28 Jun 2017


DNF Review / All The Truth that's in Me by Julie Berry

Four years ago, Judith and her best friend disappeared from their small town of Roswell Station. Two years ago, only Judith returned, permanently mutilated, reviled and ignored by those who were once her friends and family.

Unable to speak, Judith lives like a ghost in her own home, silently pouring out her thoughts to the boy who’s owned her heart as long as she can remember—even if he doesn’t know it—her childhood friend, Lucas.

But when Roswell Station is attacked, long-buried secrets come to light, and Judith is forced to choose: continue to live in silence, or recover her voice, even if it means changing her world, and the lives around her, forever.

This startlingly original novel will shock and disturb you; it will fill you with Judith’s passion and longing; and its mysteries will keep you feverishly turning the pages until the very last.

Published:     26th September 2013
Publisher:  Viking Books
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Library
Pages Read before DNF:


I really wanted to love this book.  Right at a time when I am really into reading thriller style books, this should have been a great read for me.  However, it wasn't the plot that made me not want to continue reading.  It was the narrative.  This book is written in the first person narrative, using sentences like 'I waited all evening in the willow tree', 'I know you went to town tonight' and 'I bent and drank straight from it'.  Not that this is a bad thing but it is a narrative that I am not used to reading and just could not get used to reading.  Had this been written in the third person narrative this might have been a great read for me.  I am so sad about that.

Continue reading DNF Review / All The Truth that's in Me by Julie Berry

26 Jun 2017


Book Review / On the Fence by Kasie West

For sixteen-year-old Charlotte Reynolds, aka Charlie, being raised by a single dad and three older brothers has its perks. She can outrun, outscore, and outwit every boy she knows—including her longtime neighbor and honorary fourth brother, Braden. But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn't know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at chichi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange new world of makeup, lacy skirts, and BeDazzlers. Even stranger, she's spending time with a boy who has never seen her tear it up in a pickup game.

To cope with the stress of faking her way through this new reality, Charlie seeks late-night refuge in her backyard, talking out her problems with Braden by the fence that separates them. But their Fence Chats can't solve Charlie's biggest problem: she's falling for Braden. Hard. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high.

Published:     1st July 2014
Publisher:  HarperTeen
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Library 


What I liked about this story...    This book was so much fun to read.  I am so glad that I picked this book up at this time of year as summer is definitely the best time to read this one!  In this story we follow Charlotte at the beginning being young, carefree and also a bit reckless having been stopped for speeding a few too many times.  With her father being a police offer, she doesn't get away with it.  She receives a speeding ticket and has to get a job to pay that off.  Although we do follow mainly the story of Charlotte this is also a story about her family too and how they cope with the loss of their mother.  Despite the obvious sadness around the mother, this book was funny, upbeat and endearing.  Certainly something that is perfect for a beach read!

What I didn't like about this story... Although this story is meant to follow Charlotte, I would have loved to have seen more of her family life and more about her brothers and her father.  Maybe that could be something for another story...

Continue reading Book Review / On the Fence by Kasie West

22 Jun 2017


Blog Tour / All The Good Things by Clare Fisher

Twenty-one year old Beth is in prison. The thing she did is so bad she doesn't deserve to ever feel good again.

But her counsellor, Erika, won't give up on her. She asks Beth to make a list of all the good things in her life. So Beth starts to write down her story, from sharing silences with Foster Dad No. 1, to flirting in the Odeon on Orange Wednesdays, to the very first time she sniffed her baby's head.

But at the end of her story, Beth must confront the bad thing.

What is the truth hiding behind her crime? And does anyone-even a 100% bad person-deserve a chance to be good?

Published:     1st June 2017
Publisher:  Penguin
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher


This was an interesting read for me.  I haven't come across yet (I don't believe) a book that is written from the perspective this type of character.  You have a character who is in prison and obviously does not believe in herself and we are watching her trying to see some good in her life despite what she has been through and where she was.  

With this book I am glad that I didn't looking to the description or really know too much about it before I picked it up.  This book is definitely one of those that is best experienced when you know nothing from the beginning.  

What I loved the most in this book would have to be the character of Beth and following her story as she goes through these 'therapy sessions'.  I won't go into too much detail as to the why, where, who etc as I don't want to spoil the story. 

I would have loved this book to have been longer, went into more detail and delved into a bit more of Beth but at only 280 pages it a very emotional but good read. 

Continue reading Blog Tour / All The Good Things by Clare Fisher

20 Jun 2017

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Book Review / The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

In this tightly wound story, Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. At first, Lo’s stay is nothing but pleasant: the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for—and so, the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo’s desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone terribly, terribly wrong…

With surprising twists and a setting that proves as uncomfortably claustrophobic as it is eerily beautiful, Ruth Ware offers up another intense read.

Published:     19th July 2016
Publisher:  Harvill Secker
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Library


After reading In A Dark Dark Wood, I knew I had to pick up this one up as soon as I could.  In fact, I was so excited to read this one I sat down on a quiet Sunday morning to read for an hour or two and ended up not really moving from that spot until the very last page.  I just could not put it down.  Although predictable in places, this book kept me hooked wondering what on earth was going on.  Being only 340 pages this book was packed to the brim full of twists & turns and surprises.  

What I loved the most has to be the twist in the plot nearer the end of the story where there is a big reveal, you find out what has been happening but the story's not over yet.  There's a few more twists and turns that are yet to be discovered.  I must have spent the entire time reading this book wondering what was going to happen next and who was responsible!  

Continue reading Book Review / The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

18 Jun 2017


Book Review / Very Good Lives by JK Rowling

In 2008, J.K. Rowling delivered a deeply affecting commencement speech at Harvard University. Now published for the first time in book form, Very Good Lives offers J.K. Rowling’s words of wisdom for anyone at a turning point in life, asking the profound and provocative questions: How can we embrace failure? And how can we use our imagination to better both ourselves and others?

Drawing from stories of her own post-graduate years, the world-famous author addresses some of life’s most important issues with acuity and emotional force.

Published:     14th April 2015
Publisher:  Little Brown
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Library



If I was attending the commencement speech at Harvard listening to this, I would have left there feeling so inspired my feet would not have left the ground for a long while after.  But I don't think this only applies only to those attending the commencement speech.  Having left school a long time ago now, reading this speech I was inspired to do more and ask more questions of myself.  This is definitely a book that should be read my everyone who is not sure where to go next whether that be in life, love or your career...

Continue reading Book Review / Very Good Lives by JK Rowling

12 Jun 2017

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Book Review / In a Dark Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

In a dark, dark wood

Nora hasn't seen Clare for ten years. Not since Nora walked out of school one day and never went back.

There was a dark, dark house

Until, out of the blue, an invitation to Clare’s hen do arrives. Is this a chance for Nora to finally put her past behind her?

And in the dark, dark house there was a dark, dark room

But something goes wrong. Very wrong.

And in the dark, dark room....

Some things can’t stay secret for ever.

Published:     30thJuly 2015
Publisher:  Harvill Secker
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Library 


What I liked about this book...  Now this was a very interesting read for me.  From the reviews I have seen, this was one of those books that was not very liked (although I know there are many that do like it, it just happened that the people I follow reviews of didn't like this one).  My instant reaction when someone really doesn't like a book is that I immediately want to pick it up and find out why.  I really enjoyed this book.   What hooked me into it was right at the beginning of the story where Nora is invited to Clare's hen party.  Nora hasn't seen Clare in ten years, so why was she invited.  If I had been invited to something like that for someone I hadn't seen for ten years I would not be attending (and certainly will not be now I've read this book lol!).

We follow Nora as she turns up to a cabin in the woods where the party was taking place, she meets Clare's friends and eventually Clare turns up to explain why they haven't talked in ten years and why she was invited to the hen party.  I was really surprised by the reason, it was something I had not been expecting.  From there on, I just could not put it down.

One thing after another starts to happen and I have to say the ending was breathtaking.  There were so many twists and turns in this book, it kept me on my toes right until the very last page!

Continue reading Book Review / In a Dark Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

8 Jun 2017


Book Review / Girl in the Mirror by Cecelia Ahern

Two powerful and unforgettable stories from the Number One bestselling author

Girl in the Mirror

Lila knows how lucky she is to have found the man of her dreams. But when a secret from her family's past comes to light on her wedding day, her destiny changes in the most unexpected of ways ...

The Memory Maker

They say you never forget your first love. But what happens when those cherished memories start to fade? Some people would do anything to hold on to the past and, for one heartbroken man, that means finding a way to relive those precious moments ...

Published:     1st March 2011
Publisher:  HarperTorch
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Owned


What I liked about this story...  I was very intrigued by this story and have been meaning to pick it up and read it since it came out (all of 6 years ago, whoops).  Doesn't time fly!  Cecelia Ahern is one of my favourite authors and I can't believe it has taken me this long to read it!  I had first though that this was one novella but happily discovered that it was two.  If I had to pick which one I liked the most, I would have to choose Girl in the Mirror.  It had a great mix of family secrets and mysteries.  I especially liked the ending, very inventive.

What I didn't like about this story...   I have to be honest and say that the second story fell a bit flat for me.  I couldn't get into it to start with and when I did I wasn't really that bothered about what happened.  I should just say that the writing was really good but this story just was not for me. 
Continue reading Book Review / Girl in the Mirror by Cecelia Ahern

6 Jun 2017


DNF Review / The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

'DNF' meaning Did Not Finish. 

A warm, funny and acutely perceptive debut novel about four adult siblings and the fate of the shared inheritance that has shaped their choices and their lives.

Every family has its problems. But even among the most troubled, the Plumb family stands out as spectacularly dysfunctional. Years of simmering tensions finally reach a breaking point on an unseasonably cold afternoon in New York City as Melody, Beatrice, and Jack Plumb gather to confront their charismatic and reckless older brother, Leo, freshly released from rehab. Months earlier, an inebriated Leo got behind the wheel of a car with a nineteen-year-old waitress as his passenger. The ensuing accident has endangered the Plumbs joint trust fund, “The Nest,” which they are months away from finally receiving. Meant by their deceased father to be a modest mid-life supplement, the Plumb siblings have watched The Nest’s value soar along with the stock market and have been counting on the money to solve a number of self-inflicted problems.

Melody, a wife and mother in an upscale suburb, has an unwieldy mortgage and looming college tuition for her twin teenage daughters. Jack, an antiques dealer, has secretly borrowed against the beach cottage he shares with his husband, Walker, to keep his store open. And Bea, a once-promising short-story writer, just can’t seem to finish her overdue novel. Can Leo rescue his siblings and, by extension, the people they love? Or will everyone need to reimagine the future they’ve envisioned? Brought together as never before, Leo, Melody, Jack, and Beatrice must grapple with old resentments, present-day truths, and the significant emotional and financial toll of the accident, as well as finally acknowledge the choices they have made in their own lives.

This is a story about the power of family, the possibilities of friendship, the ways we depend upon one another and the ways we let one another down. In this tender, entertaining, and deftly written debut, Sweeney brings a remarkable cast of characters to life to illuminate what money does to relationships, what happens to our ambitions over the course of time, and the fraught yet unbreakable ties we share with those we love.

Published:     22nd March 2016
Publisher:  Ecco
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Library

Rating:   Did Not Finish
Page Reached before DNF:  68


I always like to give every book I pick up a fighting chance and always aim to get to at least 50 pages in before I decide what to do next.  I just couldn't do it with this one.  Here's the reasons why:

  • I could not connect with any of the characters.  None of them particularly stood out for me and I just wasn't interested in following their stories and finding out more;
  • I was bored.  The start of this book was very slow paced.  I really wanted something surprising to happen but from the pages that I read nothing had happened by then.  It may be that something happens later that I missed out on; and
  • this book was so hyped up that I think this was one of those that I had very high expectations for and just didn't get it. 
That being said the writing in this book was good and I was enjoying that part of it.  I would not hesitate picking up another book written by the same author.

Continue reading DNF Review / The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

5 Jun 2017

Did Not Finish 'DNF' Reviews

For a while now I have only added by DNF books to a shelf on Goodreads with no explanation apart from the fact that I had put a particular book on that shelf.  After thinking about it for a while, I have decided to post blog posts on these books as well as and when I come across them purely for the reason that I feel as a reader and reviewer I should be explaining why I didn't finish it and my feelings about it. 

As a reader, when looking into books I want to read I tend to gravitate towards two types of reviews; ones where the reader has loved the book and ones that the reader either has not managed to finish it or has finished it and didn't like it.  I always like to get two sides to the story so then I can make up my own mind. 

I always like to give every book I pick up a good fighting chance and mostly always reach at least the 50 page part before I decide what to do next.  Below I have put a link to my Goodreads profile page where you will see a shelf called 'DNF or not for me' which is where I have shelved my DNF books.  There's only 28 in there dating back to December 2012.  I had, for a long time, made myself read a book even if I wasn't enjoying it.  Lately, I have been more selective over what I give my reading time to and I wasn't to share that with you.  

As a reviewer, I have always felt that only reviewing the books I read and not showing the ones that I did not finish I am only giving you half of my reading story.  This is where I want to make a change and tell you more about that here.  Hope you don't mind.

If there are any books on my DNF folder, linked below, that you want to know more about and/or why I didn't finish them, let me know.

Best wishes
Debs :-)

Continue reading Did Not Finish 'DNF' Reviews

4 Jun 2017


Book Review / The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

I've been following her for the past few days. I know where she buys her groceries, where she works. I don't know the color of her eyes or what they look like when she's scared. But I will.

One night, Mia Dennett enters a bar to meet her on-again, off-again boyfriend. But when he doesn't show, she unwisely leaves with an enigmatic stranger. At first Colin Thatcher seems like a safe one-night stand. But following Colin home will turn out to be the worst mistake of Mia's life.

When Colin decides to hide Mia in a secluded cabin in rural Minnesota instead of delivering her to his employers, Mia's mother, Eve, and detective Gabe Hoffman will stop at nothing to find them. But no one could have predicted the emotional entanglements that eventually cause this family's world to shatter.

An addictively suspenseful and tautly written thriller, The Good Girl is a propulsive debut that reveals how even in the perfect family, nothing is as it seems.

Published:     29th July 2014
Publisher:  Harlequin MIRA
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Borrowed from Library


What I liked about this story...    A very interesting read.  I went into this book thinking that it was going to be a pretty normal thriller - woman gets kidnapped, goes through an ordeal and then either survives or gets killed.  This is not one of those stories.  There were quite a few twists and turns, some of which I was not expecting.  There's nothing better than a reading a story that keeps you on your toes, wondering what was going to happen next.  If I had to pick one thing that I liked the most, it would have to be the dynamic between Mia and Colin as the story goes it.  You think that it is not going to be that complicated but in fact it is.

What I didn't like about this story...  I would have loved for this to have been a bit more fast paced and a bit more action packed.   With it as it is, it just felt like it was missing something that I couldn't put my finger on...  But this has probably more to do with my expectations than anything else.  I had expected this to be fast paced with lots of punch packed in but in reality this is a really good thriller with more of a laid back style plot line that gradually grows as the story goes on. 

Continue reading Book Review / The Good Girl by Mary Kubica