Saturday, 21 October 2017

Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-thon

Image result for dewey's 24 hour readathon


Hey guys so the day has arrived, I am so excited to begin this one, here in the U.K we have about 3 hours before the start, I am going to be using this time to choose my TBR. I have decided that I want to read as many books as possible this time round, the main reason for this is that I don't have many scheduled to be reviewed and I need to make sure I have quite a few scheduled. Working full time I only really get the holidays and so I need to make sure I cram a lot in. 

I will be using this page to update throughout the day and if I don any challenges they also will go here. Although I love a challenge it does mean I have less reading time.. I am just so stuck when it comes to things like this. 

Anyway as soon as I have chosen my TBR I will upload a pic here. Please interact with me throughout the day if you are joining in, I love to see how everyone else is progressing and help cheer them on. 

My TBR 




Good Luck all you readers and I hope it is a great read-a-thon for you. 



Challenge: 10 Years in 10 Books:

So the first challenge is to share a book from each year that the read-a-thon has been going for, starting with 2007. 

My 2007 recommendation is Shopaholic and Baby by Sophie Kinsella. 

Shopaholic & Baby (Shopaholic, #5)







I loved the series and I was massively into chick lit at the time, this was the next installment and it was great. I cannot recommend the Shopaholic series enough, if you love chick lit then this is a series that you must read! 




2008 recommendation: Another Sophie Kinsella - Remember me? 

Remember Me?







This is another chick lit, but a stand alone. Lexi has woken up in hospital, she is 27, everything seems perfect but she can't remember the last 3 years after a car crash. This was another fun chick lit from Sophie Kinsella. 




2009 recommendation: 2009 is a tricky one, this was the year I began prolific reading and there are so many that I enjoyed. I think I have to go for If I Stay by Gayle Foreman. 


If I Stay (If I Stay, #1)





One morning Mia goes for a drive with her family and her life changes in an instant. This is a moving book that will draw you to tears, I am sure that you have read this but if not this is a must BEFORE you watch the film. I thought the film was actually very good as adaptations go, however the book was still more enjoyable. 





2010 recommendation: I heart Paris by Lindsey Kelk

I Heart Paris (I Heart, #3)





This is another series that I love, I heart Paris is the third in the I heart series and it is a great series which you can get lost in. This was during the prime of the series and I would recommend this if you love to escape and want an easy read. 






2011 recommendation: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell 

Attachments 


Everyone loves Rainbow Rowell and this was the book that introduced me to her, I think this was her first adult book (please correct me if I am wrong) it is about the work place and how a relationship develops initially over email. I just love this, I love the idea of a romance beginning this way. If you haven't read this or any of Rainbow Rowell's novels you should start one!




2012 recommendation: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl





This was the year that I really got into thrillers and I would say this was the start of explosive thrillers like you had never seen before. This was an intense read and one that I will never forget. Since then I have gone on to read some amazing thrillers, the film wasn't bad either of this one, but again I recommend you reading the book first!





2013 recommendation: The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty

The Husband's Secret 


This was such a good read, I absolutely loved this novel, it had me on the edge of my seat. This is a must read for any fan of family dramas/secrets, this book is full of them!







2014 recommendation: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Big Little Lies 

After reading The Husband's Secret, I could not wait for the new release by Liane Moriarty, I certainly was not disappointed. This was an amazing read, focused around mothers with their children at the same primary school. This thriller will have you on the edge of your seats, once you have read this, make sure you check out the t.v adaptation too. 




2015 recommendation: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins 

The Girl on the Train 


This was also an explosive thriller, one that too got an adaptation. This I raced through and I was lucky enough to get a proof copy of this so got to read it early. This was a brilliant thriller, if you have not read the book or seen the film, to be honest I am not sure where you have been!




2016 recommendation: I see you by Clare Mackintosh 

I See You





This was another thriller that had many twists and turns in it, after reading many thrillers, I need something a little different or not see the ending coming, this book delivered that for me and I really enjoyed it. It also was a really quick read!






2017 recommendation: So far I feel that I cannot recommend a book for this year yet, there are still so many books to be released and I cannot choose one I have read so far. Is this lame? Probably but I don't want to commit!

So these books are probably not a surprise and you probably have read all of them, looking at my choices though it is interesting how my taste in books has changed over the years, don't get me wrong I do still love a chick lit but I seem to have to be in the mood to read one these days. 

I hope you have enjoyed my recommendations and please check back again for more updates throughout the day. 


Hour 0:

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

Hello! I am from the South of England in the U.K :) 

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

I think There's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins - I have heard so many good things about this. 

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

Oh my god... I don't even think I have any in the house!!! I think I have a giant bag of Kettle crisps so these?

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

I am a primary school teacher and I have just broken up for the half term holidays, I get very little time to read during term time so I am super excited to make a dent in my books this week. :) 

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? 

I have participated for a few years now, so perhaps 6 or 7 read-a-thons, but in April I was away on holiday so other than the plane journey I didn't get to be involved online, this year I am hoping to have a bigger presence online. 

After the 1st hour of reading:

Pages read: 211
Total pages read: 211
Books read: 1
Total books read: 1

Hour 3 challenge: 



#RATbookdrink 


Pages read: 49
Total pages read: 260
Books read: 0
Total books read: 1

End of hour 3:

Pages read: 26 + 2 chapters of an audio book
Total pages read: 286 + 2 chapters of an audio book
Books read: 0
Total books read: 1

End of hour 4:

Pages read: 17
Total pages read: 303 + 2 chapters of an audio book
Books read: 0

Total books read: 1

Probably my worst reading hour, however I did get a delivery with a new toy that I was excited to install, the next hour will be better!

End of hour 6:

Pages read: 20
Total pages read: 306 + 2 chapters of an audio book
Books read: 0
Total books read: 1

End of hour 7:

Pages read: 58
Total pages read: 364 + 2 chapters of an audio book
Books read: 0
Total books read: 1

End of hour 8:

Pages read: 38
Total pages read: 402 + 2 chapters of an audio book
Books read: 0
Total books read: 1

End of hour 9:

Pages read: 61
Total pages read: 463 + 2 chapters of an audio book
Books read: 1

Total books read: 2

Friday, 20 October 2017

Dewey's 24 hour readathon


Related image

I cannot believe that the 24 hour readathon has come round again! In April I didn't really participate as well as I could have, there was a lot going on and I went away on holiday so found it difficult. I cannot wait to join in tomorrow, I have just finished my first half term and I am ready to relax! I cannot wait to just get stuck in! 

It is going to be massive this year, with it being the 10th anniversary!  

I have had rather a lot of book post this week too so I am unsure what I am going to start with, I have picked up one book but not really started it yet so I think I am going to start something new. 

Are you joining in tomorrow? It starts at 1pm U.K time but you can find out when it starts for you by visiting Start Times

If you already have a TBR let me know what you hope to read. Maybe it will give me some inspiration! 

Please check back tomorrow with my updates throughout the day. 

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Trust Me by Zosia Wand blog tour with extract

Wand_TRUST ME.jpg


Who can you trust if you can't trust yourself?



Twenty-seven-year-old Lizzie has a great relationship with her teenage stepson, Sam, even though they could pass for brother and sister.



When Sam becomes sullen and withdrawn, Lizzie starts to suspect that something sinister is going on at school. But no one believes her – and then suspicion falls on Lizzie herself...



Trust Me is an absorbing, suspenseful and thought-provoking thriller that asks if you can ever really trust anybody, including yourself.




Extract:



‘I was hoping to speak to a parent.’ Mr Wright looks me up and down with a frown. I should have thought this through before I rushed up here. Chosen a different T-shirt at least. I don’t think Mr Wright appreciates the message, This Is What A Feminist Looks Like, scrawled across my chest.



Mr Wright is head of sixth form. He’s a proper grown-up, in a suit and tie, and he’s not impressed. He needs to speak to a parent. Jonty is the parent, but he’s not answering his phone. His job as South Lakeland’s arts officer involves a lot of face-to-face meetings, which he generally tries to arrange in his favourite caf├ęs. He usually answers his phone quite promptly; this silence is unlike him.



I’m not an adequate substitute for Jonty. It’s not what I’m wearing that’s the issue. I could be dressed in a stylish suit or a frumpy knee-length skirt and cardigan and it probably wouldn’t make a lot of difference. What’s bothering Mr Wright is the fact that I could easily pass for Sam’s sister. We’re an odd sort of family.



Judging by the explosion of files across his desk, managing paperwork is not one of Mr Wright’s skills. He picks up a pen and starts to twirl it in his fingers. I feel sorry for the man; he appears beleaguered and I’m not helping the situation. He doesn’t know who I am in relation to Sam but isn’t quite brave enough to ask. He knows me. His wife, Eve, is my boss. She runs the community park where I work and he’s met me at events, though he’s obviously not connected me to Sam, or Jonty. Out of his suit he’s different, more natural. Rusty hair and freckled skin. His broad face is stern now, but I’ve seen the softness when he looks at Eve. He’s young for a head of year. He and Eve are a bit of a power couple. No kids, though Eve’s told me they’d like them; it just doesn’t seem to be happening.



I don’t know what to say. I’m not Sam’s mother but I live with his dad. Sam’s been with us two years and we’re muddling along. It works pretty well. It’s difficult for me to define the nature of our relationship; there is no word for what I am. I’m not married to his father, I’m not an aunt, nor an older sister, no blood relation. The school forms say ‘parent or guardian’ but guardian sounds dusty and formal. If I was Jonty’s wife I would probably be Sam’s stepmother, but I’m not, I’m simply Sam’s dad’s girlfriend. This sounds trivial and my relationship with Sam is not trivial. It was a bit of a shock to suddenly find myself responsible for two children, but I rose to the challenge.



There are so many things I’m not – mother, sister, friend – but in some way I’m all of these things to the gentle seventeen-year-old boy we’re here to discuss. Mr Wright is waiting for clarification. I look him straight in the eye. ‘Sam’s dad is at work and not currently answering his phone.’ I bite the bullet and make a choice. ‘I’m Sam’s stepmother.’



Mr Wright’s eyebrow flickers, but I hold his gaze. Damn him. I’ve earned that title. The school want to talk to a responsible adult? I’m a responsible adult. Mr Wright may not remember, but I’ve been to the school in this capacity before, when Sam was first considering the sixth form here. Nell, Sam’s younger sister, was still living with us then. Both kids had moved in at the end of January that year, when their mum had to go over to Ireland to take care of their nanna after her stroke. The timing couldn’t have been worse. Nell was in the last year of primary school and Sam was taking his GCSEs, so they moved in with their dad. And me. Not exactly part of the plan, but we got through it and Nell went to join her mum once the summer term was over. Sam, however, decided he wanted to stay, with us, in Tarnside and go to sixth form here rather than Ireland. Last time I was in this building, Jonty was doing the grown-up parent bit, with me sort of hovering supportively in the background, but I was part of that and dressed appropriately that time. I remember the Nicole Farhi jacket, a charity-shop find, but Mr Wright wouldn’t have known that.



‘You are responsible for Sam?’

‘Yes. Well, as far as anyone can be responsible for a boy of his age.’

Monday, 16 October 2017

Domina by L.S. Hilton

Domina (Maestra #2)Domina by L.S. Hilton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Judith Rashleigh has made it. Living in luxury amidst the splendours of Venice, she's finally enjoying the life she killed for.

But someone knows what Judith's done.

Judith can only save herself by finding a priceless painting - unfortunately, one that she's convinced doesn't even exist.

And she's not the only one seeking it.

This time, Judith isn't in control. Outflanked and out-thought, outrun and outgunned, she faces an enemy more ruthless and more powerful than she ever imagined.

And if she doesn't win, she dies.


This is the second book in a trilogy - I hadn't read the first book but think that this doesn't really matter as I was able to pick it up fairly easily. I did have a bit of a problem knowing about her murdering past but it fell into place eventually. I gathered that after having got herself into a mess as Judith Rashleigh in the first book she had to change identity and became Elisabeth Teerlinc in the second. Elisabeth's new identity is an art gallery owner in Venice who has a luxurious lifestyle buying and selling works of art to the rich and privileged. All seems to be going well until a Russian oligarch contacts her via an intermediary and wants her to value his private collection and who is also after a Caravaggio drawing on linen which he wants and intends to get her to obtain it for him. She knows that Caravaggio didn't do prep drawings of his paintings and this must therefore be a fake which leads her to wonder why then the Russian wants it. This situation quickly becomes dangerously threatening for Elisabeth and her new identity which brings Judith out to find out who has threatened to expose her new life.

Naturally we need to have art reference here and being interested in art I did like this aspect but I did feel that in some cases it was a bit overkill in that it started to become more of a history of Caravaggio that focusing on the action in the book. I found the main character very hard and almost masculine, several times at the start of the book I had to remind myself that this was a woman. Lack of softness and empathy in the character added to the masculine feel for me.

I didn't really connect with the character, she was so cold, so calculated, so manufactured that it was just a 'story' for me not something that I could buy into or find plausible.

I did enjoy aspects of the book and for that reason will give it 3 stars and would be interested to read the last in the trilogy if only to find out if Elisabeth or Judith prevails and what she becomes in the end. An acceptable holiday read.


I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Dark to Light by Isabella Murphy blog tour

From Dark to LightFrom Dark to Light by Isabella Murphy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Pumpker, a little boy pumpkin, desires nothing more than to be adopted by a family to make them happy. Planted as a slim white seed along with his sisters, Plumpalicious and Plumpilina, he finds his wish come true as he grows into a pumpkin.
This is a very sweet story about a pumpkin seed, who wishes he could be out in the light. Being planted alongside his two sisters, he is the outcast of the family, they think he is weird and tend to not include him. Pumpker is bought to life with his personality and you can feel the excitement he has for growing and wanting to belong to a family.

I thought it was a very interesting book and the personification of the pumpkins worked well, you also felt empathy with Pumpker as you read the book. I also loved that no matter how his sisters treated him, he was so glad that they were going to the same family, so he would still be with them, this really shows sibling love.

It was an enjoyable book with great illustrations, younger children may struggle to read this independently but it would be a great book to share around halloween time. I also couldn't believe it was written by a child, she is very talented!

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.




dark2lightBLOGTOUR

Friday, 13 October 2017

Written in the Stars by Ali Harris

Written in the StarsWritten in the Stars by Ali Harris
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Have you ever wondered 'What if…?' What if you'd taken that other job, gone on a date with that sweet guy, moved to a different city? Would an alternative life path have led to a happier ending?

Now imagine if you could have taken both paths…

When Bea Bishop slips while walking down the aisle on her wedding day, she is momentarily knocked unconscious. And in a flash, her world splits and two separate parallel lives take her on two very different journeys. In one, Bea flees back down the aisle and out of the church. In the other, she glides blissfully towards Adam, her intended.

Each path will take her on a very different journey. And each will see her life change for better and for worse. But which story will lead to her happy-ever-after?


Oh dear, I found this very boring and repetitive, the ending was so predictable and I found I was really having to make myself carry on reading it. I have to admit I skim read from about the middle of the book as I had really lost interest and only wanted to finish it in case something worthwhile happened, it didn't. I could not connect with Bea who I found boring and indecisive to the point of wanting to throttle her (never a good sign) and I didn't really like her overbearing best friend Milly either. The endless references to flowers and plants was maddening as was her continual references to her father and his pointless letters giving her advice comparing everything to horticulture.

The concept was fine but not a fresh idea and frankly this has been done much better as others have pointed out in 'Sliding Doors' and Ali Harris did not bring anything new or exciting to her take on this idea. From a promising start it just seemed to fizzle out and finished up a mediocre novel and one that is easily forgotten. Sorry Ali I can only give you a 2 star rating for this one, it would have achieved more if you had injected a little life into it.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

The Sun in Her Eyes by Paige Toon

The Sun in Her EyesThe Sun in Her Eyes by Paige Toon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Blinding sunshine… A bend in the road… What became of the little girl with the sun in her eyes?

Amber was three when a car crash stole her mother's life. She doesn't remember the accident, but a stranger at the scene has been unable to forget. Now, almost thirty years later, she's trying to track Amber down.

Amber, meanwhile, is married to Ned and living on the other side of the world in London. When her father has a stroke, she flies straight home to Australia to be with him. Away from her husband, Amber finds comfort in her oldest friends, but her feelings for Ethan, the gorgeous, green-eyed man she once fell for, have never been platonic.

As Ethan and Amber grow closer, married life in London feels far away. Then Amber receives a letter that changes everything. 'Before your mother died, she asked me to tell you something…'




Paige Toon is one of my favourite authors and I always get excited when I hear she has a new one coming out.

Amber is heading off to Australia, her dad has just had a stroke, which has prompted her to go, but being made redundant has also helped, she needs to get away. Her husband, Ned has just been promoted and is unable to go with her. Amber believes his boss only promoted him as she fancies him and now they will get more time together abroad on conferences this plays on her mind.

It doesn't take long when Amber is back in her childhood home to get swept along in her old life with her teenage friends. Ethan used to be her best friend, they drifted apart and he married Sadie, Amber has never liked her but they have two girls together and she is pleased for him.

There were parts of this book, where I didn't agree with Amber's actions and I was actually disappointed with parts of the novel. It didn't sit well with me and I feel the 'big reveal' from the letter Amber received was a little bit of a let down, Paige could have made so much more from her mothers final words.

This is an enjoyable read, one that is great for holiday around by the pool. This was not my favourite novel by Paige, however it will still be added to my collection on my bookshelf and if like me, Pairge is one of your favourite authors I recommend you read this one.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.