challenge, Netgalley

Review: Did You See Melody? By Sophie Hannah. (Ebook from netgalley in exchange for review)

To say this book is a riveting read would be an understatement, I read this book within two days because I didn’t want to stop reading.

Cara’s arrival in Arizona and the initial mystery that surrounded it hooked me and then as she becomes intrigued by the story of a missing girl so did I.
I felt like I was being pulled along as slowly but with perfect pacing the story unfolds and answers are given. At times I wanted to scream because of the shift in the narrative at a moment I thought I was going to find something out, but that’s all the fun of this type of book, it keeps you gripped to the page.
The story of the missing girl is told using transcripts of a TV show and articles which Cara watches/reads. I thought that this would put me off at first but it didn’t because I needed answers and found myself eagerly reading page after page.  
I don’t usually read crime novels and I expected to read a plot driven thriller. But this novel has not only a gripping plot but likeable realistic characters; I even liked- to my surprise- the outspoken ‘Tarin’, (I think she’s my favourite).
Towards the end of the story my interest started to wane because the viewpoint changed-but I urge anyone not to be put off by this (if you are)  because any negative opinions I had quickly changed by the time I reached the conclusion.
The solution to the mystery was very clever! And the ending: woah!
But you’ll have to read it and find out for yourself. I’m trying hard not to give the best bits away.
I need a breather after reading this book but I enjoyed it and will be reading more like it in future.

Challenge! Reading out of my comfort zone. Review of Little Beach Street Bakery

I think that everyone should read out of their comfort zone. Sometimes it helps to read something different when you are stuck in that dreaded reading slump. I’m not in a slump but:

 I have set myself a little challenge to get out of my comfort zone and expand my horizons. I’ve decided to read a romantic/chic-lit book to start with.
Next I will be reading some crime novels.

So here’s the first book:

Name of Book: Little Beach Street Bakery
Author: Jenny Colgan
Type/genre:  Romantic, paperback, library book
Why I chose it: I was looking for books to read set on an island and this was recommended to me on (thanks). It appealed to me because of the idea of moving somewhere new and starting afresh. Especially moving to the coast, what a lovely idea.


Who hasn’t wanted to run away from their hectic job or their unfulfilling life when they’ve hit a rough patch? Polly relationship is ending after the business her and her boyfriend were running fails and are bankrupt. Who hasn’t wanted to start over somewhere new by the sea? Polly didn’t plan on moving to the Cornish tidal island Polbearne but she desperately wanted to start over and find a place of her own that she could afford, then she sees the advert for a place to rent in Polbearne. And that’s how the story begins…

‘Little Beach Street Bakery’ is a sweet story and an effortless read. A story to uplift you or a lovely escape. Reading this was like going on a holiday, it’s a charming story and you feel like you’re actually there. It draws you in until the very last page, leaving you wanting more.

I didn’t expect to like this book but I quickly became engrossed in the story and couldn’t stop reading. I fell in love with the characters, instantly feeling sympathy for Polly. I forgot about the genre reading this book, who cares what genre it is if the story is good and the characters so lifelike?  

There were some characters I couldn’t relate to: the rich ones with their expensive cars and the life that Polly’s friend lived. This story didn’t always feel very realistic to me, some parts stood out that were very real and hit me to the core, (this book is realistic and does have it’s serious moments) but at times I felt that the story was a little cheesy. Maybe because I’m not used to reading books like this. But: it’s no more cheesy than those British romantic films that we all love. And what’s wrong with a book having a lighter side and lifting you up!

 The end was very satisfying, you feel like you’ve gone on a journey with Polly. You feel that so much has happened and you  sailed through the book completely riveted. All the loose ends are tied up realistically. There’s just so much to this book than simply ‘chic-lit’ as people call it. It was charming and: I’m going to miss Polly and Neil! 


Reading a Book Series

Series I’ve started:

Poldark series by Winston Graham
Morganville Series by Rachel Caine
Sookie Sackhouse Series True Blood) By Charlaine Harris
A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) by George R.R. Martin
Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series by Laurel K. Hamilton

When I first started reading Anita Blake and Sookie Sackhouse books I picked up whatever book was in my local library at the time. This was years ago and the problem then was that I never read any of the books in order. So I had to start again. 

I bought the Sookie Sackhouse books when they were all £1 on sale but I’ve only read a few. I read the Anita Blake series and then stopped, I love the character though and the books are full of action. I recently started reading the Morganville series again and I’m on Ghost Town now

I stopped reading both Poldark and A Song of Ice and Fire one after the other as I didn’t wantreading the books to spoil the series. That’s fine for the Poldark series, I’ve been reading about one a year but A Song of Ice and Fire I can’t remember when I last read it and I may have forgotten what happened.

The problem with me reading a series

  • I forget what book I’m on (with the exception of Poldark because I’m reading it often)
  • I can never decide whether to read them one after another or take a break
  • I take too long to read the next book as I have so many books and then find out Anita Blake is on book 25 and I’m probably on 3 or 4
  • I have forgotten things that have happened, including how Anita and Richard met in the Anita Blake series
  • I will put it off  because I don’t fancy reading about vampires or a big fantasy book and then I realise it’s years later and as soon as I start reading them I’m hooked and want to read them all.
I don’t think I’ve ever finished a book series. A future book challenge maybe to read so many books in each series or finish one! 

Do you have a system when reading a series of books. Do you read one after the one or take a break? Or is this problem only for people like me who have no willpower and can’t stop finding and buy more books when I have so many already to read?


Review: Losing Lucy Vivien Hampshire

I reviewed this book sometime ago but it was before my blog was up and running. So I’m putting it on here now. Vivien Hampshire regularly has stories published in women’s magazines.

Losing Lucy By Vivien Hampshire

Losing Lucy by [Hampshire, Vivien]
It starts with baby Lucy being stolen from her pram in Lydia the childminder’s garden and follows the lives of her mother, Lydia the child minder, her father and also the person who kidnapped her. A very interesting story. I would have liked more about the kidnapper in the end and his wife but I did enjoy this and sure anybody will.

I don’t usually read books like this, I’m a horror or paranormal fan but despite that I enjoyed this book. At first I wasn’t sure (although it did remind me of the short fiction in women’s magazines) but then I was hooked after a few pages. I just didn’t want to stop reading.
The characters are so likeable and real. I felt a lot of sympathy for them and liked all of them for their different personalities.
This book was a delight to read, just a perfect story. I  didn’t want it to end.

Buy here:


Trip to the library

Lovely walk in this dry and mild weather. It’s starting to feel like spring now ☺ I haven’t been to the library for ages. I’ve been good trying to get through the books on my shelves. My work hours/overtime have been cut so why not.

These were my choices. I’ve been meaning to read ‘The Muse’ since it came out I read ‘The Minaturist’ first. And I never usually read books like Jenny Colgan’s so new genre for me and I loved the idea. It also sounds uplifting and I feel the need of something uplifting….

Thinking of trying crime next. Peter May has a series set on Lewis island. But I have to read ‘Little Beach Street Bakery’ first. It was recommended to me on one of the forums I visit: readitswapit.  Let you know what I think


I’ve been a fan of Elizabeth Kostova’s books for many years, and often reread ‘The Historian’. I stumbled upon her latest book ‘The Shadow Land’ whilst browsing through the titles on Netgalley (a site that allows you to read books for an honest review) not even aware of it’s existence. I was so excited to read this book. Here is my review of:

The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova (due to be published 11th April 2017)

Elizabeth Kostova never disappoints, in this her third novel she again weaves history effortlessly into the narrative and breathes the atmosphere of Bulgaria into her words.
I can’t do this novel justice really: this is simply another amazing book from Elizabeth Kostova, a captivating story, compelling characters and such atmosphere.
The story begins with a young woman who has travelled to Bulgaria; (in true Elizabeth Kostova style) we are drawn into all the sights and sounds of the country- immersed in it as though we are actually there. Alexandra mistakenly picks up someone else’s suitcase, it isn’t until she’s far away from its owners that she realises it contains human ashes. The story is about her trying to find the people who they belong to. We journey with her around the country finding out more about the man who was Stoyan Lazarov and more about Alexandra herself. Sometimes I wonder whose story this is Alexandra’s or Stoyan’s. Later in the novel we hear Stoyan’s story and that is the point where I was stunned into silence- no spoilers here.
This is proper story, not a fast paced thriller or who-dunnit but a story about people and a country and I have learnt so much about Bulgaria and it’s history from this story.
At some points throughout the story (although you are warned before you start reading) there are these little turns from Alexandra’s story, mesmerising roads which you will follow and be drawn into. And each one is telling you more about the characters and adds so much depth to the story. But despite these twists and turns this is one of those books which you will find hard to step away from until you’ve reached that final page.
Loved it.