Posted in 2020, News, reviews

Review: The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas.

🩸Blurb: There are no more cheerleaders in the town of Sunnybrook.

First there was the car accident – two girls dead after hitting a tree on a rainy night.

Then the murders happened – two girls were killed by the man next door. The police shot him, so no one will ever know why he did it.

Monica’s sister was the last cheerleader to die. After her suicide, Sunnybrook High disbanded the cheer squad. No one wanted to be reminded of the girls they’d lost.

That was five years ago. Now the faculty and students at Sunnybrook High want to remember the lost cheerleaders. But for Monica, it’s not that easy.

Her world is starting to unravel. After she discovers the letters in her stepdad’s desk, unearths an ancient phone, and meets a strange new friend at school, Monica can’t just move on.

Whatever happened five years ago isn’t over. People know more than they’re letting on and somehow, Monica is at the center of it all.

There are no more cheerleaders in Sunnybrook, but that doesn’t mean anyone else is safe.

🩸My Thoughts: Ok, I’m going straight in here. I’m split. I mean proper split. On one hand I really enjoyed the book. The plot was good, characters are well thought out and likeable. At times it’s extremely gripping and fast-paced. Overall everything you want in a book right? On the other hand, it didn’t go anywhere fast, I didn’t like that we were given narrative by both Monica and Jen, the Rayburn sisters. This taking us from the present to five years prior with Jen before her death. I honestly thought we would find out more by having Jen with us, but that wasn’t so. To me she was pretty pointless and I soon found myself wanting to skip her and carry on with Monica.

Here’s where it gets tricky. This is a book that any spoilers given would absolutely destroy your enjoyment in reading it. So it’s hard for me to say why I has an issue with a certain “victim”. I don’t know how laws work in the US but in England that book and it’s laws made no sense at all. And I know this is fiction and I shouldn’t let it upset me, but isn’t that what reading is all about? Let’s just say some victims or survivors as I would call them could get a bit or pretty pissed off with that. I know I did. See, very cryptic of me, but I needed to give my full reasons. I will discuss this with anyone who wants to go into with me though. My inbox is always open.

Overall, the book is good. It is one I would actually recommend to you. Like I said good plot, great characters, and the best part about it one fantastic twist that comes out of nowhere with an absolute bang!

⭐️⭐️⭐️

3/5

🩸Links to Buy:

Amazon

iBook

Google Play

Kobo

Waterstones

WH Smith

Book Depository

🩸Book Details:

Title: The Cheerleaders.

Author: Kara Thomas.

Genre: YA/Teen & Young Adult.

Length: 384 Pages.

ASIN: B08CVNJ1T9

ISBN-10: 1529053528

ISBN-13: 9781529053524

Publisher: Macmillan.

Imprint: Macmillan Children’s Books.

Publication Date: 3rd September 2020.

🩸Author Details:

Kara Thomas has written for everything from her high school newspaper to Warner Bros. Television. She is a true-crime addict who lives on Long Island with her husband and rescue cat. She is the author of The Darkest Corners, Little Monsters, and The Cheerleaders. To learn more about Kara and her books, visit her at kara-thomas.com or follow @karatwrites on Twitter, @karathomaswrites on Instagram, goodreads and Facebook.

Posted in 2020, reviews

Review: One More for Christmas by Sarah Morgan

🎄Blurb: Gayle is a highly successful and motivated business woman, but her success has come at a price – she hasn’t spoken to her daughters, Ella and Samantha, for years. But when Gayle has an accident at work, she realises she needs to make amends with her family.

And so she invites herself to join Ella and Samantha for their Christmas in the beautiful Scottish Highlands. The sisters are none too pleased that their mother has inserted herself into their Christmas plans. They have each other – and don’t need their mother back in their lives. Or so they think…

As they embark on their first family Christmas together in years, will the three women learn that sometimes facing up to a few home truths is all you need to heal your heart?

🎄My Thoughts: Sarah Morgan doesn’t pretend to be someone she is not. She consistently gives us joyous, beautiful, uplifting and warm reads. You know what you’re getting from the start and that is what makes her, in my opinion, one of the best women’s fiction/romance writers of all time. However, One More for Christmas gave me a more darker and deeper feel than normal. I loved it.

Following the turbulent family drama of the Mitchel family and combining that with the emotional grief of the McIntyre Family as they come together over the Christmas period. We are given a wholesome, wonderful mix of pleasure and pain. A story about family values, relationships, real life awfulness, family feuds. But most of all, making the most out of the time we have and making sure the hidden inner you gets a peak at life too. Lessons I believe we all could learn from.

I will say though for a Christmas book let’s just say some parts are definitely hot enough to melt the snow outside in the snowy grounds of the beautiful Scottish Kinleven Lodge. (Which I wish was real so I could book it for a Christmas break myself for me and my family. It sounds like the most beautiful place to spend time at).

So just like Brodie gave Samantha all the stars. I’ll be giving Sarah the same. No wait.. Not like that. Oh my god! I meant like stars in review stars……. Erm, am just going to go 👀

Sarah Morgan has once again given us a blissful beautiful, uplifting, warm and lovely read

Five stars

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

P.S… Sarah if Laid By The Laird doesn’t become available via Mills & Boon I will be seriously disappointed 😂

🎄Links to buy:

Amazon

ibooks

Google Play

Kobo

Waterstones

WHSmith

Book Depository

Audible

🎄Book Details:

Title: One More for Christmas

Author: Sarah Morgan

Length:

ebook – 488 pages

Paperback – 400 pages

ASIN: B086JJD9VZ

ISBN-10: 1848457952

ISBN-13: 978-1848457959

Publisher: HQ

Publication Date:

ebook – 22nd October 2020

Paperback – 29th October 2020

🎄About the Author:

Sarah Morgan is an international bestseller and Sunday Times bestselling author of A Wedding in December and The Christmas Sisters. She has sold over eighteen million books worldwide.

Sarah lives near London, England with her family and when she isn’t writing or reading, she likes to spend time outdoors hiking or riding her mountain bike.

Join Sarah’s mailing list at sarahmorgan.com for all book news. For more insight into her writing life follow her on Facebook at facebook/AuthorSarahMorgan and on Instagram at @sarahmorganwrites and on Twitter @sarahmorgan_ Or via her website at sarahmorgan.com.

Posted in 2020, reviews

Review: All I Want for Christmas by Joanna Bolouri

🎄Blurb: When Nick loses his job and is dumped by his glamorous but demanding girlfriend, he is forced to grudgingly accept work as a Santa at a local Christmas grotto. As his friends are getting married or promoted, Nick spends his days being terrorised by unfriendly elves and cried on by snotty, spoiled children.

Then he meets 4-year-old Alfie. All Alfie wants for Christmas is for his mum, Sarah, to be happy again. Moved by the boy’s selfless wish, Nick arranges a date between Sarah and his best friend, Matt. But as Sarah and Alfie become part of all their lives, Nick realises that happiness for Sarah and Matt might mean heartbreak for himself.

🎄My Thoughts: Ok so I did start writing a review right but it just wasn’t flowing right and wasn’t me. It was dead cheesy and sounded like I was lying about the book. So I’ve decided to just give you me notes that I made when I was reading it. Enjoy 🤦🏻‍♀️😂

Male protagonist (Which is nice. Rarity in this genre)

Nick Harris – skinny armed idiot.

Ugh The Sun – the rag – JFT96!

Fuck sake! Russian Santa!

I now in my head have fake Santa talking like Bert Kreischer telling us how his new Russian mafia friends talk. It has amused me greatly!

It’s nice to be able to be at ease with a book. One in which you relax straight into and forget your troubles

This book proper tugs on the good heartstrings. Nick is an absolute beautiful soul, especially with kids

His over use of the word fucking is incredible though. Defo my kind of person. I’m defo right at home here.

Joanna Bolouri is easy reading made incredibly fun. She has a fantastic way with words and doesn’t fail in giving you authentic characters that charm you from the get go.

I then tweeted and instagrammed our JB this:

Bolouri, why when Mrs, Buckley opens the door and exclaims ‘There’s my boys!’ Did I choke up?

Woman, you’re hilarious, I love you, but this book is hitting me with all the feels and I just didn’t sign up for that. Stop it. Well don’t, but I deliberately picked this book to read to be uplifting and happy-go-lucky. It is that, but the feels, the bloody feels. For fuck sake what are you doing to me?

Carrying on….

I adore Matt and Nicks friendship. I’m on absolute pins here waiting to see what happens next. If what I have in my head is true, that friendship is not surviving at all and I will be distraught.

We all need a Nick you know. Humble, quick witted, extremely charming, good looking and apparently very good in bed. Oh, and he wants to make someone extremely happy that is all. – Ok, I take it back, he’s more of a cat person than a dog one so that’s me out !

Oh my god! Oh my fucking god! Nooooo. My heart can’t take it.

Ending was super fast! But worth it. But cringe at times but for some reason I’ll allow it. What the fuck is up with me.

Authors do try to give real life and to be fair most fail miserably. But there are a few I have in my favourite pile that actually can pull it off. Most seem to be northern like and I do hold that as a competition to any southern author to make me eat my words. But yeah, our Bolouri is defo up there at the top at giving us actual real life. The dregs and dirt and grit that we need to make it authentic. Spot on.

Friendship, betrayal, love and lust, theme parks, claridges and dodgy looking Argos watches. Clever comebacks that have you actually laughing out loud and not just pretending to through text LOL. And wobbly lip heart wrenching moments that make you want to cry. Santa Claus and our very own Saint Nick certainly do give us everything we need for Christmas. Bolouri certainly has made her mark here with All I Want For Christmas. It melts the most cold and icy hearts faster than a mug of festive mulled wine.

An emotionally complicated fuck up of a book that radiates nothing but love, family and friendship. Everything Christmas is all about.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

5/5

P.S.. Spot is the worst Dogs name ever!

🎄Links to buy: (Pre-Order)

Amazon

ibooks

Google Books

Kobo

Waterstones

WHSmith

Book Depository

🎄Book Details:

Title: All I Want For Christmas

Author: Joanna Bolouri

Length:

ebook – 285 Pages

paperback – 368 pages

ASIN: B0822769TQ

ISBN-10: 1529406900

ISBN-13: 978-1529406900

Publisher: Quercus

Publication Date:

ebook – 01/10/2020

paperback – 29/10/2020

🎄About the Author:

Joanna Bolouri worked in sales before she began writing professionally at the age of thirty. Winning a BBC comedy script competition allowed her to work and write with stand-up comedians, comedy scriptwriters and actors from across the UK. She’s had articles and reviews published in The Skinny, the Scottish Sun, the Huffington Post and HecklerSpray. She lives in Glasgow with her daughter.

You can find out more about Joanna and her work via her social media and website. Links below.

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Goodreads

WordPress

Posted in 2015, 2020, Miscellaneous, News, reviews

Books vs Film: All The Bright Things by Jennifer Niven.

As you all know, I’m not one for book adapted films. Some are amazing, but the majority are just absolutely terrible. I always say I am not watching certain ones when they are released if I am a fan or advocate of the book. And I usually don’t. I fucked up big style yesterday though.

I was bored and I’m not much of a TV watcher, but I was in the mood and Netflix was my go-to. First, there in my recommendations was of course All The Bright Places. It was released via Netflix on February 28th 2020 starring Elle Fanning and Justice Smith. So, I put it on. I know, I’m stupid, but it was a long time since I’d read the book and I thought they can’t ruin this one. It’s too in-depth and needed in YA life that it can’t be bad. It was. It was worse.

Here is what I wrote when I was watching it: (Just from my notes)

If I didn’t know the characters so well from the book I would not know what was going on.

I understand films need to get the story told quickly, but to lose the relationship build up, the intensity of Finch’s mental health and its effects. The friendship and quotes that have been taken because they became so well-known from the book and just thrown in become worthless.

My heart hurts because I know already. If I didn’t know, I would not be watching and would have already have switched it off.

The book is incredibly deep, thoughtful and needed. The film to me has taken all that away.

The book is needed for this story 100%

The film took half of Finch and his story away from us.

It took half of his heart and for that I am livid.

If I was rating/reviewing it would defo be a 2/5.

⭐️⭐️

So as you can see from that it wasn’t the best for me. I will say though that I did enjoy it, but like my notes state I think it’s only because my connections I already had with the characters. I honestly think I would have been confused others wise.

Anyway, let me take you back to 2014 for a minute, to when a proof of All The Bright Places landed in my hands. I was new to the YA Genre at this point. And I was obviously a bit skeptical being a 30odd year old mum, but I flicked through the first few pages like I would do any book that comes through my door. I honestly, no lie devoured it. It was the first ever book to make me cry, like proper cry though. I do not cry. It hurt me so deep. I was honestly blown away.

Here’s my review from 2015:

If there is ever a book in which the whole world should be reading it is this one. This is a book so delicate and strong is leaves you breathless, heartbroken, but somehow stronger.

The plot is a thick, twisting tale that follows 17 year old Theodore Finch, a boy with only a few friends and dubbed the school freak, who is trapped in his own head after a lifetime of troubles. And, 17 year old Violet Markey, a popular girl who is now lost in herself after the death of her sister Eleanor.

When Finch and Eleanor meet in the school watch tower, something miraculous happens to them both. After this, they are assigned partners in a geography project in which they have to go and look at the offerings their town and surrounding area’s offer. This here is the start of Finch and Violet.

There are no words for me to try and write a review for this book. None of them would be anywhere near good enough for it. I seriously could not write anything that would do this book justice. I have never, and most probably will not, ever read anything so intense, heartbreaking, lovely, romantic and real again. It’s magically breathtaking.

It has a firm focus on the stigma that unfortunately still surrounds mental health today. It also shows just how damaging it can be. This has all been dealt with by author Jennifer Niven with nothing but grace and compassion. She has shown herself to be a clever and meticulous writer, with a huge heart, and a way with words that transforms even the dark and dreary in to light and love. As a debut novel it does not get better than this. I urge you all to read it.

It’s honestly hard to describe the ineffable love I actually have for this book.

YA book of 2015? I think so.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

So as you can see from that it was something special and something I pushed as hard as I can. I even got a beautiful message from Jennifer Niven too 😋

Anyway, the point of my post? Go buy the books. Always read the books. Your imagination and the words from the authors are meant to be. There is no other way of getting these stories across properly. You lose so much in a film and sometimes like this one it takes away hugely. Also, to push once again this incredible book. I have my copy out ready to read again, it won’t be today, I need time for the film to leave my mind. It’s there though and if you haven’t read this book I really do think you should.

Blurb: A compelling and beautiful story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who wants to die.Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the ‘natural wonders’ of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself – a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink. How far will Violet go to save the boy she has come to love?

Links to buy:

Amazon

ibooks

Google Play

Kobo

Waterstones

WHSmith

Book Depository

Book Details:

Title: All The Bright Places

Author: Jennifer Niven

Genre: YA & Teens

Length: 432 pages

ISBN-10: 0141357037

ISBN-13: 978-014135703

ASIN: B00LNQ74CM

Publisher: Penguin.

Publication Date: 8th January 2015

Author Details:

Jennifer Niven is the author of the New York Times and international bestsellers All the Bright Places and Holding Up the Universe. Her books have been translated into 75 languages and have won literary awards around the world. She grew up in Indiana and now divides her time between Georgia and Los Angeles.

Find her at jenniferniven.com and on her social media accounts linked below:

Twitter

Instagram

Facebook

Goodreads

Enjoy!

N 😘

Posted in 2020, Book Tours, News, reviews

BT – The House on the Lake by Nuala Ellwood.

Firstly, hello my fellow book geeks. I have missed you all. How are you all doing?

I know it has been so long since I graced your screens and I thank you all so kindly to those who have continued to support me and who have been checking up on me while I’ve been away. You guys are the actual best!

Secondly, Happy Thursday! I hope you have had a good week so far. Don’t worry we’re nearly at the weekend 🙏🏻🍷😜

Today I am beyond honoured to be finishing off what can only be described as a fantastic tour for the fabulous and one of my absolute favourite authors, Nuala Ellwood, and her latest release, The House on the Lake.

Do you know what makes it even better than that though? Today is publication day for this treasure and I’m sure you’ll all want to go wish Nuala a Happy Publication Day and buy a copy for the weekend ahead. It’s all the time you’ll need in fact. It’s one of those you need to see what’s happening next at every second kind of reads so a weekend is more than enough time.

Shall we get started?

📘Blurb: No matter how far you run . . . He’s never far behind

Lisa needs to disappear. And her friend’s rambling old home in the wilds of Yorkshire seems like the perfect place. It’s miles away from the closest town, and no one there knows her or her little boy, Joe.

But when a woman from the local village comes to visit them, Lisa realizes that she and Joe aren’t as safe as she thought.

What secret has Rowan Isle House – and her friend – kept hidden all these years?

And what will Lisa have to do to survive, when her past finally catches up with her?

📘My Thoughts: As always with an Ellwood read, you are straight away lost in her capability to create drama and unfathomable plots. This leaving you craving more and needing to submerge in every single word on the page on a deep and fascinating level.

The House on the Lake is not what I was expecting for some reason. It was a lot softer than previous books by the author and gave a different vibe. It makes for an easier and faster read, but still gives you the grit and bite you need and want.

One for your 2020 TBR and bookshelf for sure.

It is one eerily beautiful read.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

5/5

📘 Links to buy:

Amazon

ibooks

Google Play

Kobo

Waterstones

WHSmith

Book Depository

📘Book Details:

Title: The House on the Lake.

Author: Nuala Ellwood.

Genre: Crime/Mystery & Thriller.

Length: 320 pages.

ISBN-10: 0241985153.

ISBN-13: 978-024198515

ASIN: B07S77FJNZ

Publisher: Penguin.

Publication Date: February 20th 2020

📘About the Author:

Nuala Ellwood is the author of two bestselling novels: My Sister’s Bones, for which she was selected as one of the Observer’s ‘New Faces of Fiction 2017’, and Day of the Accident. Nuala lives in York with her young son. The House on the Lake is her latest novel.

You can learn more about Nuala and her work by using the following links:

Twitter

Instagram

Facebook

Goodreads

So that’s all from me I’m afraid. As always thank you so much for joining me. As always it’s appreciated so much.

I really do hope you’ll give this book a try and go send Happy Pub Day love to Nuala.

Big thank you to Ellie over at Penguin for inviting me onto the tour and always keeping me in the Nuala loop. And of course a big thank you and kudos on another fantastic release to Nuala herself. Happy Publication day! You deserve all the wine.

Love always, N 😘

Today’s post is in memory of my gorgeous fats and best mate, Bob. He unfortunately left this world unexpectedly Tuesday morning and I am beyond heartbroken 💔

R.I.P Bobby Dogs 💔