Book Reviews

Book Review: Art and Soul by Claire Huston

Art and Soul by Claire Huston 5/5

Review:

Art and Soul is the perfect read for contemporary romance lovers who enjoy a cosy, heartwarming tale with realistic characters and expectations.

The story is perfectly paced and the character’s lives interweave effortlessly. Becky is a single mum and life coach, and Charlie is a floundering artist who needs all the help he can get to pull himself out of the hole he fell in during the 6 years since his wife left. The way the two back and forth, become entwined in each other’s lives, yet still can’t see what’s right in front of them, is what I read romance books for!


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J. Chapman and no other parties. All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman. K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review.


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Book Reviews

Book Review: Of Beast and Beauty by Chanda Hahn

Of Beast and Beauty by Chanda Hahn 4/5

Review:

A retelling that truly twists the original. I thoroughly enjoyed reading a new take on an old fairytale. I’m not a fan of retellings that stay so close to the original narrative that they become predictable, but this was a page turner.

Every single character is flawed, and that makes the storytelling more believable. The tale of Rosalie and Xander is dark with plot twists and a bigger plan that brought them together.

I would recommend this tale for anyone who enjoys retellings and dark narratives with darker characters.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J. Chapman and no other parties. All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman. K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review.


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Book Review: Awakening by Leigh Walker

Awakening by Leigh Walker 4/5

Review:

This book has everything you want from a paranormal romance: brooding, rich hunk of the paranormal variety, magic, supernatural beings, and a lovely romance.

Yes, there is heavy reliance on the usual paranormal romance tropes, but I do love a good trope when done well. The only reason I marked this. 4* is because it went too close to Twilight on occasions.

All that being said, I will be reading the next in the series.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J. Chapman and no other parties. All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman. K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review.


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Book Review: Some Kind of Wonderful by Giovanna Fletcher

Some Kind of Wonderful by Giovanna Fletcher 3.5/5

Review:

This book is more women’s fiction than the romance I was expecting. The whole premise is about Lizzy, who thinks her boyfriend is about to propose after 10 years, getting dumped. She has to reevaluate, find her footing in her new life, and rediscover who she was before the relationship.

This is definitely a feel good, positive book that focuses on self love and empowerment. It took me a little while to get stuck in, but the ending was the saving grace for me. I’m so glad that Lizzy stayed true to everything she had learnt and discovered about herself throughout the story and didn’t just shack up with the new hunk who shows a fancy to her.

The sub characters are amazingly well written. I think the world building and backstory make this book enjoyable.

In summary, the book is well written, but felt a little slow gaining momentum at first. I’m happy to have read it to the end, as it definitely grows on you.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J. Chapman and no other parties. All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman. K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review.


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2 in 1 Book Review

Allotment Gardening by Jez Abbott 3/5

An easy read with some useful tidbits. I wanted a little more detail on certain areas, but a great book to start with.

The Allotment Book by Andi Clevely 4/5

This book was exactly what I was looking for. A lot more information that is specifically useful for me and my veggie patch. I especially appreciate that this book is a little more detailed and in depth than some others I have purchased.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J. Chapman and no other parties. All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman. K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review.


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3 in 1 Book Review

Wedding Hells by Jennifer Gilby Roberts 3/5

Always the bridesmaid never the bride. Melanie’s younger sister is getting married before her and the family make sure she knows it. I’m not entirely sure if this is a comedy as I feel awful for Melanie all the way through and the ending isn’t much better. At least there is Will.

Before the Garden on Holly Street by Megan Attley 3/5

An introduction to the series, but no real stories with conclusions. I do want stories (even introductions) to have some kind of narrative and conclusion.

However, Attley offers good insight into the various characters and their lifestyles. The rest of the series promises to be good.

Nikola Tesla by Sean Patrick 2/5

I found this a little like a rambling self help book with some biographical content in regards to Nikola Tesla. The majority of the book is about ‘what it takes to be a genius’ rather than about Nikola Tesla.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J. Chapman and no other parties. All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman. K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review.


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Book Review: The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black 3/5

Faeries. Knights. Princes. True love. Think you know how the story goes? Think again…

Near the little town of Fairfold, in the darkest part of the forest, lies a glass casket. Inside the casket lies a sleeping faerie prince that none can rouse. He’s the most fascinating thing Hazel and her brother Ben have ever seen. They dream of waking him – but what happens when dreams come true? In the darkest part of the forest, you must be careful what you wish for…

Review:

A creepy fairytale vibe that I enjoyed, but was not love-struck with.

I love a good fantasy and this book had it in abundance. I can’t quite pinpoint why I wasn’t enthralled with this book, but it took me a good few attempts of picking it up and putting it down over the course of a few weeks to finally read the story in length.

The characters were well rounded. I especially liked Jack, the changeling. Hazel, the MC, was suitably flawed, and that was important for this story due to the fairytale premise.

It was the world building that clawed this book back for me. Black definitely has the imagination and storytelling ability for this type of fantasy.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J. Chapman and no other parties. All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman. K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review


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Book Review: The Day Before Happiness by Erri De Luca

The Day Before Happiness by Erri De Luca 3/5

A young orphan boy grows up in Naples, playing football, roaming the city’s streets and hidden places. The older boys call him ‘monkey’ because he can climb anywhere. He is alone, apart from Don Gaetano, the apartment caretaker, who feeds him, teaches him to play scopa, and tells him stories about women, history and the dark secrets of Naples’ past. Then one day the boy sees a young girl standing at a window. It is an encounter that will haunt his life for years and, eventually, shape his destiny.

Review:

A coming of age tale about an orphan boy in Naples, learning about life and of war time Italy from his apartment caretaker, Don Gaetano.

I appreciate the prose and philosophical element to this short story, and the strong voice of Don. The orphan remains nameless throughout, and I find this intriguing and clever. The focus is the truth, not really the characters.

It is easy to read, considering it is translated from Italian. If you want a short read with historical / WW2 elements, then check this out.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J. Chapman and no other parties All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman. K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review.


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Book Reviews

Book Review: Birdy by Jess Vallance

Birdy by Jess Vallance 4/5

Frances Bird has been a loner for so long that she’s given up on ever finding real friendship. But then she’s asked to show a new girl around school, and she begins to think her luck could finally be changing. Eccentric, talkative and just a little bit posh, Alberta is not at all how Frances imagined a best friend could be. But the two girls click immediately, and it’s not long before they are inseparable. Frances could not be happier. As the weeks go on, Frances finds out more about her new best friend – her past, her secrets, her plans for the future – and she starts to examine their friendship more closely. Is it, perhaps, just too good to be true?

Review:

The narrative is unassuming, yet creepy at the same time. What is the big secret? What went on with Bert and Birdy? I like the foreshadowing in the way of Birdy’s narration. The intrigue is there, even if the first part of the book is slow of the mark.

I had a need to keep reading to find out what the ‘something terrible’ was. As a reader, you find yourself hunting for clues in Birdy’s unreliable narration and taking mental notes.

The ending was worth plodding through the early narration. If you like creepy and twisted, then this is the book for you.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J. Chapman and no other parties All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman. K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review.


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Book Reviews

3 in 1 Book Review

3 in 1 Book Review

Virtual Insanity by Charlie Dalton 2.5/5

There is a Total Recall vibe to this short story, only with zombies thrown in. I enjoy science fiction, but the dialogue grated on me. He said, she said after every bit of dialogue made it feel stilted.

Buy a Bullet by Gregg Hurwitz 3.5/5

A short story with action, intrigue, and a healthy dose of ‘vigilante out for justice’. This is a 1.5 of a series, but works as a stand alone quick read. If you are into Lee Child, it is worth checking this series out.

Death at Sunrise by Colin Conway 4/5

A whodunit that I found fully engaging. I’d be happier if this was longer. The author did weave an intriguing tale that kept me guessing.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J. Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review


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