Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Review: Lies like Love by Louisa Reid


'There were a few problems . . . bullying . . . a fire . . .'


I think she's verging on psychosis . . . now she's lashing out.


She's got no one else to fight for her.'

Sixteen year-old Audrey just wants to be normal.She's trying to fit in.But what happens when the person closest to you suffocates you with their love?What happens then?

My thoughts
Just a few lines for this book for fear of spoiling anything if I say too much. This book is creepy, it goes to an incredibly dark place and will play on your mind for a long time after finishing it. Exactly what I have come to expect from a Louis Reid book. Highly recommended

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Review: My Second Life by Faye Bird

The first time I was born, I was Emma.
I was beautiful. I had everything to live for.
But I died.

Now I have been born a second time, and my previous life haunts me. Because in it I think I did something very wrong. I must find out what I did to Catherine. I must uncover the truth about Emma...

Intriguing, compelling, heartbreaking.
What if your past life could shatter your future?

My thoughts
A really interesting and thoughtful book which I really enjoyed. My second life revolves around a teenage girl called Ana who remembers her previous as Emma. Throughout the course of the book she events from her previous life suddenly come back to her and she gets the awful feeling that she was involved in killing another girl and has to contact people from her previous life to find out more. I was utterly fascinated by this book and needed to know more even more desperately the further I got into it. Highly recommended

Friday, 22 August 2014

Review: Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor

Zoe and Olivia have always been best friends. And becoming professional ballerinas has always been their goal. But when they turn sixteen the unthinkable happens as Olivia is diagnosed with leukaemia. Falling in love, coping with school and falling out with each other - everything is thrown into a whole new light. A heartbreakingly bittersweet tragedy that reveals profound truths about loss, love and the friends who mean the world to you

My thoughts
Maybe one day is the story of Zoe and her best friend Olivia and their friendship as Olivia battles leukaemia.

If I'm honest I'm not sure I liked this book for a variety of reasons.

Firstly there was a huge amount of focus on the fact the pair had quit dancing after being rejected by a dance school in New York. I'm not sure it added to the story and for me it was the reason why the book felt overly long.

Secondly I felt it was trying so hard to make me feel for the main character that I really didn't care in the end. I found her too whiny and a bit selfish especially considering she wasn't the one who was ill. I was also hated now much she swore throughout the book. Yes I get she was in a bad place but it felt like every single thing she didn't like called for the use if the F word.

Finally the only bit I really wanted to know more about was barely touched upon. I thought the relationship that starts to develop between Zoe and Calvin had the potential to be as hot as hell, in addition to be being gorgeously sweet and yet nothing really happened. I wanted more!

All in all not really the book for me

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Review: The Castle by Sophia Bennett

A search for the truth about her father’s death takes schoolgirl Peta Jones to a dangerous place ...

Peta Jones is an ordinary girl struggling with the loss of her father, an army hero who died in mysterious circumstances. When she receives clues that he may still be alive, but no one believes her, she embarks on a dangerous rescue across the crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean to a cliff-top castle, home to a billionaire in exile.

Peta soon discovers that what some people will do for money, she will do for love

My thoughts
I love Sophia Bennett as an author. I have devoured every book of hers that I have picked up. I must admit I was a little unsure when I picked this up whether it was too different from her other novels to be able to pull it off but actually it was classic Sophia Bennett and a fabulous read.

The Castle is an exciting and pacey story following Peta who is determined to find out about what happened to her father who is officially dead. I loved that she was a tough character who, despite being scared, is willing to go out there and find out the truth for herself. 

What I particularly enjoy about Sophia's novels is that she tackles some kind of bigger issue within them. In this case she uses the novel to discuss modern day slavery which really made you think as a reader and opens your eyes to thhe horrible practice which often remains hidden and not talked about because people don't want to believe it is happening.

All in all a brilliant read which I enjoyed.

You'll love this if you loved
Taken (Film featuring Liam Neeson)
Sophia Bennett's previous titles

Monday, 18 August 2014

Can't wait to read

Despite my huge to be read pile I have a never ending list of books I cannot wait to get into my hands as soon as possible. These are the ones that have caught my eye of late.

Arsenic for Tea by Robin Stevens

Goodreads synopsis
Schoolgirl detectives Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong are at Daisy's home, Fallingford, for the holidays. Daisy's glamorous mother is throwing a tea party for Daisy's birthday, and the whole family is invited, from eccentric Aunt Saskia to dashing Uncle Felix. But it soon becomes clear that this party isn't really about Daisy at all. Naturally, Daisy is furious.

Then one of their party falls seriously, mysteriously ill - and everything points to poison.

With wild storms preventing anyone from leaving, or the police from arriving, Fallingford suddenly feels like a very dangerous place to be. Not a single person present is what they seem - and everyone has a secret or two. And when someone very close to Daisy looks suspicious, the Detective Society must do everything they can to reveal the truth . . . no matter the consequences.

Why I can't wait for it
I LOVE this series. Bloody love it. It appeals entirely to my Enid Blyton boarding school stories reading inner child. The first book was perfect. It captures the spirit of those 1950s boarding school stories which I adored but improved upon as they are more diverse and tolerant. I loved it. I need more now

Conspiracy Girl by Sarah Alderson

Goodreads Synopsis
Everybody knows about the Cooper Killings – the Bel Air home invasion that rocked the nation.
There was only one survivor - a sixteen year-old girl.
And though the killers were caught they walked free.

Now eighteen, Nic Preston - the girl who survived - is trying hard to rebuild her life. She’s security conscious to the point of paranoia and her only friend is a French Mastiff bulldog, but she’s making progress. She’s started college in New York and has even begun dating.

But then one night her apartment is broken into and the life Nic’s worked so hard to create is shattered in an instant.

Finn Carter - hacker, rule breaker, player – is the last person Nic ever wants to see again. He’s the reason her mother’s killers walked free from court. But as the people hunting her close in, Nic has to accept that her best and possibly only chance of staying alive is by keeping close to Finn and learning to trust the person she’s sworn to hate.

Fleeing across a snowbound New England, frantically trying to uncover the motive behind the murders, Nic and Finn come to realize the conspiracy is bigger than they could ever have suspected. But the closer they get to the truth and the closer they get to each other, the greater the danger becomes.

To survive she has to stay close to him.
To keep her safe he has to keep his distance.

Why I can't wait for it
I love a Sarah Alderson book. They are fast paced and exciting. I had the pleasure of having afternoon tea with Sarah earlier this month and she was talking about this book and it sounded brilliant.  

Vendetta by Catherine Doyle

Goodreads Synopsis
When five brothers move into the abandoned mansion next door, Sophie Gracewell's life changes forever. Irresistibly drawn to bad boy Nic Falcone, Sophie finds herself falling into an underworld governed by powerful families. When Sophie's own family skeletons come to life, she must choose between two warring dynasties - the one she was born into, and the one she is falling in love with. When she does, blood will spill and hearts will break ...

Why I can't wait for it
I literally just saw this book this morning on one of my adding to the wishlist sessions. I just admit I'm mostly drawn in my the cover but the synopsis sounds good too.

Unspeakable by Abbie Rushton

Goodreads Synopsis
Megan doesn't speak. She hasn't spoken in months.

She's lost friends, alienated her mum and become the target for some of the nastiest girls at school. There are so many things locked inside Megan's head - things that are screaming to be heard - but some secrets are too dangerous to be let out.

Then Jasmine starts at school: bubbly, beautiful, talkative Jasmine. And for reasons Megan can't quite understand, life starts to look a bit brighter.

Megan is desperate to speak again, and it seems like Jasmine might be the answer. But if she finds her voice, will she lose everything else?

Why I can't wait for it
Another one where I was drawn in by the cover but actually the synopsis looks awesome too. Very much looking forward to it.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Blog Tour: Darkus Knightley’s top tips on being a detective and crime-solving playlist

Darkus Knightley's 5 top tips on being a detective:

1. Always keep your eyes and ears open. When you walk into a room try to make a mental note of every object in the room, and every face. You never know when some small detail might be essential to solving the case.

2. When you sit in a cafe or restaurant, always sit at the back of the room, facing the entrance. That way, no one can get in or out without you observing them. (NOTE: This tip unfortunately also applies to criminals when they're spotting detectives - so beware of anyone else sitting alone at the back of the room.)

3. Try to carry a magnifying glass, a jewellers loupe (a lens for observing fine detail), or a well equipped phone camera to examine any clues.

4. When following a suspect, always keep plenty of obstacles nearby to hide behind if they turn around. Preferably use shop windows, lamp posts or parked cars. Burying your head in a newspaper is a bit obvious, but a Kindle may suffice.

5. Always carry plenty of small ziploc bags for collecting evidence. They may also come in handy if a dog walker forgets to bring their own and walks away from the scene of their pet's crime.

Darkus Knightley's top crime-solving playlist:

The same way Sherlock enjoyed playing the violin, Darkus finds a well-stocked iPod helps him solve any number of tricky criminal cases. Here are a few of his favourites:

1. It's A New Day - James Brown

Darkus likes the driving groove of the JBs’ rhythm section, led by legendary bassist Bootsy Collins and the original “funky drummer” Clyde Stubblefield. And of course there's the very fitting refrain: "Can I get a witness?"

2. We Can Work It Out - The Beatles

Darkus likes this upbeat Lennon & McCartney refrain, cut with a certain air of melancholy in the lyrics: "Life is very short and there's no time for fussing and fighting my friend. I have always thought that it's a crime. So I will ask you once again."

3. Murder By Numbers - The Police

Darkus is a big Police fan and this darker entry in the canon was originally the B-side of Every Breath You Take--of course that was in the day of "vinyl singles". Darkus has seen photographic evidence to confirm that these small plastic records did once exist.

4. Necessary Evil - Hans Zimmer 

Sometimes film music can bring just the right mood needed to solve a plot. This track from Batman: The Dark Knight does just that.

5. A Fistful of Dynamite (also known as Duck You Sucker!) - Ennio Morricone

This movie theme is from a rare film by Sergio Leone who directed the classic "spaghetti westerns" with Clint Eastwood. Darkus can almost imagine lolloping through the desert saddled to a black Mustang with a six-shooter at his side.

6. The Professionals theme - Laurie Johnson & the London Studio Orchestra

One of the great TV themes, and Darkus's dad Alan's favourite TV show of all time. Ever. (Magnum P.I. is a close second.)

7. Look No Further - Dido

This sweet songbird knew Darkus when he was first becoming a detective, and he's had a soft spot for her ever since.

8. The 007 Theme - Monty Norman

When Darkus has cracked a case, he may not be able to have a Martini, but he can blast the classic Bond theme. He has also been known to imitate the James Bond walk in his bedroom mirror.

 K-9 (Knightley and Son #2) by Rohan Gavin is released today

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Review: Dangerous Boys by Abigail Haas

Three teens venture into the abandoned Monroe estate one night; hours later, only two emerge from the burning wreckage. Chloe drags one Reznick brother to safety, unconscious and bleeding; the other is left to burn, dead in the fire. But which brother survives? And is his death a tragic accident? Desperate self-defense? Or murder?
Chloe is the only one with the answers. As the fire rages, and police and parents demand the truth, she struggles to piece together the story of how they got there-a story of jealousy, twisted passion, and the darkness that lurks behind even the most beautiful of faces…

My Thoughts
Another exciting offering from Abigail Haas. I was waiting for this book from the moment I knew it was being written having loved Dangerous Girls when I read it last year. Dangerous Boys is just as exciting and a real page turner throughout. I literally couldn't put it down because I needed to know what was going to happen next. Once again I wasn't sure how everything would play out until I got to the very last page. Just awesome. What I love about Abigail's books is that she manages to twist things and turn things on their head and keeps you guessing throughout. I also love how the stories build up flipping back and forward from past and present to build up the bigger picture. Definitely a book I would recommend highly.