Posted in Book Reviews

Hunting Angels Box Set Review: Conrad Jones

I bring you another book review that I am very excited to be reviewing! Today I will be reviewing my first ever box set! Yes, that’s right, you heard me!

I will be talking about two books in a box set: Dark Angel & A Child For The Devil. If you like supernatural reads, then this is one for you!

Less than a paragraph in, I can already find myself relating to the main character in the sense of a drunken night out which I have later regretted after the hang over it caused me but which I would still induce to have a good time.

The first person that the character in the prologue meets seems dodgy. There is something about her that straight away you get the sense that something doesn’t quite add up. Bearing in mind what the covers (above) look like, your mind begins to whirl with many different possibilities as to who she could be & what her intentions are. None of them good.

And this is correct. The author tells a story that is easy to follow but without giving too much away until you develop further into the story.

One thing I love right from the start is that the box set contains facts about disappearances that make you think about the world. You can tell that Conrad researched the area well before writing the series.

The story falls together easily & gives a real, honest insight into the way an author feels when writing a book even though it is fiction.

Through the box set, we see the sad reality that is true in the modern word: people often get judged on their looks rather than their abilities & personalities. Something I believe we need to work on changing.

Another sad reality that is present is the sad image of what was considered a mental health hospital in the past. I’m glad so much has changed in the treatment of mental health but we still have so much change to go!

I relate to the main character in the sense that I also can’t tolerate bullshit. I know when someone is lying & won’t stand for it. I once told a teacher in high school to piss off after she falsly accused me of lying then when I proved I wasn’t, she was rude to me. She never made that mistake again! However, my high school disobedience is a different story.

The story highlights how easy it would be to pin a crime on someone who didn’t do it simply based on their looks.

The scariest bit about this box set is that all the facts add up. As I am reading, I have been checking a few of the facts on the internet & they are correct. It makes you question how much fiction is actually in this book which sends a shiver down my spine.

In a way, I begin to worry as if I will now be hunted down after reading this (half jokingly.)

Even the possibility that the goth music & culture influences young people are something which is claimed by many people in this day & age, whether to believe them is another story.

This was quite a scary box set to read as so much indicated to the truth, however, it was really interesting & easy to follow.

4 out of 5 stars

Posted in Book Reviews

Promised Lies Review: Marguerite Ashton

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As soon as I looked at the cover for ‘promised lies’ I was drawn in & knew it was a book I wanted to read. There is so much going on in the picture that I want to know the story. I love stories (if you haven’t already guessed from all the book reviews!)

Right from the beginning, there is a strong lead for the start of the novel which entices me in & makes me want to read more. The first chapter starts with a bang of an opener with a murder. Starting with such a strong scene makes me want to continue reading.

Less than 4 chapters in, the fact that I’d hate to be a forensic person or someone who has to work with bodies when a murder occurs or someone dies. I know they will be well-paid jobs, but I feel something like that would completely traumatise me! I also don’t think being a police officer would be the job for me so I highly commend people that do that as a career! However, I do enjoy reading this genre of book (or else I wouldn’t be doing this review now would I?)

In chapter 4, we are introduced to a new character called Ursula & I am instantly picturing Ursula out the Little Mermaid despite never actually watching that film as a child (YES I didn’t just say that to make your mouth drop to the floor, its true!)

From the way in which this character is described, I am reminded even more of the Little Mermaid with wording like “Ursula’s hair, leeched of all vitality, appeared dry and lifelessly waved wildly in all directions.” This makes me think directly of Ursula out the Little Mermaid who has Octopus legs & who’s hair sprays out in multiple directions.

I don’t know if this was intentional but now that image will stick in my mind, not that it’s a bad thing though. It gives me something to connect with from my memory in a surprising book moment I wouldn’t find myself connecting with.

The way in which Ursula is treated like a child even though she is 24, so legally an adult reminds me of my childhood. As a child, I wasn’t allowed to join in most conversations with my Dad or grandparents since I was told I was too young. It seems kind of sad & strange that this adult is getting treated in the same way by her elders, especially when she should be considered an adult. Perhaps it’s because these people weren’t her parents but instead her aunt & uncle so she maybe wasn’t very close with them.

I love how the story progresses a little bit at a time just giving you enough so you can’t predict the future too far in advance. I imagine this is how the evidence would be gathered by real police officers.

The book has many aspects which make it realistic sounding & like it is being conducted in the same way in which a real crime would be conducted.

‘Promised Lies’ didn’t end in the way I was expecting it to end & left some questions I had still unanswered by the end of the book. However, it was gripping & held my attention from the start!

Buy here: Amazon UK ~ Amazon US

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4 out of 5 stars

Posted in Book Reviews

The Silence Review: Katharine Johnson

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I know I have been away from my blog for a while, but I am back with a new review!

From the beginning, this book gives me a strong sense of what Abby & her friend are like as people. The author includes just enough description to get a true sense & understanding of the character’s personalities without giving too much away.

The book can be seen as surprisingly accurate to the world today even from the time it was written. A terrorist attack in London & Brexit are claimed to be the latest newspaper news & there was another attack recently unfortunately & Brexit is still being discussed. It’s upsetting how we can still relate this to what is going on today!

I think the fact I’ve been surrounded with popular slang for so long is growing on me. I saw the word “dabbing” & thought it meant the slang of dabbing! I blame Emma Blackery for that!!

The story is pretty easy to follow with newspaper articles written in italics & flashbacks being clearly dated by when they happened. I love how right from the start, we get an era of mystery & don’t know what is going to happen in later chapters. We are drawn in by the fact that something had clearly happened to Philippa but we don’t know what so will have to keep reading to find this out.

I love the way in which many themes are contributed into ‘The Silence’ which keeps the story fresh & interesting & makes the reader want to continue reading. I also really like the old fashioned theme going on here in the way in which the villa is described & the talk of things such as walkmans. It reminds me of my childhood & makes me feel slightly nostalgic.

When some books begin to switch between the past & present in their story, it can get really messy. However, in ‘the silence’ it seems completely natural & isn’t too difficult to follow.

The sense of Abby keeping secrets from her husband really strikes a bell in life. It highlights the fact that, one small action or person could come along & change the whole situation & threaten everything the secret keeper has known. It just goes to show, keeping secrets is risky & never a good idea.

I find myself connecting with Philippa’s dad in the sense that writing is difficult. A dream of mine is to actually write my own book but every idea I have had so far, I have started then exhausted the idea & given up on it. I have finally pieced together chapter titles for a self-help book I want to write aimed at teenagers but yet again not completely sure if it will span out an actual book!

I have written many stories which I have then scrapped in my desire to write my own fiction book & have therefore come to the decision that I would be better off starting with a book filled with short stories with my ideas. As a result of knowing how difficult it is, I relate to Philippa’s dad.

When reading this book, I can actually begin to imagine what the characters would sound like & even have images inside my head of who would play them. I feel this shows that the story is conveyed in an effective way because I can identify with the characters & gives me a strong visual imagine. It is written so effortlessly that anyone reading it can begin to imagine if this was to play out in a real life situation.

As the plot thickens, suspicions draw into my mind about who the second skeleton was. In my mind, I come to the possibility of three different people it could be. I feel this makes for a strong story as it allows me to come to my own ideas about what could happen while not knowing anything. Nothing is given away, the suspense is kept up, therefore, I am intrigued to read more to find out if my hunches are actually true.

The ending was completely sudden & unexpected, however, it was timed & planned perfectly. Something happens right at the end of the book that would spoil the book if I was to tell you, but what I can say is that it is a game changer. All along, there were new questions which presented themselves the more I read.

The way ‘the silence’ ends is well thought out. By this point in the book, a lot of questions had been answered. However, there were a few left unanswered. The ending speculates into something without giving you a solid fact & its timed so well that it could effectively lead onto another book if the author decided to write one.

You can purchase the book here: Amazon UK ~ Amazon US

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5-stars

Posted in Book Reviews

Vengeance Review: Roger A. Price

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Right from the start, the characters and surroundings are described with the perfect amount of detail in order to get a basis of what the book will be about and what each character’s personality is like.

Also right from the start, there is a heavy atmosphere of action taking place which entices the reader in to the point they want to read more. I love the fact that we get to see the story from the different characters perspectives in the sense they tell the same part of the story from more than one perspective. It gives us a better insight into the story as a whole rather than just one side of it.

I like the way in which each chapter is quite short as it means that if you don’t have a lot of time to read before you will get busy in life, you can read a chapter, or a few chapters without having to try find an appropriate place to stop in the middle of a chapter. I often read books on the bus when I am heading into university so the short chapters are perfect for that moment I need to get off the bus but don’t want to stop in the middle of a chapter.

There are certain moments where I don’t know which character is actually speaking but apart from this, most of the novel is easy to follow and not too difficult to understand which is good as I tend to gear away from books that seem difficult for me to understand unless I am forced to read them like when I was studying confusing books for English in high school.

I love how the book creates constant twists in Christine’s story line in the sense you don’t know what is going to happen before it happens. The whole way along, even when the cops are searching for Christine, there are constant twists so you don’t expect the plot to turn out the way it does.

Vengeance is a classic criminal story with many twists to keep you guessing right until the end. I found it full of action constantly which engrossed me in until the very end.

You can buy the book here: UK ~ US ~ Canada ~ Australia

You can win a paperback copy of Nemises or Vengeance here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the author:

‘My name is Roger A. Price a crime fighter turned crime writer. I used to right the wrongs but now I write the wrongs. Ok, enough with the puns, but I do love language and playing with it, I guess all writers do.

I spent over thirty years in the police retiring as a detective inspector in charge of a covert undercover drugs unit which achieved national acclaim. I served on various units and squads and saw service across the UK, Europe and beyond. I can’t write about those events but I can base my crime fiction writing from my many experiences of them. Some of which were good, some not so good.

My first two novels are in the ‘Burrows and Lee’ series; ‘By Their Rules’ and ‘A New Menace’ and chart the adventures of Jane Lee and John Burrows in their work for the secretive ‘Special Projects Unit’ where they take on the bad guys with no rules of engagement.

‘NEMESIS’ is the first in the new ‘Badge and the Pen’ series which follows the fortunes of detective inspector Vinnie Palmer who finds an unlikely ally in TV news reporter Christine Jones, as they chase common threats but from very different agendas. This book was an Amazon Bestseller for a while in Canada and Australia and has received rave reviews in the UK.

‘VENNGEANCE’ is the second outing for Vinnie and Christine in the ‘Badge and the Pen’ series where they both face the most unlikely of threats, as they race to save lives.’

You can follow me on social media here: Twitter ~ Instagram ~ Facebook ~ Google Plus
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Posted in Book Reviews

Walking Wounded Review: Anna Franklin Osborne

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First things first: before even beginning to read this book, I am already loving the fact that there is a section included which is titled “about this book” to give an insight into what the book is about. I also love the fact that the bit about the author is also right as the start as too often, I read books where the about the author section is either only added right at the end or not even added at all!

I am also a fan of books that deal with historic events, mostly the first and Second World War so the fact that the characters lived during/between the first and second world war begins to entice me into the book already.

Beginning part one, I love the fact that the date, time and country is recorded so that the reader can keep up with where and at what time everything is happening.

When Alexandra Palace is mentioned I think back to my childhood seeing as this was a place I loved to visit with my immediate family where I have many happy memories. I love the fact that not long in I am already finding ways to relate.

Already into the first part and there’s a twist with character Edie which I wasn’t expecting. I love the fact that there are fresh twists right from the beginning to keep the reader interested.

I love the fact that a lot of the places mentioned in the book are places I have either been to which I have good memories from or places that I know that weren’t far from me when growing up. First it was Alexandra Palace of which I have good childhood memories followed by Muswell Hill which I have only been to in passing in a car but is the place my Dad lived with my mum before I was born. I feel that this gives extra context and an extra was for me to relate to the characters and the story because I know these areas. More often than not, I read American books where I can’t identify with any of the places or other UK books where its places I haven’t been to. Don’t get me wrong, these books can be interesting but I feel this book adds that extra way to relate.

I found that the book flowed really easily and it wasn’t too difficult to understand what was happening. I also like the fact that the book switches between different people’s perspectives to tell the story.

I have also been to Southend and love the fact that many of the locations mentioned are places I have been or passed and places I have happy memories. It makes the story much more relate able.

I feel that the book is completely realistic in every sense of the word. In part two when it says that the boys going off to war should be back by Christmas, I recognised this as something that actually happened during the war (although I don’t know quite which war!.) I remember during one of the actual wars, the soldiers were promised to be home by Christmas but in actual fact they were away a lot longer.

I find that I can relate to almost every character in a way for example the way in which Stanley is an artist as I also enjoy drawing and painting. I like the fact we are introduced to the characters slowly but not all at once giving us time to grow with the characters and begin to understand and love them.

Overall, reading this book has made the cruel reality sink in of how bad the war really was. The book is extremely thought provoking and makes you think. It makes you realise that in this day and age, so much is taken for granted and we should be grateful for what we have.

It also opened my eyes to how bad evacuation really was. Before reading Walking Wounded, I had no idea how disrespectful people would be when taking in the evacuees. I didn’t realise how hateful some of them were and the severity of splitting families apart.

I love the fact that the family show an atmosphere of solidarity and even intake people into their homes to help in any way they can. The book seriously made me think about the world we live in and how lucky I am to have the things I have. Gripping read from start to end that filled me with various emotions over what the characters were going through. A highly recommended read and one that will make you think!

You can buy the book here: Walking Wounded Amazon

You can also win a signed copy of the book here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author:

I have always worked in health care, and more recently in education, and like so many other parents, hit a tiny crisis a few years ago when I felt that my purpose in life had narrowed to not an awful lot more than dashing between my two jobs and being a mummy taxi.

I managed to find time to begin singing with a choir, and that helped me feel that I might have a more creative side to myself. One evening, my husband was out and, quite suddenly, I decided to Start Writing. I immediately hit the first obstacles of terrible handwriting and a broken laptop, so my writing career began that night in bed, typing into the note section of my smart phone, with no clear idea of what I wanted to say but resulting in a severe case of RSI and several short stories over the next few nights.

My husband was delighted that I had suddenly found this passion and kept encouraging me to write a novel, which I really felt I did NOT have in me. Later that summer, however, we were walking along a D-Day beach for no other grander reason than our ferry home from France being late, and I began telling our kids about my three great-uncles who were part of that day, and my grandmother who sewed parachutes for the paratroopers jumping over Normandy. Neil looked at me and smiled and said, ‘you do actually have a story there, you know….’

5-stars

Posted in Book Reviews

Love Them & Leave Them Review: Sue Shepherd

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Disclaimer: I received a free ebook copy of this book in exchange for a review but my review is my complete honest opinion!

Only a few pages in and I am already horrified when the first character we are introduced to, Ed is threatening to hit a rabbit since I don’t like animal cruelty but giving the basis of the story this isn’t reason to turn around as this isn’t what its about. I am struggling at first to see what significance this brings to the story. It isn’t until I progress through the book that I discover what the purpose of this moment actually was since it displays like a kind of highlighter to what will happen later on in the book.

When the book reverts to the present day to start to show Jessie’s side of the story, I can already find reason to relate with Jessie in the sense that I also find myself getting lost in music. I find myself having an emotional connection with music and certain songs do reduce me to tears like what is happening to Jessie here.

I immediately find myself sympathising with Jessie in relation to her loosing someone she was close to. Even though I have never been through something like this myself, I understand how painful it must be. I’ve just recently been reading Fire in Frost by Alicia Rades whom which the main character has lost her father in a car accident but she had a dream about it happening before it did. In this sense I can relate the two books but only loosely.

I can also find myself relating to Tom in some senses in the fact that I am good with computers and I am always the person my gran will ask if she has any issues with her computer.

I felt emotional when life changes drastically for Jessie when she looses the person previously mentioned as I can relate to these feelings. I lost a close family member when I was a child due to cancer and we were supposed to visit him a couple of days after he died but ended up going to his funeral instead so I didn’t even get to say bye.

One negative thing I would say about the book is its difficult to tell the change between Jessie’s life with Chris and next her life with Nick and there isn’t much that tells the difference between when this changes. So it is quite difficult to understand what timing this is happening at.

It feels that the book keeps switching between alternate realities which makes it difficult to keep up with what is happening as it is happening. Until chapter four I thought that Jessica had first met Coco at her job as a waitress but then in chapter four it shows her being introduced to her in a different job as a law official so I am confused.

The further I read, the more confused I become. In an earlier chapter I thought Coco was the one who told the police she was with her partner on a night he was accused of robbery but then in chapter five its shown that Chris, Jessie’s partner is the one with Daniels as a surname. I really struggled to understand the change in lives and it did take me a long while to adjust to this.

In chapter six it shows Jessie going by her full name “Jessica” which now gives me the clear indication that Nick is in fact a partner she was with before meeting Coco since I remember her saying Coco gave her the nickname Jessie. I feel if this would of been presented earlier on then it would of been clear from the start that this was the case.

I admire the way in which Jessie refused to be scared of what Chris would say and told the police the truth about where she was the night that he got pulled up for by the police. It shows that women can be something on their own without being controlled by men.

I feel for Jessie in the sense that she seems to have bad luck at relationships first with Nick not wanting to commit then secondly with Chris who doesn’t treat her in the way she deserves.

In chapter twenty five I find myself thinking of Count Olaf from A Series of Unfortunate Events when it describes how dirty/messy Garry’s house was. I find myself respecting Nick for not backing down and continuing to stick up for the girls.

I wasn’t expecting the unexpected twist when it turns out Nick knew Chris but by a different name. I also wasn’t expecting at what scale people would find out about Jessie’s affair in what I’d describe as the parallel universe. I like the fact there are plot twists in order to keep the story fresh and give the reader a sense of not knowing what is to come.

When Tracy secures Jessie a job in a receptionist and starts to think that its strange how things work out, I can feel myself relating to this well. When I was in my last year of school I wanted nothing more than to become a nursery teacher. One teacher demanded I didn’t apply for childcare while another told me she didn’t think I was suited to it but it was my choice.

I originally was offered a place on a childcare course but then they withdrew it because of the teacher who demanded I didn’t apply who gave me an awful reference despite never seeing me work around children. At the time I was devastated and cried for at least half an hour when I found out but now I could never dream of being a nursery teacher. I chose to study media instead which I now absolutely love. So it just goes to show that often, things do happen for a reason and its best to get up and continue fighting.

Overall I felt the book was difficult to understand what was happening and hard to keep track of what seemed like alternate realities but there was a good story line and I liked the ending in the sense that it ended happy again. I also struggle to see where the comedy moments are which are suggested on the cover but felt there was a gripping story even if it took a while to adjust to the different worlds/lives of Jessie.

For the chance to win an ebook of Love Them & Leave Them, click here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author:

Sue Shepherd writes contemporary romance and enjoys creating novels with heart, laughs and naughtiness. She doesn’t pull any punches when choosing her subjects, but manages to handle her characters’ challenging situations with sensitivity and humour. Her debut novel, Doesn’t Everyone Have a Secret? was published by Corazon Books in March 2015. It reached the top 10 UK Kindle chart, and also topped the romantic comedy, contemporary romance and humour charts. It became available in paperback on Amazon in November 2015.

Sue’s second novel, Love Them and Leave Them, was published in September 2016.

Sue lives on the picturesque Isle of Wight with her husband, two sons and a standard poodle. Her passions in life are: her family, writing, the sea-side and all the beautiful purple things her sons have bought her over the years. Ask Sue to plan too far in advance and you’ll give her the heebie-jeebies.

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Posted in Book Reviews

The Survival Pact Review: Christy Sloat

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Disclaimer: I received a free ebook copy of this book in exchange for beta reading the book and also posting a review but my review is my complete honest opinion! There are also a few spoilers dotted here and there.

First things first, I really liked the way in which each acknowledgement was put onto a separate line in order to make each persons acknowledgement stand out as well as being part of the main section.

I also love the fact that at the start of each part there is a survival tip as I feel it adds personality and comedy to the characters right from the start which makes them more believable.

Before we get too far into this review I will say this: This is a book which has made me not only laugh but also cry. So, make sure you have a pack of tissues to hand just in case cause I certainly didn’t! I seriously wasn’t expecting the book to have such a big effect on me bearing in mind this is also the first book I have fully read cover to cover out of Christy’s books but I will definitely be buying some more when 1) I get paid and 2) I finally manage to get my to be read list down a little. I am one of those people that will add ten books to my reading list for every one book I read!

This is a book that answers all my questions just as I’ve thought of them. For example, in the book it said “This was a welcome difference for all three young women” at the end of the first paragraph of the prologue. This got me thinking, wondering what exactly was the difference from what they were used to. Not long after I thought of this question, it was answered!

Right from the start I am able to relate to the characters. Like Kami whose point of view it started off with is relatable for me. When she speaks of how she doesn’t like her job and only signed with a newspaper because she needed the money and agents turned her down I can relate to this. I am a media student myself and from what I have learned about the journalism sector and from what I’ve been told by people who work in the sector such as an old college lecturer I am now friends with, it sounds like a career I would absolutely hate/dread to work in. I myself prefer fiction and haven’t had a good enough idea to try and write a book but have written short fanfictions and a few short stories.

Like Kami, I hate confrontation. I find it effective that I can relate to her easily as I feel that if the characters are easy to relate to then it makes for a good read and many people can find ways to relate to them. One thing we like to do is compare our lives to characters in books when our lives seem dull so I love the fact I can relate to her.

When the book talks about Ida having cancer, I can find I can relate to this myself. I haven’t had cancer myself before but I have had a close family relative who died from cancer as well as a relative I never got to meet who also died from cancer. Upon the first description of Ida she also reminds me of my own gran, my gran says and does what she likes and says a lot of nasty stuff to her family which she never apologizes for because she thinks she’s right and it’s her way or no way. Although Ida seems nicer towards friends and family than my gran is, just the way my gran is like despite me loving her.

I love the fact that this book continues chapter by chapter. Books which stop after one chapter and then convey a new angle or talk from a different characters perspective and change like this every single chapter actually annoy me. The only book series that talks from a different perspective from chapter to chapter that doesn’t come across in an annoying way is the mortal instruments series. I tend to prefer stories which run to where they are supposed to go rather than having constant jump cuts.

I actually started crying when I read Kami’s goodbye with Ida and how she told her that her parents were never interested in how she was and I feel like that with my Dad and Dad’s parents as they are more focussed about how I’m doing at University, etc most the time or having a go at me for something. My Dad’s parents most of all, my Dad only asks how I am sometimes. I also got a lump in my throat when Kami helped Ida and feel like I know these characters.

Another thing I love throughout this story is the fact that it throws surprises that the reader doesn’t expect which keeps me hooked throughout the story. I knew that George was up to no good but wasn’t expecting to find out his intentions which were even worse than I thought. I also didn’t expect Emma to be the first one caught out considering her background in the military but I guess maybe that was intended to trick the reader? It certainly was clever, if intended or not! I also cried when Kami told Lou the truth about her helping Ida. I’m at the point I feel I’ve known these characters for a lifetime and this breaks my heart.

Even though it was upsetting and soul destroying when Kami revealed the truth to Lou, I like how it’s very realistic as everyone makes mistakes and a lot of people have regrets in life, I know I have a fair few that wear me down from time to time.

Overall, I honestly felt speechless when I had finished the book and felt like I didn’t know how to go on. Throughout reading the book, I felt so many different emotions. Before reading this book I had watched and read countless different stories about zombies and the undead but none of them compare. None of them have made me feel the vast variety of emotions I have felt throughout reading this book. This book was an amazing experience from start to end and I honestly feel that there are very few books that have made me feel this many emotions and affected me so deeply. This would be right up there with Harry Potter in the sense of the emotional connection I had while reading it and I would love to read more if this was ever extended into a series!

You can buy the book here: The Survival Pact Amazon

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Posted in Book Reviews

Isolation Junction Review

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Disclaimer: I received a free ebook copy of this book in exchange for a review but my review is my complete honest opinion

Before reading, I thought this book was an interesting concept as I had never previously read any books on this topic even though I know it has been spoken about before in books. I believe this gave me a fresh way of looking at the book as it meant I wasn’t coming in with already thought up comparisons to other books!

I have to admit, I wasn’t really feeling the book in chapter one but I am glad I continued as it began to pick up in chapter two onward and began to capture my attention there on in.

Rose is a mother of two who is in an abusive relationship. She runs an online business from home and is desperately trying to find a way to escape with her children.

From the start of the book I can say that Jennifer is very good at describing what the characters are like and their background although it is kind of difficult to understand the change in locations. The first moment where I have found myself able to relate to Rose is the fact that I love tea almost as much as her! I feel that in order for a story to be good, the characters need to be relate able so this set the book up in good stead. Like Rose, I also know what it feels like to put a smile on your face when you don’t feel like smiling and pretending everything is okay.

From the beginning, Rose is a character I feel bad for and want to help if I could. I admire the fact that even though her relationship is falling apart and even though she isn’t happy she is still doing everything she can to ensure her children grow up happy and loved. When I was a young child, my mother was diagnosed with series mental health issues and ended up in and out of hospital. I ended up not seeing her very often and then when I got older, contact stopped and I felt like she had given up on me. Even today, family members on her side of the family tell me that she loves me, but I haven’t seen her in years and she was unable to look after me when she was unwell. So reading about Rose doing everything she can for her children even when her relationship isn’t going well strikes a chord with me emotionally.

I feel sympathetic for Rose when it turns out that Darren is cheating on her and feel that is probably why he has came across as insecure from the start and thinking that she was cheating on her. Yet again I can relate to her in the sense that she feels like a failure and blames herself for the way things had turned out. I have never had a similar experience to Rose so don’t know what its really like but whenever people I care about treat me badly, I often blame myself for it. I remember in high school I had a difficult time with someone I cared about and then because I had started the arguments, I blamed myself. I began to let them be mean and not stand up for myself as I thought I deserved it because I had started the disagreement. It wasn’t till years later that I realized that we were both to blame for what happened between us.

I like the fact that there are constant flash backs throughout the chapters in order to refer to what life was like for Rose while she was pregnant as it adds extra context to the story and gives further insight into how abusive Darren actually was towards her.

This book has made me think about what life must be like for a struggling couple with children. When I was a young child and my parents split up, my Dad went through court battles to gain custody of me seeing as my mum was too unwell to look after me at the time. I never really thought about what things must have been like on my parents side of it all until now. I feel that Isolation Junction challenges the readers thoughts on the situation and makes me think about the other aspect of a failing relationship other than what the child sees, which is the only aspect I have experienced. The book sends a powerful message to readers and provides an insight on abusive relationships which may even help those that may be in that situation.

As soon as I read the lyrics of the song in which Rose heard in chapter twelve when she turned on the radio, I knew exactly which song this was. I feel that a book that can relate to the audience and make the reader think is a powerful book which will strike thought and discussion. Like Rose, I find meaning and relation to music. Music has helped me through some of my toughest times and just when I was at my lowest mentally and thought I had no one to help me get better, it was music that got me through it all.

This book was compelling and powerful to read and I would recommend it to anyone whom wants a read that will challenge their mindset and what they think/know about abusive relationships.

You can buy the book here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Isolation-Junction-Breaking-isolation-emotional-ebook/dp/B01LX4HLT0/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1486381225&sr=8-2&keywords=isolation+junction

About the author:

Local mother and business owner, Jennifer Gilmour, has spent the past eighteen months writing her first novel with the aim of not only raising awareness of this insidious behaviour which brings hidden misery to so many but of bringing about changes at a national level.  A ‘survivor’ herself, Jennifer is well aware that changes to national policies and working practices are needed so that situations in which women (and men) present in emotionally abusive situations are recognised and dealt with appropriately and with compassion. Jennifer believes that particular training needs to be focused on recognising the perpetrators of this behaviour, as often they are very persuasive people who are  able to manipulate the services themselves.

Jennifer’s Huffington Post article went into more depth about life after domestic abuse and living with the unseen ‘bruises’. She states that, “This is why it is important that not only are the agencies well equipped to recognise abuse and coercive control but that there is support to protect those at risk as well.  I was lucky to be supported by Hull DAP, which takes on medium risk cases as well as high risk cases. In many parts of the UK. This is not the case.”

Website: www.isolationjunction.com

Kickstarter campaign which is live right now: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/690571062/isolation-junction

Facebook: www.facebook.com/isolationjunctionbook

Twitter: www.twitter.com/JenLGilmour

Huffington Post Blogger Profile: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/author/jennifer-gilmour

3-out-of-5-stars-1

Posted in Book Reviews, Uncategorized

The Haunting of Sunshine Girl – Book Review

A standout book I have read this year which has enticed me in from the beginning is: The Haunting of Sunshine Girl. The book is based on the YouTube Channel: The Haunting of Sunshine Girl Network.

I feel that it is a great example of one type of media adapting into a book. If you never knew about the YouTube channel to begin with then you probably wouldn’t notice the different.

I originally won the book in a competition but just got around to reading the book recently. Everything begins with Sunshine turning 16 then moving to a new house where she instantly starts to feel a sudden creepiness that lingers everywhere she goes.

The book explores into the long process it takes before Sunshine realises who she is and that she is a luiseach – in charge of helping spirits to move on after death.

Sunshine begins to document the paranormal on video and tries to prove to her mother that ghosts are real. She then meets Anna, the ghost who is haunting her house and learns about the tragic fate that Anna met. Sunshine is being tested by her mentor in which she has to overcome before she meets her mentor. If she does not overcome the challenge then she could loose all those whom she cares about and then possibly even forget about their existence in the first place.

The adaptation from YouTube to novel was actual fantastic. Right from the start of the book you get easily drawn in and begin to associate with the characters. Although the book is written for a young audience, Paige tells the story in a way that can appeal to even people older than the intended readership.

I like the way in which you can easily relate to Sunshine through the fact that she is the typical unpopular girl at school with only one good friend. Then when she moves miles away from home, she becomes friends with yet again one person who truly understands her. The darkness that engulfs Sunshine could give connotations of those who are depressed in the fact that the darkness takes ahold of her and refuses to let go which follows her about from day-to-day.

Sunshine interacts with the ghost, Anna and begins to play games with her. The more Sunshine plays with Anna, the more she learns about the ghosts brutal murder. Sunshine begins to sympathise with the ghost when she discovers that the girl was killed by her father who was possessed by a demon.

I would describe this book as the Supernatural of a younger generation. I feel that the book has similar aspects to the TV show: Supernatural but makes the plot unique by aiming at a younger audience and mixing the paranormal with a sense of humour. Sunshine’s personality and the relationship between her and her mother really stands out and makes the reader support Sunshine in her challenge and want her to succeed.

The novel becomes a fight for survival. A fight for Sunshine to save her mother. A fight that could end in death that Sunshine would have never expected from such a move. What a convenient time for Sunshine to move to Ridgemount you say? Little does Sunshine know, this was put in place by her mentor. A mentor she has yet to meet. mentor who is putting her loved one’s lives at risk all for the greater good, all as a test. A test in which Sunshine must pass or risk loosing her loved ones for good!

McKenzie takes the typical idea of a paranormal/horror YA book but adds a twist to make it unique. This factor is what makes the adaptation a brilliant success. She takes the typical “girl being haunted/haunted house” plot and spins it up to make it fresh and exciting story that is totally different from the classics.

As soon as Sunshine arrives in the new town she feels something “off” about the house and whole neighborhood. Ever since her sixteenth birthday she has started to develop into the luiseach which she is due to become.

To improve the novel it would be good if McKenzie was able to go into more depth when the spooky events begin to happen. When her whole world turns upside down, it would be good if there was more detail. I would have also liked it if there was more detail about how Sunshine and her best friend before she moved to Ridgemount drifted apart and ended up not talking. Since in the book, they just stop mentioning her after a certain point. I will most likely check out the YouTube channel after reading the book.

I highly recommend this book to those who enjoy paranormal humour in a YA read.

4stars1