Book Reviews

Book Review: The Very Merry Murder Club by Robin Stevens and Serena Patel

Happy Friday bookish people! I hope you’re all having a good day today. I am bringing you a book review for one of the books I read in December, The Very Merry Murder Club.

In this book review I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little bit about each one. I will do my best to not give any spoilers.

The Very Merry Murder Club Plot:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The very merry murder club is a collection of thirteen short stories set around winter and christmas with a murder/mystery element to the plot. Each of the stories in this collection are very different to each other but thoroughly enjoyable. Two of my favourites were the one about the burglar mother and the other favourite was the one about the mixed up music with two dance groups.

Because of all the different stories I can’t really comment on the characters the way I usually do in my reviews.

The Very Merry Murder Club Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I like to judge the writing in books on the speed I read the books and in this case I flew through the book while travelling by coach to London a while back. It was so easy to just keep reading, even though each story was written by different people I hardly noticed which I think is a good sign.

The Very Merry Murder Club Overall:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I really enjoyed this book, it was perfect for reading in the winter months so that is why I gave it four stars.

Blurb/Synopsis:

A wintery middle grade mystery collection of short stories by thirteen of the most exciting and diverse authors in children’s books today!

Co-edited by Serena Patel, the award-winning author of the Anisha: Accidental Detective series and by Robin Stevens, author of the bestselling Murder Most Unladylike series.

Sleuthing through the snow, on a merry mysterious day, in disguise we go, investigating all the way . . .

This gorgeous Christmas hardback gift of a collection brings together thirteen of the bestselling, award-winning and exciting debut authors: Abiola Bello, Annabelle Sami, Benjamin Dean, E.L. Norry, Elle McNicoll, Dominique Valente, Joanna Williams, Maisie Chan, Nizrana Farook, Patrice Lawrence, Roopa Farooki, Serena Patel and Sharna Jackson.

Join them as part of the Very Merry Murder Club as they lead you on a snow-covered wintery journey of Christmassy crimes, festive foul play and murderously magnificent mysteries!

Book Tags

Read or Unhaul 2023

Happy Friday bookish people! I hope you’re all having a good day today.

I have seen a lot of different videos on youtube of people choosing books to try and make themselves read them that year and if they don’t then they have to unhaul them. This sounds like a great idea to me because it might help with getting me to read the books that I have been putting off.

these books are going to be:

  • The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon – I have the whole series and it still interests me so I hope to get around to it in 2023
  • The City Beautiful by Aden Polydoros because I see it on my shelves but I can’t remember anything from the story or what it is about
  • Set Fire to the Gods by Sara Raasch and Kristen Simmons – this is another book that I have the two books from the series and I have put it in my TBRs all the time but never gotten around to reading it so maybe this will make me read it.
  • The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater – the second book in the raven boys series, I read the first one and I didn’t love it so I either need to continue the series or give them to someone else who would enjoy them.
  • Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor because it is another book I have had for years and wanted to read and just never gotten to it.
  • Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, the longer it takes me to read this series the more things I see about it that make me put it off more.
  • Where Dreams Descend – I love the cover of this book and it is all about the circus so I am pretty sure I will love it but I just need to read it to find out for sure.
  • The Damned by Renee Ahdieh, I liked the first book in the series but the ending ruined it for me so I haven’t wanted to keep reading but I own the series so I think I should.
  • The Sisters Grimm by Menna Van Praag – I started to read this book but I couldn’t get into it so I am hoping if I come back to it I will enjoy it more.
  • Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo – I definitely need to continue this series with the second season of the show coming.

So, that’s it, that is the ten books I either need to read or unhaul by the end of next year.

Book Reviews, Uncategorized

Book Review: The Magic Faraway Tree by Jacqueline Wilson

happy Monday bookish people! I hope you’re all having a good day today. Today I am bringing you the book review for The Magic Far-away Tree by Jacquline Wilson.

I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little bit about each one. I will try to keep this review as spoiler free as possible.

The magic faraway tree plot:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This is a modern take on Enid Blyton’ original series, following a similar plot of a family moving to the cottage and discovering the faraway tree and the lands that appear at the top. For me there was too much that just didn’t work about this story, it comes down to the feeling and it didn’t give me the same feeling as the original series did.

The magic faraway tree characters:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

the characters follow the same idea as the original series, one older boy and two younger sisters but I felt that in this book they could have been made into more shapely characters, they felt very 2D. Silky, moon face and the people at the faraway tree were just as great as they were in the original series.

The magic faraway tree writing and dialogue:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The writing was great in this book, it was full of the same kind of magic that you expect in childrens fantasy stories.

The magic faraway tree overall:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

overall I thought this book was fine but not as good as the original series was better.

Discover the Magic Faraway Tree and explore the amazing lands it can lead to! An irresistible new story by bestselling author Jacqueline Wilson, set in a much-loved world.

Three kids, Milo, Mia and Birdy, are on a countryside holiday when they wander into an Enchanted Wood. Among the whispering leaves, there is a beautiful tree that stands high above the rest. The Magic Faraway Tree is home to remarkable creatures including a fairy called Silky, her best friend Moonface and more. Birdy is delighted to find that fairies are real. Even her older brother and sister are soon won over by the magic of the Faraway Tree and the extraordinary places they discover above it, including the Land of Unicorns. But not every land is so much fun. Danger looms in the Land of Dragons. Will Moonface’s magic work in time to save the children?

The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton was Jacqueline Wilson’s own favourite book as a young child. Now Britain’s favourite contemporary children’s author, creator of Hetty Feather and Tracy Beaker, revisits this glorious magical world, weaving a brand-new story perfect for the next generation of young readers. Discover the magic!

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

Book Tags

10 reasons you love books

Happy Friday bookish people! I hope you’re all having a good day today. I thought I’d do a fun short post today with a few of the reasons I like books, and maybe some of you will agree with me about these. Let me know what your favourite things about books are.

  • They have beautiful covers
  • You can snuggle in a blanket with a hot drink and a book and be all cosy
  • the smell of new books
  • and of course the smell of old books
  • I find they are a good sense of escapism from everything going on in life
  • I can read and pretend it is research for my PhD
  • they take me to historical places I wish I could visit
  • men in books – reality doesn’t live up to them
  • women in books, fighting for themselves
  • characters in books, fighting for justice
  • did I mention they are beautiful!
Book Tags, Uncategorized

New Year Book Tag!

Happy Friday bookish people! I hope you’re all having a good day today. It is 2023 and what better to start the book tags off with a New Years one.

I found this tag on andonshereads.Wordpress.com

How many books are you planning on reading in 2023?
I always set my goodreads at 100 but whether I meet that target or not is yet to be seen. In 2022 I did not meet it and in 2021 I did so it changes all the time.

Name 5 books you didn’t read in 2022 but want to make a priority in 2023?

kingdom of the feared by Kerri Maniscalco, Vespertine by Margaret Rogerson, Once upon a broken heart by Stephanie Garber, Sabriel by Garth Nix and the way of the argosi by Sebastian de Castell.

Name a genre you want to read more of in 2023?

mystery, specifically murder mysteries.

Three non bookish goals for 2023

I have posted a special post mentioning my goals for 2023 so if you’d like to see my goals go and check that one out.

What’s a book you’ve had forever and still need to read

there are so many answers I could give for this but I’m going to go with the city of brass by s a chakraborty because I keep picking it up to read it but never actually do.

and finally, 1 word for what you want 2023 to be: happy.

Uncategorized

Goals for 2023!

Happy Monday bookish people! As we near the end of 2022 I wanted to make a post about my goals for 2023, this year has been full of difficult moments and a lot of stress. Of course, there’s been lots of good moments too but it has overall been very draining.

I have three main goals for 2023 which are:

  1. To find more time to read for me. By this I mean not reading for my PhD or any work purposes, just because I want to read. I haven’t been doing that much this year but I am hopeful for next year.
  2. To organise everything I am doing in order of priority. This year I have been doing so many different things what with school and braille and guide dogs and starting at Etsy and so on and so on, I’ve been getting very very tired so I am aiming to not put as much pressure on myself, I’ll do all my work etc but if I can’t manage something then I am going to try not to push too hard.
  3. work hard on a children’s picture book idea and find an agent (this has already been started, I sent my work to a few agents but I haven’t heard back yet so fingers crossed)

that’s it for my goals, what are your goals for 2023?

Monthly Wrap Ups

November Wrap-Up!

Happy Monday bookish people! I hope you’re all having a good day today. I am bringing you my November Wrap Up today. It was one of those months where I felt like I read a lot but I actually only read a little bit, do you ever have those types of months?

Anyway onto the wrap up!

  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – I did not read this but I do have a reason, it’s literally on the top shelf of my bookcase and I can’t reach it without a step ladder which I also can’t get to at the moment.
  • The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas – I think we can safely say none of us are surprised I didn’t read this, romance is not my go to genre.
  • Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead by Elle Cosimano – I did read this! And I really enjoyed it so look out for my book review coming soon.
  • The Girl’s I’ve Been by Tess Sharpe – I did not read this.
  • Emma by Jane Austen – Okay so I started reading this in November and I am currently reading it now, It is also on my December TBR so it is a bit of a crossover into both months.
  • The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley – I did not read this.
  • City of Brass by S A Chakraborty – I did not read this.
  • Finale by Stephanie Garber – I did not read this either.
  • Crownbreaker by Sebastien De Castell – I am still currently halfway through this book.
  • Amy and Rogers Epic Detour by Morgan Matson – Another romance of course I didn’t read it.
  • From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L Armentrout – I did not read this
  • Gallant by V E Schwab – I did not read this either.

So, that was the books on my TBR and I read one of them…oops. But outside my TBR I also read Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel, I borrowed the audiobook from my library for my trip to Liverpool and that was really enjoyable.

What did you read in November?

That’s it for my wrap-up I hope you all enjoyed it!

Monthly TBRs

December TBR!

Happy Friday bookish people! And welcome to December, I can’t believe we are this close to Christmas already. It seems to have flown by this year.

There are so many birthdays for my family this month, my Dad, my sister and my Nan so this will be a really busy month.

Anyway, onto the TBR!

The It Girl by Ruth Ware

Lore by Alexandra Bracken

Nine Lives by Peter Swanson

Emma by Jane Austen

European Travels for the Monstrous Gentlewomen by Theodora Goss

Belladonna by Adalyn Grace

Down Comes The Night by Alison Saft

My Fine Fellow by Jennieke Cohen

Only A Monster by Vanessa Len

Love On The Brain by Ali Hazelwood

That’s it for my December TBR, have you read any of these books?

blog tours

Five Survive by Holly Jackson Book/Blog Tour!

Happy Thursday bookish people! I hope you’re all having a good first day of December! I am very excited today to be taking part in the book blog tour for Holly Jackson’s new book, Five Survive. Thank you to TBR and Beyond Tours for sending me a netgalley version of this book to read and review. I love Holly Jackson’s books, her Good Girl’s Guide To Murder series are some of my favourite mystery novels. For my spot on the tour I am posting a book review and then a playlist of songs that I think would be great to match the atmosphere of the book.

As usual with my book reviews I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little bit about each one, I will do my best to not include spoilers.

I hope you enjoy my book review!

Five Survive Plot:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The premise of this book was very exciting for me from the start. Six people all with dark secrets trapped in an RV they can’t get out of because of a sniper. I will admit that the beginning was a little slow for my taste, while waiting for the van to breakdown – when you know it is going to happen already it felt like it took a while to get to that point but I get that Jackson was using this time to introduce the characters and the tensions between them already. Once the story really got into the action I was hooked. It was atmospheric and exciting and I could feel my heart beating right alongside the characters. It has a much darker feel in my opinion to the Good Girl’s Guide to Murder series but I quite liked that, it was different in a good way. The ending really had me surprised and I think if you read this you will be too (you’ll have to let me know if you were!)

Five Survive Characters:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This part was the most interesting for me to rate here, simply because I couldn’t say I liked any of these characters but I was so intrigued by their motivations and I can tell you I was dying to know what all their secrets were and for me that worked for this story, I didn’t need to like them or trust them that was the point – they didn’t know who they could trust and as readers neither can we.

Five Survive Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

As I have already said I love Holly Jackson’s books and her writing and this book was no different.

Five Survive Overall:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I gave this book four stars overall because I really enjoyed the mystery and surprisingly the dark atmosphere.

Playlist!

For the playlist I would say that this book warrants some dark powerful songs to go with the tone and the plot.

This won’t be in order by the way but here are some of the songs I would put with this book:

Run Boy Run by Woodkid

I Knew You Were Trouble by Taylor Swift

I’m A Mess by Avril Lavigne and Yungblud

Darkside by Neoni

My Heart’s Grave by Faouzia

Avalanche by Avril Lavigne

Book Synopsis:

The brand new unmissable crime thriller from Holly Jackson, best-selling, award-winning author of the Good Girl’s Guide to Murder trilogy.

Eight hours.
Six friends.
One sniper . . .

Eighteen year old Red and her friends are on a road trip in an RV, heading to the beach for Spring Break. It’s a long drive but spirits are high. Until the RV breaks down in the middle of nowhere. There’s no mobile phone reception and nobody around to help. And as the wheels are shot out, one by one, the friends realise that this is no accident. There’s a sniper out there in the dark watching them and he knows exactly who they are. One of the group has a secret that the sniper is willing to kill for.

A game of cat-and-mouse plays out as the group desperately tries to get help and to work out which member of the group is the target. Buried secrets are forced to light in the cramped, claustrophobic setting of the RV, and tensions within the group will reach deadly levels. Not everyone will survive the night.

Buy From:

Whsmiths:https://www.whsmith.co.uk/products/five-survive/holly-jackson/hardback/9780755504404.html?utm_campaign=eq_whs_259955&utm_medium=affiliates&utm_source=awin&awc=3017_1669827694_7d2a2b91431cacda22304e1c9cf2b0a8

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/HJ-Book-4-Holly-Jackson/dp/0755504402/ref=asc_df_0755504402/?tag=googshopuk-21&linkCode=df0&hvadid=606802419329&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=8652349781391532879&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9045311&hvtargid=pla-1671842202934&psc=1&th=1&psc=1

Waterstones: https://www.waterstones.com/book/five-survive/holly-jackson//9780008507237?awaid=3787&utm_source=redbrain&utm_medium=shopping&utm_campaign=css&gclid=Cj0KCQiAm5ycBhCXARIsAPldzoU6ZgQbwnQKo2JjZXBSz-YqO7rFKNwMrJUluufIxeBaa4iDuyVqUOUaArgTEALw_wcB&awc=3787_1669827693_f5ab7e88f5c6d884c7358d712f031e68

Here is a link to the tour schedule: https://tbrandbeyondtours.com/2022/10/26/tour-schedule-five-survive-by-holly-jackson/

Book Reviews

Book Review: The Three Dahlias by Katy Watson

Happy Monday bookish people! What’s better on a rainy Monday morning than a good book review about a cosy mystery.

As always in this book review I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little bit about each one. I will do my best to not include any spoilers in the book review. I hope you enjoy it!

The Three Dahlias Plot:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This book combines some of the best elements of Golden Age Detective Fiction/ Cosy Crime genres such as the isolated location, who doesn’t love a murder mystery set in an old manor house, a close knit cast of characters, and a bunch of intriguing twists. The Three Dahlias is based on the three actresses who have, and will have, played the character of Dahlia in different shows and films throughout the years. They come together for a Dahlia convention and then actually find themselves having to work together to solve a crime. I really enjoyed this take on the murder mystery, I haven’t read many novels or actually any that come to mind with three main protagonists but it was a nice way to make the reader feel part of the group.

The Three Dahlias Characters:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

As much as I enjoyed each of the three characters individually, I sometimes felt that when they were together in the same scenes they blended into each other and the character development wasn’t as good. However, I still enjoyed the three female main characters being the ones to try and solve the mystery.

The Three Dahlias Writing and Dialogue

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I haven’t got much to say for this category because the writing was good, it allowed me to not think about the writing at all because I was engrossed in the story and that is a sign of a good writing style.

The Three Dahlias Overall

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I gave this book four stars overall because it was an enjoyable twist on the murder mystery genre.

Blurb/Synopsis:

Three rival actresses team up to solve a murder at the stately home of the author who made them famous – only to discover the solution lies in the stories themselves. A contemporary mystery with a Golden Age feel, perfect for fans of Agatha Christie and Jessica Fellowes.

In attendance: the VIP fans, staying at Aldermere; the fan club president turned convention organizer; the team behind the newest movie adaptation of Davenport’s books; the Davenport family themselves – and the three actresses famous for portraying Lettice’s 1930s detective, Dahlia Lively.

National treasure Rosalind King, from the original movies. TV Dahlia for thirteen seasons, Caro Hooper. And ex-child star Posy Starling, fresh out of the fame wilderness (and rehab) to take on the Dahlia mantle for the new movie.

Each actress has her own interpretation of the character – but this English summer weekend they will have to put aside their differences, as the crimes at Aldermere turns anything but cosy.

When fictional death turns into real bodies, can the three Dahlias find the answers to the murders among the fans, the film crew, the family – or even in Lettice’s books themselves?

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