Quarterly Book Round-up (1/4)

2017 has been a fantastic year for books for me so far. I’ve not picked up a book which I’ve not finished nor have I awarded less than 3 stars to anything I’ve read! With so many others on my to-read list which sound absolutely amazing, 2017 is shaping up to be a pretty spectacular bookish year. So let’s go through the first quarter and take a look at what I’ve read, my favourites and what I’m hoping to read in the coming months! 

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Book Review: Dear Amy by Helen Callaghan

Format: Paperback, ARC
Links: Amazon UK | Goodreads
Blurb: In her guise as ‘Dear Amy’, agony aunt for a local newspaper, Margot Lewis has dealt with all sorts of letters – but never one like this…

Dear Amy,
I’ve been kidnapped by a strange man.
I don’t know where I am.
Please help me,
Bethan Avery

This must be a cruel hoax. Because Bethan Avery has been missing for nearly two decades.

But as the present-day search intensifies for another missing schoolgirl, Margot is unnerved enough to take the letter to the police, hoping they will dismiss it as a sick joke.

Instead, they let Margot in on a little secret. One that confirms her darkest fears and tangles her up in the search for the sender, which could save one young girl’s life and cost Margot her own…

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Book Review: Rattle by Fiona Cummins

27968809Format: eBook, bought
Links: Goodreads | Amazon UK
Blurb: A psychopath more frightening than Hannibal Lecter.

He has planned well. He leads two lives. In one he’s just like anyone else. But in the other he is the caretaker of his family’s macabre museum.

Now the time has come to add to his collection. He is ready to feed his obsession, and he is on the hunt.

Jakey Frith and Clara Foyle have something in common. They have what he needs. What begins is a terrifying cat-and-mouse game between the sinister collector, Jakey’s father and Etta Fitzroy, a troubled detective investigating a spate of abductions.

Set in London’s Blackheath, Rattle by Fiona Cummins explores the seam of darkness that runs through us all; the struggle between light and shadow, redemption and revenge.

It is a glimpse into the mind of a sinister psychopath. And it’s also a story about not giving up hope when it seems that all hope is already lost. Continue reading

An Interview With Jane Fallon, (author of My Sweet Revenge)

My Sweet Revenge by Jane Fallon was my first read of 017; and what a read it was! I recently reviewed it here, if you want to check out my review but I am also thrilled to bring you a little interview with Jane today on my blog! We’re talking inspiration, dream cast members and writing advice.

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Giveaway Haul & Tips For Running Your Own

We all love something for free, don’t we? And if you say you don’t I will automatically assume that you are lying to make yourself look above and beyond the rest of us. I certainly do and I enter a hell of a lot of giveaways because why the hell not? December was an incredibly lucky month for me and I won 5 giveaways in the space of less than a week! I was so happy with what I got, I wanted to do a little haul to show y’all and include some tips for running your own giveaways, too!

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Experience the Magic: Nerdy Bookworm Box *

Last month, I wrote about the Fresh Fiction: Box Not To Miss subscription box I received from the fantastic guys at Cratejoy. They specialise in all things subscription box and have a massive amount of different boxes to suit all types and interests on their site. This month, I was ever so lucky to receive another of their amazing boxes, this time it was the Nerdy Bookworm Box. I absolutely loved this box so let me share with you what goodies were inside!

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What’s the Point of Book Reviews?

What a stupid question, I hear you all saying at the sight of this title. And I agree, it is a stupid question. That’s the whole point of this post to talk about what a stupid statement it really is and the relevance and importance of book reviews. A good year or so ago now, I saw a comment on Facebook I won’t forget and it took everything in me not to start a complete ruckus with this stupid person. The comment, left on another Facebook friends status was, “I don’t see the point of book reviews, they’re irrelevant“. I don’t see the point of book reviews. They are irrelevant. And the person who said this? An author.

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Guest review from Linda Marston: Stranded by Emily Barr

9780755387977What it’s about:

Bruised from the breakdown of her marriage, Esther Lomax needs to get away and hopes Malaysia’s unspoilt shores will provide the space and time alone she seeks.

But a day’s boat trip takes a desperate turn when Esther, along with six other holidaymakers, is deposited on an uninhabited island, their guide promising to pick them up in an hours time.

Only, he doesn’t come back: not an hour later, not two, not even the next day. Before long the dreadful reality of the situation hits the group: they have no way to getting back to the mainland and they know nothing about each other. As tensions erupt, secrets emerge and time begins to run out, Esther must ask herself the ultimate question: will she leave the island alive?

CharlooDividerGuest review:

I chose the book because of the sub-title ‘If no one knows your missing how can you be found?’ It sounded very intriguing which encouraged me to pick up the book and read the blurb. The book focuses on Ester the main character and how she ends up stranded on a Malaysian desert island. Her and 6 others are going on a daytrip to a desert island on a boat and the tour guide doesn’t come back for them. She doesn’t know any of the people she’s with at the start but as the days go on everyone starts telling their individual stories and come to realise why everyone ended up in Malaysia to start with. As the days turn into weeks, they start getting agitated and paranoid and blaming each other for being there – one character in particular. Within the main story there’s a “sub” story that’s running at the same time and for most of the book you have no idea why until about 3/4 of the way through when you realise it’s actually connected to one of the people on the island.

It was an extremely good plot and it was good to see how the main character, Ester, changed and grew throughout the book. There was a real diverse mix of characters; an older couple, two “newly-weds”, a lesbian, a divorcee and a very private single bloke and it was great to see how each character copes with being on the island and how some of them step up and take lead and show their capabilities in the face of such a disaster whereas others crack under the pressure . I liked the end, when it finally came and what brought each individual character to Malaysia in the first place and the twist was something I really didn’t expect. I would definitely recommend this book and will be looking for more Emily Barr novels in the future.

CharlooDividerInterview with book lover Linda Marston (Aka: my mum)

1. Hi mum – in your own words can you tell us what Stranded was about?
It was about a group of people getting stranded on an island and no-one knowing they were there.

2. Have you read anything else by Emily Barr, if so, which ones?
Yes I have – The First Wife.

3. Would you recommend Emily Barr novels?
Yes, definitely.

4. Who are some of your favourite authors?
I like Dorothy Koomson. Mike Gayle books are always a good read and I also like Diane Chamberlain and Jodi Picoult.

5. What are your top 5 favourite books of all time?
The first one is a classic it’s got to be Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S Lewis, The Curious Incident of The Dog in The Nigh time by Mark Haddon, Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult and it’s got to be The Rats by James Herbert.

6. If you were stuck on a desert island and could only take 3 books with you what would they be?
How To Build A Raft by Anybody. The Survivors Handbook and A Brian Cox book so I could spot all the stars.

7. Ha-ha, very funny. If you were to write a novel which genre do you think you’d pick and why?
It would be a horror because you could let your imagination run wild.

8. Is there a book that you’ve always wanted to read but never got around to?
Yes, To Kill A Mockingbird.

9. What book is next on your reading agenda?
At the moment I’m reading Ash by James Herbert.

10. Thanks for answering my questions. Can you make me a cup of tea now?
*Looks puzzled* Is that a question?

Linda works in an office is London but has always dreamt of being a librarian or working in a bookshop. She’s the reason I took such an interest in books and reading and has recommended many novels to me over the years (not to mention sat there and read Harry Potter after Harry Potter book to me when I was younger and couldn’t be bothered reading them myself!)