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Thursday, 28 March 2019

#CallingMajorTom @davidmbarnett @TrapezeBooks

About Calling Major Tom 

Forty-something Thomas is very happy to be on his own, far away from other people and their problems. But beneath his grumpy exterior lies a story and a sadness that is familiar to us all. And he's about to encounter a family who will change his view of the world... for good.

My review of Calling Major Tom

I know I am very late to the Calling Major Tom party, but I am so glad that I read this book as it is utterly brilliant. It is a story gently told about all that is good about humanity and that no one deserves to be alone. It's a beautiful read.

Thomas Major lives alone and has shut himself away from the world. His gruff and brash exterior is a protective shell that he has perfected over the years, and which he thinks will protect him, even when alone in Space. But a phone call from an elderly woman back on Earth changes everything and what follows is a story full of love, honesty and humour.

This story explores human nature and that humans need other humans. We are social beings and no matter what life throws at us, we need to communicate and socialise with others. 

We have Major Tom all alone in Space and alone with his thoughts and beloved crosswords. He made me laugh and he made me cry. His deep rooted sadness clouded every aspect of his life, and it was so very easy to identify with him, the issues that he had faced in life. i warned to him instantly, he is a likeable character.

We then have the family back on Earth and their story of survival, of learning to cope with unexpected change and that kindness can express itself in many different ways. 

Calling Major Tom really is a wonderful treat of a book. It's a thoroughly enjoyable and engaging read that is good for the soul. I know that I shall read this book again and again. It has already become a firm favourite. 

Calling Major Tom is published by Trapeze. 

Friday, 22 March 2019

#TheRosieResult @GraemeSimsion @MichaelJBooks

About The Rosie Result 

The phone call signalling an escalation in the Hudson Adjustment Problem came at 10:18 a.m. on a Friday morning . . .'

Meet Don Tillman, the genetics professor with a scientific approach to everything. But he's facing a set of human dilemmas tougher than the trickiest of equations.

Right now he is in professional hot water after a lecture goes viral; his wife of 4,380 days, Rosie, is about to lose the research job she loves; and - the most serious problem of all - their eleven-year-old son, Hudson, is struggling at school. He's a smart kid, but socially awkward-not fitting in.

Fortunately, Don's had a lifetime's experience of not fitting in. And he's going to share the solutions with Hudson. He'll need the help of old friends and new, lock horns with the education system, and face some big questions about himself. As well as opening the world's best cocktail bar.

Big-hearted, hilarious and exuberantly life-affirming, The Rosie Result is a story of overcoming life's obstacles with a little love and a lot of overthinking. 

My review of The Rosie Result 

The Rosie Result is the third book in the Rosie Project trilogy and I absolutely loved it. It's a book that shouts it's okay to be different, questions what is normal anyway? while being a thoroughly enjoyable read. 

I read this book through as a parent who has an autistic child, so a lot of the behaviours and social interactions that Hudson presented with were refreshing, in that I found myself nodding and saying, yep, I totally get that.  Hudson is an incredibly intelligent eleven year old boy who is socially awkward with very few friends who struggles at  school. His journey was written with so  much understanding and humour, but, the humour is at the expense of others, mainly the teachers who do not 'get' this little boy and who are too quick to label him autistic. The book raises issues of labelling, of diagnosis and I loved this. There are no right or wrong answers.

The real joy for me  though is that this book is so strikingly honest AND funny. Don is naturally funny and a man I would love to meet in real life. The way that he and Rosie interact  is a pure joy to read, and I just loved the way that they cared for and empowered Hudson. It's a breath of fresh air.

The story revolves around Hudson with Don having to face his own demons from his past, making him question his parenting style and what really is best for his son. It's a learning curve for both of them.

I loved The Rosie Result and felt sad in having to say goodbye to Don Tillman. Such a joy to read and so obviously written with love. Highly recommended.

With thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the Advanced Reader Copy.

The Rosie Result is published by Penguin - Michael Joseph on 4th April.

Monday, 18 March 2019

#AmazingGrace @KimTheBookworm @HeraBooks

About Amazing Grace 

She’s taking her life back, one step at a time…

Grace thought she had it all. Living in the beautiful village of Little Ollington, along with head teacher husband Mark and gorgeous son, Archie, she devoted herself to being the perfect mum and the perfect wife, her little family giving her everything she ever wanted. 

Until that fateful day when she walked in on Mark kissing his secretary - and her perfect life fell apart.

Now she's a single mum to Archie, trying to find her way in life and keep things together for his sake. Saturday nights consist of a Chinese takeaway eaten in front of the TV clad in greying pyjamas, and she can’t remember the last time she had a kiss from anyone aside from her dog, Becks… 

Grace’s life needs a shake up – fast. So when gorgeous gardener Vinnie turns up on her doorstep, his twinkling eyes suggesting that he might be interested in more than just her conifers, she might just have found the answer to her prayers. But as Grace falls deeper for Vinnie, ten-year-old Archie fears that his mum finding love means she’ll never reconcile with the dad he loves. 

So when ex-husband Mark begs her for another chance, telling her he’s changed from the man that broke her heart, Grace finds herself with an impossible dilemma. Should she take back Mark and reunite the family that Archie loves? Or risk it all for a new chance of happiness? 

A funny, feel good romance about finding your own path and changing your life for the better – readers of Cathy Bramley, Jill Mansell and Josie Silver will love this uplifting read.

My review of Amazing Grace 

Amazing Grace is such a gorgeous book. I read it in a few short sittings and enjoyed every single page. In fact, I  didn't want to say goodbye to Grace and her amazing life. This book was such a feel good read that it couldn't help but smile and feel good about life.

The story revolves around Grace and how her life has changed since her divorce. As a single working mother, she is doing very well for herself, but something is missing from her life. She works, she has her gorgeous little boy, and she seems happy to sit at home and chill with a pizza and the telly, but her life could mean so much more and she is about to find out what that could be when Vinnie becomes part of her life.

This book is a romantic read, thanks to the introduction of Vinnie, who I couldn't help but fall in love with. But, this book is also about self love and the bond between mother and son. Grace has to learn to start her life again, gone is the husband and marital home, and although independent when in this relationship, her confidence and self esteem have been severely knocked, meaning that she has to rebuild her life, and we are with her every step of the way. 

What I particularly liked about this book was the dialogue and interaction between Grace and her young son, Archie. Written with warmth and understanding, their love for each other shine through every page.

Amazing Grace is a beautiful feel good read that is pure escapism. We all need to escape reality once in a while and this book ticks all the boxes. I loved it. 

With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the Advanced  Reader Copy.

Amazing Grace is published by Hera Books on 10th April.

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

#TheFlatshare @OLearyBeth @quercusbooks

About The FlatShare 

Tiffy and Leon share a flat
Tiffy and Leon share a bed
Tiffy and Leon have never met...

Tiffy Moore needs a cheap flat, and fast. Leon Twomey works nights and needs cash. Their friends think they're crazy, but it's the perfect solution: Leon occupies the one-bed flat while Tiffy's at work in the day, and she has the run of the place the rest of the time.

But with obsessive ex-boyfriends, demanding clients at work, wrongly imprisoned brothers and, of course, the fact that they still haven't met yet, they're about to discover that if you want the perfect home you need to throw the rulebook out the window...

My review of The Flatshare 

The Flatshare is a feel good book that put a huge smile on my face. I adored this book and was so very sad when I had to say goodbye to Leon and Tiffy. It's one of those books that instantly draws you in and which makes you think that you have known the characters all of your life. It is simply beautiful.

I loved the concept of this book, that of sharing a flat, and a bed, with someone you had never met.  I wondered how this would work, but once I started to read their arrangement made perfect sense and the basis for a most unforgettable, heartwarming, funny and enjoyable story.

We have Tiffy, a young and hugely likable woman who is fleeing from a break up and who is struggling to find  affordable housing. On the other side of the story we have Leon who is a nurse, works nights and who needs extra money, the reason of which we learn later on in the book.

It's such a beautifully written book with so much heart and empathy. The characters are witty, engaging and believable. I couldn't put this book down. It's being compared to Me Before You and I can completely understand why. There is such an honest and raw quality to the writing that is uplifting and which reflects modern day life. I loved every page. 

With thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the Advanced Reader Copy.

The Flatshare is published on 
18th April by Quercus. 

Monday, 11 March 2019

#TheIsland @ragnarjo @MichaelJBooks

About The Island

Four friends visit the island.

But only three return . . .

Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsdóttir is sent to the isolated island of Elliðaey to investigate and soon finds haunting similarities with a previous case - a young woman found murdered ten years ago in the equally desolate Westfjords.

Is there a patient killer stalking these barren outposts?

As Hulda navigates a sinister game constructed of smoke and mirrors she is convinced that no one is telling the truth, including those closest to her.

But who will crack first? And what secrets is the island hiding?

Haunting, suspenseful and as chilling as an Icelandic winter The Island follows one woman's journey to find the truth hidden in the darkest shadows, and shine a light on her own dark past.

My review of The Island

The Island is an absolute dark treat of a book. It's melancholy, tragic and thoroughly all consuming. Once I started to read I couldn't stop as I had been drawn into the remote world of Westfjords and Elliðaey. 

This book is the second instalment in the Hidden Iceland series that is told in reverse order. The happenings in The Island take place ten years before the first book in the series, The Darkness, that I adored and whose ending completely took my breath away. This was why I couldn't wait to get started on The Island and I loved this book just as much.

Once again we meet the tragic heroine, Hulda Hermannsdóttir as she investigates the  death of a young woman on the island or Elliðaey. She had gone there with three friends but something happened to her.  Hulda wants to get to the truth of what happened and in doing so finds herself investigating a ten year old murder case.

The Island is such a compelling and unsettling read. We have the central character of Hulda who is equally fascinating and inspiring as a woman working and succeeding in very much a nan's world. I have the utmost respect for her. She is the glue that holds this story together and we care because she does. We then have the four friends whose own individual stories span back in time over ten years, and of which Hulda has to gently and expertly unpick.

The Island is a story of family loyalties, of friendship and of unearthing the truth at all costs. I can't wait to read the next book in this enthralling series.

With thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the Advanced Reader Copy.

Published by Michael Joseph on the 4th April

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

#Disturbance @MarianneKav @HodderBooks

About Disturbance

You don't know what's going on in Sara's house... Or in her head.

Sara is lonely. No one talks to her - not even her bad-tempered workaholic husband or her two beloved sons. Her solace is her house, the biggest in the village, hidden away behind high hedges.

Then she strikes up a friendship with Katie, a college student living nearby, and a new world opens up. Her neighbours have been dying to get to know her, and they rush to help when Sara is devastated by a terrible accident.

But nothing is quite what it seems. And when new betrayals and shocking revelations disturb her peace, Sara realises she has no choice: she must act to protect the safety of those she loves.

My review of Disturbance 

Disturbance is a captivating read that I found extremely hard to put down. It's a book that simmers with secrets, uncertainty and a malevolence that is both disturbing and intriguing. From the very first page I had this unsettling feeling that something wasn't quite right, and this feeling blossomed into  a wonderful and twisted read. 

This is a story about family, and how that famiky is perceived by others. We never really know what goes on behind closed  doors and every family has its secrets, just as do Mike and Sara. It's also a story about the relationship between husband and wife, the role of the mother as perceived by society and a tale of love and obsession. 

This is a story with so many layers and it was such a joy to watch them slowly unfurl. As I read, I never knew who I could trust, nor who was telling the truth and this just added to my intrigue and feeling of unease. This is Sara's story, but can we believe what she tells us? Are all, this is only her version of events and every story has two sides. We then have Katie, the young neighbour and student who befriends Sara. She walks the dogs in the village and it is because of this that Sara slowly begins to interact with her community, to become part of it. Even though  Sara is mum to two teenage sons,  she has  kept herself very much  hicden, working and caring for her husband. Her life has been very much behind closed doors. 

This is a deliciously dark story that I thoroughly enjoyed. It really is a joyous read about the darker side of family life with a 'take my breath away' ending. 

With thanks to the publisher and Bookbridgr for the Advanced Reader Copy.

Disturbance Is published by 
Hodder and Stoughton on 21st March .

Monday, 4 March 2019

#Sleep @callytaylor @AvonBooksUK

About Sleep 

All Anna wants is to be able to sleep. But crushing insomnia, terrifying night terrors and memories of that terrible night are making it impossible. If only she didn’t feel so guilty…

To escape her past, Anna takes a job at a hotel on the remote Scottish island of Rum, but when seven guests join her, what started as a retreat from the world turns into a deadly nightmare.

Each of the guests have a secret, but one of them is lying – about who they are and why they're on the island. There's a murderer staying in the Bay View hotel. And they've set their sights on Anna.

Seven strangers. Seven secrets. One deadly lie.

Someone’s going to sleep and never wake up…

The million-copy bestseller is back in her darkest, twistiest book to date. Read it if you dare!

My review of Sleep

A new C L Taylor book is always a real treat as I just know that I am in for a fabulous read. I couldn't wait to dive on in to Sleep and it didn't disappoint. Once I began I could not put this book down. It's a psychological thriller and 'who done it?' all rolled into one with a thoroughly engaging and intriguing central charachar. 

The tag line of -  'Seven strangers. Seven secrets. One deadly lie.' was too much to resist and I found myself fully immersed in this story full of secrets, and what would happen to Anna. I liked her immensely, from the moment I met her. 

This novel has a beautiful haunting and atmospheric feel to it, partly because of its setting in remote Rum. The text simmers with unease and that feeling that something really bad is going to happen. 

Ultimately, this book is a riveting psychological thriller with many twists and turns along the way . It's a real page turner that kept me gripped, long after I should have gone to bed. 

Sleep is a highly addictive read that I devoured in several chunks. It's a mystery, it's a tale about a young woman coping with a major life event and it is full of secrets. The ending took my breath away. It's fast, twisty and thoroughly enjoyable. It made me cry and gasp out loud and chilled me to the bone. 

With thanks for the publisher and NetGalley for the Advanced Reader Copy.

Sleep is published by Avon on April 4th.