27 Mar 2021


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




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


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





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.





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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




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


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




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.




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Book Review / Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops by Shaun Bythell


From behind the counter, Shaun Bythell catalogs the customers who roam his shop in Wigtown, Scotland. There's the Expert (divided into subspecies from the Bore to the Helpful Person), the Young Family (ranging from the Exhausted to the Aspirational), Occultists (from Conspiracy Theorist to Craft Woman).

Then there's the Loiterer (including the Erotica Browser and the Self-Published Author), the Bearded Pensioner (including the Lyrca Clad), and the The Not-So-Silent Traveller (the Whistler, Sniffer, Hummer, Farter, and Tutter). Two bonus sections include Staff and, finally, Perfect Customer--all add up to one of the funniest book about books you'll ever find.

Shaun Bythell (author of Confessions of a Bookseller) and his mordantly unique observational eye make this perfect for anyone who loves books and bookshops.





Published:     24th November 2020
Publisher:  David R Godine
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Book 45, In Death
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher





I am going to start this review off by saying that I wanted to enjoy this book so much.  What more could you want, it was a book about books.  Unfortunately that was not the case for me.

What I was expecting from the title is a narration by someone who used to own or work in a bookshop going through the seven kinds of people you find in a bookshop with a funny narration and something I might relate to by either being one of those people being described or knowing someone or seeing someone like what is being described.  That was not the case.  

Now, this is just my interpretation of what I read so it may be that I had misunderstood in some way or took some of the jokes the wrong way but I didn't find a lot of this funny or relateable and not only that but I found some descriptions to be a bit too much judgemental.  I get the feeling that a lot of assumptions were taken by the author in describing people in this book and those assumptions (or opinions) I felt were very judgemental and not given in the spirit of being nice.  Some comments I felt were not very nice. 

This story just wasn't for me.  I found the humour to be too mean and judgemental for my tastes.





Continue reading Book Review / Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops by Shaun Bythell