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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

https://lifehasafunnywayofsneakinguponyou.wordpress.com/2017/11/20/midnight-crossroad-by-charlaine-harris-review/

https://lifehasafunnywayofsneakinguponyou.wordpress.com/2017/11/20/day-shift-by-charlaine-harris-review/

https://lifehasafunnywayofsneakinguponyou.wordpress.com/2017/11/20/night-shift-by-charlaine-harris-review/

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

https://lifehasafunnywayofsneakinguponyou.wordpress.com/2017/11/23/into-the-water-by-paula-hawkins-review/

Pieces of You by Ella Harper

https://lifehasafunnywayofsneakinguponyou.wordpress.com/2017/11/19/pieces-of-you-by-ella-harper-review/

Peggy and Me by Miranda Hart

Tess of the D’Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy

https://lifehasafunnywayofsneakinguponyou.wordpress.com/2017/11/19/tess-of-the-dubervilles-by-thomas-hardy-review/

Into the Thinnest of Air by Simon R Green

https://lifehasafunnywayofsneakinguponyou.wordpress.com/2017/11/17/into-the-thinnest-of-air-by-simon-r-green-review/

The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge

https://lifehasafunnywayofsneakinguponyou.wordpress.com/2017/11/17/the-lie-tree-by-frances-hardinge-review/

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

https://lifehasafunnywayofsneakinguponyou.wordpress.com/2017/11/17/the-cruel-prince-by-holly-black-review/

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

https://lifehasafunnywayofsneakinguponyou.wordpress.com/2017/11/16/the-girl-with-no-past-by-kathryn-croft-review/

https://lifehasafunnywayofsneakinguponyou.wordpress.com/2017/11/16/the-girl-you-lost-by-kathryn-croft-review/

The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas

https://lifehasafunnywayofsneakinguponyou.wordpress.com/2017/11/11/the-hate-u-give-by-angie-thomas-review/

The Girls by Emma Cline

https://lifehasafunnywayofsneakinguponyou.wordpress.com/2017/11/11/the-girls-by-emma-cline-review/

Truth or Dare by Non Pratt

https://lifehasafunnywayofsneakinguponyou.wordpress.com/2017/11/12/truth-or-dare-by-non-pratt-review/

A Very British Christmas by Rhodri Marsden

The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie

https://lifehasafunnywayofsneakinguponyou.wordpress.com/2017/11/15/the-blade-itself-by-joe-abercrombie-review/

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

See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

https://lifehasafunnywayofsneakinguponyou.wordpress.com/2017/11/09/see-what-i-have-done-by-sarah-schmidt-review/

Faking Friends by Jane Fallon

https://lifehasafunnywayofsneakinguponyou.wordpress.com/2017/11/23/faking-friends-by-jane-fallon-review/

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

Look For Me by Lisa Gardner

https://lifehasafunnywayofsneakinguponyou.wordpress.com/2017/11/02/look-for-me-by-lisa-gardner-review/

A Journey Through The History of Magic by The British Library

https://lifehasafunnywayofsneakinguponyou.wordpress.com/2017/11/03/a-journey-through-a-history-of-magic-review/

The Sacrifice Box by Martin Stewart

https://lifehasafunnywayofsneakinguponyou.wordpress.com/2017/11/04/the-sacrifice-box-by-martin-stewart-review/

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by George RR Martin

https://lifehasafunnywayofsneakinguponyou.wordpress.com/2017/11/05/a-knight-of-the-seven-kingdoms-by-george-rr-martin-review/

Across the Wall by Garth Nix

Lips Touch, Three Times by Laini Taylor

https://lifehasafunnywayofsneakinguponyou.wordpress.com/2017/11/07/lips-touch-three-times-by-laini-taylor-review/

Contagion by Teri Terry

https://lifehasafunnywayofsneakinguponyou.wordpress.com/2017/11/07/contagion-by-teri-terry-review/

The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

https://lifehasafunnywayofsneakinguponyou.wordpress.com/2017/11/26/american-gods-by-neil-gaiman-review/

Cold Christmas by Alastair Gunn

https://lifehasafunnywayofsneakinguponyou.wordpress.com/2017/11/29/cold-christmas-by-alastair-gunn-review/

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Truth or Dare by Non Pratt. Review

Claire is simply trying to get on with her life without forever being branded ‘milk tits’ after her bikini slip was caught on film. As part of her volunteering work, she reads to Kam, a boy from her school who had a terrible accident which has left him with a neurological disability.

Sef is Kam’s brother and he’s struggling with the accident which he partially blames himself for. When he discovers that Kam needs thousands of pounds to be able to stay in his current care facility, he decides to set up a YouTube channel to help raise the money. Somehow, Claire ends up helping him and their worlds collide.

Truth or Dare is has an unusual USP, from page 1-181 we hear the story from Claire’s point of view, then, we flip the book over and start reading Sef’s point of view from the back of the book, until they meet again in the middle. I really liked this feature, it reminded me a little of the books where you used to be able to choose the ending.

I sort of loved and hated the relationship between Sef and Claire, but I can’t really say why without spoiling it! If you’ve read it though, please feel free to post your opinion in the comments as I’d love to discuss it further with someone!

Truth or Dare explored many issues from the obvious ones of Neurological disabilities and the way people (in particular teenagers) deal with guilt and grief when a family member or friend is injured, but also issues like sexuality, consent, emotions, and the difference between a beautiful heart and a beautiful face.

All in all a thought provoking and excellent read.

Look For Me by Lisa Gardner. Review

Thank you to Netgalley, the publisher and Lisa Gardner for my ARC of Look for Me.

Four members of a family are brutally murdered, shot to death in their own home. The fifth member of the family, a teenage girl, and her two blind spaniels are missing. Detective D.D Warren is one of the first on the scene, and she unravels a complex world of drugs, teenage gangs, bullying and abuse.

Is the missing girl a victim or a killer? A target or the one targeting victims? We are also reunited with Flora Dane the main character in Lisa’s previous novel Find Her still a vigilante, Flora is determined she can help in this investigation. One victim to another. She’s essentially like a female version of Liam Neeson in Taken.

I must say that I didn’t enjoy this one as much as I usually do with Lisa’s novels. The storyline felt a little bit weak and the split perspectives meant that I didn’t feel I got enough D.D as I would have liked. There was far more focus on Flora and I think Lisa intends to develop her further as a character in future books based on what I’ve read in Look For Me. I think this story would have worked better with less Flora and more D.D, she’s the feisty detective we all know and love but it felt like she barely did anything in this novel because Flora did everything instead.

However, the storyline was interesting although not my complete cup of tea in a crime novel, I don’t generally like action packed, drugs or gangs. Slow burners are more my thing but I love Lisa Gardner’s novels and being a bit disappointed with this one won’t put me off reading more from her in future.

The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness. Review

The Book of Life is the third and final book in Deborah Harkness’ All Souls Trilogy. Pleased be warned going forward that while there are no spoilers for The Book of Life here, there will be some from the first two books; A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night.

After returning from their adventures in the 16th century, Matthew and Diana are immediately roped into a new drama. Not only is Diana now a powerful weaver (a witch who can create her own spells), she is also pregnant with twins and against all odds, Matthew is the father. Some people (mostly their friends and family) are overjoyed by this news, but others like their old adversaries Gebert and Peter Knox are really not! Meanwhile, there’s some new and old faces arriving on the scene, and more than a few surprises in store.

The Book of Life really got me back into the story of Diana and Matthew, I loved that it gave so many answers, reintroduced some much loved characters and also a bond worthy villain. It really reached the series for me and I was sad when it ended!!

Genuine Fraud by E Lockhart. Review 

Wowzer! Like many other people I loved We Were Liars but Genuine Fraud is something else! 

The first thing that strikes you about this book is that it starts at the end. Jule, an orphan is living it up in a posh hotel. She’s rich, alone and feisty. But also a little bit mysterious and deadly. Slowly, chapter by chapter the novel begins to go back in time and the reader finds out more about Jule and her friend Imogen and the plot gets even thicker. A friendship woven with secrets and lies and a couple of murders thrown in for good measure. 


I loved the way this novel worked backwards, it’s a very skilful way of writing and a great approach to keeping the intrigue going, we know the ending from the beginning and now it’s just a matter of finding out the how’s and why’s. 


There were definitely some ‘gotcha’ moments as well as that brilliant moment where pieces start fitting together and you’re sat there thinking ‘wow, you devious bitch.’ But I also loved that there is such a strong female presence in this book along with very blurred lines on who is the ‘good guy’ and who is the ‘bad guy’. 


Overall Genuine Fraud is an unputdownable novel with one of the best examples of an unreliable narrator that i have ever read.

Unpopular Opinions Booktag 

So I’m reading two books at the moment. Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard and Don Quixote by Miguel De Cervantes Saavedra. Which means I’ll not be able to review for a while as the great Don alone is over 1,000 pages. So I’m going to be doing a couple of book tags in the meantime! 

This is one I should have done ages ago but never got round to, I found it on http://www.booklovingnut.com which has a host of fantastic book tags which you should check out! It was originally created by https://readatmidnight.com/ and it’s all about Unpopular Opinions! 

1. A popular book you didn’t like. 

Vampire Diaries by LJ Smith 


Loved the show, hated the books. Genuinely some of the worst books I have ever read. Poorly written, terrible characters and well, just poor altogether! 

2. A book series that everyone hates but you love. 

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L James 


I’m not going as far as to say everyone hates this book but I’ve heard a lot of bad things about it. I really enjoyed it and I like the series. Fair enough the first book is pure smut but the second and third start to bring together a storyline which is really interesting. 

3. A love triangle where the main character ends up with the person you didn’t want them to end up with. 

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte 


Although Cathy’s heart always belonged to Heathcliffe I hate that she ended up married to Edgar. He was a sweet guy, I can’t speak ill of him, but Cathy and Heathcliffe should have been the couple! 

4. A popular genre you rarely reach for. 


Horror, I’m far too much of a scaredy cat! I’ve read a few but they scar me for days so I tend to avoid them! 

5. A popular character you didn’t like. 


Katniss Everdeen, I just find her a bit annoying. Also she treats her love interests like sh*t but they still love her. 

6. A popular author you can’t seem to get into. 


Saying that, I’m reading Glass Sword at the moment but I’m just really struggling to keep an interest in these books. 

7. A popular trope you’re tired of seeing. 

Lip biting. Seriously, who can bite their lip and look sexy? I’ve tried, I look like I’m attempting self cannabalism. Also who here bites their lip when they’re nervous/angry/scared? Nope, me neither. 

8. A popular series you have no interest in reading. 


The Discworld series by Terry Pritchett has just never appealed to me at all. 

9. The saying goes “the book is always better than the movie” but what movie do you prefer to the book?


I can’t think of a film but I’m enjoying the tv mini series of Cuckoo’s Calling much more than the book. 
I hope you enjoyed my unpopular opinions. Let me know what you think in the comments and have a go yourself if you haven’t already! 

Behind Closed Doors by Kathryn Croft. Review. 

I want to say initially that having seen some of the really bad reviews of this book on Goodreads, I really cannot understand them. I get that everyone’s entitled to their opinions but it’s really lost on me, how, if you’re a fan of psychological thrillers you couldn’t enjoy this book. 

Now that’s out of the way, I want to say a little something about Kathryn Croft. I was first introduced to her when I read her novel While You Were Sleeping last year. Kathryn started out as a self published author but was soon snapped up by publishers Bookouture, and there’s a reason for that. Kathryn is a really good author and writes fantastic psychological thrillers. She’s also a really great person and you can read my interview with her here: https://lifehasafunnywayofsneakinguponyou.wordpress.com/2016/11/27/author-interview-kathryn-croft/

As well as my positive reviews of the other two novels I’ve read by her here: 

While You Were Sleeping: https://lifehasafunnywayofsneakinguponyou.wordpress.com/2016/11/22/while-you-were-sleeping-by-kathryn-croft-review/

The Stranger Within: https://lifehasafunnywayofsneakinguponyou.wordpress.com/2017/06/29/the-stranger-within-by-kathyrn-croft-review/

Now, Behind Closed Doors is one of the novels Kathryn wrote as a self published author which means she wrote, edited and marketed that book herself. Which frankly to me makes it even more amazing! I really enjoyed it start to finish and couldn’t put it down! 


Olivia has just got divorced from her husband and moved into a flat with her 10 year old daughter Ellie. Soon after moving in, she befriends and becomes close to their upstairs neighbour Michael. But things start going downhill from there, Michael can be a little strange at times and Ellie hates his sister Chloe. To top it off, Olivia is having to deal with an ex-husband who doesn’t want to let her go, and now she’s got a stalker as well. As things start to get even weirder, Olivia doesn’t know where to turn or who she can trust anymore. Who is really out to get her? 


This novel was a real page turner. What baffled me most was that a lot of previous reviewers said the ending was obvious. I simply cannot agree, there were plenty of red herrings thrown in and just like our first person narrator Olivia, I didn’t have a clue who to trust, no sooner did I think I’d worked it out, I became suspicious of someone else. I did start to work out who it was eventually but not until about 95% of the way through, and even then I wasn’t expecting that ending! I’m still reeling and pretty certain I’ll have a book hangover for a few days while I try and process that! 

Well done Kathryn on another suspenseful, psychological thriller!