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Reviews Written by
Little Miss Bookworm (Cumbria, UK)

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The Letter
The Letter

3.0 out of 5 stars (Un)believable?, 7 May 2016
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This review is from: The Letter (Kindle Edition)
This book has me divided. On one hand, I loved the love story in this book but on the other, I just don't find it to be believable. I read another review which said the book relied too much on coincidences and I agree completely. All throughout, the characters incidentally stumble across character after character who can help fit the pieces of the jigsaw together. In the modern day, it would be very easy to trace back families and birth certificates and places and people. The Letter makes it seem like it was almost as simple to do this back in the 1970's too!

The finale with the owner of the suit returning and unashamedly explaining everything to a perfect stranger was a step too far for me... this was one coincidence too many. I felt at this point, it didn't matter why Chrissy didn't get the letter and this could've been left unexplained seeing as the reader already knew why the letter wasn't delivered.

But, I didn't hate it. The Letter is an ok book but is not without its faults.


The Broken
The Broken
Price: £4.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Addictive, 7 May 2016
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This review is from: The Broken (Kindle Edition)
I read The Broken in about 22 hours... I couldn't put it at the down! It's not a heart-pounding read but manages to keep you guessing. The Broken has a way of making you believe that any of the main characters could be the antagonist. The final reveal is a little transparent by about 85-90% but leaves it wide open for a follow up. I don't think the antagonist in this book had a good enough "excuse/explanation" for their behaviour though which was a little disappointing. Some of the other characters' behaviour was unsubstantiated too and it felt like some things were just thrown in there to throw you off. It worked but when it came to the big reveal, there was nothing to back up the other persons' behaviour which felt like a let down to me.


Dark Places
Dark Places
Price: £5.99

3.0 out of 5 stars 3 stars..., 30 April 2016
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This review is from: Dark Places (Kindle Edition)
Dark Places is the story of Libby Day; sole survivor of her family's massacre 24 years earlier. 7 year old Libby escaped the family farmhouse and later testified against her brother Ben who stood trial for the murders. Imprisoned for his crime, Libby refused to visit her brother in prison and cut off all contact with her murderous sibling.

Desperate for money and unwilling/unable to do anything to help herself, Libby takes an offer from The Kill Club who offer her £500 just to make an appearance at their meeting. When Libby attends the meeting looking for nothing but a quick buck, she finds that there are people who think her brother is innocent and wrongly imprisoned as a result of Libby's testimony.

After the meeting, the truth as Libby knew it is thrown into question and she starts to dig deeper and deeper into what happened that night at the farm.

The book starts off well and the plot sounds intriguing. It stays that way through most of the book too, telling the story through Ben's and his mum Patty's accounts of the day/night of the murders and Libby in the present day. For me, the ending was a let down. I don't want to give away the plot but the truth of the murders was flawed. I was waiting for the "ohmygod" moment where we discovered the truth but instead, it felt a little like we'd been conned. I questioned every character in this book and felt like any one of them could be the murdered,each having their own reasons.

A few other flaws in this book:

Libby is not a likeable character at all. She is selfish, self-absorbed, unappreciative and lazy. She doesn't have a survivors mentality and she's not a fighter. She is a woman stumbling through life on other people's handouts and strongly despises life.

Ben is the victim of circumstantial evidence. The book centres heavily around the fact that DNA testing was not available when the murders were committed and so with little evidence other than his sister's testimony, Ben is charged and found guilty of murder.

Ben's character is weak and allows himself to be easily led by others. He gets dragged into a world of satanic worship, drugs and drinking by people who are nothing but users. Too weak to see what they are and how they are using him, he plays into their hands. After 24 years in prison with time to reflect on his teenage self and the mistakes he made, I thought he would've realised what they were. Instead, he refuses to divulge what happened that night purely just to protect the people who helped put him there.

After reading Gone Girl, I was expecting a brilliant twist and an addictive page-turner of a plot. Instead,the discovery of the truth was good and well paced but the final part was just flat and didn't quite live up to my expectations.


Good Ground
Good Ground
Price: £3.49

4.0 out of 5 stars The true definition of family, 24 April 2016
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This review is from: Good Ground (Kindle Edition)
Good Ground is the story of Jim Hooper, a tobacco farmer who is left a widower when his wife dies during childbirth. A broken man, Jim turns to the bottle to numb his pain. In his mission to apportion blame for the death of his wife, Jim meets a 4 day old baby boy who is the result of a scandalous affair between a 14 year old girl and an unknown man and is to be sent to the local children's home. Jim immediately falls in love with the boy and takes him home to be raised as his own son, named Ellis after Jim's own father. Jim raises Ellis on the farm, teaching him how to farm and tend for animals. Jim protects Ellis from the gossip of his parentage and raises him to be the perfect gentleman. As Ellis grows into a young man, his own story really begins.

I don't really know what to say about Good Ground except that I enjoyed it immensely. Jim and Ellis are wonderful characters and their relationship, hard work and determination are something to be admired.

Good Ground is a wonderful story of love, family, hard work and doing what is right by each other.


The Tapestry of Us
The Tapestry of Us
Price: £2.32

4.0 out of 5 stars A heart breaking little page-turner..., 21 April 2016
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Aww this book had me going through all the emotions! The Tapestry of Us is told from the perspective of each of the four main characters: Cate who's fiance Tom has just died; Laura - Cate's best friend; Isobel - Cate's other best friend and Tom. The story explains their relationships and their past, all building up to Tom's death.

Cate and Tom are so adorably in love and are such a good couple. I loved them and their relationship. I was so sad to know that Tom died and they couldn't keep being this amazing happy couple. Laura and Cate's friendship is strong and supportive. Isobel is an odd character from the off. Beautiful and charming she manages to adopt Laura and Cate as her best friends despite her strange behaviour and attitude. Nobody knows the real Isobel or what she is capable of.

The Tapestry of Us had me angry, happy, sad, in love, happy, heartbroken... I was so disappointed in Tom and I hated Isobel. But ultimately, in the end, this book had me heartbroken. I loved Cate and Tom and to watch things play out with such a devastating ending was just heart breaking.

I really enjoyed The Tapestry of Us, a great little emotional rollercoaster - 4 stars from me!


The Silent Sister
The Silent Sister
Price: £4.74

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad but..., 16 April 2016
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This review is from: The Silent Sister (Kindle Edition)
The Silent Sister is the first Diane Chamberlain book I've read and it was quite good.

When Riley's father dies, clearing out his home opens a can of worms and life as she knows it starts to unravel. As Riley starts looking for answers she quickly finds that her entire life is based on many, many lies.

The actions of some of the characters are questionable. Riley's character is very naive for a 25-year old who is supposed to be a child counsellor. She allows herself to be steamrolled into selling her father's house and everything in it and it takes her too long to find her voice. She trusts heavily on people who she's never known and allows them to push her and influence her actions and decisions.
The vast majority of characters are selfish and only look out for themselves and how they can benefit from Riley. The one person she can rely on is her brother though she doesn't seem to realise it. Instead of working on her relationship with her brother, she asks him to help her and then almost casts him aside in favour of what she finds.

Lisa's character was naive and should've told the truth from day one. The entire situation could have been avoided if she'd just told the truth. Riley's dad was a very selfish man. His actions were based on what he thought was best for his family at the time but he ended up living a life that none of them could be part of.

This book left a few loose ends for me. Tom and Verniece... they knew the truth and were bitter about not getting what they wanted; would they really just quietly disappear? Danny who was deemed to be damaged goods, left on his own because he refused to accept the truth despite always having Riley's best interests at heart. Steve's wife who hunted so long for the truth and was never given it. I would've liked to have seen some closure for all these characters but none came.

The book is good and is a page-turner but is also a little flat. The story is a little predictable and really the majority of the book is just figuring out why events turned out like they did.

An ok 3 stars from me.


The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August
The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August
Price: £4.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Clever but takes so long to get going!, 13 April 2016
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The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August tells the story of Harry; born in a public bathroom at a train station in north east England in the early 1900's. Harry lives a fairly uneventful life and ultimately dies in old age. But then Harry is born again... in exactly the same place, to exactly the same parents and with all the memories of his first life. Unsure of what he is and unable to cope with what it means, he ends his life, age 7. And so, Harry is born again. Harry soon finds out that he is a very special type of person and seeks out others of his kind.

The first 70% (approximately 13 lives!) of this book is so very, very long and quite boring. Not a lot happens and it is very word heavy. There is very limited dialogue up to this point and it makes for tough reading. But if you can make it this far without giving up, the last 30% actually picks up pace and is quite enjoyable.

The book jumps about between Harry's lives, reliving his experiences to explain how they help him in his current life. This makes it a little hard to follow at times; it feels like it's trying to be too clever. I'm not sure if I would've preferred to have read Harry's lives in chronological order or not?!

Another subject this book tackles is that of time travel. The book suggests that there are events in history that have to happen in order for the world to exist as it does. For example, the question of killing Hitler comes up and is deemed to be one of those things that has to happen. And yet, Harry repeatedly disposes of a man before he can harm women after witnessing him murdering prostitutes in one life. This didn't quite add up for me.

The idea of this book is really interesting and Harry August is a good book. Based on the first 70% of this book, I'd give it 2 stars but the last 30% has bumped it up to 3 stars for me.


Love You Better
Love You Better
Price: £3.48

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok but a little obvious..., 1 April 2016
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This review is from: Love You Better (Kindle Edition)
Effie and Oliver have just got married following a whirlwind romance of mere months. Blissfully happy and completely in love, Effie is less than happy when her unreliable cheating ex-boyfriend Smith makes a surprise appearance at her wedding reception. Effie soon finds she can't get away from him as he starts spending time with their mutual friends and bags himself a job at Effie's workplace. Despite all this and feelings his arrival has stirred up, Effie is happily married with wonderful new husband Olly.

Effie quickly discovers she may not know her new husband as well as she thought when Olly works late, leaving her home alone, and his controlling behaviour comes to light.

At the same time, her experience with unreliable Smith means Effie is cautious to have any sort of friendship with him due to the heartbreak and pain he caused her when their relationship suddenly ended just one month before she met Olly.

We watch Effie's life unfold as she fights conflicting feelings for 2 men who have let her down in different ways.

Love You Better is an ok book. I wasn't blown away but it's enjoyable enough despite being quite obvious where the story will go. At one point in the book I was actually more interested in what was happening between Lou and Mikey rather than Effie and Olly/Smith. At times Effie is a little selfish - at a time she should be been supporting her friend, she was having a childish drunken little tantrum. Whereas when Lou's world was falling apart, she was there for Effie when she locked herself away for days.

I would've liked Effie to be a stronger,modern woman but ultimately the obvious ending was the right one for her. 3 stars from me.


Because She Loves Me
Because She Loves Me
Price: £3.98

4.0 out of 5 stars There's something about Mark Edwards..., 29 Mar. 2016
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Because She Loves Me is the story of Andrew Sumner, a 30-ish year old web designer based in London. On the day he is discharge from the ophthalmologist, he meets Charlotte "Charlie" Summers; beautiful, successful, confident, mysterious and finds he is instantly smitten. And so starts an intense, passionate relationship with the woman of his dreams. Andrew thinks he's the luckiest man on the planet... until strange things start to happen... a feeling of being followed, things going missing from his flat, injuries and accidents... Andrew quickly realises he doesn't know enough about his stunning new girlfriend and sets off on a mission to discover just who she is.

This is the third Mark Edwards book I've read after The Magpies and Follow You Home. This guy knows how to write a bloody good book! His characters are always well-developed and likeable. The twists in his books are always surprising and catch you out. I find that some authors go off on a bit of a tangent and have rambling paragraphs of text or conversation where nothing happens and contributes nothing to the actual plot and that's when I find myself skim-reading. Mark Edwards' books are nothing like this; everything in there helps to develop the plot and you find yourself reading like it's a soap opera, needing to know what happens next and watching things unfold. His books are above all, really enjoyable. I thought I had this one all figured out; the motives and the subsequent reactions... nope!

For me, the ending of Because She Loves Me was really good. Everything wrapped up and explained and then we find out how Andrew's story ends.

Really enjoyable, well written and well developed - can't recommend Mark Edwards' books enough!


Wreckage
Wreckage
Price: £3.98

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed, 28 Mar. 2016
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This review is from: Wreckage (Kindle Edition)
The plot of Wreckage sounds intriguing; 2 survivors of a plane crash who are rescued and returned home to a life in the public eye. The main focus of this book is their lies which are slowly revealed as we flit back and forth between the present day and their days on the island together.

I was disappointed with Wreckage. The lies they force themselves to tell are really not a big deal. I'd pretty much guessed all the lies early on and was left thinking "surely that can't be it". It felt like the story was building up to something that never came. If the lies weren't the main focal point of the story, I could ignore the disappointment of them. I feel like the book should've concentrated more on their story of survival and how they rebuilt their lives afterwards. With so much focus on the lies, I think their survival was a little neglected. It didn't feel like life on the island was much of a struggle for them. They easily caught and scavenged food and made themselves a shelter.

Lillian's partner Jerry could have been more supportive and understanding. Sole survivors of a plane crash who were rescued over 2 years later would've been supported by therapists and most likely diagnosed with some sort of post-traumatic stress co-dependency issue. Instead, it felt like they both came home and tried to pick up where they left off with no after effects from their experience other than memories and feeble lies.

It's a shame because on the island, Lily and David were likeable. Their relationship was cute and happy and passionate. The fact that they tried to carry on like normal when they returned home seems like it was only their experience on the island that pushed them together and heightened their feelings for one another.

I gave Wreckage two stars because while I was disappointed, I liked Lily and David together on the island as a couple and the book did keep me reading to find out what happened... it just wasn't quite the scandal I thought it would be!


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