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The Accident Season
The Accident Season
by Moira Fowley-Doyle
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting read, one to watch out for, 4 July 2015
This review is from: The Accident Season (Paperback)
When I received a tarot card in the post months before this book arrived for review, I had no idea what it was about. Even when the book arrived, I still have no idea how it linked to the book, until I began reading it.

This is a debut YA novel, and to be honest it is like nothing I have ever read, I have found it hard reviewing this because of this.

Cara and her siblings every October have to be extra careful as it is the accident season. Over the years things seem to happen during this month, sometime small falls and bruises, broken bones and sometimes accidents have ended in death...Cara doesn't always see the dangers or believes that every October she should be cooped up by her mothers wishes. This year she decides to throw a Halloween party in a spooky old mansion down by the river.

The beginning of the book we begin to discover Elsie has been appearing in all Cara's family photos, she is a girl at school, who looks after the secrets box, in the library. Cara wants to get to the bottom of why she is in all their photos, why she has suddenly gone missing from school and why all of a sudden no one seems to know who she is.

There were times throughout the book that I had no idea what was going on, there seemed that there were parts that weren't going anywhere, but they still made me want to continue reading. Although I didn't read this is in sitting, it was the type of book that you could have. This was full of mystery and it wasn't until right near the end I twigged what was going on.

My favourite part of the book was the masked ball, I loved the description of the masks, the party and the house. The description was really rich and vivid. As the story moved on I kept wondering where and who Elsie was, this finally came to an end and things became a little clearer. To be honest I struggled with the mix between fantasy and reality, however I am not a fantasy reader. This book will appeal to many readers, fantasy, mystery and romance is all covered in this and written extremely well.

This book has been compared to We Were Liars by E Lockhart, towards the end I could see the similarities, however it was only towards the end. This is certainly one to watch this year and I think it is going to be extremely successful.

I did enjoy this book and I feel if you are like me and are not sure about fantasy this is the book for you, it incorporates so many other genres that this is a good book to introduce you to this genre. This book has left me thinking about it for days, it was eerie, mysterious and magical at times, I am looking forward to seeing what is in store for Doyle's future books.

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

His Other Life
His Other Life
Price: £1.49

3.0 out of 5 stars Well written but only 3*, 28 Jun. 2015
This review is from: His Other Life (Kindle Edition)
Sadly this book sounded so promising but under delivered. It sounded so intriguing; Graces husband Adam seemed like the perfect package. We are told that he is hiding a terrible secret, what could it be? The seemingly perfect man, good looking, good job, charming, everything a woman could want but it seems that beneath the surface secrets and lies were hiding. It's not until Adam suddenly disappears that Grace starts to unravel the truth about her husband and I for one was really hooked on finding out what the terrible secret was.

Unfortunately although this was a good plot line the characterisation was so weak and unbelievable that the story had little chance of succeeding for me. The plot line was slow, sometimes laboriously so and I must confess that I skim read from about
a quarter into the book.

I had worked out what was happening on early into the book but kept reading as I was not sure if there would be a twist or a curve ball somewhere but there wasn't. It was well written but just a bit boring and predictable for me so I felt a sense of anti-climax at the end and had the feeling that it wasn't worth the read which was a shame.

I can only give this 3 stars - I can't honestly say I enjoyed it - it was just OK but not a memorable read. Sorry Beth.

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

How to be Bad
How to be Bad
by E. Lockhart
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.59

4.0 out of 5 stars A summer contemporary read, 21 Jun. 2015
This review is from: How to be Bad (Paperback)
I read We Were Liars last year and I thought it was a really clever book and whizzed through it, this I was drawn to just because E.Lockhart, I was hoping for another cleverly written book with a bit of a shock perhaps.

This is a book about three girls who go on a road trip to Miami for the weekend. Each have their own reasons for wanting to go, some of which we don't find out until quite far into the book. Vicky is a fun, always up for a laugh type of girl, who is missing her boyfriend. He is currently studying at Miami university, although he has only been away for two weeks, he hasn't called Vicky and she is beginning to wonder why. Jesse is Vicky's best friend and a christian, this is where I begin to have an issue with this book. Jesse was constantly trying to bring her views and values into everything Vicky said, she was portrayed as being uptight most of the time and I just couldn't warm to her. I also really disliked the way she seemed to have a problem with Mel. Mel is the final girl on the road trip, the new girl, who moved from Canada. Mel has very few friends and is portrayed as a little insecure rich girl, she seemed to use her money to buy friendships. All the girls are waitresses at the Waffle store, this is how they all know each other. Unfortunately I don't think the characters were that well developed, I felt that even at the end of the book I still didn't know an awful lot about them.

The book is told through the perspective of all three girls along their road trip, and it spans a period of three days.

I did enjoy reading the road trip, however I think that some of the situations the girls find themselves in are a little unbelievable, the alligator close call towards the end I think was a little silly. My favourite parts were going to the keg party, meeting Marco and their trip to Disney.

This was a super quick book to read, I read it in just two sittings. This is a light, summer, contemporary read that is going to be perfect for the beach or during the holidays. I did feel a little disappointed at the end, I didn't realise that it was the end to be honest and I was left wanting a little bit more as I thought it didn't feel finished. Saying this I did like the ending, it was sweet. I am still left with quite a few questions though about a couple of the girls and it would have been nice for these to have been answered, unless this is going to be the first in a series? I haven't heard anything about that though. But then again I don't think this was meant to be a deep book, it was just a light easy going read.

Even though I did have a few issues with the book, overall I enjoyed it and believe it set out to do what it was intended for.

The three different authors I am assuming have written a character each, I personally do not know who wrote which character, however I have only read one book by E. Lockhart and nothing by the other authors. You can find out if you want to know once you have finished reading.

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

Percy & Reed Smooth Sealed and Sensational Volumising No Oil Oil For Fine Hair 60 ml
Percy & Reed Smooth Sealed and Sensational Volumising No Oil Oil For Fine Hair 60 ml
Price: £14.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hair is softer but this product didn't seem to fight frizz., 20 Jun. 2015
I was intrigued by this product when it arrived as it looks like an oil but apparently isn't one. I like to make my hair smoother but I don't like the look of oil on my hair - it leaves it greasy looking and I have to wash it the following day. This is something that didn't happen with the product, I could put it in my hair when it was wet and then blow dry it. It didn't make it less frizzy but I found my hair was softer and seems stronger.

I would say that a little goes along way, I have found if I put too much in, then it will turn my hair greasy so really make sure you read how many drops to use.

Will I purchase this product again? Yes I think I would, its £14 so not too expensive for an oil and it does make my hair seem softer. I only wish it could have made it less frizzy too.

theBalm Stainiac Beauty Queen Tinted Gel Blush 8.5 g
theBalm Stainiac Beauty Queen Tinted Gel Blush 8.5 g
Offered by reloads
Price: £14.90

5.0 out of 5 stars A little drying on the lips, however love the product and will purchase again, 19 Jun. 2015
To begin with I was a little worried when I received this in my Birchbox, I thought the colour was too bright just by looking at it and I didn't think it would last very long at all. I was wrong on all accounts. When applying it to the lips I found it to be a gel consistency, which took a little longer to dry than more water based tints. I thought this was a good thing as it gave you time to smudge the colour if you wanted to. The only negative I have about this product is the fact my lips felt very dry after using and I would then use a lip balm over the top to moisturise them.

This product apparently can be used on your cheeks too, so it doubles up as a 2 in 1 which is great, I haven't actually used this on my cheeks yet. It lasts quite a long time, however you would need to carry it around with you to reapply throughout the day, but it is much more lasting than a lip stick.

Would I buy this again? After trying the product for quite a while now any early on worries I had about it have vanished and I actually really like the brand. This is £10 full size to buy and I think as it is so long lasting this is a good price, I will be purchasing it again in the future.

Cowshed Knackered Cow Relaxing Body Lotion 300 ml
Cowshed Knackered Cow Relaxing Body Lotion 300 ml
Offered by RetailBeauty
Price: £17.68

5.0 out of 5 stars Left me feeling very relaxed, 19 Jun. 2015
To be honest this suits me down to the ground with it's name, I cam constantly knackered after work and I have used this after showering in the evening. The slight lavender sent really has relaxed me and made me ready for bed. I had 100ml sample size of this to try, full price is £18 and you get 300ml for that, which is a decent size. Would I be buying this when mine runs out? I think I would, it is a lovely product, which makes my skin silky and smooth. I cannot wait to try out Cowshed's other products.

Benefit Cosmetics LOLLIBALM Hydrating Tinted Lip Balm
Benefit Cosmetics LOLLIBALM Hydrating Tinted Lip Balm

4.0 out of 5 stars Could do with staying on a little longer., 19 Jun. 2015
I think this is actually a really great product, my lips feel incredibly soft when using this and I can actually feel the butter coming through the product. This does come in different shades and I choose the pinkish one, which does go really well with my skin tone. I do have one negative about this product and that is it didn't seem to last very long on my lips after half and hour to an hour I found I needed to reapply. This was a disappointment, however I have got a small handbag sized one as well so I keep this handy in my bag.

This costs £14.50, which is a lot for a lip balm, however I was hoping it was going to last a long time, I guess I will have to wait and see on that one, only hoping it does as I would be tempted to purchase this again if it is.

Finding Audrey
Finding Audrey
by Sophie Kinsella
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £7.00

5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for Kinsella fans, 12 Jun. 2015
This review is from: Finding Audrey (Hardcover)
When I heard that Sophie Kinsella was releasing a YA book I knew I had to read it and the fact I was lucky enough to get my hands on an ARC I needed to read it right away. Personally I feel this was a bit of a risk from Kinsella, we have all grown to love the Shopaholic series and although I thought the last book in particular was not up to usual standards I wouldn't change her writing style for anything.

Finding Audrey, is written in a different style and to be honest if I had covered the authors name when I picked up the book I would not have known it was written by her. I think this really shows how talented as an author Kinsella is. For her to be able to step inside the mind of a 14 year old and tell the story so brilliantly and make you as the reader believe everything Audrey is going through makes this a success.

The plot centres around Audrey and her family, Audrey is suffering from social anxiety order, which the more you read you begin to see into her past. Her mum seems to be obsessed with Frank (Audrey's brother) for always being online playing a game and listens to everything that the Daily Mail print! The story is mainly told through Audrey's perspective and through this you can see an insight into how she sees the relationship of others in her family. Audrey also films as part of her progression and some of the book is laid out in script format.

I enjoyed reading about all the characters in the story and I really loved reading about Linus and Audrey when they are exchanging notes through the door, I found this really heartwarming and I could see this playing out in my mind. I felt that Kinsella really allowed me, the reader to get inside the characters head and feel what they were feeling. Before reading this book I knew nothing about social anxiety order but from reading this I could begin to understand how people with this condition feel.

Throughout the book there were moments of humor, however it was more of a heartwarming tale about a family going through something traumatic and how they deal with it as a family, and I think family is the key in this book, they do all work together and look out for one another. This was something I really enjoyed reading about.

I feel that although this was a risk for Kinsella she has done the book justice, it is clear she has researched this topic well and got as much information as possible on the theme before sitting down to write. I this it was a bold move but one that has been a success, Kinsella's old and new fans are going to enjoy this novel and I hope to see more YA from Kinsella in the future.

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

Before You Die
Before You Die
by Samantha Hayes
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.07

4.0 out of 5 stars Unfortunately not as good as her last., 8 Jun. 2015
This review is from: Before You Die (Paperback)
I loved Until You're Mine by this author and so I was eager to read Before you Die, I had great expectations of another gripping white knuckle ride. D.I. Lorraine Fisher featured in Until You're Mine so I felt I already knew her quite well. This time we join her and her daughter Stella as she visits her sister Jo and her nephew Freddie in her home town of Radcote for a holiday.

I suppose that Until You're Mine was such a great novel that I was a bit disappointed by this one, it just didn't have the element of suspense for me and unlike the previous novel I guessed the murderer fairly early on. The characters were believable but not as charismatic and I didn't really connect with them as I did in Samantha Hayes previous novel. The story seemed a little bit too contrived and far fetched in this novel; what's the chances of a DCI going home to visit her family and being caught up in a spate of suicides that link her family and cause her to get involved in solving the case?

It's not so much a psychological thriller more of a crime fiction novel which I suppose was why it was disappointing as it lacked pace and suspense. I suppose for me there was nothing unexpected which, after her first novel, left me feeling a bit flat.

It was well written but just didn't hold me until the end - I hope her next novel will capture some of the suspense and drama of her first but unfortunately it was so good that anything that followed had to be spectacular which sadly Before You Die just wasn't.

I can only give this 3.5 stars as it is nothing exceptional as a crime novel and to be honest there are better crime novels than this one. I laboured through the book not raced like the last one; I kept waiting for the killer punch and there wasn't any. I hope the third book in this series will recapture some of the suspense and gripping excitement of the first novel - this one just didn't do it for me - disappointing.

I have rounded this up for Goodreads and Amazon.

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

The Sudden Departure of the Frasers
The Sudden Departure of the Frasers
Price: £3.79

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well Written, 31 May 2015
This started off really promising, a mystery with lots of intrigue. The characterisation was good, each character believable and mostly very likable and then for the first part of the book I was really anxious to read on to find out what the 'secret' was. However it didn't take long before I was becoming bored as nothing much was happening and I was tempted to 'skim read' to get to the action.

The story is based around Joe and Christy Davenport who can hardly believe their luck when they buy their ideal home for a fraction of it's worth on a sought after street in London. Moving into the 'Fraser's' house however is not what they were expecting, they encounter a very hostile reception and Christy is determined to find out why the sellers moved so quickly and what secrets are keeping her neighbours from being neighbourly.

I liked the stories being run as parallels from chapter to chapter through the book of the two main characters Christy and Amber and this helped to build the plot up nicely. However with 500 pages to wade through without getting any closer to 'the secret' until at least 2/3rds into the novel I found it was a bit too long and protracted for me. When the 'secret' started to unfold I had already worked it out anyway and just kept hoping there was a curve ball at the end - there wasn't.

To be honest because I had guessed the ending it was a bit of a let down as it was very predictable. You have to invest so much reading time to get to 'the action' when really there is no 'action' to get to at the end. Although well written and good overall pacing I just felt that it fell flat at the end leaving me feeling disappointed. Such a shame but because of this I can only really give it 3 stars.

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

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