Anything You Do Say by Gillian McAllister. Review

Thank you to Netgalley, the publisher and Gillian McAllister for my review copy of Anything You Do Say.

I have never seen the film Sliding Doors but if you have, this book follows a similar concept in that it is told in the form of two scenarios. Like two stories running concurrently, based on a decision made.

Olivia and Laura are out for their regular Friday night drinks when a man begins to harass Olivia. She’d agreed to take a selfie with him, let him buy her a drink but then he gets pushy, starts touching her inappropriately, getting in her personal space etc. A moment we’ve all experienced, not just women but men too, that pushy guy or girl who’s maybe a bit worse for wear but whose behaviour is inexcusable.

Feeling uncomfortable, the two women leave the bar and set off home in separate directions. Halfway to the tube station, Olivia gets the sense that someone is following her, she tries to call her husband but the signal goes, spotting the guy from the bar’s bright red trainees coming up alongside her, Olivia panics, turning around, she shoved her would be attacker away from her as hard as possible, and he falls down the concrete stairs to the canal side and doesn’t move.

Now Olivia is faced with a decision. Does she call 999 save the man’s life and face the consequences of what she has done? Or does she walk away, pretend it hasn’t happened and live with the guilt?

The rest of the novel tells the story from two angles, Reveal and Conceal. One sees Olivia calling 999, being arrested and facing the consequences of her actions, the other sees her leaving him there, and trying to live with herself and cover up the crime afterwards.

It was a really interesting way to read a novel. The whole way through I found myself questioning, not only my own morals and beliefs, I.e what would I do in that situation, but also which one was true and which one had the worse consequences? Yes, admitting to it means you’re admitting to a crime which may end in a prison sentence, but concealing it means you’ve got to face your friends and family knowing what you’ve done and living with that. Which is worse?

The story really pulls you along and in all honesty I was surprised how much I identified with Olivia. Like literally, other than the pushing the man down the stairs thing, me and her could be the same person. Her inability to commit to anything, her mad schemes, her need to prove herself, her intelligence but procrastination letting her down. Olivia is like my soul mate. I think that really gave me such a strong emotional connection with her because Sometimes it felt like the story was about me. It was a weird feeling. But it really allowed me to get lost in the story.

One of my favourite novels from this year. Excellent.


November Wrap Up 2017

It’s a big one this month! I had a 2 week break in Tenerife and we literally stayed in a villa in the middle of nowhere, so with nothing else to do, I had no choice but to read, read, read!

Ive read 32 books this month, totalling 10,979 Pages.

Midnight Crossroad, Day Shift and Night Shift by Charlaine Harris

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

Pieces of You by Ella Harper

Peggy and Me by Miranda Hart

Tess of the D’Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy

Into the Thinnest of Air by Simon R Green

The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

The Girl You Lost and The Girl With No Past by Kathryn Croft

The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas

The Girls by Emma Cline

Truth or Dare by Non Pratt

A Very British Christmas by Rhodri Marsden

The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me and Why Not Me? By Mindy Kaling

See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

Faking Friends by Jane Fallon

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them the illustrated edition by JK Rowling

Look For Me by Lisa Gardner

A Journey Through The History of Magic by The British Library

The Sacrifice Box by Martin Stewart

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by George RR Martin

Across the Wall by Garth Nix

Lips Touch, Three Times by Laini Taylor

Contagion by Teri Terry

The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Cold Christmas by Alastair Gunn

Cold Christmas by Alastair Gunn. Review

Thank you to Netgalley, Penguin and Alastair Gunn for my ARC of Cold Christmas.

This was an interesting detective story about a series of killings in and around London and Hertfordshire. Cold Christmas refers to a small village in which there is a church which faces the wrong way, possibly linking it to Devil’s worship. But how does that tie in with the case?

I’ve been in a bad frame of mind for reading recently possibly due to the amount of books I demolished on holiday over the last few weeks, and this was a pleasantly easy read with an interesting premise, which allowed me to coast through it at a reasonable pace. The only thing I would say is that this is the 4th book in a series and I wish I’d have known this as some of the back story was missing or touched on and I feel I would have benefited from reading the first 3 books before this one. I think this would also have created a more emotional response to the ending too.

Antonia is a well written character, tough and a bit of an anti heroine, I’d like to have known more about her back story to understand her more but that was seriously just down to my own fault for reading the 4th Book first!

Overall, a really good detective novel with an unusual premise, I didn’t click on to who the murderer was either, that was a shock!

November Book Haul 2017

I know, I know I wasn’t supposed to be buying any more books, but as usual I couldn’t help myself! I bought 15 books this month and they are as follows:

1. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them the Illustrated Edition by JK Rowling

2. See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

3 and 4. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? And Why Me? By Mindy Kaling

5. The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher

6. A Journey Through The History of Magic by the British Library

7. The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie

8. Peggy and Me by Miranda Hart

9. Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham

10. Dark Fire by CJ Sansom

11. The Mermaids Singing by Val McDermid

12. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh

13. Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher

14. The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer

15. Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick

American Gods by Neil Gaiman. Review

This book has always been on my mental TBR but I hadn’t actually added it for some reason. Then I actually picked a copy up from the hotel ‘library’ on holiday in June, didn’t get chance to read it there, brought it home and it’s sat on my shelf ever since. Anyway, I have now read it, and best of all enjoyed it!

I was lucky enough to read the extended, republished version which is quite a lot longer than the originally published version, I’ve heard it described as ‘too much description but not enough happening’, fortunately, I didn’t find it so!

We start the novel with Shadow, in prison and not far from release when he receives the news that his wife Laura and his best friend Robbie have been killed in a car accident. On the plane Home, he meets an unusual character who calls himself Mr Wednesday. Finding himself employed by this rogue, as a bodyguard, driver and errand boy, Shadow is sent on a journey beyond his wildest dreams as he finds himself entangled with gods and humans of equally despicable intent.

Although this was a big book, it was an easy read, I found I’d devoured hundreds of pages without even realising! While the story may to some, appear slow going I found that the whole book was a climax rather than a build up to a final climatic moment. And I hadn’t worked out most of the secrets!

An interesting outlook on not one set of Gods but all gods and the idea that they were brought to America along with their people and left their gods to die.

Fairyloot Unboxing November 2017

It feels like so much longer than a month since the last Fairyloot box arrived and I have been so excited for November’s box with its Theme of ‘ladies who slay’.

Spoilers ahead guys so if you’ve not received or unboxed yours yet then don’t read on!!

If you don’t subscribe yet and would like to, you can do so via the Fairyloot website here:

So without further ado, it’s a great Box this month, starting off with the exclusive Brightest Witch candle from Flick the Wick. With no other than Hermione Granger on the front. It’s got a gorgeous smell of Lily, Vanilla, Raspberry, Musk and Citrus.

Bookish Teas have included a lovely looking fruit tea called Blue’s Brew inspired by The Raven Cycle’s Blue Sargent.

The most amazing thing in the Box has to be this stunning booksleebe from Anjuli Art featuring Books and swords for the ladies that slay theme.

A Katniss Everdeen themed badge from Literary Emporium to be ironed onto bags or jackets, it features the quote ‘Fire is catching, and if we burn, you burn with us!’

A sticker for a laptop, (or bookshelf) is from Reverie and Ink and it’s so cute!! It features the quote ‘as long as you light the darkness you stand in the light’. The quote being from Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir.

The bonus items this month are the postcard and pin badge from The Last Namsara.

And this metal pin badge from The Mortal Coil

But best of all this month gives us two books! But not just any Books either, one of them is an exclusive ARC of Fury Born by Claire Legrand.

And a delightfully beautiful copy of The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarreli along with a signed bookplate.

Another amazing loot from Fairyloot this month! Next month’s theme is ‘Oh So Regal’ and I’m really excited to see what will be included in that one!!

18 Series’ I need to finish

There are several series’ that I’ve started and not yet finished, some because the rest of the series has not yet been published, and some because I’ve started other things and not had the chance! So here are the series’ I’ve started and haven’t yet had chance to finish.

1. The Folk of the Air by Holly Black

I read The Cruel Prince recently and it isn’t actually published until January, and it’s started off really well. It will probably be a few years before the whole series is published but I’m looking forward to it!

2. The First Law by Joe Abercrombie

I read The Blade Itself while on holiday and it’s got off to a fairly good start. I’m not keen enough on it to buy the second and third books full price, so I’m waiting for a kindle daily deal to come along before I get the next ones.

3. Dark Matter by Teri Terry

This was a great first book and I believe the second one is out pretty soon so I’ll be able to continue with it! Up to now I think it is only planned to be a 2 Book series.

4. The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman

The new companion series to His Dark Materials has got off to a great start and I’m really excited to hear more about Lyra’s early life.

5. Rise of the Empress by Julie C Dao

The first in what is set to be the hottest new retelling series on the block, an evil queen retelling set in Asia.

6. The Great Library by Rachel Caine

With 3 great books already published the 4th and 5th in this series are set to be published in 2019 and 2020 respectively.

7. Chief Inspector Barnaby by Caroline Graham

Caroline Graham’s iconic series which of course was turned into the Midsomer Murders tv series, I’ve read the first two and love it so far!

8. The Nevernight Chronicle by Jay Kristoff

This series has got off to an amazing start and I am eagerly awaiting the third in the series being published.

9. Dark Gifts by Vic James

Another series which has got off to an incredible start. Book 3 is due publication hopefully next year or the year after!

10. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

These books are so huge (but also so good) I think it will take me a little while to get through them all.

11. The Frostblood Saga by Elly Blake

Book 3 of this intriguing series is due for release in 2018.

12. Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine

This thriller series by the amazing Rachel Caine is deeply fascinating and Book 2 is due for release very soon.

13. Skin Books by Alice Broadway

An extremely interesting premise makes the start of a great series. There is as yet no release date for a second book.

14. Flame in the Mist by Renee Adhieh

The second book in this Asian fantasy is due for publication in 2018.

15. The Dark Artifices by Cassandra Clare

Like most people I can’t get enough of the Shadowhunters and this new series is shaping up very well!

16. Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

Carve the Mark got a lot of bad press but I really enjoyed it and I look forward to the next one!

17. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

The most amazing book of the year by such a fantastic author, when I say I can’t wait I mean I literally can’t wait for the second book!

18. The Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Arden

A dark, Russian fantasy and incredibly good series book 3 can only possibly make it even better!

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