Tag Archives: feminism

Run in the Blood by AE Ross. Review

Thank you to Netgalley, AE Ross and the publisher for my ARC of Run in the Blood.

Run in the Blood is the debut novel from author AE Ross. A slick fantasy novel with awesome characters who you can’t help but absolutely love!

Aela Crane has been raised a Corsair, a brutal, bloodthirsty pirate and she wouldn’t want life any other way. Sailing the high seas in search of fights, gold and glory, and popping back to port for a fumble with a sweet girl every now and again. What other life could she possibly want? As long as she hides the old magic inside her, she’ll be just fine.

Del is a quiet, thoughtful soldier who seems to know much more about Aela’s powers than she does and he’s hiding secrets of his own.

Brynne is a crofter’s daughter trying to learn how to be a princess when she is lifted to lofty heights thanks to a deal her now Dead father made on her behalf.

There’s everything you could possibly want from a great fantasy novel, pirates, magical creatures, politics, secrets among royalty and plenty of ‘omg’ surprise moments. Not to mention buckets of fun along the way. A truly swashbuckling, adventurous novel that doesn’t play by the normal rules. No tropes here guys!

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The Christmas Stocking and Other Stories by Katie Fforde

I can always count on Katie to get me in the festive mood, I’ve been a huge fan since I first started reading her books about 7 or 8 years ago, and I have a shelf dedicated only to Katie’s books on my bookcase.

The Christmas Stocking and Other Stories, is a great collection of festive stories with two already published separately and four brand new ones.

The Christmas Stocking sees Romy, a young woman selling handmade Christmas decorations at a Christmas market, getting stranded at a customer’s house when she drives over to do a delivery. Felix is alone for Christmas and offers for Romy to stay with him for Christmas Day, romance ensues.

In Dream Christmas Ginny and Ben are heading off to the new forest on their honeymoon after their disastrous wedding in which both mothers completely took over. When they arrive at the cottage, Ginny is shocked to discover it is nothing like the hot tub, double shower, memory foam mattress filled cottage she booked and is instead completely old fashioned. But someone seems to be looking after them, providing food, drink and a warm fire, there are no footprints in the snow though so who could this mystery person be and what is their agenda?

Fenella is stressing over creating the perfect Christmas in Candlelight at Christmas but then the power goes out and disaster strikes, how will she keep so many people happy when there’s no lights never mind no cooker?!

Tristan and Isolde, a pair of naughty dogs come barrelling into Stella when she’s scattering ashes beneath the dog walker’s tree in the village she’s just moved to. With them comes their handsome owner Fitz and somehow she finds herself hosting him and his elderly mother for Christmas dinner, then Stella and Fitz’s respective partner’s turn up and it all gets a little uncomfortable…

Falling in love with one of the guests was never Jo’s plan when she agreed to help her friend Andi cook Christmas dinner in A Christmas in Disguise. Both women think they’ll get away with it because Andi’s celebrity diva boss makes her wear All chef whites, but then suddenly she’s asked to be a stand in girlfriend too, and awkward if hilarious times ensue.

Finally, in The Christmas Fairy Ella, an out of Work actress is hired to help out Brent a young uncle who agreed to have his nephew and two nieces for Christmas. At first Brent is reluctant to accept her help but soon the Christmas Magic is happening for more people than just the children. This story is extra special because it features some of the lovely characters from Katie’s novel A Summer at Sea.

As usual the stories were beautiful, happy ending stories (my favourite kind), wonderfully festive and easy to devour in a single sitting.

Along The Indigo by Elsie Chapman. Review

Thank you Netgalley, Elsie Chapman and the publisher for my ARC of Along the Indigo.

Marsden lives in a small town called Glory, in America. Her whole life has seen her ostracised from the rest of the town, thanks to her Asian heritage, her father’s accidental death which everyone thinks was suicide, her family’s ownership of a piece of land called the Covert where people go to die, and the fact her mother is a prostitute at Nina’s Boarding House. Marsden is desperate to escape, taking her little sister Wynn with her and making a better life for them both.

Then she meets Jude, also standing on the fringes of society in Glory due to the fact he’s mixed race, that his father is a drunk and his older brother killed himself in the covert. Together they unleash secrets which could either tear them apart or bring them closer together. Which will it be?

The story isn’t set in any particular year, there’s Eddie Murphy films on at the cinema and nobody mentions a cell phone, racism is clearly rife so I’m wanting to say it is set somewhere between the late 70s to mid 90s but I feel that not knowing kind of added to the mystery because there are no preconceptions about how anyone should behave.

The story is really engaging, at first it seems to purely be about Marsden’s journey and her attempts to escape the life her selfish mother has laid out for her, but then it becomes about something else; secrets, lies, Kismet and the the threads that connect people to one another.

A wonderful, thought provoking YA novel.

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

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/

Faking Friends by Jane Fallon. Review

Thank you to Netgalley, Penguin and Jane Fallon for my ARC of Faking Friends. Amy has finally got it together, she has a strong friendship with Melissa who she has known since she was 11, she’s engaged to Jack who she loves and lives with, and she’s finally got an acting job which is more than just ‘woman in the park’ or ‘woman with dog’. Everything is perfect, that is until she arrives home on a surprise visit, to find Another woman’s stuff in her flat, and there’s something familiar about the clothes and jewellery in the flat. They belong to Melissa.

Amy is understandably devastated but as she begins to pick up the pieces of her life, she realises that pulling theirs apart is even better.

At first I thought to myself that as Amy finds out about the betrayal in the first chapter, how is there going to be a full novel of this? I expected it to be a boring story about a woman getting back on the dating scene or something, but it is nothing like that. It’s all about the brilliant revenge that Amy enacts on Melissa and Jack and all without their knowledge. It’s a fantastic premise and I absolutely loved it!

All of the characters were great, Amy is so likeable and easy to feel sorry for, she is the wronged woman and she’s genuinely nice which obviously makes you hate Melissa and Jack. Then as you find out more about Melissa and the turns their ‘friendship’ has taken over the years, the more reasons you have to hate her even more. She is literally that horrible toxic friend who has no business being friends with anyone. It was great to see the revenge enacted on her. I was rooting for Amy from day one.

I really enjoyed Faking Friends and I’ll be adding more of Jane Fallon’s books to my TBR as a result.

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins. Review

Into the Water is the new novel by Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train and it’s a very different novel. Yes, they both fall into the genre of thriller and they’re both about secrets, but other than that there is no similarity between the two. Some of you may rejoice at that, others not so much.

First off I guess what I’ve got to get off my chest is that what stopped this being an exceptional novel for me is that it was told from far too many perspectives.

Lena – daughter of the late Nell Abbott

Jules – sister of the late Nell Abbott

Sean – the police officer investigating the death.

Erin – the other police officer investigating the death.

Helen – Sean’s wife

Patrick – Sean’s father

Nickie – an older woman and a psychic

Louise – mother of Katie and Josh

Josh – son of Louise, brother of Katie

Mark – a teacher at Lena and Katie’s school

As you can see, an exhaustive amounts of POV’s and hardly necessary. Some characters only offering their perspective a couple of times and others dominating. Overall I feel the novel would have better suited in third person omniscient if it needed so many perspectives!

The second thing for me, was that it went on for far too long leaving most of the novel feeling like nothing was happening. This is possibly linked to the amount of perspectives we get as well. The first 150 Pages or so we’re pretty gripping and intriguing, but after that it really slowed down and I found the last few chapters and the big reveals to be rather jumbled and disappointing!

I feel like this was a novel with a potential which it unfortunately doesn’t live up to.