Review: Watching Edie – Camilla Way

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I received this book thanks to Netgalley, the publisher and the author, in exchange for an honest and unbiased review of the book. 

Goodreads desciption of this book goes as so;

THERE ARE SOME FRIENDS YOU’LL NEVER FORGET … NO MATTER HOW HARD YOU TRY 

BEFORE

Edie is the friend that Heather has always craved. But one night, it goes terrifyingly wrong. And what started as an innocent friendship ends in two lives being destroyed.

AFTER

Sixteen years later, Edie is still rebuilding her life. But Heather isn’t ready to let her forget so easily. It’s no coincidence that she shows up when Edie needs her most.

NOW

Edie or Heather?

Heather or Edie?

Someone has to pay for what happened, but who will it be?

Have you ever fallen for somebody who was completely wrong, or have you known somebody who has? So wrong in fact that, that person has ended up changing who they were for the worse. Changing how they acted, how they dressed and changed everything else to try and fit that persons ideal, or to simple fit better into that persons lifestyle, whether that other persons lifestyle was the good kind or the bad kind of lifestyle. Well if so, you may understand this book, and if not, then open your eyes and prepare for an interesting and thrilling read. 

This is the story that is told from two characters perspectives, Heathers and Edies, which is also told in two different time lines, Before and After. The before sections are told from Heathers point of view and the After sections are expressed through Edies point of views. The fact that we get to hear both of these characters point of views, thoughts, feelings and everything, kind of takes some of the “psychological thrillerness” out of the story, for me. We get to know both of the character individually and personally, even if it is at different sections in their lives, there’s still that part of connection with each character there. Instead, I get a lot of miscommunication and misunderstanding between these two characters and instead of creepiness, I end up feeling pity and sorrow. There still is some thrilling parts in this story, as the characters are organised well, but not enough for this book to be marketed as one of the best chilling psychological thrillers, and it left me disappointed, which is why I think its reflected in my rating.

As the story is told in sections as Before and After, as readers, we are instantly being made aware of the fact that something as happened in the lives or between Heather and Edie, without even having to read read anything, which is kind of a spoiler to me, as well as building up to something. As we keep reading further into the story, this “something” keeps building up, making us wonder and, if your anything like me, try and guess what this thing between them could be that has happened between them. The ultimate ending and big reveal wasn’t as unexpected, as I was again left disappointed. 

The biggest shock I received and biggest surprise and best part about this book that I loved, involved some of the other characters and the twist that came near the end before the other big reveal. I don’t want to give anything away, but if you read this book, hopefully you’ll know what I mean. This left me screaming oh my god I wasn’t expecting that! In fact, I had something else in mind entirely and was going down a different path entirely. I love it when this happens. This part made this book for me! Plus, overall, the ending did seem a little bit rushed.

There was some growth in the characters from Before and After and the ending showed that. I did find myself screaming at the book, at the characters, screaming “What are you doing? He’s no good!” But maybe that’s a little personal because I know somebody who has recently been in a bad relationship and recently gotten out of it. Therefore, I hated reading about it as it felt really close to home and personal, which is good as it makes it realistic in a way. We then saw how this affected the characters in their futures in the After sections, and how they progressed afterwards. We get to see and watch the characters develop and grow from Before at being young adults at 16 and being in school and then After and the events that follow. 

I rate this book 3 out of 5 stars and let you judge for yourselves whether or not you would like you read it. I will say that, for my liking, it wasn’t as big of a psychological thriller as it claims to be, but that could just be me, so maybe judge for yourselves. 

Have you read this book? If so, what do you think? Agree or disagree? Comment below ☺ 

Review: Dear Amy – Helen Callaghan

Dear Amy - Helen Callaghan
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I received this eARC thanks to Netgalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review of this book.

I have to include the books actual description, instead of creating my own version as this is the reason for me requesting to read this book from Netgalley. When you read it, you will see it. So here is the description taken directly from Goodreads:

“Margot Lewis is the agony aunt for The Cambridge Examiner. Her advice column, Dear Amy, gets all kinds of letters – but none like the one she’s just received:

Dear Amy,
I don’t know where I am. I’ve been kidnapped and am being held prisoner by a strange man. I’m afraid he’ll kill me.
Please help me soon,
Bethan Avery

Bethan Avery has been missing for years. This is surely some cruel hoax. But, as more letters arrive, they contain information that was never made public. How is this happening? Answering this question will cost Margot everything . . .”

What would you do if you received a letter like that? I just had to request to read it and was soooo happy when I had an email saying that my request was successful. YAY!! I just needed to read this book and discover everything. So where to start without giving away any spoilers…

You get told this book from several different characters perspectives, which I always really enjoy and love reading in a book. It’s the best way to really get to know each of the individual characters the best way possible, in my opinion that is. You get to hear the story told from their own point of view, discovering multiple stories for the same exact scene and different views. You get to see the truth. Especially if the main character wasn’t present at the crucial time, you have another view into the story. Of course you have Margot Lewis, who is the main narrative and whose perspective you see used the most throughout of this story, as it is she who starts receiving these letters and believes them to be more than just a hoax. We also get to see part of the story told from Katie’s point of view, but only small glimpses. I will admit that throughout the whole of the book, it was these few and short chapters in Katie’s perspective, that were my favourite chapters to read. They were suspenseful and psychologically thrilling, which is what the book had promised and it honestly had me worried about her. Even though I wanted sooo much more of these and so much more from Katie because of this, I think that if I did, I wouldn’t have liked it has that may have been too much and maybe this is the perfect example of what you don’t see or read.

This book is promised and advertised to be a big psychological suspense, but I personally didn’t find it that thrilling or unnerving. In the beginning of the book however, I did start off doubting all of the characters, feeling like I couldn’t trust any of them and that they weren’t who they said they were and therefore couldn’t be trusted, as though I was Margot herself. So in that sense, there was some kind of unknowing and unreliability in this book. This theme did carry on throughout the book as I did have very strong doubts about a good chunk of the characters, not knowing who could be trusted and if anyone had other motives.

There were parts in this book that just took me by surprise and knocked me off guard completely. I genuinely, still not knowing if I could trust certain characters at this time, didn’t even know if I could suddenly trust this new and shocking information that was being provided to me! That is something that was great about this book, that even when I was provided with everything, I was still questioning it.

The whole idea behind this book is something different and exciting, both of the concepts. The first one is the whole idea of writing to an agony aunt for help and trying to find a missing girl who has been missing for so many years, is amazing. And using that old case to hopefully find a new girl who has recently gone missing.  It was that aspect that drew me into this book. Again, what would you do if you received a letter like that? The second aspect, I’m not going to share as you will have to read the book to discover it. I’m pretty you’ll know what concept I mean if you read this book. If you have read this book, no spoilers please, but did you expect that twist or see it coming, because I defiantly did not?

Overall, I did enjoy this book and I would recommend it. Be warned for it to not live up to the psychological suspense thriller hype, but that could just be me. But you are warned and please don’t let that stop you. For that reason I give this book a 4 out of 5 stars.

Review: Paper Butterflies – Lisa Heatherfield

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*****
I would like to thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to reading this eARC in exchange for an honest and unbiased review of this book.

Goodreads desciption of this book is:
“June’s life at home with her stepmother and stepsister is a dark one – and a secret one. She is trapped like a butterfly in a net.
But then June meets Blister, a boy in the woods. In him she recognises the tiniest glimmer of hope that perhaps she can find a way to fly far, far away from her home and be free. Because every creature in this world deserves their freedom . . . But at what price?
Paper Butterflies is an unforgettable read, perfect for fans of Jennifer Niven, Jandy Nelson, Sarah Crossan and Louise O’Neill.”

I have had a lot of feelings towards this book, which actually led me to write one of my discussion posts a few days ago, about whether or not books should have age restrictions or warnings put on them. This book turned out to have alot of graphic scenes that were based around a sensitive topic, child abuse. The child abuse that was suffered in this book were physical, mental and emotional child abuse, so thankfully there was no sexual child abuse suffered on top of all that. I know that the description indicates a dark home life, but I didn’t realise how vivid and graphic some of the scenes were going to be and as a reader, it genuinely made me feel uncomfortable reading about them. At least at first.

The book is being told and written from June’s point of view, the young girl who is suffering abuse both in her home life and while in school from bullies. I believe that the bullying in school is because of the abuse that she suffered at home, which purposely made her an easy target for bullies. You get to hear June’s thoughts about everything, to feel how she feels and hear everything that happens to her and how she is suffering. It’s almost as though everything is happening to you. It makes this book all that much more personal and emotional. You therefore get the best character development and connection with June. You also get to see that as June grows up, the age and writing grows up with her, which is done brilliantly.

June has this one bit of happiness in her life, away from all the abuse and bullying, but she has to keep it separate from everything and everyone who knows her. She mets this boy, Blister, one day in the forest and even though he may be a stranger, he is the only person who is nice to her. He likes her for her, just like she likes him for who he is. They become instant friends. June mets Blisters family, Mr and Mrs Wick, who have seven children, including Blister, who come to also love June. June starts to spend more time at the Wicks household, and she learns to separate herself, keeping hold of that happiness while everything else is happening to her. Never telling anyone of her secret life. Never letting them risk destroying that as well. Never telling the Wicks or anyone else of the misery that she is suffering. Afraid they won’t believe her, or afraid that something worse may happen.

This book is one of the few books that actually made me cry and just made me an emotional mess, right up until the end. There is so much emotion in this book that it just screamed out of every page of the book and had me in tears. There just seemed like there was so much truth and even though I didn’t want to read it, that’s what made it so real. It just pulled on the heart strings and was so thought provoking and it is definitely a book that’s going to stay with me for a while. Even though I wanted to turn and run after the first few pages, I am so glad that I stuck with it and read it all the way through. It’s because of the book in its entirety, that’s why I’m rating it so highly.

There was a note from the publisher saying that “this book contains adult themes”, which maybe isn’t a clear enough of a warning for what’s in this book, but there is a warning. I was therefore shocked when I discovered that one of the genres this book is classed under is Children’s Fiction.

I am giving this book a very well and massively deserved 5 out of 5 stars! Now where are my tissues at… 😥 😥

Review: Baby Doll – Hollie Overton

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*****
I would like to thank NetGalley, the author and publisher for allowing me to read this eARC in exchange for an honest and unbiased review of this book.

OMG!! From the very first page this book had me hooked! Told from different characters perspectives, we discover how Lily, who was kidnapped at aged 16, was beaten, raped, “trained” and manipulated over the course off 8 years, even mothering a child from the man who took her. The story starts eight years later, when her taker, her former beloved English teacher Rick, has too much on his plate or becomes too cocky and too greedy, forgets to put the deadlock back on the door. Lily thinks that she’s just imagined this, or that it’s another test that she will get punished for, but then seeing her daughter curled up sleeping, she risks yet another punishment, for her daughters safety and checks the door. Discovering it’s not a test and he’s finally made a mistake after eight years, Lily wraps her daughter Sky up warm and starts running to safety before Rick remembers his mistake. And that’s where the book gets really really good….

This book is hands down my favourite book that I have read in a while and is definitely my favourite book of 2016! I found this book so captivating and every page just managed to grab me, pull me in and keep me hooked. It was written amazingly, with characters that I cared so much about, each and everyone. With a villain that I simply hated. A normal, every day man to people’s faces, but behind closed doors, sadistic and PURE EVIL!! When you have a book with so many characters, who each have their own problems, and to care and understand each of the characters plus their problems, is, in my opinion, really good writing. There were chapters written from the perspective of individual characters, which was brilliant and something that I loved, because I got to see inside their minds in a deeper way, and creepily loved being able to see inside the mind of Rick. Seeing why he did what he did, in a way that he could never explain to anyone, in a way that he truly believed was right and acceptable.

I would have loved, to have seen just one chapter, maybe at the end of the book, to have had one chapter from the point of view of Sky, Lilys daughter, just to see what she had thought of it all and how she had felt after going though it all and come through everything. It would have added something extra, especially coming from a child’s perspective of it all. Even more considering Sky had been born not knowing anything else and to then discover a new way of living after “leaving” the cabin, thanks to her mum, Lily. It would have made it interesting to have included one chapter at the end to see how Sky had interpreted it all and see it from her point of view. But I understand not having that and I loved how it did end. In fact, when a certain part happened, without giving away spoilers, I was in utter shock!!! I was reading this book and genuinely gasped out loud out with shock, being surprised towards the end, telling everyone around me to be quiet because I had to find out what was about to happen next!! Not caring what people said or how they were looking at me, I just needed to know.

Trying to put myself in Lilys place is a scary thought, which is why I think I got so engrossed in this book. It took something that could really happen, and has been known to happen, and brought it to life. It’s not ghosts or vampires or anything pretend scary, and it didn’t even have a vicious villain, not really. It had a well liked, or really loved man in the society that nobody knew what he was like, really like, deep down, not even his own wife. That’s the scary part! That’s the truth of this story! That you don’t know what people are really like, not really, no matter how well you think you do. Your next door neighbour. Your friends. Your husband. Your cool english teacher who offers you a lift home. It’s realistic and scary.

I can’t recommend this book highly enough!! If I could, I would rate it higher than 5 out of the 5 stars, for the simple fact of how much this book will stay with me and how much I have talked about and recommend this book to people. I will definitely be checking out Hollie Overton and keeping my eye out for more of her books coming out. Massive 5 stars!!!

Review: Nina Is Not Ok – Shappi Khorsandi

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I would first like to thank NetGalley, the author and the publisher for a digital ARC of this book to read in exchange for an honest and unbiased review of this book. I have also received this book as a Goodreads Giveaway Win!

Nina is not ok and everyone can see that, except for Nina, of course!!. She’s recently been dumped by her boyfriend, who met someone on the plane to Hong Kong, only hours after saying goodbye to Nina and making plans together for their future. With unanswered phone calls, text messages, emails and numerous other ways to get in touch via social media, Nina is in a bad way. So what do most 17 year old teenage girls do? Party and turn to alcohol!. Only alcohol isn’t the right answer for Nina. In fact, with her family history, alcohol only makes things go from bad, to extremely worse….

I feel really bad giving this book only a two star rating, especially considering the topics that are discussed within this book, but I genuinely couldn’t sympathise with Nina, until towards the end of the book. I’m trying to write this review without giving away too many spoilers, but still explain and review, but its difficult. The way her character is put across in this book, and how she acts, which I know isn’t her fault technically speaking, but make her instantly unlikeable, to me anyway. She comes across mean, bitchy and really unlikeable, and then when we learn about her mum and family moving away to another country without her, again I don’t feel any sympathy towards her and it was at that point that realised that I haven’t connected to her character in the slightest bit. I know that should be due to her character and how she has a “problem”, so maybe I am not meant to connect to her in the same way I connect to other characters, but this is the first book I’ve read in a while where I’ve actually hated the main character. I hated the way she spoke to her mum, or shouted, the way she’d used people to get what she wants and the list can go on.

Towards the last third of the book, maybe a bit less, I did start to understand Nina a little bit better and a little bit clearer, but it was also a bit repetitive with the same thing being said over again, as if purposely trying to make the book a bit longer. There were silly editing mistakes throughout, with words missing, spelling mistakes and the wrong names being used in places at times and so on.

I understand that as part of the characters illness, that nobody really understood and even the other characters began hating her, including her family, so from that point of view, me hating her was an excellent job from the author. But I can’t personally enjoy a book where I hate the main character and when I am then supposed to suddenly feel sympathy and empathy towards her. In the end this book made me feel like a bad person because of my lack of emotions and empathy towards Nina and my only enjoyment was the end when her change occurred. The part that made me truly hate this book and still has me talking about it today, is because of how a sensitive issue is brought about, taking two thirds of the book for something that occurred within the first couple of chapters.

So overall, I didn’t enjoy this book and wanted to give up on it several times and I only continued reading it as I was given the chance to read it by NetGalley and I had to review it as part of the deal. Therefore, I have to give this book only 2 out of 5 stars. Therefore, for me personally, I don’t recommend this book whatsoever. Officially the worse book I’ve read this year.

Have you read this book? Do you agree or disagree? Comment below 😀

Review: How To Save A Life – Kristin Harmel

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I would like to thank NetGalley, the author and the publisher, once again, for allowing me to download and read this book in exchange for an honest review of this book. If you have no idea what Netgalley is, let me explain because I refer to them a lot.

It’s this amazing site where you are able to request to download and read eBooks for free, but you do have to review them, or you won’t be granted permissions to download or read anymore books that you request. They are all eBooks, but you can find some great finds on there and some great books before they have even been published 🙂 It’s free to sign up and use, so BONUS!! 😀 So if you fancy checking it out, go to http://www.netgalley.com and have a look around. Now back to my review…

What would you do if you just discovered that you have only weeks left to live? Would you have regrets left unfulfilled? Well, when the 39 year old pediatric oncology nurse receive the devastating news that she has an unoparible brain tumor, her life feels uncompleted. That is until she is told about the tree that enables a chosen few, the ability to relive the same day over again. What follows is heartache, joy, love, confusion and so much more, asking do you ever feel as though you have lived a completed life?

This novella has so many emotions and makes you think about you own mortallity and what you would do if you found out that you had only several days, weeks or months left to life?. There were moments I found pure joy and happiness and others that were so filled with sadness and emotional. It was such an unexpected little gem in my mind, that I wasn’t expecting to enjoy as much as I did. It was nice to see the differences between how a child aged 10 years old may feel, compared to a 39 year old looks at how uncompleted their life is and even a ninth year old.

It was beautifully written and it had a great message that you should live your life while your alive and not to stress about the little things, such as the small arguments for the sake of arguing and pride. But to forgive and remind people that you love them everyday because you don’t know what could happen tomorrow. This isn’t usually my type of book, but knowing people who have died from cancer and even suddenly from a stroke, it made me think how precious those little moments are.

I honestly don’t know what I think of the ending. I don’t know if I like it or not, because it could be either happy or sad, depending or how you choose to look at it. For this, I am giving this 4 out of 5 stars.

I did like this novella and it has definitely made me think about myself and what I would do. What did you think of this novella? Did you like ending? Comment below 🙂

Review: Siren – Annemarie Neary

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I would first like to thank NetGalley, the author and the publisher for granting my request to download and read this book, in exchange for an honest review of this book.

Róisín Burns was a normal teenage girl, until one night she decides to go to a club with her friend, unaware that her friend, isn’t just there to dance and have a laugh. Róisín witnesses horrible things that’s she never wants to see again, but unlucky for her, she hasn’t got a choice in the matter. Now Róisín Burns has had the last twenty years of her life stolen away from her, becoming somebody else and living in New York, away from her family in Ireland. Now the man who started all of this, forcing her and stealing her life from her, flashes up on the news, Brian Lonergan, reinvented himself as a rising politician in Ireland. Wanting her life back and wanting answers and justice, armed with the evidence that could ruin Lonergan, Róisín travels to the island of Lamb to hunt him down. But is Lonergan one step ahead of her?

I requested this book from NetGalley because the description sounded amazing and I couldn’t wait to read it. Once I started reading this book I couldn’t put it down, I made it through the beginning with no problem and I was loving it, but then they did something which is always off putting to me, they jumped back in time. The first hundred pages or so are about how Róisín is on the island, and we discover the mystery behind her character, as we learn she’s there for a purpose, without giving away too many spoilers. So now we have mystery and questions.

Then the book does a jump! This is when my reading slowed down, but I honestly don’t know why. This is the chunk where the questions I had about why she was there on the island, what had happened to counter so much rage and anger in her past to connect the two characters was answers. This section was so jam packed with action and information and there wasn’t that much time for a dull moment for me to slow my reading down, but I did. I think it was because I don’t like it when the time line is presented this way and it knocked me a bit. I had to now get used to a whole new set of characters, a new age main character, a new setting, plus I knew that no matter what happened and how dangerous things got, I knew that Róisín wasn’t going to die and certain events from the future. This then made this section drag on for me until it got to the present day.

It get back to the present day and my reading speed did pick back up again, as everything from there on out was a surprise and any of the current characters could die or anything else. But since reading the past and now reading the present, I was confusing characters with different characters, which is why I hate books with jumbled up time lines. The ending is also left open for you to decide how you think it would end, which again isn’t for me. I like an ending to be wrapped up neatly with a bow and cherry on on top. Unless of course, the author left the ending open because she is planning to write a sequel to this novel.

While reading this book, I found myself not being able to trust any of the characters and I was questioning myself whether or not they were really trying to help poor Róisín or whether they were just working for Lonergan. This made the book and the writing even more amazing as I was actually able to put myself into Róisín shoes and wonder what would I do or feel like if I was on an Island where I couldn’t trust a single person, so fantastic character developments.

I was disappointed when it came to a character name Boyle, which is the other point of view narrative we got to see in the book. Being the other point of view, I was expecting there to be something big or surprising in the end, as there had been a build up to something and even though there had been something he had done (which I’m not going to spoil) he never got true credit for it and was still left unseen to everyone. I finished reading this book feeling sorry for him as all he wanted to do was to be seen or be felt like a hero but not have the confidence, but all he got seen as was a creep and a weirdo, so with everything,  I thought the book was building up to something, but he was still left unseen in the shadows for his actions.

Thiw book kept me reading until the very end because i had to know what Róisín was going to do and whether it was going to work, or if Lonergan was going to stop her. loved the beginning of this book completely and everything is there, but I just am not a fan of this type of time line presentation, but that’s not saying that other people won’t enjoy it. So I am giving this book 3 out of 5 stars.

Let me know what you think. Do you agree or disagree? Comment below 😀