Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Review: The Girl You Lost: A gripping psychological thriller

The Girl You Lost: A gripping psychological thriller The Girl You Lost: A gripping psychological thriller by Kathryn Croft
My rating: 5 of 5 stars



This is one amazing read.

What a journey I have been on with Leah Mills. Leah Mills is now a young woman living with an horrendous burden of a past she was involved in when younger. A boyfriend she once had. Adam the lad with the "attitude" who came across to me as the 'poor little rich kid' who endeared himself to Leah.
Then there was her friend and her boyfriend.

Coming up to date in present time, we have Leah who is living in a little flat, with her books as her friends and her little job at the library which is her sole main 'outlet' called Life, her Life, Leah's life


We go back and forth in time and present, at first I was wondering what was happening, then once I got the gist of how this author was working this story, I relaxed and got 'right into it' hook, line and sinker.

This has enough twists in it, it can tie you up in knots.

All the way through, we have questions, so many questions going around in our heads, this author was very clever to lead right up to the end revealing all.

1. Why is Leah living a lonely life away from her friends and her Mother
2. Why doesn't she have any friends anymore
3. WHAT the hell happened

Why is everything going wrong in her life?
Whose watching her?
What happened to her friends?

what the hell is going on.....

I was saying these words so many times throughout reading this, "what's going on" "what happened"
"who happened"

....
and then I thought, OMG I do hope after all this tension and the stress level I have been under reading this, that the author makes it worth it.

Oh she certainly made it with it. Oh yes and with another punch toward the end for good measure.

WOW.

This was an awesome book to read. It well deserves top stars and certainly a book I would recommend and purchase for others who like books such as this.

Tense
Anxious
Breath taking moments.


I want to thank * Kathryn Croft * the author for writing such a wonderful book and to *Bookouture via Net Galley * for my copy.

What a journey.


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Monday, 21 December 2015

Review: The Girls She Left Behind

The Girls She Left Behind The Girls She Left Behind by Sarah Graves
My rating: 5 of 5 stars



OMG this was a book and a half. This is thebook that I haven't been able to leave alone today until I actually finished it. When I had times when I had to set it aside, I kept thinking of it.

This would make one fantastic movie.

Two girls, cousins, teenagers, sneaked out of their houses and met up, they wanted to go to a party.

The girls were abducted.
Here lies the basis of the story as they were taken and put into some basement which held cages.

One of the girls managed to escape.

But who can get into the mind of a teenager.....
she didn't tell anyone because she was ashamed of what happened to her the time she was caught.

Then a recent up to date even happens which involved another teen and someone else's boyfriend. Its thought they ran off together.

This is all based around a small town, some people are who they are, some are not what they seem to be which you will discover as you read through.

This had my attention from page one right to the very end.

Very powerful book, love, revenge and utter danger.


*My thanks to Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine via Net Galley for my advanced copy*

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Review: After Anna

After Anna After Anna by Alex Lake
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


At the start of the book it is introduced as:

**A bone-chilling psychological thriller that will suit fans of Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, Daughter by Jane Shemilt, and The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. **

Let me say first, each book that is mentioned there, I have already read and in my opinion this is a book that will definitely suit fans of those mentioned authors, without one little doubt in my mind.

Its a book well deserving in its own right.

I was hooked to the pages of this book. Nothing gets to you more than a child involved in a storyline, be that on the news, in magazines we read, films we watch or books we read. No one likes to think of a child suffering.

Julia is a working Mom whose life is very busy. We have all been a little late picking our children up from school at one stage. But this time Julia hadn't been able to phone the school saying she was running late.

Julia was gone.

Do you blame the school? Do you blame the Mother?
The jury might be out on both counts, however, the first initial thoughts are to blame the Mom.

Here ensues the Mom blaming herself, she doesn't need her immediate family blaming her, she doesn't need media blaming her she is doing enough blaming herself

Alex Lake brought the right emotions into foreplay here, enough for the reader to really step into the shoes of Julia.

Then we get the chapters where there are'conversations' going on and you wonder.....just who is this that has this child, Anna.

I did guess [kinda] towards the latter end, but why and wherefore, that was a different matter.

This is a well thought out, well written emotional read that delves into the minds of several.

I really did enjoy this read and looking forward to many more from this author.

*My thanks to HarperCollins UK, HarperFiction/Blue Door via Net Galley for this remarkable story*



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Review: From Junk Food to Joy Food: All the Foods You Love to Eat...Only Better

From Junk Food to Joy Food: All the Foods You Love to Eat...Only Better From Junk Food to Joy Food: All the Foods You Love to Eat...Only Better by Joy Bauer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a very good book. I loved the recipes in it. There are so many regular recipes in there that has been tweaked to be more healthier. So you can still love the foods you like but with a slight tweak you can make them better for you.

The items in there that are rated "good for us because" is simply laid out.

I especially loved the apple pie but the pastry was made with oats, yes, with oats. Have I tried it? You bet I have. On an healthy eating plan to loose weight I miss my studgy puds, so this was great and fitted in with my plan. Low fat custard and I was in heaven.

There are some great ideas in here.

Definitely recommend this to everyone out there.


* my thanks go to Hay House via Net Galley for my copy to read and review*

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Saturday, 12 December 2015

Twisted by Andrew E. Kaufman

TwistedTwisted by Andrew E. Kaufman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Oh what a mind blower.

Just the title "Twisted" should tell you something, then look at the book cover.
This is a high rated book and I can certainly see why.
My mind was sometimes in a confuddled state and fuses blown.

Awesome.

Loveland Psychiatric Hospital is where Dr. Christopher Kellan works. Mostly on a unit called Alpha Twelve where the patients will never see the light of day in freedom again.
Very secure.

Danny Ray Smith arrives in that unit and Christopher has to do his evaluation. Danny ray has been accused of killing ten girls. The extraordinary thing is though their bodies have disappeared.

There is something familiar about Danny Ray that Christopher cannot put his hands on. It bothers him a great deal.

Danny Ray seems to know things about Christopher. How did he know that information? Have they met before?

Strange things start to happen to Christopher. Is Christopher loosing his mind.

This really is a hard hitting fast paced twisted read that keeps your mind in overdrive.

I loved every minute of the read.


Thanks to Thomas & Mercer via Net Galley for my copy







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When Evil Calls Your Name by John Nicholl

When Evil Calls Your Name (Dr David Galbraith, #2)When Evil Calls Your Name by John Nicholl
My rating: 4 of 5 stars



THIS IS NOT A STAND ALONE, READ BOOK 1 FIRST

Whilst I have been currently reading John Nicholl's book 2 of the series Dr David Galbraith, I have been asked by plenty who are reading it "what do I think so far?"
Or
Several have said "Its not what I expected and I am a little bored by it"

I have actually finished this read. And yes, both statements were the same as myself.

This is written as a memoir. But as you read it more and more it makes sense why the author chose to write it this way. The story could only be told by Cynthia no one else had insight to her life. Remember from book 1, David Galbraith even stopped her seeing or speaking to her parents. Gradually she had no one, no one but him to rely on.

There are no other persons that could tell her unique insight to living with such a man.

What I found:
Yes Cynthia 'waffles' sometimes and goes off track when writing her memoirs.

But why is she being asked to write her life down?
Because a prison officer can see she needs to come to terms with her trauma and her living with Dr David Galbraith. The things she found out about him. The life he made her live and how he treated her.

Oh...this part is boring.

Yes
It seems that way, it seems disjointed, confusing, it seems its going nowhere.Rest assured it certainly is.

When you get to around 70% you see how and why the author wrote this the way he did.

You come to realize by Cynthia writing her memoirs and the chats she has with her Counselor she is getting mentally stronger.

Yes she incorporates her life with her cell mates [which changed]
so we get a little of what is going on in her life "right now" and how that is affecting her.

You get a visit from her Mother and her children, we see how that isn't easy on her and her anguish of it all.

You get to learn of how she met Steven, the one who died in book 1. More insight to that in this book as it goes on.

You learn of Dr David Galbraith's manipulation quietly going on in the background, how it worsens and what Cynthia's life was like with him, yes, including their sex life.

It pieces together.

Its well worth sticking with.

Many times I have read books that I thought....oh....this isn't going nowhere, the by sticking with it I find it turns out to be a fabulous read more times than not.
Sometimes not....
But in this one, I urge you to stay by it.

No..
Its not like book 1
In many ways its below the par of book 1
Then...
In ways it surpasses book one because its so cleverly written.

John Nicholl's is a clever writer. His books are not for the fainthearted, but they are for those that like being thoughtful. Wondering where the author is going with it. Sometimes it takes time to grasp. It took me time.

Written as a memoir was the only way to go with this. Poor Cynthia was the only one who could unravel this twist for us. Many readers wondered how she didn't know what was going on from book 1.
How could she be so dumb, how could she be so stupid.
Why did she get with him.
How did she get with him.
What was their sex life like seeing his liked little boys.
Was she always so subservient
Did she always do what she was told.
How could she just take her husbands word for everything and ....
why didn't she go down to that cellar!!!! I would....anyone would, curiosity would have overcome you right? so why not....why didn't she???

The answers are all here.

The conclusion is fab.

Yes I felt like you
where is this going...
its a bit distorted...
nothing is happening...
Cynthia is shallow
This is nothing like I expected....

Wait and see

I am pleased to say I got my early copy from the author because I nag him to death, so to shut me up he let me read it...

Seriously, I believe in this author, and if he writes a book I do not like in the future, I will still give my honest review.
I was prepared at first to think "Oh dear" but now I have reached the conclusion and put the pieces and reasons together I am WOW. Yes, as another review said. HE DID IT AGAIN



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A Place to Call Home: Toby's Tale by G.A. Whitmore

A Place to Call Home: Toby's TaleA Place to Call Home: Toby's Tale by G.A. Whitmore
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Do you like Charlotte Webb and her tales?
Then you are going to love this.

This is about a white German Shepherd dog, a rescue dog.
Its all told from the eyes of this beautiful animal, his life, his woes and his rescue.

Not a dry eye in the house.
You need tissues.


Yes I know this is a children's book but we never grown up do we. AND we are a sucker for a sad story especially when it involves children or animals.

G A Whitmore has weaved a truly heartbreaking but lovely outcome in this story.

Can you survive to read it. Get the tissues at the ready. You have been warned.

Thank you to Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), Members' Titles via Net Galley for my copy





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A Tale of Two Mommies by Vanita Oelschlager

A Tale of Two MommiesA Tale of Two Mommies by Vanita Oelschlager
My rating: 3 of 5 stars



There are many families that have the same sex parents. And there is always going to be questions and wonderment about which parents does what.

This book addresses this to a degree but I was expecting different to what I read.

It reads like a clipart book with clipart pictures which for a child wouldn't hold that much interest.

The questions are valid questions but I would have liked it to be in more of a children situation surrounding but maybe that is just me.


I wasn't that impressed even though I tried to read it with the mind of a child.

Thanks to VanitaBooks, LLC courtesy of Net Galley






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Caillou Waits for Santa by Anne Paradis

Caillou Waits for SantaCaillou Waits for Santa by Anne Paradis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a lovely story and great visual pictures in this book that will enthrall any child.

The happy feel around this story beams out from the pages. Its a short book, which is great for any child, most children have a short attention span so this is ideal.

The pictures are bright, with the Christmassy colours throughout the books pages.

What little child won't go to bed the night before Christmas day, and when they are persuaded to, the reply "I won't be able to sleep, I want to see Santa" this is the theme of the book.

Great little read.





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Sunday, 6 December 2015

The Summer of Secrets by Sarah Jasmon

The Summer of SecretsThe Summer of Secrets by Sarah Jasmon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars



This is a great read, but be aware its very slow at the beginning. You may feel like giving up but its well worth sticking with.

We have all at some time had friends who have influenced us. Led us to do something that maybe we thought about later.

In some ways this is an unsettling read and gets you a little anxious and nervous.

It has two timelines in this book. A prior time and a recent time which sometimes got me a little confused until I got used to the authors way or writing.

Secrets and lies.

This is a really good debut novel written in a really appealing way.

Looking forward to what this authors brings us next.

*thanks to Random House UK, Transworld Publishers via Net Galley for my copy *





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Saturday, 5 December 2015

The Hiding Place by John Burley

The Hiding PlaceThe Hiding Place by John Burley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars



Oh my giddy aunt!

This is one awesome read, I can't urge you enough to read this if you love a good edge of your seat thriller. I kid you not, I was biting my nails and so scared at times for people.

Menaker is a psychiatric hospital that homes people who are really bad, and I mean really bad. No one leaves.

Dr Lise Shields works there but this patient Jason Edwards is there and has no history, there are nothing in files about him, nothing. Where is the transfer order at least?
So she questions this and doesn't get any satisfactory replies which makes her suspicious.

Has Jason been put there for what? and why? and is he really guilty of the crime?


This is a book that really and truly messes with your head.

* My thanks to HarperCollins UK, Avon via Net Galley for my copy*





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Maggie's TurnMaggie's Turn by Deanna Lynn Sletten
My rating: 3 of 5 stars



Well the topic of this story has been done before, but this is much better than ones I have previously read that are similar.

Maggie and her husband works, but they have two children, as is per usual in most households the wife takes the brunt of all the housework, shopping, cooking, seeing to the kids, attending school meetings and fetes etc etc and umpteen etcs

But dad was also doing an important job he was working full time to feed and clothe his family until.....

yep, he betrayed Maggie.

Maggie had enough and one day she just drove away from it all.

Leaving dad to cope and manage without her.

The outcome to this was predictable but I did feel the story was told superbly by this authors as she writes so well.

Three stars doesn't mean it was awful, it means that its predictable and been written about so many times before, but, its an alright book that I would gladly recommend.

Thank you to Lake Union Publishing via Net galley for my copy





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The Trouble with Paper Planes by Amanda Dick

The Trouble with Paper PlanesThe Trouble with Paper Planes by Amanda Dick
My rating: 4 of 5 stars



The first part of this book is written in Heaths POV which is quite a way into the book. You learn of his love, his lost love, and his tragedies, hes not had the best of times but hes a good guy, hes a nice guy.

Then the secound part is written in Maia’s POV the girl who is familiar, who looks a lot like his love. But she is, or isn't she?

If she isn't, can Maia’s fix his broken heart and they move forward.

This is a lovely story, full of emotion and the ending is not at all conventional, which again makes this a very good 'romance'.
I say that word "romance" lightly because although it technically it is, its not soppy, and its not predictable.


My thanks to the author for this book, I enjoyed it very much.



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I Know Who Did IT by Steve Mosby

I Know Who Did ITI Know Who Did IT by Steve Mosby
My rating: 5 of 5 stars



This was a really satisfying read from Steve Mosby.

I have read some fast paced awesome books this year but this was well 'up there' in my list of Must reads
This book is like an ever ready battery, it just keeps on going and going and going, you just can't leave it alone until you have it finished.

I didn't realize this was a a move on from the first book 50/50 killer, it was fine me reading this as a stand alone but I really felt I would have been served better information if I had known this and read the previous book.

How can someone come back from the dead, looking exactly like that person who was involved in an accident. Have the same scares. But had been buried?
Is this person mad?

The detective handling the case lost his son in previous years, and each year he gets a card on his birthday from his son.....
But one year he gets a card which says I know who did it

These two mysteries are entwined and as we read along the suspense builds.

This is an awesome read as only this author can build.

*My thanks to Orion Publishing Group via Net Galley for my copy*






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Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

Pretty GirlsPretty Girls by Karin Slaughter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was an truly awesome gruesome, at some times confusing but edge of your seat compelling read.

I am a bit late getting to the table reading this one, it slipped through my pile. So I thought I would listen to this on audio. Its the very first book I have "read" listening to it whilst doing my chores or driving to the shops. Somehow this was so real.

There's a girl gone missing, this reminds Claire of her sister who went missing twenty years ago. Its a mystery that was never solved.

Claire's Mother grieved but was able to move on and she made a life for herself despite the loss of her daughter.

The father on the other hand never ever gave up hope. Hence their marriage became estranged.

As we read through we learn that there seems to be a connection with the missing girl now and the missing girl twenty years ago.

Its graphic, gruesome in parts and when listening to it I felt it seemed worse that reading it in a book! But I kept on going because I knew that this fabulous author would not have written it if us readers didn't need to understand it. I realized as I went on in the book that it was vital to use readers, we really needed to know how vicious these attacks were.

The conclusion of this book was just awesome.

The letters Sam wrote to his daughter was heartbreaking, and that for me was the hardest part to read without tears.

Great thriller.

*My thanks go to Random House UK, Cornerstone via Net Galley for my copy*







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Moment of Impact by Rene D. Schultz

Moment of ImpactMoment of Impact by Rene D. Schultz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars



This is a story that will change many peoples lives. It will affect seven people. It will affect them in different ways, from the survivors to the not so lucky.

No one knows what is around the next corner. And none of these people who will ride the train that day. Each with they're own lives, their own personal feelings, troubles, sorrows and love.

Young, middle aged or young, it will effect those people and the people who care about them and those that know them and those that have knowledge of them.

Step on that train.

By stepping on that train it will change their lives beyond repair, some for the better, some for the worse.

Moment of Impact is a hugely astounding read, because this does border on a mystery, family life, and most of all, an important story to learn from in life.


I have had the pleasure to read the very first big book that this author had written. Bishop street which lead on to me reading her next book Done deal.

I have read her subsequent books since then and each time I feel she cannot improve, she does. Its not her writing that improves, its the stories she comes up with. The heart felt messages that are within those pages and her ability to breathe life into each character that she writes about. So much so, that you see them in your minds eye, you hear them talking in your ear. For someone to have the ability to do this for a reader is a true talent.

I look forward to each book she writes as each one is unique.

May I read many many many more from this author and may she go far.


Thank you to Rene Schultz for allowing me to read an very early copy [beta] and to be with you in this fabulous journey.

I am hoping the only "Impact" with my journey with you is recognition of your talent.



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