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Kirsty at Book - Love - Bug (Hampshire, UK)

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Disclaimer
Disclaimer
by Renée Knight
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £7.00

5.0 out of 5 stars GripLit at its finest!, 26 April 2015
This review is from: Disclaimer (Hardcover)
Disclaimer is crafted in such a way that it forces your mind to race ahead with the logical part panting behind it, desperately trying to catch up. A sentence later and you're taken back to square one once more.

The narration of the chapters alternates and the varying perspectives allow you to get inside the head of the very different characters, which I think means the reader can get more out of the book.

The first part of the book is a desperate page turner although that dampens, but only very very slightly, as you get further into the story. If I had to fault it, it would be down to a lack of reaction from Catherine towards her husband at one of the pinnacle points of the book. It is impossible to say much about the storyline without giving too many spoilers away, as it is such a fabulously crafted rollercoaster.

A phycological thriller about revenge and deadly assumptions. A very clever premise using the works of fiction in this way ("any resemblence to persons living or dead is purely coincidental...") and not something which I had come across before. Disclaimer would definitely fall into the new genre of books, created by the fabulous @MarianKeyes, #GripLit.

There is said to be significant film interest and I can easily see this becoming a bestselling blockbuster.


A Good Catch
A Good Catch
Price: £4.72

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great book to have at the ready this summer, especially if you are venturing down to Cornwall!, 26 April 2015
This review is from: A Good Catch (Kindle Edition)
I had not read any of Fern's previous books so I was not sure what to expect. I was instantly drawn in by the prologue, which is intriguing and wets your appetite before launching you back into the past. You then follow Greer, Loveday, Mickey and Jesse right from childhood into adulthood and the next generation. I really liked Fern's style of writing; it was easy to read but descriptive enough to conjure up vivid images in your mind.

Fern covers the timeframe well as you feel like you have lived through the generations with the characters and do not feel anything substantial is missing. Fern also captures the feelings and tensions perfectly; I could feel the strength of emotions coming off the page as the reader witnesses the feelings between the various characters develop and also as the overriding importance of Jesse following his father's footsteps in the family business and doing whatever it takes to keep the family business alive and successful became clear.

A Good Catch is about following your heart and the effect that regrets can have on your life if you do not do so. It is hard to say that this is a lovely story as it has a backdrop of sadness and lost opportunities, however, it is an enjoyable tale and it is well told. A great book to have at the ready this summer, especially if you are venturing down to Cornwall!

A Good Catch is not in the slightest predictable; I had no idea what was going to happen until it had happened. Fern brought the fictional fishing town of Trevay to life and I hope that it is somewhere we get to visit again with Fern in the future. The ending of A Good Catch is such that it leaves the aftermath of the situation to your imagination and it would be nice to catch up with the characters again in the future as it left me wanting to know more.


Lucy Sullivan Is Getting Married
Lucy Sullivan Is Getting Married
by Marian Keyes
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Keyes has an incredibly special way of writing, 12 April 2015
I'll admit that it took me a little bit longer to get into this book than it did with Watermelon but nonetheless, it is still fabulous. Each of the characters are unique, completed defined and exceptionally well-developed.

Lucy makes you want to bash her over the head as she keeps going for the wrong man and fails to see what is right in front of her face, and you have to wait right until the very end to breathe a sigh of relief, but the journey to the end is fun.

Marian's books could never be described as pure chick lit fairytales as they also cover other real issues; in this case depression and alcoholism. Her books always stand out from the crowd, as they are proper stories. You don't feel like you are reading a book, instead you feel like you're living it. This comes from the fact that the books are packed full of detail (but not in a way that you find yourself bored out of your mind) and you don't feel like anything is missing; no stone has been left unturned. An incredibly special way of writing.


Watermelon
Watermelon
by Marian Keyes
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars An exceptional debut - a timeless classic!, 3 April 2015
This review is from: Watermelon (Paperback)
It has been such a long time since I have read the early books of Marian Keyes, so whilst I know I love them, I can't remember any specifics about them (other than the fabulous Walsh family, in some of them). I realised this when I recently read The Mystery of Mercy Close and recognised the Walsh family names but couldn't place what they were like in their own books.

I adored Watermelon. Claire has the most awful thing happen to her when her husband leaves her on the same day as she gives birth to her baby girl, and she returns to Ireland to her Mammy. What follows is Claire's grief and utter meltdown and yet, you will find yourself laughing out loud at this book. It has been a while since I physically laughed out loud at a book, but Marian Keyes manages to produce such wonderful one-liners and she makes it look absolutely effortless.

You get a real feel for each of the characters right from the very outset; they are all so well-defined and there is not any question in the reader's mind as to who they are and what they stand for. I loved the interactions between each of the members of the Walsh family.

Whilst this book is now nearly 20 years old (!!!!), it is still absolutely fabulous, and for a debut book, it is exceptionally good. There isn't a single thing I don't like about it. It is funny, engaging, romantic with a dollop of justice thrown in. The extra fabulous thing is that you get to keep tabs on the family members as you follow on with Marian Keyes books as a number of them feature the Walsh family. I think this is the sort of book you could read over and over again.


The A to Z of You and Me
The A to Z of You and Me
by James Hannah
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Echoes of a Rachel Joyce book (The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry) and also Rowan Coleman (The Memory Book), 3 April 2015
This is an impressive debut from James Hannah, who has an incredible way of bringing Ivo's final weeks to the page. The story is told, essentially through memories as well as the present day after Ivo's nurse suggests he play the A to Z game, where you think of a body part beginning with each letter of the alphabet and tell yourself a story associated with that body part. This game is exactly how we learn all about Ivo's past and how he has ended up where he is and the person he is today.

Despite the disjointed nature of this way of imparting the story, it works very effectively. The stories that come out of each body part are not directly linked and they do jump around but somehow as a reader you manage to latch on to the strong thread which links everything and ultimately all the other side threads become one and everything becomes clear.

You might not agree with the main characters life choices, but the story is very moving and is likely to bring back memories for many people who have sat by the bedside of a loved one in their last few weeks. I loved Sheila and her manner. Ultimately, it is heartbreaking and it does make you realise how short life is and how you really do need to enjoy every breath, every step, every ray of sunlight...

I liked the sentimental aspect which came from the blanket which Ivo has with him, and on that note, watch out for something special from the publishers around the date of publication on 12 March 2015.

The A to Z of Me and You certainly does have echoes of a Rachel Joyce book (The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry) and also Rowan Coleman (The Memory Book).

Thank you to the publishers, Doubleday, for the advanced copy of The A to Z of Me and You in exchange for my honest review.


Deja Vu
Deja Vu
by Susan Giles
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Deja Vu, 7 Mar. 2015
This review is from: Deja Vu (Paperback)
I have found it difficult to write this book review, and I think that is because I did not have any particularly overwhelming feelings about this book. I didn't fall in love with any character and I didn't fall in love with any of the locations either. However, I didn't hate it either.

It did not grip me in the way that I had imagined and I found it to be a little meandering without any major impacts from the storyline; I did not encounter any twists or turns that particularly shocked me. There were no sub-plots to speak of and I think I could count the number of major points in the storyline on one hand. The main characters were a bit two-dimensional and the sex scenes, whilst 'explicit' were not, in my opinion, particularly shocking. I have not read 50 Shades of Grey but I cannot imagine it is any 'worse' than that.

That said, the writing was good and I read the entire book but I did not feel emotionally invested.


Tiny acts of love
Tiny acts of love
by Lucy Lawrie
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A really powerful message but in a gentle and subtle way, 1 Mar. 2015
This review is from: Tiny acts of love (Paperback)
I thought that Tiny Acts of Love sent a really powerful message but in a gentle and subtle way. The post-natal depression element of the storyline could easily have overwhelmed and taken over but it does not overpower in the slightest. In fact, the descriptions and ultimate message, which does not show itself truly until the very end of the book, could apply to anybody and the way that they feel about life in general; it is certainly not limited to post-natal depression. You definitely do not need to be a mother to read and enjoy this book.

There were lots of different threads and sub-plots to this book, which meandered alongside the main storyline and I enjoyed every single one of them. Elements of the story may come across as slightly far-fetched but it is a fun book and the characters draw you in so you do not necessarily realise you are reading about the craziness that you are. Each of those sub-plots are dealt with in a perfect manner and are each ultimately tied up for the reader.

A great read, there were good twists along the way and an entirely satisfying ending that contained a very powerful message which I think will resonate with a lot of people, parents or not. There are paragraphs in the final epilogue of the book that made something click inside my head and they will stay with me for a long time. An exceptionally well-crafted debut novel from Lucy Lawrie.

And once you've read Tiny Acts of Love, you can head over to Lucy's website where Lucy has turned parts of the story around and written them from another characters point of view, which I really love as you get to see the flip side to the story which is not always as you, the reader, conjure up in your mind.

Thank you to Black and White Publishing for the copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.


Heavenly Lilies
Heavenly Lilies
Price: £4.64

2.0 out of 5 stars An excellently crafted book, just not for me, 18 Feb. 2015
This review is from: Heavenly Lilies (Kindle Edition)
This book was not at all what I thought it was going to be from reading the back of the book, which gives a lot less away than the above description which is taken from the publisher's website. I thought it was going to be more focused on being a jury member in a high profile case, but in reality that only features at the very beginning and is the catalyst for the remainder of the book.

This book reminded me of The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan, which was long listed for the Booker Prize and won the Guardian First Book Award, but was a book that I simply could not get on with. Yes, you can tell from this blog that I do like "chick-lit" but, being a lawyer, I am perfectly capable of enjoying "intellectual reads". However, I found it hard to read Heavenly Lilies, and not only because of the subject matter. It is definitely not a book you should try and read whilst you are tired. It requires your full concentration, and despite the fact I did not love it, it deserves your full attention too because it is exceptionally well crafted.

The constant switching of perspectives is disconcerting and I sometimes found it difficult to work out whose perspective I was reading about. However, Alison Leonard has done a truly amazing job of weaving together all the threads to create a story that does work exceptionally well. It certainly is not a quick read and it requires your full patience and attention. From the other reviews on Amazon, it is clear that for people who do enjoy this type of book, this will be up there with the best.

Thank you to the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.


Thirteen Weddings
Thirteen Weddings
Price: £1.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Team Alex or Team Lachie?, 8 Feb. 2015
This review is from: Thirteen Weddings (Kindle Edition)
I sit here having just read this book in one sitting of around five solid hours and wonder what I can say about this book that fans of Paige Toon will not already know. It has been a while since I have picked up a Paige Toon book, but I have missed her writing and have been looking forward to this book reaching the top of my TBR pile. Her books are divine, and always have been. After just a few pages of Thirteen Weddings, I remember why she is one of the best chick lit authors ever.

Thirteen Weddings starts with a first chapter which draws you in and leaves you wishing you could meet a man like Alex in an eighties club whilst on a hen do you don't really want to be at. You are immediately left on a bit of a cliff hanger as the book then jumps a year and a half forward (and part of me longs for it to have continued without a break). What follows is a complicated web which soon becomes a love triangle when Bronte meets Lachie at a wedding. The relationships and interactions contained in this book are likely to leave you as confused as Bronte.

I loved the wedding photography aspect. The descriptions of various weddings were captivating and this was a career I had not read about before. It was interesting to read (never boring or repetitive) and I liked the variety of characters that it brought to the page.

I also loved getting to re-visit Lily and Ben from Pictures of Lily, a book which I adored and still have fond memories of, despite it being three and a half years since I read it. I think there are other 'friends from the past' contained within (but I must own up and say I have not read every Paige Toon book going - something which I must rectify this year!)

I have to be honest and say that I do not know how I feel about the ending. I felt more love for one of the guys in this book than the other, and I kind of wish things had turned out differently, but I can entirely see why things turned out how they did. Girls - are you on Team Alex or Team Lachie?


Underclass 7
Underclass 7
by T. K. Williams-Nelson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

3.0 out of 5 stars A great concept, could have done with a bit more fine tuning, 8 Feb. 2015
This review is from: Underclass 7 (Paperback)
I really liked the concept of this book; it had the potential to be totally absorbing and utterly gripping but I feel like it needed just a little bit more fine tuning. For me, I was constantly aware that I was reading a book and I did not get totally lost within the story in the way that I thought I would. I think that came from a combination of things. I found that some things did not quite add up, for example, Foss sharing a bottle of rosé wine on an evening in with his girl did not fit in with his image at all. In addition, I understand that the author was trying to set the scene and the background to the characters, but I found their constant over-drinking (and, in particular, them then getting behind the wheel of a car) somewhat draining.

I would have liked a little more suspense throughout the entirety of the book. I did not find there was any drawn out areas where the reader is drip fed clues to build the suspense and make the reader draw wild conclusions. Instead, there is a reference throughout to the stones that Foss takes from the house and it is fairly obvious from the beginning that they have something to do with the downfall of the characters and I found it frustrating that they were brought to our attention so often but that Foss simply disregarded them each time.

I loved the link to the 7 deadly sins and thought the outcome of their predicament was a fabulous revelation which I had not seen coming at all and I just wish that, somehow, more could have been made of it. The last chapter, which jumps forward 18 months, is fabulous. It lulls you into a false sense of security and then bang, it leaves you on a cliffhanger that will leave you willing the sequel to arrive (and I understand from the author that there will be a sequel in time).

It sounds, from this review, as though I did not enjoy Underclass 7 and that is far from the truth. This honest review highlights areas which, as a reviewer, jumped off the page to me, but I would not hesitate to read the sequel (I am dying to know what happens!) and I think this author has real potential. I see from her biography that Tannika (alongside being an author) is a student - currently studying Criminal Justice at university. Her biography says she hopes to write a crime trilogy in the future and think that has the potential to be up there with the best.


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