Tag Archives: work

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.

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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/

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!!

Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness. Review 

Just a quick warning that although this review contains no spoilers for Shadow of Night there will be spoilers for Book one A Discovery of Witches. 

Shadow of Night is the second book in Deborah Harkness’ All Souls trilogy. It picks up where the events of A Discovery of Witches left off. Diana and Matthew, now a couple have timewalked back to the 1500s in the reign of Elizabeth I both to find a witch to train Diana and to find the mysterious Book Ashmole 782.


I must admit that I didn’t enjoy this one quite as much as the first one. I couldn’t understand for one why they had bothered to go back to a time when Witches were hunted, rife with disease, decay and other horrors. Not to mention that Matthew being a courtier of Elizabeth ran a huge risk to marry without her permission. Throughout the whole book I was frustrated that he would take Diana back to such a risky time. What was wrong with the 1960s onwards? That just felt like it was riddled with plot holes. I also found it frustrating that Diana proceeded to act like a modern woman most of the time and put herself and Matthew at risk constantly. I really liked her in A Discovery of Witches but not so much in Shadow of Night. 


Overall though, I am enjoying the continuation of this story. I’m still intrigued by the Ashmole Book and what it might involve as well as other elements of the storyline which are now in place. The final book in the series has to be full of answers so I can’t wait to get started on it. 

Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella. Review 

Thank you to Netgalley, Random House Publishing and Sophie Kinsella for my ARC of Surprise Me. I’m always grateful for any ARCs which come my way but particularly so when it’s an author that I already love. I’ve been a huge fan of Sophie’s books since I first read Confessions of a Shopaholic and I love her Madeleine Wickham books too. Surprise Me was just as much a treat as her other books, funny, witty, honest and in places bittersweet. 

Sylvie and Dan have been together for 10 years, they have 2 beautiful daughters and jobs they enjoy, they’re so close they finish each other’s sentences and know exactly what the other one is thinking. But then a routine visit to the doctors gives them a shock. With the record of good health in their families they are likely to live for another 68 years. Suddenly, the idea of being married for another 68 years doesn’t seem that appealing and for the first time in their lives together Sylvie and dan start having ‘problems.’ 


The story that follows is equal parts funny and sad as in order to keep their marriage alive Sylvie and Dan try to surprise each other with several failed attempts! If it could go wrong, then it somehow does. 

I loved the characters in the book and the battle Sylvie has with herself as she tries to find herself among the perceptions other people have of her. The storyline is sad in places and despite quite a big build up I didn’t figure out what was about to go wrong. I really enjoyed Surprise Me and look forward to its release! 

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.

The Lost Village by Neil Spring. Review 

I’m not really one for horror/ghost stories because I’m quite pathetic and scare really easily! But the premise of this novel just intrigued me, a Lost Village in Wiltshire, taken over by the army in 1914 at the start of WW1 and a promise to the villagers broken when the army decided to keep it. 

Not only that but this place; Imber is actually real! While the story itself is fictional I love supernatural realism and I was really intrigued. Intrigue that was well rewarded. I could NOT put this book down. It was so creepy in places but the story was perfect leading me along and having me pulled forward on to the edge of my seat. 


The tale was absolutely haunting, the characters believable and well written, the research well done. The twists were fantastic and I did not see them coming, a true mystery of rare calibar. The main character Sarah is wrapped up in all the mysteries without even knowing it herself, all she knows is that people are keeping things from her and that every medium or psychic she meets is warning her against something. 


In parts it was also truly scary (or maybe that’s just my chicken spirit coming out) but still enjoyable, I found myself desperate to know more and it was well worth it in the end where all questions were answered. I happen to hate books which make the ending a mystery so this was a pleasant surprise for me! 

Thank you to Netgalley, Quercus publishing and the author Neil Spring for my ARC of this novel.