#Bookreview The Alphabet Sisters by Monica McInerney #contemporary #romance #fiction #Tuesdaybookblog

A huge fight between three sisters results in them not talking to one another for three years, but matriarch, Lola, their grandmother decides enough is enough and summons all three to attend her eightieth birthday celebrations. Much awkwardness ensues as the fight started because the youngest sister, Carrie, married middle sister, Bett’s fiancé. However, all three sisters and grandmother Lola are keeping secrets of their own.

A far gentler read than I’m used to, this moderately paced contemporary romance gradually hooked me on the central characters and before I knew it I was totally invested. The author drew forward laughter and tears, but more tears than laughter from me, as I am a tough audience when it comes to humour in books. I absolutely loved eccentric Lola in this book and my bias of other characters in the book was coloured by Lola’s point of view.

Not a typical read for me but I enjoyed this contemporary romance set in Australia nonetheless.

Links To Book:

Amazon UK

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#Bookreview The Truth and Lies of Ella Black by Emily Barr #contemporary #fiction #mystery #Netgalley

I wasn’t sure where this book was headed as the original description did not prepare me for the strange rollercoaster ride this story embarked on.

Seventeen year old Ella Black is not very popular in school has two friends, Jack and Lily, and overprotective parents. In addition to this she has a psychological alter ego she calls Bella (Bad Ella) who surfaces from time to time making Ella do abhorrent things she cannot control. One day whilst at school Ella’s mother shows up and takes her out. The next thing Ella knows is she is headed to Heathrow and boards a plane to Rio. Once in Rio a dark family secret, eventually, is uncovered and Ella finds herself unable to be around her parents who kept it from her.

I would say this is probably the most unusual story I have inadvertently picked up this yet and after finishing it, I’m still not sure how I feel about this book. I found Ella a difficult protagonist to connect with and the plot was not easy to buy into, apart from that it was well written and I did finish it.

Links To Book:

Amazon UK

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#Bookreview Final Girls by Riley Sager #horror #thriller #Netgalley

Quincy Carpenter is the sole survivor of a killing spree that took place ten years ago at Pine Cottage. The press have dubbed her A Final Girl putting her in an exclusive group of three girls who have survived similar ordeals. However, when one of the girls is found dead Quincy is shaken, however her world starts to unravel when the third shows up.

This story is told from Quincy’s point of view in the present with flash backs to ten years ago told in the third person. It seems increasingly likely that Quincy is an unreliable narrator the more you get into the story but all my hunches and predictions fell by the wayside as I read this intriguing thriller.

A definite page turner that will give you goosebumps once you overlook the premise that there are only three female sole survivors of crimes of this nature, who could be dubbed Final Girls in a continent as large as the USA.

Links To Book: 

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Goodreads

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How I Award Stars Now #bookreviews

Originally when I first started rating books I awarded stars based on how much I enjoyed reading the book overall. However, now at 43 years of age in the era of fake news, Brexit and scandals, I freely admit I am rating books on how much (or how little) they annoy me.

A tongue-in-cheek self-reflection, as I ploughed through the list of books I read in the past couple of months, made me realise that there are very few books that don’t have parts that annoy. This should come as no surprise to anyone because life, people and all pastimes have less enjoyable moments and some downright challenging ones. However the annoyance I feel is overshadowing moments of enjoyment more so than ever before.

Maybe due to the volume of books I read I am less patient with characters and superfluous drama and therefore more prone to getting annoyed, who knows? Maybe I’m just a grumpy liberal? Maybe there’s just too many issues surrounding us all that ratchet up the annoyance meter in me a few more notches with which I am comfortable. Whatever it is it has changed what the five star review meter means to me.

This is how I currently award stars:

***** Didn’t annoy me at all or annoyed me so little I don’t recollect.

**** Annoyed me a bit but it didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the book.

*** Annoyed me enough to irritate but it might just be me who lacks the tolerance to enjoy the eccentricities in this book.

** Annoyed me without a doubt but I still finished it. What does that say about me?

* Annoyed me to an extreme and made me livid for the time and effort I spent (trying to) read it that I’ll never get back.

This is the mental checklist that I automatically default to when clicking the number of stars I give a book. Admittedly I don’t award two or one stars very often, I don’t even recall the last book I gave a single star to, but I have noticed I award three stars more frequently now than ever. The whole rating system is based on the arbitrary frame of mind of readers, maybe a better way of seeking enjoyable reads is looking at the number of people who have chosen to rate the book? Or going back to old fashioned personal recommendations? Either way I will continue rating books in this way and maybe when I’m feeling less cantankerous I will start writing my reviews again.

Unscheduled Blog/Social Media Break

I have been noticeably absent for a few weeks as I haven’t been well. Rest assured treasured regular readers it really isn’t anything too serious and I’m on the mend. Authors I have not forgotten your books and I will be hitting my reading list again soon. 

I hope very much to tackle the backlog in books and blog posts soon. I’m thinking of you all and missing you. I hope normal service will resume soon. 

#BookReview The Millionaire’s Wife by Shalini Bolland #Weekendbloghop #thriller

​Anna is happily married to Will, a wealthy restaurateur, but on his thirtieth birthday she receives a chilling text message that brings a past she thought she had left behind tumbling into the present. As we read about how Anna deals to this new threat to her home and security, we find out what happened to Anna when she was fifteen and embarked on her first serious relationship. It seems her past is not done with her yet. 

I became totally engrossed in this suspense thriller from the outset as Anna is a strong narrator and protagonist, that is not to say she isn’t flawed and there were times her calm, intelligent sensibilIty seemed at odds with her passive and somewhat deceptive actions. All the characters in this unpredictable thriller raised my hackles, making this quite a thrilling read. 

The last few chapters really amped up my adrenaline and by the end I was rattled enough to have the story in my head for hours. This is my second book from this author and I absolutely loved it. Huge recommendation from me. 

Links To Book:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Goodreads

#BookReview Perception and Illusion by Catherine Kullmann #historicalfiction #RBRT

I chose this book to read from Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team book list.

An alluring story of a young girl, Lallie, who lost her mother at birth and is kept closeted by her father and stepmother. However, when her father hatches a plan to wed her to a man she dislikes to keep control of her fortune, Lallie plans her escape and finds herself ultimately in a more agreeable match, but can she navigate the world of the gentry and the complexities of her spouse? 

I absolutely loved this historical romance as the characters really came to life and unlike many stories the plot went beyond the happy ever after ending as the author showed, not only her connection with history, but her understanding of people and their actions. 

I found this difficult to put down and impossible to fault. A thoroughly satisfying read. 

Links To Book:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

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#BookReview The Substitute (The Wedding Pact #1) by Denise Grover Swank #Tuesdaybookblog #Romance

​Megan broke up with her fiance, Jay, six weeks ago, but couldn’t face telling her overbearing mother who has planned the wedding. Now she’s heading back home to Kansas City for her wedding and the last possible moment to break the bad news to her family. However, one thing leads to another and she finds the man sat next to her becomes a substitute for her fiance giving her an opportunity to end the wedding on her terms, what could possibly go wrong? 

This romcom caper was amusing and not too cringeworthy to read with an eccentric grandmother and a cast of interesting characters thrown in. Megan wasn’t the typical damsel in distress even though she has serious boundary issues with her mother. Josh, the tall handsome stranger she meets on the plane was probably the least interesting character in the pack and his often mentioned patootie didn’t really make up for it. 

This is the first book in a series that is tied together by three female friends who have had their fortune told and are warned to expect three unpredictable wedding upheavals. I’m not sold completely on the series but this was a good, fun and lighthearted read that would be ideal for a bit of escapism. 

Links To Book:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Goodreads

Advance #BookReview A Justified Bitch by H G McKinnis #Tuesdaybookblog #thriller #Netgalley

​When her neighbour, Bebe, is murdered Helen finds herself and her eccentric lifestyle under scrutiny. can hear and see Bobby her deceased husband, refuses to bathe and groom herself and lives with a number of cats in squalor. After being taken into custody by the police her sister, Pat turns up and although they have been estranged for years feels a sense of responsibility and guilt for not being around. With help from the detective on the case can Bebe’s killer be caught before becomes a target?

Easy to read and get into I found this crime thriller interesting as it gave an account of what it’s like to be a native of Las Vegas. Helen’s eccentricities were a quirky hook in this story and the complexities in her family add another dimension to the thriller. This is quite an even paced read and the characters really grew on me. 

The supernatural question of whether Bobby is really seen by Helen makes me want to read more in this series. 

This book will be available to buy from 8th August 2017.

Links To Book:

Amazon UK

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Goodreads

#BookReview The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances #thriller #Netgalley

Laura loves her son, Daniel, and is excited to have him nearby again as he finishes University and moves back to London to start his new job soon. However, she soon realised she won’t have him to herself when he meets and becomes smitten by the beautiful Cherry. Cherry has always wanted to leave her humble beginnings behind and sees Daniel as a way out of what she considers everyday drudgery. 

As Cherry and Laura face off, an avalanche of manipulation ensues driving Laura further from the ones she loves, but how far will Cherry go to get what she wants? 

I loved the chess moves played by Cherry and Laura to monopolise Daniel and I think the politics between them kept me turning the pages. Neither character was particularly likeable but Laura had my sympathy throughout this read. 

However, what I liked less whilst reading this was a sense of overdramatic events and the only character I really was interested in reading about was Cherry’s mum and I wished there was more of her. 

As a psychological thriller this didn’t breach any new barriers but it’s a perfect beach read and is entertaining enough to be recommended. 

Links To Book:

Amazon UK

Amazon US
Goodreads