#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

Amazon US

Goodreads

#BookReview Sarah by Teri Polen #YA #horror #Tuesdaybookblog 

​Cain witnesses a number of creepy inexplicable occurrences in his bedroom and the attic storage space above it. When he finds out that his house was linked to the disappearance of a student from his school, he suspects his home might be haunted but doesn’t count on the vengeance that ensues.

This YA horror thriller did some things very well, such as, the atmospheric haunting of Cain’s room, depicting his relationship with Finn, his bestfriend, and his relationship with his younger sister, Maddie and his Mum. However, I found the pace variable throughout and the story a little repetitive, but the book ended on a cliffhanger and I am intrigued enough to pick up the next instalment if there is one in this series.

A haunting read.

Links To Book: 

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Goodreads

#BookReview What The River Washed Away by Muriel Mharie Macleod #fiction #Tuesdaybookblog

​Eight year old Arletta, lives in Louisiana, has just lost her beloved Pappy, her mother is a Mambo and doesn’t have time for her daughter and to make matters worse she is failing to avoid two predatory paedophiles who are hurting her. Set in the early twentieth century, this story of a little girl’s struggle, resilience, survival and sacrifice is inspiring and powerful. Marietta, faced with much adversity sees her life change but at what cost?

With the old ways of the old country coming acutely at odds with the church and Christianity, Arletta tries to hold on to the values her Pappy taught her whilst navigating the perilous terrain of her life. Dealing with difficult themes from the outset this story did mesmerise and captivate. Won over totally by Arletta, I couldn’t help rooting for her and reading her inspiring story. Although the book deals with difficult issues it felt positive by the time I had finished it.

A powerful read, well researched with strong female characters that really won my heart.

Links To Book: 

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Goodreads

#BookReview The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell #amreading

​This family saga covers the life of Lorelei and her family of four children. Lorelei has always wanted to give her kiddos a better childhood than her own but somewhere along the years she became a prolific hoarder. The effect this had on her children was profound and diverse, but a tragic incident on Easter Sunday 1991 leaves the family shocked and adrift leading to a number of poor decisions which distance them from each other and sets them on very different paths.

I was totally absorbed by this read and trying to understand the characters in this family mystery. It is well written and impossible to put down once you start reading it. The degree of plausibility of the story, the characters nd how they react is exemplary demonstrating a deep understanding of human behaviour and the affliction of hoarding by this talented author. 

There were moments where I gasped and moments where the characters irritated me like real people but I could not put this down until I had read to the very end and I will miss the Bird family and all who knew them. 

Links To Book: 

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Goodreads

Book Review: The Tea Planter’s Wife by Dinah Jefferies

​Set in the 1920s and 1930s, The Tea Planter’s Wife is about the life of Gwen a young bride who has married a man who owns a tea plantation in Ceylon. After her marriage her relocation to Ceylon has its ups and downs but Gwen is thrown into turmoil after the birth of her son. Neither Gwen nor her husband are willing to be upfront about the secrets they keep, which has tragic consequences in the long run. 
A beautifully written book which is very visual as you are placed in the idyllic surroundings in Ceylon. I enjoyed reading the issues Gwen faces as a young woman in a new country and the intriguing unfolding of family secrets.
Although the story was somewhat predictable, it was still ahoy to read for the way the scene was set and how invested I became in the characters particularly Gwen and her cousin Fran. 
Not a fast paced, high octane read but a leisurely beautiful walk through a different country at a very different time. 

Links To Book: 

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Goodreads

Advance Book Review: Playing With Fire by Tess Gerritsen 

“My name is Julia Ansdell. I am 33 years old and married to Robert Ansdell. We live at 4122 Heath Road in Brookline, Massachusetts. On June twenty-first, I visited the antique shop of a Mr Padrone in Rome, where I purchased a handwritten composition called Incendio, by a composer named L. Todesco…”

As a professional musician Julia plays second violin in a string quartet and when she indulges in her hobby to buy unknown music she brings back something malevolent from the past. Convinced the music has somehow changed her daughter Julia goes on a quest to find out about the composer and where Incendio came from. 

I was riveted by this stand alone mystery/suspense/historical thriller from Tess Gerritsen, hooked by the time I got to the end of the first chapter I stayed up to unravel Julia’s story and Lorenzo’s past, which is told from alternating points of view of Julia in the present day and Lorenzo in pre-war Venice. As she has done before Gerritsen hints at something paranormal n this thriller, which I admit gave me goosebumps, even though I am not someone who read paranormal comfortably as a genre. 

The pre-war story of the Todesco family was intriguing and very powerful. I had to take a break to reflect on the realistic scenes Gerritsen put in my mind. The anguish, despair and fear were palpable, as were the frustrations Julia faced in the present day. The story did surprise me and I was sorry to reach the end of this one. A highly recommended and truly hypnotic read. 
Playing with Fire will be released on 5th November 2015 but is available for pre-order. 

Links To Book: 

Amazon UK
Amazon US
Goodreads
  

Book Review: Wounded Animals (Whistleblower book 1) by Jim Heskett

This fast paced mystery suspense conspiracy novella tells us about Tucker Candle, who works in IT for a company, that is relocating effectively leaving him without a job and health insurance. His wife is pregnant and due in three months. One evening drinking in a dive bar Candle meets Kareem, who warns him not to go to Dallas on a training trip for his employers. However, when Candle is called in by his supervisor and told to go in short notice he is unable to divert the inevitable. Once he returns from Dallas he finds his wife gone and a body in his bathroom. Can Candle unravel the disappearance of his wife and find out why someone is messing with him without the body count getting higher?

I loved the mystery suspense aspect of this novella and was hooked into finding out why these series of events were following Candle. He is a likeable and resilient character without being unbelievable and I am intrigued to read THE LEGEND OF KAREEM, as not all mysteries are revealed in this introductory first book.

A quick but intriguing mystery thriller read. This book is available to read for free to Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

Links to Book:
Amazon UK
Amazon US
Goodreads

image

Book Review: Just What Kind of Mother Are You? By Paula Daly

Lisa Kallisto is devastated when her friend’s 13 year old daughter, Lucinda goes missing when she was to spend the evening and night at Lisa’s home with her own daughter, Sally. Feeling responsible for the situation, Lisa becomes the focus of anger for the family, but not everything is as it seems with her friend and her model family and to top things off, a number of young girls seem to be going missing.

A fast paced, highly enjoyable mystery/suspense/psychological thriller, which is a relatively quick read, and well captured the emotions of the characters involved.

A great introduction to D.C. Joanne Aspinall, whom I hope to read about again in future.

Links to Book:
Amazon UK
Amazon US
Goodreads

image

Book Review: The Great Talent Show Lie by Pricilla Bleik

India Roman is married to a banker fifteen years her senior, has four year old twins and a demanding mother and younger sister. Her younger sister Cylia has a number of mental health issues and has been encouraged, by her mother and therapist, to enter STAR a reality TV talent contest much like The X-Factor but on an international level. However, when her taller, beautiful sister bottles out at the auditions, India not only takes her place but actually gets through to the next round.

Whilst Cylia is still missing India returns home to find her husband has left her, his job, their home and has moved abroad with the woman with whom he is having an affair. With no income, arrears in her bills and mortgage and the threat of being homeless or worse still, moving back in with her mother, India takes up the chance to win ten thousand pounds by being in an episode of STAR. Reluctantly leaving her twins with her mother, India braves the rigmarole and politics that goes with being a young reality TV contestant. The trouble is, she isn’t voted off, how long can she keep the charade up of being twenty-one year old Cylia? Where is Cylia? The police suspect she has gone away with her boyfriend and aren’t taking her disappearance seriously.

This was a remarkably gripping psychological chick lit thriller and not only was it funny and moving in parts, it also had some great twists and turns. The characters were easy to believe in and the book was easy to pick up and put down. You really do feel for India, being left with two children, no income and a mountain of debts. You can follow her logic, which ultimately leads her deeper and deeper into her own web of lies. The chapters were in dispersed with interviews and chat about STAR, by relentless journalist, Lucas Edison who is on a mission to bring down producer and creator of the programme, David Harnet, which adds another dimension to the plot.

There were parts of the book I found a little less believable such as the mentors and psychoanalyst; they just didn’t seem in keeping with my experience of mentors or psychoanalysts and although I concede mentoring can vary, psychoanalysts tend to work from the same sort of basic framework, which did not seem apparent in the book. However, these things detracted little from the strong plot and characters.

Without the numerous typos and errors, which could be corrected with a good proof-read, this book is a fantastic read that I found original and funny. I did not see the big plot twist coming at the end and it is the sort of ending that makes you recount the story all over again, a bit like the movie, The Sixth Sense. A really underrated book in my opinion that could do with a polish and much, much more hype!

IMG_1607.PNG

Book review: Wayward (Wayward Pines Series Book Two) by Blake Crouch

Description

Welcome to Wayward Pines, population 461. Nestled amidst picture-perfect mountains, the idyllic town is a modern-day Eden…except for the electrified fence and razor wire, snipers scoping everything 24/7, and the relentless surveillance tracking each word and gesture.
None of the residents know how they got here. They are told where to work, how to live, and who to marry. Some believe they are dead. Others think they’re trapped in an unfathomable experiment. Everyone secretly dreams of leaving, but those who dare face a terrifying surprise.

Ethan Burke has seen the world beyond. He’s sheriff, and one of the few who knows the truth—Wayward Pines isn’t just a town. And what lies on the other side of the fence is a nightmare beyond anyone’s imagining.

Review

We get a more detailed glimpse into Wayward Pines in this well paced sequel. Add in a murder and the book is too interesting to put down. It’s not often a sequel surpasses the first book in a series but this one definitely does and I am in total suspense for the next book to become available.

Crouch knows how to tell a story and keep you at the edge of your seat. I cannot recommend this series enough.

Wayward (The Wayward Pines Series, Book Two)

Amazon US

20140119-115147.jpg