19 Jun 2021

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Book Review / Camino Island by John Grisham

A gang of thieves stage a daring heist from a vault deep below Princeton University's Firestone Library. Their loot is priceless, impossible to resist.

Bruce Cable owns a popular bookstore in the sleepy resort town of Santa Rosa on Camino Island in Florida. He makes his real money, though, as a prominent dealer in rare books. Very few people know that he occasionally dabbles in unsavory ventures.

Mercer Mann is a young novelist with a severe case of writer's block who has recently been laid off from her teaching position. She is approached by an elegant, mysterious woman working for an even more mysterious company. A generous monetary offer convinces Mercer to go undercover and infiltrate Cable's circle of literary friends, to get close to the ringleader, to discover his secrets.

But soon Mercer learns far too much, and there's trouble in paradise--as only John Grisham can deliver it.

 

Published:     6th June 2017
Publisher:  Doubleday
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Book 45, In Death
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher

 


MY REVIEW

 

This book is different to most of John Grisham's novels in that we don't follow a lawyer and the plot is not following a legal case.  Out of all of the newer books written by this author that I had not read yet, this one was one that I was most excited for as not only it is different from most of his previous novels but this was based around a bookstore.  What more could you want!

I loved this book.  We are following Mercer who is a young novelist who is given a proposal by a mysterious woman working for a mysterious compnay to go undercover and get close to both the bookstore in a sleepy resort town and the owner, Bruce Cable.

I adored all of this book but to be more specific enjoyed the characters and their progression through the book.  Not only do you have the main character, Mercer, who at the start is very unsure of herself but as we follow the story through she certainly has to make choices that makes her stronger.  You also have a variety of different other characters in this story that live in that sleepy town resort that we get to know.  Some of them are good and some of them not so much. 

There were certainly quite a lot of twists and turns in this story.  It certainly kept me guessing as to what exactly was going on.  I had my suspicions but loved the ride this story took me on to get to the ending.  

If you are not a big fan of legal thrillers but do want to try a John Grisham novel, you need to pick this up!


 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continue reading Book Review / Camino Island by John Grisham

13 Jun 2021

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Book Review / The Whistler by John Grisham

We expect our judges to be honest and wise. Their integrity and impartiality are the bedrock of the entire judicial system. We trust them to ensure fair trials, to protect the rights of all litigants, to punish those who do wrong, and to oversee the orderly and efficient flow of justice.

But what happens when a judge bends the law or takes a bribe? It’s rare, but it happens.

Lacy Stoltz is an investigator for the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct. She is a lawyer, not a cop, and it is her job to respond to complaints dealing with judicial misconduct. After nine years with the Board, she knows that most problems are caused by incompetence, not corruption.

But a corruption case eventually crosses her desk. A previously disbarred lawyer is back in business with a new identity. He now goes by the name Greg Myers, and he claims to know of a Florida judge who has stolen more money than all other crooked judges combined. And not just crooked judges in Florida. All judges, from all states, and throughout U.S. history.

What’s the source of the ill-gotten gains? It seems the judge was secretly involved with the construction of a large casino on Native American land. The Coast Mafia financed the casino and is now helping itself to a sizable skim of each month’s cash. The judge is getting a cut and looking the other way. It’s a sweet deal: Everyone is making money.

But now Greg wants to put a stop to it. His only client is a person who knows the truth and wants to blow the whistle and collect millions under Florida law. Greg files a complaint with the Board on Judicial Conduct, and the case is assigned to Lacy Stoltz, who immediately suspects that this one could be dangerous.

Dangerous is one thing. Deadly is something else.

 

Published:     25th October 2016
Publisher:  Doubleday
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Book 1, The Whistler
Source: Owned

 


MY REVIEW

 

I can't tell you how much fun I am having re-reading all of John Grisham's novels, especially as I have now got to the point where I have not read those books.  This book came out in 2016 and that was about the same time I started to collect John Grisham's novels (hardback, for sure, some where very difficult to find) ready to read and it was from that point that I would still buy his novels when they come out but not read them as I wanted to start from the oldest to the newest.  

What I loved about this book was, of course, the plot.  We are following investors, mainly Lacy, from the Board on Judicial Contact (not a lawyer this time) who receives a complaint against a local judge, which they are obliged to investigate.  Although, for me, there were not as many twists and turns that I would have liked, I still enjoyed every minute of this story.  Certainly, the events that lead up to the ending just kept me on the edge of my seat.  I couldn't put the book down!!

If you have not yet picked up a John Grisham novel, you should!! 

 

 

 

 

 

Continue reading Book Review / The Whistler by John Grisham
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Book Review / Witness to a Trial by John Grisham


A startling and original courtroom drama from New York Times #1 Bestseller John Grisham that is the prequel to his newest legal thriller, THE WHISTLER
 
A judge’s first murder trial.

A defense attorney in over his head.

A prosecutor out for blood and glory.

The accused, who is possibly innocent.

And the killer, who may have just committed the perfect crime.

 

 

 

 

Published:     27th September 2016
Publisher:  Doubleday
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Book 0.5, The Whistler
Source:  Owned

 



MY REVIEW

 

I had not realised this was a prequel to The Whistler until I came to pick it up after I had read The Whistler and although I enjoyed this short story I would highly recommend picking this up before reading The Whistler as it is a great introduction to characters and the plot.  

I enjoyed this and it certainly did add more to the main story, but definitely should read this first!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continue reading Book Review / Witness to a Trial by John Grisham

4 Jun 2021

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Book Review / Every Vow You Break by Peter Swanson

 

A bride’s dream honeymoon becomes a nightmare when a man with whom she’s had a regrettable one-night stand shows up in this psychological thriller from the author of Eight Perfect Murders. Abigail Baskin never thought she’d fall in love with a millionaire. Then she met Bruce Lamb. But right before the wedding, Abigail has a drunken one-night stand on her bachelorette weekend. She puts the incident—and the sexy guy who wouldn’t give her his real name—out of her mind, and now believes she wants to be with Bruce for the rest of her life.

Then the mysterious stranger suddenly appears—and Abigail’s future life and happiness are turned upside down. He insists that their passionate night was the beginning of something special and he’s tracked her down to prove it.

Does she tell Bruce and ruin their idyllic honeymoon—and possibly their marriage? Or should she handle this psychopathic stalker on her own? To make the situation worse, strange things begin to happen. She sees a terrified woman in the night shadows, and no one at the resort seems to believe anything is amiss… including her perfect new husband.

 

Published:     23rd March 2021
Publisher:  William Morrow
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source: Owned

 


MY REVIEW

Having only discovered this author last year and immediately reading all of his books, I couldn't wait to read this new novel.  

With this story we follow the main character, Abigail, as she marries the love of her life and head off on their honeymoon which was the one thing that her new husband had organised and she had no idea where they are going so it will be a nice surprise. Unfortunately, just before she married she had a drunken one night stand with a random person and although she might have thought that she could leave that all behind and forget it, she may not be able to.  

Very suspenseful and had me at the edge of my seat all the way through.  I have to admit that I read this in one sitting on a very quiet Sunday and have no regrets!  If I had to be picky I would have loved a few more twists and turns, or surprises, but still a thoroughly enjoyable read and worth picking up. 

 

 

Continue reading Book Review / Every Vow You Break by Peter Swanson

31 May 2021

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Cursebreakers Series (A Curse so Dark and Lonely) by Brigid Kemmerer



Fall in love, break the curse.

Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year, Prince Rhen, the heir of Emberfall, thought he could be saved easily if a girl fell for him. But that was before he turned into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. Before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, Harper learned to be tough enough to survive. When she tries to save a stranger on the streets of Washington, DC, she's pulled into a magical world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

Harper doesn't know where she is or what to believe. A prince? A curse? A monster? As she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what's at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

 

Published:     2019, 2020 and 2021
Publisher:  Bloomsbury YA
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Books 1, 2 and 3, Cursebreakers
Source: Owned

 



MY REVIEW

I read the first book in this series, A Curse So Dark and Lonely back in 2018 when I had very kindly received an advanced readers copy from the publisher and loved it.  It had certainly been my intention of continuing with the series but, for me, I like to try the first book in the series to see whether I like it or not and if I do then I tend to wait until all the books are out in that series and then binge read them one after the other so I get the 'full impact' of the story while you are still in the world.

I loved this trilogy.  I am not sure whether there are going to be any more books in this trilogy/series as the way it was left at the end of the third book left me thinking either way really.  I would be happy if it was left as a trilogy but equally I would love to have more books in this series.  

What I loved about this story was the character development.  Following most of the characters, I found it interesting that characters that I loved at the beginning I ended up hating and vice versa changed the more into this trilogy I got into.  What I also loved was the world and the conflicts that appear between different characters and different 'sanctions' of this world.  

This was such a fun trilogy to read and good one to pick up if you don't want anything too complicated. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continue reading Cursebreakers Series (A Curse so Dark and Lonely) by Brigid Kemmerer

15 May 2021

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Book Review / Partners by John Grisham

JOHN GRISHAM'S FIRST ORIGINAL E-SHORT
 
In this standalone prequel to his #1 bestseller ROGUE LAWYER, John Grisham tells the story of how Sebastian Rudd finally found someone he could trust to be his driver, bodyguard, law clerk, and partner.
 
Sebastian Rudd, rogue lawyer, defends people other lawyers won't go near. It's controversial and dangerous work, which is why Sebastian needs his bodyguard/assistant/sidekick: Partner. So if Sebastian is just about the most unpopular lawyer in town, why is Partner so loyal to him? How did they meet? And what's the real story of this man of few words who's as good with a gun as he is with the law? The surprising answers are all in PARTNERS, John Grisham's first exclusively digital short story.

 

 

 

 

Published:     29th March 2016
Publisher:  Doubleday

Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Book 0.5, Rogue Lawyer
Source: Owned

 


MY REVIEW

 

I am not usually one to pick up or like short stories in part of a series or continuation of a story as most of the time they don't really add much to the main plot, but this short story is different. If you enjoyed reading Rogue Lawyer, I would strongly recommend picking up this as it gives us more of a background to the dynamic between Sebastian Rudd, the lawyer, and his driver/bodyguard/many other job descriptions I won't list right now.  

Although this is described as a prequel, I actually read this after reading Rogue Lawyer and I found that I appreciated this story so much more knowing what was going to happen afterwards and knowing the characters from Rogue Lawyer.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Book Review / Rogue Lawyer by John Grisham

On the right side of the law. Sort of.
 
Sebastian Rudd is not your typical street lawyer. He works out of a customized bulletproof van, complete with Wi-Fi, a bar, a small fridge, fine leather chairs, a hidden gun compartment, and a heavily armed driver. He has no firm, no partners, no associates, and only one employee, his driver, who’s also his bodyguard, law clerk, confidant, and golf caddy. He lives alone in a small but extremely safe penthouse apartment, and his primary piece of furniture is a vintage pool table. He drinks small-batch bourbon and carries a gun.
 
Sebastian defends people other lawyers won’t go near: a drug-addled, tattooed kid rumored to be in a satanic cult, who is accused of molesting and murdering two little girls; a vicious crime lord on death row; a homeowner arrested for shooting at a SWAT team that mistakenly invaded his house.  Why these clients? Because he believes everyone is entitled to a fair trial, even if he, Sebastian, has to cheat to secure one. He hates injustice, doesn’t like insurance companies, banks, or big corporations; he distrusts all levels of government and laughs at the justice system’s notions of ethical behavior.
 
Sebastian Rudd is one of John Grisham’s most colorful, outrageous, and vividly drawn characters yet. Gritty, witty, and impossible to put down, Rogue Lawyer showcases the master of the legal thriller at his very best.

 

Published:     20th October 2015
Publisher:  Doubleday
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Book 1, Rogue Lawyer
Source:  Owned

 


MY REVIEW

 

This book was so much fun!   You have this over the top lawyer, Sebastian Rudd, who seems to run 'rogue' (excuse the pun) with no partners to keep him in check, no associates but only one employee which is his driver, bodyguard and many other things. 

What I loved about this was that you follow this lawyer who is completely reckless, diving into the most dangerous situations and not really seeming to be all that worried about it and follow him as he navigates his way in and out of these situations.   I also loved the fact that this story contained so many different cases that Sebastian gets himself into and not any particular one.  For me, the best part of this novel was the character of Sebastian and watching his character develop as we see him in different scenarios.  

I am very intrigued to know more about the dynamic between Sebastian and his bodyguard/driver/many other things and I am guessing I will get some more answers with the short story/novella, Partners, which I plan to pick up next. 

Would highly recommend but don't go into this expecting one massive case from start to finish.  Its more about the characters than the plot, well it was for me.

 

 

 

 

 

Continue reading Book Review / Rogue Lawyer by John Grisham

9 May 2021

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Book Review / Song of the Nile by Hannah Fielding

 

 Luxor, 1946. When young nurse Aida El Masri returns from war-torn London to her family’s estate in Egypt, she steels herself to face the challenges ahead.

Eight years have passed since her father, Ayoub, was framed for a crime he did not commit and died as a tragic result. Yet Aida has not forgotten, and now she wants revenge against the man she believes betrayed her father – his best friend, Kamel Pharaony.

Then Aida is reunited with Kamel’s son, the captivating surgeon Phares, who offers her marriage. In spite of herself, the secret passion Aida harboured for him as a young girl reignites. Still, how can she marry the son of the man who destroyed her father and brought shame on her family? Will c
oming home bring her love, or only danger and heartache?
 

 

 

Published:     14th February 2020
Publisher:  London Wall Publishing
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Review Copy from Author

 


 

MY REVIEW

 

I can't tell you how excited I was to delve into this latest book from Hannah Fielding, one of my favourite authors.  In this story, we follow Aida who has been in England since the death of her father, having been born and previously lived in Egypt.  Aida travels back to the family's estate after the war is over (having not been able to travel back before then because of the war) and she is very unsure of what she will find both at the estate and with certain people she may not want to come across when she gets home.  Aida is convinced that her father was framed for a crime that he was on trial for just before he died and also believes that she knows who is responsible.  

What I loved the most about this story is Aida's journey from rediscovering herself again after being away from Egypt for so long and also trying to find out the truth about what happened to her father.  You also have the complicated relationship with Phares (the person who she was destined to marry before she left Egypt after her father died) and it was certainly very interesting to see what happened when they met again.  You also have other characters, some good and some bad, that pop in along the way.

I also enjoyed the fact that this story was based in Egypt, which is a location that I haven't ready much in novels so it was very interesting to learn more about customs and ettiquette back in the 1940s.

A thoroughly enjoyable novel that will grab you from the very first page and hold on until the very last.  I can't recommend this high enough.  You need to read this!


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continue reading Book Review / Song of the Nile by Hannah Fielding

2 May 2021

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Book Review / A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J Maas (Book 4, A Court of Thorns & Roses)

To avoid spoilers, below is the description for book 1 in this series, A Court of Thorns and Roses

Feyre's survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price ...

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre's presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.

 

 

 

Published:     16th February 2021
Publisher:  Bloomsbury
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Book 4, A Court of Thorns and Roses
Source:  Owned

 

 


MY REVIEW

 

Having re-read the previous books in this series, I just couldn't wait to get my hands on this book!  I can't tell you how happy I was to also find out that it was 757 pages long.  I wouldn't normally be excited by such a large book but the more the merrier when it comes to this series.

Avoiding spoilers, I adored this book.  This book centered more around Nesta and characters around her.  I found this story very interesting, watching this character grow as the story progresses.  Nesta is not a character that I particularly liked before so I was certainly intrigued how a 757 page book was going to make me like her, but it did!  

I also don't usually pick up books with a lot of erotic content but this story certainly does have its fair share of that and I loved it!

I can't wait to see what comes next in this series.  Looking at Goodreads, it tells me that there are two more books in this series so I am definitely intrigued!

 

 

 

Continue reading Book Review / A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J Maas (Book 4, A Court of Thorns & Roses)
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Book Review / A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas (Book 3.1, A Court of Thorns and Roses)

To avoid spoilers, below is the description for the first book in this series, A Court of Thorns and Roses

Feyre's survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price ...

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre's presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.

 

 

Published:     1st May 2018
Publisher:  Bloomsbury
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Book 3.1, A Court of Thorns and Roses
Source:  Owned

 


MY REVIEW

 

I am not one for usually picking up novellas in series as most of the time they really don't add anything more to the series but, of course, as this is one of my favourite series of all time I leave no stone unturned and had to pick up this one again.  

This was my second time reading this and the second time I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Although I don't think this adds anything specifically relevant to the series, it was a fun read and added a bit more to each of the characters. 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continue reading Book Review / A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas (Book 3.1, A Court of Thorns and Roses)
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Book Review / A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas (Book 3, A Court of Thorns and Roses)

To avoid spoilers, below is the description for book 1 in this series, A Court of Thorns & Roses.

 
Feyre's survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price ...

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre's presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.

 

 

Published:     2nd May 2017
Publisher:  Bloomsbury
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Book 3, A Court of Thorns and Roses
Source: Owned

 



MY REVIEW

 

Now this is where this world and story gets extremely interesting.  We have the first book where it more about introducing the world and the characters.  We then had the second book where it turned on its head what we thought about certain characters and changed the pace of the story.  We now have this book where it goes a step further and delves into the politics of the world and watching characters 'battle' against other characters.  This is one of my favourite books in this series - although I love this series in its entirety.

This book also takes some character relationships to another level, which I won't go into so as to avoid spoilers. We also have quite a few twists and turns that I had completely forgotten about from reading this book in the past that surprised me this time around too!  Loved that!




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continue reading Book Review / A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas (Book 3, A Court of Thorns and Roses)
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Book Review / A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas (Book 2, A Court of Thorns and Roses)

To avoid spoilers, below is the description for book 1 in this series, A Court of Thorns & Roses.

Feyre's survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price ...

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre's presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.

 

 

 

Published:     3rd May 2016
Publisher:  Bloomsbury
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Book 2, A Court of Thorns and Roses
Source: Owned

 


 

MY REVIEW

 

Having read this book before, I enjoyed this book just as much as I did the first time around if not a bit more than the last time.  

Obviously as this is book 2 in as series there is a lot that I won't go into as I don't want to spoil the story for those of you who have not yet read this book or the series but what I love about this book is where it takes us deeper into the world, learn more about the various characters and learn more about the politics of the world.  

For me, this story certainly changes my opinion about certain characters.  Some good and some bad.  Some were good but now they are bad and some where bad but now they are good.  I loved that I never quite know whether what I think about a certain character will remain the same throughout the entire of this series, including those books that have not yet been written.  

With most series I read, book 2 tends to fall flat but this certainly didn't and I can't wait to dig back into the next book!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continue reading Book Review / A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas (Book 2, A Court of Thorns and Roses)
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Book Review / A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas (Book 1)

 

Feyre's survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price ...

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre's presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.

 

 

 

Published:     5th May 2015
Publisher:  Bloomsbury
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Book 1, A Court of Thorns and Roses
Source:  Owned

 


MY REVIEW

 

I am one of those types of readers who just can't pick up a book later in a series that has just come out (having waited a very long time for it to come out) and just delve back into that book.  Usually I rarely remember the smaller details that you would remember if you had read the previous books before picking up the new one.  With the release of A Court of Silver Flames, I knew that to give that book a fair chance I would re-read the previous books, which was no trouble because I adore this series.

What I love the most about this first book in this series is the world building and the character building.  The more times I read this book the more little details I notice and also realise that there may be some foreshadowing going on for future books.  

I enjoyed this book just as much as I did the first time around and would happily re-read this over and over again!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continue reading Book Review / A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas (Book 1)

30 Apr 2021

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Book Review / Gray Mountain by John Grisham

John Grisham has a new hero . . . and she’s full of surprises

The year is 2008 and Samantha Kofer’s career at a huge Wall Street law firm is on the fast track—until the recession hits and she gets downsized, furloughed, escorted out of the building. Samantha, though, is one of the “lucky” associates. She’s offered an opportunity to work at a legal aid clinic for one year without pay, after which there would be a slim chance that she’d get her old job back.

In a matter of days Samantha moves from Manhattan to Brady, Virginia, population 2,200, in the heart of Appalachia, a part of the world she has only read about. Mattie Wyatt, lifelong Brady resident and head of the town’s legal aid clinic, is there to teach her how to “help real people with real problems.” For the first time in her career, Samantha prepares a lawsuit, sees the inside of an actual courtroom, gets scolded by a judge, and receives threats from locals who aren’t so thrilled to have a big-city lawyer in town. And she learns that Brady, like most small towns, harbors some big secrets.

Her new job takes Samantha into the murky and dangerous world of coal mining, where laws are often broken, rules are ignored, regulations are flouted, communities are divided, and the land itself is under attack from Big Coal. Violence is always just around the corner, and within weeks Samantha finds herself engulfed in litigation that turns deadly.

 

Published:     21st October 2014
Publisher:  Doubleday
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher

 


MY REVIEW

 

I have really enjoyed my re-reading of all of John Grisham's novels.  All of them have been great reads but there are always a few that seem to stand higher than that.  This is one of those for me.

One of the aspects that I loved about this is that this time we are following a main female character rather than a male character, which have been a theme for this author's previous novels.  We follow Samantha as she is kind of made redundant from her high powered job in the city.  Kind of, meaning that they want to still keep her on the hook, unpaid, doing free work while they sort the business out with the hope that they can re-hire her back again.  Samantha takes a non profit job at a legal aid clinic in Virginia.  

For me, what happens after Samantha arrives in Virginia is my favourite section of this novel.  As not only do we follow her adapting to her new circumstances, living in a new place but she also comes across the world of coal mining and learns just how dangerous it could be.  

Loved this and would highly recommend!

 

 

 

 

Continue reading Book Review / Gray Mountain by John Grisham

26 Apr 2021

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Book Review / The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V E Schwab

 

 A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget.

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.

 

 

 

Published:     6th October 2020
Publisher:  Titan Books
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Owned

 

 


MY REVIEW

 

I have seen this book everywhere.  I usually don't cave into hyped books unless it is a book in a series that I am already invested and love, but this one just sounded really interested.  Someone who cannot die and after you meet her and leave her presence you will forget her.  Sounded amazing.

 And I was right...  This book was amazing.  Not only do you have the history of when she was made 'immortal' back in 1714 but you also see her through the years up to present day.  You see her struggle to get used to what is happening to her and then see her how she has adapted to get on with it.  Addie Larue is not a weak character either.  She knows how to play a game and she plays this one very well, right until the very end of the story.  You also have an element of romance in this book which although, for me, was a side story in this novel I still enjoyed it

Such a wonderful novel.  I will certainly be picking up more form this author at some point in the future!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continue reading Book Review / The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V E Schwab

18 Apr 2021

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Book Review / The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley

For fans of Ruth Ware and Tana French, a shivery, atmospheric, page-turning novel of psychological suspense in the tradition of Agatha Christie, in which a group of old college friends are snowed in at a hunting lodge . . . and murder and mayhem ensue.

All of them are friends. One of them is a killer.

During the languid days of the Christmas break, a group of thirtysomething friends from Oxford meet to welcome in the New Year together, a tradition they began as students ten years ago. For this vacation, they’ve chosen an idyllic and isolated estate in the Scottish Highlands—the perfect place to get away and unwind by themselves.

They arrive on December 30th, just before a historic blizzard seals the lodge off from the outside world.

Two days later, on New Year’s Day, one of them is dead.

The trip began innocently enough: admiring the stunning if foreboding scenery, champagne in front of a crackling fire, and reminiscences about the past. But after a decade, the weight of secret resentments has grown too heavy for the group’s tenuous nostalgia to bear. Amid the boisterous revelry of New Year’s Eve, the cord holding them together snaps.

Now one of them is dead . . . and another of them did it.

Keep your friends close, the old adage goes. But just how close is too close?
 

 

Published:     24th January 2019
Publisher:  Harper Collins
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Owned

 

 


MY REVIEW

I am always cautious when I read comments that say something like For Fans of .....  you'll like this one as most of the time they are just not the same, but I have to admit that this one was kind of true.  This one was marketed for fans of Ruth Ware.  I am certainly a fan of Ruth Ware, so I thought I would give this a go and I loved it. 

This book kept me at the edge of my seat and not wanting to put it down.  There are a lot of characters to remember in this book but, for me, they were all introduced very well so I didn't really struggle with remembering who was who.  The only problem I had was trying to figure out who had died (as you are not told this at the beginning) and who was the murderer.  I honestly didn't guess either of these until the very end because the possibilities for mostly all the characters was too great!

 Loved this book and can't wait to read more from this author!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continue reading Book Review / The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley

15 Apr 2021

Book Review / Treasure by Oyinkan Braithwaite

A darkly comic short story of class divide, the lives we invent, and the very real risks of preserving an Insta-fame facade by the award-winning author of My Sister, the Serial Killer.

Treasure is a wannabe Instagram influencer in Lagos, Nigeria. She shows off a luxurious life in a gated community that her almost five thousand followers can only dream of. @Sho4Sure is determined to be part of it. The macho mechanic is Treasure’s number one fan, and double taps and blushing emojis are no longer enough. He needs to meet her in the flesh. If only Treasure were more prepared for destiny.

Oyinkan Braithwaite’s Treasure is part of Hush, a collection of six stories, ranging from political mysteries to psychological thrillers, in which deception can be a matter of life and death. Each piece can be read or listened to in one truly chilling sitting

 

 

Published:     30th July 2020
Publisher:  Amazon Original Stories
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Owned

 

 



MY REVIEW

For a dark story, I really did enjoy this and it was fun to read.  I know that this story was only meant to be a short 31 page story but I would have loved to have had this as a full length novel with lots of added twists and turns.  

I would say that this is a short and sharp eye opener for those who regularly use social media...

I will certainly be picking up more from this author.

 

 

 

 

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Book Review / My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

Exploring the psychological dynamics of the relationship between a precocious yet naïve teenage girl and her magnetic and manipulative teacher, a brilliant, all-consuming read that marks the explosive debut of an extraordinary new writer.

2000. Bright, ambitious, and yearning for adulthood, fifteen-year-old Vanessa Wye becomes entangled in an affair with Jacob Strane, her magnetic and guileful forty-two-year-old English teacher.

2017. Amid the rising wave of allegations against powerful men, a reckoning is coming due. Strane has been accused of sexual abuse by a former student, who reaches out to Vanessa, and now Vanessa suddenly finds herself facing an impossible choice: remain silent, firm in the belief that her teenage self willingly engaged in this relationship, or redefine herself and the events of her past. But how can Vanessa reject her first love, the man who fundamentally transformed her and has been a persistent presence in her life? Is it possible that the man she loved as a teenager—and who professed to worship only her—may be far different from what she has always believed?

Alternating between Vanessa’s present and her past, My Dark Vanessa juxtaposes memory and trauma with the breathless excitement of a teenage girl discovering the power her own body can wield. Thought-provoking and impossible to put down, this is a masterful portrayal of troubled adolescence and its repercussions that raises vital questions about agency, consent, complicity, and victimhood. Written with the haunting intimacy of The Girls and the creeping intensity of Room, My Dark Vanessa is an era-defining novel that brilliantly captures and reflects the shifting cultural mores transforming our relationships and society itself.

 

Published:     10th March 2020
Publisher:  Fourth Estate
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Owned

 


MY REVIEW

 

This was a very disturbing read!  We follow Vanessa as she both reminises about her 'relationship' with her former English teacher and in present day where she still has contact with the English teacher who seems to still have a hold on her. 

I honestly wasn't prepared for how graphic this story was and how it went into details of a lot of the 'relationship' Vanessa had when she was younger.  

This book was certainly an eye opener into how awful some people can be and how some people can unknowingly get themselves into situations they may not know or be able to get out of. 

A twisted and uncomfortable ready but certainly interesting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continue reading Book Review / My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

4 Apr 2021

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Book Review / When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole

The gentrification of a Brooklyn neighborhood takes on a sinister new meaning…

Sydney Green is Brooklyn born and raised, but her beloved neighborhood seems to change every time she blinks. Condos are sprouting like weeds, FOR SALE signs are popping up overnight, and the neighbors she’s known all her life are disappearing. To hold onto her community’s past and present, Sydney channels her frustration into a walking tour and finds an unlikely and unwanted assistant in one of the new arrivals to the block—her neighbor Theo.

But Sydney and Theo’s deep dive into history quickly becomes a dizzying descent into paranoia and fear. Their neighbors may not have moved to the suburbs after all, and the push to revitalize the community may be more deadly than advertised.

When does coincidence become conspiracy? Where do people go when gentrification pushes them out? Can Sydney and Theo trust each other—or themselves—long enough to find out before they too disappear?

 

Published:     1st September 2020
Publisher:  William Morrow
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Owned

 


MY REVIEW

 

I have to be honest and say that this book was not at all on my radar but heard about it through the Literally Dead Book Club which is on Goodreads and hosted by Booksandlala on You Tube.  I am a massive fan of thrillers, so I thought I would give this a go.  Why not!

We follow Sydney who has lived in her Brooklyn neighbood all her life.  With her mother ill and not living at home at the moment, Sydney is on her own.  She can't shake the feeling that she is being watched or followed.  She also notices a lot of changes in the neighbourhood with for sale signs popping up, people she has known her entire life moving away or just play outright disappearing.  Something isn't right.  With the help of a neighbour, Theo, they delve into the history of the neighbourhood.

Yes, I did enjoy reading this book and was certainly very intrigued as to what on earth was going in the neighbourhood and who was 'watching' Sydney.  For me, this story dragged a lot with plenty of places throughout where I could have easily put this down and not picked it up again.  Maybe it was my mistaken expectations but I was hoping for a twist or spectacular ending that just didn't land for me.  Very predictable.  That said, I really did enjoy the writing and would certainly look at some point in the  future to pick up another book from this author.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continue reading Book Review / When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole

3 Apr 2021

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Book Review / Horrid by Katrina Leno

From the author of You Must Not Miss comes a haunting contemporary horror novel that explores themes of mental illness, rage, and grief, twisted with spine-chilling elements of Stephen King and Agatha Christie.

Following her father's death, Jane North-Robinson and her mom move from sunny California to the dreary, dilapidated old house in Maine where her mother grew up. All they want is a fresh start, but behind North Manor's doors lurks a history that leaves them feeling more alone...and more tormented.

As the cold New England autumn arrives, and Jane settles in to her new home, she finds solace in old books and memories of her dad. She steadily begins making new friends, but also faces bullying from the resident "bad seed," struggling to tamp down her own worst nature in response. Jane's mom also seems to be spiraling with the return of her childhood home, but she won't reveal why. Then Jane discovers that the "storage room" her mom has kept locked isn't for storage at all--it's a little girl's bedroom, left untouched for years and not quite as empty of inhabitants as it appears....

Is it grief? Mental illness? Or something more...horrid?

 

Published:     15th September 2020
Publisher:  Little Brown Books
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Owned

 


MY REVIEW

 

A haunting contemporary horror novel.  That was the first words I read for this novel and I knew that I had to pick it up.  Well, that and the interesting cover.  Why would someone have roses in their eyes?  That was the one part that intrigued me the most. 

We follow Jane when she, and her mom, move to her grandmother's home in her mom's home town.  There's a lot of history to the house and the family that had lived there for so long  So many secrets that want to be told.  

Just a heads up, but this story does deal with a lot of hard hitting issues such as grief, death, murder and certainly mental illness.

This book kept me on the edge of my seat wondering what on earth was going on.   This story was very weird and I loved it!  The best part for me was the secrets both within the house and within other aspects that I won't tell you because I don't want to spoil it for you.  This is definately a very spooky book as you never know what is 'around the corner' and a book that I certainly did not read at night!


 

 

 

 

 

 

Continue reading Book Review / Horrid by Katrina Leno
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Book Review / The Racketeer by John Grisham

Given the importance of what they do, and the controversies that often surround them, and the violent people they sometimes confront, it is remarkable that in the history of this country only four active federal judges have been murdered.

Judge Raymond Fawcett has just become number five.

Who is the Racketeer? And what does he have to do with the judge’s untimely demise? His name, for the moment, is Malcolm Bannister. Job status? Former attorney. Current residence? The Federal Prison Camp near Frostburg, Maryland.

On paper, Malcolm’s situation isn’t looking too good these days, but he’s got an ace up his sleeve. He knows who killed Judge Fawcett, and he knows why. The judge’s body was found in his remote lakeside cabin. There was no forced entry, no struggle, just two dead bodies: Judge Fawcett and his young secretary. And one large, state-of-the-art, extremely secure safe, opened and emptied.

What was in the safe? The FBI would love to know. And Malcolm Bannister would love to tell them. But everything has a price—especially information as explosive as the sequence of events that led to Judge Fawcett’s death. And the Racketeer wasn’t born yesterday . . .

Published:     23rd October 2012
Publisher:  Doubleday
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Owned

 



MY REVIEW


I have absolutely adored each and every John Grisham novel I have read so far but there are some that I have enjoyed more than that and this is one of them.  There were so many twists and turns, this just kept me on the edge of my seat right the way very way through this entire novel.

We follow Malcolm who at the start of the novel is situated in a prison for a crime that I won't go into here but best delved into when you pick up this book.  He knows something and can use this to bargain for his hopeful freedom.  At first, he is not taken seriously but as time goes on maybe he knows more than what the authorities think he does.  

A wonderfully twisty and turny novel that, as I mentioned above, kept me at the edge of my seat.  What I believed at the start of the novel was not necessarily what I believed at the end of the novel and I loved that feeling of being on the edge and not really knowing what is true and what is false.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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27 Mar 2021

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Series Review / Revenants Trilogy by Amy Plum


In the City of Lights, two star-crossed lovers battle a fate that is destined to tear them apart again and again for eternity.

When Kate Mercier's parents die in a tragic car accident, she leaves her life--and memories--behind to live with her grandparents in Paris. For Kate, the only way to survive her pain is escaping into the world of books and Parisian art. Until she meets Vincent.

Mysterious, charming, and devastatingly handsome, Vincent threatens to melt the ice around Kate's guarded heart with just his smile. As she begins to fall in love with Vincent, Kate discovers that he's a revenant--an undead being whose fate forces him to sacrifice himself over and over again to save the lives of others. Vincent and those like him are bound in a centuries-old war against a group of evil revenants who exist only to murder and betray. Kate soon realizes that if she follows her heart, she may never be safe again.

Published:     2011
Publisher:  HarperTeen

Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Trilogy
Source:  Owned
 

 



MY REVIEW

 

I had first read this trilogy back in 2016 and loved it.  I was reminded of this trilogy again recently via audiobooks and decided to read it again to see what my take on it was the second time around.

We follow Kate when she (and her sister) move to Paris to live with her grandparents after her parents die on a tragic car accident.  She then meets Vincent and the story goes from there as she discovers that there is more to Vincent than meets the eye.

I did enjoy this story the second time around but I think because since first reading this trilogy I have read so many more books with a similar plot line some of the uniqueness that I had got from this story back in 2016 was not there the second time around.  That's not to say that I didn't enjoy this trilogy to a point but it was very predictable and, to be honest, I stopped reading after completing the second book as I just wasn't feeling that motivated to pick up the last book.  What does set this story aside is the fact that it is based in Paris and I honestly can't think of another book I have read recently that is based in Paris, so that does give it a certain atmosphere that I did enjoy a lot, especially the second time around. 

I think this trilogy would be an ideal read for those who have not yet read a lot of this type of stories

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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14 Mar 2021

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Book Review / A Place Called Here by Cecelia Ahern

Sometimes it takes losing everything to truly find yourself... Since Sandy Shortt's childhood classmate disappeared twenty years ago, Sandy has been obsessed with missing things. Finding what is lost becomes her single-minded goal--from the lone sock that vanishes in the washing machine to the car keys she misplaced. It's no surprise, then, that Sandy's life's work becomes finding people who have vanished from their loved ones. 

Sandy's family is baffled and concerned by her increasing preoccupation. Her parents can't understand her compulsion, and she pushes them away further by losing herself in the work of tracking down these missing people. She gives up her life in order to offer a flicker of hope to devastated families...and escape the disappointments of her own. Jack Ruttle is one of those devastated people. It's been a year since his brother Donal vanished into thin air, and he has enlisted Sandy Shortt to find him. But before she is able to offer Jack the information he so desperately needs, Sandy goes missing too...and Jack now finds himself searching for his brother and the one woman who understood his pain. 

One minute Sandy is jogging through the park, the next, she can't figure out where she is. The path is obscured. Nothing is familiar. A clearing up ahead reveals a camp site, and it's there that Sandy discovers the impossible: she has inadvertently stumbled upon the place-- and people--she's been looking for all her life, a land where all the missing people go. A world away from her loved ones and the home she ran from for so long, Sandy soon resorts to her old habit again, searching. Though this time, she is desperately trying to find her way home...
 

Published:     1st March 2012
Publisher:  HarperCollins
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Owned

 


 

BOOK REVIEW

 

This was a book was both fun and stressful in equal levels, but a very good novel overall!

We follow Sandy who has always had a need to find the missing, whether that will be an odd sock, a missing coat or a missing person.  That need is more of a compulsion rather than a choice.  She takes on a job to find someone's brother and visits their town but then she goes missing.  

We follow two people's perspectives here.  Both the perspective of the brother of that who is missing and that of Sandy, wherever she may be.  This has to be my favourite part, the split perspectives as you are seeing through the eyes of the brother who on the one hand is desperate to find out what happened to his brother and also curious to find out why Sandy did not turn up to their initial meeting.  His curiousity peaked even more when he finds Sandy's abandoned car.  On the other hand we follow Sandy's perspective.  I won't go into too much about this as I don't want to spoil it for those who have not read this book yet but this side of the story definately had me puzzled for a long while!

I really gripping mystery that I would highly recommend.

 

 

 

 

Continue reading Book Review / A Place Called Here by Cecelia Ahern

13 Mar 2021

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Book Review / Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey

From the Academy Award®–winning actor, an unconventional memoir filled with raucous stories, outlaw wisdom, and lessons learned the hard way about living with greater satisfaction

I’ve been in this life for fifty years, been trying to work out its riddle for forty-two, and been keeping diaries of clues to that riddle for the last thirty-five. Notes about successes and failures, joys and sorrows, things that made me marvel, and things that made me laugh out loud. How to be fair. How to have less stress. How to have fun. How to hurt people less. How to get hurt less. How to be a good man. How to have meaning in life. How to be more me.

Recently, I worked up the courage to sit down with those diaries. I found stories I experienced, lessons I learned and forgot, poems, prayers, prescriptions, beliefs about what matters, some great photographs, and a whole bunch of bumper stickers. I found a reliable theme, an approach to living that gave me more satisfaction, at the time, and still: If you know how, and when, to deal with life’s challenges - how to get relative with the inevitable - you can enjoy a state of success I call “catching greenlights.”

So I took a one-way ticket to the desert and wrote this book: an album, a record, a story of my life so far. This is fifty years of my sights and seens, felts and figured-outs, cools and shamefuls. Graces, truths, and beauties of brutality. Getting away withs, getting caughts, and getting wets while trying to dance between the raindrops.

Hopefully, it’s medicine that tastes good, a couple of aspirin instead of the infirmary, a spaceship to Mars without needing your pilot’s license, going to church without having to be born again, and laughing through the tears.

It’s a love letter. To life.

It’s also a guide to catching more greenlights - and to realizing that the yellows and reds eventually turn green too.

Good luck.

 

Published:     20th October 2020
Publisher:  Crown Publishing Group
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Owned

 


BOOK REVIEW

 

I do read quite a lot of biographical and memoir novels and, generally, I enjoy learning more about that particular person and hearing what they have to say, but that's usually as far as it goes.  I like it, understand it and then move onto learn about someone new.  Yes, I got all of that from this novel but I took so much more from this book than I had ever expected.  

I would highly recommend listening to this on audio book for not just the fact that Matthew himself narrates but he narrates in his own unique style that you really feel like you are having a one to one discussion with him.  Not only does he talk about his life but also gives inspirational messages throughout the book.  I absolutely adore the word 'Greenlights'.  So often in life, we ignore the Greenlights and just do what we have to do and not see the possibilities of what we could do if we paid attention to the Greenlights.

This book has stayed with me long after finishing and I know this is a book that I am going to go back to time and time again when I need a bit of life inspiration. 

 

 

 

 

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7 Mar 2021

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Book Review / Calico Joe by John Grisham

When he arrived in Philadelphia, a cab delivered him to Veterans Stadium, where he was quickly fixed for a uniform, given Number 42, and hustled onto the field. The Cubs were already taking batting practice. Understandably, he was nervous, thrilled, almost bewildered, and when the manager, Whitey Lockman, said, "Get loose. You're starting at first and hitting seventh," Joe Castle had trouble gripping his brand-new bat. In his first round of major-league batting practice, he swung at the first two pitches and missed.

He would not miss again for a long time.


In the summer of 1973 Joe Castle was the boy wonder of baseball, the greatest rookie anyone had ever seen. The kid from Calico Rock, Arkansas, dazzled Cub fans as he hit home run after home run, politely tipping his hat to the crowd as he shattered all rookie records.

Calico Joe quickly became the idol of every baseball fan in America, including Paul Tracey, the young son of a hard-partying and hard-throwing Mets pitcher. On the day that Warren Tracey finally faced Calico Joe, Paul was in the stands, rooting for his idol but also for his dad. Then Warren threw a fastball that would change their lives forever.

 

Published:     10th April 2012
Publisher:  Doubleday
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Owned

 


BOOK REVIEW

 

I will be the first to admit that I don't follow baseball nor do I know anything about it or how it is played.  But this is a novel written by John Grisham, so I am going to read it anyway because I know I will enjoy it for the writing alone, even if I don't really understand the rules of the game. 

In this story we follow Joe Castle (Calico Joe) who back in 1973 is the superstar of baseball but also we follow the story of Warren in the present day who is the son of a baseball player who played at the same time as Calico Joe.  We mainly follow Warren as he tries to fix a situation that happened so many years ago.

I really enjoyed this story.  Yes, I didn't understand the baseball side of it and yes there is a lot of that in this book (as it is meant to) but the characters and the story made this truly enjoyable to me.  A son who is trying to help his dad fix a problem that happened so many years ago.  

A truly enjoyable story and you really don't have to be a fan of baseball to read this.



 

 

 

Continue reading Book Review / Calico Joe by John Grisham