Review: 30 Days – J.L. Leslie

30 Days Cover*****
I received this eBook from the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review of this book.

“I had a plan when I was nineteen. I would strip only until the bills were paid and I knew my sister and I wouldn’t be thrown out on the street. We would be financially stable. That was my plan. That was also three years ago. I’m still stripping.
I keep telling myself my life will change. I won’t do this much longer. I won’t need to. I don’t even believe that anymore. I still have bills. I still have a deadbeat mom. No idea where my father is. Or who he is.
Now my sister tells me she screwed up. Her future is at stake. One we’ve both worked hard for. There’s an offer for me. One I’ve refused twice now, but my resolve is slowly slipping. It’s just a job. He just wants to buy me for a little while.
He can buy me. But he’ll never own me.”

Have you ever heard of the movie Pretty Women? Well imagine Pretty Women, but with a hell of a lot of sex!!! Well, at least at first that is what was brought to mind for me and it was a little distracting, but then even the book, or the author herself even took a slight nod to this by mentioning the film. The similarities at the beginning, or at least the first half or the book, made me wonder if that movie was the authors inspiration for the book. The similarities in the initial job roles with the main characters, the female lead character who works in a role that is very revealing, (prostitute/stripper) and the male lead who works in a more higher classed job (lawyer) and has money. That he buys her for a certain amount of time, for whatever reason that is, and so on. . . I was just constantly being reminded of the film. Now I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, because I love that film, but I didn’t think that I could separate the two. But thank God I was wrong.

This book then turned into itself and became its own book, with its own storyline, its own characters, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. So this was so easy to forgive, even if I couldn’t forget it at times, by how great and how much I enjoyed the story. The story was different to what I was expecting it to be like, has I expected the whole book to be about those 30 Days, but it was about so much more. This story really began and opened up after those 30 Days and what happened to each of them after experiencing what happened and now trying to figure out, what is going to happen now. After all, can you really spend this amount of time, doing what your doing and not develop anything? Any feelings. A want for more. A need for more. Or self loathing for allowing this to happen to you. Either way there are going to be some feelings that need to be expressed.

The characters in this book were very believable, which is what make this book so great to read. You have the two main characters, Cameron and Memphis, and the story is told through both of their perspectives. We have Cameron Morgan, who is the son to the Morgan empire and works for one of the best law firms in the US, and goes to the Ecstasy one night on a stag do and happens to see Memphis there working. He immediately becomes infatuated and that is where the story begins. Memphis has been working as a stripper for three years to help support both herself and her younger sister, who is currently studying in NYU. Let’s just say that Memphis’ mum has never been a mum, so she has had to ensure that there was an income coming in to support and protect herself and especially her younger sister Anniston. When Memphis get’s an offer one night from Cameron, she doesn’t even think about it, it’s an immediate no, but when her sister calls to tell her that the University has called her scholarship due to poor grades and she will have to leave, then Memphis, like always, realises she will do anything to protect and support her sister.

This is just the first book in the Morgan Family series, so even though the next books aren’t going to be centred on these characters, if J.L. Leslies, follows on like she has with her other books and her other series especially, this won’t be the last you’ll see of these characters. They will make little cameo appearances’ in the other books, after all, it is the Morgan Family series.

Overall, I really did enjoy this book. I did initially think that I would be giving this book a lower rating, because of the whole Pretty Woman thing, but then I carried on reading it and it was just so good. Giving it anything less than five stars would be bad on me. And like I said before, I love Pretty Woman, so Pretty Woman with sex is even better 😉

Have you read any of J.L. Leslies books? Have you read anything that just completely reminded you of something else? What are your thoughts? Comment below 🙂

 

Review: The Dare – John Boyne

****

I haven’t read a John Boyne book in a while, which is shocking to me because the books I have read by him, I have really enjoyed, especially The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. That book just filled me with so many emotions and was the first book to officially have me in tears. OMG the emotion! 

Just like some of John Boyne’s previous books, this story also has his unique style and is told from the point of view of the twelve year old boy named Danny. Danny is on his summer holiday from school, and he wants a normal summer holiday, but that’s not what he is about to get. His mum is brought home one day, escorted by the two police officers after she has hit a boy with her car, an event which as not only changed her, but has had a knock on affect with the whole family. We get to see this story told through Danny’s eyes, and how deep this accident truly affect everyone, and we get to see how there could be more to the story. How not hiding something and not telling somebody something could really have a knock on reaction to other people’s lives. 

I’ve really missed John Boyne’s writing, his style of writing and how he chooses to use the narrative of a child to tell the story, through their perspective and point of view. This book is a short story and I love how you have to learn what is happening as you are reading and feel like you are a part of the story. Even though this is a short story at only 103 pages, there is so much within this story to keep you gripped and it is all done so brilliantly. I would have honestly have loved for this to have been longer and for it to have not to have felt slightly rushed, but maybe that’s my problem with the whole short book thing. But I picked a short book for my Book-A-Thon so I could read more books and now I really want to dive back into another John Boyne book, an in depth book this time.

You get to know each of the characters through the eyes of Danny, his thoughts and how he feels. You get to know his family and how this crash and accident as effected and possibly changed his family members, including himself. You get introduced to new characters, such as the family of the boy that his mum had hit with the car, especially the sister. So you feel like you are Danny, and learn and are exploring everything as him. 

I did enjoy this little book and the storyline was easy to read and gripping in parts, as there was mystery created, that made you want to keep reading. I do recommend this book and it’s definitely 100% a quick read. This isn’t my favourite John Boyne book, but God now I need to read more from Mr John Boyne. 

Review: Sing – Vivi Greene

Sing*** (3.5 Stars)

I received an eARC of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review of this book.

Have you ever been in love and then gone through and suffered a devastating break-up from the person who you loved so much, having your heart shattered? Now imagine being one of Americas biggest pop stars, like Lily Ross, with everybody’s eyes on you, watching your every move. No privacy to properly get over this devastating break-up, with everyone trying to see and be the first and to get the juicy story. So what do you do? You get your best girly friends and get away from it all for the summer. You go to a place that is a little less “Celebrity”, and go to a place that will just remind you of happy memories, and maybe even create some great new ones and maybe even find some inspiration and help to write some new songs. But this summer turns out different to how Lily intended, and by the end of summer, she has a decision to make. . .

I chose to request this book to read from Netgalley as I wanted something a little bit light and summery to read, and something slightly different from my usual type of books and this just sounded ideal. This book was definitely a good pick and fitted those two categories nicely. What makes this book fit more into those two categories, is both its writing and its content.

At the beginning of this book, I have to admit that I first found it hard to get into this book, and found the writing a little underwhelming. But the more I was reading this book, and the more I got into this book, the more I started to enjoy both the book and the way that it was written. It was both quick and easily written, kind of basic, which is perfect and ideal for summer, beach or holiday reading. I was able to sit and read this book within two day, and that’s with me having important appointments and physiotherapy, and being able to still fully enjoy this book. It was really nice having such a light and fresh book, but it did have its very own content, which also kept me gripped to this book.

We get to see the relationships between Lily and her friends, who have been friends since childhood; so before the fame. But we also get to see how her fame and stardom may have affected all three of their lives, as her friends do work for her, as they then get to spend and see each other constantly, but is that always a good thing? We get to see the relationship between Lily and her ex and her new summer romance, and how each of these men, change Lily and make her see the world and herself differently. We also get to see other characters, and my favourite has to be one that wasn’t in the book much, which was No els little sister Sidney. Ironically, I also have a little sister Cydney, but that’s not the reason why. I just felt like there was so so much more with this character, backround and depth and there was even humor, which was great, even more so because she wasn’t in the book that much. Definitely my favourite and I wanted more of her. Even her and Lilys interactions were heartfelt and gave up more understanding about Lilys past.

This book and the whole story in its entirety is told from Lily Ross’ characters perspective. We get to see everything that happens that summer, through Lily’s eyes; from just after after the break up and the aftermath of that, to the summer escape with the girls, to meeting a new man, and everything else that happens that summer. We get your typical surprise summer romance, especially after an heartache and promising be alone and swear off men and love. I don’t want to give away too many spoilers, but I actually did enjoy this book and I did find myself wondering what she was going to do, as I was really into the book and the story. There is something stopping me from giving this book a full 4 stars, maybe it’s because it’s a bit basic and light for me, but that’s because it’s a Young Adult, Contemporary read and ideal for some Summer and Holiday reading. But it is better that a 3 stars, so that’s why I’m going inbetween and giving this book a 3.5 stars out of 5.

Now when it comes to recommending this book, it definietly depends on your type of book. If you’re in the mood for a light, holiday, summer read, then this book would be perfect. But if you want something a little bit more, then I would recommend picking something else.

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts? Agree or disagree? Comment below 😀

Fun fact: It’s believed that this book is about Taylor Swift. From what I’ve read from other people’s reviews and things of this book. Check some out and see what you think. The cover definitely adds to that theory. Or is cleverly picked by the author to make it looked that way in order to sell more copies as people, especially teenagers and Taylor Swift fans, will be more inclined to buy this book. What are your thoughts? 


 

Review: In The Dark, In The Woods – Eliza Wass

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****

I received this book, signed from the author as part of the Goodreads Giveaway Win!! However, this is not going to affect my review, as it will be 100% honest and unbiased, just like all of my reviews.

This book is told from the point of view of Castley Cresswell, one of six siblings, being raised dominantly by their heavily religious and controlling Father. Castley is beginning to question and doubt what she has been told for the whole of her life, starting to want a normal life like everyone else. She wants a future and friends. She doesn’t want to marry her own brother, in Heaven. She wants to live!

I was greatly surprised with this book! When I first started reading it and first read about all of the religious aspects in this book, I was instantly turned off, but there was something about this book that just kept me hooked. All I can say is that I’m so glad that I kept reading. The way and how this book was told and from the perspective it was told from, was brilliant! It was a different way to tell this kind of story in and this form of religious form of child abuse, where the child doesn’t even realise that they have been suffering any form of abuse, until they’ve grown up and by then it may be too late. This was because everything in their life seemed normal to them, even being told that it’s God’s plan, if they are running low on food and are practically starving, being punished for their sins and so on.

I loved the fact it was told through Castley’s perspective, through the eyes of a sixteen year old girl. That we get to see the inside of her mind, her thoughts, her actions and what triggers her with her beliefs and how they adapt. It was great because you never really get to hear or see this type of story or experience told or expressed from the child, or children’s point of view. We even get glimpses of what or how the other siblings are thinking or feeling, but that’s just through what they are saying, so whether they are true emotions or answers, we never truly know. They could just be saying that out of fear of their father. As they believe and fear, as they are told, that their Father and God are virtually the same and if not, they speak to each other.

There were things and questions that were left unanswered that did leave me disappointed. It would make sense if Eliza Wass was planning on writing a sequel to this book and then those questions could be answered. I didn’t like the sudden change with George at the end, which seemed rushed. I didn’t like the fact there wasn’t a conclusion with the father at the end, which again would be good if Eliza was planning on writing a sequel. Now here’s a somewhat spoiler, so skip the next part if you don’t want to be spoiled: *Where did the second Casper from? That was never answered! Did they have another kid? Did they kidnap a kid? Please explain. That’s my biggest problem*

I read this book in two sittings while on my holiday and thoroughly enjoyed it, and I’m so glad that I wan it because it wouldn’t have been something that I would have usually have picked up because of the strong religious element. I really loved it and really hope that there is a sequel because I would love to have answers to some of the questions, especially my questions about Caspar!. I’m glad I have a new author to look out for and to follow now. I definitely would recommend this book highly. A very good read and it did make me think. I’m also so glad that I have a signed copy of this book!!! YAY!!
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I would defiantly recommend this book and it gives an insight into a world that you may not have otherwise have had. This is why i love reading!! That’s why I have given this book a massive 4 out of 5 stars and would’ve given it 5, if I wasn’t left with questions. A brilliant breakout debut novel.

Click Here: My Goodreads Giveaway Win! (In The Dark, In The Woods – Eliza Wass) For more information on this book.

Review: The Loney – Andrew Michael Hurley

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***
I received this eARC thanks to Netgalley and the publisher and author, providing an honest and unbiased review of this book.

Where do I start with this book… There is this place, a truly strange, somewhat near deserted place, between Wyre and the Lune, that is known only by what the few locals who remain there call it. That place is called The Loney. Every Easter, Mummer, Farther, Mr and Mrs Belderboss and Father Wilfred, the parish priest, would take a pilgrimage here for its mystical Shrine, along with the unnamed boy narrator and his suggested mentally ill and mute brother Andrew, known better as Hanny, in order to help heal Andrew thanks to God. This year is different however. Father Wilfred is dead, declared accidental, but is there more to the story? So now there is a new priest to take his place, Father Bernard, who has his own ways, but are people willing and ready to accept him and his new ways or do they prefer things how they were?

In all honesty, I am really in two minds when it comes to this book about whether or not I enjoyed it or not. It took me a while to get into the story and when I say a while, I mean at least a third of the way through. If I hadnt been reading this book for Netgalley then I don’t think I would have finished reading this book, that’s how long it took me to get into this book. It started off slow and for me, it wasnt until they actually got to the coast or The Lonely, where it started to actually pick up. But then when I got into the book, it did hook me. I wanted to find out more and therefore needed to keep reading! I had questions I wanted answered, or I just simply wanted to read another chapter and another chapter because I didn’t want to stop.

I will admit that I didn’t realise how much this book was going to be centred and based on religion and maybe that’s why it took me so long to get into the storyline, as it was a bit off putting. It was interesting to read a book that did focus so fully on religion is this way, but it did come a bit unexpected. This cover grabbed my attention instantly and has to be one of my favourite covers I’ve seen in a while, I love it, and I knew it was meant to be a horror book, so I barely read the description before requesting to read this book on Netgalley. Maybe that’s my mistake, but descriptions can sometimes give away too much information and then spoil the book. Like trailers with movies.

One thing I loved about this book is how it was told. The beginning of the book starts off with the unnamed protagonist narrator beginning his story to us, the readers, at his current age, trying to get his point of view of past events across, before it is too late. The book then goes back to when he was younger and he then begins that part of his story to us. We get to see everything from his eyes and how he saw and remembers it, which shamefully took me a while to realise what was happening. Throughout the whole book, we never get to know his name! This does annoy me, but yet I also think that its fitting for his character, as he never really gets any of the attention in this book. The character who shows him the most attention is Father Bernard, who subsequently gives him his own little nickname, which is the only name we hear him called throughout the entire book, and that’s Tonto.

I personally believe that there are some very strong characters, with great development behind them, illustrated in this book. Even though I couldn’t connect to several of the characters because of their strong religious beliefs and how much it defined them, how they were presented in the book was strong. There were others I loved. I loved the relationship between the brothers ‘Hanny’ and the main protagonist ‘Tonto’ and how only siblings are and how they have their own special relationship. They are able to communicate in way that no one is able to in the whole entire book. In fact, ‘Tonto’ is maybe to only person who is able to properly communicate with Hanny. Their relationship kind of reminds me of George and Lennie’s relationship in “Of Mice and Men”.

I don’t think that I would class this book as a horror book, as it didn’t frighten or scare me, especially compared to more thrilling and terrifying books. It just wasnt creepy enough. But maybe that aspect was lost on me as I wasn’t fully engaged enough to be afraid of what I was reading. There are elements of supernatural, I think, mixed in with religion, but its hard to identify which is meant to be which.

When it came to the ending, it definietly left me wanting more. In my eyes, it had been building up to this big ending, or big reveal, and it just left me completely unsatisfied, with questions left unanswered. I’d even been expecting some plot twist at the end for some reason, which didn’t occur. For a book that was 367 pages and wasted pages on unnecessary parts, it could have used that time to spend it answering those questions and building towards a better ending.

So when it comes to my recommendation of this book, I will say that it all depends on what your personal preferences are. This book does have some high reviews, so I may be in the minority that didnt appreciate it to its fullest. I did enjoy it, but was left dissatisfied and it did take me a while to get into it. If you don’t like overly religious books, then maybe pick a different book.

I’m only giving this book 3 out of 5 stars because it wasn’t a bad book, but it wasn’t my favourite either, just maybe the wrong book for me. Have you read this book? Let me know what you thought? Comment below 😀

Review: Wonder – R. J. Palacio

*****

Spoilers!!

This book took me by complete surprise as I honestly didn’t expect too enjoy it, thinking that it was aiming more towards a younger audience. The thing I liked best about this book, which I didn’t expect, was that it isn’t just written from Auggies point of view and showing how his life is only affected. Throughout the book we get to see things from his friends point of views, his sister’s and even his sisters friends point of view and is something that I really liked reading. I loved reading the chapters that were written from his sister’s point of view especially and how it all affected her life in so many ways. How she felt left out and neglected, how she was just starting a new school at the beginning of the book where nobody knew who herself or Auggie were and she wanted to keep it that way because for once she finally able to create her own identity. I started really enjoying her chapters more than auggies sadly and I really hope that they release a book that is just based on her point of view because that would be amazing.

We then got to see how everyday things that we all take for granted and even complain about, never wanting to do, can be a massive problem for a 10 year old boy who has on simple difference from other children his age, such as going to school. We see discrimination at its biggest form and sadly we can’t just say it’s from the children, which is where this book was in its truest form. The parents of the school children were one of the biggest culprits in this book towards poor Auggie, photoshopping him out of photos so their kids wouldn’t have to be associated with him, not explaining to their children and allowing their children to continue bullying Auggie after being told of the events. Making it worse, the parents blame Auggie and the head teacher for the bullying, for allowing Auggie to be kept in the school after numerous protests, and then the parents finally put together a community to try and kick Auggie out of their school because of his deformity. Yepp. The adults in this book are the biggest bullies.

What makes the bullying worse in this book, is that you have this very sweet, polite boy, so when you have someone pick on him, whether its a child, a remark from an adult or how because of how of how somebody looked at his face, it makes it all worse. You see some strong friendships, some betrayals, sadness, very strong bullying, death, and its told from several peoples point of views.

This is the exactly the type of book that should be taught or at least read and disgust at schools because the ending teaches children to be more accepting and tolent towards children and other people in general, that are not the same as themselves. It is a brilliant book and I highly highly recommend it!! 5 out of 5 stars!.

Review: Looking For Alaska – John Green

****

I started reading this book several times, but for some reason I put it down again after reading the first couple of pages. After reading The Fault In Our Stars, I started picking up some more John Green books whenever I saw them in the shops or online. I saw really, really good reviews about this book, which is probably what ruined this book for me because I was going into this book with really big expectations. This was said to be the best John Green book out of them all, so of course that would give anybody MASSIVE expectations before reading it, so maybe if I didn’t hear anything then I would have enjoyed it more.

The book took me a while to get into it once I finally got my mind set on reading it, but once I did, I really did enjoy it. The characters seemed realistic and the relationship between each other and how they interacted with each other, is also realistic. Considering the characters were mostly teenagers and the author is, lets say a little older, I liked how he was able to capture the teenage life without over dramatizing it like some other authors do. He was able to capture certain emotions from the characters that was hidden deep down, covered up by confidence and some other emotions that were right there on the surface. I liked how the main character Miles, started off as this shy, timid character with no friends, but then he developed as the book went along. He made friends with his roommate, the Colonel, with Alaska, and with a few more people and becoming quite popular within this group of people, becoming really close. We are able to see as he grows as a character, being able to make friends who accept him for who he is and his little quirks.

What I didn’t like was how quickly Miles gave into peer pressure, as this book was aimed at a younger audience. Miles wanted to fit in and become friends with this group of people, and wanted to look cool in front of Alaska and the Colonel, that he did things he had never done before. the first time that you see him doing something like this, you hear him questioning himself, doubting himself, but he does it anyway because of the people who are around him. The more he does it, the more he enjoys it and more normal and natural it becomes, one habit then leads into another habit that he also never did before. It seemed like the message coming across in the book was that it’s ok to give into peer pressure. It makes you look cool and you’ll get more friends. I have a 13 year old sister so maybe I’m looking too much into it but that annoyed me so much. To make matters worse, Miles was not just paying for his cigarettes, but he was also paying for his roommates, plus he was starting to get into trouble by helping to pull pranks and it felt to me like he was being used.

The storyline was good and took me by complete surprise because by the title of the book, so I was honestly expecting it to take a different turn. I think that this title, I was expecting this book to be more like Paper Towns because of how they go looking for her in that book. So when the plot happens, and I won’t spoil it, I was completely surprised and in shock! I even thought it was another prank and was waiting for someone to say Psych! I like how it followed afterwards and I do get how the title falls into the story, ish, and am left feeling like Miles’ character and am left in desperate need for answers.

I would recommend this book, but maybe read it with some tissues as we all know John Green likes his emotions and making his readers cry. It didn’t live up to the big hype but it was still a good read and the ending made this book for me and saved it, so that’s why I’m giving it a 4 out of 5 stars.