Thursday, 31 December 2015

Top 10 Books of 2015


2015 was a great year of reading for me, there has been many ups and downs and plenty of tears shed.

In total I managed 88 books this year, and here are my favourite Top 10:

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Review: Cress by Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles #3)

Title: Cress
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Puffin
Pages: 560
Genres: Young Adult, Science-Fiction

Cress

Incarcerated in a satellite, an expert hacker and out to save the world - Cress isn't your usual damsel in distress.

CRESS grew-up as a prisoner. With only netscreens for company she's forced to do the bidding of the evil Queen Levana. Now that means tracking down Cinder and her handsome accomplice Emperor Kai. But little does Levana know that those she seeks, and the man she loves, are plotting her downfall . . .

As paths cross and the price of freedom rises, happily ever after has never seemed further away for Cress, Scarlet and Cinder.

This is not the fairy tale you remember. But it's one you won't forget.

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Review: The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (The Kingkiller Chronicle #1)

Title: The Name of the Wind
Series: The Kingkiller Chronicle #1
Author: Patrick Rothfuss
Publisher: Gollancz
Pages: 662
Genres: High/Epic Fantasy

The Name of the Wind

'I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep.

My name is Kvothe. You may have heard of me'

So begins the tale of Kvothe - currently known as Kote, the unassuming innkeeper - from his childhood in a troupe of travelling players, through his years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-riddled city, to his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a difficult and dangerous school of magic. In these pages you will come to know Kvothe the notorious magician, the accomplished thief, the masterful musician, the dragon-slayer, the legend-hunter, the lover, the thief and the infamous assassin.

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Review: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles #2)

Title: Scarlet
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #2
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Puffin
Pages: 452
Genres: Young Adult, Science-Fiction

Cinder

This is not the fairytale you remember.

But it’s one you won’t forget.

Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. The police have closed her case. The only person Scarlet can turn to is Wolf, a street fighter she does not trust, but they are drawn to each other.

Meanwhile, in New Beijing, Cinder will become the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive – when she breaks out of prison to stay one step ahead of vicious Queen Levana.

As Scarlet and Wolf expose one mystery, they encounter Cinder and a new one unravels. Together they must challenge the evil queen, who will stop at nothing to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner . . .

Friday, 18 December 2015

Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles #1)

Title: Cinder
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #1
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Puffin
Pages: 387
Genres: Young Adult, Science-Fiction

Cinder

A forbidden romance.

A deadly plague.

Earth's fate hinges on one girl . . .

CINDER, a gifted mechanic in New Beijing, is also a cyborg. She's reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister's sudden illness. But when her life becomes entwined with the handsome Prince Kai's, she finds herself at the centre of a violent struggle between the desires of an evil queen - and a dangerous temptation.

Cinder is caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal. Now she must uncover secrets about her mysterious past in order to protect Earth's future.

This is not the fairytale you remember. But it's one you won't forget.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Review: An Untamed State by Roxane Gay

Title: An Untamed State
Author: Roxane Gay
Publisher: Corsair
Pages: 384
Genres: Thiller, Suspense

An Untamed State

Mireille Duval Jameson is living a fairy tale. The strong-willed youngest daughter of one of Haiti’s richest sons, she has an adoring husband, a precocious infant son, by all appearances a perfect life. The fairy tale ends one day when Mireille is kidnapped in broad daylight by a gang of heavily armed men, in front of her father’s Port au Prince estate. Held captive by a man who calls himself The Commander, Mireille waits for her father to pay her ransom. As it becomes clear her father intends to resist the kidnappers, Mireille must endure the torments of a man who resents everything she represents.

An Untamed State is a novel of privilege in the face of crushing poverty, and of the lawless anger that corrupt governments produce. It is the story of a wilful woman attempting to find her way back to the person she once was, and of how redemption is found in the most unexpected of places.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Review: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Title: To Kill a Mockingbird
Author: Harper Lee
Publisher: Arrow
Pages: 309
Genres: Classics, Historical Fiction

To Kill a Mockingbird

'Shoot all the Bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a Mockingbird.'

A lawyer's advice to his children as he defends the real mockingbird of Harper Lee's classic novel - a black man charged with the rape of a white girl. Through the young eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with exuberant humour the irrationality of adult attitudes to race and class in the Deep South of the thirties. The conscience of a town steeped in prejudice, violence and hypocrisy is pricked by the stamina of one man's struggle for justice. But the weight of history will only tolerate so much.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Review: The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison

Title: The Silent Wife
Author: A.S.A. Harrison
Publisher: Headline
Pages: 384
Genres: Thriller, Psychological

The Silent Wife

A chilling psychological thriller portraying the disintegration of a relationship down to the deadliest point when murdering your husband suddenly makes perfect sense.

Todd Gilbert and Jodie Brett are in a bad place in their relationship. They've been together for twenty-eight years, and with no children to worry about there has been little to disrupt their affluent Chicago lifestyle. But there has also been little to hold it together, and beneath the surface lie ever-widening cracks. HE is a committed cheater. SHE lives and breathes denial. HE exists in dual worlds. SHE likes to settle scores. HE decides to play for keeps. SHE has nothing left to lose. When it becomes clear that their precarious world could disintegrate at any moment, Jodie knows she stands to lose everything. It's only now she will discover just how much she's truly capable of...

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Review: Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Title: Landline
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publisher: Orion
Pages: 368
Genres: Women's Fiction

Landline

Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble. That it’s been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems besides the point now. Maybe that was always besides the point.

Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her — Neal is always a little upset with Georgie — but she doesn’t expect to him to pack up the kids and go home without her.

When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything. That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts . . .

Is that what she’s supposed to do? Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Review: Dreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Taylor (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #3)

Title: Dreams of Gods & Monsters
Series: Daughter of Smoke & Bone #3
Author: Laini Taylor
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Pages: 613
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Paranormal

 Dreams of Gods & Monsters

By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her, if there can even be a future for the chimaera in war-ravaged Eretz.

When Jael's brutal seraph army trespasses into the human world, the unthinkable becomes essential, and Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people. And, perhaps, for themselves. Toward a new way of living, and maybe even love.

But there are bigger threats than Jael in the offing. A vicious queen is hunting Akiva, and, in the skies of Eretz ... something is happening. Massive stains are spreading like bruises from horizon to horizon; the great winged stormhunters are gathering as if summoned, ceaselessly circling, and a deep sense of wrong pervades the world.

From the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond, humans, chimaera and seraphim will fight, strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy. At the very barriers of space and time, what do gods and monsters dream of? And does anything else matter?

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Review: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #2)

Title: Days of Blood & Starlight
Series: Daughter of Smoke & Bone #2
Author: Laini Taylor
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Pages: 513
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Paranormal

Daughter of Smoke & Bone

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil held a wishbone between them. And its snap split the world in two.

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a new way of living – one without massacres and torn throats and bonfires of the fallen, without revenants or bastard armies or children ripped from their mothers’ arms to take their turn in the killing and dying.

Once, the lovers lay entwined in the moon’s secret temple and dreamed of a world that was a like a jewel-box without a jewel – a paradise waiting for them to find it and fill it with their happiness. This was not that world.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Review: Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #1)

Title: Daughter of Smoke & Bone
Series: Daughter of Smoke & Bone #1
Author: Laini Taylor
Publisher: Hodder
Pages: 448
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Paranormal

Daughter of Smoke & Bone

Errand requiring immediate attention. Come.

The note was on vellum, pierced by the talons of the almost-crow that delivered it. Karou read the message. 'He never says please', she sighed, but she gathered up her things. When Brimstone called, she always came.

In general, Karou has managed to keep her two lives in balance. On the one hand, she's a seventeen-year-old art student in Prague; on the other, errand-girl to a monstrous creature who is the closest thing she has to family. Raised half in our world, half in 'Elsewhere', she has never understood Brimstone's dark work - buying teeth from hunters and murderers - nor how she came into his keeping. She is a secret even to herself, plagued by the sensation that she isn't whole.

Monday, 9 November 2015

Review: Monsters of Elsewhere by Matthew Waldram

Title: Monsters of Elsewhere
Author: Matthew Waldram
Publisher: Self-published
Pages: 598
Genre: High/Epic Fantasy
Source: Free ARC

The Husband's Secret
There is a land – let's call it Elsewhere – that is in no small amount of trouble. Giant wolves are tearing villages apart, a monster king is bringing his army across the sea to capture the legendary Hall of Glass, and the High Lord has completely disappeared.

Henry Whistler was eight when he got lost at a bus station in Hounslow. There his adventure began. For that was when he met the exiled invisible man, the monster swordsman, and the girl with the bright red hair.

Now a grown-up, Henry's childhood adventure is a faded memory... until his fiancée vanishes. Until he is drawn into another world. Until he is pursued by a blind assassin – with only a monster and a dead man for company - across a land that is in no small amount of trouble.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Review: Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Title: Little Lies
Author: Liane Moriarty
Publisher: Penguin
Pages: 480
Genre: General Mystery

The Husband's Secret
She could hear men and women shouting. Angry hollers crashed through the soft humid salty summer night. It was somehow hurtful for Mrs Ponder to hear, as if all that rage was directed at her . . . then she heard the wail of a siren in the distance, at the same time as a woman still inside the building began to scream and scream . . .

When a harmless quiz night ends with an act of shocking violence, the parents of Pirriwee Public School can't seem to stop their secrets from finally spilling out. Rumours ripple through the small town, as truth and lies blur to muddy the story of what really happened on that fateful night . . .

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Review: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Title: The Girl on the Train
Author: Paula Hawkins
Publisher: Doubleday
Pages: 320
Genre: Psychological Thriller

The Girl on the Train
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

Friday, 6 November 2015

Review: The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty

Title: The Husband's Secret
Author: Liane Moriarty
Publisher: Penguin
Pages: 432
Genre: General Mystery

The Husband's Secret
Imagine your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret - something so terrible it would destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others too. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive . . .

Cecilia Fitzpatrick achieved it all - she's an incredibly successful business woman, a pillar of her small community and a devoted wife and mother. Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But that letter is about to change everything, and not just for her: Rachel and Tess barely know Cecilia - or each other - but they too are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband's devastating secret.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Review: The Venus Trap by Louise Voss

Title: The Venus Trap
Author: Louise Voss
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Pages: 305
Genre: Thriller, Suspense
Source: ARC from Netgalley

The Venus Trap
Jo Atkins’ sixteenth year was disastrous: she lost her dad, was assaulted by a stranger, and then had her heart broken. For the last twenty-five years, she’s believed that nothing could ever be as bad again.

But Claudio has no intention of letting her go. Instead of never seeing him again, Jo wakes up sick and terrified, handcuffed to her own bed. She is given a week to prove her love for Claudio—or he will kill her. Claudio, it turns out, is a man with nothing left to lose.

She was wrong. Now, still smarting from her recent divorce, pretty, self-effacing Jo finally gathers the courage to enter the dating scene. She meets Claudio, whom she vaguely remembers from her youth, but after a few dates decides he’s creepy and politely tells him ‘thanks but no thanks’.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Review: After You by Jojo Moyes (Me Before You #2)

Title: After You
Series: Me Before You #2
Author: Jojo Moyes
Publisher: Michael Joseph
Pages: 407
Genres: Women's Fiction

After You

Lou Clark has lots of questions. Like how it is she's ended up working in an airport bar, spending every shift watching other people jet off to new places. Or why the flat she's owned for a year still doesn't feel like home.

Whether her close-knit family can forgive her for what she did eighteen months ago. And will she ever get over the love of her life. What Lou does know for certain is that something has to change. Then, one night, it does.

But does the stranger on her doorstep hold the answers Lou is searching for - or just more questions? Close the door and life continues: simple, ordered, safe. Open it and she risks everything. But Lou once made a promise to live. And if she's going to keep it, she has to invite them in . . .

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Review: The Valley by John Renehan

Title: The Valley
Author: John Renehan
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Pages: 448
Genre: Thriller, Military Thriller
Source: ARC from the publisher

The Valley
There were many valleys in the mountains of Afghanistan, and most were hard places where people died hard deaths. But there was only one Valley. Black didn't even know its proper name. But he knew about the Valley. It was the farthest, and the hardest, and the worst. It lay deeper and higher in the mountains than any other place Americans had ventured. You had to travel through a network of interlinked valleys, past all the other remote American outposts, just to get to its mouth. Stories circulated periodically, tales of land claimed and fought for, or lost and overrun, new attempts made or turned back, outposts abandoned and reclaimed. They were impossible to verify. Everything about the Valley was myth and rumour.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Review: A Man called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Title: A Man called Ove
Author: Fredrik Backman
Publisher: Sceptre
Pages: 295
Genre: Comedic Fiction

The Casual Vacancy
At first sight, he is almost certainly the grumpiest man you will ever meet. He thinks himself surrounded by idiots - neighbours who can't reverse a trailer properly, joggers, shop assistants who talk in code, and the perpetrators of the vicious coup d'etat that ousted him as Chairman of the Residents' Association. He will persist in making his daily inspection rounds of the local streets.

But isn't it rare, these days, to find such old-fashioned clarity of belief and deed? Such unswerving conviction about what the world should be, and a lifelong dedication to making it just so?

In the end, you will see, there is something about Ove that is quite irresistible...

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Review: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Title: Me Before You
Series: Me Before You #1
Author: Jojo Moyes
Publisher: Penguin
Pages: 528
Genres: Women's Fiction

Me Before You

Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane.

What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that.

Friday, 30 October 2015

Review: Fables Vol. 5: The Mean Seasons by Bill Willingham

Title: Fables Vol. 5: The Mean Seasons
Series: Fables #5
Written By: Bill Willingham
Penciller: Mark Buckingham, Tony Akins, James Jean
Inker: Jimmy Palmiotti, Steve Leialoha, James Jean
Publisher: Vertigo
Pages: 166
Genres: Comics, Fairy Tales, Fantasy

Fables Vol. 5: The Mean Seasons

Collecting issues 22 and 28-33 of the hit VERTIGO series, this trade paperback features two tales of Bigby's exploits during World War II as well as "The Year After," which follows the aftermath of the Adversary's attempt to conquer Fabletown — including the birth of Snow White and Bigby's children!

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Review: The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

Title: The Casual Vacancy
Author: J.K. Rowling
Publisher: Sphere
Pages: 576
Genre: Thriller, Political

The Casual Vacancy
When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock.

Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war.

Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils... Pagford is not what it first seems.

And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Review: The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets by Eva Rice

Title: The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets
Author: Eva Rice
Publisher: Headline Review
Pages: 480
Genre: Women's Fiction
Source: Free review copy from the publisher

In the Heart of the Sea
Set in the 1950s, in an England still recovering from the Second World War, this is the enchanting story of Penelope Wallace and her eccentric family at the start of the rock'n'roll era.

Penelope longs to be grown-up and to fall in love, but various rather inconvenient things keep getting in her way. Like her mother, a stunning but petulant beauty widowed at a tragically early age, her younger brother Inigo, currently incapable of concentrating on anything that isn't Elvis Presley, a vast but crumbling ancestral home, a severe shortage of cash, and her best friend Charlotte's sardonic cousin Harry...

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Review: Stiff: The Curious Lives of Cadavers by Mary Roach

Title: Stiff: The Curious Lives of Cadavers
Author: Mary Roach
Publisher: Penguin
Pages: 304
Genre: Non-Fiction

In the Heart of the Sea
What happens to your body after you have died? Fertilizer? Crash Test Dummy? Human Dumpling? Ballistics Practise?

Life after death is not as simple as it looks. Mary Roach's Stiff lifts the lid off what happens to our bodies once we have died. Bold, original and with a delightful eye for detail, Roach tells us everything we wanted to know about this new frontier in medical science. Interweaving present-day explorations with a history of past attempts to study what it means to be human Stiff is a deliciously dark investigations for readers of popular science as well as fans of the macabre.

Monday, 26 October 2015

Review: In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick

Title: In the Heart of the Sea
Author: Nathaniel Philbrick
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Pages: 336
Genres: Non-Fiction

In the Heart of the Sea

In 1820, the 240-ton Essex set sail from Nantucket on a routine voyage for whales. Fifteen months later, in the farthest reaches of the South Pacific, it was rammed and sunk by an 80-ton bull sperm whale. Its twenty-man crew made for the 3,000-mile-distant coast of South America in three tiny boats. During ninety days at sea under horrendous conditions, the survivors clung to life as one by one, they succumbed to hunger, thirst, disease, and fear. Philbrick interweaves his account of this extraordinary ordeal of ordinary men with a wealth of detail from archival and modern sources, including a long-lost account by the ship's cabin boy. At once a literary companion and a riveting adventure tale, In the Heart of the Sea is a vital work of American history.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Review: The Martian by Andy Weir

Title: The Martian
Author: Andy Weir
Publisher: Del Ray
Pages: 384
Genres: Hard Science Fiction

The Martian

I’m stranded on Mars.

I have no way to communicate with Earth.

I’m in a Habitat designed to last 31 days.

If the Oxygenator breaks down, I’ll suffocate. If the Water Reclaimer breaks down, I’ll die of thirst. If the Hab breaches, I’ll just kind of explode. If none of those things happen, I’ll eventually run out of food and starve to death.

So yeah. I’m screwed.

At first glance, I would not have read this book. I am not typically a fan of this type of genre but I am so glad I decided to give it a chance.

Friday, 23 October 2015

Review: Lamb by Bonnie Nadzam

Title: Lamb
Author: Bonnie Nadzam
Publisher: Windmill Books
Pages: 288
Genres: Psychological Thriller, Dark

Lamb

An unsettling exploration of manipulation and power between a middle-aged man and eleven year-old girl.

Tommie is eleven. David Lamb is fifty-four.

There’s nothing wrong with that, is there?


This is a story of 54 year old David Lamb and his decision to take a troubled 11 year old girl, Tommie to a cabin in the mountains to show her what he thinks is a better, simpler life.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Title: Fangirl
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Pages: 432
Genres: Romance, Young Adult,

Fangirl

Cath and Wren are identical twins, and until recently they did absolutely everything together. Now they're off to university and Wren's decided she doesn't want to be one half of a pair any more - she wants to dance, meet boys, go to parties and let loose. It's not so easy for Cath. She's horribly shy and has always buried herself in the fan fiction she writes, where she always knows exactly what to say and can write a romance far more intense than anything she's experienced in real life.

Now Cath has to decide whether she's ready to open her heart to new people and new experiences, and she's realizing that there's more to learn about love than she ever thought possible ...


This was a bit of a hit and miss book for me.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Review: Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

Title: Forbidden
Author: Tabitha Suzuma
Publisher: Definitions
Pages: 432
Genres: Romance, Young Adult, Dark

Forbidden

She is pretty and talented - sweet sixteen and never been kissed. He is seventeen; gorgeous and on the brink of a bright future. And now they have fallen in love. But... they are brother and sister.

Seventeen-year-old Lochan and sixteen-year-old Maya have always felt more like friends than siblings. Together they have stepped in for their alcoholic, wayward mother to take care of their three younger siblings. As de-facto parents to the little ones, Lochan and Maya have had to grow up fast. And the stress of their lives—and the way they understand each other so completely—has also also brought them closer than two siblings would ordinarily be. So close, in fact, that they have fallen in love. Their clandestine romance quickly blooms into deep, desperate love. They know their relationship is wrong and cannot possibly continue. And yet, they cannot stop what feels so incredibly right. As the novel careens toward an explosive and shocking finale, only one thing is certain: a love this devastating has no happy ending.

This book was surprisingly emotional. 

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Review: The One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

Title: The One Plus One
Author: Jojo Moyes
Publisher: Penguin
Pages: 528
Genres: Women's Fiction

The One Plus One

Suppose your life sucks. A lot. Your husband has done a vanishing act, your teenage stepson is being bullied and your math whiz daughter has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you can’t afford to pay for. That’s Jess’s life in a nutshell—until an unexpected knight-in-shining-armor offers to rescue them. Only Jess’s knight turns out to be Geeky Ed, the obnoxious tech millionaire whose vacation home she happens to clean. But Ed has big problems of his own, and driving the dysfunctional family to the Math Olympiad feels like his first unselfish act in ages . . . maybe ever.

Moyes has done it for me again!

Monday, 19 October 2015

Review: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Title: Eleanor & Park
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publisher: Orion
Pages: 336
Genres: Romance, Young Adult

Eleanor & Park

Eleanor is the new girl in town, and she's never felt more alone. All mismatched clothes, mad red hair and chaotic home life, she couldn't stick out more if she tried.

Then she takes the seat on the bus next to Park. Quiet, careful and - in Eleanor's eyes - impossibly cool, Park's worked out that flying under the radar is the best way to get by.

Slowly, steadily, through late-night conversations and an ever-growing stack of mix tapes, Eleanor and Park fall in love. They fall in love the way you do the first time, when you're 16, and you have nothing and everything to lose.

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, Eleanor & Park is funny, sad, shocking and true - an exquisite nostalgia trip for anyone who has never forgotten their first love.

I loved this book - it was so sweet, so cute - I didn't want it to end.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Review: Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon (Outlander #4)

Title: Drums of Autumn
Series: Outlander #4
Author: Diana Gabaldon
Publisher: Arrow
Pages: 1185
Genres:  Romance, Historical Fantasy, Time-Travel

Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon

How far will a woman travel to find a father, a lover a destiny? Across seas, across time - across the grave itself.

It began in Scotland, at an ancient stone circle. Claire Randall was swept through time into the arms of James Fraser whose love for her became legend - a tale of tragic passion that ended with her return to the present to bear his child. Two decades later, Claire travelled back again to reunite with Jamie, this time in frontier America. But Claire had left someone behind in her own time - their daughter Brianna.

Now Brianna has made a disturbing discovery that sends her to the stone circle and a terrifying leap into the unknown. In search of her mother and the father she has never met, she risks her own future to try to change history - and to save their lives. But as Brianna plunges into an uncharted wilderness, a heartbreaking encounter may strand her forever in the past - or root her in the place she should be, where her heart and soul belong...

I'm finding it hard to articulate my feelings about this book. The phrase 'a hot mess' comes to mind, but this is not a bad thing.

Friday, 16 October 2015

Review: The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

Title: The Invention of Wings
Author: Sue Monk Kidd
Publisher: Tinder Press
Publication Date: 25 September 2014
Pages: 448
Genres: Historical Fiction

The Invention of Wings

Sarah Grimké is the middle daughter. The one her mother calls difficult and her father calls remarkable. On Sarah's eleventh birthday, Hetty 'Handful' Grimké is taken from the slave quarters she shares with her mother, wrapped in lavender ribbons, and presented to Sarah as a gift. Sarah knows what she does next will unleash a world of trouble. She also knows that she cannot accept. And so, indeed, the trouble begins ...

A powerful, sweeping novel, inspired by real events, and set in the American Deep South in the nineteenth century, THE INVENTION OF WINGS evokes a world of shocking contrasts, of beauty and ugliness, of righteous people living daily with cruelty they fail to recognise; and celebrates the power of friendship.

I love me a good historical fiction, and I loved this book.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Review: The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls

Title: The Glass Castle
Author: Jeanette Walls
Publisher: Virago Press
Publication Date: 4 May 2006
Pages: 352
Genres: Non-Fiction, Memoir

The Glass Castle

This is a startling memoir of a successful journalist's journey from the deserted and dusty mining towns of the American Southwest, to an antique filled apartment on Park Avenue. Jeanette Walls narrates her nomadic and adventurous childhood with her dreaming, 'brilliant' but alcoholic parents. At the age of seventeen she escapes on a Greyhound bus to New York with her older sister; her younger siblings follow later. After pursuing the education and civilisation her parents sought to escape, Jeanette eventually succeeds in her quest for the 'mundane, middle class existence' she had always craved. In her apartment, overlooked by 'a portrait of someone else's ancestor' she recounts poignant remembered images of star watching with her father, juxtaposed with recollections of irregular meals, accidents and police-car chases and reveals her complex feelings of shame, guilt, pity and pride toward her parents

This book was absolutely amazing. I really can't believe Jeannette had a childhood like the one she describes in this book.

Monday, 12 October 2015

Review: Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice (The Vampire Chronicles #1)

Title: Interview with the Vampire
Series: The Vampire Chronicles #1
Author: Anne Rice
Publisher: Time Warner Paperbacks
Publication Date: 2003
Pages: 368
Genres: Horror, Vampires

Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice

In a darkened room a young man sits telling the macabre and eerie story of his life - the story of a vampire, gifted with eternal life, cursed with an exquisite craving for human blood.
This was the first book to present vampires in the modern light that we think of them today.

 I had watched the movie before reading this book which I wish I never did because the book did not shock me like it should have done.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Review: Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

Title: Through the Woods
Author: Emily Carroll
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Publication Date: 7 May 2014
Pages: 208
Genres: Graphic Novel, Fairytales, Horror, Young Adult

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

'It came from the woods. Most strange things do.'

Five mysterious, spine-tingling stories follow journeys into (and out of?) the eerie abyss.
These chilling tales spring from the macabre imagination of acclaimed and award-winning comic creator Emily Carroll.

Come take a walk in the woods and see what awaits you there...
I came across this book because I wanted something quick to read that would send shivers down my spine.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Review: Lord John and the Private Matter by Diana Gabaldon (Lord John Grey #1)

Title: Lord John and the Private Matter
Series: Lord John Grey #1
Author: Diana Gabaldon
Publisher: Arrow
Publication Date: 7 October 2004
Pages: 464
Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery

Lord John and the Private Matter

The year is 1757. On a clear morning in mid-June, Lord John Grey emerges from London’s Beefsteak Club, his mind in turmoil. A nobleman and a high-ranking officer in His Majesty’s army, Grey has just witnessed something shocking. But his efforts to avoid a scandal that might destroy his family are interrupted by something still more urgent: The Crown appoints him to investigate the brutal murder of a comrade-in-arms who may have been a traitor. Obliged to pursue two inquiries at once, Major Grey finds himself ensnared in a web of treachery and betrayal that touches every stratum of English society—and threatens all he holds dear.

The first full sized novel featuring Lord John Grey.