Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review | If I Fall by Ella Harper

if i fallTitle: If I Fall
Author: Ella Harper
Publishing: 2018 by Canelo
Genre: Romance; Women’s Fiction; Chick Lit
Format: Kindle ebook
Source: Netgalley for Review
Length: 237 pages
Synopsis: Four friends forever… But who will be there to catch them?

They were best friends at uni. But life was simpler then.
Fifteen years later Connie, a former journalist, now struggles to maintain the veneer of a perfect family life. Jonas, her lawyer husband, is feeling the pressure at work. Personal trainer JJ appears to have it all, but his past is catching up with him. Their other friend, Layla, is a psychotherapist, but her career is unravelling thanks to a difficult and ailing mother.
As the pressure builds, each in their own way must confront their demons. Sometimes things get too much. Sometimes we stumble and fall – and pray someone is there to catch us.

A truly powerful and unforgettable story of love, friendship, and real life, If I Fall is perfect for readers of Alice Peterson, Amanda Prowse and Lianne Moriarty

My Rating: ♥♥♥♥
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Book Review:

I received this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my opinion in any way.

It did not take me long to get into this book, I was invested in the characters pretty early on.

If I Fall follows four people who have been friends since university. There is Layla, the therapist who is dealing with a mother who has dementia; JJ, who is a ladies man, and hasn’t settled down, but is hiding a secret about his past that slowly eats away at him; Jonas, who is a lawyer who is stressed out from work and becoming a worse person by the day; and Connie, who is married to Jonas and slowly falling apart at the seams. 

If I Fall Photo

I realise that I just made this book sound like the most depressing story in the world. Though it is rather depressing, it is also hopeful and uplifting. I was most invested in Connie and JJ who were together in University, but had split, causing Connie to end up with Jonas. I wanted them back together, I could see that they still had feelings for one another but they just weren’t doing anything about it. Jonas was an awful person and I didn’t like him at all. He was just terrible. I understand why he was, it was needed in the story, but I dreaded his chapters as I read through. Layla seemed to be a lovely person, but I did find her a little whingy and whiney at times, although I can’t imagine being in her shoes, I would probably be the exact same. 

I did like that each chapter bounced from character to character, and within each chapter I got a glimpse into the mind of that particular person (even if they annoyed me).  I liked the fact that the whole story was edging towards a certain point, and that point happened right at the very end, keeping me invested the whole way through. I also am thankful that the story ended how I hoped that it would, it gave me a sense of closure, that even though a person’s life can be full of horrible things, everything does work itself out eventually. 

I would like to say thank you to Netgalley and the publisher of this book, Canelo, for sending me a copy of this book to review. I really did enjoy it.

Author Information:

Ella Harper learned foreign languages, and imagined she might eventually get a glamorous job speaking French. After climbing her way up the banking ladder, Ella started idly mapping out the beginnings of a novel on an old laptop.

When she realised her characters were more real to her than dividends and corporate actions ever could be, she left her job to become a writer. (Goodreads)

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Thank you for stopping by to read my review of If I Fall by Ella Harper. I hope you enjoyed it and it made you want to add it to your TBR. If you have read this book already, what did you think?

Until next time, happy reading!

♥ k i m @ b o o k s a r e l o v e ♥

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Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review | Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

leaving timeTitle: Leaving Time
Author: Jodi Picoult
Genre: Fiction; Contemporary; Mystery
Publishing: 2014 by Allen & Unwin
Format: Paperback
Pages: 400
Synopsis: Alice Metcalf was a devoted mother, loving wife and accomplished scientist who studied grief among elephants. Yet it’s been a decade since she disappeared under mysterious circumstances, leaving behind her small daughter, husband, and the animals to which she devoted her life. All signs point to abandonment – or worse.

Still Jenna – now thirteen years old and truly orphaned by a father maddened by grief – steadfastly refuses to believe in her mother’s desertion. So she decides to approach the two people who might still be able to help her find Alice: a disgraced psychic named Serenity Jones, and Virgil Stanhope, the cynical detective who first investigated her mother’s disappearance and the strange, possibly linked death of one of her mother’s coworkers.

Together these three lonely souls will discover truths destined to forever change their lives. Deeply moving and suspenseful, Jodi Picoult’s 21st novel is a radiant exploration of the enduring love between mothers and daughters

My Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥
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My Review:

Jodi Picoult has done it again.

I have always loved Picoult’s books, but this one takes the cake so far.

I read this one for the “Beat the Backlist” reading challenge, as I have owned this book for longer than a year. Now that I have read it, I wish that it didn’t take me this long to get to it. 

Leaving Time photo

In Leaving Time we follow four characters – Jenna, Serenity, Virgil and Jenna’s mum Alice who goes missing after an accident at the Elephant Sanctuary she and her husband run. Jenna is determined to find out what happened to her because she doesn’t believe that she would have left her voluntarily. She asks Serenity – a disgraced psychic – and Virgil – the original detective on her mother’s case – for help. The search takes them all over, and slowly they figure out the truth about what happened to Alice.

The chapters in this book go between Alice in the past, telling us what happened back at the sanctuary in small bits and pieces, and Jenna, Virgil and Serenity, all in the present time in the search for answers.
I enjoy reading books that are set out and written in this way because I get to put the pieces together myself as I read along with the different characters. I got to know all four characters, and came up with my own theories of what happened to Alice all those years ago.

The characters themselves were multi-dimentional and always changing and growing. I connected with them all in a different way and had empathy for what they were all going through in their present moments. 

What I loved the most about Leaving Time, however, was that ending. WOW is the only word I can come up with. I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t had the honour of reading this book, but all I will say that it was the biggest twist I have experienced at the end of a book in the longest time, so much so that I heard myself gasp audibly when I figured it out. Picoult’s writing is so clever that while I was reading the book I didn’t put the pieces together, but once I knew the truth, and it was all being explained, thinking back to certain points, it all seemed so obvious, I wonder how I didn’t see it coming. 

 

Leaving Time OpenI absolutely loved this book, and if I could give more than a five out of five I definitely would. Next time someone asks me why Jodi Picoult is my all time favourite author, I will point them towards this book.

For those who haven’t read this one, stop what you are doing right now. Go to your local bookshop or library or wherever and get yourself a copy of this and read it right this second, I promise that you won’t regret it!

Thank you for stopping by and reading my review of Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult. until next time, happy reading!

♥ b o o k s a r e l o v e ♥

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Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review | Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

girl on the trainTitle: The Girl on the Train
Author: Paula Hawkins
Genre: Crime Thriller; Mystery; Suspense
Publishing: 2016 by Black Swan
Format: Paperback
Source: Owned
Pages: 409
Synopsis: Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She’s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. ‘Jess and Jason’, she calls them. Their life – as she sees it – is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy.
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough.
Now everything’s changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she’s only watched from afar.

Now they’ll see; she’s much more than just the girl on the train…

My Rating ♥♥♥
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Book Review:

I read this book as part of the Beat the Backlist reading challenge – it was a book that I have owned for more than one year, and I thought that it was time I gave in to see what all the hype was about.
I am going to say that I was slightly disappointed..don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a bad read, it just wasn’t as good as I was hoping or expecting. 

IMG_1540 I found that the more I read, the more frustrated I was getting with the main character, Rachel. She was desperate and a little pathetic. I did, however like that she knew what happened all along she just couldn’t seem to remember the details – because she was drunk at the time – which was a regular occurrence.

I will say that the writing style in the sense that it went back and forward between Rachel, Meagan and eventually Anna, it helped me to fill in the gaps in the story and slowly piece together what had happened. The fact that the characters of Rachel and at some points, Anna, were annoying me, I still needed to know what happened and I was able to set aside my issues to get to the bottom of it.

Paula Hawkins managed to keep me guessing to the very end when she made it clear who the killer was, and I will say it was not who I had suspected.

IMG_1541

The writing was medium paced, not too slow that I got bored, but not too fast that things were missed or skipped. I did enjoy the story, just not all the characters. 

I hoped that even though this book was really hyped up, I would still love it. I just think I went into it with really high expectations, and they weren’t met completely.

I would love to hear from anyone else who has read this one, and what you thought of it! Did you have the same thoughts as me, or did you love it completely?

Thanks for checking in, and reading my review of The Girl on the Train. To check out Paula Hawkins, you can find her through her Website, Twitter or Goodreads!
Until next time, happy reading!

b o o k s a r e l o v e 

Book Challenges For This Read:

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Posted in Book Reviews

ARC Book Review | Vanishing Girls by Lisa Regan

vanishing girlsTitle:Vanishing Girls
Author: Lisa Regan
Series: Detective Josie Quinn, book 1
Genre: Crime Thriller; Mystery; Suspense
Format: Kindle ebook
Source: Netgalley
Synopsis: She was close enough to see that the girl had written a word on the wall in bright, warm red blood. Not a word, actually. A name…

Everyone in the small American town of Denton is searching for Isabelle Coleman, a missing seventeen-year-old girl. All they’ve found so far is her phone and another girl they didn’t even know was missing.

Mute and completely unresponsive to the world around her, it’s clear this mysterious girl has been damaged beyond repair. All Detective Josie Quinn can get from her is a name: Ramona.

Currently suspended from the force for misconduct, Josie takes matters into her own hands as the name leads her to evidence linking the two girls. She knows the race is on to find Isabelle alive, and she fears there may be others…

The trail leads Josie to another victim, a girl who escaped but whose case was labelled a hoax by authorities. To catch this monster, Josie must confront her own nightmares and follow her instinct to the darkest of places. But can she make it out alive?

My Rating ♥♥♥♥♥
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Book Review:

I received this book through Netgalley in exchange for a honest review. This does not influence my rating or review in any way.

Detective Josie Quinn has been suspended from the police force. This does not stop her though. Girls are going missing in her town and she is determined to get to the bottom of it, even if it gets her killed. 
As the story unfolds it is obvious that there is more going on than Josie or the reader could have even imagined, it is one of those books that you want to know what happens, but you can’t bear to watch. 

I was hooked from the very beginning, there were twists and turns that shocked me, people involved in crimes that I didn’t expect. Vanishing Girls was a page-turner from the beginning and I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book in this series!

From a writing point of view, we mainly follow Josie Quinn and the book is written in first person. However, some of the chapters you are reading from the point of view of a girl who is being held captive, which threw me around a bit, but as I got towards the end, it clicked into place and gave the story just even more depth.
I enjoyed the writing style of this book, I did have times that Josie was a little on my nerves, but once I got more into solving the mystery I was on her side, and wanted her to succeed in finding out the truth. 

I loved this book, and will definitely be getting my hands on the next one in the Detective Josie Quinn series.

Thank you for stopping by to read my review of Vanishing Girls by Lisa Regan. To check out this author you can find her on her Website, Twitter and Goodreads

Until next time, happy reading!

b o o k s a r e l o v e 

Reading Challenges For This Read:

2018 goodreads

 

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Posted in Book Challenges, Book Reviews

Audiobook Review | Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

About The Book:

since you'veTitle: Since You’ve Been Gone
Author: Morgan Matson
Genre: Contemporary; YA; Romance
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible
Narrator: Suzy Jackson
Length: 12 hours & 49 minutes
Synopsis: It was Sloane who yanked Emily out of her shell and made life 100% interesting. But right before what should have been the most epic summer, Sloane just…disappears. All she leaves behind is a to-do list.
On it, thirteen Sloane-inspired tasks that Emily would normally never try. But what if they could bring her best friend back?
Apple picking at night? Okay, easy enough.
Dance until dawn? Sure. Why not?
Kiss a stranger? Um…

Emily now has this unexpected summer, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected), to check things off Sloane’s list. Who knows what she’ll find?

Go skinny-dipping? Wait…what?

My Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥
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My Review:

This book I had in my Audible library, it had been sitting there for quite some time and I thought that it was about time I listened to it.
It didn’t take long for me to get hooked into the story, and from then I listened to it daily just to find out what was going to happen.
I have only read one book from Morgan Matson previously and I really enjoyed it so I was looking forward getting into it.
Emily goes to her best friend’s house at the beginning of the summer holidays to find that she was gone without a trace, with no explanation. All Emily had was a to-do list of things that seemed impossible and a whole summer without her friend.
Slowly, Emily made new friends as she tried to make her way through the list.

I couldn’t get enough of the plot. The relationships that evolved in that summer between Emily, Frank, Collins and Dawn was something that I had always wanted as a teenager, a small really tight group of people who loved spending time with each other.

I really liked the idea of the list. Having Emily go through and do a whole number of things that she wouldn’t normally do, it made her a stronger person and helped her reach out to new people and form new friendships.

I really connected with Emily, I felt her sadness when her friend left, and her determination to finish the list. I felt proud of her when she conquered fears and heartbroken when she did.
The ending of the book was so perfect. It closed everything up in a nice little bundle, however, I would love to know what happens in Emily and Frank’s future..I am just going to imagine that they get their happily ever after 🙂

If you enjoy contemporary romance books, I highly recommend that you pick this one up, I am sure that you are going to love it as much as I did!

Reading Challenges for this Book:

 

Thank you for stopping by to read my review of Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson. I hope you enjoyed it, and it got you wanting to read it for yourself if you haven’t already!
Until next time, happy reading!

Kim x

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Posted in Book Reviews

ARC Book Review: Suddenly One Summer by Fleur McDonald

suddenly one summerTitle: Suddenly one Summer
Author: Fleur McDonald
Publishing: October 2017 by Allen & Unwin
Format: Paperback
Source: Received from Publisher
Genre: Mystery; Australian; Romance
Pages: 331
Synopsis: When Brianna Donahue was three years old, her mother mysteriously disappeared while farming in Merriwell Bay, Western Australia. Committed to the family’s farm, Brianna works the same land with her father, while raising her two children as her husband works as a fly-in fly-out lawyer in Perth. One scorching summer’s morning, her son Trent goes missing and, while frantically searching for him, Brianna must come to terms with the fact that her marriage has large cracks in it.
Over two thousand kilometres away in South Australia, Detective
Burrows receives a phone call reporting stolen sheep from an elderly farmer. It becomes clear that Guy has early signs of dementia and Dave becomes intrigued with his family history. Was there a child, or was there not? No one seems to know.
While trying to save her marriage and battling the threat of bushfires back in Merriwell Bay, Brianna is faced with challenges: her father’s new girlfriend, who on the surface seems pleasant, seems to have a hidden agenda; Trent is having nightmares, triggered by his accident; and Beau, her youngest, is afraid to let her out of his sight.

So how will Dave’s investigation impact Brianna’s world?

Suspenseful and incendiary, Suddenly One Summer is an intriguing and heartfelt story of the unlikely connections of life on the land.

My Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥
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My Review:

I received this book from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my rating or review in any way.

open bookSuddenly one Summer follows two groups of characters, Brianna and her family on their farm in Western Australia, and a detective in South Australia. The entire time there is something linking these two groups, but it is not until the last few chapters that things begin to fall into place and it all makes sense.
I really enjoyed reading this book. The fact that is by an Australian author and based in country Western Australia (where I am from) as well as South Australia, makes it easier to relate to the characters.
This book was very cleverly written, and I enjoyed each separate story and was kept interested in finding out how they connected, throughout the entire book.
The writing style of this book is fantastic. I found it really easy to follow and it didn’t get slow or boring at any point. I didn’t find myself wishing for the point to be made, it just went at a good pace the entire time.

suddenly one summerThe way in which the stories intertwined towards the end of the book I thought was really well done. I didn’t see the connection coming until it was right there happening, which was great. I hate predicting the ending and then being a bit bored with the outcome – this was not the case for Suddenly one Summer! 
I haven’t read any others by Fleur McDonald, but I will be picking up more when I find them that is for sure!

I would like to say thank you to Allen and Unwin Publishers for sending me a copy of this book, I really loved it!

Thank you for stopping by to read this review, make sure you are following to keep updated on other book reviews that I post!
Until next time, happy reading!

Reading Challenges for this read:

2018 goodreads

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Posted in Book Reviews

DNF Book Review: The Never Dawn by R. E. Palmer

Hey bookworms!
I have just decided to DNF a book, which makes me sad. I read just over half and just couldn’t get into it. It was sent to me to review by the author, so I was trying really hard to get into it and get it finished but I just couldn’t..

The Book:

the never dawnTitle: The Never Dawn
Author: R. E. Palmer
Series: The Never Dawn, book 1
Genre: YA; Dystopian
Format: Kindle ebook
Source: Author for Review
Synopsis: All his young life, Noah has longed to see the sky he’s only heard about in stories. For over one hundred years, Noah’s people have toiled deep beneath the Earth preparing for The New Dawn – the historic day when they will emerge to reclaim the land stolen by a ruthless enemy.

But when Rebekah, the girl of his forbidden desire, discovers a secret their leader has been so desperate to keep, Noah suspects something is wrong. Together, they escape and begin the long climb to the surface. But nothing could prepare them for what awaits outside

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My Review:

I did receive this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. Because of this I really wanted to be able to finish the book, however, I found the pace to be way too slow for me. I had made it to just over halfway and was only just beginning to discover that there were secrets from the leader.
I really wanted to enjoy this one, as I usually am a fan of YA Dystopian books. This one just needed to get a bit quicker paced and it may have held my interest for longer.

I didn’t find myself connecting with any of the characters either in this story, and the protagonist kind of got on my nerves..

Has anyone read this one? What did you think of it?

Thanks for stopping by and reading my DNF review.
Until next time, happy reading

Kim x

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