Thursday, 31 July 2014

Review: The Man Who Sold His Son

The Man Who Sold His Son
The Man Who Sold His Son by Mark Wilson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I grabbed a copy of The Man Who Sold His Son from Amazon, I was browsing through the free books and I decided to give it a read, I'm really glad I did.

I don't read much sci fi as I'm kind of fussy when it comes to the sci fi genre but every so often I come across a book that piques my interest, The Man Who Sold His Son is one of those books.

The story begins in 2055 and infertility has stricken the majority of the male population, those who can conceive children on their own are few and far between, their children known as randoms. Thanks to Gavin Ennis and his company those who need help conceiving can get help. Things however are not what they seem, is Gavin Ennis who he seems to be? What will the consequences be when he comes into the lives of the main characters in the story?

The author has done a great job here, the characters are fantastic. You'll find characters you love to hate, others that you'll hate then grow to love and vise versa. The story has quite a bit of science/medical jargon, however the way it was written made it easy to follow and understand and didn't complicate the story in any way for me. The plot is great, I had no idea where the story was going to take me and as a result it totally held my interest throughout the whole book and what an ending!

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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Review: Vardin Village

Vardin Village
Vardin Village by Maggie Spence

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

My first introduction to this author and her work was when she decided cheating to vote her book up the ranks of reading lists was a great marketing ploy.  I stumbled across her marketing topic on a forum and I couldn't believe what I was reading.  I have read since then many other topics she has started and watched as her behaviour escalated.

I was hoping she would admit her mistakes gracefully and in an adult manner. But alas all I have seen is a woman who can't admit when she's wrong.  A woman who has resorted to the bullying tactics she claims she's reacting to in the first place, and who has spun many lies and excuses in the process. 

Maggie Spence even went so far as to stalk one reviewer online to find their phone number, then proceeded to call them at home and demanded they remove or change their review and tell their friends to stop talking about her.  She then threatened that she would make sure the reviewers phone number was available to any friend, family member, or stranger on the street that wanted to call them and tell them she was crazy, if the reviewer didn't submit to her bullying tactics.

I was curious as to what made her book so great that she felt it was acceptable to cheat the system and to have people who hadn't read the book falsly vote it up the ranks of the Smart Summer Reads list.  As I wasn't about to spend my hard earned cash to line the pockets and support someone who behaves in this manner, I accessed the first 7 chapters on authonomy

I found myself unable to read any further than half way through chapter three.  The story was so flat it was like reading a phone book, add to that the incident with the tractor, they laughed at almost running over Matts head.  Really? This is funny? This is the kind of material that's suitable for a Y/A novel that is written like it's aimed at much younger children, and may as a result end up in impressionable hands?

When I was still in school, I had the unfortunate experience of seeing a friend fall under a bus, the  wheel actually did run over their head.  To this day I will never forget that sound, nor can I wipe from my memory watching them fall and not being able to grab them to stop them.  There is nothing funny about a tractor almost running over a childs head, nor is it suitable for a story that may end up in impressionable hands.

I would say more but to be honest the story was so flat and after the tractor incident I really had to force myself to read as much as I did.

I would not recommend this as suitable reading for any child, it's not ok to laugh when someone else's life is put in danger.

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Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Review: Touched

Touched by Joanna Briscoe

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I received a copy of Touched from the publisher in return for an honest review.

Touched is the first by Joanna Briscoe that I have read, it took me a while to get into her way of writing as it didn't feel comfortable for me. I loved the premise of Touched but it just didn't turn out like I was hoping.

I was hoping for a haunting, creepy story full of atmoshpere but instead it felt flat, I had to make a point of finishing it rather than it grabbing my attention. The dialogue at times seemed like it was starting mid conversation, I found myself a few times reading back on previous bits to see if I had missed some dialogue to try and make sense of it.

There was a lot of focus on the house, the damp, the mould, the stains etc but very little explanation as to why. Later on when a few things were revealed, it still didn't say exactly why. I know now who was probably causing it but why? What was the significance, why did they cause these things to happen? Why the damp, stains and mould, did it mean anything in particular? What was the reason for all the hair in the walls? The smell of cat urine, before the cat ever turned up? All these questions go unanswered.

I couldn't connect with any of the characters either, I just didn't like them. Rowena especially, she has 5 kids, the house is basically inhabitable, strange noises, damp, puddles, mold, all ontop of the other things going on. Yet she stays there, despite the fact it's obviously not healthy or safe for her children? All the while she worries about such trivial things like getting back her figure after the baby and lusting after her neighbour Her children wander all over the place visiting her contractor of all people, a man who she's only really just met and knows nothing about. I'm not even going to start on how she compares her children, what mother does that? A mother loves all her children equally and sees beauty in them all, she doesn't compare them to each other in this way.

I wanted to like this book, the cover is stunning but the tale itself just wasn't for me.

Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
You can also find me on: BookLikes

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Monday, 28 July 2014

Review: Phobic

Phobic by Cortney Pearson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a copy of Phobic (The Forbidden Doors #1) from the publisher in return for an honest review.

This book has it all, great plot, great characters and several twists and turns that had me thinking, how the heck did I not see that coming!

The story begins: When I was six years old, I found the man my mother murdered stuffed under a trap door in our kitchen. The smell gave him away.

That alone grabbed my attention but then it follows with: Police swarmed the house, which - uncharacteristically - made no creaking groans of protest at having that many outsiders in it. It was almost like the house knew Mom's secret and wanted her to get caught.

I just had to read on.

Phobic turned out to be a lot better and a lot more than I was expecting. It is both a supernatural tale and a horror/thriller and the story develops at a nice pace, holding your attention the whole time.

The main character Piper is full of depth, you can't help but become attached to her and experience a whole array of emotions as her story unfolds. The house Piper lives in is haunted, it seems to be protecting her, but is it? The house itself doesn't feel like a house, as you read the story it sort of feels like you're reading about another character in the book.

I was impressed with how the story really started to twist and turn, several times throughout the later stages there were moments where I found myself thinking, wow I really didn't see that coming. Then just as I was getting over one twist, there was another one. There were characters that I went from liking and feeling sorry for, to really disliking them and wanting to see them get their just deserts, then after yet another twist, go back to feeling for them again.

I have to say, the fact that this is the authors first novel is impressive, I enjoyed this tale a lot more than I really thought I would. The ending was great, everything wraps up nicely but at the same time it leaves enough room for more and I want more! I'm really looking forwards to the next installment, I'm keen to see where the story goes next.

Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
You can also find me on: BookLikes

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Saturday, 26 July 2014

Review: We Are All Completely Fine

We Are All Completely Fine
We Are All Completely Fine by Daryl Gregory

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a copy of We Are All Completely Fine from the publisher in return for an honest review.

We Are All Completely Fine is set around a group of normal people, all who have each had an extraordinary experience. An experience that has damaged their psyche. Can they recover? Will sharing their experience with a group help? Dr. Jan Sayer hopes so, she's set up a group, somewhere they can gather and share and hopefully heal from the events that brought each of them to the group.

The story reveals bit by bit, each of the members experience and the horror they lived through. It's like a puzzle, each experience being another part of the jigsaw, which as pieces are added, reveals a link, a link that then takes them on a journey together.

I really enjoyed this book, it was very cleverly executed. Each characters story was horrifying on it's own and they all came together at the end in a twist I did not see coming.

The only negative, I would have liked it to have been longer, there was potential there to make this a full novel, rather than a novella. I also wanted to know more about Harrison's experience too, it felt kind of brushed over compared to the back stories of the other characters.

Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
You can also find me on: BookLikes

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Review: Devil's Day

Devil's Day
Devil's Day by Kyle M. Scott

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It's official, I wanna have Kyles little horror book babies after reading this one.

I was over the moon when I was asked to beta read Devils Day, I've been looking forwards to getting my hands on this since I read Consumed: Volume 1. I dropped everything else I was reading when I received my copy and dived right in.

I have been a little disheartened with horror lately, I have felt for a long time that I have been searching for a book that would remind me why I fell in love with horror to begin with. Don't get me wrong, I have read many a good horror lately, just not found the one. You know, that one that would give me the rush that I used to get when I first came to the genre. Well guess what? I found it!!

This is by far the best horror I have read in a long, long time. Devils Day had me cringing and pulling faces and I'm not even going to mention the noises that I found myself making at some parts, or the rather unladylike words that occasionaly slipped out. I have literally not been able to put this book down since receiving it, well apart from the WTF! No! He's not gonna go there is he? OMG he did! That is so freakin sick and wrong and brilliant at the same time moments, where I had to put it down to digest what I had just read.

Two nights in a row now I have been up till after 7am reading, I just couldn't help myself. I feel like I have sat reading with a horrified grin on my face the whole time I had the book in my hands, yes it was that good. I even found myself having weird dreams, it's been ages since a book last gave me weird dreams.

I probably sound like a rambling fool but it's just pure excitement at having managed to find that horror rush again after so long. You've GOT to give this a read, it's a must read for horror fans out there and it's definately my favourite read of 2014 so far.

Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
You can also find me on: BookLikes

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Friday, 25 July 2014

Review: CLOWN

CLOWN by Matt Shaw

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I had the pleasure of being able to beta read a copy of CLOWN and I would just like to say first of all, Thank you to Matt Shaw for the opportunity.

I'm quickly becoming an huge fan of Matt's work and even more so now after reading CLOWN. What a great read this turned out to be. Clowns are creepy on their own but the way this tale is spun adds a unique twist that makes it all the more disturbing.

CLOWN takes you on a journey inside the mind of a lonely, neglected and tormented individual. An individual who spends his days entertaining children and hiding behind the persona of a clown. It's a psychological tale of torment, instability and horror that develops like a slowly ticking time bomb and concludes with an explosion of a twist at the end.

Highly recommended, you won't be disappointed.

Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
You can also find me on: BookLikes

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Thursday, 24 July 2014

Review: Killing Your Boss

Killing Your Boss
Killing Your Boss by James DeSantis

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was given a copy of Killing Your Boss by the author in return for an honest review.

Killing Your Boss is a story of revenge that's full of unexpected twists and turns, three employees fed up with their boss, decide to take action and send him to the big E-Mart in the sky, but things don't quite work out how they planned.

I enjoyed the premise and the twists and turns of this story, however, there are a lot of spelling, punctuation and grammar errors and as a result there was no flow to the words, this made it hard for me to become immersed in the story.

I found myself having to re-read parts a few times to try and understand the story and dialogue and it got confusing in some parts. I also noticed at one part in the story that the author had gotten the male characters names mixed up and during a rather amorous part of the tale there was a typing error that resulted in the following: "and she smiled, loving the reaction he would get from him." that put a humerous dampner on the whole scene. There was also a lot of switching back and forth between different tenses.

With some corrections and editing this could be a great short story but as it stands it really needs quite a bit of work to make it a lot more readable and enjoyable. This for me is a 2.5 which I am going to round up to a 3 because of course there are no half stars on GR.

I know this is a rather critical review but I did promise to be honest. It's important to edit and spell check your work several times before publishing, because it can, like in this case, ruin what could have been a great story.

Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
You can also find me on: BookLikes and Goodreads

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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Review: The Book of Life

The Book of Life
The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a copy of The Book of Life from the publishers in return for an honest review.

The Book of Life is the final installment of the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness and what a trilogy it has been. I'm going to miss reading about Matthew and Diana now that it's over.

I found the second installment, Shadow of Night, a chore when it came to the amount of characters, it was hard to remember who was who. Thankfully in The Book of Life I didn't have that problem and it was certainly a lot easier to follow as a result.

Diana really comes into her own in book three and it was a pleasure to see her become a force to be reckoned with. We finally get to learn the secrets of Ashmole 782 but I would have liked to have learned more, they searched for this book for so long and I expected more in a way of an explanation than what was given.

While this book wraps up Diana and Matthews story, I can't help but want to read more about some of the other characters in the book. The core supporting characters, as well as the main characters, had so much depth and I feel like I want to know more about their own stories, especially Gallowglass who has been my favourite throughout the series. Let's hope there is a spin off coming in the future.

You can also find me on: BookLikes

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Monday, 21 July 2014

Review: Help for the Haunted

Help for the Haunted
Help for the Haunted by John Searles

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I received a copy of Help for the Haunted from the publisher in return for an honest review.

I picked this one up originally expecting it to be a paranormal story and that's what it seemed to be at the start. As I got into it though it turned out to be more of a light murder mystery than paranormal.

I found it very slow and while it wasn't a bad story, the whole time I was reading I felt like I was waiting for something to happen. The characters felt a little flat to me, the only character in the book that had depth was Sylvie who the story revolved around.

To be honest I was disappointed, I read reviews that said it was creepy, disturbing and full of suspense, it was none of that for me. I found myself picking up other books instead and then having to almost force myself to pick this one back up just to finish it. It just wasn't holding my attention and the story felt like it wasn't going anywhere.

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Sunday, 20 July 2014

Review: Omerion:

Omerion: by Angel Gelique

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was one hell of a read, literally. It was twisted, creepy, dark, gory and so much more.

If reading this doesn't scare you into staying on the right path and treating others as you would wish to be treated yourself, then nothing will.

I have never enjoyed reading about someone getting their just deserts as much as I did while reading this.

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Review: Little Lies

Little Lies
Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a copy of Little Lies from the publisher in return for an honest review.

When I first picked up Little Lies I was planning on reading it along with another book, to switch back and forth between the two. That's not what happened, I ended up reading this one in two sittings, my other book being forgotten.

The copy I was reading was an advanced proof, the dialogue was mixed up in a few parts and it was hard to tell who was saying what, so it was a little confusing. Usually this drives me up the wall and sucks some of the enjoyment out and at times will cause me to give up on a book. The fact that this didn't happen with this one just shows how much I got sucked into the story and enjoyed it.

I loved the way the story developed, from the beginning you know something has happened, something with a devastating outcome. As a result you are hooked from the start and want to unravel the story to learn what brought about this event. The characters were funny and engaging, serious and brooding and a whole lot more, the dialogue both humerous and heart wrenching. Little Lies was a fun read but it also has a more serious side that includes abusive relationships, so it's not all fun and games.

This was the first book by Liane Moriarty that I have read and I'll definately be looking to read more of her writing.

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Review: I Need a New Butt!

I Need a New Butt!
I Need a New Butt! by Dawn McMillan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a copy of I Need a New Butt! from the publisher via netgalley in return for an honest review.

This book was lots of fun, I read it with my niece today who's almost 4 and hilarity ensued. It resulted in her parading around the room showing me how she would walk if she had to get a new butt like the ones the little boy thought of in the book. The illustrations were great and really got her imagination going, she spent ages after reading it talking about all the different styles of new butts she could think up and how funny they would be.

A definate 5 stars for this one, it was so fun to watch my niece laughing and enjoying herself and watch how it got her imagination working overtime.

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Review: Dr. Blessing's Curse, or, The Baby In the Bell Jar

Dr. Blessing's Curse, or, The Baby In the Bell Jar
Dr. Blessing's Curse, or, The Baby In the Bell Jar by Jack Rollins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

On reading this short you can easily picture the poverty and struggles in Victorian England, which is a kind of horror on it's own. Add to that an emergency with a horrific outcome and the subsequent events that follow, and you have yourself a nice little horror short.

I enjoyed this one, it took me back to watching old black and white gothic horror as a kid, it also reminded me of the kind of stories you would find on Beyond Belief or Tales From The Crypt.

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Review: The Vanishing Witch

The Vanishing Witch
The Vanishing Witch by Karen Maitland

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received a copy of The Vanishing Witch via Netgalley in return for an honest review.

I found this one a little slow to start with and it wasn't what I was expecting from reading the blurb and from the title. I expected this to be a lot more about witchcraft, what I got instead was historical fiction with hints of witchcraft.

That being said, I still enjoyed it enough to finish it. The characters were full of depth, the scenes and descriptions of life in the late 1300's were well done, the struggles, hardship and poverty were also portrayed very well. Superstition also plays a part in the story and I really enjoyed the little snippets of lore and anti-witchcraft charms at the start of each paragraph.

I'm struggling with what to rate this one, I did enjoy it but I found it slow for so long that I actually had to make a point of continuing to read and not move onto something else. I am glad I did stick with it though as I did get more into the story later on, but it wasn't a page turner for me. So with that in mind I think I'm going to settle on 3 and a half stars.

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Review: The Reluctant Dead

The Reluctant Dead
The Reluctant Dead by Nuzo Onoh

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a copy of The Reluctant Dead through netgalley in return for an honest review.

The Reluctant Dead is a collection of stories set in Africa full of tales of ghosts, curses, witch-doctors and lore. I really enjoyed reading these, the way they were written, the different beliefs and culture all made for some very interesting reading.

I'm not going to talk about each story as I don't want to give spoilers and all of the stories in the book were good. If I was to pick a favourite I think it would have to be Night Flyer, it to me was the best story in the collection and I could picture it very much like a short horror film.

The Reluctant Dead is definately worth a read for horror and ghost story lovers out there.

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Review: Ten Short Tales About Ghosts

Ten Short Tales About Ghosts
Ten Short Tales About Ghosts by K C Parton

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I received a copy of Ten Short Tales About Ghosts from netgalley in return for an honest review.

This collection of ghost stories just didn't do much for me, I found them predictable and they lacked that spooky atmosphere I like in a ghost story. That being said they were still an ok read and came in handy on my phone for times where I was hanging around waiting on the kids etc.

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Review: Naomi's Room

Naomi's Room
Naomi's Room by Jonathan Aycliffe

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is one of the best ghost stories I have read in a long time. While I wasn't as creeped out by it as I had hoped, it was still an excellent read. The tale really is a parents worst nightmare and a few times I found myself not wanting to read the next part. I can't even begin to imagine the kind of person you would have to be to do some of the things mentioned in the story.

Naomi's Room has a great eerie atmosphere but it's also rather disturbing in parts. The story starts of with every parents nightmare, turns eerie and spooky and then before you know it you're hit with a twisted and disturbing ending.

I find that most ghost stories tend to be somewhat predictable, Naomi's room thankfully was far from predictable.

I would definately recommend giving this one a read.

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Review: A Place For Us Part 1

A Place For Us  Part 1
A Place For Us Part 1 by Harriet Evans

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was invited to read A Place For Us Part One by the publisher via Netgalley in return for an honest review.

This is not my usual kind of read and had I not been invited to read and review it, I probably wouldn't have picked this one up. I did find it slow to start with and it wasn't till around 50% in, that I begain to really enjoy the book.

The characters are all members of the one family and I enjoyed seeing all the different sides to them all within, and outside of, the family unit. They have all grown apart and have their own lives and secrets. But there is one secret, it's a big one. Everyone has been invited back home where all will be revealed, will they all survive as a family once the truth is out?

Looks like I'm going to have to wait for part two to find out!

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Review: Inspector Hobbes and the Curse

Inspector Hobbes and the Curse
Inspector Hobbes and the Curse by Wilkie Martin

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received a copy of Inspector Hobbes and the Curse from the publisher via netgalley in return for an honest review.

I haven't read the previous book, but this one really reads fine as a stand alone novel.

Inspector Hobbes and the Curse is very much the funny mans Sherlock Holmes, it's a light hearted tale full of mystery, quirks and puns. The tale is told from the character Andy Caplets point of view, poor Andy, he's accident prone and as a result is left jobless, broke and homeless. He's taken in by Inspector Hobbes and takes on the role of a somewhat bumbling Watson to Hobbes's Holmes and together they set out to solve an unusual supernatural whodunit mystery.

This was a fun read and is full of chuckle worthy puns and word play. I wouldn't say it was a page turner it's more one of those books you can pick up and read without having to think too much about the plot and just enjoy the humour and the tale.

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Review: Full Moon Over Cedar Hill

Full Moon Over Cedar Hill
Full Moon Over Cedar Hill by Edward Lorn

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It's been ages since I read a good werewolf story and that's exactly what this is. A freakin great werewolf story!!

Full Moon Over Cedar Hill is a 15 page horror short, I wanted to savour it which was hard to do as I found myself fighting not to peek ahead.

This is the stuff nightmares are made off, the fear and terror just jumps right out the pages and woulda scared the pants off me, had I been wearing any. Get your minds out the gutter folks, I read it in bed. :P

Going to have to make my kids read this one, teach them what will happen if they ever put me in a home!

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Review: Shadow of Night

Shadow of Night
Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a copy of Shadow of Night from the publisher via netgalley in return for an honest review.

My review of book one:

After finishing the book I read some of the reviews that others posted, I read many complaining about how undetailed the sex scenes were. Is it weird that I actually find this refreshing? This book is a fantasy novel, not erotica, you want detailed sex scenes then you're reading the wrong genre folks! It's nice to pick up a book that leaves something to the imagination rather than overly described and cliche sex scenes written across several pages.

Sure, Diana despite her education makes the odd silly comment, as she was guilty of in the first book, but who cares! I don't understand those who pick a book apart to point out every little detail that's not historically correct, or point out every dumb statement, perhaps they get more enjoyment from the process of picking a book apart than reading itself. Personally I find as long as it works within the tale that's being told and in the end makes for an enjoyable read, then I can ignore the odd cliche or stupid statement made, it's not the end of the world, authors are human too.

So now that I got that little rant out my system... I was itching to know what happened to Diana and Matthew after the cliffhanger at the end of book one and was keen to get my hands on this one as soon as possible. Like the first book, I found the start of this one slow, but again like in the first book, we are introduced to a whole set of new characters and a new environment and era, so there was a lot of stage setting.

For starters there was a lot more witchcraft, magic and spellcasting in this book, which was great. The descriptions of daily life and scenes of Elizabethan England were really well detailed, I could easily picture how different it was to live in that time period. The fashion however sounded rather uncomfortable, thank god we don't have to wear that get up now lol. The amount of characters in Matthews group and some of the dialogue between them was however a bit much. I feel like it would have been a lot easier to follow had there been less characters in the group. A lot of the dialogue between these characters really didn't relate to the story itself and I think the book would have been better without them. I really enjoyed the section with Phillipe, he was quite a character and it's a shame that he's not a part of the story still to come.

I'm looking forwards to book three to find out the next part of Diana and Matthews journey.

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Review: Milk-Blood

Milk-Blood by Mark Matthews

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I would like to thank Mark Matthews for providing me with a copy of MILK-BLOOD to read and review.

MILK-BLOOD is a disturbingly engrossing read, it immerses you in a world filled with drugs and suffering that many of us are lucky enough to not have touched our own lives. In a sense it feels wrong to say I enjoyed this book, it's uncomfortable, it's horrifying, it's desperate, it's brutal, it's reality for some, but this is what makes it such a good read and keeps you turning the page.

The Note from the Author sections at first confused me, I couldn't understand what they had to do with the story itself and seemed off putting. However when it became clear in the end why they were there, I found myself thinking how cleverly done it was and how much more enjoyable it made the twist in the end.

This was definately a unique read, one that I would highly recommend.

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Review: Terror Train

Terror Train
Terror Train by A. Henry Keene

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Got to start this one off by saying that I'm not a huge fan of anthologies. I like to pick up a book up and get lost in the story and I find that hard to do when reading an anthology. It's not that I dislike short stories, I just don't like jumping between writing styles as often as an anthology causes you to.

Why then did I pick up Terror Train? Well to be frank I only picked this one up to read Stuart Keanes and Jim Goforths entries as I know them both. When I mentioned to a friend that I was reading an anthology, knowing how I feel about them he advised me to take my time, read one story at a time and then go back to the other books that I was reading. Turns out it was a good move! Thanks Steven Beltzer yer a wee gem! ;)

I enjoyed reading all the different takes on the one subject. Every author had a different vision and style and it was fun to experience the horror from all different viewpoints. I'm not going to name favourites, they were all good in their own way and it was in the end a fun read.

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Review: Daughter

Daughter by Jane Shemilt

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a copy of Daughter from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

This is every parents nightmare, we all think we know our children, but do we?

If one of your children were to go missing and people started asking you questions, just how well would you really know what was going on in your childs life?

Everyone has secrets, including our kids, what would you do if those secrets slowly started to come to light and reveal someone different than you thought they were?

Daughter brings up all these questions and more, I found myself thinking of this one long after I had put it down. We are introduced to Jenny, a working mother of three children, who's 15 year old daughter Naomi doesn't come home one night. Jenny's life starts to unravel, secrets come out the woodwork, her family struggles to come to terms with what they learn, can they survive these secrets and find their daughter.

Daughter is a rollercoaster ride of emotions and fear that will touch every parent out there. The characters in this book are so full of depth, you can literally feel their pain and panic oozing from the pages. As a mother myself it's a scary thought and it had me questioning myself, just how much do I know about what's going on in my own childrens lives.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it was full of tension and touched on deep seated fears that every parent has when their child steps outside into the big wide world.

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Review: The Long Fall

The Long Fall
The Long Fall by Julia Crouch

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a copy of The Long Fall from the publishers via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

This is another book that is hard to review without spoilers sneaking in, I seem to be choosing a lot of those lately.

The Long Fall is the first book by Julia Crouch that I have read, I felt it slow to start with but I stuck with it and I ended up enjoying it once the story picked up.

The main character Emma was really well written, with lots of depth and emotion and was very likable. I found myself becoming immersed in the ups and downs of her journey as the story progressed. I did however start to get irritated with her further on in the book, wanting to just give her a good shake and tell her to get a grip lol.

There are a couple of big twists in the story, which I had worked out before they happened. However it didn't ruin the book at all, although it would have been nice to have experienced them without knowing what was coming.

If you're thinking of picking this one up as a holiday read, I wouldn't advise doing so if you are a female travelling alone. I would imagine it would have you a second guessing every decision you make.

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Review: Far Far Away

Far Far Away
Far Far Away by Tom McNeal

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I received a copy of Far Far Away from the publishers via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

I have mixed feelings on this one, I really liked the premise of Far Far Away. I mean cmon, if you were a kid who loves to read and could hear the voice of any ghost, being able to chat with the ghost of one half of the Brothers Grimm. It would be a dream come true.

That being said, this book felt really slow. I enjoyed it but it just took too long to get to the real grit or even just a hint of what was happening, and even then it just seemed to skim over it like it wasn't that big of a deal. Don't get me wrong, the story was cute and it was creepy but it felt flat to me.

The characters needed more depth, they just didn't seem real. The little back story that was given about the characters themselves just wasn't enough to make you feel anything for them, or to be able to relate to them in anyway. Personally I felt like the story was dragged out and the exciting bits were kind of brushed over and overshadowed by everything inbetween.

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Review: Graveyard Scavenger Hunt

Graveyard Scavenger Hunt
Graveyard Scavenger Hunt by Brian Barnett

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was given a copy of Graveyard Scavenger Hunt by the author Brian Barnett in return for an honest review.

I had fun reading this one, what a wee gem this book turned out to be. I would have loved to have had a book like this for my kids when I was first introducing them to the horror genre. It's well balanced with not too many scares, but at the same time it's eerie and has a wonderfully spooky atmosphere.

I can't wait till my niece is old enough for me to share this book with. The characters were fun, the story had me reading with smile on my face. I couldn't help but picture how much fun this would be to read with a child and see their reaction and imagination run away with them.

This is a definate 5 stars for me, I'm keeping this one on my kindle app. It's so much fun that I know I will find myself rereading it from time to time.

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Review: All or Nothing

All or Nothing
All or Nothing by Stuart Keane

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to beta read an ARC of All or Nothing, having been looking forward to this since I read Stuart's novella The Customer is Always.., I couldn't wait to delve into this one.

How to do this one justice without giving spoilers, I don't know where to start. I have so much I want to say but I don't want to just throw it all at you without filtering out the spoilers.

First off, that cover, I love it! Had I not read the blurb and been intrigued by the premise of this book then the cover alone would have had me picking it up right away, it's eyecatching and just screams read me.

When I first read the blurb of this book I knew I wanted to make a point of reading it, the story intrigued me and sounded very much like a good scary movie. Like a cross between a reality TV prog and Saw, my imagination was running away with me at the possibilities.

I want to say I became engrossed in this book, but it was more than that, I became invested. I felt like I was in The Game, I was there with the The Choices in those rooms, with them through their journey, fighting the fight with them through all the twists and turns that took place. I watched them grow, I watched them turn from frightened individuals into people I was proud of, fighting to live, fighting to escape, struggling to survive and not giving up.

I was impressed with the growth of characters as the book went on, how they changed, how they evolved within the environment they were in. I even found myself mentally shouting at one, well at least I thought I was, till my son turned round and said what's going on who you telling to "Come on and bloody choose you moron" lol

From the minute I opened this one on my tablet I don't think I closed it once, I was constantly picking it up because I just had to know what was going to happen next. I had to resist on many occasions to have a peek at the bottom of the page, which to me is a sure sign of a good book. While reading the book, it played out like a movie in my head and I could picture all the scenes and characters clearly as they progressed through The Game.

I would highly recommend this one to anyone who is a fan of horror, thriller and suspense, perhaps even reality tv, I know there has to be some fans of that out there somewhere lol.

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Review: Doll Bones

Doll Bones
Doll Bones by Holly Black

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a copy of Doll Bones from the publisher in return for an honest review.

I'm always on the look out for books for my kids and for the school reading group, with that in mind I picked up Doll Bones.

The story revolves around Zach, Poppy and Alice, three children on the cusp of growing up but still hanging onto that innocence of childhood. It's a tale of friendship, adventure, mystery and what turns out to be a somewhat creepy, life changing quest for the three of them.

This was a cute story with a creepy atmospheric undertow, the tale was nicely balanced with just enough atmosphere and hints at scares to trigger any childs imagination without scaring them too much.

I really had fun reading this one, it reminded me of the books that made me fall in love with reading when I was young. It took me back to the days of hiding under my covers with my torch, reading a scary book while listening out for any noises outside the safety of my bedcovers. And brought back all those memories of getting lost in adventure and magic the way that only a child could.

I would definately recommend this one and I'm adding it to the reading group list myself first thing Monday morning.

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Review: A Discovery of Witches

A Discovery of Witches
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a free copy of A Discovery of Witches via the publisher through NetGalley in return for an honest review.

I will start by saying, I have NEVER read Twilight and NEVER will so I can't compare the two like many other reviewers. Vampires should be scary and dangerous creatures and while they are not exactly that in this book they are certainly not as romanticised as in most and how dangerous they are comes up in the story a few times.

Anyone who knows me will know that I hate romance novels, I just don't enjoy reading them at all. A Discovery of Witches has a little mild romance in it but not too much and it works very well within the story. I'm also pleased to say there wasn't any cliche vampire sex scenes in this one at all! This is 600 pages thick so it's a big read which I didn't realise when I started it, usually the only 600 pagers I find myself reading are fantasy books.

Now onto the story and trying not to give spoilers of course. I actually enjoyed this one, it's not my usual reading material but I found myself invested in the story. It seemed a little slow to start with but this is a big book and the first in a trilogy so there was a lot of stage setting and getting to know the main character.

The more I read the better the book became, the history, witchcraft, myths, science and alchemy seems to have been very well researched and I enjoyed reading about it a great deal. The ancient texts and books, descriptions of Illustrations and talk of grimoires, spells and magic are every book lovers dream. The story is actually kind of a mix of witchcraft, vampire, daemon, history, science, alchemy and a bit of dan brownish mystery that involves an ancient book, which I won't say too much about in the review for the sake of spoilers.

Yes it does have the odd corny romantic comment and the main character doesn't always make the smartest decisions considering she's so well educated, but mix it all in with the story itself and it works.

I must say though my favourite part of the book was the Bishop house and it's inhabitants, it has such character and who wouldn't love to live in such a mysterious place with all the history and ghosts and of course attitude.

I picked this one up originally because there aren't many books with witchcraft out there that don't immediately scream chick lit or vampire/shifter romance. I wasn't disappointed it turned out to be a great read.

Thanks to the publishers I also have book 2 put aside to start in the near future to read and review, with how this one ends there is no way I would be able to resist the next in the series. I just have to know what happens.

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Review: Goodbye Pink Room: Rose's Story

Goodbye Pink Room: Rose's Story
Goodbye Pink Room: Rose's Story by Jane Grayshon

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received a copy of Goodbye Pink Room from the publishers via Netgalley in return for an honest review.

I'm at a loss for words, I honestly don't know where to begin reviewing this one.
I make a point of picking a book every so often that I know is going to be heartwrenching or have subject material like this one that I will find hard to read. I know many people avoid reading topics such as this, but I believe that if a person is brave enough to share their experience then I should at least be brave enough to read it and listen to their story. It also reminds me how lucky I am and to never take things for granted. It's too easy to shut out the fact that bad things happen in the world that we should keep an eye out for, especially when it comes to children.

This is a heartwrenching tale, child abuse is never a nice subject to read about,let alone live through. To openly talk about an experience like this takes a lot of courage, to then share it with the world in a book, that takes a whole new level of bravery and courage that many of us can't even begin to imagine.

That being said, I found this book very hard to read and not surprisingly because of the subject matter. The book is very much the scattered thoughts of a young, confused and scared child. I found it hard to follow and very confusing and repetative in a lot of parts, I didn't feel like what I was reading was actually being taken in. It just didn't flow in a way that made it possible for me to follow it at all, it was very jumbled and all over the place. Whether that was on purpose to put us in the confused mind of the child in the story, I don't know.

I honestly don't know what else to say, I don't want to be negative, I don't feel like I have a right to judge how this story was told, it's more important that it was told and that it has helped someone somewhere, in some way, to heal a little.

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Review: Dear Daughter

Dear Daughter
Dear Daughter by Elizabeth Little

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a copy of Dear Daughter from the publishers in return for an honest review.

This is a hard one to review without giving spoilers but I will do my best :)

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, infact I ended up sat reading all night and finished just as my alarm went off in the morning. It wasn't the mystery or the twists or anything like that that kept me reading all night, it was the pure readability of the writing style. The story was told from the main character Jane Jenkins point of view, her voice and way of telling her story was engrossing and a pleasure to read. It flowed perfectly from page to page and I just had to keep reading.

The character of Jane Jenkins was very well developed, as were all the other characters. Jane is a sassy, sarcastic, witty mean girl and a lot of fun, her attitude and comments throughout the book had me chuckling. While there wasn't much tension in the story, it had secrets and mysteries to unravel, which to be honest I didn't find myself trying to work out as I was really just so engrossed in enjoying the way the story was told.

The ending of the book is somewhat open ended, while you are given a kind of closure to the story there is still a question of what happens next. I'm not a huge fan of this kind of ending in book but for this one it works and it puts a nice twist onto the ending that wraps the story up nicely.

This I believe is Elizabeth Little's debut novel, which I would never have believed had I not been informed of the fact. I am keen to see what she comes up with next.

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Review: The Three

The Three
The Three by Sarah Lotz

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received a copy of The Three from the publishers via netgalley in return for an honest review.

I was drawn to this book initially by the cover, it gives the impression that it's going to be a horror novel. I'm not sure I would class this as horror, it's so much more, it has mystery, conspiracy, thrills, chills, apocalypse, religious fanatics and creepy children.

The author drew me into the story and kept me turning the pages for more, however I feel like I have been left hanging now that I am finished. During the story we are introduced to several different conspiracies and theories about what happened, why it happened and the possible outcome. Each as possible and believable as the other albeit a bit far fetched outside of the story itself.

There is no definitive explanation or answer given, it's left open for the reader to decide and I think that's what spoiled this one for me. With all the theories put in place in the story it's possible that any of them could be the answer and I would have much preferred that there was a clear outcome to the end of the book.

I'm not sure what to rate this, I did enjoy it and I kept reading to find out what was going on but I'm still none the wiser. I'm giving this 3 stars (ironic considering the name lol) because I liked the premise of the book, it intrigued me and kept me reading.

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Review: 314 Book 3

314 Book 3
314 Book 3 by A.R. Wise

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This series had me so hooked that I read all 3 installments one after the other. It was like having a giant horror puzzle and trying to put all the pieces together, each book giving you a few of the the missing pieces but at the same time throwing more questions into the mix. Book three answers all of the questions brought up in the previous books and still has plenty of gore, horror and graphic descriptions for the horror lovers amongst us, what's not to love about that right?

The twists and turns keep you guessing and just when you think you got it worked out, bang another huge twist and turn comes out of nowhere. This is one of those tales where you find yourself thinking about it when doing other things and suddenly something comes to you and you start flicking back through the pages to see if you have made the right connections.

I will really miss the characters in these books, I have enjoyed their story so much and been so immersed in the ups, downs and horrors of their journey. I tried to read the last book slowly as I knew there was no more afterwards but I just couldn't resist picking it back up minutes later.

I'm certainly glad I found this series and I'm keen to see what other work this author has out there.

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Review: Stone the Heir

Stone the Heir
Stone the Heir by Ronald M. Young

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I couldn't finish this book, I tried so hard as I hate to not complete a book. It just wasn't for me, I did enjoy certain parts and many were laugh out loud.

It didn't seem consistent, I would have much preferred if it had followed the format of a story rather than being narrated and I felt like it was jumping around a bit. That being said I am giving it 3 stars because I did enjoy what I read and I had a few good laugh out loud moments, I just found myself reading it in stops and starts as it felt really slow to me and I couldn't read it for any length of time. I think perhaps a lot of the humour in the book will be appreciated more by males.

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Review: 314 Book 2

314 Book 2
314 Book 2 by A.R. Wise

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As this is book 2 in the 314 trilogy series it answers a lot of questions but it also gives us more questions and puzzle pieces to try put together.

While reading this book it seems a little chaotic and confusing, but this I feel purposely puts you in the shoes of those involved and it all starts to make sense nearer the end. You're given some answers in part two but the story twists and deepens and creates so many more questions. It's so hard to tell what is truth, lies, memories, there's so many pieces still to come together.

It's like trying to complete a huge horror jigsaw puzzle while only being shown certain parts of the picture, I'm hooked!

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Review: 314

314 by A.R. Wise

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I got this book as a freebie on Amazon and immediatley upon finishing it I was right back on there buying books 2 and 3 of the trilogy.

I find this is a kind of hard one to review without giving spoilers and I'm trying to reign myself in as my mind is still very much on the story and I am champing at the bit to get onto book 2. I have another book that I have been dying to read that's waiting on my kindle app which I planned to start after finishing this one, it's now going on the back burner till I have read the next two parts of this series.

It's different, it's original, it's a page turner, so much of a page turner that the birds were singing and daylight coming in the window by the time I finished it. I had to force myself to sleep and not start the next one right there and then.

The scenes and situations are written in such way that your imagination runs away with you and at times the graphic descriptions had me cringing. The writing style and the way the story flows had me reminiscing of the earlier King and Herbert books I read years ago when I first discovered my love for horror and would make a great movie.

The skeleton man is coming and I got two more books to read before he gets here...

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Review: Bay's End

Bay's End
Bay's End by Edward Lorn

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this, if I hadn't had so many interruptions I would probably have read this in one sitting. The dialogue was so natural that I felt like I was part of the conversation. Characters so dimensional that it was like being right there with them throughout their journey and experiences. On finishing this book I feel like I have been on a journey and lived through the story rather than having read a book.

Having read some negative reviews after finishing this book I feel I just have to say, the book touches on subjects that some may find unpleasant and has bad language throughout which may offend some.

Personally I found the language added to the story and that without it the book wouldn't have had the same impact. As for the subject matter brought up in the book, this is at the end of the day a story, you can choose to pick it up and read it or you can pass on it and pick something else to read. It warns in the description it contains *Graphic language and adult situations* to then read it and as a result give it a negative review because you ignored the warning, is in my opinion more of a reflection on you and your failure to choose suitable reading material than of the book itself.

This is an easy 5 stars for me and I'm definately going to be picking up more of Edward Lorn's books.

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Review: To Read or Not to Read

To Read or Not to Read
To Read or Not to Read by Vincent Hobbes

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The premise of this story is fantastic, I love the idea of finding a bookstore like this. This story has got me thinking of all the books I have read and which ones I would choose if I had this kind of opportunity. Just got to make sure you make the right choice or you just never know what might happen ;)

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Review: The Doll

The Doll
The Doll by J.C. Martin

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Ugh Dolls!! Is there anything more creepy than dolls, they have always creeped me out.
I used to hide all my dolls in the cuboard when I was a wee girl or my over active imagination would have them moving and sneaking up on me in the dark while I was in bed.
This story reminds me of that fear. It's short, It's creepy and it's got dolls. What's not to enjoy?

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Review: I Slept with Slender Man

I Slept with Slender Man
I Slept with Slender Man by Emma Steele

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

LOL I don't know what the hell I just read and I don't know where to even start to explain why I am giving this one 4 stars.

That was a strange, disturbing, creepy, bizarre, hilarious and very much 'wtf have I just subjected myself to?' short story and one I certainly won't forget for while. It was so bad it was good and of course I can't complete this review without saying.. wtf a 25 ft penis?!

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Review: Can Anybody Help Me?

Can Anybody Help Me?
Can Anybody Help Me? by Sinéad Crowley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was an easy read, I quickly got caught up in the characters and the storyline. As a mother myself I could totally relate to the characters, feelings, experiences and worries in this book and loved the fact that it was set around an online forum.

People are not as anonymous as they think they are online and this book shows how easy it is to give little bit of information about yourself away over a period of time and the risks you put yourself in by doing so. It wasn't an intense thriller but I found myself eager to know what was going to happen next and trying to read between the lines in parts to work out just who the bad guy was. The end had a nice twist that I never saw coming, I thought I had it worked out and was half right but I definately did not see that ending.

I am keen to see what this author brings out next and I will keep a look out for any new releases as I found this to be refreshing and a nice change of pace for a thriller.

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Review: Tethered

Tethered by Jonathan Pidduck

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well that was different lol but still an enjoyable read, it had a good few chuckle worthy moments and the odd ewww moment. I don't want to give any of the story away but I hope I still have that kind of appetite in my old age, within reason of course ;)
The characters were great and very easy to grow fond of and definately keep you reading to find out their fate. The story kind of goes back and forth between what feels like two seperate storylines and it's not till roughly around the 90% mark that everything becomes clear, kind of a duh why didn't I work that one out moment. The end had a nice little twist thrown in that I didn't see coming and made the story all the more enjoyable upon finishing it.

While I was reading I was contemplating what rating I would give and was intending to give it 3 stars but for the ending alone and how everything ties together in the end I now feel I want to give it 4 stars.

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Review: Bobo

Bobo by Richard Schiver

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A friend recommended this one to me and originally I thought hmm 10 pages, is it worth it, will I even be able to review it with it being so short. Was it was worth it? Yes. Can I review it? Well lets see :)

I loved that it wasn't so clear cut and obvious what was going on or where the story was going, it made me feel like I was experiencing it the way I would if I was in the main characters situation. The confusion, the fear and panic, where am I? what can I hear? how did I get here? just to name a few, these are all things I'm sure we would all have going through our minds if this were reality.

This is one of those stories once read you'll probably find each reader will have a different opinion of how it ended, it's creepy, twisted and very atmospheric and it's very cleverly left open to the readers own interpretation and imagination to put the pieces together in a way that can totally creep you out.

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Review: Contact

Contact by Laurisa White Reyes

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received an ARC of this book in return for an honest review.

As per usual, I will avoid any spoilers :)

This was a nice read, it had a litte bit of everything, mystery, drama, action, romance (I know there's that romance word again that I don't usually like to read lol). I grew to love the main character and her story, I can't imagine what it would be like to experience life the way she does. I will admit to getting teary eyed at one point as I have been through the same experience myself at a young age, I won't say at which part, spoilers ;) I wasn't expecting the twist near the end, I thought I had it all worked out, how wrong was I!

I have only just ventured into the world of young adult books and I felt that this one was one of the few that definately read like it was for a younger audience, whether it was the style or wording I'm not sure but it didn't take from my enjoyment at all.

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Review: The Customer Is Always...

The Customer Is Always...
The Customer Is Always... by Stuart Keane

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a very fast-paced page turner which will have me never again complaining about my Monday morning that's for sure!

This story very much makes you think.. What if I was in that situation? The characters are well rounded considering the story is only 68 pages long and you're cleverly thrust into a situation where your views and sympathies on who's the good guy and the bad guy are thrown back and forth.

I would definately recommend this for fans of suspense and thriller.

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Review: The Midnight Side

The Midnight Side
The Midnight Side by Natasha Mostert

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this one, a ghost story with some mystery and twists and just a touch of romance which is definately a good thing as I am not a fan of romance at all. I really enjoy Natasha's style of writing, she has a way of mixing the paranormal with mystery and suspense that is so easy and fun to read. The idea that we can be manipulated in this way by someone who has passed without us even realising it is a creepy thought and is so well done in this book. Just when you think you have everything worked out there is a twist and you are kept guessing. This is Natasha's debut novel so I have kind of read her books backwards but I am definately a fan of her work and will be on the look out for more.

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Review: Consumed: Volume 1

Consumed: Volume 1
Consumed: Volume 1 by Kyle M. Scott

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A collection of devilishly dark and twisted short stories this is a must read for horror fans. This is horror at it's best and not for the faint of heart. If you like hardcore horror that will grab you by the short and curlies and don't mind a bit of gore, violence or just down right disturbing story telling then grab this one, you won't be disappointed.

I'm really looking forwards to Kyle's novel I'll be delving into that as soon as it's available.

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Review: Hacker

Hacker by Ted Dekker

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received an ARC of Hacker in return for an honest review.

Wow just wow, I don't know where to even start with this review. I feel like someones taken my brain apart and put it together again in a completely different form. This was totally not what I expected when I picked the book up, I'm still trying to wrap my mind around what I've just read. This is one of those books that sets your mind spinning, has you stopping to evaluate what you thought you knew, what you thought you believed, has you thinking about life and death and what happens to who we are after our physical body is no more and it's all wrapped up in a fast paced story that centers around a teenage hacker. I haven't been able to put this book down and devoured it in more or less one sitting. This book really surprised me and I'm kind of lost for words to even begin to explain or describe the journey this book took me on. I already want to reread it now that my mind has kind of digested all the questions and thoughts it brought up the first time.

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