Tag Archives: crime

Friend Request by Laura Marshall. Review 

‘Will we hold them forever, these hurts we bear from our teenage years?’

We have all at times been the victim of bullying, just the same as we have always at times been the bully. No! I hear you cry, I would never bully someone. True, I’m not saying you were one of the big, bad wolf ones, the popular ones or the good looking ones who ostracised everyone else or regularly tormented anyone. But you’re telling me you never laughed along with a joke at someone else’s expense, never played a trick on someone else or took part in what you thought was a practical joke? Passed along a bit of gossip or revelled in hearing it? We’ve all done it and you’re the bigger person if you can hold your hands up and admit it. 

In 1989 Louise is just that herself. Bullied although she didn’t recognise it as such, she stands on the fringe of the ‘popular group’ in school, where she doesn’t fit in and half of the gang don’t even know her name. When the new girl Maria joins the school, Louise has the opportunity to make a real friendship, to finally belong. But Sophie the school bitch who keeps Louise around simply to make herself look better doesn’t like Maria and doesn’t want Louise having friends. Left helpless by peer pressure Louise turns from bullied to bully and along with her ‘gang’ makes Maria’s life a living hell. 

Fast forward to 2016 and Louise gets a friend request on Facebook from Maria. But that can’t be right can it? Maria died that year at school under mysterious circumstances. Or did she really die at all? 

This novel is highly gripping, especially for a debut novel you don’t really expect this kind of quality but it’s really, really engrossing. From the first page to the last I haven’t been able to put it down and I literally had no idea by the end!! 

It’s the classic tale of revenge on the b*tches who made your life hell in high school but with a new and unique twist. Powerful and evoking I felt like It took me right back to my own school days, knowing what it was like to always be on the fringes. The sentence I’ve quoted at the top of this review really nailed it for me, because if Louise had asked me that question, my answer would definitely be yes. 

The Overneath by Peter S Beagle. Review 

Yet another incredible collection of short stories from world renowned Fantasy Author Peter S Beagle. I was extra excited for The Overneath because I’d heard it featured a story about our very own Schmendrick the Magician. But imagine my delight when I discovered not one but two Schmendrick stories!! 

In addition, there is of course plenty of other stories in here which deserve praise of their own. From stories about the Fremont Bridge Troll (of which I had never previously heard of but am now fascinated by) to stories of otherworlds where our world lays in the shadows. 

I particularly liked the story about a group of men living together and one of them creates an electronic device which without giving spoilers has a spooky purpose. Another favourite has to be the one about a haunted aquarium and it’s retired teachers for heroines. And of course there’s lots of Unicorn related stories too! 

Peter S Beagle just has an incredible skill for putting together both short and full length stories. I have been in love with The Last Unicorn my whole life and I continue to adore every single thing Peter writes. The Overneath is no different. A fantasy lover’s heaven from start to finish. 

Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine. Review. 

Is there anything this lady can’t write about??? She is literally a powerhouse of enviable literary talent! 

Thank you to Netgalley, the publisher and Rachel Caine for my ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review. 

I first heard of Rachel Caine when I started reading her Great Library series. So when I had the option to wish for a copy of Stillhouse Lake I figured I’d give it a try even though the genre was completely different. I loved it! I actually think I loved it even more than I did The Great Library series and I love that series! 

Anyway, enough of me gushing. So Stillhouse Lake, it’s a psychological thriller and definitely an adult read. Gina Royal is the perfect all American housewife. 2.5 kids and a picket fence is that what people say? Anyways, she’s happy in her life with her two children and her husband the caring, loving Mel. 

Until her life is destroyed when she discovers that Mel has been masking a secret life as a sadistic serial killer. With Mel now in jail Gina has to form a new life and a new identity for herself and her children to protect them from the backlash and the internet trolls who still believe Gina must have had something to do with it. But it seems like the past is just too hard to run away from. 

Stillhouse Lake is gripping from start to finish, as some of you may already know I try not to read synopsises before reading the novel so it’s more full of surprises! I’m glad I didn’t with this one as every little event was a huge shock for me. Gina, or Gwen as she is with her new identity is an amazing woman who’s gone from a weak willed wife to a warrior mum and she kicks ass! I loved the twists and turns and the ending blew me away, I hope I don’t have long to wait for part 2! 

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. Review 

‘There are days when I feel so lightly connected to the earth that the threads that tether me to the planet are gossamer thin, spun sugar.’

I kept seeing this book popping up everywhere but for some reason, potentially the title it gave me the feeling it was going to be a children’s book, even though I actually knew it wasn’t one. Just something about it, maybe I was judging a book by its cover (naughty) but I really didn’t fancy it. Then Netgalley sent me an email about it and I thought why the heck not? Let’s see what everyone’s raving about. My, my, my am I glad I did! 

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is the debut novel from Gail Honeyman and the main character Eleanor Oliphant is best described as a mix between Jane Eyre and Sheldon Cooper. Eleanor lives a life which basically involves working in an office, eating a meal deal for lunch each day, listening to The Archers and reading books about anything. She has no friends and her only conversation is with her ‘mummy’ every week on a Wednesday. 

This story held me, it drew me in and kept me there and I couldn’t pull myself away until I’d finished it. Eleanor was, despite her oddities extremely likeable and it was all to easy to empathise with her situation while desperately trying to work out how she got there. There’s plenty of clues along the way and it all comes together in the end but getting there is done in such a way that we watch Eleanor unfold like a crushed  flower still desperately trying to open. 

This is not a sad book, but neither is it a happy one, what it is is interesting from start to finish and so like real life, it makes you question your very existence, the way you treat other people and the small things that seemingly mean nothing but can really turn someone’s life around for the better. What a truly amazing book! 

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. Review 

Where to even begin with this rich, exciting, beautifully written, soul tearing book? Well I think you get the drift from that! 

Outlander is one of those books or should I say series which has been on my tbr for a while but to be honest I was put off by its length. Coming in at over 900 pages it’s a hefty one and my thought has always been, why read one long book when you can read 10 small ones? 

Plus it’s taken me extra long to read because it’s been my birthday, and also a big event at work so I haven’t had as much time as I’d have liked on my hands to read it. But was it worth it? Hell yes! 

I absolutely loved Outlander it is a story of a young woman called Claire who has gone on a trip with her husband Frank to the highlands of Scotland so that he can research his family tree. This is post World War Two and Claire has been working in the hospital as a nurse. Through this she has become interested in medicinal plants and their usage. One day while investigating a set of stone circles not unlike Stonehenge she is hurtled back through time to Scotland 1743 and meets Jamie, then her life changes forever. 

The romance in this novel is strife with pain and suffering, indecision and risk taking but my god is it passionate and is it true? It is so beautifully written and so well put together that it’s really hard to describe! 

I’ve been lost in this novel for a week, I’ve wandered the Highlands of Scotland, had a blazing love affair, laughed and joked with the characters and cried at their pain. And that’s enough to set out a good novel from the rest, because when one is this good, you feel it as you become interwoven with the story itself. I can’t wait to find out what happens next! 

Fifty Bookish Questions Book Tag 

Hi all, welcome back to my blog! It’s time for another tag as I am still reading Outlander. No I can’t believe it either, its been like a week now but the thing is I just really haven’t had time. It’s been a really busy week at work, and on top of that it’s been my birthday as well so I’ve been busy doing things. For example tomorrow I’m off to Warwick Castle where the amazing tv show Merlin was filmed! I can’t wait! 

So anyway here’s a book tag to keep you going until I can get back into reviewing! I found this tag on https://mylittlebookblog.com/2016/01/15/the-fifty-bookish-questions-book-tag/

The Fifty Bookish Questions Book Tag

1. The last book you read? 

The Stranger Within by Kathryn Croft 

2. Was it a good one? 

Yes, you can read my review here: https://lifehasafunnywayofsneakinguponyou.wordpress.com/2017/06/29/the-stranger-within-by-kathyrn-croft-review/

3. What made it good? 

Suspense, and an excellent twist

4. Would you recommend it to other people?

If you love a good thriller with an excellent twist that will keep you guessing throughout then definitely yes! 

5. How often do you read? 

Everyday, as often as I can. On the bus, in the bath, in bed, on my lunch break, in the doctors waiting room. I’m always reading. 

6. Do you like to read? 

I should hope so haha 

7. What was the last bad book you read? 

I don’t really like to slate books but the last book I started and did not finish due to not enjoying it was The Chemist by Stephanie Meyer. 

8. What made you dislike it? 

I just couldn’t connect with the main character who immediately annoyed me. After a couple of chapters I still wasn’t sure I understood where the novel was trying to go. It was boring. 

9. Do you wish to be a writer? 

Well technically I am a writer! I’ve written several short stories and poems and a couple have been published in a university write club society magazine. I’ve also written a novel which I am in the process of editing. 

10. Has any book ever influenced you greatly? 

Books are such a huge part of my life that many of them have influenced me. But there are two which stand out most for me that I can truly say ‘changed my life’ and they are The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky and The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck by Sarah Knight. 

11. Do you read fan fiction? 

No. Not for any particular reason, it’s just never appealed to me that much. 

12. Do you write fan fiction? 

Please see question 11 

13. What’s your favourite book? 

When you’ve read just shy of 2,000 books this question is really hard to answer! I’d probably say Wuthering Heights. That’s my standard answer. 

14. What’s your least favourite book? 

I don’t really have a least favourite there’s lots of books that I did not finish because I didn’t enjoy them. If I finished them then I liked them. 

15. Do you prefer physical books or e reading on a device like a kindle?

You can actually watch my YouTube video about that here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=38XxnrlFF70

16. When did you learn to read? 

People who know me would lead you to believe I learned to read in the womb! But I think I was about 3 or 4 years old. 

17. What is your favourite book you had to read in school? 

If uni counts as school then I’d have to say Wuthering Heights again! 

18. What is your favourite book series? 

The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare 

19. Who is your favourite author? 

If I had to choose, then, again it would be Cassie Clare 

20. What is your favourite genre? 

YA Fantasy 

21. Who is your favourite character in a book series? 

I do really love Jace in TMI 

22. Has a book ever transported you to somewhere else? 

Why do you think I read? Haha 

23. Which book do you wish had a sequel? 

All of them forever and ever! I hate it when I get to the end of a book and have to leave the characters behind. I don’t like that it’s the end of their story. 

24. Which book do you wish didn’t have a sequel? 

Oh god, I can’t think of any off the top of my head! I think there’s a few that could have done without the middle book and just been a two parter, like The Hunger Games, Divergent and The Maze Runner. 

25. How long does it take you to read a book? 

I can read around 110 pages in an hour so I’ll let you do the math! 

26. Do you like when books become movies? 


27. Which book was ruined by its movie? 

Don’t shoot me but all the Harry Potters! 

28. Which movie has done a book justice? 

I really liked the movie of TMI but hate the series! Weird! 

29. Do you read newspapers? 

Only if I haven’t got a book to hand. 

30. Do you read magazines? 

I subscribe to and read 3 magazines and they are Writers Mag, Glamour and Cosmopolitan 

31. Do you prefer newspapers or magazines? 


32. Do you read while in bed? 

I used to a lot but I’ve been trying to stop as I have issues sleeping and apparently using your bed as somewhere to read, watch tv etc is bad for you and can stop you sleeping. So I bought a lovely big chair which lives beside my bed and I read there now instead. 

33. Do you read while on the toilet. 

I read everywhere and that’s enough said about that! 

34. Do you read in the car? 

Nope that’s about the only place I don’t as it makes me sick. But weirdly I can read just fine on buses, trains and planes! 

35. Do you read while in the bath? 

It’s one of my favourite places to read. 

36. Are you a fast reader?

Pretty fast, yes. 

37. Are you a slow reader? 

Please see question 36 

38. Where is your favourite place to read? 

In my lovely reading chair. 

39. Is it hard for you to concentrate when you read? 

If it’s a good book that keeps me gripped then not at all! 

40. Do you need a room to be silent when you read? 

Not really but I do find the tv distracting if my boyfriend is watching something interesting! 

41. Who gave you your love for reading? 

Nobody I can say specifically, none of my family are really big readers or my friends either. I guess I just fell in love with it straight away! 

42. What book is next on your list to read? 

The Break by Marian Keyes 

43. When did you start reading chapter books? 

When I was around four or five years old 

44. Who is your favourite children’s book author? 

Enid Blyton 

45. Which author would you most like to interview? 

Cassandra Clare 

46. Which author do you think you’d be friends with? 

Again Cassandra Clare! 

47. What book have you reread the most? 

Probably Harry Potter and the Philospher’s Stone.

48. Which books do you consider ‘classics’? 

Obviously there are a range of books like Dickens, Brontë sisters, Daphne Du Maurier, Wilkie Collins, Thomas Hardy etc but modern classics I would say LoTR, GoT and HP. 

49. Which books do you think should get taught in school? 

I think it’s really important for children to learn to love books. Books I was taught in junior school included Roald Dahl and Dick King-Smith and I think these are great starters. Children’s classics like Peter Pan and just anything with a fantasy element like Harry Potter, LoTR and books like Inkheart. It’s important to enjoy a book at the right age and although there’s books I love now I didn’t like them so much in school when I wasn’t really old enough to appreciate them! 

50. Which books should be banned from schools?

Unless they are literally full of sexual content like let’s say; Fifty Shades of Grey or they’ve got a lot of gore, murder etc like a crime novel, I see no reason to be banning any books from schools! 

Thanks for reading my latest tag! See you again soon. 

June 2017 Wrap Up 

This month has been a HUGE reading month for me, because I went on holiday for 10 days I got the chance to read loads so because of that, in total I read 29 books this month and they were: 

1. The Vanishing of Audrey Wilde by Eve Chase 

2. The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay 

3. Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare 

4. Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare 

5. Mr Gandy’s Grand Tour by Alan Titchmarsh 

6. Roseblood by AG Howard 

7. My Cousin Rachel by Daphne Du Maurier 

8. Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy 

9. The Queen of Wishful Thinking by Milly Johnson 

10. Get Even by Martina Cole 

11. Sunshine Over Wildflower Cottage by Milly Johnson 

12. Blind Fury by Lynda La Plante 

13. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstein 

14. Wintersong by S Jae Jones 

15. The Strings of Murder by Oscar De Muriel 

16. I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh 

17. Paper and Fire by Rachel Caine 

18. I See You by Clare Mackintosh 

19. The Hard Way by Lee Child 

20. Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh 

21. Select by Marit Weisenberg 

22. The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond 

23. Imposter by Philip K Dick 

24. Second Variety by Philip K Dick 

25. War Game by Philip K Dick 

26. The Minority Report by Philip K Dick 

27. Skin by Alice Broadway 

28. Parting Shot by Linwood Barclay 

29. The Stranger Within by Kathryn Croft