blog tours, Book Reviews

Book Review: The Dinner Party by Sarah Gilmartin

Happy Friday bookish people! Today is my stop on the book tour for The Dinner Party by Sarah Gilmartin. Thank you to Tara McEvoy for sending me a physical 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.

The Dinner Party Plot:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

For most of this book I wasn’t sure there was much of a plot, but I realised this was because the author was showing us glimpses of the past intertwined with events of the present and the relationships of the characters. I liked that this book didn’t shy away from difficult topics and instead presented them in the right way.

The Dinner Party Characters:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

To me this book was very character centred. Most of the tension and the mystery was because of the relationships between the characters and I liked getting to know each of them on a deeper level than books sometimes show their characters.

The Dinner Party Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The writing in this book is lovely, clear and smooth. It also has this ominous tone to it throughout which I think added a whole other level to the story.

The Dinner Party Overall:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I gave this book three stars overall because although it was an enjoyable read, I didn’t feel all the tension in my self, I wasn’t that connected to any of the characters.


To mark the anniversary of a death in the family, Kate meticulously plans a dinner party – from the fancy table setting to the perfect baked alaska waiting in the freezer. But by the end of the night, old tensions have flared, the guests are gone, and Kate is spinning out of control.

Set between from the 1990s and the present day, from Carlow to Dublin, the family farmhouse to Trinity College, Dinner Party is a beautifully observed, dark and twisty novel that thrillingly unravels into family secrets and tragedy.

Haunting and unforgettable, it explores how the past informs the present, the inevitability of childhood damage resurfacing in later life – and yet how, despite everything, we can’t help returning home.

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

Book Quotes

Favourite Book Quotes – 100-91

Happy Friday bookish people! This post is going up later than I would have liked it to, this week has been super busy for me with my job, University, hospital etc.. and this morning I got my second Covid jab so hopefully I’ll get this written before any side effects kick in.

I’m starting a little series (in case you didn’t notice by the title of this post…) where I show and maybe talk about, depending on my mood, my 100 favourite quotes from books. But doing ALL 100 in one post might have been a bit much so I’m splitting it down into sections of ten. Also it will give it a bit of mystery, you’ll be thinking ooh I wonder what’s going to be on the next set of ten and I wonder what quote will take the top spot – no? Just me? Okay…

Well, with all that said lets go to the first set of ten.

In last place at 100 we have a classic from….

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

100. “Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same” – I really dislike Wuthering Heights but this quote just managed to squeeze into my top 100.

Coming in at 99 we have a quote from….

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

99. “Fate […] is a very weighty word to throw around before breakfast” – I mean yes, it certainly is. I don’t usually eat breakfast so if you want to talk to me about fate you’re going to have to wait until after I’ve eaten something for lunch.

Speaking of food we have number 98…

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

98. “It was a well known fact that there were no calories in homemade cakes” – if only that was true.

Quote 97 is one that came from a series of books I read in my early years at Secondary school….

Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead

97. “Dreams, dreams. I walk them; I live them. I delude myself with them” – I can definitely relate to the deluding yourself with dreams part, I’m well known for daydreaming.

A much more serious quote at 96…

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

96. “The only way to learn is to live”

At the halfway point for this first installment of favourite quotes is one from a favourite series of mine…

Legendary by Stephanie Garber

95. “There were shipwrecks more graceful than Tella” – I am more graceful than Tella and I need more than ten fingers to count the amount of times I fall and trip each day.

At 94 is a quote that reminds me of a few people who I know….

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

94. “It’s not exciting if nothing can go wrong” – I completely disagree with this statement and that’s not at all because I’m scared of everything, including people. Some particular people.

Moving on quickly. 93 is a quote that I wrote down on a sticky note while I was reading the book because of how much it caught my attention….

Spin The Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

93. “Seize the wind, don’t become the kite that never flies” – as illogical as trying to catch hold of actual wind is, this is still a beautiful quote.

Up next is a quote from a book that has vampires in…

The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh

92. “She was no lamb, she was a lion” – I won’t tell you the character name who says this but this quote sums up her character arc very well.

and the final quote of this first installment is…..

How The King Of Elfhame Learned To Hate Stories by Holly Black

91. “A heart of stone can still be broken” – simple and a little sad this quote tells you a lot about two characters – the one who says it and the one they are saying it to.

That’s it for this blog post, I hope you all enjoyed the first installment – have you seen any of your favourite quotes yet? Are there any quotes you are hoping might show up further up my list? Let me know in the comments.

I’ll be back soon with quotes 90-81!

Book Reviews

County Lines Road by Jane Gilley – Book Review

Happy Friday bookish people! I was very lucky to receive an e-book copy of County Lines Road by Jane Gilley to review as part of it’s book tour, thank you to Heather Fitt for sending me this.

In this book review I will give star ratings for four categories and I will write a little about each one. There may be spoilers in this book review although I will do my best to make sure there are not. I hope you enjoy my book review!

County Lines Road Plot:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

After reading The Making of Robert Moony last week I was excited to dive into this book. This book isn’t just a story about the two main characters, it’s about life, the way people live and their relationships with each other. The plot carried me along from chapter to chapter needing to know what happens in the end. I felt the tension of the events that happened throughout the novel and I actually read this book in just under two hours – and I’m usually a fast reader but that’s very fast even for me. It did take a little while for me to get hooked into the book but once the exciting events started happening I couldn’t put it down. I loved that there was a focus on the relationships between Jodie and her mum, Tomas and his mum and Simon and his mum and how these relationships contrasted each other.

County Lines Road Characters:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The characters in this novel are likeable and it was so easy to be drawn into their stories and their personalities and to feel yourself wanting them to make it to the end happily. I particularly liked Tomas’ manner and the way the reader could see what he was thinking and it seemed that he was coping best throughout the novel which was interesting to see. I liked that different chapters followed different characters such as the mums of Jodie and Tomas and also showed their lives and their reactions to what is happening to Jodie and Tomas. Seeing how the Mothers were living, meal to meal with mountains of debt, really resembles the way of life for a lot of people especially at the moment. Jane Gilley has a way of creating very likeable characters and also antagonists, one in particular that I won’t name because spoilers!

Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The writing of this story clearly showed the voices of the characters and the language they would use. The dialogue wasn’t the main feature of this novel but it was balanced well with the plot.


Rating: 3 out of 5.

I’m giving this book three stars overall because I enjoyed the reading experience and the way the plot was exciting and full of twists and endearing characters. I didn’t enjoy this book as much as her other book The Making of Robert Moony and that’s why I have given it three stars.


County Lines Road

Next-door-neighbours, Karen and Terri, have always tried to do right by their errant kinds. But when a simple joyride goes horribly wrong and Tomas and Jodie are captured by a county lines drug gang, they’re not sure who to turn to.

Dragged away to the gang’s suburban lair will the two teenagers find the strength to escape?

And even if they do escape, how can they protect their mums and everyone else they love from the gang’s threat of retaliation?

This is me, Jane Gilley

My first foray into writing came when I wrote a poem at 7.

                        Night is drawing in

                        And the day has lost its din

                        And while we sleep

                        The animals creep

                        And hunt for food

                        In their hungry mood

I couldn’t stop writing when I was a nipper. I wrote wherever my pen could make its mark and especially at the back of my school exercise books. The lady who taught maths, in junior school, even asked if I wanted more paper to write on!

But life has a way of taking over and guiding you down its own path. Hence my initial foray into writing was dampened by society’s usual requirements of getting married and working to pay the mortgage, whereby I simply didn’t have the time to sit, tapping away at my computer to my heart’s content. But when I managed to start writing again in 2008; when publishers were telling me they didn’t want any more animal fiction, I self-published 6 children’s books – 5 animal adventures, which I sold at Durrell’s Jersey Zoo – and I had a book signing at Waterstones with a novella for young girls, Maisie’s Dream. All still for sale on Kindle.

With my children’s books localised French / Jersey themes, I was invited by 3 of the primary schools here and on the tiny channel island of Herm to give talks to the school children, about where I found the inspiration for my stories.

Since becoming self-employed, I’ve been able to step back and concentrate on writing adult fiction. Avon, Harper Collins published my debut book, The Woman Who Kept Everything – about an elderly lady who rediscovers what life has to offer after an electrical fault in her house threatens a fire, followed by The Afternoon Tea Club – about 4 very different people who meet at a community afternoon tea club and put their worlds to right, after becoming friends.

During 2020 and with PLENTY of time to spare, I wrote 2 new books, which I self-published this year on Kindle – both under adult fiction:

The Making of Robert Moony – an unusual, funny, heart-felt tale about a 27 yr old bullied man who finally finds love and acceptance in life, after he is kidnapped by mistake

County Lines Road – about 2 teenagers whose lives are turned upside down when a joyride goes horribly wrong and they are dragged away to a gang-house by drugs dealers and have to find a way to escape as well as protecting their families from the gang’s threat of retaliation.

All my books are always quirky, uplifting tales about new beginnings and have happy endings!

Book Reviews

What A Way To Go by Julia Forster Book Review

Happy Monday bookish people! This was another of the books I read for the Becca and the Books (YouTube) 48 Hour Bookopolathon challenge. The prompt was to read a book outside your comfort zone. This book has been on my shelf literally forever and I kept not picking it up because of it being so far out of my comfort zone. I usually read fantasy as my main genre and this book I’d class more as literary fiction. I will say now if you don’t like low rated book reviews this is not the book review for you. I am glad I read it but I did not actually enjoy this book.


Rating: 1 out of 5.

This book didn’t feel like it had a plot. Definitely not one that was at all clear to me while reading it. It’s set in the 80’s I believe and so a lot of the nostalgia was completely lost on me, I didn’t understand it and that might be one of the reasons I didn’t enjoy it as much. I don’t really have anything else to say here, the plot wasn’t really a plot.


Rating: 2 out of 5.

This book is written from a child’s point of view, I’m not completely sure how old she is, it’s unique and a great way to use metaphors and give the whole story a sense of innocence. However, I didn’t feel anything for the character, I felt disconnected and I felt that the character herself was disconnected from the story and so the experience of reading her character was difficult. No other characters are really explored in any depth and I found them all easily forgettable.

Dialogue and Writing:

Rating: 1 out of 5.

I didn’t enjoy either of these features of the novel. The dialogue felt cold and overthought and the writing style was clunky and jarring, It wasn’t an enjoyable experience reading it.


Rating: 2 out of 5.

I gave this book a generous two stars and I don’t have much else to say about that. I probably will unhaul this book eventually.

That’s it for this book review, unfortunately it wasn’t a very positive one to write but I will always be honest in my review of books.