BOOK REVIEW: When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

Format: Library book
Links: Goodreads | Amazon UK
Blurb: At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, the next he was a patient struggling to live.

When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a medical student asking what makes a virtuous and meaningful life into a neurosurgeon working in the core of human identity – the brain – and finally into a patient and a new father.

What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when when life is catastrophically interrupted? What does it mean to have a child as your own life fades away?

Paul Kalanithi died while working on this profoundly moving book, yet his words live on as a guide to us all. When Breath Becomes Air is a life-affirming reflection on facing our mortality and on the relationship between doctor and patient, from a gifted writer who became both.


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BOOK REVIEW: Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Format: Library book
Links:
Amazon UK | Goodreads
Blurb:
Something is out there, something terrifying that must not be seen. One glimpse of it, and a person is driven to deadly violence. No one knows what it is or where it came from.

Five years after it began, a handful of scattered survivors remains, including Malorie and her two young children. Living in an abandoned house near the river, she has dreamed of fleeing to a place where they might be safe. Now that the boy and girl are four, it’s time to go, but the journey ahead will be terrifying: twenty miles downriver in a rowboat–blindfolded–with nothing to rely on but her wits and the children’s trained ears. One wrong choice and they will die. Something is following them all the while, but is it man, animal, or monster?

Interweaving past and present, Bird Box is a snapshot of a world unraveled that will have you racing to the final page.


Review: I honestly couldn’t tell you the last time I read a good horror novel (before this one of course). Which is a shame because I love horror movies, I love being scared and letting my imagination run wild! I found out about Bird Box from a video by YouTuber Katie Snooks and I loved the sound of it so I picked up a copy from the library to give it a go and see whether she was talking any sense! She was. My God she was. This book consumed me for more or less an entire day; it demanded to be read from start to finish and I could not put it down.

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BOOK REVIEW: No Sad Songs by Frank Morelli

Format: Paperback, ARC
Links: Goodreads | Amazon UK
Blurb: Following a family tragedy, 18-year-old Gabe LoScuda suddenly finds himself thrust into the role of caregiver for his ailing grandfather. Between the shopping trips and the doctor visits with Grandpa, Gabe and his friend John try to salvage their senior year, meet girls, and make the varsity baseball team. It doesn’t take long for Gabe to realize that going to school and looking after a grandfather with Alzheimer’s is more work than he ever imagined.

And when long-lost Uncle Nick appears on the scene, Gabe soon finds that living with Nick and Grandpa is like babysitting two grown men. Aside from John, the only person who truly understands Gabe is Sofia, a punk-rocking rebel he meets at the veteran’s hospital. When these three unlikely friends are faced with a serious dilemma, will they do what it takes to save Grandpa? If there’s a chance of preserving the final shreds of Grandpa’s dignity, Gabe may have to make the most gut-wrenching decision of his life—and there’s no way out. Continue reading

BOOK REVIEW: The Happy Brain by Dean Burnett @faberbooks @portassoph @garwboy

So it would appear that on my blog this month, the general theme is “happiness” Earlier in the month I reviewed the book How To Be Happy by Eva Woods (which, spoiler alert, was incredible) and next week I have a “50 things that make me happy” post going live. Gosh, that’s an awful lot of positivity and happiness for one month isn’t it? Well, apparently not because today I’m here to talk about The Happy Brain by Dean Burnett. And then that’s enough happy-related content for the month, I think. I wouldn’t want to over do it now, would I?

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BOOK REVIEW: Her Name Was Rose by Claire Allan @ClaireAllan @AvonBooksUK

Format: ARC, NetGalley
Links: Amazon UK | Goodreads
Publication date: 28th June 2018
Blurb: Her name was Rose. You watched her die. And her death has created a vacancy. 

When Emily lets a stranger step out in front of her, she never imagines that split second will change her life. But after Emily watches a car plough into the young mother – killing her instantly – she finds herself unable to move on.

And then she makes a decision she can never take back.

Because Rose had everything Emily had ever dreamed of. A beautiful, loving family, a great job and a stunning home. And now Rose’s husband misses his wife, and their son needs a mother. Why couldn’t Emily fill that space?

But as Emily is about to discover, no one’s life is perfect… and not everything is as it seems. Continue reading

BOOK REVIEW: How To Be Happy by Eva Woods

Format: Kindle, Bought
Links: Goodreads | Amazon UK
Blurb: Annie Hebden is stuck. Stuck in her boring job, with her irritating roommate, in a life no thirty-five-year-old would want. But deep down, Annie is still mourning the terrible loss that tore a hole through the perfect existence she’d once taken for granted—and hiding away is safer than remembering what used to be. Until she meets the eccentric Polly Leonard.

Bright, bubbly, intrusive Polly is everything Annie doesn’t want in a friend. But Polly is determined to finally wake Annie up to life. Because if recent events have taught Polly anything, it’s that your time is too short to waste a single day—which is why she wants Annie to join her on a mission…

One hundred days. One hundred new ways to be happy. Annie’s convinced it’s impossible, but so is saying no to Polly. And on an unforgettable journey that will force her to open herself to new experiences—and perhaps even new love with the unlikeliest of men—Annie will slowly begin to realize that maybe, just maybe, there’s still joy to be found in the world. But then it becomes clear that Polly’s about to need her new friend more than ever…and Annie will have to decide once and for all whether letting others in is a risk worth taking. Continue reading

BOOK REVIEW: The House Swap by Rebecca Fleet @RebeccaLFleet @PoppyStimpson @TransworldBooks #TheHouseSwap

Format: Uncorrected proof copy – supplied by publishers
Links: Goodreads | Amazon UK
Blurb: ‘No one lives this way unless they want to hide something.’

When Caroline and Francis receive an offer to house swap, they jump at the chance for a week away from home. After the difficulties of the past few years, they’ve worked hard to rebuild their marriage for their son’s sake; now they want to reconnect as a couple.

On arrival, they find a house that is stark and sinister in its emptiness – it’s hard to imagine what kind of person lives here. Then, gradually, Caroline begins to uncover some signs of life – signs of her life. The flowers in the bathroom or the music in the CD player might seem innocent to her husband but to her they are anything but. It seems the person they have swapped with is someone she used to know; someone she’s desperate to leave in her past.

But that person is now in her home – and they want to make sure she’ll never forget


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BOOK REVIEW: A Mother’s Sacrifice by Gemma Metcalfe

Format: ARC, NetGalley
Links: Goodreads | Amazon UK
Blurb: God ensured she crossed my path. And that is why I chose her.

The day Louisa and James bring their newborn son home from the hospital marks a new beginning for all of them. To hold their child in their arms, makes all the stress and trauma of fertility treatment worth it. Little Cory is theirs and theirs alone. Or so they think…

After her mother’s suicide when she was a child, Louisa’s life took an even darker turn. But meeting James changed everything. She can trust him to protect her, and to never leave her. Even if deep down, she worries that she has never told him the full truth about her past, or the truth about their baby.

But someone knows all her secrets – and that person is watching and waiting, with a twisted game that will try to take everything Louisa holds dear. Continue reading

BOOK REVIEW: My Sister by Michelle Adams #BlogTour @Phoebe_Swinburn @MAdamswriter

Format: Paperback, ARC for blog tour
Links: Goodreads | Amazon UK
Blurb: Families should stay together. What happened that day ripped mine apart.

A successful doctor, with a loving boyfriend, Irini Harringford is finally happy. But when Elle tracks her down, everything starts to unravel.

Irini knows only too well what her sister is capable of. However, her desperate need for answers drags her back to a shocking past.

She always thought her family didn’t want her. What if the truth is even worse?


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BOOK REVIEW: The Binding Song by Elodie Harper @MulhollandUK @ElodieITV

Format: Paperback, ARC for blog tour
Links: Amazon UKGoodreads
Blurb: Dr Janet Palmer is the new lead psychologist at HMP Halvergate in a remote, bleak area of Norfolk. At first, she was excited by the promotion. Then she starts to see how many secrets are hiding behind the high walls.

A string of inmates have committed suicide, leaving no reasons why, and her predecessor has disappeared – along with his notes. The staff are hostile, the threat of violence is ever-present, and there are rumours of an eyeless woman stalking the corridors, punishing the inmates for their sins.

Janet is determined to find out what is really going on. But the longer she stays and the deeper she digs, the more uncertain she feels.

Halvergate is haunted by something. But it may be a terror worse than ghosts… Continue reading