Saturday, 30 January 2016

Finish It Feb 2016

Hello! I'll start off by apologising for such a long gap between blogs. I got hit by the flu quite badly and I just haven't been up to much at all recently, but fingers crossed I'm finally getting my energy back to get stuff done and I can go back to my regular posts, I've a couple of reviews coming up and I'm part of an exciting blog tour in February.

Anyhoo, though as of yet I'm not participating in any specific challenges this year, I have decided to take part in Finish It Feb where you concentrate on finishing books you're half way through or finishing off series that you're part way through reading. It's being hosted by Faye over at A Daydreamer's Thoughts.

I do have a lot going on in February with reviews and blog tours etc but I am planning on trying to read some more books in series that I have started but haven't got through yet. I have a ridiculous amount of series that I have started and then I've been distracted by starting reading another series and I'd just like to at least get to the stage where I've read the books in the series that I own.

I feel this challenge will work well for me as I have a nice variety of books and genres to choose from so I should be able to match my reading mood without feeling restricted. I will be posting a picture of the books I have chosen to pick from for the month on my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook on Monday and I'll also update this blog with the list too at that time, so keep your eye out for all of those! At the end of February I'll do a wrap up of how I managed and if I got any completed.

I'm really looking forward to all the exciting things coming to my blog over the next couple of months and I really hope you enjoy them too.


So the complete list that I have to choose from are:

Cress by Marissa Meyer
The Kill Order by James Dashner
Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J Maas
Clariel by Garth Nix
A Dance With Dragons: After the Feast by George R.R. Martin
I Am Dead by Gareth Wiles
Icon's Request by Gareth Wiles
A Matter of Dark by Gareth Wiles
Where the Birds Hide at Night by Gareth Wiles
Death Note: Black Edition, Vol. 4 by Tsugumi Ohba

As I said a nice varied selection to choose from! Here's hoping that I can get through a good chunk of them. I've linked each on to their Goodreads page so if you want to check any of them out you can do.

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Pet-Friendly Francie Scores A Pooch - Kat E. Erikson

I was lucky enough to receive an e-book copy of Pet-Friendly Francie Scores A Pooch direct from the author Kat E. Erikson in exchange for an honest review.

I read a lot of children's books having two nerdlings and so I thought it would be really interesting to actually review one. I'll also be adding a mini blog at some time in the future with my 7 year old's own review of it which I think is going to be really fun.

The story follows Francie Waggit and her dad after they meet a stray dog at a 49ers game and they are giving Scrimmy (the dog) a trial period. There are a lot of fun hi-jinx throughout and all the characters are extremely loveable. As a parent I found the writing really easy to read both in my head and aloud, which I think is a great aspect of any children's book even if they are aimed at the slightly older child. There were also a lot of lessons which can be learnt throughout the book, which I will go into more detail in a moment,

I liked that the book covered things like the fact that Francie's mum was working abroad and so she had been away for around 4 months at the time of the book and how Francie and her dad dealt with her absence and the feelings about it, without going into too much depth. It also covers the fact that the family had to make sacrifices (renting out the top of the house) to be able to live the way that made them happy and do the things they wanted to do as well as working hard.

Pet-Friendly Francie as I said previously teaches a lot of lessons, there are the real knowledge lessons given by the teacher about dogs and wolves and their packs and then there are the life lessons. Francie shows kindness and love for all animals and humans (diversity is covered) and how it is good to be nice, even if it's to a bully as they might have their own problems. All of this is fantastic and covered in such a way that a child can understand and learn from it while it all being a very fun story to both tell and read,

I really enjoyed this book and I will be telling my other mum friends about it. My 7 year old loved it too and I'm going to let her write her own review when she's finished re reading it so you can see from a child's perspective what she picked up and what she thought of everything.

I started reading this on the 10th of January 2016 and finished it on the 12th of January 2016.
I gave this book 5 stars on Goodreads.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

A non spoiler review of The Theseus Paradox by David Videcette and a GIVEAWAY! (now closed)

I was extremely lucky to receive an e-book copy of The Theseus Paradox direct from the author David Videcette in return for an honest review.

I said to keep your eyes peeled for something exciting this week and this is it, there is going to be a non spoiler review and then at the end there is going to be a chance to win a paperback copy of The Theseus Paradox direct from the author!

I'll start by saying I loved this book! It's fast paced, gritty and feels incredibly real. The tag line is "I can't tell you the truth, but I can tell you a story,,,"and what a story Videcette tells.

The main character is DI Jake Flannagan and we follow him and his team as they scramble to find out who was behind the 7/7 London bombings and what the reason was behind them. I think Jake is a very marmite character and you're either going to love him or hate him. I personally both loved him and hated him in equal measure. He's a great policeman but not such a great person and sometimes those lines blur and even full on disappear. Jake will shock you to the core and then shock you some more. His sidekick Lenny is a great policeman, a great friend and he adores his family. He is the perfect contrast to Jake to ensure it doesn't become too fraught with drama.

While reading this book, I had to remind myself at times that it was a story and not a biography or factual book of some kind as it's all very REAL. The police terminology used and all the places mentioned are all things that I know and recognise. I also think that because Videcette has the background of being a policeman, he knows how investigations work and what really happens behind the scenes so his descriptions of things bring you right in as if you were in the room.

When a book is so fast paced and brilliantly written, the ending can sometimes let them down, not in this case however as the ending was fantastic and shocking and just made so much sense! I would love to know just how much is truth and how much is fiction in this book, but on the other hand it may just be too terrifying to actually find out. I am thoroughly looking forward to continuing to follow this series as it comes out.

I definitely recommend this book to everyone who loves crime novels and probably true crime as well.

I started reading this book on the 2nd of January 2016 and finished it on the 6th of January 2016.
I gave this book 5 stars on Goodreads,

Now onto the giveway! Below is a rafflecopter link with ways of getting entries into the competition to win a paperback copy of The Theseus Paradox. For my international readers, I do apologise that for this time, the winner can only be a UK resident, but keep an eye out for opportunities in the future.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
The following terms and conditions apply

- No purchase necessary
- Ends midnight (GMT) on Sunday 31st. Entries must be received by this time.
- Prize is one paperback copy of the new detective thriller "The Theseus Paradox" by David Videcette (RRP £14.99)
- UK residents only please (winner must have a valid UK-based postal address which is able to receive a paperback book via Royal Mail standard postal service)
- Prize draw excludes employees of the promoter, the sponsor, their families and anyone else professionally connected with this promotion.
- Winners will be notified within 28 days. Prize may be withdrawn if (i) winner does not posses a UK-postal address, (ii) winner is unreachable within the 28 day period or if )iii) prize is undelieverable
- Over 18s entrants only please (book contains adult content).

Sunday, 3 January 2016

My Kind of Justice: How Far Would You Go For Justice - Col Bury

I was extremely lucky to receive an e-book copy of My Kind of Justice: How Far Would You Go For Justice direct from the author Col Bury through his publisher Caffeine Nights Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

My Kind of Justice is set in Manchester, which is a city in the North West of England and quite literally on my doorstep. I've spent a lot of time in Manchester over the years and so it was really good to be able to recognise a lot of the places and the accent and the dialogue was all really familiar to me. Most books I read are set in America or fantasy lands and books that are set in England are set in London or Scotland so I genuinely loved it having a local feel to it. It is however set on the "wrong side of the tracks" and is extremely gritty and full of course language which adds to the dark feel of the book.

The main character is called DI Jack Striker which is seriously one of the coolest police names I've come across so far. He just sounds badass before you even get to know him. He's a guy who has changed his life around from running with the wrong crowd as a teenager to making something of himself as a police officer as an adult. There is your usual rogues gallery of characters from the old time, say what you want policeman to your hard nosed, cold woman who got to the top not through hard work but other means and your new policeman who is willing to do anything to prove himself. Each one though is done extremely well and I grew to love Bardsley in particular. The only character that I really didn't think much of at all was DC Lauren Collinge, her personality just didn't come through in this book, though she may come into her own in future books.

The story revolves around catching the "Hoodie Hunter" who seems to be on some sort of vendetta against criminals with ASBOs and is killing them off, mixed into this is some sort of link to the past of Jack Striker. I don't want to go too much into detail as I don't want to give away spoilers, but the story is very well written and everything weaves together beautifully,

The only reason I'm not giving a full five stars to the book is due to some editing issues throughout the book, one bit in particular that stood out to me so much that I actually had to go back and check that I hadn't read something wrong.

Overall a great first book and I will be picking up the next books in the series when they come out, to follow the story of Jack Striker and his team members.

I started reading this book on the 27th of December 2015 and finished it on the 31st of December 2016.
I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads.

Friday, 1 January 2016

Ghost Light - LeeAnne Hansen

When I finished Yonder by LeeAnne Hansen, I definitely wanted to read more of her work and am excited for her next novel, so I was incredibly lucky in that LeeAnne sent me an e-book copy of her debut novel Ghost Light in exchange for an honest review.

Ghost Light starts off with a scene from a play and it really sets the tone for the rest of the book. I really felt it sucked you in and made you want to find out more about what the scene was foreshadowing. I also thought the scenes throughout the book really added to the atmosphere and mirrored the goings on in "real life", it was a story within a story.

The plot follows Fiona and a troupe of  stage actors,writers, directors in the 1920's and what happens when they receive a summons to an extremely remote village in Scotland. I really don't want to give away too much about the story as everyone needs to go out and read this book so you can find out yourself what happens.

Ghost Light has to be one of my absolute top books that I read in 2015, I've been thinking about it for days after I finished it as the story has really stuck with me. It is beautifully written and the haunting is subtle but poignant and with purpose. I did guess who the ghost was quite early on, but this took away absolutely nothing from the goings on and I did not know what was going to happen.

There is a love triangle which is done incredibly well as I was really routing against one of the leading men in Fiona's life, but by the end I was hoping against hope that she chose him. This surprised me as I normally choose who I like and then I stick with them through thick and thin, so to have my mind changed was a nice touch.

The atmosphere is thick throughout and you really feel that you are there in both time and space and I needed my blanket to curl up under it while reading it. I can honestly say I loved this book (I may have already said this more than once!) and I stayed up extra late on Christmas day just to finish it as I needed to find out how it ended.

Hopefully you can see the review through my gushing and that it makes you want to pick up Ghost Light so that you can let me know what you think.

I started reading this book on the 22nd of December 2015 and finished it on the 26th of December 2015.
I gave this book 5 stars on Goodreads.