Book Reviews, Books and Me

December Reads Round Up

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6tag_031217-205617Tipsy by C.J. Hunt

Full Review: Tipsy.

I gave this book 5/5. Yes, I am new to Hunt’s work, but I know I won’t be disappointed when I pick up one of her novellas. Tipsy was no different. Believable characters with realistic relationship dynamics. I’m buying book three for a New Year read.

A Mother’s Day by Kaira Rouda

(Not reviewed on this blog. Rating on Goodreads.)

Christmas in New York by Holly Greene

(Not reviewed on this blog. Rating on Goodreads.)

Girl on a Plane by Miriam Moss

6tag_071217-121147Full Review: Girl on the Plane.

I gave this book 4/5. An interesting recount of a hijacking through the eyes of a fifteen year old, travelling alone to boarding school. Full of surreal moments that keep the pages turning, and even a glimpse into the lives of the Palestinian guerillas.

The Unexpected Gift by Nicole Casey

6tag_111217-072240Full Review: The Unexpected Gift

I gave this book 3/5. A short story that can be read in one sitting. The love interests were suited to one another, but the whole easily swayed nun storyline felt a little contrived. There was conclusion, but I wanted to know a little more to feel satisfied as a reader.

The Christmasaurus by Tom Fletcher

6tag_151217-150230Full Review: The Christmasaurus.

I gave this book 5/5. A wonderful Christmas tale full of Christmas magic, wonder, and dino-awesomeness. It is great to see wheelchair users represented in such brilliant characters. My daughter is a huge fan of Fletcher, and this book has cemented him as one of her favourite authors.

Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit

6tag_191217-114202Full Review: Anna and the Swallow Man.

I gave this book 3/5. I’m still not sure what I make of the narrative. The ending didn’t satisfy me as a reader. Savit’s prose is poetic, and the Swallow Man’s language of ‘Road’ was intriguing and understandable to young Anna.

The Sheep-Pig by Dick King Smith

6tag_221217-135642Full Review:

I gave this book 4/5. Rereading a childhood classic to my daughter is always a new adventure. She thoroughly enjoyed the story, and there were some tears along the way. An insightful glimpse into farm life and the world of sheep herding.

 


Content belongs to K.J. Chapman

 

 

Book Reviews, Books and Me

Review: The Unexpected Gift by Nicole Casey

book-review

The Unexpected Gift by Nicole Casey 3/5

6tag_111217-072240He’s a billionaire in Seattle. I’m practically a nun. Nothing is going to happen between us. Right?

I only return home from my missionary work in Moscow for one reason: collect the cash donation for the starving children from my wealthy brother, Matthew.

I didn’t expect to meet my brother’s best friend and business partner, Nick again.

He’s more mature now, with broad shoulders, perfect abs and a gorgeous face.

And when I get to know him more, I am surprised to find that I’m absurdly attracted to his attentiveness and generous heart.

Is falling for him the biggest mistake of my life?

And what if he finds out there is an unexpected gift for both of us for Christmas?

Review:

The Unexpected Gift is a quick read that can be finished in one sitting.

Eva’s character complemented Nick’s, so the natural chemistry and relationship development felt natural and believable. However, for a nun about to take her vows she was easily swayed… as in no resistance whatsoever. It was hardly a case of Nick having to put in any effort. I guess that whole element to the storyline felt a little contrived to me.

Despite him being a money-greedy jerk, her brother Matthew was an interesting character. I would have liked to have seen more of him in the narrative.

The mix of sad and happy moments throughout the short narrative appealed to me, but the ending didn’t quite cover it. I wanted to know a little more. I am assuming there is/ will be a sequel to this short story.


 

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

Book Reviews, Books and Me

November Reads Round Up

book-review1

Finn by Liz Meldon

6tag_031117-053309Full Review: Finn.

I gave this book 5/5. A well written, steamy romance with interesting realstionship dynamics. I’m interested to see where the author takes the narrative in book two, Cole.

 

A Beginners Guide to Christmas by Jennifer Joyce.

21078618Full Review: A Beginner’s Guide to Christmas.

I gave this book 3/5. A fun, humourous look at one woman’s christmas period at her parents house. The rules were a quirky touch. I didn’t understand the reasoning behind Gideon’s character. He was lazy, annoying, and there was no explanation as to why Ruth would date him.

The Man Who Loved Christmas by Alice Valdal

19383028Not reviewed on this blog.

I gave this book 2/5. The writing style and narratives were not to my taste.

 

Stories for Christmas by Various Authors

51WNG1NQZRL._SY346_Full Review: Stories for Christmas.

I gave this book 3/5. Well written stories, but lacked a true Christmassy vibe. Advertised as a free sampler, but never expected the stories to be incomplete without conclusion.

 

12 Days at Bleakly Manor by Michelle Griep

61l23Qxe-ML._SY346_Full Review: 12 Days at Bleakly Manor.

I gave this book 4/5. A well written concept that draws you into the era and narrative. A Dickens and Christie vibe throughout.

 

A White Hot Christmas by Adrianne James

5103uATGDmL._SY346_Full Review: A White Hot Christmas.

I gave this book 3/5. A steamy, Christmas read that involves a hunky fireman. All was going great until that abrupt ending.

 

Santa Baby, I Want a Bad Boy for Christmas by Justine Elvira

51-Xss1A6ELFull Review: Santa Baby, I Want a Bad Boy for Christmas.

I gave this book 3/5. Gunnar’s character stole the show. The story would have been better in his POV. The insta love that I usually adore was too insta for even my liking.

Heralding by Faith Rivens

6tag_201117-052007Full Review: Heralding

I gave this book 5/5. A brilliant sequel to a much loved first book. Eleonore is still as sassy and kick-ass as ever. Her relationship with Etienne is still a pivotal point in the narrative, and his growth and development is handled well. The blurred line between dark and light makes for interesting characters and relationship dynamics.

Silver Bells by C.J. Hunt

6tag_291117-063918Full Review: Silver Bells

I gave this book 5/5. Everything about this book got me in the Christmas spirit. The characters were believable, and the potential happy-ever-after ending was perfect. Who wouldn’t want a hunky, single Dad to look after you when you’re injured and alone?


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Review: Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne Du Maurier

book-review

Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne Du Maurier 5/5

16443577_1422744914443588_878056584_n.jpgJaded by the numbing politeness of Restoration London, Lady Dona St. Columb revolts against high society. She rides into the countryside, guided only by her restlessness and her longing to escape.

But when chance leads her to meet a French pirate, hidden within Cornwall’s shadowy forests, Dona discovers that her passions and thirst for adventure have never been more aroused. Together, they embark upon a quest rife with danger and glory, one which bestows upon Dona the ultimate choice: sacrifice her lover to certain death or risk her own life to save him.

Review:

Lady Dona St Columb is a bored wife in a stagnant marriage. She wants freedom, adventure, and escape. That is easier said than done when you have to maintain title, motherhood, and keep your husband sweet. Moving to the countryside with her children, but leaving her husband in the city, is the start of her escape. Then, stumbling upon French pirate, Jean Aubrey, she embarks on a big, dangerous adventure that Dona can’t shy away from. The bird in her wants to fly free. What price will she pay for that freedom?

Another Du Maurier masterpiece; beautifully staged narrative, characters that leave you spell bound, and always a healthy dose of the macabre and danger. Du Maurier’s stories never fail to enthrall me. I read her books in as little as two days, and just get swept away in the story. I find myself thinking over the story when I’m not reading, and more so after I turn the final page.

Her passion for Cornwall only ensnares me more, and the vivid descriptions throw you head first into the setting; settings that I visit regularly, and will look at in a new light. Dona is brilliantly written- fanciful, lost, bored. She bleeds into the narrative effortlessly. You may not always like her or agree with how she chooses to live her life, but that’s part of the joy of reading from her perspective. Her relationship with Jean has the perfect pace, passion, and danger. Who doesn’t want a handsome pirate to fall for them and offer adventure? It’s all fun and games until it’s not, right?

Frenchman’s Creek is a must read! What are you waiting 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, Books and Me

January Reads Round Up

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Here is a round up of my January reads with links to the full reviews:

Jamaica Inn by Daphne Du Maurier

15878976_1393063644078382_1049832502_nFull Review: Jamaica Inn.

I gave this book 5/5. A masterfully thought out macabre tale set in the stark landscape of the Cornish moors. Well constructed plot twists, and a believable cast of characters. Du Maurier’s prose ensnares from the first page, and I finished this book in two days. A great read to kick off 2017.

 

Touch: (A One-Act Play) by Briana Morgan

15970433_1398295036888576_299992794_nFull Review: Touch.

I gave this book 4/5. My first attempt at reading a play and a thoroughly enjoyable experience. A fantastic concept that I would love to see developed into a novel. Characters and motives are believable despite the length of the act, and YA dystopian fans will love this read.

 

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

15134323_1338992029485544_897708356_nFull Review: The Name of the Wind.

I gave this book 4.5/5. Fabulous world building and effortless character construction. Slightly slow start, hence my 4.5/5*, but once you get into the main story, you cannot put the book down. Book two is on my TBR list for 2017!

 

Surviving the Evacuation by Frank Tayell

16244543_1412295095488570_460018345_nFull Review: Surviving the Evacuation.

I gave this book 3.5/5. A slow start, but if you soldier through part #1, the narrative picks up. Bill isn’t exactly courageous, but he is smart and in the know on aspects of the evacuation. The need to see if boring Bill survives drives the reader to the end.

 

The Rose Society by Marie Lu

16358481_1414786001906146_593800593_nFull Review: The Rose Society.

I gave this book 4/5. An action fuelled, fast paced narrative, and well developed characters. This book built on the foundations laid in book one. Adelina is a perfect anti-heroine, and she is letting the darkness win. I can’t wait to discover where Lu takes the narrative in book 3.


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

Book Reviews, Books and Me

Review: The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

book-review

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (The Kingkiller Chronicle #1) 4.5/5

15134323_1338992029485544_897708356_n.jpgTold in Kvothe’s own voice, this is the tale of the magically gifted young man who grows to be the most notorious wizard his world has ever seen.

The intimate narrative of his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, his years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-ridden city, his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, and his life as a fugitive after the murder of a king form a gripping coming-of-age story unrivaled in recent literature.

A high-action story written with a poet’s hand, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that will transport readers into the body and mind of a wizard.

Review:

Kvothe is legendary. His name is both praised and feared. Now, living the quiet life as an inn keeper, Kvothe finally tells his own story to the Chronicler. He details his life growing up with the Troupe, the heartbreaking loss of his family, his life on the streets, and then his time at the University; a school of magic.

Rothfuss is a fine story teller; vivid descriptions, subtle dialogue, and masterful world building. There is not a sound you can’t hear, a sight you can’t see, or a taste you can’t taste. The writing drags you into Kvothe’s life as a Troupe boy, a street urchin, and a young magic scholar in search of answers about his family’s slaughter. There is a poetic beauty to the prose that seems to spill effortlessly from Rothfuss’ hand.

The characters have a quiet realism. It’s the only way I can describe it. There is a subtle, dignity in how Rothfuss creates believable, relatable characters. You don’t even realise how gently these characters seep into the whole reading experience, yet the character development over the course of the story is well executed.

The first 100 or so pages were a little slow going, and you need to plow through them to get a full taste of the true story, and I am so glad that I did. I highly recommend this book, and I am thankful to have received book two, A Wise Man’s Fear as a Christmas gift.


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, Books and Me

Review: Touch (A One-Act Play) by Briana Morgan

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Touch ( A One-Act Play) by Briana Morgan 4/5

15970433_1398295036888576_299992794_nThe Seeker has grown up in a world where deliberate physical contact is a crime, and for most of her life, it hasn’t bothered her. But when some of her classmates are arrested for touching, she decides to try the most forbidden of things and touch another person. When she discovers the power of touching, and how it changes her and those around her, will the Seeker be content to return to a life without it?

I downloaded this book for free during an Amazon promotion.

Review:

Touch is a criminal offence. Not even parents can hug their children. The Seeker needs contact, she needs to know what another’s touch feels like, so she goes looking for it. Touch changes the Seeker’s life, and that of those around her.

Have I read a play before? No. Was I worried that I wouldn’t like the medium? Yes. Were my worries unwarranted? Yes. I thoroughly enjoyed this one-act play, and the enthralling concept. The idea of touch being illegal gripped me from page one.

The characters were relatable and that is quite a feat for such a short play. I would love to see this concept in novel form. There is plenty of scope to do just that. The author touched on background history that made the Seeker’s need for touch, and defiance of the law, more believable. Although fast, the narrative doesn’t let up until the last page, and as a reader you find yourself with a new found respect for touch. Lovers of YA dystopia would love this play.

A thought provoking concept that can be read in one sitting.


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

2nd Half of the Year Reads & Reviews

books books books

Can you believe it is the end of 2016? Best not to dwell on how quickly time seems to be flying, and just offer everyone my best wishes for a healthy and productive 2017.

Back on July 1st, I did a 1/2 year post of my reads and added links to my reviews of each. I plan to do exactly the same for the 2nd half of the year too. You can check out my 1/2 year post: here.

Well, I smashed the target that I set myself for the Goodreads Reading Challenge 2016. I read 82 in total this year! Yep, I think I might do a little bookaholic, happy jig about now.

bookaholic.gif

Anyway, on to the good stuff- the reviews from July-December.

    1. Paper and Fire by Rachel Caine 5/5: Review.
    2. 13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough 4/5: Review.
    3. The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon 4/5: Review.
    4. Demon Seed by Dean Koontz 3.5/5: Review.
    5. A Strange Little Place by Brennan 3/5: Review.
    6. Dancing in the Rain by Lynn Joseph 4/5: Review.
    7. Looking for Alaska by John Green 3.5/5: Review.
    8. Pavel by Brianna West 5/5: Review.
    9. Bury the Living by Jodi McIsaac 4.5/5: Review.
    10. Dead by Morning by Kayla Krantz 3.5/5: Review.
    11. Parallel by Shana Chartier 2.5/5: Review.
    12. The Aurora Stone by G.S.Tucker 3.5/5: Review.
    13. The Making of Gabriel Davenport by Beverley Lee 5/5: Review.
    14. Dark Secrets by Leah Taylor 3.5/5: Review.
    15. A Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart 3.5/5: Review.
    16. Collective Ramblings by Various Authors 3/5: Review.
    17. When Time Comes (Novella) by Cat Nicolaou 3/5: Review.
    18. Mirror Mirror (Novella) by Anthony .M. 4/5: Review.
    19. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E.Schwab 4/5: Review.
    20. Mad Woman by Kat Savage 4/5: Review.
    21. Germination by Jamie Thornton 5/5: Review.
    22. The Last Orphans by N.W.Harris 5/5: Review.
    23. Feyland by Anthea Sharp 2.5/5: Review.
    24. Grey by Kade Cook 3/5: Review.
    25. Burn the Dead: Quarantine by Steven Jenkins 4/5: Review.
    26. Thirst for the Hunt by A.C. Wentwood 2/5: Review.
    27. Nano Contestant by Leif Sterling 4/5: Review.
    28. Hollowland by Amanda Hocking 3.5/5: Review.
    29. Train to the Edge of the Moon by Asper Blurry 4/5: Review.
    30. Book of Birds by L.M.Bryski 4/5: Review.
    31. Untamed by PC.Cast & Kristin Cast 3/5: Review.
    32. Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige 3/5: Review.
    33. When Darkness Breaks by Brianna West 5/5: Review.
    34. Earth’s Knot by Katie Deann 2.5/5: Review.
    35. A Christmas Gift by Stella Wilkinson 4.5/5: Review.
    36. The Christmas Bake Off by Abby Clements 3.5/5: Review.
    37. Naughty or Nice Anthology by Various Authors 3/5: Review.
    38. Eleonore by Faith Rivens 5/5: Review.
    39. Christmas at Pebble Creek by Vannetta Chapman 3/5: Review.
    40. Make My Wish Come True by Jade Cooper 3/5: Review.
    41. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne 4/5: Review.
    42. Pastels and Jingle Bells by Christina. S. Feldman 5/5: Review.
    43. Stained by Kayla Krantz 3/5: (not reviewed on blog)
    44. Tough Love by Skye Warren 4/5: Review.
    45. Daughter of Llathe: A Tale of the Two Rings by Ben Cassidy 3.5/5: Review.
    46. Project Dodge by J.Lynne 3/5: Review.

Join me tomorrow to find out my top reads of 2016!!


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Book Reviews, Books and Me

December Reads Round Up

MONTHLY READS ROUNDUP

Here is a recap of my December reads with links to the full reviews.

Christmas at Pebble Creek by Vannetta Chapman

15281997_1353031404748273_791359958_nFull Review: Christmas at Pebble Creek

I gave this book 3/5. I haven’t read the Pebble Creek series, so I would have liked a little more backstory to Grace in this short story. This read was pleasant. I neither loved nor disliked it. I have not read anything in the Amish genre, and now know it is not my reading cup of tea.

Make My Wish Come True by Jade Cooper

15356000_1354214304629983_1522282279_nFull Review: Make My Wish Come True

I gave this book 3/5. A hot romance with a lot of steamy moments and an Alpha male love interest. Not enough conclusion for my liking. I want to know more about the ‘Christmas magic’, and what happens next. Perhaps another short story?

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne

15415939_1361629633888450_1962512990_nFull Review: The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.

I gave this book 4/5. A re-read that still packs a punch. A thought provoking, tragic read told masterfully through the eyes of a child. If you haven’t read this book, then read it. If you have, read it again.

Pastels and Jingle Bells by Christina. S. Feldman

15497761_1367612613290152_439208163_nFull Review: Pastels and Jingle Bells

I gave this book 5/5. An enjoyable Christmas read with well developed characters and back story. Sub characters played an important role in the life of the main character, and all had clear, distinct voices. A recommended Christmas romance novella.

Tough Love by Skye Warren

15591836_1372511329466947_1831706741_nFull Review: Tough Love

I gave this book 4/5. A world of violence, power, and debauchery that draws you in from the start. A hero that is far from a saint, and a cliffhanger that leaves everyone’s fate in the balance.

 

 

Daughter of Llathe by Ben Cassidy

15644251_1373498689368211_108057768_nFull Review: Daughter of Llathe

I gave this book 3.5/5. Impressive world building and character development.Would have benefitted from being longer. A misleading cover that leans toward a younger target audience, but this is not a children’s book.

 

 

Project Dodge by J.Lynne

wp-1482935349401.jpgFull Review: Project Dodge

I gave this book 3/5. An interesting glimpse from a zombie child’s perspective, but there was a lack of surprise for me. I would have preferred Caitlyn’s perspective throughout, and something shocking to hook me, whether in a unique plot twist or fresh writing style. Still, a well written zombie narrative.


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Review: Project Dodge by J.Lynne

book-review1

Project Dodge by J.Lynne 3/5

wp-1482935349401.jpgA deadly virus. One little girl. The world isn’t ready for what happens next.

Eight-year-old Caitlyn is a rambunctious girl who finds herself at the end of a dirt driveway, watching her mother speed away. Her antics land her at an old farmhouse in a quiet, rural area with her grandmother.

The old woman sends her to the kitchen to make cookies, and when Caitlyn needs her help, she discovers her grandmother in a dark room, staring at the television. Footage shows people frantically evacuating the cities and fleeing for their lives.

Danger lurks around every corner and this little girl learns, firsthand, what happens when you die.

I downloaded this novella for free from Amazon.

Review:

The zombie apocalypse hits the world whilst Caitlyn and her Gran are alone at the farmhouse. It doesn’t take long for the undead to get inside. Caitlyn dies, but by chance, she finds her way to a research facility where people are attempting to find some sort of cure.

The action starts pretty much straight away, and the premise draws you in. I wanted to be included in how the mind of a zombie works as there are not a lot of undead perspective books out there. Caitlyn acts pretty much how you’d expect, but the slight thought processes described were interesting.

The writing style is simplistic and this does lend itself to the ‘creature’s’ perspective, but not so much to the rest. As Caitlyn regains some sort of emotional footing, you see the split personality between the human and the zombie in her- another interesting dimension. I wonder if this novella would have benefitted from Caitlyn’s first person narrative throughout. The ending is sad *no spoilers*, but I think I was expecting more. I was never fully shocked and surprised, and I don’t necessarily mean in the gore sense. With so many zombie books available, and being a huge fan of the genre, I believe there has to be something more to offer, whether it be unique plot twists or a fresh writing style that stands out from the crowd.

In summary, if you can’t get enough of the zombie genre, this is one to try. Caitlyn’s perspective is interesting, but I wanted a little more surprise.


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