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London Belongs to Us
London Belongs to Us
by Sarra Manning
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A light and fun read, 26 July 2016
This review is from: London Belongs to Us (Paperback)
I read this in a couple of sittings at the beginning of the holiday's. I really wanted something light and fun to get my out of my reading slump and this did just that.

The book is extremely easy to read, as I read the book I felt I had gone on a journey with Sunny and really wanted Mark to stop being such an idiot! I couldn't believe the way this character behaved though the book and although he isn't a 'main' character as he doesn't say an awful lot directly he plays a massive part in this story - it is the whole reason Sunny is trekking across London!

The story takes place over one night, a night where Sunny is on a wild goose chase to find her boyfriend Mark. When she arrives in a new area of London, we get some information about that part. I really loved reading about the areas through history and actually learnt a lot, whether this was about famous residents or shops that originated from there. I thought this was a unique feature to the book.

This book is fast paced and funny, it is a young contemporary book with Sunny being 17 and set in the summer holidays. This is a real light read and perfect for the summer months. The only reason I have given this book 4* and not 5* is because at times I did skim read a little, this was only because the structure of the story was a little repetitive, (Sunny trying to find Mark - paths may cross, she chases him a bit more and again misses him.) At one point I thought perhaps Sunny had done a little too much chasing him. That doesn't mean I didn't enjoy her adventure or the people she met a long the way, because I did immensely.

If you like YA, especially UKYA then grab yourself a copy of this, even if you just like London, grab a copy as you will love this. I think this is a really great YA read and a perfect one for the summer months. I recommend this book!

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


Luckiest Girl Alive
Luckiest Girl Alive
Price: £3.66

1.0 out of 5 stars This is probably going to be a little controversial but..., 24 July 2016
This is probably going to be a little controversial but...

Oh dear, I really wanted to like this especially with the glowing reports and all the marketing hype but it really did fall a long way short of my expectations. I am an honest reviewer and don't get swayed by others opinions always making up my own mind and telling it how it is so for this reason I can't pretend it was a great piece of literary work or that it is the 'must read' book of the season, sorry.

I was on page 85 and still nothing concrete had happened and I almost lost the will to live to continue reading but I am nothing if not thorough so did plough on to the end.

Unfortunately it was a predictable as I had thought, no twists or unexpected thrills to keep the reader going or anything to keep me mildly interested in the characters. I hated TifAni FaNelli - what a stupid name and a shallow character, quite honestly I couldn't have cared less about her, the pronunciation of her name, or the 'story'. Everyone was so manufactured and hollow, and where was the humour that the back cover boasted about? There was nothing to anchor the reader, serious issues like rape were glossed over with little or no emotion and even a sexually ignorant girl of 14 would surely show more emotion, guilt or shame over what happened to her than this shallow character - just not believable for me.

I knew it I was not enjoying it because I had to keep reading back to remind me what I had read each time I picked the book up and I really struggled to want to pick it up - took me over a week as I kept putting it off! Normally a page turner will have me done in a day.This book was boring and dull and frankly I am at a loss as to why it was compared to such good writers as Gillian Flynn, Jodi Picoult and Lauren Weisberger when it is clearly not in the same league.

No not for me, all I can give this poor attempt is 1 star, there are far better books out there don't waste your time reading this one.

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


On the Other Side
On the Other Side
by Carrie Hope Fletcher
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £6.49

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars O.K, 20 July 2016
This review is from: On the Other Side (Hardcover)
I really enjoyed the beginning of this book and the sound of where the plot was going to go. I have read many Cecelia Ahern books and was hoping that I would be left with a similar feeling after reading hers.

Evie Snow is dead, she seems to be in a place that doors won't open. This really intrigued me and I couldn't wait to find out what was going to happen. There was a magical element in the story and was a little bit 'fairy tale' ish which I enjoyed.

I didn't read this book in a couple of sittings due to being too busy at work and this could have changed my view of the book. I personally found it a little tricky to follow, I was unsure of when the story was meant to be set, I got the impression Evie was from the 60's, however Vincent seemed to be more from the present day. I then thought perhaps we were going back/forward in time. Like I said though, it could have been down to the fact I read the book in a slightly disjointed way and perhaps if I had read it straight though this wouldn't have happened.

I loved the idea of this story and think it was really sweet. However some of the background 'contextual' information didn't seem to be correct. Evie being 82 when going back from modern day should be in her 20's and surely the environment should reflect this, which it doesn't.

Overall if you take the story with a pinch of salt and don't read too much into it, then you will enjoy it, however if you are looking for something perfect it isn't, Carrie though has done a great job on writing her first novel and can be forgiven for some of the mistakes she has made. I would say perhaps the story would be suited to a younger audience.

I have been asked not to share too much of the story in my review so you will have to go and buy the book if you want to know more!

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


The Woman in Cabin 10
The Woman in Cabin 10
Price: £7.99

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Felt very Agatha Christie, 17 July 2016
Laura [Lo] Blacklock a travel journalist is chosen by her magazine to cover the maiden voyage of a very exclusive cruise liner bound for the Norwegian Fjords and the Northern Lights. Having been the victim of a burglary some nights before she leaves she has spent some sleepless nights in her flat leading up to the trip and is suffering from sleep deprivation by the time she boards the cruise liner. The first night aboard she is woken in the early hours of the morning by a scream and a splash which appears to have come from the cabin next to hers. When she goes onto the verandah she sees blood on the partition between the cabins. Convinced something has happened to the girl in the next cabin she calls for security who inform her there is no one in that cabin. The guest booked had cancelled at the last minute. Lo knows there was a woman in the cabin as she met her the evening before when she knocked and asked to borrow some mascara. Something is very wrong and she makes up her mind to find out what is going on.

I didn't think that Lo came across as particularly brave in many instances I thought she was quite a weak character. For me it was a shame that Ruth Ware didn't make her into a stronger person until almost the end of the novel but with her long history of taking medication for extreme anxiety and how easy it was for others to make her doubt herself perhaps the pitch was right but nevertheless it was at times frustrating and I wanted to shake her and give her a good talking to.

I liked the fact that the novel was set on a cruise liner in the middle of the ocean, it felt really very Agatha Christie and the slow incremental tension building added to the suspense. I did think in parts it could have moved a little quicker as pages were devoted to interviewing staff on board which the reader knows won't throw any light on the woman in cabin 10. The atmosphere was created very well conveying the claustrophobic feeling and size of the cruiser and the isolation of being cut off from the outside world with no internet or phone signals; it also had a creepy feeling about it with all the staff being so robotic and smiley all the time. Not being able to completely trust anyone was also conveyed well and of course Lo eventually doubting her own sanity.

I didn't really buy the end of Richard Bullmer (I won't go into it as don't want to show a spoiler) but after all that had happened and all his power and connections I couldn't believe it would have ended this way for him. But of course should Ruth Ware want to write a sequel then it might be that the body wasn't him at all - an interesting twist.

It was well written and an enjoyable read - perhaps one to take on holiday but maybe not on a cruise! A worthy 4 stars from me.

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


The Last Days of Jack Sparks
The Last Days of Jack Sparks
Price: £4.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Horrifying and fascinating in equal measures, 16 July 2016
Not a genre that I usually read and not an author I have come across before but I found it was horrifying and fascinating in equal measure.

The main character Jack Sparks is a writer and media personality. Having written a series of Jack Sparks on Drugs and on Gangs books he is now investigating (and intends to expose as rubbish) the supernatural. While researching for this in his latest series of books he is invited along to an exorcism of a young girl (he believes it is all an act) and he laughs and is openly disrespectful even when the the priest is injured and is taken to hospital he believes it's all part of the act. Things then seem to go very weird for Jack; he finds someone has uploaded a spooky video to his YouTube channel and he becomes obsessed with finding out who was responsible and embarks on his journey into the supernatural.

It was very well written with a good amount of humor which made reading it not such a chore or so dark that anyone other than a horror fan would want to continue reading it. The reader is aware from the outset that the 'author' Jack Sparks dies while writing this book and we are lead through it by his brother Alistair and the help of his notes. This book really plays with your mind, reading it you think one thing then a few pages on you realise that maybe what you have read is not what is happening at all - a roller coaster of a ride into the unknown and reality.

Vivid colourful writing perfectly sets the scenes for spooky and addictive reading, difficult to put down Jack Sparks gets under your skin, one minute you believe he deserves what he gets and the next you're rooting for him. So unusual for a writer to evoke these feelings in one character in a novel' normally you either like the central character or you don't. With Jack Sparks you have to unravel the real person as you and he go along together.

Jack is a wonderful character, flawed, realistically believable, not a hero by any stretch of the imagination who maintains his bravado through witty remarks and cynicism that creates such a likeable character in the end, the humour in this novel is extremely well executed. He is egotistical, self centered and shallow but he is also warm, funny and vulnerable which all come across in this novel. In terms of content it has the lot, exorcisms, bloody deaths, ghosts, demons and possession all the attributes that horror devotees devour in spade fulls and enough little touches to give it some realism. Along with all of this it was also surprisingly quite touching to take the journey with Jack from his arrogant and flippant beginning to his inevitable death in the end. I almost pitied him and hoped (although we know he does not survive) that at the eleventh hour he would be saved.

I really enjoyed this foray into the supernatural and although not a favoured genre I would be happy to read another Arnopp novel any time and give this a well deserved 4 stars.

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


The Couple Next Door
The Couple Next Door
Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Read this in one sitting, 16 July 2016
I read this in one day from start to finish - I am glad that I chose to do this as it helped the flow of the book.

After their baby sitter calls to cancel the couple Marco and Anne made a decision to leave their 6 month old baby alone while they go next door to a dinner party. They take the baby monitor and religiously go in to check her every half an hour throughout the evening. On returning home after the party they discover that the baby is missing. Racked with guilt at leaving the child the story proceeds to uncover what happened that night. It was well paced and had enough intrigue to make the reader want to find out what had happened to the missing baby.

I did however find the characters a bit flat and it was hard to like any of them. The mother was suffering post partum depression but we later learn she has some history of mental illness; the father Marco has money worries as having over extended his business he is now in financial trouble; Anne's mother Alice didn't really seem to have much personality until the latter half of the book and her step father Richard was a very nasty and manipulative character. The writer also didn't really allow the reader imagination as everything was neatly laid out - I felt it was more 'tell' than 'show' and because of this it was easy to predict.

I did guess the outcome but the twist at the end was somewhat unexpected so this saved it from being totally predictable. It was well rounded off and all ends tied up nicely but I did think it lacked a certain something that would have made it great for me, having said that it was still a good read, not the best psychological thriller but a passable read. I would give this a 4 star rating, not quite up there with the best but not a bad effort for a debut thriller.

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


Ruby Oliver 1: The Boyfriend List
Ruby Oliver 1: The Boyfriend List
Price: £3.99

3.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 stars, will continue the series, 16 July 2016
I have a couple of E.Lockhart's books and enjoyed them all. When I was offered the chance to read and review this book, I started straight away. I managed to read this in a couple of sittings, it is just over 200 pages and a relatively light read.

This is a story about Ruby Oliver, who seems to alienate herself from all her peers due to choices she makes. Ruby has had a series of panic attacks and it is not until her parents experience one that she is sent to see a Dr. The story is told through her eyes at her therapy sessions with Dr Z, as you read you begin to discover the reasons for her panic attacks. Ruby is a fifteen year old, who goes through the regular of issues most fifteen year olds deal with. Unfortunately for me, she was not a likable character.

The story as I have mentioned is through Ruby's eyes in the form of a list, that her Dr has asked her to complete, to try and get to know Ruby better and for her to begin to identify with herself. I found it difficult initially to follow due to the footnotes, some of these are quite long on the pages.

Ruby came across a little shallow during the story and not really worried about who she hurt along the way. I felt sorry for Angelo and would loved to have seen more of him. I also wished he had perhaps confronted her about her behaviour on that night.

There was no resolution to the story and we were left hanging some what, I would have liked to have found out what happened with Kim. Saying this, this is part of a series and so I am hoping to find out more when I continue reading. Although I have only given this book 3 1/2 stars it does not mean it was awful, it kept me entertained, it was a light read but just left me feeling a little deflated, it didn't really set me on fire. Saying this it has kept me interested enough to want to read the next in the series.

I would recommend this is for you want a quick light read. I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.


Dr Hedgehog - 3 Book Collection: Includes 3 Fantastic Pull Out Posters
Dr Hedgehog - 3 Book Collection: Includes 3 Fantastic Pull Out Posters
by Jerry Mushin
Edition: Paperback
Price: £17.25

4.0 out of 5 stars Well presented, 2 July 2016
I have reviewed each book separately so will not go into detail. This collection includes all Dr Hedgehog books in the series and comes well presented in a very strong collection case. Each book comes with a pull out poster perfect for putting in a child's bedroom.

I have rated this on the presentation and strength of the box along with the price for the collection and the posters. If you wish to see reviews for individual books please look at my profile. The box is decorated with illustrations from the books and links very nicely. On the back of the box, there is a brief description about the collection again along with illustrations from the books.

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


Dr Hedgehog and the River Rescue
Dr Hedgehog and the River Rescue
by Jerry Mushin
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 2 July 2016
Unfortunately out of all 3 in the series this book was liked the least. Just like the other books in this series we meet Martin mouse and Dr Hedgehog. Martin mouse is excited about the weather, it has snowed and it has been the first time it has snowed since last year. His mother warns him about the ice and tells him to remember to take the bridge. Of course Martin mouse decides to ignore her warning.

The illustrations are the same as the others in the series, which I was not keen on. They seem a little simple and could have been portrayed a lot better in my opinion.

This book out of the series seems to be the most random, Dr Hedgehog decides to throw Martin mouse a sandwich while he waits, which seems a little strange to me. I am also a little disappointed with the moral in this book. Martin mouse is hoping no one tells his mother he ignored her advice to cross the river, which seems a little deceiving to me. The book also seemed to end a bit abruptly, it would have been good to see what Martin's mother would have made of him ignoring her. I think if it had shown that and depending on how she would have dealt with his behaviour I would have been able to give this a higher star rating.

I read this to my class and they were a little underwhelmed with the story. They didn't have a lot to say about it. I think perhaps younger children would like this book, maybe 4 or 5 year olds.

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


Dr Hedgehog and the Tree Rescue
Dr Hedgehog and the Tree Rescue
by Jerry Mushin
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

3.0 out of 5 stars A good length for a bed time story, 2 July 2016
Once again we meet Dr Hedgehog, like the previous story in the series there are the same characters and some of the sayings are present, which is nice as it makes the books link. Saying this, this book could easily be read alone as the story makes sense without reading the others.

I mentioned the illustrations were not my favourite during my previous review, this again is the same, unfortunately they are not growing on me and I think Dr Hedgehog could come across a little nicer in stories, personally I don't like his character at all. My class who I read this too, were also not too keen on him as he seems to always be cross.

This book started off better than one of the previous I felt and had a bit more too it as in way of a story, however I felt it was let down towards the ending, where Dr Hedgehog got cross and told Martin Mouse just 'go home and find out'. He didn't come across very patient and considering he is a doctor should be!

The length of the book is good and perfect for a 15 minute read with a child, or during snack time if you are at school. This book is O.K, my class probably will pick it up again to read independently at some point.

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


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