Book Review · Books

The Stranger Game by Peter Gadol

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When Rebecca’s boyfriend Ezra goes missing, she knows something is not quite right. But when she reports it to the police, they don’t seem to really care. They suspect he’s been playing ”The Stranger Game”, a game that went viral, where people take social media behaviour on the streets and start following each other in real life.

The rules of the game are simple:

  • You must choose a random person.
  • You cannot make contact with other people (or tell them you’re playing the game)
  • You mustn’t follow the same person twice.

But as the game spreads, the rules start to change, and people start disappearing without a trace.

In hope that she she can find her man, Rebecca starts playing the game herself. But the more she gets involved, the bigger the risk is.

When I read the synopsis about ”The Stranger Game” by Peter Gadol, I knew I had to read the book. It is a plot that intrigues me and I am always up for reading more psychological thrillers.

But this book’s delivery was weak. I found the story very slow and unintriguing, with no exceptional plot twists and with a disappointing and rather predictable ending. 

Rebecca was a difficult character to begin with. The writing in the chapters felt different, even though it was the same character’s point of view. I was left very confused. I just wanted to get a better glance at ”The Stranger Game”. And I did, but the game scenario was so much different compared to the synopsis – which was only slightly annoying. But to top up the annoyance, there was a huge lack of mystery and suspense throughout the book. I just stopped caring whether Rebecca was going to find Ezra or not. I did not care whether her life was in danger. I was that unbothered. 

On a positive note,

I did enjoy the psychological theme and people’s behaviour. I always want to know more about how and why people behave in a certain way and this book definitely opened some interesting discussion points.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

If you like human psychology and behaviour, this is a good book to have on your stack. But will this be the next mystery and suspense hit? Probably not…

Thank you to team at HQ (Harper Collins Publishers), for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

”The Stranger Game” comes out on 5th September 2019. 

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Book Review · Books

Nightingale Point by Luan Goldie

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★★★★★

One ordinary day. One extraordinary event. Their lives changed forever. 

Nightingale Point is a book that shows the aftermath of a terrible disaster. A story about many people’s lives, how this event changed them and their recovery and grief.

BEFORE

The book starts with giving us a brief description of people living in two neighboring buildings. We get to know their daily routines, their worries and hopes. We get a glimpse of their everyday lives and start to care for them.

We meet Mary, who has moved from the Philippines into the UK to persue her career as a nurse. Her husband is always away and her children are distant.

We meet the brothers Tristan and Malachi – they have a tragedy of their own, and Mary is like their mum. Tristan is the naughty 16-year-old and Malachi is the older, more responsible brother.

Then we meet Pamela, a 16-year-old who loves running and falls in love with Malachi. However, her racist dad forbids her to see Malachi and locks her inside the building,

We see Elvis as well, who has learning disabilities and lives with his carer. He gets bullied by Tristan one day when Tristan spits in his face.

AFTER

On 4th May 1996, a plane crashes into these two buildings at Nightingale Point and everything changes.

Every resident that lives on Nightingale Point has a before and after story. The ones that survived, but also the ones that didn’t.

This is a story about how much one event can turn your life upside down, how it can change you and also how much little things mean in life, but we forget them so often.

I found it amusing that we had different chapters from different people’s perspectives, and each character had its own different writing style and life to it. This was amazingly done by the author. I found the chapters with Elvis especially refreshing, as they were so heartwarming.

Based on real tragic events – the crash in Bijlmer, Amsterdam and also the fire in Grenfell Tower, the author did a wonderful job in showing the readers the true pain, trauma and the battle of moving forward when a tragedy happens.

Guys, if you haven’t read this book, please pick it up. It will be a hit and it will change your life. Every time I look at this book, I will remember how much little things matter in life and will always call my dad and ask him how he’s doing. Because it matters.

Thank you to the team at HQ for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review · Books

Summer’s End by Kristy Brown

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★★★

Summer’s End is a Young-Adult romance, with a fantasy twist – an interesting and unique book I didn’t expect to read.

First of all – let’s all take a minute to cherish the cover. It is so pink and shiny, and I admit it, it was the first thing that made me read this book. Gorgeous cover!!!

Summer wakes up in a hospital, but she doesn’t remember anything from her past. They tell her she was in a fire accident and barely survived. Before she is ready, she starts going to uni with her two best friends who are helping her remember the past. But when she gets near this one boy, she feels something she has felt before…

Dooney has been training his whole life to kill her when the time is right. She is dangerous and he knows this. He has been trying to locate her for a long time now. And when he finally knows where she is, she makes him feel other things than hatred.

A very quick-paced book with lots of dialogues and quick chapters. Summer’s End make me turn pages constantly, until I finally got to the end. It was very captivating.

The beginning was great, it lured me in instantly, getting me hooked to both character’s lives. However, I didn’t quite enjoy the romance between the two. It felt too fast, too pushed and over the top. This is because of all the repetitive scenes where Summer would faint when he is near and they would always feel each other’s presence. It just didn’t feel real to me.

Saying this though, the ending was amazing and the romance got a bit better at the very end.

Apart from a few plot holes and the romance, I did enjoy this book a lot. If you love YA, I do recommend that you check this book out!

Thank you to the author, Kristy Brown, for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review · Books

The Other Mrs Miller by Allison Dickson

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★★★

The Other Mrs Miller is a great mystery to help you out on a boring day. But if you are looking for the dark and twisty masterpiece to blow your mind, I’m afraid this is not it…

Phoebe Miller is married to a man she doesn’t love. He is a psychotherapist and Phoebe feels he constantly analyses her. She doesn’t work because her father was rich. And when he died, women started to tell their stories of all the terrible things he did. All Phoebe wants to do is hide in her house. But she feels constantly watched and notices a car parked on her street almost every day. And then there are these new neighbours that are clearly hiding something. Should she be worried?

There were a lot of relationships in this book that I had an issue with:

  • the husband that treats his wife as a study subject
  • the wife that treats her husband as garbage
  • the new relationship between a man with the IQ of a three-year-old and a woman that has no clue of what she wants
  • the unknown sister who would rather threaten you or kill you, than come and tell you she is your sister
  • the overprotective mother who doesn’t let her child speak

A very different, and at times, confusing plot. Interesting beginning and introduction, followed by a boring section in the book. A bit of tiny action, and then a slow paced stage again. And finally, an epilogue with a lot of pressure, many characters and a lot of mystery. Very satisfying, until the very last chapter, where the author turns everything around with another small twist, and here I am, sitting on my sofa, with the Kindle in my hand, thinking: THIS IS NOT RIGHT. 

A final twist, without any buildup, or any hints, without making any sense or adding to the story in any way. I wish the author or their editor just deleted that last bit. Disappointing.

I did enjoy the whole book, but the very end left me with a bad after-taste and I can’t give it more than these three stars. Amazing mystery, but ahh, if I could just forget about that last chapter.

If you love mysteries, I am still recommending this. You might enjoy it more than I did.
Thank you to the team at Netgalley, for sending me an ARC copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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Book Review · Books

The Serpent’s Mark by S.W. Perry

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DNF

The first book in 2019 that I didn’t manage to finish is The Serpent’s Mark by S.W. Perry.

I am sad and disappointed. If you know me, you will know how I don’t want to leave things unfinished, especially when reading books. I want to finish every book I read, so I can have a thorough opinion and valid comments.

I stopped reading this book at page 75, which is very early days, but I just couldn’t continue because of a few points.

Before I start, I need to mention all the things that attracted me to this book in the first place. I love mysteries, and this book promised conspiracy, murder and espionage in Elizabethan London. It is set in the year 1591, where a doctor is investigated of his questionable practices. This was, by itself a promising start. And if you haven’t seen the beautiful cover already, please do. It’s art to have this book on your shelves.

However, while reading those 75 pages, I haven’t encountered any murder. Conspiracy and espionage maybe, but it is so subtle, that everything else comes in first place, while I am here, flipping pages and desperately waiting for something to happen.

A book that contains a lot of politics and religion in a same chapter is just not the book for me. As a person that moved into the UK, I know a little bit about politics and not much about history politics, but I am also not very interested in it either. Documentaries, yes – but books for pleasure, not quite so much. This book was over-flooding with politics and religion, and it is something I just couldn’t put past me. After deciding to DNF it, I also realized that it was a second book of a series, but can also be read as a standalone.

I wish I enjoyed it, but I just couldn’t. However, if the book seems like something you might enjoy, please go for it, read it, and let me know how it went. We all have different tastes in book – and that’s OKAY! 🙂

Thank you to ReadersFirst, a UK based website that sends me books every month in exchange for my honest reviews. What you do it absolutely amazing!

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