Book Review · Books

Do No Harm by Jack Jordan [BOOK REVIEW]

Do No Harm by Jack Jordan [BOOK REVIEW]

I am so happy I had the chance to celebrate the publication of Do No Harm by Jack Jordan and be part of a huge readalong that included patient charts and heart rate monitors. Huge thank you to Tandem Collective, Simon & Schuster and Jack Jordan himself!

About The Book:

Do No Harm by Jack Jordan [BOOK REVIEW]


Pages: 432

Genre: Medical Thriller, Suspense, Mystery

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Format I read it in: Paperback, Uncorrected Proof

Rating: ★★★★★

My Thoughts:

Anna is a surgeon and quite good at her job. She is also a mother to 4-year-old Zack and is going through a divorce. She’s scheduled to do a surgery on a VIP patient, but when she gets home, her world is about to change – for the worse! Her son has been kidnapped and the only way to save him is to kill her patient on the operating table.

And in Do No Harm, this seems to be only the beginning. While we are following Anna’s point of view and her impossible options to choose from, we also get to meet Margot and Rachel. Margot works as a nurse, together with Anna, and has some financial hardships that make her do things she wouldn’t usually do. And Rachel works in the police and has her own tragedy that unable her to move forward with her life. When a lot of things start to happen, the lives of these three women will intertwine and bring out sides of them they didn’t know existed.

Through the stories of these three women, a lot of intense moments happen. This book had me glued to my seat, flipping pages and unable to stop until I finished it.

What would you do? Would you Save or Kill the Patient?

When we started the readalong for this book, we were asked to choose whether we would kill or save the patient. I’ll be honest, for me it was a straightforward and also an unpopular decision. I chose to save the patient. My thoughts at the time were that if the people that took my child had the power to blackmail me, I probably can’t save him anyways, so I might as well not lose my medical licence. However, throughout the book, I changed my decision too many times. As I read the initial circumstances of Anna’s situation, and also reading the plot twists throughout the story, my initial choice went back and forth like a ball on a tennis court.

Reading Do No Harm was such a thrill! Every chapter is suspenseful and you never know in which direction the plot is about to go next. I definitely didn’t expect the ending and even now, days after finishing the book, I am still trying to figure everything out. That’s how shocked this book made me feel.

Do No Harm is the book version of the most intense Grey’s Anatomy episode. That’s the only way I can explain this book in one sentence. It has the hospital setting, the chilling suspenseful moments and never-ending action. And on top of it all, it has a character that’s been given an impossible choice. Do No Harm is a must-read. It will get your heart rate up for sure!

About The Author:

Do No Harm by Jack Jordan [BOOK REVIEW]

Author of Anything for Her, My Girl, A Woman Scorned, Before Her Eyes, and Night by Night. My next thriller, Do No Harm, is published 26th May 2022.

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Book Review · Books

Middlegame by Seanan McGuire [BOOK REVIEW]

Middlegame by Seanan McGuire [BOOK REVIEW]

Middlegame has easily become, and will stay for a long time, one of my ultimate favourite books of all time. I am so glad I won it as a giveaway, as otherwise this book may never have found me. 

About The Book:

Middlegame by Seanan McGuire [BOOK REVIEW]


Pages: 528

Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Science Fiction

Publisher: Tor

Format I read it in: Paperback

Rating: ★★★★★

About Middlegame:

I went in unprepared, and loved the experience I was introduced to. I read the synopsis, but the book didn’t do it justice. There is so much going on that one blurb could never be able to explain. You will get to meet twins Roger and Dodger. Roger is very good with languages and stories. Dodger is amazing with maths. Numbers come so easy for her, and they are her world. Roger and Dodger are not actually human, although they don’t know it. The bond they have between them is special, and it serves a special purpose in the world. They are two pieces in a puzzle, and need each other’s abilities to unlock their full potential. 

“The unspoken pieces of language are sometimes the most painful.”

And even though they’re twins, they live in separate states and can communicate in a unique way. This was actually one of the most intriguing parts for me – I loved how they get to know each other and start communicating, and also how throughout the years, despite all the challenges, they keep finding their way to each other. 

“Heredity is not only in blood. It is in the sympathetic vibration of the universe, in the places where atom becomes alchemy.”

Roger and Dodger were created by Reed, an alchemist, who has goals of his own. His plan is to raise the twins to the highest power, to ascend with them and claim their authority as his own. I particularly liked Reed’s chapters. I enjoyed these, as they show a much larger picture of the motives behind what he is doing and to learn more about what the Doctrine is.

“Ignorance is bliss, or at least ignorance leads to better choices: ignorance doesn’t try to account for the costs and consequences of a hundred doomed timelines every time it takes a step.”

My Thoughts:

As I said, the blurb doesn’t do this book justice, in fact, it will probably confuse you rather than offer an explanation. But Middlegame is so much more than that! If I could recommend one thing, it would be to dive into the story without knowing too much. Everything will be explained properly as you start reading, and it will all make sense, unlike my notes of the blurb.

“But what is perfection, really, if not the act of winning?”

For me, diving into Middlegame transported me into another reality, where alchemy resembles magic. It has been a while since a book did that to me from the first chapter and that is one of the reasons I will remember this book. Middlegame starts with an “end of the world” type of way, and then we go back in time to find out what led to this moment

“Time is like skin: it can scar if you cut it enough times.”

The other fascinating thing for me were the excerpts from “Over the Woodward Wall” by A. Deborah Baker. Deborah Baker was an alchemist and she created Reed. After finishing the book and doing some research, it turns out that this is a real book. And the author, A. Deborah Baker, is a pen name for Seanan McGuire. What an incredible thing to do – I am still in awe of this fact.

As for Seanan McGuire, I have nothing but praise! For all the feelings Middlegame evoked from me. For the incredible writing and for hiding a book within a book. And an author within an author, within a character. I will be definitely continuing “Alchemical Journeys” and reading “Seasonal Fears”, the second book in the series, as well as “Over the Woodward Wall”. 

“In the same ordinary town, on the same ordinary street, lived two ordinary children who had never quite managed to cross paths.”

From “Over the Woodward Wall” by A. Deborah Baker

About The Author:

Middlegame by Seanan McGuire [BOOK REVIEW]

Seanan McGuire is an American author and filker. McGuire is known for her urban fantasy novels. She uses the pseudonym Mira Grant to write science fiction/horror and the pseudonym A. Deborah Baker to write the “Up-and-Under” children’s portal fantasy series.

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Blog Tour · Book Review · Books

The Game by Scott Kershaw [BLOG TOUR]

The Game by Scott Kershaw [BLOG TOUR]. The Game is definitely one of those books that instantly grabs your attention.

A very big thank you to the team at HQ Stories, for sending me a copy of The Game by Scott Kershaw. Make sure you follow the other mentioned bloggers above for their reviews of this book. The Game is definitely one of those books that instantly grabs your attention.

The Game by Scott Kershaw [BLOG TOUR]. The Game is definitely one of those books that instantly grabs your attention.

About The Book:

The Game by Scott Kershaw [BLOG TOUR]. The Game is definitely one of those books that instantly grabs your attention.


Pages: 429

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Publisher: HQ Stories

Format I read it in: Hardcover

Rating: ★★★★/★

Synopsis:

As soon as I read the synopsis, I wanted to know what this game is all about. We are introduced to five people, and someone they love goes missing and they receive a message to start playing the game. There can only be one winner and they cannot share this message or seek help from anyone. If they lose this game, their loved one will die.

My Thoughts:

The first half of the book feels like a prolonged introduction. There is a slight issue with pacing, due to us reading five chapters for five different characters, all having to do the same few tasks. For example – they need to buy a prepaid phone and come to a certain location.

Whilst this is great in terms of character building, and us understanding each character’s back story, at times it felt like a recycled content. Once the game officially starts, my reading experience improved significantly. There is a lot of tension and uneasy atmosphere that I quite enjoyed. We discover a lot of secrets about the players and see how each of them deals with the situation they are into.

Writing this review now, it’s extremely hard to not reveal anything. The big reveal was very unexpected, that’s all I will say! It took me by surprise still, even though I had my suspicions and picked up on a few clues along the way. The ending was dark and twisty and it was interesting to see the aftermath of everything. A lot of questions were raised regarding morality and taking responsibility of small decisions that may have a huge impact in the long run. There are definitely a lot of topics for discussion, and I can see this book being a great pick for a book club. It kept me glued from start to finish. The game aspect of the book satisfied me and the gripping ending was a masterpiece. Don’t miss this one out, despite its difficult beginning.

The Game is Scott Kershaw’s debut novel, although his writing doesn’t feel like a debut author’s writing. I will definitely keep Scott on my radar and look out for his next books.

About The Author:

The Game by Scott Kershaw [BLOG TOUR]. The Game is definitely one of those books that instantly grabs your attention.

Scott Kershaw lives in Lincolnshire, in a Victorian cottage that was formerly ruled by mice. He likes the crackle of vinyl, the smell of paperbacks, the taste of a stiff drink and the view from a front row barrier. He’s getting too old and heavy for crowd-surfing, but that rarely stops him from trying. His first real love was cinema. His beagle, Darwin, is the one true king of dogs. As a child, Scott believed in monsters. Sometimes he still does. The Game is his debut thriller.

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Book Review · Books

Lemon by Kwon Yeo-sun [BOOK REVIEW]

Lemon by Kwon Yeo-sun [BOOK REVIEW]

First of all, I want to say thank you to the team at Head of Zeus for sending me a copy of Lemon by Kwon Yeo-sun for me to read and review. This book was truly a unique reading experience.

About The Book:

Lemon by Kwon Yeo-sun [BOOK REVIEW]


Pages: 176

Genre: Fiction

Publisher: Head of Zeus

Format I read it in: Hardcover

Rating: ★★/★★

Synopsis:

There were a few reasons why I was interested in this book. The vivid colours on the cover shouted radiance and mystery. The title is intriguing and I was wondering how it connected to the story. The synopsis starts off as a thriller, but dives into the unknown. And finally, I love exploring translated works because I always learn something new.

Lemon is a story that features the murder of a 19-year-old Kim Hae-on. Known as the High School Beauty Murder, there are instantly two suspects: Shin Jeongjun, a rich kid in whose car Hae-on was last seen, and Han Manu, a delivery boy who witnessed Hae-on in Shin Jeongjun’s passenger seat. When no evidence can be pinned on both boys, the case goes cold.

My Thoughts:

If you are looking for a mystery thriller, I’m afraid this book is not it. We may or may not find out the truth behind the murder. It doesn’t even matter. What we will definitely see though, is the aftermath. The lives this murder impacted and how they are getting on seventeen years after the murder.

Although this murder is the big event that drives everything, Lemon actually focuses on the people that survived. 17 years after the murder, the grief takes a big toll on Hae-on’s little sister, Da-on. Da-on is struggling to move on with her life. She lives more in the past than she does in the present. She even does some very dramatic things, all in the hope to be able to find out what happened to her older sister and move on.

“Death carves a clear line between the dead and the living,’ she said in a solemn tone. ‘The dead are over there and the rest of us are over here. When someone dies, no matter how great they were, it’s like drawing a permanent line between that person and the rest of humanity. If birth means begging to join the side of the living, then death has the power to kick everyone out. That’s why I think death, with its power to sever things forever, is far more objective, more dignified, than birth, which is the starting point of everything.”

I felt for Da-on. She felt she had a responsibility all her life. And she feels like she failed to protect her sister. I also felt for their mum. It was interesting to find out about her believing in bad omens. When Hae-on was a baby, she was supposed to be called Hye-eun. But the dad called her Hae-on due to his accent and this name stayed. Because of this, the mother thinks her daughter’s destiny has also changed. After Hae-on dies, the mum tries to change her name, but they won’t allow it. That scene was very heartbreaking. But it also made me wonder. I’ve never thought to ask that question before. Can you actually change a deceased person’s name? I tried to find information on this (specifically for the UK), but I wasn’t able to find anything, so I am assuming it’s not possible.

Aside from Hae-on’s family, we get to know more about the lives of the two suspects at that time. And also some of Hae-on’s classmates. It is very notable that this murder has a huge impact on a lot of people, and they all deal with it very differently. In some of the scenes where Da-on meets with these people, you can notice the awkwardness and rawness is still present, even after years have passed.

Even though it’s not the most suspenseful fiction novel, I still recommend it. I read it in a day and it did keep me intrigued. It was a different take on an aftermath of a murder, and I enjoyed it. I also learned a few new things, which I always cherish in my reading adventures!

About The Author:

Lemon by Kwon Yeo-sun [BOOK REVIEW]

Kwon Yeo-sun was born in Andong, North Gyeongsang Province of South Korea in 1965. Kwon enjoyed a brilliant literary debut in 1996 when her novel Niche of Green was awarded the Sangsang Literary Award. At the time, novels that reflected on the period of the democratization movement in South Korea, were prevalent.

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Book Review · Books

Family of Liars by E. Lockhart [BOOK REVIEW]

Family of Liars by E. Lockhart [BOOK REVIEW]

I am so excited I got to read “Family of Liars” before its publication date and receive an uncorrected proof. This review is SPOILER FREE for both “Family of Liars” and “We Were Liars“.

About The Book:

Family of Liars by E. Lockhart [BOOK REVIEW]


Pages: 298

Format I read it in: Uncorrected Proof (paperback)

Publisher: Hot Key Books

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US

★★★★

Synopsis:

The prequel to We Were Liars takes readers back to the story of another summer, another generation, and the secrets that will haunt them for decades to come.

A windswept private island off the coast of Massachusetts.
A hungry ocean, churning with secrets and sorrow.
A fiery, addicted heiress. An irresistible, unpredictable boy.
A summer of unforgivable betrayal and terrible mistakes.

Welcome back to the Sinclair family.
They were always liars.

My Thoughts:

“Family of Liars” is the prequel of “We Were Liars” and it features the parents from “We Were Liars” as teenagers. “Family of Liars” contains spoilers for “We Were Liars”, so if you haven’t read any of the books, I strongly recommend reading “We Were Liars” first, and then reading “Family of Liars”. I won’t give too much information on the synopsis – same like the first book, this one is better reading blind. I’ll just say this -it features the same private island, the year is 1987 and some new characters join our characters for the summer, when everything kicks off.

If you enjoyed “We Were Liars”, you will also enjoy this book! I don’t want to say it follows the same template, but it kind of does. The chapter flows in the same way, as well as the writing – still beautiful and easy to read. This writing style is a style I really enjoyed reading. If for some reason the writing bothered you in the first book, be aware that it’s very similar here too.

The emotion side was more enhanced in this book. I felt more love, heartbreak, anger and sadness and I loved it so much! I was expecting a twist this time though, and I did get it. And then I got a few more I wasn’t expecting. However, the twists in this book didn’t give the chock or wow factor and didn’t have the same intensity. They were still very cleverly done and I did not see them coming.

In my opinion, “We Were Liars” was amazing and “Family of Liars” just couldn’t top that. But that being set aside, this book was extremely enjoyable and incredibly gripping. A must-read for the fans of this genre and fans of the series. There’s definitely something about this private island that will always tickle my curiosity!

About The Author:

Family of Liars by E. Lockhart [BOOK REVIEW]

E. Lockhart is the author of Again Again, Genuine Fraud, We Were Liars, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, and several other books. Whistle: A New Gotham CIty Hero is a graphic novel.

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