made it sound.

By this I mean I think the plot got a bit lost, I’m all for a smutty book as much as the next, but I feel like The Kiss Quotient was put to us as a smut with a plot, instead it was just smut with barely any plot. The author could have done so much more in showing us how Stella’s work and hyper fixation in that respect affected her relationships, not just romantically but with her family. They could have shown us more about Michael’s backstory, about why he had turned to escorting and his home life. Instead, all of this was forgotten in return for several pages of smut – not at all what the blurb had promised us.

That being said, I did enjoy the ending of the book! But that in itself was a disappointment, because that’s how I wanted the rest of the book to have been 😦

Character wise, I didn’t feel that 3rd person fit this book at all. The characters, Stella and Michael, would have benefitted and had so much more about them had they been written in first person, it would have allowed more of the story to come through. The characters were meant to be a vital part of the story and it just felt as though they were pushed by the wayside and not given the chance to express and show themselves.

I also felt that Stella’s achievements and her work were belittled and made to feel unimportant because of a man… Which really frustrated me.

The writing was good though, the book was easy to read and I think that’s the main reason why I kept reading it. Despite my irritations with the book, I did keep reading because it flowed well and the writing wasn’t completely shit. However, I did feel a points that the author infantilised things a lil.

And I also wouldn’t say the book was intriguing and that’s why I kept reading, it just bumbled along nicely until I found out if they got together, that’s all.

On the whole, this book just didn’t hit the spot for me. It left me feeling like I’d missed out on plot and the lack of first person POV for the characters meant I wasn’t able to form a connection with them. A real disappointing read.

Until next time, Em xxx

The Deal – Elle Kennedy

Link to book – The Deal by Elle Kennedy

Rating – 5 out of 5 stars.


And now that’s out of my system, onto my actual review! To start with, I do give out high ratings lightly, I am such a nit picker when I read and honestly, I will rarely have a higher average for ratings than 3.5-4 but this one, this would surpass 5 stars if I could.

If you’ve read any of my reviews before you’ll know I’m a whore for a split POV, so this book was immediately going to be a hit with me. And the author executed the split PERFECTLY, I literally cannot fault it. It meant we got to experience two stories that mingled together so perfectly and were intertwined in the best way possible.

Character wise, I loved Hannah, she was sarcastic and witty and some of her lines in the book had me cackling with laughter. I adored everything about her, she was such a well written and well rounded character. And OF COURSE, of course I loved Garrett, I think he was my fave character in the entire story, I love the whole jock but not really a jock vibe he had going on.

And the writing had me kicking my feet and giggling while I was reading, it was so good! I do find that some romance books can be a bit cringey with the language but The Deal was the complete opposite of that. It was so good and I lapped up every single word!

Whilst the plot was just your typical romance story, I did enjoy that Garrett was a hockey player and not a football player, as that’s what other romance books tend to make the male MC, it was nice to see some representation of other sports! And it just flowed really well, it was really easy to read, the intrigue continued nicely through the book, not giving us too many cliffhangers but keeping us on edge enough to want to keep reading. All round just a really good story.

The Deal was honestly one of the most and best entertaining books I’ve read in a LOOOOONG time, I felt such a connection with the characters when I was reading and I loved how the story progressed through the chapters, plus getting to see the story from a split POV was just *chefs kiss*.

I would definitely recommend this book and if you’ve yet to read it, add it onto your list (and bump it up a few places!)

Until next time, Em xxx

The American Roommate Experiment – Elena Armas

Link to book – The American Roommate Experiment by Elena Armas.

Rating – 5 out of 5 stars.

I have one tiny little niggle with this story, and to be honest, it was balanced out by the rest of the book, hence my 5 star rating!

So, it was Rosie, she was an excellent character don’t get me wrong, she brought life to the book, however, she lacked that little extra sparkle to really make her stand out in my eyes and I do feel like Lina was the better character of the two, despite the fact she’s only a supporting character. However, I did adore Lucas, he was written so perfectly to fit into the story and I just felt like he had such sweet vibes, I love him 😦

I also thought the writing was SUPER good, I cannot fault it. The book flowed perfectly and despite it being written from both POV, I enjoyed how the author didn’t make the chapters alternate between the two, allowing the story to flow with a character and build momentum in the right areas.

And yes parts of the plot were cliche, but on the whole it felt refreshing and new and different and the ending was done so perfectly that I couldn’t have asked for a better way for the book to finish!

I was literally kicking my feet and giggling throughout this ENTIRE book, it was so lovely and brought me so much joy and entertainment to read, I cannot recommend it enough for people who just want something lighthearted and fun.

Until next time, Em xxx