Sunday 21 May 2017

Book Review: Western Fringes by Amer Anwar

Western Fringes: Winner of the CWA Debut DaggerWestern Fringes: Winner of the CWA Debut Dagger by Amer Anwar
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Deserves every one of those stars! This is the Punjabi answer to Guy Ritchie's hit movie Snatch. Fast paced, violently thrilling with hints of humour throughout; a cracking read and more than worthy of its Dagger Award.

View all my reviews

Thursday 18 May 2017

Amazon's 'Start a new book series for 99p'

As a Kindle user, Amazon features pretty heavily in my book life. My inbox pings every morning with the deals for the day, and I click to see what possibilities await!

One of the lesser known deals that Amazon feature regularly is the 'Start a new book series for 99p'. I check this out frequently but it tends to feature mostly genres that I don't read, or series that I am already reading.

Today I felt it was worth a mention for three reasons. 1) Jeffery Deaver. 2) Stieg Larsson and 3) MJ Arlidge.

I will confess that I am yet to dive in to Arlidge's DI Helen Grace series, despite owning several of them. (I am a stickler for reading them in order and I am yet to buy the first one!) Deaver and Larsson however are two of my favourites, especially the Lincoln Rhyme collection. Rhyme is actually a firm family favourite of ours with my parents and grandparents all avid fans.

Check them out for yourselves below.

Rachael xo

Book Review: Friend Request by Laura Marshall

Today's review is a thriller set to be released in the UK on 27th July this year. Firstly, as always, thank you to NetGalley for the advance reader copy. Friend Request by Laura Marshall is described as "a pulse-pounding psychological thriller for fans of The Girl on the Train, I See You and The Darkest Secret" (Amazon) and 'A read-it-in-one-sitting thriller... Twisty and gripping but always relatable, Friend Request is the ultimate it-could-happen-to-you read' (Erin Kelly).

I was hooked from the moment I saw the blurb...

Maria wants to be friends.
But Maria is dead.
Isn't she?

When Louise Williams receives a message from someone left long in the past, her heart nearly stops.

Maria Weston wants to be friends on Facebook.

Maria Weston has been missing for over twenty-five years. She was last seen the night of a school leavers' party, and the world believes her to be dead. Particularly Louise, who has lived her adult life with a terrible secret.

As Maria's messages start to escalate, Louise forces herself to reconnect with the old friends she once tried so hard to impress. Trying to piece together exactly what happened that night, she soon discovers there's much she didn't know. The only certainty is that Maria Weston disappeared that night, never to be heard from again - until now. . .

Friend Request is a true 'read in one sitting' novel. Totally unputdownable! I love thrillers of this nature, especially ones that are as unpredictable as this. Guessing the ending of a thriller always disappoints me, but there was not a chance of that happening here. Told through the narrative of the main protagonist Louise, through her current situation and her past, we go on a journey back to high school to try to unpick the events that have lead to that unexpected friend request.

The novel is fresh and current, and as a thirty-something myself, I experienced profound bouts of nostalgia about my own friendship groups in high school. Louise's character really resonated with me, so much so that I often found myself nodding along in agreement with her throughout. It is well written, has great character depth and fantastic structure. The plot is brilliant and kept me guessing until the end.

I am very much looking forward to reading more from Laura Marshall, and I hope that Friend Request goes on to be one of the bestsellers of the summer.

Rachael xo

You can pre-order Friend Request here

Wednesday 17 May 2017

Review Requests

Since starting this blog I have received some wonderful novels for review and I hope to continue to do so.

Please note that I am currently not accepting new requests for review. If you have emailed me before today with a review request and I have not yet responded, I will be undertaking your review as soon as possible. I hope to be able to accept new requests again soon.

Thank you!

Summer Life!

I'm back! (Again!)

We all have that time of year that is super busy and it seems like nothing gets done; now is that time for us! The past few weeks have been a blur of revision, exams, school trips, children's parties and more! It's a wonder that I have managed to do any reading, but as any book lover knows, you fit it in somewhere!

For those of you who follow me on Goodreads, you already know what I've been reading! For those of you that don't, see my list below! I have varied my choices quite significantly this year and I am really enjoying reading novels that I would normally avoid. Most of what I have read has been phenomenal, with the exception of just a few. Take a look below and let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

The Stranger in the Woods - Michael Finkel
Will Grayson, Will Grayson - John Green and David Levithan
Butter - Erin Lange
The Perks of being a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky
The Circle - Dave Eggers
Fat Chance - Nick Spalding (hilarious!)
Last Breath - Robert Bryndza
The Caller - Chris Carter
Everything Everything - Nicola Yoon
The Dive from Clausen's Pier - Ann Packer
The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint Exupery
Medical Medium - Anthony William (not a believer in psychic/medium stuff but this book makes a lot of sense!)
Into the Wild - Jon Krakauer
Long Walk to Freedom - Nelson Mandela (really long book, lots of political references (obviously) but fascinating nonetheless)
Her Husband's Lover - Julia Crouch
Into the Water - Paula Hawkins

Some time has passed since reading a lot of these, hence the no reviews, but one that stuck out for me, surprisingly, was The Dive from Clausen's Pier. A simple tale of young love and small town life and tragedy, it drew me in more than I ever thought possible.

I am looking forward to seeing the movie adaptation (gasp!) of The Circle, mainly because I adore Emma Watson but also because I really enjoyed the book. Into the Wild was another one that surprised me. I often enjoy the tales of free spirited individuals and the story of Chris McCandless is as enthralling as it is tragic. Her Husband's Lover was an enjoyable psychological thriller in the vein of Gone Girl et al. Into the Water, the second novel from the writer of bestseller The Girl on the Train was unfortunately hugely disappointing. It had the bones of a good plot, but was somewhat drowned out by the curious mix of different narratives.

That's all from me today. Keep an eye out for my upcoming 'Must-read books for Summer 2017' post. :-)