Saturday, 25 July 2015

BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP by SJ Watson


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My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The other day I said I was in a thriller-kinda mood... and then remembered that I've had this book in my Google Play app for a while.

As soon as I started, I was hooked.

Christine wakes up every morning without any memories. She doesn't know how old she is, who the man lying beside her is, or what she did the day before. Luckily, her husband Ben answers all her questions. Every. Single. Day.

But when Dr. Nash starts to help her and encourages her to start a journal, everything changes. She decides to hide it and writes everything down. Then reads it every day.

The more she reads, the less she trusts Ben and wonders why there are so many holes in the information he provides. But delving into her past could turn deadly...

Wow. What an addictive story! I raced through this book because I couldn't wait to find out where Christine's suspicions were going to lead. The conclusion is so messed up, but fascinating.

Loved this book, and enjoyed studying the clues as Christine uncovered them. It was also such a sad story. I can't imagine how awful it would be to forget your life every time you fall asleep. :(

Great book!

Thursday, 23 July 2015

I LET YOU GO by Clare Mackintosh

A tragic accident. It all happened so quickly. She couldn't have prevented it. Could she?

In a split second, Jenna Gray's world descends into a nightmare. Her only hope of moving on is to walk away from everything she knows to start afresh. Desperate to escape, Jenna moves to a remote cottage on the Welsh coast, but she is haunted by her fears, her grief and her memories of a cruel November night that changed her life forever.
 
Slowly, Jenna begins to glimpse the potential for happiness in her future. But her past is about to catch up with her, and the consequences will be devastating . . .


The other day I finished reading a Domestic Noir book that I really enjoyed, and I was still in the mood for a thriller. Since Hachette Australia was kind enough to send me a few, I decided to read this one. I'd already heard great things about it, so I couldn't wait to get stuck into it...
 
On a rainy afternoon as a mother and her child are heading home from school, the boy becomes the victim of a hit-and-run. The mother is left in the middle of the road, screaming for help and cradling her dying son while the driver responsible flees the scene. A tragic accident soon becomes an intense investigation without too many clues.
 
Detective Inspector Ray Stevens and his team are assigned the case, but soon find themselves having to abandon the investigation for other more important ones. Ray has a lot on his plate to keep him busy as his family life is suffering because of the amount of hours his job takes, but there's something about the little boy, Jacob Jordan, that keeps nagging at him. And it's not until the one year anniversary that they get a lead.
 
When Jenna Gray jumps on a bus eager to leave behind the nightmare her life has become, she ends up in a small coastal town in Wales. There she rents a cottage and slowly, slowly starts to live again. She can't escape the tragic circumstances that brought her here, but she starts to make a nice and comfortable life for herself making friends, finding a purpose, taking care of a companion, and even a relationship. But the past has a way of catching up with you, no matter how fast or far you go...
 
OMG. This book was... Wow. I enjoyed every minute of this awesome book. Yes, even when I realised that everything presented in front of me wasn't as it seemed. But it wasn't because the story didn't make sense. Oh no! It was because the author is an amazing storyteller and wrote it in a way that throughout the whole first part I was sure I knew who and what Jenna was. But as soon as I reached the second part I had to stop, take a breath and let everything really sink in.
 
Like I said, wow!
 
The story is told in the POV of Jenna and Ray. So you get to see how Jenna struggles to move on after tragedy strikes, as well as get a glimpse into the investigation. But what was really cool was that we were also invited to share the Detective Inspector's life, so every character was humanised. Well, except for one. But I can't say anything more without spoilers.
 
This is a tricky book to review because there are so many things I want to point out and chat about, but they're all spoilers. So, this is going to have to be it. ;)
 
I Let You Go is a chilling, addictive and fascinating story that will leave you breathless. This book hooks you in and then keeps you wondering what's going to happen next, because you know something bad is hiding in the shadows. But it takes a while for you to figure out just what it is, and when you do: your mind is blown! Seriously. There are several HUGE twists in this book and the first one took me by surprise. I worked out the second, but by the time the next twist was revealed, I couldn't believe how well crafted this story was. It's tense, clever, and delves so deeply into the emotions of the characters that you become invested in them. Totally invested. 
 
This is such an awesome book, and the reason why I enjoy thrillers so much!


I Let You Go, May 2015, ISBN 9780751554151, Sphere

Monday, 20 July 2015

TARNISHED by Julia Crouch

Peg always felt a little blurred, a little lacking in definition. Her mother died when she was six, her father simply disappeared, and she was brought up by her grandparents and her obese, bedridden aunt. But, despite all this, she never developed the habit of asking questions.

At least, not until she met Loz, her straight-talking, psychotherapeutically literate girlfriend, who urges her to confront her demons.

But as the skeletons come tumbling out of the family closet and the full horror of the past begins to reveal itself, Peg starts to wonder whether her youthful lack of curiosity might not have been a good thing. A very good thing indeed...
 
 
I love reading a good thriller. So when Hachette offered to send a few Domestic Noir books my way, I was really looking forward to getting stuck into them. Unfortunately, the first one I tried didn't work for me, but this one certainly did! 
 
Peg is a quiet library assistant who doesn't cause any friction. She's been seeing her girlfriend, Loz, for a year now, and they've been living together for a while. They have a good relationship, and although they are very different--Loz is outspoken, stubborn, ambitious and determined--they're crazy about each other. But everything gets threatened the day Peg decides she wants to know more about her childhood.
 
She's never bothered to contact her absent father, although she has tried to track him down. The women who raised her--her grandmother Doll and aunty Jean--don't like to talk about the past. But after a brief and very uncomfortable visit to Spain to visit her father, Peg starts to remember things. She's writing memories down in her journal (or as her Nan called it, a Commonplace Book) and is starting to fill in some of the gaps missing from the time she was a kid.
 
However, chasing these revelations leads her down a very dangerous road that will not only reveal a bunch of awful truths she tried so hard to forget, but might end up putting both her and Loz in the path of a killer. Not to mention that the missing memories might also provide the answers to several unsolved crimes...
 
Yikes! This book is one super heavy and involved read. It totally hooked me into Peg's world and kept me there every step of the way. I have to admit that she was a little frustrating sometimes because she was indecisive and totally in the clutches of her dysfunctional family, but the personal growth she goes through as each new layer of the mystery she's chasing is revealed really impacts the reader. I also really liked Loz. She was fun and witty, kept Peg on her toes, wasn't afraid to say what she thought, and was determined to chase the truth. Her obsession with true crime was also a nice addition, as she finds herself in the middle of one. O.o
 
Tarnished is a well written, addictive story with a very twisted core. It's one woman's search for the truth years after she's forgotten it. A way for her to fill in the blanks, to reconnect with her father, and understand what really happened to her mother. While slowly discovering that everything she thinks she knows about her family is a lie. And everyone she thought she knew lied and controlled her for their own sick purpose. It's a powerful book. A page turner.
 
I'm a sucker for a screwed-up mystery with a good dose of family secrets on the side, so I really (really) enjoyed this book!
 
This is the second Julia Crouch book I've read, and it certainly won't be the last.  
 
 
Tarnished, November 2013, ISBN 9780755378050, Headline

Thursday, 16 July 2015

ONE by Sarah Crossan


One
Grace and Tippi are twins – conjoined twins.
 
And their lives are about to change.
 
No longer able to afford homeschooling, they must venture into the world – a world of stares, sneers and cruelty. Will they find more than that at school? Can they find real friends? And what about love?
 
But what neither Grace or Tippi realises is that a heart-wrenching decision lies ahead. A decision that could tear them apart. One that will change their lives even more than they ever imagined…
 
From Carnegie Medal shortlisted author Sarah Crossan, this moving and beautifully crafted novel about identity, sisterhood and love ultimately asks one question: what does it mean to want and have a soulmate?


I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of this book from Bloomsbury last week, and couldn't wait to read it.
 
Grace and Tippi are conjoined twins who have been homeschooled all of their lives, but when their parents can no longer afford to keep doing that, they start attending school. Something that both excites and concerns the twins because they've spent their whole lives being stared at, pitied, or labelled as freaks by other people. They don't end up attending the same school as their younger sister, but go to a private school.
 
Here they meet Yasmeen--a girl with her own medical condition--and Jon--a scholarship kid from the wrong part of town--and quickly become friends. Most of the other kids stay as far away from them as they can, but Yasmeen and Jon are always there to help watch over them. They also introduce them to other teenage activities they've never being exposed to. Grace likes spending time with her friends, especially when she starts to develop feelings for Jon.
 
Life at home is tough. Their father is desperately looking for a job and drowns his sorrows with alcohol. Their mother is always working. Their sister is a ballet dancer who seems to be getting skinnier by the day without anyone noticing. And when things hit rock bottom, it's Grace and Tippi who do something drastic to get the family out of financial trouble. Something they've tried to escape all of their lives.
 
But when their health fails them, the twins have to face the hardest decision of their lives. One that will change them forever, and probably won't have a happy ending...
 
OMG. This is such an amazing and powerful book! Not only is the story unique because it's written in verse, but I've also never read a book from the POV of a conjoined twin. This story challenges everything you think you know about conjoined twins. It dares you to stop pitying and before long you start to see the twins just like you see everyone else. Which is how it should be.
 
One is a beautiful, lyrical book with so much emotion and honesty on each page that the words affect the reader just as deeply. They change you. It's unique, interesting, engrossing, sad, uplifting, lovely, and I couldn't put it down. This is definitely a book that will make you empathise with the characters, give a deeper understanding of their lives, and stop you pitying them because of their strength and bravery. It will also make you smile, and laugh, but will definitely make you cry.
 
The love and bond that Grace and Tippi share is stronger than anything else in their world, and will stay with you even after you reach the last page. Seriously, this book is such an emotional rollercoaster ride, but you won't want to get off.
 
On a side note: in the Author's Note, Sarah mentions Abby and Brittany Hensel, which is really cool because I've actually watched--and really enjoyed--several of their documentaries.
 
Anyway, I think everyone should read this book. I highly recommend it!
 
Check out how lovely the ARC is:
 
 
 
One, September 2015, ISBN 9781408872345, Bloomsbury Childrens

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

IN THE SHADOW OF BLACKBIRDS by Cat Winters


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My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I finished reading this book this afternoon and absolutely loved it!

Mary Shelley Black (love that name!) lives in America during 1918. She's originally from Portland but moves to San Diego to stay with her aunt because her father's been arrested.

1918 is a terrifying time to be alive. WWI is killing the boys and men. Women are working hard back home, but still not taken seriously. And the Spanish influenza is killing the population. Between the war and the flu, everyone is living in constant fear of dying. They wear gauze masks everywhere and try just about any home remedy they can think of--mostly involving onions.

Mary Shelley is an intelligent, strong, stubborn, and amazing sixteen year old who tinkers with contraptions and loves a boy called Stephen. She also doesn't believe in ghosts and hates how desperate mourners are obsessed with séances and spirit photographers. But when a death affects her profoundly and she actually connects with the spirit, she sets out on a mission to help this spirit move on.

Wow. I loved this book!

It's a brilliant story, which is also very bleak and sad, but so intriguing that it hooked me instantly. The revelation was devastating. Everything Mary Shelley goes through is astounding. Stephen was a tormented sweetheart. The setting is super scary--and creepy--because death surrounds everything. I loved how the author was able to make every detail so vivid that it really did feel like the end of the world.

I also liked the actual photography, and even the Author's Note was interesting.

Yep, loved it.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

MAGONIA by Maria Dahvana Headley


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My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'd been hearing a lot of good things about this book when I found out the local library had a copy. So I borrowed it, and my daughter read it first. Well, she actually called it a DNF. She just couldn't get into it.

Yet, I was hooked as soon as I started reading.

Aza's voice sucked me in. Aza's struggle kept me turning the page. Jason gave me hope when Aza's body was falling apart. And the wondrous story made me fall in love with everything about Magonia.

Aza is a girl who is days away from her sixteenth birthday. She's always been sick because there's something wrong with her lungs. And doctors can't do anything to cure her. They just keep her inevitable death at bay for a little longer.

The day they discover a feather in her lungs, everything human slips away from Aza. She's spirited away to a mysterious world in the sky where ships sail through the clouds and whales make storms. A place where birds aren't just birds and sharks are as much a danger as pirates.

For the first time in her life she can breathe. Aza has finally found her place in the world, but trusting her obsessive real mother is a lot more dangerous than she could have ever imagined. And she's haunted by the memory of Jason...

OMG. This book. It's amazing. So unique and unusual, but magical and beautiful. Aza's story is a sad one, but underlined with happiness. It's odd and written in an almost alien way, but it's wonderful.

I've heard comparisons to The Fault in Our Stars and Stardust, but like Jason, I'll throw in Peter Pan and ET. Plus, Treasure Planet and a few Doctor Who eps with the tenth Doctor! But overall, there's no other story quite like this one. :)

I loved this book, and will never look at a stormy sky quite the same way.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

WAY DOWN DARK by JP Smythe

There's one truth on Australia. You fight or you die. Usually both. Imagine a nightmare from which there is no escape. This is a hell where no one can hide. This is a ship of death, of murderers and cults and gangs. This is Australia.

Seventeen-year-old Chan's ancestors left a dying Earth hundreds of years ago, in search of a new home. They never found one.

The only life that Chan's ever known is one of violence, of fighting. Of trying to survive.

But there might be a way to escape. In order to find it, Chan must head way down into the darkness - a place of buried secrets, long-forgotten lies, and the abandoned bodies of the dead.

Seventeen-year-old Chan, fiercely independent and self-sufficient, keeps her head down and lives quietly, careful not to draw attention to herself amidst the violence and disorder. Until the day she makes an extraordinary discovery - a way to return the Australia to Earth. But doing so would bring her to the attention of the fanatics and the murderers who control life aboard the ship, putting her and everyone she loves in terrible danger.

And a safe return to Earth is by no means certain.


As soon as I received this book--thank you Hachette Australia for sending me a copy--I was intrigued. I love the cover, and the blurb sounded even better. So, I was super excited about receiving a YA book that I hadn't heard about but sounded so interesting.
 
Chan lives inside a ship that's hurtling through space. It's called Australia and is filled with people of all ages. Everyone is trying to survive under the very restrictive conditions. There are many stories and myths on this ship, but the one that is always carried down is about its origin. Hundreds of years ago when planet Earth was dying, the humans sent a bunch of huge ships into space so they could find another place to live.
 
Australia has been travelling ever since, and the ancestors of those who escaped live inside a multi-level metal monstrosity with no windows and no real indication of where they are. The days are signalled by dimming lights. The oxygen is maintained by the arboretum--where they have trees, grass, fruit and water to keep them going. The top level is always pitch black and the bottom is a dark, endless Pit.
 
But survival within Australia is tough. There are a number of dangerous gangs, but none are as deadly as the Lows. Not even the creepy and mysterious Pale Women who live in the dark and try to spread their faith are as much of a threat. Survival is a daily struggle, and when Chan's mother dies it becomes even harder. Riadne kept their levels safe and the gangs stayed away, but with her gone there's no telling what will happen next. 
 
Chan now only has Agatha, her mother's friend, but in order to survive she needs to stand on her own. Otherwise she'll be seen as weak and the Lows will destroy her. And so, her mother's end brings about Chan's own story.
 
But the Lows have a new psycho leader with plans of her own. Now that Chan's mother is dead, the Lows run riot and their savage takeover begins. As much as Chan tries to keep her promise to her dying mother about being selfish and not dying, it becomes increasingly hard to stay true to her mother's last request. Because when the rebellion starts from below, no one's safe and unless Chan starts exerting her own brand of violence, everyone will die.
 
OMG. This book was amazing! I didn't know what to expect when I started reading, but I didn't expect to be so totally hooked that I didn't want to leave this very brutal world until I reached the end. And then, when I did reach The End, I wanted more. Seriously, that ending is a killer!
 
Chan is an awesome character who tries so hard to keep her promise, but can't when she realises that what she really wants to do is help others. Funny how her mother spent her adult life being feared while also helping others, but then expects Chan to do the opposite. But she can't ignore her strong instincts, and that leads to a lot of brutality, pain and heartbreak. I loved how she wanted so badly to help when people were being attacked but just couldn't save everyone.
 
This vicious world is brutal, but realistic. There are many awesome things about this book. The worldbuilding is so good and doesn't take long to understand. The twists and turns totally shock you when they're revealed. The secrets are deep and very dark. The truth is unbelievable. And the reason why the ship is called Australia is SO darn clever.

Seriously, this book is incredible.
 
Way Down Dark is an awesome, action-packed adrenaline ride that'll take your breath away. The action doesn't stop, the brutality is constant, and the fight for survival will keep you on the edge of your seat. It will also have you cheering for Chan, Agatha and Jonah as they struggle to live in an enclosed, hostile environment with nowhere to go. There's a bit of everything in this story, but one thing that never stops throughout is just how heart-stopping it is. As the layers are slowly revealed, you just can't help but realise how brilliant this book really is.
 
I LOVED this book SO MUCH. It's definitely one of those stories that'll stay with me for years!
 
Can't wait to find out what happens next.


Way Down Dark, July 2015, ISBN 9781444796322, Hodder & Stoughton

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

THE DEVIL YOU KNOW by Trish Doller

 The Devil You Know
 From critically-acclaimed author Trish Doller comes a powerful new psychological page-turner perfect for fans of Lauren Oliver and Sara Zarr.
 
Eighteen-year-old Arcadia wants adventure. Living in a tiny Florida town with her dad and four-year-old brother, Cadie spends most of her time working, going to school, and taking care of her family. So when she meets two handsome cousins at a campfire party, she finally has a chance for fun. They invite her and friend to join them on a road trip, and it's just the risk she's been craving-the opportunity to escape. But what starts out as a fun, sexy journey quickly becomes dangerous when she discovers that one of them is not at all who he claims to be. One of them has deadly intentions.
 
A road trip fling turns terrifying in this contemporary story that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.


I received the hardback edition of this book last week--thank you Bloomsbury Australia--and was instantly interested in reading this story.
 
Arcadia, or Cadie as everyone calls her, lives in a small town in Florida with her father and very young brother. Since her mother died, she's been taking care of everyone while attending school and working at her father's store. So many things slipped away from her after she lost her mother--grades, soccer team, boyfriend, ambitions. She's just too busy with her everyday responsibilities, which includes practically raising her four-year-old brother, while her father is mostly absent.
 
The night she's invited to a campfire party, she decides to throw caution to the wind and attends. Here she meets a very cute stranger who she invites to the party on a whim, but when she stumbles on his cousin she's instantly smitten. Matt might be good looking and charming, but Noah is a whole lot more. He's scarred, tattooed and sets her blood pumping. Plus he happens to be a really nice guy who isn't shy to share his troubled past with her.
 
Cadie is instantly attracted to him, and ends up agreeing to go on a road trip to Disney World along with another girl who used to be her friend before she became a passenger in her own life.
 
Now, she's determined to shed all responsibility so she can seek adventure with her newfound friends while camping in the wilderness. Even after her friend bails on her, Cadie stays with the two cousins. What starts out as a thrilling adventure into the unknown, and an escape from her confined life, turns into a life and death situation that has her double guessing herself and desperate to figure out who to trust...
 
Wow. This book is a fast read, mostly because the story sucks you in right away and keeps you turning the page until you've reached The End. It's also easy to get annoyed with some of the rash decisions Cadie makes during her story, but at the same time it's easy to put yourself in her shoes. After all, she's lost so much during her young life and hasn't been able to live the life of a teenager so it almost feels like she's catching up for lost time.
 
It's just unfortunate that she gets caught up in a totally insane situation and that others around her have to pay the price.

What I loved about this book was how much growth Cadie shows during the story. She might be careless and totally ignores a lot of the signs that crop up along the way marking the obvious danger she's getting herself into, but she also allows herself to evolve while never really forgetting who she is. I especially loved the way she spoke about her mother, and how she loved her brother so much she never really stopped thinking about him.
 
The Devil You Know is a brilliant and very atmospheric YA thriller featuring a smart girl doing some really stupid things in her quest for adventure. Cadie is a great narrator that frustrated me at times because she makes some pretty dumb decisions, but in spite of that I never stopped liking her. I never lost interest in her story. No matter what she did, I was still in the moment with her and even excused her behaviour at times. How could I blame her from wanting a break from the noose of responsibility tied around her neck? Why would I be angry with her because she wanted to feel alive and chase adventure? And there's no way I was going to question the way she feels when she meets someone who understands her on a deeper level than anyone else ever has.
 
And by the way, I loved the ending! After all the awful things that happen, I was worried about how Cadie's story would end. Yeah, well, I didn't need to worry because I loved how everything turned out.
 
This is an awesome book that explores what happens when someone is bound by so much responsibility at such a young age that one day she just has to spread her wings and find her own way. Even if it leads to some deathly consequences that will alter her life.
 
I'll definitely need to read more books written by this author. :)

The Devil You Know, July 2015, ISBN 9781619634169, Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Monday, 29 June 2015

Hey, June is almost over!


Can you believe it? Yikes!
 
Well, it looks like this is now my go-to pic whenever I blog. But how can it not be? I mean, it pretty much captures me during winter: a robe-wearing, book-reading, tea/coffee-drinker who breaks up her hibernation for daily walks. :)
 
Seriously, though. These cold months just don't agree with me. I've been feeling a little under the weather. I'm constantly clogged from nose to throat, keep sneezing, and feel like I'm catching a cold. Which is bizarre since I got the flu shot several months ago. 
 
It's very uncomfortable, but there's not much I can do really. Doctors have already told me several times that there's nothing wrong with my throat or nose, it's just something I need to live with.
 
Yeah, well, sometimes it's easier said than done.
 
Anyway. Let's concentrate on the good things.
 
Last Friday I filled out the blurb and cover art forms for HELL OF A RIDE. That's Lavie's story, in case you forgot. ;) It's always exciting to dream up different versions of a cover and then look up pictures to give the cover artist a peek into what you see inside your mind. Funny thing is I've found that the cover artist I work with at Samhain Publishing always comes up with something WAY better than what I imagined. I really (really) hope that I get Kanaxa again. She's made most of my covers.
 
I also found out that Lavie's book will be released next year, probably around spring 2016. That's the American spring, so we're looking at autumn for us people in the Southern Hemisphere. :P
 
I'll be sure to post the blurb once it's approved, and of course will share the cover when I get it. I can't wait to see this one! In the meantime, I've got my fingers crossed for Willow's story. It's on submission at the moment, and I'd love for her tale to be published as well. That would wrap up all the stories I've written in this world.
 
Well, except for that 50k in-between story that fits (and ties in) Sierra's last book and Lavie's book. But that's another story...
 
The thing about Lavie and Willow's stories is that they're Sierra Fox spin-offs that demanded to be told. Seriously, I couldn't write anything new until these persistent women told their stories. They're also (kinda) companion books that make up a series--or duology--that's called Elsewhere. Why did I call it that? Well, the events of Sierra's series take part in a fictional suburb in Sydney, but Lavie's takes place in multiple locations and Willow's is in an actual coastal NSW city. I wanted to do something different for them. Besides, I thought Elsewhere fit perfectly. While Sierra's story is here, Lavie and Willow's is Elsewhere... but in the same world.
 
Makes sense, right?
 
Last week I didn't binge watch anything new. Thought it was best not to get stuck into anything since my daughter's going to be home for a bit. Haven't decided what will become my new lunch-break show yet, but I'll think of something. ;)
 
I did read, and think a lot about the stories I want to write once RECAST is finished. I get really excited at the prospects and really need to brainstorm before I lose the thread of the many tales I want to tell. So many possibilities, so little time...
 
Oh, and we finally watched FURY ROAD. While we all liked it, none of us loved it. It was good, but not amazing. I mean, sure, it's visually beautiful and there are plenty of kick-ass women in it, but there were just too many plot holes. Too many things didn't make sense. And although I think Imperator Furiosa was an amazing character--seriously, I would love to watch/read her origin story because you just know it's heartbreaking--the movie just wasn't as awesome as I expected it to be.

I think the hype built it up WAY too much. It's also a shame that because Hollywood is seriously lacking in the Female Characters That Are Real People Department, when one does come along (no matter how mediocre it might be) we latch on.
 
Hollywood needs to get their act together and stop being so sexist. Movies with female leads DO SELL. People want to see good characters, and women can be amazing characters. Plus they'll definitely sell. Just look at the book industry and see how well heroines sell. Seriously, man, get with the times! It's the 21st century FFS.
 
Well, have a great week!

Saturday, 27 June 2015

13 DAYS OF MIDNIGHT by Leo Hunt

Luke's just inherited 6 million... And eight ghosts who want him dead.
 
When Luke Manchett's estranged father dies suddenly, he leaves his son a dark inheritance. Luke has been left in charge of his father's ghost collection: eight restless spirits. They want revenge for their long enslavement, and in the absence of the father, they're more than happy to take his son. It isn't fair, but you try and reason with the vengeful dead.

Halloween, the night when the ghosts reach the height of their power, is fast approaching. With the help of school witchlet Elza Moss, and his cowardly dog Ham, Luke has just thirteen days to uncover the closely guarded secrets of black magic, and send the unquiet spirits to their eternal rest. The alternative doesn't bear thinking about.
 
 
As soon as I received this book and read the back, I knew I would be interested in this story. I mean, it mentions necromancer and murderous ghosts and revenge! Besides, check out that cover, it's so cool. I couldn't wait to get started...
 
Luke Manchett is an average 16-year-old boy who's on the rugby team, hangs out with the right guys, and has a crush on the popular girl. Well, everything on the surface seems normal, because at home things aren't so average. His mother suffers from terrible migraines that keep her tucked into bed every other day, and his father has been MIA for years.
 
So the day he receives a letter telling him that his father--the man who's known for a variety of paranormal shows--is dead and he's inherited a large sum of money, he meets with his father's lawyer and... pretty much signs his life away.
 
Luke's focus was on the money and what it would mean for his mother and him. He wasn't expecting all the other things that come along with the inheritance from his estranged father. Like the creepy old book he can't open, some weird rings, and a bunch of ghosts! Yep. He's now got what is called a Host attached to him, and although all he wants to do is get rid of them, it soon becomes obvious that these freaky spirits want to be released from their bindings.
 
And to do that, they plan to kill Luke.
 
Now Luke has to come to terms with the fact that his father's left him with a paranormal mess. Actually, his Dad wasn't a very nice man at all. He abandoned his family on his quest for supernatural power, and then enslaved eight ghosts that now plan to get revenge by hurting Luke and the people he cares about. So he becomes determined to find a way to stop them.
 
The only person who can help him is a not-very popular girl from school. Elza Moss has the second sight and can see ghosts, plus she has some other witchy talents. But can two teenagers outsmart a bunch of old and very creepy ghosts led by an ancient dead necromancer before Halloween?
 
I had a total blast reading this book! It's packed with supernatural goodness, some very creepy situations, a main character who starts out very self-absorbed and ends up being anything but, a very cool and quirky girl who isn't scared of anything, and an adorable dog called Ham. I also loved how necromancy was portrayed in this book.
 
13 Days of Midnight is an awesome and wickedly imaginative YA urban fantasy book that now has a permanent place on my Keeper Shelf. It's a fun adventure that'll hook you in right away and keep you glued to the page until you reach the thrilling end. And then you'll want more. I definitely want to read more Luke, Elza and Ham adventures, because Mr. Berkley will be back.
 
This turned out to be such a cool book. Fun, fun, fun! Loved it.

13 Days of Midnight, July 2015, ISBN 9781408337462, Orchard Books

Friday, 26 June 2015

Interview at SF Signal!


Hey, how are you today?

The other day Andrea Johnson from SF Signal interviewed me. I always love popping in when Andrea interviews me because she comes up with great, fun questions. This time we chatted about my latest SFR release, my upcoming UF release, and some of my reading habits.
 
You can check it out HERE.

Have a great weekend!
 

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN by Paula Hawkins


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My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've had my eye on this book for a while, so I put it on hold at the library. Problem was, 60 other people did the same. LOL. But it was eventually my turn to borrow it.

As soon as I started reading, I was hooked. I mean, how could I not be? The main narrator--Rachel--is still hung up on the husband who left her two years ago. She's also a hopeless drunk who just couldn't stay on track. Well, except for the train track, because she rode that every single day. Even though she'd lost her job MONTHS AGO.

Then we meet Megan. A woman who is so bored with her life that lying and cheating becomes her thing. Not to mention that she has some seriously dark secrets.

Oh, but there's more.

Enter a woman called Anna, who is now married to Rachel's ex-husband. Actually, she was Tom's mistress for a while before he left Rachel. Anna's now a wife herself, and a mother, but she's more concerned about the picture-perfect family they look like from afar than what's really going on.

The night Megan disappears, the lives of these three women intertwine. One was so blind drunk she can't remember what she saw and why she got hurt. The other starts getting paranoid. And of course, one of them is missing.

I loved this book! It was deliciously messed up. The characters, the story, the conclusion... hell, even the locations are messed up because of these people.

The writing is outstanding. It gripped me from the first word. Even though three women share the narration and all three are several degrees of fucked up, each POV felt/sounded different. The one thing they all share is how self-absorbed and unreliable they all are.

This story is what makes me look forward to thrillers! When they're written well, man. This is a great example of a complicated, gripping and super dark story that surfaces from a very simple topic: sociopaths. ;)

Great book!

View all my reviews

 
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