Tag Archives: men

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.

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Wonder Woman Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo. Review 

Eeeeesh! This was so good. I love Wonder Woman and also Greek mythology so obviously a book about the Amazon Wonder Woman was always going to be on my TBR. Anyway, I finally got round to reading it today after buying it in September and here is my review! 

Wonder Woman is such a powerful novel. It’s the first book I’ve read by Leigh Bardugo although I have all her other novels on my tbr. I was expecting in all honesty for the storyline to follow that of the film (I never read synopsis’) but it was a little different and equally as brilliant! 

Diana lives on the island of Themyscira with her Amazon sisters, desperate to prove herself as a true Amazon she intends to win the annual race, but things go awray when she disobeys one of the fundamental rules of the Amazons and rescues a girl from a shipwreck. Soon she embarks on an adventure which takes her to New York and into the World of Man.


An epic journey unfolds as Diana discovers that Alia is a warbringer, descended from Helen of Troy and destined to bring war and destruction to the world. That is if Diana can’t get her to a sacred spring where her Warbringer tendencies can be cured. But first she gets dragged into New York society, parties, drugstores and dirty motel rooms. 


I love how Diana is portrayed as both incredibly fierce and incredibly vulnerable. I love that the main characters are not just female but fiesty, kick ass females with great attitude. Nim was easily one of my favourite characters. And of course Diana is extra badass when she discovers her own abilities. 


This is the first novel I’ve truly been engrossed in, in a while! I almost missed my stop on the train! 

September 2017 wrap up! 

It’s that time again! Yay! I really love doing the wrap up and getting the chance to look back on what I’ve read this month, what I’ve enjoyed etc. This month I read 22 books at a total of 8,149 pages which is less books but more pages than usual so still a win. I’m very competitive with myself in terms of how many books I read each month, but I seem to be averaging at around 20-25 books a month which is really good. Anyway, to the books! I won’t write a long post about each as there’s just too many but reviews for pretty much all of them can be found on my blog or goodreads if you’d like to know more. 

The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden  












The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden. Review. 

‘Almost midnight – that wicked, magic hour – on a night menaced by ice and storm and the abyss of the featureless sky.’

I absolutely adored The Bear and the Nightingale so I was so happy when I was granted a review copy of The Girl in the Tower thanks to Netgalley and Ebury publishing. 
No spoilers here for The Girl in the Tower but if you haven’t read The Bear and the Nightingale yet I would warn you that there are spoilers for that book here and you would be better reading my spoiler free review of that book here: https://lifehasafunnywayofsneakinguponyou.wordpress.com/2017/04/06/the-bear-and-the-nightingale-by-katherine-arden-review/

The Girl in the Tower picks up from the events which happened in The Bear and the Nightingale, first focusing on Sasha and Olga in Moscow as the Grand Prince prepares for war against the Tartars and Olga receives news about the death of her father, stepmother and her little sister Vasya. The reader of course knows that Vasya is not dead but has escaped to the Frost King’s cottage for shelter. 


We pick up with Vasya next as she tells the Frost King that she intends to travel the country and be free rather than allow the people in her village to force her into a convent or marriage. I was glad to see the return of Vasya’s fiery spirit. But when she arrived in Moscow masquerading as a boy, it is here that Vasya’s fiery spirit gets her into trouble. 


I enjoyed this book so much, I love learning about folklore particularly the folklore of Eastern Europe which is always so deliciously dark. Katherine Arden demonstrates incredible research about the spirits, demons, myths and legends and weaves them into a fantastic story which is not only interesting but believable. Vasya is a character who is very easy to empathise with, a woman in a man’s world destined for nothing but a convent or marriage to a man she does not want. Instead she shows herself as a fierce survivor full of determination. Though she sometimes hurts the ones she loves I find that I see this as their fault not hers, their refusal to understand her and their determination to live by social protocols makes her the proverbial black sheep and I really dig that! 

If you haven’t read this series already then you should certainly do so as soon as possible. I challenge anyone to not enjoy these books. 

Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon. Review 

Read no further if you haven’t read the first book Outlander as there will be spoilers from the first novel, but none from Dragonfly in Amber

I really enjoyed Outlander where I was swept into the world of Claire and Jamie Fraser. Claire travels back through time to the 1700s where she meets a young highlander Jamie Fraser who she falls in love with. These are hefty books but beautifully written with amazing language, wonderfully put together passages of language. 

We return to this world in Dragonfly in Amber but twenty years on, Claire is back in the 1960s with a grown up daughter, returning to Scotland to reveal several truths that will blow the worlds of those near to her wide open. But fear not avid readers, we return to Claire’s memories to find out what happened next in her love saga with Jamie.


This sequel has all the passion of the first book in the series but tinged with sadness, knowing that Claire is back in present day means that the reader is second guessing how this could have happened and what may happen next. Some of the old friends and foes return and in places it’s a case of life and death! It’s another bulky novel but it doesn’t feel that way because of how engrossed you become in the storyline and needing to know what happens next. 


From a historical fiction lover’s viewpoint, I was really enamoured with understanding the rising of ’44 and the historical perspective not only of Bonnie Prince Charlie who I had heard of but never really studied, but also the court of the Parisian King Louis and his followers. It was interesting to see how much more advanced the French were in those days than the English. For example, I’m sure this doesn’t count as a spoiler but there is a very funny scene where Claire’s French friend gets her to wax her legs and armpits and Jamie’s reaction to this is just hilarious. I can’t wait to start Voyager

The King’s Curse by Philippa Gregory. Review 

It all started with The Cousins War or at least it did for, my love of Philippa Gregory came when I cut my teeth on the White Queen, The Red Queen, Lady of the Rivers etc. Then of course the story began to merge with the Tudors. With the release of The Last Tudor (check back for a review on that coming soon) it made sense that I should finally get around to reading The King’s Curse. It’s a pretty hefty novel coming in at over 500 pages, and rightly so as it details the long life of one of the forgotten players in the Tudor/Plantagenet history; Margaret Pole. Beloved tutor of Princess Mary and friend to Queen Katherine of Aragon. 


Margaret saw a lot in her 67 years, a long time to live in those days. This story picks up after the fall of the Plantagenet family from the Royal Household and Margaret’s undying loyalty to her cousin the Queen, married to Henry VII. Margaret was a key player in the Tudor’s story, Prince Arthur lived with her and her husband until his death, she became friends with, and defended Katherine of Aragon and fell constantly in and out of favour with both Henry VII and Henry VIII, fearing constantly that death and danger were stalking her family because of their name, and their royal blood. 


Through Margaret’s eyes, we watch the child Prince Harry, first turn the half destroyed and neglected kingdom around from his father’s rule, to becoming the harsh tyrant who ripped apart the church, the faith of the country and tore down the monasteries, not to mention the divorcing, beheading and casting aside of his wives in his obsession to beget a male heir on one of them. We see the bitter, twisted control of the Boleyn family as they strive for greatness through the vicious Anne, a very different perspective from the one given by Anne and her family in Philippa’s earlier book. 


The novel, despite being long, is well put together and it is clear, as always that Philippa Gregory has considerably researched her subject. Although some of the storyline is not known to be completely factual (this is a work of fiction after all), Philippa does use rumours and presumptions as well as modern scientific and medical research to form her opinions and plots. 

I really enjoyed this, as I do all of the Plantagenet / Tudor hybrid novels, I’m just sad that after The Last Tudor it will all be coming to an end! 

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!