Weekly Wrap Up Jan 17th

This week has been an odd week for reading! I started the week reading the new Stuart Macbride book, In The Cold Dark Ground. I am no further on in it tonight, than I was on Monday night. I just couldn’t get into it, so it’s put aside to read after I’ve read ALL of the previous Logan McRae novels!
So, what did I read this week?!

 

Novellas/ Short Stories!!


I started with the Jefferson Winter shorties by James Carol. I have read and loved his JW novels so I decided I would read the two short stories that have been sitting on my kindle for aaaaaaages!!!

Next up, I finally got to read all of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher short stories. I have been saving Make Me to read, as it’s a long time until septembers Night School release so I figured I may as well have a read of the JR shorties.

I really enjoyed these, each one was brilliant in its own way, and they gave a nice bit of background to Jack’s life.

I also read Broken Grace by EC Diskin. It was a fairly quick read! You can find my review HERE.

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Thanks to reading all of those short stories, my Goodreads tally rose significantly and apparently I’m 12 books ahead of schedule 😂 but I know that won’t last long.

 

I’m currently reading The Invisible Guardian by Dolores Redondo and my review will be posted on January 29th as part of the blog tour!

 

What did you all read this week?! 😊📖

Broken Grace by E C Diskin

I received a copy of Broken Grace from Netgalley, however I didn’t get around to reading it until this week!

I didn’t know what to expect when I began reading, I hadn’t read many reviews so went into it with a fairly open mind.

 

About the book (via Goodreads): 

On an icy winter’s day in southwest Michigan, Grace Abbot wakes up as the survivor of a car crash. But she’s left with a traumatic brain injury and a terrifying reality: she can’t remember anything.

Left in the care of her sister, Grace returns to the family’s secluded old farmhouse to recover—but within an hour of her return, the police arrive. Grace’s boyfriend has been murdered. Without any memory, Grace has no alibi.

With suspicion weighing heavily on her and flashes of memory returning, Grace searches for clues to her past. But with every glimpse, her anxiety grows. There is something about the house, her family, her childhood…perhaps the accident isn’t the only reason she can’t remember. Are the dark recesses of her mind hiding something even more sinister and terrifying than she could ever imagine?
And someone is watching. Someone willing to kill again to protect a secret.

My thoughts:

Broken Grace starts off with a killer chapter, you know, the kind that hooks you and makes you want to keep reading!

However, after this the book becomes a bit clichèd for a while. The memory loss reminds me a bit of Before I Go To Sleep (which I didn’t love) so I was unsure whether I was going to enjoy reading.

Grace leaves hospital for recovery in her old home, in the care of her sister, and with no recollection of her life before her car accident, and then the police turn up. Grace’s boyfriend has been found dead, in or around the same time as her accident, ergo she has no alibi,ergo she is essentially a suspect!

The story unfolds almost as a race against time, Grace’s memories returning versus the murder investigation. These memories become terrifying visions of which she is unsure of. Are they real? Are they not?

Broken Grace has a decent plot, even though it takes a little while to take off, it’s not a bad read. Once events start unfolding, it becomes quite a quick read with each chapter revealing another nugget of information. I gave Broken Grace 3.5⭐️ which I rounded up to 4⭐️ on Goodreads.

Happy reading 😊📖

You can purchase a copy here:

Broken Grace

Book Haul!

New year, new books… Right?! Just me?? 😂

 

I have been reading (I’m on book 14 of the year!) but not reviewing this week, so I decided I’d do a post on the books I’ve bought so far this year!

 

I’ve been (relatively) restrained in my book purchasing in the last couple of months, but I’ve managed to buy quite a few in the past two weeks!

 

So without further ado…

 

The Book Depository. 

 

The first, The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers, I have wanted for ages purely based on its cover. I love all things galaxy related so this beautiful cover caught my eye early on.


The second book I bought from them was Motive by Jonathan Kellerman. I’m amassing a collection of his Alex Delaware novels, and this one I didn’t have!

 
Www.thebookshop.ie

This site is fast becoming a favourite of mine! It’s an Irish based online second hand bookshop. Best of all, the books are all €2 each! Yes, TWO EURO!!! This is the second time I’ve bought books from them, and they are excellent! The books are in perfect condition, and delivery is also very quick. Here’s a pic of my haul from them!


I got two Agatha Christie novels (I’ve never read anything by her!), more Kellerman books (both Jonathan and Faye), some more true crime from Ann Rule, a John Sandford (I’m slowly collecting his Prey series too), Simon Kernick, Chelsea Cain and PJ Tracy, and I had to buy Confessions of a Shopaholic as I loved the movie! 😊

 

 

Easons

I had vouchers that I got for Christmas, and I had looked once or twice since then to see if I could find anything but nothing caught my eye. I went in this morning and came upon these four beauties. Thanks to the voucher and loyalty points, they only cost me €3! A steal for 4 newly published books! 😉

 

 

Last but not least, here is what I’ve bought myself to read on my KINDLE:

I’ve been missing Jack Reacher lately (I’m saving Make Me) so I got all the short stories and read them all this week! (I also read the James Carol ones)

 

 

I also purchased-

The Cold Cold Ground by Adrian McKinty

The Missing and The Dead by Stuart Macbride

The Lost Boy by Camilla Lackberg

The Chemistry of Death by Simon Beckett

The Blind Goddess by Anne Holt

The Samaritan by Mason Cross

The Cross: An Eddie Flynn Novella by Steve Cavanagh.

 

Add them together and I think I’ve bought 30 BOOKS since January 1st 2016 but shhhhh….

 
I have nothing to read! 😂😂😂

 

And to punctuate that sentence, here’s my current physical TBR bookshelves…

 

 

OUT OF CONTROL!!!!! 😊📚📚📚❤️


What have you bought lately?! Any of the above?! Do leave me a comment below! 😉📚

The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom

 

So, I found myself in the super unusual position of having a little free reading time this week so this was my second non-essential book this week.

 

I’ve had this on my TBR since late last year. I wanted to read Tuesdays With Morrie but couldn’t lay my hands on a copy so picked this one instead!

 

About the book (via Goodreads):

‘All endings are also beginnings. We just don’t know it at the time…’

On his eighty-third birthday, Eddie, a lonely war veteran, dies in a tragic accident trying to save a little girl from a falling cart. With his final breath, he feels two small hands in his – and then nothing.

He awakens in the afterlife, where he learns that heaven is not a lush Garden of Eden but a place where earthly life is explained to you by five people who were in it. These people may have been loved ones or distant strangers. Yet each of them changed your path forever.

 

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed this book. I didn’t know what to expect when I started it but it’s a lovely little book. It is essentially what it’s described as. I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars on Goodreads. I’m putting my rating in early as I’m finishing with a quote. 😊

Eddie dies and goes to heaven. Upon arriving he is greeted by a person who changed his path or whose path was changed because of him.

Each of these five people tells Eddie how he featured in their lives and what led them to him. Each story is told really well and imparts a lesson.

My favourite without a doubt:

 

I’ll leave the review on that note…

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart 

 

I found myself in the rare position of being able to choose a book for myself last night. My next book to be read and reviewed for publication isn’t until next week so I got to look at my 400+ books and decide what to read.

 

I chose We Were Liars partly because it was short, a mere 227 pages, and also because it had been recommended to me sometime last year.

 

I hadn’t read the blurb, nor had I read any reviews so I went into it knowing only that it was YA fiction. Now, as regular followers and friends will attest, I rarely read outside of my crime book comfort blanket genre. I love crime fiction in every guise, so this was a massive departure for me. It was about time I read something different.


About the book (via Goodreads) :


We are the Liars.

We are beautiful, privileged and live a life of carefree luxury.
We are cracked and broken.
A story of love and romance.
A tale of tragedy.
Which are lies?
Which is truth?
You decide.


My thoughts: 

 

That’s some description isn’t it! Is it any wonder I didn’t know what to expect once I started reading!

We Were Liars is a book about friendship, about love, about family, and so much more. It packs it all in such a small book. I think it’s one of those books that you either love or hate. I was in neither extreme though. It left me feeling a bit meh.

It focuses on the Sinclair family. Think of those clean cut, wealthy, summering in the Vineyard kinds of US families and the Sinclair family is what you would see. Grandparents, kids, grandkids all off to the island for the summer and filling their days with tennis, swimming and wine fuelled dinners.

I found it difficult to warm to Cadence (her name is a thing of beauty though) and her “Liars” as she called them. Cousins Johnny and Mirren and another boy, Gat. As characters, they were self involved, entitled and abrasive at times.

We Were Liars also deals with teenage love. The all-consuming, gut-wrenching, heart-breaking first love, the worst kind. Reading this book, and I’m probably showing my age here, reminds me of when I was young and watching Dawson and Joey on Dawson’s Creek . The declarations and thoughts, more verbose than my teenage mind would ever be able to think of, are present in We Were Liars.

There is also tragedy in this book, and it is hidden within layers of words and written in odd shaped stanzas at various intervals. While I assumed (correctly) early, I still wasn’t certain of what happened until it was right there in black and white!

I gave We Were Liars 2⭐️ on Goodreads. I dropped stars for it’s lack of momentum, and because it just wasn’t my usual type of read. All the same, if you enjoy YA fiction, you should definitely give We Were Liars a go!

You can buy a copy here: We Were Liars

Happy reading 😊📖

Try Not To Breathe by Holly Seddon

My thanks to Corvus and Holly Seddon for my ARC of Try Not To Breathe. I’d seen this book and lots of reviews popping up on my Twitter feed so I was thrilled to get a review copy. I tried not to read the reviews so that I didn’t know much of the plot, as it makes it easier for me to make up my mind about the book.

 

About the book (via Goodreads):

 

Amy Stevenson was the biggest news story of 1995. Only fifteen years old, Amy disappeared walking home from school one day and was found in a coma three days later. Her attacker was never identified and her angelic face was plastered across every paper and nightly news segment.

 

Fifteen years later, Amy lies in the hospital, surrounded by 90’s Britpop posters, forgotten by the world until reporter Alex Dale stumbles across her while researching a routine story on vegetative patients.
Remembering Amy’s story like it was yesterday, she feels compelled to solve the long-cold case.
The only problem is, Alex is just as lost as Amy—her alcoholism has cost her everything including her marriage and her professional reputation.
In the hopes that finding Amy’s attacker will be her own salvation as well, Alex embarks on a dangerous investigation, suspecting someone close to Amy.
Told in the present by an increasingly fragile Alex and in dream-like flashbacks by Amy as she floats in a fog of memories, dreams, and music from 1995, Try Not to Breathe unfolds layer by layer to a breathtaking conclusion.

 

My thoughts:

 

Lack of organisation on my part meant I started Try Not To Breathe within two days of publication, I hadn’t checked my book diary so I read another book that’s not out until next week first! #bookwormproblems 😄

 

Try Not To Breathe, for me, started slowly. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I’m used to books opening with gruesome murders or crimes. The change of pace was welcome though. It pulls you in and makes you wonder how Amy ended up where she did, and what happened to Alex to make her the way she is.

 

Lately, it seems like all the books I’m reading involve children in horrendous situations, death, abuse, kidnapping and so on.

 

However, books like Try Not To Breathe take you on a journey. They make you feel for the characters, and their circumstances. It is effortlessly written, blending Amy’s past,with Alex’s present and weaves the perfect take around the true events of Amy’s attack and subsequent hospitalisation.

 

I really enjoyed (never sounds right to say that about books with such awful subject matter!) Try Not To Breathe. I flew through most of it yesterday and last night as I wanted to be able to post my review for publication day today! Myself and Celeste over on Celeste Loves Books were saying we’d have to speed read to get it read on time! 😂

 

I gave Try Not To Breathe 4 ⭐️ on Goodreads. The only reason I dropped a star was that I figured out early on who had put Amy in the hospital. It was still a great book regardless of knowing early!

 

You can buy your copy here:
Try Not to Breathe

 

Happy Reading 😊📖

The Darkest Secret by Alex Marwood


My first review of 2016 is The Darkest Secret by Alex Marwood. I was lucky enough to get an arc from the publisher and got around to reading it this week.
About the book (via Goodreads): 



When three-year-old identical twin Coco goes missing during a family celebration, there is a media frenzy. Her parents are rich and influential, as are the friends they were with at their holiday home by the sea.
But what really happened to Coco during her father’s 50th birthday weekend?

 

Set across two weekends – the first when Coco goes missing and the second, at the funeral of Coco’s father, where at last, the darkest of secrets will be revealed…

 

My thoughts:

 

I don’t know where to start with this review. First off, I read this book in about four sittings over two days, which in itself is a good sign. I just feel a little unsure about it though.

 

It took me a while to get into the authors style of writing, as well as the chronology as it switched between characters and years which was confusing to me for the first quarter of the book.

 

The characters in The Darkest Secret are some of the most hate-inducing people I’ve read about in a while. Egotistical, narcissistic and scathing are just some of the words I would use to describe them. The only characters I actually felt any emotion for were Camilla and Ruby, two of Sean’s daughters. Sean being Coco’s dad and Ruby being her twin sister. Mila is one of his daughters from a previous marriage.

 

By telling the story of Coco’s disappearance, and Sean’s death years later, in alternating chapters, the reader gets to see the characters better and gauge how they have changed over the years.

 

This review is a bit disjointed as I don’t want to go into any detail about the plot. It’s hard to get some of my points across without revealing things the author skilfully reveals in the course of the novel.

 

The way Marwood has written this book, it unfurls slowly, like an animal stalking prey. It is definitely a great book, there’s no denying that fact. It left me feeling uncomfortable, angry, shocked and saddened in equal measure. Not many books evoke these sorts of feelings in me, I think that’s why I find this review hard to write. There’s a lot I want to say, but I can’t without spoiling some of the twists and turns.

 

Sufficed to say, Alex Marwood has the perfectly crafted novel, despicable characters written alongside innocent children, and the events that bring their worlds crumbling down around them.

 

I gave The Darkest Secret 4 ⭐️ on Goodreads!

Happy reading! 😊📖