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mrsb2011

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Burnt Paper Sky
Burnt Paper Sky
Price: £4.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning debut that you won't be able to put down, 24 Aug. 2015
This review is from: Burnt Paper Sky (Kindle Edition)
This story is set in Bristol and is themed around the abduction of an 8 year old boy - Ben Finch, we read the story from a year ago. Throughout the story it is told from two perspectives, which change each chapter Ben's mother and D.I James Clemo. Through these perspectives we learn a lot about both characters their feelings on the abduction, how it is effecting them but also we see other characters thoughts through it.

Rachel, Ben's mother is struggling emotionally from the divorce of her husband surgeon, Paul Finch. Every Sunday Ben and his mother walk their dog Skittle through the woods, Ben is desperate for some more freedom, even if it is just to walk ahead of her with Skittle. Rachel is wary, always has been and thinks she should let go a bit and this Sunday in particular she grants him the freedom he wants so much. Ben skips ahead with Skittle and says he will meet her in the park. When Rachel gets to the park she can see the swing swinging, she thinks Ben maybe playing with her but she later discovers he isn't anywhere to be seen.

Throughout the book you go through lots of emotions, you don't know what has happened to Ben and everyone becomes a suspect to you, there are small seeds that are planted in your head and you decide to follow the route, only to discover you were wrong and your attention changes to someone else. With the impact of the internet and social media, you see what an impact this can have on a case and how easily you can get drawn into it and allow others to influence you. It is easy to see what damage it can cause and how it can change the public perspection on something.

Sometimes I felt things were being exposed about the family that may not have been necessary and have any relevance on the case, however it became clear why these were important and how it helped develop the whole picture of the case and the characters.

I enjoyed the mixing up in the way the story is told, we read emails, transcripts from DI Clemo's psychologist, internet blog posts and online newspaper extracts. This made the story more real for me I think and emphasised the importance of the media in a case like this. I also enjoyed the introduction to each chapter (A different day) this began with a quote, an extract from an article or a website post on missing children.

I thought this was a brilliant 'who dun it', which had me guessing right up until the end. It really pulled me in as a reader and although it is 465 pages long, it is a quick read. Most of the time stories that are this long I can loose interest in or feel intimidated by the size of them. This I managed to read in a couple of days, it is quite possible to read in one or two sittings though. This is very face paced, the characters are developed brilliantly and they are believable.

This is an outstanding debut novel for Macmillan and I look forward to reading more from her. If you haven't read this book and are wanting a psychological thriller, this is a must to pick up. It is thought provoking and you will want to talk about it with everyone.

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


The Accidental Life of Jessie Jefferson
The Accidental Life of Jessie Jefferson
Price: £4.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A great YA debut, 17 Aug. 2015
I love Paige Toon, as soon as I discovered her I knew that she was going to quickly become one of my favourite authors. On hearing that she was going to be writing YA I was excited but also a tad nervous, she writes chick lit so wonderfully and I was worried that I was going to be disappointed with this.

Paige Toon began by really interesting me with this story line, it was a continuation from one of her adult novels, this is something that I think really makes Toon stand out as an author, she manages to like her characters in certain ways. This makes the reader really believe they are with the characters in the book, as they are so familiar. If you haven't read Johnny Be Good, do not panic, you can read this as a stand a lone but reading this will enhance your reading experience.

The Accidental Life of Jessie Jefferson follows Jessie, a down to earth teenager, who has just lost her mum in a tragic freak accident. Jessie has always lived with her mum and stepdad Stu, however much she has wanted to know who her real father is, her mother would never discuss it. Stu believes that it is important that Jessie does know, so even though he could potentially lose her, he tells her.

I really love Stu in this, I feel for him, what he is going through and it is clear how much he cares for Jessie even though she is not his own. I had a real issue with Jessie as a character to begin with. Unfortunately I just could not warm to her, she behaved dreadfully to Stu and not a lot better to Johnny at parts in the book. I didn't like her attitude for most of the novel and I didn't like the way she tried to come across as an adult and demanded to know things, but then went around and acted like a spoilt brat. (Maybe I am now showing my age and shows that maybe I am not the intentional age range for this book!)

There were parts in the story that I felt not a lot was happening, normally when Jessie was meeting people in the States at parties etc, however this was made up towards the end when it picked up and almost felt like the ending was coming to an abrupt ending! - Thank goodness I can continue with the series straight away!

So although I did have a few issues with this book, I also really enjoyed it and I feel Paige has done really well with her debut in YA, what I loved about it was there was no main story within the book that was depressing. Yes I know her mum had dies, however this happened before we met the characters. The story is upbeat, nobody having a dreadful illness, no bullying, no teen pregnancy, just a really easy going light read.

I am really looking forward to reading the next in the sequel, well done Paige!


Life on the Refrigerator Door
Life on the Refrigerator Door
by Alice Kuipers
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

3.0 out of 5 stars Unique, 6 Aug. 2015
Life on the refrigerator door was sent to me to review. I knew nothing about it before it arrived. I choose not to read the blurb and just go on the title and the cover.

This is about a mother and daughter, both have incredibly busy lives - Claire a fifteen year old girl and her mum as a baby delivery nurse. The only communication they seem to have is through notes left on the fridge. These are the notes that form this debut novel. These notes are meaningless most of the time, ranging from being late home to grabbing some shopping. Except one day, one particular note turns both of their lives upside down forever.

The book is very short, it is just over 200 pages long, but each page is only a note, these range in lengths but made the book incredibly easy to read. I finished it in a couple of hours.

There are a few issues I had with this book and that's the reason I am only giving the book 3*, first of all, I know that Claire is only fifteen years old, however the way she behaved at times in this book drove me mad. She screams spoilt brat right out of the page, she is self centred and thinks about no one except herself. I found it very hard to connect to her and acutally disliked her for the majority of the novel. The other thing I have a problem with is the mother - she is meant to be in the medical industry but then seems to know little about medical problems. I also think that she came across very irresponsible, she does not have a mobile phone and then moans at her daughter when she doesn't pick up hers. She also communicates largely by notes to her daughter all the time? This novel if nothing else illustrates the importance of talk in families.

I do think that there are very strong messages that come through in this novel, however they are not as moving as I would have thought and they seem to just catch up with the reader towards the end.

I do enjoy reading books written in different formats and for me I enjoyed reading the series of notes, whether this was the best format to choose for a subject so emotional I am still unsure about. Personally I didn't find the novel heartbreaking or bringing a tear to my eye and I think this was because there was lack of description in the novel. This is something that would not be necessary in note form.

The author did leave a lot for the reader to fill in, not all notes followed on from one another and you were filing the blanks yourself. I also quite enjoyed this aspect of the novel, however I think that the novel may have benefited at times from some narration.

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


Colour Me Mindful: Tropical (Colour Me Mindful Colouring Bk)
Colour Me Mindful: Tropical (Colour Me Mindful Colouring Bk)
by Anastasia Catris
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourite adult colouring books, 4 Aug. 2015
When I found out I had won a competition and this was one of the colouring books I had won I was jumping for joy. I loved the look of this book, it is perfect to fit in your bag to keep it with you. Whether you use it for commuting to work, travelling on holiday or just relaxing at home. This is the perfect size.

This comes with a mix of wonderful illustrations, it is clear that Anastasia is very talented, she has included just the right amount of detail in the images- which don't become so over whelming for you to colour.

I am currently just using colour pencils, however I feel that pens could be used in this book as the paper seems quite thick and of good quality. I did find that the sharper the pencils the better the effect you get, as some of the images are quite tiny, due to the size of the paper. I like to make sure that the pencil stays inside the lines and this is a way of helping that.

I would recommend this colouring book, I have got a few now and this is one of my favourites. Anastasia is also bringing out some more later in the year, I cannot wait to try these as they look like they are going to be even better than this one!

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


The Other Me
The Other Me
Price: £4.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Not what I was expecting, 31 July 2015
This review is from: The Other Me (Kindle Edition)
I have been unsure if the star rating to give this book and I believe that's because this is not my usual read. I would have given this overall 3.5* but I have rounded this up for Goodreads and Amazon. This is my first book by Sarginson, I do have another of her books on my shelf, which is a thriller. I think I went into this one thinking it was going to be in the same genre.

The cover and the blurb give little away to this book, to be honest I think I went into this pretty blind with what it was about. I am kind of pleased I did as I don't think I would have picked this book up due to the themes. Historic fiction is not my thing and it's saving grace for me was the crossing into modern - ish day life.

I got into this book quite quickly, I found it more of a struggle reading Ernest's POV, again I think that's down to the act this was the historic aspect of the book. I liked the way the story was presented through the change POV's.

The novel is broken into three sections, the first part is where we meet Klaudia and Eliza, these people are one, Klaudia is leading a double life, due to being bullied at school and wanting to change her past. She ends up getting herself into a big hole with the lie and it begins to spiral out of control.

Ernest as we quickly find out is Klaudia's uncle and he tells us his story along with his brothers through his POV. Some of the story I felt was predictable and I did see aspects of the book coming. This didn't make it any less enjoyable though.

I thought that the description in the novel was beautiful, for me I found the novel a little slow at times, there were parts in the middle I began to lose a little interest in, this was just because it was a little slow. I also thought that the novel deserved more twists and turns, a lot of what happened I could see coming, even though it was a beautifully written novel and a joy to read it just left me feeling a little flat. I also think that it was left with a few questions still to be answered.

I think if you enjoy historical fiction in particular you will enjoy this novel. I also think this is a good novel for finding yourself and discovering who you are. This theme is covered expertly well in the novel.

Overall I did enjoy the novel, it was a different type of read for me, but I felt it could do with more of a punch at the end.

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


Johnny's Girl
Johnny's Girl
Price: £2.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely loved it, 28 July 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Johnny's Girl (Kindle Edition)
Paige Toon is one of my favourite authors and when I knew she was writing a novella as a sequel for Baby Be Mine I knew I would have to read it. I have read it quite late actually, it came out over a year ago but I decided to wait so I could read her YA book based on these characters after. I am glad I read them in the correct order and that I fit the short story in before, this helped me remember what had happened and got back up to speed with the characters.

During this short story we get to meet the characters again, Meg and Johnny are living in England, (where Meg is from) but his work is driving them back to the States. After having a holiday over there Meg realises that maybe it wouldn't be so bad to move back again.

I really loved this novella, it was fun and hooked you straight in, even if you haven't read the other two books you would be able to fill in the blanks. On the other hand though, why would you not of read the other two? They are pretty fantastic!

One thing I love about Paige's books is that they seem to all connect in some way or another, I liked the added bonus of hearing about Alice and Joseph Strike, I always think that reading a Paige Toon novel is like a hug in a mug, you feel warm when you read her books and that you're at home. This novella for me was no exception.

After reading this novella I was well equipped to begin The Accidental Life of Jessie Jefferson, and cannot wait to begin, I feel like I have had a small taster of what is in store and I love it. This novella was only about 100 pages but I whizzed through it and if that is anything to go by then I know I will be finishing the two YA's in no time at all.

The added bonus is that this ebook is free at the moment so you have no excuse not to grab yourself a copy.

Well done Paige for me you have done it again, loved every minute of it.


IN THEIR SHOES: FAIRY TALES AND FOLKTALES
IN THEIR SHOES: FAIRY TALES AND FOLKTALES
Price: £3.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A lovely addition to anyone's fairy story collection, 27 July 2015
This little book is just beautiful! The cover is stunning, the gold shoes glisten in the light and parts of it are embossed. Although this is marketed for the children's audience adults will enjoy this little gem just as much.

This is a collection of short stories, which are all old fairy tales or folktales from around the world. When reading, some of these I did find shocking, considering they are for children. In example The Red Shoes by Hans Christian Anderson has moments of gore and horror in it.

My favourite story was The Story of Yexian, this is the earliest known to date story of Cinderella, set in China. Although it is different to the Cinderella we know today, you can quite clearly see the similarities of it.

Some of the stories I found a little difficult to follow and my attention began to drift. However, I enjoyed the majority of the stories, just at times I couldn't believe how dark they were, saying that though the Grimm Brothers are well known for their dark fairy tales.

If you are a fairy tale lover this is certainly a little book to add to your collection. I liked how short the book was as a whole but included a lot of stories. These are perfect for reading just before you go to be as they are short enough for you to enjoy a whole story before falling asleep!

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


Sing No Evil
Sing No Evil
by J. P. Ahonen
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable read, 26 July 2015
This review is from: Sing No Evil (Paperback)
I really wanted to begin to get into graphic novels, this is a genre I have only stumbled across a handful of times. Recently I have had a bit of a block with reading and really wanted to get back into it, I thought that choosing a graphic novel may help as they are quicker to read and easy.

When I was offered the chance to review Sing No Evil, I knew nothing about it but thought I would give it a go. I am glad I did, I think for those of you who don't read this genre a lot this is a good one to begin with. The illustrations are cartoon-like and have a lot of detail in them. I also liked the colouring of the images, they were autumnal colours throughout, the story is also set during autumn and I thought this was a nice touch. Although the colours are mainly browns and reds, do not let that put you off. The images are wonderful!

Anyway back to the story...

There are some characters in this story that I just counldn't warm too, Aksel's girlfriend for one, she just seemed to spend her whole time complaining, she isn't in the book much and she really doesn't come across well, to me anyway... Aksel is a guitarist and songwriter for the bank Perkeros, he is a perfectionist and it has actually come to the point where he is becoming obsessive with the band and their success. This is a struggle that they have to go through with, growing up, studying, but also creating posters, album covers, getting gigs etc.

I liked that there were jokes throughout the book that were amusing and kept the story light.

My favourite character was Lily, she felt like she was the rock of the band and always trying to gain them more success.

O.K so here are the bits I didn't understand...

About 50 pages or so from the end the story almost turns into a complete different story. There is more of a fantasy element that arises, this is just a bit weird. I didn't think it fit in with the story and I don't really see what the point of it was. To be honest during this part I actually got a little lost, I didn't know what had happened to Lily and where the story was then going. I also was disappointed with the ending of the story. Throughout the graphic novel I felt something between some of the characters and I was hoping it was going to end in the way I expected. It didn't and for me that was a disappointment - I guess I am used to reading predictable novels!

Overall I enjoyed this graphic novel - my first paperback one! I would recommend this for first time readers of graphic novels and after reading this I am interested in reading others.

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


Why We Broke Up
Why We Broke Up
Price: £3.20

2.0 out of 5 stars Not for me, 24 July 2015
This review is from: Why We Broke Up (Kindle Edition)
After hearing so much about this book, when I got the opportunity to review it I jumped at the chance. Right from the beginning this really sounded interesting, I loved the fact there were illustrations throughout indicating things that had been collected in the relationship.

To be honest I really found it difficult to get into this book, I could not warm to the characters and I really did not enjoy the writing style. Everything was in the first person and I found it a little immature at times. The narrator - Min got repetitive and annoying. I really disliked her as a character, no matter how hard I tried to like her I just couldn't.

Almost every chapter ended with 'that's why we broke up'. This got a little tedious after the first few chapters. I also found it was a little boring and long winded.

I know I am probably completely unlike most people who have read this book, who seem to have given it great reviews but this was not for me. The only thing I really liked was the illustrations, which broke the story up. I really don't like writing negative reviews about books, but I feel it is important to give my honest review and unfortunately this was not for me.

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


Sunshine and Spaniels (A novella) (Primrose Terrace Series, Book 2)
Sunshine and Spaniels (A novella) (Primrose Terrace Series, Book 2)
Price: £0.99

4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable series, 19 July 2015
This is the second in the Primrose Terrace series, I have only just finished the first int he series, so grabbed the second to begin straight away. I am glad I read these so close together as the characters have been fresh in my mind and I was looking forward to the next in the series.

During this part of the series, we begin to get to know other characters that also like in Primrose Terrace, these have connections to Cat and when she finds out one of her neighbours - Frankie, needs some help, she wants to lend a hand. I really loved reading about the meeting of Emma and Cat, I enjoyed hearing about how they knew each other (the nursery) this I felt made the two novellas link nicely and if being read as a whole novel would not feel out of place.

The story flowed really well and in this part I really thought like I was getting to know the characters well. I am enjoying the characters develop through the series and having two major men on the scene - Joe (Polly's brother) and Mark, I am unsure of what is going to happen, however I am not sure about Mark, something is not quite right about him!

I am enjoying this series, my only negative is that we have to wait so long for the next installment, I think that this would read better as a whole book, as from reading the second one, there was no gentle introduction etc, this had all been covered well in part 1. I think leaving is so long to read the next one, you may forget certain parts.

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


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