Never Saw it Coming by Linwood Barclay: A Little too Predictable

Review Pic

WP_20160823_17_43_58_Pro_zps04q6yywp

Yep, the title wasn’t very apt for this book, in my humble opinion. I actually saw an awful lot of the plot coming, which is why I was actually really enjoying it … until the last couple of chapters and it went downhill a little for me.

But, I enjoyed it. It struck me as quite an easy read and quick to get through; I read it within around 4-5 days. It’s sometimes nice to read a shorter book (Nice for my Goodreads 2016 Challenge, too, which I’m really lagging in, so it’s good to get through a book quickly and have one more in the bag!)

Okay, so this book wasn’t on my TBR or anything. I bought it for just £1 in WHSmiths (with this voucher I got from a newspaper). But there’s actually a long story behind me having to get this book, involving my sister, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child , a fly, and the book being confiscated from me, but I’ll try and keep it short, aha!


(Short Version of the Long Story Behind Why I Read This Book)

So yeah, I was borrowing Harry Potter and the Cursed Child from my sister whilst I was away on holiday. She had devoured it within three days and she was desperate for me to read it so she could talk about it with me. It was all going well and I was 150 pages in and ABSOLUTELY LOVING IT. So this holiday home we were staying at (which, by the way, was AMAZING – it had a swimming pool and everything, it was just excellent) was right next door to some riding stables, hence, there was an awful lot of flies around, outside, in the house, everywhere.

Now, I can’t stand insects (like, I can’t even be in the same room as one), so when there was a big ugly bluebottle in my bedroom one night, I used the nearest available object (yep, you guessed it: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) to swot it… Honestly, I just panic and poor Harry Potter and the Cursed Child took the brunt of my phobia that night… Unfortunately my sister saw this quick swot as a serious offence which had damaged the book beyond belief (apparently there was blood and a squashed fly on the back of the book, afterwards😮 ) and she ripped it off me, so I had to put that book on hold until I’d persuaded her to let me borrow it from her again.

But… do not fear… I will be reading that book at some point in the near future – even if I have to creep into her room at night and steal the book and read it under my duvet.

Just thinking…I really hope she’s not reading this post!!😮

So I hadn’t brought any other books away with me, so I ended up buying Never Saw It Coming by Linwood Barclay… Phew, I told you it was a long story…


(And Now Swiftly Getting Back to My Review…)

WP_20160823_16_29_57_Pro_zpsri6vwu9dRight, back to Never Saw It Coming: it’s a thriller, and I was hooked by the mysterious blurb. The book is basically about a con-artist: Keisha Ceylon, who pretends to be a physic and goes to families that she has seen on the news, pleading for information about lost relatives, etc, claiming that she has visions about their whereabouts. And she asks for money upfront as a charge for this service.

When Keisha accidentally correctly predicts what has happened to a man who’s wife has disappeared, she puts herself in serious danger.

I actually didn’t expect this book to be quite as good as it was. I hadn’t heard anything about it before I picked it up and read it – or the author either, as far as I can remember, so I thought it might just be quite, I dunno, poor, badly written, unexciting, but of course, just because it’s not that well-known, doesn’t mean it is any of those things… The writing was actually really good, and I loved how fast-moving the book was. It was a good “quick read”. You could also dip in and out of it and not feel like you had to sit down and properly read it to get into it, so it was perfect for on holiday, really.

The weak points, in my opinion, were the characters, who weren’t very well-developed. The narration of the story; now this might be just personal preference, but I just don’t think that third person worked very well for this story, I think it would have been better told from first person. And finally, the predictability of the plot wasn’t good.

But it kept me entertained, and it wasn’t as if the weak points made the book unbearable to read. It was a good book, and I’m going to give it a star rating for three stars out of five. I can certainly see why it’s not up there with Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train and one I read recently: The Swimming Pool, however, definitely worth a read!:-)


So I hope that you enjoyed my review (and the bonus story that came with it, aha!)

Thank you for reading my review, everyone!

Poppy sticker

The Entertainer Blogger Award

Award

Hiya Everyone, I’m back from my holiday to… the rainy North East of England. How depressing!😦 But while I was away, I’ve been nominated for The Entertainer Blogger Award and so I’m going to be doing this tag today. I’ve not really seen anyone do this award until Nielle from Nielle Reads Books tagged me – thank you Nielle, so this should be interesting! I’ll warn you that the questions are very… random… as long as you know, it wasn’t me who made them up, ahaha. :-) First of all: the rules:


The Rules

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  2. Add these rules to your post.
  3. Answer all the questions below.
  4. Display the award picture in your post.
  5. Nominate 12 other bloggers who are funny, inspiring and most important of all ENTERTAINING!

Hope you enjoy this post, everyone!


the entertainer blogger award

The Questions

Q1. Why did you start a blog in the first place?

A1. There wasn’t really a specific reason, to be honest. I just knew I read a lot and would like to discuss books with other book-lovers. Also, I love writing and I thought reviewing could really benefit me, as a writer. And finally, I thought it might help me broaden my reading horizons a little, because I used to only read quite a small number of genres, so I thought that seeing other books that other bloggers were talking about, might encourage me to read different things, too. So it was a combination of things, really.

Q2. What is your favourite book?

A2. Ooh… this is a difficult one!

I’m tempted to say: the last one I read, because this really does seem to be the case with me sometimes… But I do have my all-time favourites. I am sorry, but I can’t just give you one specific answer, ahaha. So here is my (rather long) list of favourites: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Ransom Riggs), Me Before You (Jojo Moyes), Dark Places (Gillian Flynn), Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (J.K.Rowling), Before I Go to Sleep (S.J.Watson) and… the one I read last… The Swimming Pool by Louise Candlish!

Q3. What do you dislike the most?

A3. I’m not sure whether my answer should be book related or just general… My book-related dislike is when you have to read a book in an allotted amount of time (or feel pressured to) say if you have borrowed the book from the Library or lent it from a friend.

Q4. What is your favourite food item from the mall?

A4. Millionaire’s Shortbread… Yummy!

Q5. What is your favourite pastime?

A5. Writing, reading, exercising, spending time with friends/family, blogging, listening to music, etc, etc.:-)


 I Nominate…

  1. Olivia Emily @ LibroLive
  2. Jasmine @ How Useful It is
  3. Grab the Labels
  4. Little Fantasy Land
  5. Dez @ The Fun in Reading Books
  6. Anne @ I’ve Read This
  7. Jo @ My Chestnut Reading Tree
  8. Sammie @ Bookshelves and Biros
  9. Vivian @ Viviheartbooks
  10. The Orang-utan Librarian
  11. Lynn @ Lynn Thaler
  12. Jess @ JBelk Books

Thank you for reading this post!

And thanks again to Nielle for tagging me!

Hope you enjoyed this post.:-)

Poppy sticker

Dripping in Drama: The Swimming Pool by Louise Candlish

Woah – I did not expect so much from Louise Candlish’s The Swimming Pool. This is a book Ithe swimming pool recently borrowed from  a family member and devoured in four days (which is a short length of time to read a book for me). This book is surely the “must-read” of the summer. If you’re going abroad for days by the pool, or just staying at home dreaming of such places, then this is the book for you.

You all know, I love a thriller, and I haven’t read one for a while; starting The Swimming Pool was jumping straight back in the deep end (pun intended). It is so full of tension, intrigue and drama. I love a book that switches from one time to another and Louise Candlish pulled it off excellently in this book. And the characters… don’t get me started on how brilliant the characters were!

The narrator of this story is a middle aged woman called Natalie and the thriller is basically about her befriending a very glamorous family – the Channing’s, who are the reason behind the reopening of a local swimming pool. Lara Channing is an ex-synchronised swimming champion and she has been on a mission to reopen the local lido, and when it does open, she meets Natalie. They both become friends from the start, to the disapproval of Natalie’s husband, Ed, and together, they embrace a summer that they will never forget. But will that be for the right reasons?

So the view points of the story are all from Natalie’s point of view (except from the epilogue), but one p.o.v is in the present day, one p.o.v is from so many weeks earlier, and the last is from 1985, when Natalie was a teenager.

The book is fast paced and consistently interesting, and it quite hard to put down at times.

I thought that the stage of this book, the swimming pool, was really effective, and as I said, it makes it perfect for reading around this time of year. And the characters were so well developed, as the story progressed, which made it hard to think about accusing anyone of being a villain! Everyone seems to have something to hide.

Fabulous, just fabulous, loved every page. This thriller is stylish, addictive and perfect for summer evenings. I will undoubtedly be checking out more of Louise Chandlish’s books because I love the way she writes. I’m awarding this book 5 stars, because it’s something I’m not going to forget easily.

Thanks for reading my review, everyone! I hope your all enjoying some nice sunshine! We are – I’m on holiday at the moment in a gorgeous big house – with a swimming pool, ahaha! So you might not hear from me for a few days, haha ☺

 

After You by Jojo Moyes: Was there any need for a sequel?


Review Pic

piano


Hi everyone! Today I’m reviewing the sequel to what I have just decided is literally my book of the year so far: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. I reviewed this book back in May here and told you all how I’d fallen in love with the characters, the setting of the book, the bond that Will and Louisa shared… Just everything, really!

It’s a beautiful story, so when I saw that Jojo Moyes had written a sequel… well I was quite confused really. I was quite happy with the way the first book had ended, all my questions were answered, except the big one which I thought Jojo Moyes would be happy to leave to the reader’s imagination: What happened to Louisa afterwards? Despite my love of Me before You, I felt cautious about reading the sequel, I didn’t want it to spoil the first book for me. But when I saw it in Waterstones half price, I decided to take the risk and buy a copy and read it.

When I read the blurb, I was then immediately desperate to read it – and I’m so glad I did! Before I go any further, there is a slightly big spoiler in my review for Me Before You, the first book (as if the title of this sequel wasn’t a big enough spoiler, haha) so just bear that in mind! But this is a spoiler-free review for After You.:-)


So, at the beginning of After You, we discover that Louisa is working in the bar of an airport. Which disappointed me a little – what had happened to the whole moral of the previous story: Just live? Will had taught Louisa to live a whole life of adventure, he proved how much potential she had in her. But she had decided to work in a bar, after travelling hadn’t worked out very well for her.

after youShe has a flat close by, funded by her inheritance, and it seems that her life has dipped to the same boring level as it was when she was working in the ‘Buttered Bun’, the teashop back in her home town. And she is still very much grieving Will.😦

But then things change; Louisa falls off a very high building and injures herself badly: (at which point, I had the whole story figured out; she hires a carer, who she falls in love with, and then figures that she doesn’t want to go on like this, so she goes to Dignitas…😦 But of course, I was wrong – phew :-)  ) Nah, but Louisa does meet a very… dashing… paramedic, who she rather likes the look of, in the process of her accident.

So yeah, when she’s recovered, Louisa goes back to working at the airport, tormented by a horrible boss, a highly humiliating uniform and still a big hole in her life where Will used to be. To try and sort things out, she starts attending a ‘Moving On’ club for people who have lost somebody close to them.

The humour in this book is just as brilliant as it was in the first book, but it also has a very sad streak running right through the entire book – unlike the first book, which is surprising because I suppose the first book deals with darker themes such as Will’s plans to go to Dignitas. But yeah, I had a tear in my eye several times during this book, mainly at Louisa’s lowest points, when she is grieving Will, and I missed him so much, too. Somehow Louisa just didn’t seem complete without his company.

There is quite a big surprise in this book in the form of a mysterious person trying to get in touch with Louisa, regarding Will. I really grew quite fond of this mysterious character, who becomes quite close to Louisa, and thought that it was a really clever idea to revolve the story around a “Will-related figure”.

Overall, this book went way beyond my expectations – I wouldn’t say it was as good as Me Before You, but it was a very good book and it was really interesting to see Louisa’s progress after Will’s death. I loved this book and I’m so glad I read it!

I’m giving it four stars out of five because it wasn’t as good as the first book, but I personally see it as a very successful sequel:

four star


Have You Read This Book?

  • Have you read After You? Were you impressed or disappointed?
  • Have you read Me Before You? Are you planning on reading the sequel?
  • Were you surprised Jojo Moyes wrote a sequel?

Thanks for reading my review!

Poppy sticker

Discussion | Judging Books Before You Read Them

Hello everyone! Hope you’re all having a good weekend. I thought I’d do a discussion post today based on pre-judging books before you’ve read them. I’m guessing we’re all slightly guilty of this one! My post is going to be about all the different ways we could judge a book before reading it and whether it’s a good or bad thing. I hope you enjoy the discussion and I’d love to hear what your opinions are in the comments below – enjoy!


 judging books before you read them


Ok, so we pre-judge a lot of things in life in general – but would us book-lovers really pre-judge booksI think that the answer is yes, so I decided to do a post on just a few of the different ways in which we could pre-judge books. So are you ready to admit to some bad bookish habits?!


The Length of a Book

WP_20160806_17_26_14_Pro

Go on – admit it! Have you ever been put off by the length of a book? There are some really long books out there now and I personally, just think that stuff like A Game of Thrones and the later Harry Potter books are so long, and I find it quite daunting really, picking up a book like that. I question if I will have the will-power to finish it and am put of by the fact that if I don’t it will have felt like a waste of time. But then I also think that people might be put off by shorter books too, guessing that they will be brief, maybe episodic and uneventful.

But of course, the length of a book shouldn’t be important. I get really attached to most books I read and I’m always wishing that they were 100+ pages longer, ahaha, so yeah, maybe length shouldn’t be such a big thing. However, I can empathize with readers who are discouraged by a very thick book because it can turn into a bit of a chore, rather than pleasure, ploughing through a book if it’s like twice the size of an average book.


The Cover of a Book

WP_20160804_14_15_29_Pro

Despite the old saying: “Never judge a book by it’s cover”, we all love our book covers, and if it doesn’t look great, well, you’re not really going to feel compelled to pick it up and read more about it, are you, let alone buy it? There are some great covers out there, so I think it’s quite important to have a striking cover for a book – a cover is what draws you in and attracts you to the book, so it’s important that it’s good and sets the scene for the book.

On the other hand, can you really safely judge whether to buy a book or not based on the cover? My reply would be that no, you can’t. You see some great covers, but the quality of the cover doesn’t necessarily correlate with the quality of the book itself. But yeah, I would say that a cover is what originally draws you in, so it is quite important!:-)


Issues the book deals with

books1122

Books deal with some touchy subjects nowadays, such as suicide, disability, illnesses, sexualities, etc, so if you saw that a book was going to be based around a certain subject like this that you thought might be uncomfortable or depressing to read about, you might be put off by it, however I’ve read some great books recently based on subjects that I’ve imagined I might not enjoy reading about.

A prime example for me is Me Before You by Jojo Moyes – a book about a man with a disability. I thought that it might just be really depressing and everything, however it was a very light-hearted and happy book, which was very refreshing to see.

I think it’s good to be open to subjects to read about and very open-minded, otherwise, you are limiting yourself, and missing out on some great reads!


WP_20160806_17_30_54_Pro Hyped up Books

There are so many hyped up books nowadays, it would be easy just to base your reading list off what other people are enjoying, but you shouldn’t be put off picking up a book that you haven’t heard much about. There are some fabulous books out there, that haven’t been given their due credit yet.

I mean, it’s absolutely fine to follow trends as we established in my last discussion post: Do you Follow Bookish Trends , but it’s obviously important to remember that not all the best books are the ones everyone’s talking about. So I would say it’s important to not judge books on whether they are up there in other people’s ‘favourites lists’. Each have their own tastes after all!


I’m Guilty of Quite a Few!

Well – them all really, to a certain extent, haha!  I’m a big lover of beautiful front covers – there’s something very special about carrying around a book with a lovely front cover – especially if it’s a great book as well!

My ideal page-count for a book is around the 350-450 mark, otherwise it’s either over too fast, or too dragged out for my liking – I’m so fussy!

I’m not really put off by subjects that books deal with, especially now I’ve discovered some really good ones dealing with issues I wouldn’t have once felt comfortable reading about, but no, now I am very open-minded, to be honest.

And, yeah, I am curious when it comes to hyped up books, but I don’t mind giving lesser well known books a try too!


How About You?

  • Do you sometimes find yourself pre-judging books?
  • Can you think of any other ways in which you could pre-judge a book?
  • Can you think of a time when you pre-judged a book and were proven wrong?
  • Did you enjoy this discussion topic?
  • Did you agree with the examples I raised?

Let me know what you think in the comments below!


Hope you enjoyed this Discussion!

Thank you very much for reading, everyone!

Poppy sticker

 

July Wrap-up

wr

Hi everyone! It’s the first day of August which means that today, I’m doing July’s wrap-up post. You might have noticed last month that I didn’t do a wrap-up for June, which was because I only managed to fit one book into that hectic month! So I didn’t think that there was much point in doing a wrap-up because I’d already reviewed that book. This month, however, I’m back on form, and I’ve managed to squeeze in a grand total of three books. In case you missed my reviews on these books, here’s what I thought of them, in a nut-shell, and updates on other bookish things:


Mind Games by Teri Terry

Review here

The first book that I read this month was Mind Games by Teri Terry. I borrowed this book from a friend. It’s not something I’d pick up myself, but my friend convinced me that it was worth a read so I decided to give it a try. It was an unusual book about a girl called Luna who lived in a world where you could ‘plug in’ to a virtual world and live a life there as well as your ordinary life. I found it quite confusing and weird, but it was quite a good read. I gave this book what I now think was quite a generous star rating of four stars:

four star


The Elite by Kiera Cass

Review here

The second book I read this month was Kiera Cass’s second book in the Selection series – The Elite. I’d read the first book in May and had only just got round to continuing with the series.  I mentioned in my review how I was pleased that the whole thing took a much darker twist, so I thoroughly enjoyed this book. America’s indecisiveness did irritate me a little, but other than that, Kiera Cass got it just right in my opinion, which is why I rated it four stars:

four star


The One by Kiera Cass

Review here

And finally, I read the third book in the Selection series by Kiera Cass, and I thoroughly enjoyed this dramatic conclusion to America’s story. It was fast-paced and unexpected at times and the ending was very satisfying. I did correctly predict who America married in the ending, but I was doubting myself  when all sorts of twists happened! It was a really good book. I’m still wondering whether or not to buy the fourth and fifth in the series…? I gave The One five stars!

five star


Currently Reading: After You by Jojo Moyes

20160731_183158


July’s posts:


 Personal Updates

It’s finally the summer holidays so at last I can sit back and relaxxxx! Phew! It’s been a longmee school year.

I saw the film Me Before You earlier this month and I absolutely adored it! Sam Claflin and Emilia Clarke were amazing as Will and Louisa, and it was just a beautiful film. Usually, I’m disappointed when it comes to books being turned into films but with Me Before You I wasn’t disappointed at all. Can’t wait until it comes out on DVD now!!

My sister (who is now an even bigger Potter fan than me) went to a Harry Potter party at Waterstones on the 30th of July at midnight. In all honesty, I was at home and in bed at that time, but she said it was great and the best bit… she came home with a copy of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child which I will be prising out of her hands when she’s finished it in a couple of days, haha! Can’t wait to see what it’s like and I’ll keep you all updated on that!

reading challengeI don’t know if I told any of you, but I am participating in the Goodreads 2016 Reading Challenge, and although I’m not doing the best or any where near as good as I thought I’d be doing, I suppose I’m doing OK. I’ve gone from being five books ahead of schedule to five books behind!😥 Here’s my current status on the left: <—


My August’s TBR

To tell you the truth, my TBR for August is absolutely mad! There is loads I want to read at the moment; I’ve literally got twenty books stacked on a shelf that I’ve bought in the last two months and have yet to read. Plus, I’m wanting to read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and someone has just lent me a very intriguing book called The Swimming Pool by Louise Candlish – which looks very relevant for the time of year, so I’ve got a lot to look forward to I think! As it’s the holidays, I’m going to have more time to read in one sense, but I’m going away on holiday for seven days in just over a week, so I’m guessing it’s just going to balance out to be an average reading month for me.


How’s your July been?

  • How many books have you read this month?
  • What’s your book of the month?
  • Have you got a copy of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child yet?
  • And did you see Me Before You?!
  • Have you got any holiday plans for August?

I hope you’ve all had a great month and go on to have a great August! Hope you all enjoy my Wrap-up!


Thank you for reading, everyone!

Poppy sticker

Finding Love in: The One by Kiera Cass

Review Pic

the oneHi Everyone, hope you’re all having a lovely week so far. We’ve had a few sunny days lately, which has given me the chance to get out in the garden and do some reading: hence, my picture to go with today’s review to the left! Summer might finally have arrived here in England!

Today I’m reviewing Kiera Cass’s third book in The Selection series. If you haven’t already read my reviews about the previous two books in the series, follow these links to read reviews about The Selection and The Elite. As you will know if you’ve read these past two posts, this series has really surprised me. It’s not the kind of thing that I’m typically drawn to, but I’m glad I spontaneously decided to read these books.

By the end of The Elite, I couldn’t bring myself to stop reading this series so I started The One straight away and finished it within a couple of days! Oh my goodness, this series has been full of surprises and The One is no exception. When I started The Selection I admittedly correctly foresaw the conclusion to this love story, but I didn’t think America’s journey would take quite so many unexpected twists and turns. I didn’t expect quite so many fallings out and heartbreaks. I didn’t expect the books to be quite so dark and eerie!

So America, and the other three girls: Celeste, Kriss, Elise, are still at the palace, haunted by rebels, but still they are all fighting for the ultimate prize that is Prince Maxon. There are yet more obstacles in the way of this however, including several different functions such as an event called ‘The Convicting’ and also, America has an extra load on her shoulders when she finds herself being targeted by the King thanks to her rebellious attitude towards the way he rules Illèa.

In this book, I think that America had to grow up a bit. Although I really like her character, there was a certain aspect of her personality that I disliked – and that was her indecisiveness. I’m not only talking about her struggle to chose between Aspen and Maxon, but her inability to recognise what she wanted her life to be like in the future. But in The One Aspen and Maxon are becoming impatient with her and things are actually moving without having America’s consent.

A lot of things happened in The One and I thought that it was definitely by far the most fast-paced and dramatic of all the books in the series so far. As I’ve said, there was a lot of twists and turns – there’s seriously no better way of describing it. There’s a lot of events which are both extremely unexpected and upsetting! There was a point near the end, where I thought it was all over and then BAM! – loads more stuff happened at which point literally said aloud: “WHAT?!!”

So yeah, overall, The One was a big surprise and a much more dramatic conclusion to America Singer’s story than I could have ever hoped for. The ending was sort of happy, but I was sad that several characters who I’d really become attached to died.

I’m giving this book the full five star rating for so many reasons:

  • It’s a fantastic conclusion to America’s story
  • There were  a lot of great surprises and it wasn’t as predictable as I thought
  • The standard of this series has just grown and grown

five star


Have you read this series?

So you’ve heard what I think about the series so far – but what do you think about them?

  • Were you happy with the ending to America’s story?
  • Did you guess what was going to happen?
  • Have you read the next two books in the series: The Heir and The Crown?

I’m excited about the fourth and the fifth books in the series. I think it’s a clever way to carry it on, and I am really looking forward to seeing how America is getting on. If you’ve read them, would you recommend them?

Hope you enjoyed this review!

Thank you for reading, everyone!:-)

Poppy sticker