Book Reviews

Book Review: The Hatmakers by Tamzin Merchant

Happy Monday bookish people! It’s time for me to put up another book review! The book I will be reviewing today is my second book of June and I ended up reading it on the car journey to and from Bristol. During the trip I also learned that my friend, and a lot of people actually, can’t read while in a car, which was interesting information.

As usual in this book review I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little about each one. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. I hope you enjoy my book review.

The Hatmakers Plot:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

First I will say, I am not a huge Middle Grade reader. I actually picked up this book because I’d seen the author in the TV show The Tudors and I was curious about what she might have written. The plot is beautifully intricate, it captivated me from the very first page. There is themes of family, friendship and loyalty sprinkled throughout this book like the magic that is used by the characters themselves.

This book has elements of the fantastical, a little bit of theatre and plenty of hat making to keep all readers entertained. The beginning part of the book sets up the world and the characters excellently, it felt like I was living in that world with them. Then the second part of the book the pacing really picks up – there’s so much happening in this story that I had to just let myself go along with the story rather than try to figure out every twist and turn. I enjoyed doing this.

The Hatmakers Characters:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

It was very interesting for me to see this book through the eyes of Cordelia, the main protagonist, who is a child. It made me think back to when I was a child and all the wonder that the world seemed to hold. Cordelia was my favourite character in the book because she was very complex and had many layers to her story throughout. Also, one of my favourite parts of this book was her friendship with Goose, the son of the bootmakers, with which the hatmaker family doesn’t get along. It added an intriguing dynamic to this friendship.

the other characters in the story are all very well developed with their own stories and attitudes, the book has a particular focus on the hatmaker family but I still felt that the other maker families stood out in their own ways and had a role to play in the plot.

The Hatmakers Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I haven’t got much to say for this category. I thought it was written very well, it was clear and the writing style complimented the plot and the pacing. However, because I’m not used to reading this age of book it took me a while to get used to it. That is just my own opinion.

The Hatmakers Overall:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I’m giving this book four stars overall because I enjoyed it more than I thought I would, especially the character of Cordelia. I got completely drawn in to the world and the magic and the mystery that needed to be solved. I will definitely be buying the next book in the series when it comes out.

Blurb/Synopsis:

Cordelia comes from a long line of magical milliners, who weave alchemy and enchantment into every hat. In Cordelia’s world, Making – crafting items such as hats, cloaks, watches, boots and gloves from magical ingredients – is a rare and ancient skill, and only a few special Maker families remain.

When Cordelia’s father Prospero and his ship, the Jolly Bonnet, are lost at sea during a mission to collect hat ingredients, Cordelia is determined to find him. But Uncle Tiberius and Aunt Ariadne have no time to help the littlest Hatmaker, for an ancient rivalry between the Maker families is threatening to surface. Worse, someone seems to be using Maker magic to start a war.

That’s it for this book review, I hope you all enjoyed it!

Where'd I Leave It Wednesday

The Puzzle of Building a Jigsaw

Happy Wednesday bookish people! I missed last week’s Where’d I Leave It Wednesday but I’m back! This will probably be a shorter post than usual but I hope you will all still enjoy it.

Today’s story is about the struggle of completing a jigsaw…

I love doing jigsaws. The satisfying clunk as each piece slots into place. Seeing the picture growing because of the work being put into it. It takes up time but I barely notice as the hours pass by. At the moment I have a jigsaw half completed taking up residence on the front room carpet. It’s pride of place, balancing precariously on a green mat that rises in different places like countryside hills have sprung up overnight. The pieces bend and crack over the hills, the tabs are like arms trying to grip to their neighbour or otherwise crumble to the bottom. An avalanche of puzzle pieces with every footstep in the house.

I’m getting close to finishing this puzzle. With a few more days of working it will be completed and the dressmakers shop it depicts will come to life in my living room. It’s 500 pieces taking up the space of 1000 pieces. The puzzle drew me in from the very first web search I did. ‘Extra large jigsaw puzzles’ that’s what I searched. There aren’t many, that’s what I discovered. Even this one saying extra large pieces all over it’s packaging isn’t as large a piece as you’d expect. it’s a constant search for me.. to find puzzles that I can see the pieces of without having to resort to puzzles that have ‘7 and up’ scrawled over the front like a flashing label that says look at me I have to do children’s jigsaws when I’m 22. This doesn’t include Disney, because Disney is for any age and I won’t hear anything against this.

I have a lovely Disney puzzle. I took it down my partner’s Dad’s on Boxing Day last year. Set out every individual piece with a careful precision. Took in each and every colour and distinguishing feature. The edges were built, an elegant frame. Then the inside was filled, piece by piece, I put in what I thought was the final piece. Wonderful, I sat back to take in what we had completed. Then I noticed, there was a piece missing. I looked everywhere for it, it wasn’t in the bed or on the floor.. no, my partner had it. He had taken it at some point during the day and kept it hidden from me so that he could put the last piece into the puzzle. Then he looked at me and said ‘I win’. I still contest this.

That’s it for today’s story, I hope you all enjoyed it!

Book Reviews

Book Review: You Had It Coming by B M Carroll

Happy Wednesday everyone! Today is my stop on the book tour for You Had It Coming by B M Carroll, and I will say that this book actually brought tears to my eyes. Thank you to Viper Books and Anne Cater for sending me a copy of this book to read and review.

In this book review I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little about each one. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. I hope you enjoy my book review!

You Had It Coming Plot:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The plot of this book is multi-layered and complex, fast paced and suspenseful. Carroll artfully drops clues into the story without the reader always noticing that they are significant. This book strikes the perfect balance between the present investigation and the mystery surrounding what happened in the past.

Throughout this book there is the evidence of trauma in the characters and it explores ideas surrounding sexual assault victims and how they are presented in Court. It also touches generally on how overly sexualised women can be presented by others and the topic of women being able to do whatever, and wear whatever they want without being judged. All of this is what actually made me emotional reading this book, especially because of society at the moment, I think a lot of women have experienced judgement, fear, and many other things. I thought it was a very important topic to be included in this book.

The mystery/thriller element of this book was executed brilliantly. There was a point where my brain was so muddled and that is a sign of a good book for me. I like to be confused by them.. that’s probably a little strange but nevermind.

You Had It Coming Characters:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I enjoyed that this book was written from multiple perspectives. It not only allowed the reader to experience every story surrounding the investigation but also the characters in the background of the stories that may have had a bigger part to play than would be shown with the limited perspective of one character.

There are many characters in this book but the main ones are Megan – the paramedic who knew the victim, Jess – someone who knew the victim and Bridget – the detective investigating the case. Their stories are interwoven with very dramatic impacts at points. I thought every character was explored thoroughly and had intriguing personalities. I definitely felt throughout that I couldn’t trust the characters – as is common in good thrillers.

You Had It Coming Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

As I think is already obvious I thought the writing of this book was excellent – clear, good pacing, intriguing. There’s not much more I can say about it. The dialogue is used well to further the mystery and the general plot.

You Had It Coming Overall:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I had to give this book four stars overall because I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed being dragged along as the mystery progressed and discovering exactly what happened both in the past and in the present.

Blurb/Synopsis:

‘B.M. Carroll is a wonderful writer’ – LIANE MORIARTY

‘A true page-turner, relentlessly fast-paced’ – KATIE LOWE

‘Well written and very, very clever’ – A.J. PARK

‘I absolutely loved it. Gripping and twisty’ – SOPHIE FLYNN
________________________________________

WOULD YOU SAVE THE MAN
WHO DESTROYED YOUR LIFE?

When paramedic Megan Lowe is called to the scene of an attempted murder, all she can do is try to save the victim. But as the man is lifted onto a stretcher, she realises she knows him. She despises him. Why should she save his life when he destroyed hers?

Jess Foster is on her way home when she receives a text from Megan. Once best friends, the two women haven’t been close for years, not since the night when they were just the teenage girls whom no-one believed; whose reputations were ruined. All Jess can think is, you had it coming.

Now Megan and Jess are at the centre of a murder investigation. But what secrets are they hiding? Can they trust one another? And who really is the victim?

Perfect for fans of C.L. Taylor, Lucy Foley and Lisa Hall, You Had It Coming is a thrilling tale of suspense and dark secrets.

That’s it for this book review, I hope you enjoyed it!

Book Reviews

Book Review: An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena

Happy Monday bookish people! The fourth book review today is for An Unwanted Guest. I’ve recently gotten into reading the mystery/thriller genre and so far I am loving it.

In this book review I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little about each one. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. I hope you enjoy the book review!

An Unwanted Guest Plot:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The plot of this novel gave me classic crime, Agatha Christie’s Poirot style vibes. With the remote Inn where all the guests get snowed in and then a murder happens. This is the style of murder mystery I truly enjoy. The whole time my brain was whirring trying to figure out who the murderer was and why they did it. I will admit now, I did not guess it correctly. There are so many twists in this book, secrets hidden by all of the guests and none of them can be trusted. I read this book in an afternoon and loved every second of it. I felt that the changing between the scenes could have been smoother because sometimes I did get confused about where I was but this didn’t impact much on my enjoyment.

An Unwanted Guest Characters:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

You get an introduction to almost all of the characters and all of them have mystery surrounding them. Some have marital problems, some have jealousy and some have even worse secrets. I found each character to be engaging and interesting however, I didn’t feel that I liked any of them and I certainly didn’t trust any of them.

Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The dialogue in this book worked brilliantly with the atmosphere. It gave the characters personalities and their interactions with each other spoke volumes with minimal words. The writing style was clever, dynamic and creative. It was smooth to read and I barely remembered that I was not in the story myself because of this.

An Unwanted Guest Overall Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I gave this book four stars because I really enjoyed the mystery, the atmosphere and how everything came together. I felt that some parts of the book needed a tiny bit more explaining and some things weren’t fully resolved at the end but overall I loved the book.

Blurb/Synopsis:

A weekend retreat at a cozy mountain lodge is supposed to be the perfect getaway . . . but when the storm hits, no one is getting away

It’s winter in the Catskills and Mitchell’s Inn, nestled deep in the woods, is the perfect setting for a relaxing–maybe even romantic–weekend away. It boasts spacious old rooms with huge woodburning fireplaces, a well-stocked wine cellar, and opportunities for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or just curling up with a good murder mystery.

So when the weather takes a turn for the worse, and a blizzard cuts off the electricity–and all contact with the outside world–the guests settle in and try to make the best of it.

Soon, though, one of the guests turns up dead–it looks like an accident. But when a second guest dies, they start to panic.

Within the snowed-in paradise, something–or someone–is picking off the guests one by one. And there’s nothing they can do but hunker down and hope they can survive the storm–and one another.

That’s it for this book review, I hope you enjoyed it!

Where'd I Leave It Wednesday

Where’d I leave It Wednesday – Garden In My Bedroom

Happy Wednesday bookish people! It is that time again where I tell you about one of my experiences that may or may not be funny. Today I’m doing something a bit different, usually I just write out the story but one of the modules on my University course was Creative Non-fiction where I wrote a few pieces about my experiences. This story is about how my cane picks up leaves. I hope you enjoy it!

I have more leaves gathered in my bedroom than there are in the park that is just beyond my front door. I’m not a collector in any way. Well, I am when it comes to books and pin badges, but definitely not leaves. They sit on my purple carpet, crinkling in agony when I walk over them. Most of them are torn. Flakes of brown and orange strewn around the floor. A friend of mine asked me if I’d spilt a box of Cornflakes and not picked them up. I told her it wasn’t but at that time we were already running late and I couldn’t explain that actually it was the corpses of leaves. I’m not sure that is any less weird.

They get impaled on my cane, like meat on a skewer. I can walk along the street just fine. Well, it’s a different matter entirely when I come across a pile of leaves. By the time I get home there are so many of them, twirling around my cane like orange pole dancers, I barely notice them anymore. They have become part of my room; it would be strange to get rid of them now. “You should hoover them up” I’ve been told by many people before. I can’t bring myself to do it. The leaf that is still green got stuck to the bottom of the cane when I walked through a particularly deep puddle of leaves. It got dragged with me for miles and now it lives on my bedroom floor. The least I can do is provide good hospitality. It’s not as bad as it sounds. My carpet isn’t completely filled with leaves, I leave most of them outside the house when I shake off the cane in the same way as you would an umbrella after closing it.

Picking up leaves isn’t the only thing that happens when I use my cane outside. I usually find that there are two different types of people that notice me on the street. There are the ones who ignore the cane and continue to walk towards me; I enjoy the look of surprise on their face when I don’t move either. Their shoulder will bump into mine; it will be knocked backwards but my legs will remain strong, unmoving in the slippery pavements. They all do the same thing. They turn, mouths open and begin to say “look where you’re going” but they stop when they notice that I’m Visually Impaired. The irony of it always amuses me.

Then there is the second group of people, the ‘helpful’ ones. If a person offers me help and I need it then I will be thankful for the assistance. However, some people don’t ask before ‘helping’. I must have an expression that screams help me. The one I remember most vividly was on a cold day, it must have been Autumn because the air was cold and the metal of my cane had been turning my fingers red as I held onto it tightly. The leaves had already begun falling. They were cutting into my skin like cat’s claws on a scratching post, climbing up my boots higher and higher. I was stood at a crossing, waiting for the man to turn from red to green as I usually do. I can’t tell when there is a space to cross between cars so I wait for the green man. There is a cone on the bottom of the Pelican crossing control panel where I press the button. If I put my finger on it and wait when it turns green the cone spins. It’s useful for sunny days when I can’t see the colours of the man.

Anyway, returning to the strange incident I remember. I was stood there waiting, rolling the ball on the bottom of my cane over the bumps by the edge of the road, when I felt a hand on my arm. It pulled gently and I moved with it. My feet stumbling over each other past the pavement on the other side and across another crossing, then another and then another all at once. I didn’t have the chance to look at who was pulling on me until they stopped walking and let go. I caught my breath while looking at them. It was a lady, if I had to guess she was probably around sixty years old, and she was smiling at me. I knew I had to be polite so I said thank you and watched her walk away down the street. She was only trying to be nice is what I told myself as I slowly moved back to the crossing that the lady had just walked me across. If she had given me a chance to talk, I would have been able to tell her that I had only wanted to get across the first crossing and not the three subsequent ones.

Things like this happen to me more frequently than I would like to admit. Once I reached the street that I had originally intended I looked down at my feet. There, lounging peacefully were clumps of leaves. They were red and orange and yellow. I shook my feet forcefully. Most of the leaves spun away, dancing across the paving stones without partners. Some lay at my feet, as lifeless as if I had killed them. They were submerged in puddles of water, reflecting the colours like a spilt paint box. Curling, closing themselves up into small orange cylinders, like orange Wotsits drowning in the puddles underneath my feet. Of course, they didn’t all extract themselves from me. I carried stowaways under my boots, which I didn’t realise until I reached my house. I carefully peeled them from my soles and let them drift to the purple carpet. Becoming part of the garden in my bedroom.

That’s the end of today’s story, let me know if you liked this style or not and whether you like this style or what I usually write more!

Book Tags

The Bookshelf Tag

Happy Friday bookish people! I hope everyone has nice days planned for themselves, I have some work to do for a University assignment and a transcript to write but I might be able to squeeze some reading in later. It’s been almost a week since I’ve had chance to read anything and I’m feeling the effects.

Today’s post is the Bookshelf Tag! I had a really good time answering the questions in this tag, it made me look at my bookshelf for a looong time.

  1. Describe your bookshelf and where you got it from?
    well, my room is small, like really really small. There’s enough room for my chest of drawers, my bed and a tiny walking space. That’s it. Literally my wardrobe is in the hallway so there’s no room for a bookshelf in my room. My Dad built shelves all around the walls of my room so that’s where my books are – and of course in my new book cart I got yesterday for my birthday!
  2. How do you organise your books?
    Okay, here’s something about me – I love organising, anything lists, books, documents, EVERYTHING so I change how I organise my books all the time. Currently they are split into two halves – books I’ve read in alphabetical order then moves into books I haven’t read in alphabetical order. I don’t know how long it will stay like this…
  3. What’s the longest book on your shelf?
    With 984 pages it has to be Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J Maas which I actually have two copies of

4. What’s the shortest book on your shelf?
It’s actually a book that I’m borrowing from my partner, and I have had it for many months, called The Oubliette (I think? I might even have the title wrong! oh dear…) it has under 300 pages.

5. Is there a book that you received as a birthday gift?
Well, yesterday being my birthday (I now have to remember I’m 22) so I got a few books there: I hope you’re listening by Tom Ryan, Cosy Crime Short Stories, Detective Short Stories, the Caraval Collectors Edition, the Throne Of Glass Collectors Edition, Paris by Starlight and All the Tides of Fate by Adalyn Grace. I’m very excited for all of them.

6. Is there a book from a friend on your shelf?
My friend got me Paris by Starlight for me for my birthday so I guess that counts, otherwise I actually don’t think there is. There’s lots of books that were recommended to me by my friends but none they actually got me.

7. The most expensive book on your shelf?
I have a beautiful version of Les Miserables by Victor Hugo with gold page edges and it’s so nice I don’t let anyone touch it. I’m not sure exactly how much it cost but I think it was about £50…

8. The last book you read on your shelf?
Ooh this was What A Way To Go by Julia Forster and I must say I did not enjoy this book very much at all.

9. Do you have a complete series?
Yes, many, but the one in particular that is coming to mind is the Stalking Jack the Ripper series by Kerri maniscalco. I LOVE this series, I’m pretty sure it’s always going to be one of my favourite series’ and also one of my top OTPs.

10. What’s the newest addition to your shelf?
The Caraval Collectors Edition. It took me ages to put it on my shelf because I didn’t want to let go of it, I love it so much. It has a chapter in Julian’s POV and it’s all I’ve ever wanted.

11. The oldest book on your shelf?
That would be Robinson Crusoe but the less said about that the better.

12. What’s a book you’d hate to let out of your sight?
All of them. If you take my books then you’re honestly risking your life.

13. Most beat up book?
I’m actually not sure, there’s an awful crack down the spine (and in my heart!) of my copy of The Cruel Prince by Holly Black.

14. Most pristine book?
All the ones I haven’t read yet, and there are many many books I haven’t read yet on my shelves…

15. A book that doesn’t belong to you?
A Deal With the Elf King by Elise Kova, it’s actually my mum’s but she keeps it on my shelf.

16. A book that is your favourite colour?
Well, my favourite colour is forest green so.. ooh the Strange Case of the Alchemists Daughter by Theodora Goss is really close to my favourite colour!

17. A book that’s been on your shelf the longest and you still haven’t read it?
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. I even did a module about Austen on my University course and still didn’t read it.

18. Any signed books?
I have many signed books. Where I live it’s very difficult to just go and get books signed so whenever a book I want has a signed edition to buy I’ll always choose the signed one if I can.

That’s it for today’s tag! I hope you all enjoyed it! My next post is going to be some book reviews so come back for them if you’re interested.

Book Blitz, Uncategorized

Wake The F*** Up Book Blitz

 

 

Nonfiction / Humor / Satire

 

Date Published: September 24, 2020

Publisher: MindStir Media

Wake the F**k Up!

Based on humor and satire, Wake the F**K UP is a book for the parents of teenagers, anyone who has been a teenager or just knows one for that matter. The struggle that surrounds teen-life is real and we can all use a little more laughter in our lives.


About The Author


Barbara Long is a registered nurse and graduate of University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. She is married to an emergency medicine physician and together they lead hectic lives with their two teenagers, three dogs, two ducks and a rabbit. They now live in Virginia and enjoy all of the love and laughter that life has to offer.

Contact Link

Website

Facebook

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Purchase Links

Amazon

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RABT Book Tours & PR
Book Reviews

Book Review: Victoria Schwab’s Bridge of Souls

Hello again bookish people! Wow, three posts today, I’m being very productive. I’m bringing you a book review for Bridge of Souls by Victoria Schwab. This is the third book in the Cassidy Blake series (City of Ghosts, Tunnel of Bones, Bridge of Souls). I was so excited to finally get this book. I read the first two in the series because I love Victoria Schwab’s other books – A Darker Shade of Magic and the Villians series particularly and I loved them so I could not wait to get my hands on the third book. I was not disappointed, it was just as good as the first two and I was fully immersed in the world of Cassidy and Jacob. In this book review I will give star ratings for four categories and I will write a little about each of these. I will try to keep it spoiler free as possible. I hope you enjoy reading my book review.

Everywhere you step, everywhere you stay, was once home to something – and someone – else.

Plot:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Following on from the first two books this book begins in a new city, this time it was New Orleans, I thought it was well researched and the plot was exciting and engaging. I felt every part of the story fit well together and didn’t feel forced. The plot of the first novel in the series was light hearted and each book after has had a darker tone, higher stakes at play, Bridge of Souls is no different and I felt the tension of the plot along with the characters which I think is one of the best things that an Author can manage to do.

Characters:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Already having been introduced to Cassidy and Jacob, the two main protagonists in the series, in the first two novels I felt like I knew them very well. I enjoy the relationship between the characters in this novel, the friendship between Cassidy and Jacob and the relationship each of those characters have with Cassidy’s parents. They are funny and interesting and I was very invested in the characters which caused me to feel sad for them when I needed to and relieved and worried and happy.

Dialogue and Writing:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The writing style is smooth and carries you along in the story, it is easy and clear to read. The dialogue is one of my favourite things about this series. It gives the characters likeable and interesting personalities and shows the relationship between Cassidy and Jacob. It is also a great tool to lighten the tone by having the conversations between the characters.

Overall:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

There’s not much more I can say here. I gave this book four stars overall because I really enjoyed reading this book and being back in the world of Cassidy and Jacob. I thought it was well-written and well researched. I cannot wait for the next book in this series (hopefully there will be more!).

Synopsis/Blurb

Where there are ghosts, Cassidy Blake follows … unless it’s the other way around?

Cass thinks she might have this ghost-hunting thing down. After all, she and her ghost best friend, Jacob, have survived two haunted cities while travelling for her parents’ TV show.

But nothing can prepare Cass for New Orleans, which wears all of its hauntings on its sleeve. In a city of ghost tours and tombs, raucous music and all kinds of magic, Cass could get lost in all the colourful, grisly local legends. And the city’s biggest surprise is a foe Cass never expected to face: a servant of Death itself.

Cass takes on her most dangerous challenge yet…

Book Reviews

Book Review: Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Boys

Hello bookish people! Happy Mother’s Day to everyone! Today I’m bringing you a book review for The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater, the first book in The Raven Boys four book series. I thought this book was okay, it was an enjoyable opening book to a series. In this book review I will give star ratings for four categories and I will write a little about each of these. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. I hope you enjoy reading my book review!

This is a well-written, enjoyable opening novel to the series. It introduces the characters and has a contained conflict as well as an overarching conflict for the rest of the series. It has a unique and interesting premise that made me want to pick up this book. It cuts between the POVs of multiple characters including that of Blue, the main protagonist, Gansey and Adam.

Blue has spent the majority of her sixteen years being told that if she kisses her true love, he will die.

Plot:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This novel has an interesting plot. It is a well planned, well-written and intriguing plot that keeps you reading on until the end, and I felt the ending was satisfactory to complete the story for this book while still managing to set up an intriguing story for the second book in the series, particularly because of the final line.
However, I felt there were too many little stories happening at the same time which made them hard to follow, and they didn’t all get solved within this first book. Also, it felt like an opening novel rather than a novel with a very defined plot, it seemed to centre around introducing the characters and their relationships (which I don’t think is a bad thing), that’s why I can only give the plot three stars.

Characters:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I thought that the characters in this novel were brilliantly engaging. One of the high points for me was the dialogue between them, particularly between Blue and Gansey, it is interesting and well-written. It makes me like the characters. I find I am very much a character-based reader, I enjoy their interactions and the things that add to the plot I find are the things that are revealed through dialogue or the lack of it. The main characters in this novel (Noah, Blue, Gansey, Adam and Ronan) are all clear characters, each with their own conflict. I would have liked this novel to explore Noah and Ronan more than it did as I found their characters lacking compared to the others but overall I thought the characters were a highlight in this book.

Dialogue and Writing:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I don’t have much more to say about this, as I’ve mentioned it in the previous two categories but I could only give this category three stars because I felt that the writing in the beginning may have been a little slow to actually delve into the story and because of this the writing in the second half felt too rushed for my preferences.

Overall:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

So, overall I’m rating this book three stars. I enjoyed the book and I definitely plan on reading the second book in the series (I’ve heard that’s the best one? so I’m looking forward to it). I am invested in the characters and their relationships but I couldn’t give a higher star rating because I wasn’t all that invested in the plot but I was at the same time – that probably doesn’t make much sense. I enjoyed it, but I probably won’t reread it any time soon.

Synopsis/Blurb:

“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.

Book Reviews

Book Review: Peter Swanson’s Rules For Perfect Murders

I have recently finished reading Rules for Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson and I really enjoyed it, in this book review I will give star ratings for four categories and write a little about each of these. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. I hope you all enjoy reading my book review!

This is a cleverly plotted, fast paced, whodunnit full of twists and secrets. It focuses on a man called Malcolm Kershaw who works at a bookstore that specializes in selling mystery/thriller books. Then he becomes involved in a murder investigation. This novel contains elements of the great Golden Age era of crime fiction like Agatha Christie yet still manages to make itself unique in both it’s premise and structure. The reader follows the POV of Malcolm, following both the present and the secrets of his past that slowly emerge throughout the novel.

Plot:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This novel is an entertaining plot that kept me guessing from the very beginning. It was well thought out and from the technical point of view every scene led into the next in a brilliant and clever way. The secrets were hinted at and clues were sprinkled throughout leading to a (in my opinion) satisfying ending. I am usually pretty good at managing to guess the ending before it happens but with this novel I had no chance, the story swept me up and so many theories were spinning around my head. That is one of the reasons I gave this novel 4 stars for plot.

Characters:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

As for characters there are a lot of them, but the main ones are Malcolm Kershaw, his two bookstore employees, FBI Agent Gwen Mulvoy, his old friend Marty Kingship and married couple Brian and Tess Murray. Although each of the characters had very defined personalities from each other for me it felt like they were lacking in some way. Malcolm, was not a very likeable character I didn’t particularly have strong feelings for or against him but I was still engaged in his story. The two bookstore employees I feel could have been developed further, they are distinct and personally I felt they were likeable – the only two characters who I felt were likeable in this novel – but they weren’t that interesting. I would have liked to have seen more of Agent Gwen Mulvey, she features more in the first half than the second half and I felt her character could have been explored better. The other three characters I didn’t find to be all that likeable either but again they were well thought out and had an impact on the story.

Dialogue and writing:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I became invested in the novel because of the dialogue in the very first scene. It helped to heighten tension when it was needed and it helped lighten the tone when the novel needed balance as well. The dialogue, or lack of from some characters, provided personality and created an image of the characters for me. The writing style was easy to navigate, it flowed well in my opinion and it didn’t feel forced in any way. That was one of the main reasons I enjoyed the novel, usually I am a fan of character driven novels rather than plot driven novels but because of Swanson’s writing style and the engaging dialogue I found myself enjoying the read.

Overall:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

So, overall I rated this novel four stars because even though I wasn’t invested in the characters I truly couldn’t put the book down, I had to know how it ended. If you enjoy novels where you aren’t sure who you can trust then I would recommend Rules For Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson. (One note I will make is that if you want to read The Red House Mystery by A A Milne, Malice Aforethought by Anthony Berkeley Cox, The A B C Murders by Agatha Christie, Double Indemnity by James M. Cain, Strangers On A Train by Patricia Highsmith, The Drowner by John D MacDonald, Deathtrap by Ira Levin or The Secret History by Donna Tartt I would recommend reading them first because Malcolm is fond of giving spoilers to these books).

Synopsis/Blurb:
Years ago Malcolm Kershaw wrote a list of his ‘Eight Favourite Murders’ for his Old Devils mystery bookshop blog. Among others it included those from Agatha Christie’s The A.B.C Murders, Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers On A Train and Donna Tartt’s The Secret History.
Now just before Christmas, Malcolm finds himself at the heart of an investigation – as an FBI Agent believes someone may be re-enacting each of the murders on his list.