Book Reviews, Books and Me

July to December Reads Round Up

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How is it the end of 2017? I feel this way at the end of every passing year. Time keeps slipping away from us.  I like to look back over my reads for the year, and despite the year flying by, some of the reviews feel so long ago. I view the amount of books I have read as an accomplishment.

I have participated in the Goodreads Reading Challenge again this year. I somehow managed to hit my 80 book target. Whoop Whoop! 2018’s target will be considerably less due to a hectic year ahead.

If you’d like to check out my reads from Jan-Jun 2017 and have a gander at some of my reviews, you can do so right here.

Here is a round up of my reads from Jul-Dec 2017. Some absolute favourites in there. Keep your eyes peeled for my top read of 2017 post coming soon.

  1. The Hollows (Part#1 Graphic Novel) by Amanda Hocking & Tony Lee 3/5: Review.
  2. Alive at Sunset by Kayla Krantz 3/5: Review.
  3. The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson 4/5: Review.
  4. Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff 4/5: Review.
  5. A Sea Change by Veronica Henry 3/5: Review.
  6. Love is Blind by Kathy Lette 2.5/5: Review.
  7. After the Love: Victor by Brianna West 5/5: Review.
  8. Black-Eyed Devils by Catrin Collier 5/5: Review.
  9. A Shining in the Shadows by Beverley Lee 5/5: Review.
  10. I Still Love You by Jane Lark 2/5: Review.
  11. Never Too Late by J.C. Laird 2.5: Review.
  12. The God Machine by Various Authors 3/5: Review.
  13. Hell Fire by Drew Avera 4/5: Review.
  14. A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab 4.5/5: Review.
  15. Time Walker by Justin Stanchfield 3/5: Review.
  16. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon 5/5: Review.
  17. Nightmare Waiting & Other Dark Stories by Glenn McGoldrick 2/5: Not reviewed on blog.
  18. After Dark by Mikey Campling 3/5: Review.
  19. Out of the Shadows by Dana Fraedrich 4.5/5: Review.
  20. Wardens of Archos by Sarina Langer 4.5/5: Review.
  21. Three Men and a Maybe by Katey Lovell 4/5: Review.
  22. The Apple Orchard by Veronica Henry 3.5/5: Review.
  23. Hawaiian Heartbreak by Libby Cole 3.5/5: Review.
  24. The Manningtree Account by Becky Wright 4.5/5: Review.
  25. Rising by Brian Rella 3/5: Review.
  26. Finn by Liz Meldon 5/5: Review.
  27. A Beginner’s Guide to Christmas by Jennifer Joyce 3/5: Review.
  28. The Man Who Loved Christmas by Alice Valdal 2/5: Not reviewed on blog.
  29. Christmas for Stories by Various Authors 3/5: Review.
  30. Santa Baby, I want a  Bad Boy for Christmas by Justine Elvira 3/5: Review.
  31. A White Hot Christmas by Adrianne James 3/5: Review.
  32. 12 Days at Bleakly Manor by Michelle Griep 4/5: Review.
  33. Heralding by Faith Rivens 5/5: Review.
  34. Silver Bells by C.J. Hunt 5/5: Review. 
  35. Tipsy by C.J. Hunt 5/5: Review.
  36. A Mother’s Day by Kaira Rouda 2/5: Not reviewed on blog.
  37. A Christmas in New York by Holly Greene 2/5: Not reviewed on blog.
  38. Girl on a Plane by Miriam Moss 4/5: Review.
  39. The Unexpected Gift by Nicole Casey 3/5: Review.
  40. Christmasaurus by Tom Fletcher 5/5: Review.
  41. Anna and the Swallow Man by 3.5/5: Review.
  42. The Sheep Pig by Dick King Smith 4/5: Review.

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Book Reviews, Books and Me

October Reads Round Up

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Nightmare Waiting & Other Stories by Glenn McGoldrick

34363048Not reviewed on my blog.

I gave this book 2/5. Not my cup of the tea. The stories, although original, lacked conclusion.

After Dark by Mikey Campling

34463271Full Review: After Dark.

I gave this book 3/5. This book had an interesting concept. I enjoyed the various POVs and how they linked up at the end of the narrative. It’s not often that you get the POV of an animal. I can’t say I found the story particularly scary.

Three Men and a Maybe by Katie Lovell

32934016Full Review: Three Men and a Maybe.

I gave this book 4/5. An enjoyable, sweet read. Three proposals, three backstories, and one decision. The narrative had a satisfying, believable ending.

The Apple Orchard by Veronica Henry

34792318Full Review: Apple Orchard.

I gave this book 3.5/5. A bittersweet story that makes you think about the value of life and who is really rich in this world. The ending felt a little abrupt, but the story is thought provoking.

Out of the Shadows by Dana Fraedrich

6tag_011017-072256Full Review: Out of the Shadows.

I gave this book 4.5/5. The worldbuilding in this steampunk dystopia is extensive and thorough. The characters are well developed, and the sub plots run smoothly alongside Lenore’s story. I enjoyed the way the line between right and wrong is blurred in regards to fighting the ‘good fight’. Rook was a favourite of mine.

Wardens of Archos by Sarina Langer

6tag_081017-065905Full Review: Wardens of Archos.

I gave this book 4.5/5. This book carries on effortlessly from book one. The relationship dynamics are fresh and raw, and new characters have me intrigued. That plot twist was a ‘why didn’t I see that coming?’ moment, and has left me desperate for book three.

Hawaiian Heartbreak by Libby Cole

6tag_251017-060703Full Review: Hawaiian Heartbreak.

I gave this book 3.5/5. A blossoming romance, steamy scenes, and relatable characters. The ending was a little abrupt and had no conclusion for my taste. However, I enjoyed this short read, and look forward to reading the rest in the series.

The Manningtree Account by Becky Wright

6tag_291017-044708Full Review: The Manningtree Account.

I gave this book 4.5/5. A well written blend of past and present. The creepy supernatural element of this book draws on the historical facts of the witch burnings. A quick, halloween read that certainly throws a curve ball ending.

Rising by Brian Rella

6tag_301017-055309Full Review: Rising.

I gave this book 3/5. Perfect for Halloween with lots of gore and violence. Some unbelievable character choices, but this may have been to progress the narrative in a short period of time. More explanation and slower pacing would have helped the believability.

 


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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.


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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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Book Reviews, Books and Me, Uncategorized

November Reads Round Up

MONTHLY READS ROUNDUP

A brief summary of my November reads with links to the full reviews.

When Darkness Breaks (The Underground Guardians #1) by Brianna West

14914835_1318653744852706_368911467_nFull review: When Darkness Breaks.

I gave this book 5/5. A fantastic new aspect of the Promiscus Guardians world. Demon guardians protecting Earth from the Underworld, and an Angel and Demon romance at its hottest. Convincing characters, and a highly anticipated love interest who doesn’t disappoint.

Earth’s Knot by Katie Deann

14937859_1322517394466341_1728437869_nFull review: Earth’s Knot.

I gave this book 2.5/5. This novella felt more like a prequel/ first chapters to a larger story without a beginning, middle, or end. Great concept that fell short due to the length of the book. The entire series would benefit from a reworking into a full length novel.

A Christmas Gift by Stella Wilkinson

15050401_1331256326925781_1554412895_nFull Review: A Christmas Gift

I gave this book 4.5/5. A very quick read, but a sweet Christmas romance of unrequited love, childhood sweethearts, and all the usual YA romance tropes that I like to indulge in. Christmas novellas have to have a happy ending in my opinion, and this one was too cute.

The Christmas Bake-Off by Abby Clements

15129895_1336915766359837_720848101_nFull Review: The Christmas Bake-Off

I gave this book 3.5/5. A fun, Christmas tale of a village bake-off with sabotage the fore front of the narrative. A ‘who dunnit’ of the baking variety. A quick read, that warms the cockles of your heart, but doesn’t have very much romance or character development.

 

Naughty or Nice Anthology by Various Authors

15129978_1338980429486704_1630797314_nFull Review: Naughty or Nice

I gave this book 3/5. A brilliant concept. All the authors use the same writing prompt to create a Christmas tale about Charlotte and Daniel. Enjoyable, quick read shorts, but sometimes it felt a little monotonous. I had to pace myself between stories as one Charlotte was blending into another.

 

Eleonore by Faith Rivens (ARC)

15281174_1346723905379023_1254892873_n1Full Review: Eleonore

I gave this book 5/5. What can I say? This novella is right up my reading street. Kick ass heroine and mother, a romance with history, believable story telling in the urban fantasy genre, and on point dialogue. A brilliant debut from this author.

 

 


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Book Reviews, Books and Me

August Reads Round Up

MONTHLY READS ROUNDUP

Summary of my August reads with links to the full reviews:

Pavel by Brianna West

13734580_1224495820935166_2082436514_nFull Review: Pavel.

I gave this book 5/5. A brilliant follow on to book one in the series. Steamy scenes, hunks, kick ass heroines, and fast paced action kept the pages turning. Paranormal romance at its finest.

 

Bury the Living by Jodi McIsaac

13900661_1238683009516447_231595185_nFull Review: Bury the Living.

I gave this book 4.5/5. A captivating Irish historical fantasy. Well rounded characters, a budding romance, and cleverly woven narrative of factual Irish conflicts interwoven with folklore and fantasy. Time travel in the style of Outlander.

 

Dead by Morning by Kayla Krantz

13936690_1240147482703333_1895443041_nFull Review: Dead by Morning.

I gave this book 3.5/5. A terrifying antagonist with satanic and narcissistic tendencies, who is not just dangerous in reality but also in ‘Dreamworld.’ Sometimes, the narrative was a little unbelievable, but you keep reading to make sure the antagonist gets his just desserts.

Parallel by Shana Chartier

13933315_1240179256033489_668307562_nFull Review: Parallel.

I gave this book 2.5/5. A 10k word short story that can be read in one sitting. A good concept, but little time to apply everything thoroughly. Lack of character development made the characters cliche and predictable. Making this into a novella may have helped.

 

The Aurora Stone by G.S.Tucker

13936524_1241811149203633_830653308_nFull Review: The Aurora Stone.

I gave this book 3.5/5. A YA book that would have done better as a children’s book. A vast array of imaginative creatures, prophecy, and realms. An engaging read that middle grade children may enjoy.

 

The Making of Gabriel Davenport by Beverley Lee

14030950_1244762542241827_1938381680_nFull Review: The Making of Gabriel Davenport.

I gave this book 5/5. A brilliantly written tale of good verses evil. Subtle characters that leap from the page and a narrative that hooks the reader from the first page until the last. If you like fantasy, supernatural, and a touch of horror. Get this book!

Dark Secrets by Leeah Taylor

13942456_1245615458823202_17791767_nFull Review: Dark Secrets.

I gave this book 3.5/5. A fast paced novel with a large cast of supernatural characters. Sometimes my mind was awhirl with information, but I enjoyed the expected paranormal romance tropes: insta-love, romance, action, and the unexplainable.

A Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart

14009840_1245689258815822_871113542_nFull Review: A Boy Made of Blocks.

I gave this book 3.5/5. A raw, honest portrayal of a father’s struggles to connect with his autistic son and how he hits rock bottom in his personal and work life, only to be saved by his son’s love of a certain video game. A little slow for my liking.

 

 Collective Ramblings by Various Authors

14055610_1248793538505394_815131931_nFull Review: Collective Ramblings.

I gave this book 3/5. Some intriguing stories, but many felt unfinished and left me unsatisfied as a reader. Four specific genres, and each story brought something new to the table. Great concepts, but more solid conclusions needed.

 

When Time Comes by Cat Nicolaou

14017897_1249598865091528_51945908_nFull Review: When Time Comes.

I gave this book 3/5. A novella that plays on the fantasy of women who have ever had a pop idol. Some cliche narrative choices, but a sweet, happy ending. The Mina storyline didn’t interest me and was a little far fetched, yet it did make the conclusion all the sweeter.

 

Mirror Mirror by Anthony. M. Strong

14088947_1250081021709979_2030750210_nFull Review: Mirror Mirror.

I gave this book 4/5. The best short story I have read in a long time. The idea was a little cliche, but the narrative development and writing style allowed me to overlook that. Ends on a cliffhanger, so I hope there is a second installment.

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E.Schwab

14138357_1255426807842067_1603806093_nFull Review: A Darker Shade of Magic.

I gave this book 4/5. A great tale of magic and parallel worlds. Believable, unique characters, and a made up language. Slow starter, but action picks up. Kell and Lila reminded me a little of Kelsier and Vin from Mistborn and I couldn’t shake the image.

 

Mad Woman by Kat Savage

14171953_1257768877607860_1730246072_nFull Review: Mad Woman.

I gave this book 4/5. An anthology of honest, blunt, raw poetry. Savage lays herself bare in over forty poems of love, pain, and loss. If you are a lover of dark poetry, then this is the anthology for you.

 

Germination by Jamie Thornton

14138415_1259664230751658_323161362_nFull Review: Germination.

I gave this book 5/5. A 92 page novella that adds a unique POV to the zombie/ infection outbreak genre. Great character development in such a small space of time. Will definitely be downloading the sequel.

 


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Book Reviews

My May Reads Round Up

MONTHLY READS ROUNDUP

This is my first EVER round up post. I read a lot, and I review a lot, so why not round up, right?

My plan is to provide my Instagram pics, a link to my full review, and a very quick summary of every book I have read per month.

The Well of Ascension (Mistborn #2) by Brandon Sanderson

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My full review: The Well of Ascension Review

I gave this book 5*. I’m shouting about the Mistborn series from every rooftop I can find. If you love fantasy and great writing, then get you hands on this series.

Diary of Anna the Girl Witch by Max Candee

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My full review: Diary of Anna the Girl Witch Review

I gave this book 4*. This book is a children’s book for the ages of about 8-12. It is a fun, dark, and twisted story with clear moral lessons.

The Dare by John Boyne

I gave this book 3.5*. A quick read book that weaves a tale of consequences, and shows how one action can affect many.

Doctrine of Indecency by Various Authors

I gave this book 3*. 18 short tales of erotic romance in varying genres. My favourites were written by Brianna West and Lila Vale. A bit hit and miss with some of the other stories.

6tag_140516-070914A Baby at the Beach Cafe by Lucy Diamond

I gave this book 4*. Another from the quick read collection. Set in my home county of Cornwall. It is a fun, easy to read tale, and I shall be picking up all of Lucy Diamonds books in future.

The above reviews were rolled into a triple review post: Triple review!

Girl of Myth and Legend by Giselle Simlett

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My full review: Girl of Myth and Legend Review

I gave this book 3.5*. Some slight contradictions in characters, but solid story, good world building, and a great concept. Will read book two because of one character- Korren.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

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My full review: The Alchemist Review

I gave this book 3*. Well written, but slow moving story. A book full of life lessons and motivation, but came across a bit preachy to me. Was a little disappointed with the hype surrounding this book.

White Sand (Vol #1) by Brandon Sanderson

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My full review: White Sand Review

I gave this book 4*. My first graphic novel experience. Great world and character building in such few words. Once I got the hang of the text and imagery, I finished the novel in mere hours.

The Beach Cabin by Fern Britton

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My full review: The Beach Cabin Review

I gave this book 3.5/5. A fast moving tale that doesn’t require a lot of time or effort to read. If you can over look some character cliches it is a light hearted read with some big issues and happy endings all round.

Ink and Bone (The Great Library #1) by Rachel Caine

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My full review: Ink and Bone Review

I gave this book 4*. A world in which the Great Library of Alexandria was never destroyed, and the library governs all books and knowledge. Well rounded characters and fantastic world building. A long read, but worth it.

Keep tuned for my updates, book reviews, and round ups throughout June!

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Content belongs to KJ.Chapman