Book Review · Books

The Perfect Life by Nuala Ellwood [BOOK REVIEW]

The Perfect Life by Nuala Ellwood [BOOK REVIEW]

I devoured The Day Of The Accident. I loved The House On The Lake. So, naturally, I was prepared I would enjoy The Perfect Life as well. Little did I know, it would end up being my favourite Nuala Ellwood book yet!

About The Book:

The Perfect Life by Nuala Ellwood [BOOK REVIEW]


Pages: 313

Format I read it in: Paperback

Purchase Links:
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★★★★

Synopsis:

HAVE YOU EVER WANTED TO BE SOMEONE ELSE?

Vanessa has always found it easy to pretend to be somebody different, somebody better. When things get tough in her real life, all she has to do is throw on some nicer clothes, adopt a new accent and she can escape.

That’s how it started: looking round houses she couldn’t possibly afford. Harmless fun really. Until it wasn’t.

Because a man who lived in one of those houses is dead.

And everyone thinks Vanessa killed him…

My Thoughts:

The manipulation in this book is brilliant. The small red flags that get often ignored turn into a bigger picture, creating a unique pressure, and as a reader, I loved it!

Vanessa is such a morally grey character, and even though I felt for her, I could never truly trust her narrative. It was like stepping on shaky stones, but having a wonderful view at the same time. I don’t experience that often, and I want to find it more and more in books now!

I could predict in which direction the book was going, and even though I could sort of predict the ending as well, it still left me satisfied. If you are looking for a quick read that will take you on a creepy adventure, you better grab a copy of this book.

Nuala’s writing is amazing! She is able to get me into the story very fast, and keep me intrigued until the very end.

TW: rape, abuse, gaslighting

About The Author:

Nuala Ellwood author The Perfect Life by Nuala Ellwood [BOOK REVIEW]

Nuala Ellwood is the author of three bestselling novels: My Sister’s Bones for which she was selected as one of the Observer’s ‘New Faces of Fiction 2017’, Day of the Accident and The House on the Lake. Nuala lives in York with her young son.

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Book Review · Books

All About Amy by James J. Caterino [BOOK REVIEW]

All About Amy by James J. Caterino [BOOK REVIEW]

When I won the giveaway for All About Amy, I was thrilled. The synopsis is very intriguing, and my curiosity got the better of me. This book somehow ended up a bit forgotten and abandoned for many years – but now that I’ve read it, I am happy I did. It was a very pleasant adventure

About The Book:

All About Amy by James J. Caterino


Pages: 133

Format I read it in: Paperback

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US

★★★

Synopsis:

Troy is a guy that lives a very quiet and uneventful life. He’s a bit of a sad soul, to be honest. One day, a mysterious woman shows up on his doorstep with a bombshell. She claims she is the transmigrated soul of Amy – his long-lost girlfriend who died in a tragic boating accident nearly twenty years ago.

Troy is left baffled. He’s unsure whether this girl is part of some weird game, or whether Amy’s soul actually returned in the body of this lady.

Unfortunate circumstances will make Troy and Julie to end up on the run together, fleeing for their lives from local gangsters. And spending more time together will hopefully shed some light on the truth.

My Thoughts:

All About Amy was a very interesting and unique read. I truly enjoyed the writing style and the short chapters. It is written in first person, with Troy’s point of view and we get an in-depth view of his thoughts and feelings. Although, sometimes I wasn’t able to get into his head and know exactly how he was feeling.

It was very interesting to see the scenario of transmigrating being explored, and how a person might react if such thing happened to them, or if they met a person like that. I could perfectly relate to Troy being doubtful and not wanting false hope, or old feelings resurfacing. It was also difficult for him to get to know Julie as herself, without the interference of Amy.

The ending was a bit “meh” for me, which is why I gave this book 3 stars. It left me disappointed and it wasn’t what I was expecting nor hoping for. I also didn’t think the ending of the story was very memorable. However, as a whole, All About Amy is a unique and interesting mysterious novel, and I suggest you give it a go if you get the chance.

About The Author:

James J. Caterino

James J. Caterino is a freelance writer based in South Florida. He is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, the Action/Cut school of directing, and the author of over forty published works including “Pop Star”, “Miami Noir”, “Super Hornet 1942”, “The Girl from the Stars”, “Fantastic Stories”, “Fireflies”, “Watch the Skies”, “The Last Neanderthal”, “Rollercoaster”, and the “Caitlin Star” series.

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Book Review · Books

All That’s Dead by Stuart MacBride [BOOK REVIEW]

★★

All That’s Dead is book number 12 in the Logan McRae series, however, each of these books can be read as a standalone, as it features Inspector Logan McRae in different situations. This was my first novel from the series, as well from Stuart MacBride, and I was pleasantly surprised. I’ve only just met the hero that is Logan McRae and I’m planning on hanging out with him more in the future.

Synopsis:

Scream all you want, no one can hear…

Inspector Logan McRae is looking forward to a nice simple case – something to ease him back into work after a year off on the sick. But the powers-that-be have other ideas…

The high-profile anti-independence campaigner, Professor Wilson, has gone missing, leaving nothing but bloodstains behind. There’s a war brewing between the factions for and against Scottish Nationalism. Infighting in the police ranks. And it’s all playing out in the merciless glare of the media. Logan’s superiors want results, and they want them now.

Someone out there is trying to make a point, and they’re making it in blood. If Logan can’t stop them, it won’t just be his career that dies.

My Thoughts:

I had the pleasure to listen to the audiobook by a narrator with a Scottish accent and I loved it! It managed to bring Stuart MacBride’s humour and beautiful writing to life like I wouldn’t be able to do it myself by simply reading.

It took me a while to fully get into the story, and to be quite honest, I never truly did. Mostly it’s because the political aspect of the book was not interesting to me, and I was merely into it from the investigation side of things. This is also the only reason I gave this book a 3-star rating.

Aside from the political aspect, I enjoyed the thriller elements in the book. I was hooked on the investigation scenes, and there were many plot twists that kept me intrigued. Same goes for the storytelling. Stuart MacBride did an amazing job there. I could vividly imagine the scenes only from his descriptions and I really enjoyed his hilarious metaphors. Each character was amazingly done, with their own little storylines and personal development, all culminating into a great ending to sum everything up.

Even though my first, this book will definitely not be my last from the author. If you are looking for a gripping political mystery thriller with a witty inspector, read All That’s Dead!

Purchase Links:
 Amazon UK | Amazon US

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Blog Tour · Book Review · Books

The Burning Girls by C. J. Tudor [BLOG TOUR]

I am delighted to be part of the huge blog tour for The Burning Girls by C. J. Tudor. Huge thanks to Gaby from Michael J Books, for this amazing opportunity. If you have a chance, please go and check out the other participants as well!

★★

The Burning Girls was the first book I read from C. J. Tudor and it didn’t disappoint. I loved the horror elements, as well as the multi-layer mysteries over the years, and the many plot twists. It is definitely a thriller you will not want to miss this year, and I’ll certainly pick up more books by the author. I was only disappointed with the very end of the book, and I’ll elaborate more on the why’s below:

Synopsis:

500 years ago: eight martyrs were burnt to death
30 years ago: two teenagers vanished without trace
Two months ago: the vicar committed suicide

Welcome to Chapel Croft.

For Rev Jack Brooks and teenage daughter Flo it’s supposed to be a fresh start. New job, new home. But, as Jack knows, the past isn’t easily forgotten.

And in a close-knit community where the residents seem as proud as they are haunted by Chapel Croft’s history, Jack must tread carefully. Ancient superstitions as well as a mistrust of outsiders will be hard to overcome.

Yet right away Jack has more frightening concerns.

Why is Flo plagued by visions of burning girls?
Who’s sending them sinister, threatening messages?
And why did no one mention that the last vicar killed himself?

Chapel Croft’s secrets lie deep and dark as the tomb. Jack wouldn’t touch them if not for Flo – anything to protect Flo.

But the past is catching up with Chapel Croft – and with Jack. For old ghosts with scores to settle will never rest…

My Thoughts:

From the very first moments, The Burning Girls grips you and doesn’t let you go until you’re finished. I started this book very late, and was quite certain I’d miss my blog tour deadline as well. But I was so intrigued by it, that I couldn’t put it down and I finished it in a day.

I loved Jack and Flo, and their mother-daughter relationship.

It shows quite well that it doesn’t matter what profession the parent might be having, the children always treat you the same. The need for attention that they’ll never admit to, the secrets they will keep from you, and the mischievous ideas they are going to come up with.

When they move into the new village, they both feel both excited and sad. It’s never easy to leave behind a life you’ve created, especially for a teenager like Flo. Going into a new school, meeting new friends, being distant to the old friends – it’s all very scary at first. And through Jack, we can see how she feels about it all as well – not happy that she’s leaving, but also trying to make it the best experience at the time.

The horror and mystery elements come very early in the book, which is something I really enjoyed. I was very intrigued with not one, not two, but three mysteries that were going on, all in the same town, and all not quite resolved. Those parts, where more clues would come, or something supernatural would happen would be my favorite scenes in this book, and I was eagerly waiting for more. The atmosphere was spooky and very uncomfortable at times. I mean, you only need to imagine a chapel, burning girls and paganism, and you get the idea.

I also liked the town setting, and their behaviour.

Everyone in the small town seemed to be hiding their own secrets, and doing their best to protect them, and this part reminded me a bit of Tana French’s The Searcher. You could feel the townspeople’s animosity in every interaction, and you can’t help but get the chills.

To conclude, this book did satisfy my needs for horror, mystery and plot twists. I definitely did not expect all of those plot twists that came my way, and the book just kept surprising me in a spectacular way. I definitely recommend it to all fans of horror, mystery and thriller, it’s a book that you will devour!

The Disappointment:

My disappointment at the end of the book was huge, and it was the only reason this book went from 5-stars to 3-stars. I can’t share my full thoughts, because of obvious spoilers, but I will do my best to do this right. If you have read the book and want the full notes, please send me a message.

As soon as I read the last few chapters, we end up finding an answer to a mystery that was lingering from the very beginning of the book, and throughout. But knowing what we know now, it feels as if the whole book was a lie, and I cannot really trust a particular character because of it. The knowledge made me question my whole opinion of the book and left a bitter taste in my mouth, and that’s the only reason why I can’t give this book a higher rating. I feel that many things could have been written in a different way, and from other people’s perspectives.

Purchase Links:
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Book Review · Books

The Glass House by Eve Chase [BOOK REVIEW]

★★

I am so glad I got the chance to read The Glass House by Eve Chase! I read it for a readalong, alongside some amazing people! It was a very good book, and I enjoyed it a lot. However, it lacked some mystery elements, which was the main reason I picked it up.

Synopsis

When the Harrington family discovers an abandoned baby deep in the woods, they decide to keep her a secret and raise her as their own.

But within days a body is found in the grounds of their house and their perfect new family implodes.

Years later, Sylvie, seeking answers to nagging questions about her life, is drawn into the wild, beautiful woods where nothing is quite what it seems.

My Thoughts:

The Glass House is a well written drama with a couple of mysterious elements. Through a couple of characters and two different timelines, we discover how two families end up connected to each other, and what secrets they have been keeping over the years.

It was very easy for me to get into this book, as the writing is captivating and colourful. I started to connect the dots very early and from then on, I was more and more curious to see what direction the story will take.

I loved Rita, the nanny. She was the one person in the book I truly cared about and I really wanted the best for her. I was invested in the other characters as well – they were all likeable in their own way and I enjoyed getting to know them better. However, apart from Rita, no one else made a huge impact on me.

The story and the development were set up very nicely.

I could predict almost all plot twists way before they happened, which was slightly disappointing. I was expecting more thriller elements, as there is a murder involved, but that wasn’t quite the case. The focus was on secrets and family drama, and this part managed to keep me entertained. There was a slight lack of suspense though.

The Glass House tells a lovely tale about how secrets can connect two completely different families. And also how fate can reunite them. It was gripping and full of family secrets and drama. If you are looking for the next murder mystery or suspenseful thriller, this is not it. But if you love a good story with likeable characters and a lot of family secrets buried in the past, you will definitely enjoy this one!

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US

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