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The Christmas Shoes By Donna VanLiere – Book Review #45

KayCee and I love The Christmas Shoes, movie. We watch it every year and every year it makes us cry!

The Christmas Shoes

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

Sometimes, the things that can change your life will cross your path in one instant-and then, in a fleeting moment, they’re gone. But if you open your eyes, and watch carefully, you will believe….

Robert is a successful attorney who has everything in life-and nothing at all. Focused on professional achievement and material rewards, Robert is on the brink of losing his marriage. He has lost sight of his wife, Kate, their two daughters, and ultimately himself. Eight year old Nathan has a beloved mother, Maggie, whom he is losing to cancer. But Nathan and his family are building a simple yet full life, and struggling to hold onto every moment they have together. A chance meeting on Christmas Eve brings Robert and Nathan together-he is shopping for a family he hardly knows and Nathan is shopping for a mother he is soon to lose. In this one encounter, their lives are forever altered as Robert learns an important lesson: sometimes the smallest things can make all the difference. The Christmas Shoes is a universal story of the deeper meaning of serendipity, a tale of our shared humanity, and of how a power greater than ourselves can shape, and even save, our lives.

My Thoughts

There were a few things different in the book compared to the movie, but that’s always the case so I was expecting it. It didn’t ruin the book or the movie for me, I love them both!
This is the first book in the Christmas Hope series by Donna VanLiere. I bought them all for KayCee last Christmas. I’m going to read them all and I’m not worried about getting fed up of them as I did with some of the Harlan Coben series I read earlier in the year because each book is set in the same town, but is about different characters.

They’re not very long books either, I read half of this on the Monday night and the other half on the Tuesday morning before work!

This book was inspired by the song of the same name by a group called Newsong.

The Chirstmas Shoes By Donna VanLiere

Goodreads 2018 reading challenge 45 books read


MamaMummyMum
 

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This Year It Will Be Different by Maeve Binchy – Book Review #44

I don’t know if I’ve read any other Maeve Binchy books but after reading This Year It Will Be Different, I’ll be on the lookout for more of her books 🙂

This Year It Will Be Different – Maeve Binchy

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

From the New York Times bestselling author of Circle of Friends, The Glass Lake, and Evening Class comes a stunning collection of fifteen Christmas stories filled with Maeve Binchy’s trademark wit, charm, and sheer storytelling genius. In A Typical Irish Christmas, a grieving widower heads for a holiday in Ireland and finds an unexpected destination not just for himself, but for a father and daughter in crisis. . . . In Pulling Together, a teacher not yet out of her twenties sees her affair with a married man at a turning point as Christmas Eve approaches. . . . And in the title story, This Year It Will Be Different, a woman with a complacent husband and grown children enters a season that will forever alter her life, and theirs. . .

My Thoughts

I loved this nice, easy to read book. I was surprised at how very short the first short story was! I soon got used to it, though, and found myself actually enjoying reading just a snippet of people’s lives rather than an in-depth tale.

This Year It Will Be Different By Maeve Binchy Book Cover

Goodreads 2018 reading challenge - 44 books read


MamaMummyMum
 

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The Three By Sarah Lotz – Book Review #43

I found The Three by Sarah Lotz at the charity shop (which is where I find 99% of my books so no news there really!) and loved the sound of the blurb.
I didn’t realise there was a second book. If I had, I wouldn’t have read this until getting the second book.

The Three by Sarah Lotz

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

Four simultaneous plane crashes. Three child survivors. A religious fanatic who insists the three are harbingers of the apocalypse. What if he’s right?

The world is stunned when four commuter planes crash within hours of each other on different continents. Facing global panic, officials are under pressure to find the causes. With terrorist attacks and environmental factors ruled out, there doesn’t appear to be a correlation between the crashes, except that in three of the four air disasters a child survivor is found in the wreckage.

Dubbed ‘The Three’ by the international press, the children all exhibit disturbing behavioural problems, presumably caused by the horror they lived through and the unrelenting press attention. This attention becomes more than just intrusive when a rapture cult led by a charismatic evangelical minister insists that the survivors are three of the four harbingers of the apocalypse. The Three are forced to go into hiding, but as the children’s behaviour becomes increasingly disturbing, even their guardians begin to question their miraculous survival…

My Thoughts

I’m glad now that I didn’t know there was a second book when I started reading this one because I don’t think I can be bothered to read the second book!
I was really looking forward to reading this book. The premise seemed really good and I did enjoy it through the first half.
It started off quite well but after sitting down for about 7 hours and reading the second half in one go, I got to the end and said to Ant, ‘I have no idea what I’ve just read!’.

I can’t tell you anything more about the story than what the above blurb says because I’m confused as to what actually happened in the end.
I’m not even going to bother trying to figure it out and I’ll be removing the second book from my Want To Read list on Goodreads!

The Three by Sarah Lotz Book Cover

The Three by Sarah Lotz


MamaMummyMum
 

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The Last Anniversary By Liane Moriarty – Book Review #42

Liane Moriarty is fast becoming one of my favourite authors. The Last Anniversary is the third book that I’ve read and I’m itching to get all the others!

The Last Anniversary

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

Sophie Honeywell always wondered if Thomas Gordon was the one she let get away. He was the perfect boyfriend, but on the day he was to propose, she broke his heart. A year later he married his travel agent, while Sophie has been mortifyingly single ever since. Now Thomas is back in her life because Sophie has unexpectedly inherited his aunt Connie’s house on Scribbly Gum Island — home of the famously unsolved Munro Baby mystery.

Sophie moves onto the island and begins a new life as part of an unconventional family where it seems everyone has a secret. Grace, a beautiful young mother, is feverishly planning a shocking escape from her perfect life. Margie, a frumpy housewife, has made a pact with a stranger, while dreamy Aunt Rose wonders if maybe it’s about time she started making her own decisions.

As Sophie’s life becomes increasingly complicated, she discovers that sometimes you have to stop waiting around — and come up with your own fairy-tale ending.

My Thoughts

This book kept me pulling at me. When I was supposed to be working, I found myself wondering what the mystery could possibly be. I like the way Liane Moriarty drops little breadcrumbs throughout the story. You know they’re going to lead to some juicy gossip or a twist you would never have seen coming.

I wish I could live on Scribbly Gum Island!

The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty Book Cover

Goodreads 2018 reading challenge - 42 books read


MamaMummyMum
 

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I’m taking part in Blogtober18 with Mandi at Big Family Organised Chaos

Library Of Souls By Ransom Riggs – Book Review #41

Library of Souls is the third book in the Miss Peregrine series. I thought it was the final one but the other day I saw a fourth is being released in October. I pre-ordered it from Amazon 🙂

Library Of Souls

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

A boy with extraordinary powers. An army of deadly monsters. An epic battle for the future of peculiardom.

The adventure that began with Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and continued in Hollow City comes to a thrilling conclusion with Library of Souls. As the story opens, sixteen-year-old Jacob discovers a powerful new ability, and soon he’s diving through history to rescue his peculiar companions from a heavily guarded fortress. Accompanying Jacob on his journey are Emma Bloom, a girl with fire at her fingertips, and Addison MacHenry, a dog with a nose for sniffing out lost children.

They’ll travel from modern-day London to the labyrinthine alleys of Devil’s Acre, the most wretched slum in all of Victorian England. It’s a place where the fate of peculiar children everywhere will be decided once and for all. Like its predecessors, Library of Souls blends thrilling fantasy with never-before-published vintage photography to create a one-of-a-kind reading experience.

My Thoughts

It took me much longer to read this book than it did the first 2. I enjoyed it but it wasn’t as gripping. I found myself only reading at bedtime whereas with the first 2 I kept wanting to read them whenever I had a spare half hour.

It was a good ending, the story was rounded off nicely which is why I thought it was the end of the series. I was very happy, however, to see a fourth book, A Map Of Days, due for release on October 2nd on Amazon 🙂

Library Of Souls By Ransom Riggs Book Cover

Goodreads 2018 reading challenge 41 books read


MamaMummyMum
 

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Hollow City By Ransom Riggs – Book Review #40

Hollow City is the second book in the Miss Peregrin series. A fourth book has just been released and I was very happy when it dropped through my letterbox the other day :o)

Hollow City

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

This second novel begins in 1940, immediately after the first book ended. Having escaped Miss Peregrine’s island by the skin of their teeth, Jacob and his new friends must journey to London, the peculiar capital of the world. Along the way, they encounter new allies, a menagerie of peculiar animals, and other unexpected surprises.

My Thoughts

I loved how this book carried straight on from the end of the first. It sometimes gets annoying when you have to read things you already know because the author is trying to bring new readers up to date.

I was very pleased I’d got the next book to start straight away because I can’t wait to find out what happens to them all.

I’m really enjoying this series.

Hollow City By Ransom Riggs Book Cover

Goodreads 2018 reading challenge 40 books read


MamaMummyMum
 

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I’m taking part in Blogtober18 with Mandi at Big Family Organised Chaos

Miss Peregrin’s Home For Peculiar Children – Book Review #39

I bought Miss Peregrin’s Home For Peculiar Children and the two other books in the series, for KayCee. She hasn’t read them yet and I needed a change so I’ve borrowed them!

Miss Peregrin’s Home For Peculiar Children

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow-impossible though it seems-they may still be alive. A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.

My Thoughts

It was an easy book to read and it kept me wanting to turn the pages which is always a good sign.
I like the vintage style photos of Miss Peregrin and all the peculiar children even though some of them are a bit creepy!

I’ve moved straight on to Hollow City and was pleased to see it started right where this one left off. I sometimes get fed up with having to read parts I already know because the author is doing a recap of the first book for any readers who haven’t read it.

Miss Peregrin's Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs Book Cover

Goodreads 2018 reading challenge 39 books read


MamaMummyMum
 

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I’m taking part in Blogtober18 with Mandi at Big Family Organised Chaos but, I’m using my own prompts this year. Mandi’s prompt for today is All About Me so here’s the link for my Blogtober16 post, All About Me! Not much has changed!

 

Home By Harlan Coben – Book Review #38

Home is the 11th and final book, so far, in the Myron Bolitar series. I’ll be happy if another is written but I’ll be equally happy if this is the final ever book as it was finished nicely.

Home

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

For ten long years two boys have been missing.

Now you think you’ve seen one of them.

He’s a young man. And he’s in trouble.

Do you approach him?
Ask him to come home with you?
And how can you be sure it’s really him?

You thought your search for the truth was over.
It’s only just begun.

My Thoughts

I think this is my favourite Myron Bolitar book; it was a very easy read and I enjoyed all of it, especially the chapters that were told by Win. He’s my favourite character and I was happy to see him back after he left at the end of the previous book. He’d been away for a year and didn’t contact anyone in all that time.
Win has a reputation for being very dangerous and he lives up to that reputation.
One of my favourite parts in all the 11 books was in this last one and it concerned Win coming back.

Although Myron is no longer a sports rep, or any other kind of rep for that matter, after selling the business in a previous book, he still has Big Cyndi, Esperanza and Zorra in his life.
Esperanza and Myron sold the business when Esperanza was having marital difficulties and her husband, Tom, blamed the amount of time she was at work, for those difficulties. She has a son, Hector, and she worried about losing custody of him if she split with her husband.

Selling the business wasn’t enough to save her marriage, however, and her husband started suing her for custody. He’s rich and powerful and doesn’t like to lose.
Her past as a female wrestler was one of the main things her husband was using against her to get custody of the child and Myron wasn’t at all happy with him.

The following is taken from the book and I just loved it!

“I’m asking you to be reasonable, Tom.”
“That’s your message to me?”
“It is.”
“I’ll pass, thanks. I’m on the verge of victory. You” – he pointed at Myron – “are proof of that. She’s getting desperate. Tell her I said to kiss my ass.”
“I told you already: Esperanza doesn’t know I’m here. I just think you should do the right thing.”
“For her sake?”
“For her sake. For Hector’s sake. And for your sake.”
“For mine?”
“I think it would be best.”
“Well I don’t give a shit what you think. Go Home, Myron.”
Myron nodded. “Will do.”
Tom waited. Myron started to cross the street, but he stopped and did his best Columbo turn. “Oh, one thing.”
“What’s that?”
Myron tried not to smile. “I saw Win.”
The street went silent. Even the music spilling out of the nightclub seemed to hush.
“You’re lying.”
“No Tom, I’m not. He’s coming home. And when he does, I’m sure he’ll want to pay you a visit.”

Tom suddenly starts being nice to Esperanza and although I know violence and intimidation should be frowned upon, it made me smile that Win was coming to the rescue against a bad guy!

*Possible Spoiler Alert*

There were a couple of things that irritated me about this book as well, though. At the end of the last book, Myron’s brother had been buried.
At the start of this book, his brother is alive and Harlan Coben doesn’t tell us how or why he’s suddenly alive.
I had to Google it and I found out that I need to read the 3 books Harlan has written for young adults that stars Myron’s nephew, Mickey.

Also, at the end of the book, a sister of Myron’s is mentioned and I’m probably wrong but I don’t remember a sister ever having been mentioned before!

Goodbye Myron

I’ll miss Myron, Win and the rest of them but the end of the book was nicely finished so it’ll be fine if no more are written.

Home by Harlan Coben

Goodreads 2018 reading challenge 38 books read


MamaMummyMum
 

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Live Wire By Harlan Coben – Book Review #37

Live Wire is the 10th Myron Bolitar book by Harlan Coben. At the time of publishing, there’s only one more book left in the series.

Live Wire

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

Book DescriptionSometimes the ugliest truth is better than the prettiest of lies…Product DescriptionMyron Bolitar has always dreamed about a gorgeous femme fatale walking into his office and asking for help. The woman standing in his doorway has killer curves all right: she’s eight months pregnant… Former tennis star Suzze T and her rock star husband, Lex, are both clients – but now Lex has disappeared and a very pregnant Suzze is in tears, fearing the online rumours questioning the baby’s paternity has driven away the man she swears is the child’s father. For Myron, questions of fatherhood couldn’t hit closer to home, as his father clings precariously to life, and the brother who abandoned the family years ago resurfaces – with danger following close behind. Myron is soon forced to confront deep secrets in Suzze’s past, his family’s mortality – and his own

My Thoughts

I enjoyed this 10th book much better than I did the 9th. We finally find out more about Myron’s brother, Brad. He’s only been mentioned a few times in the other books and we didn’t really know anything about him.
I assumed he lived in another part of the country and didn’t get to see his family very often. We find out, however, that this isn’t the case and for some reason, there’s bad blood between Myron and his brother.

This is explained when we are introduced to Myron’s sister-in-law, Kitty, and his nephew, Mickey. Obviously, there’s some history between Myron and Kitty but we don’t find out all the details until later in the book.
Mickey isn’t Myron’s biggest fan either and this book centres a lot on the dynamics of the Bolitar family.

Although it’s not all good news and happy endings, it was good to finally find out more about Mayron’s family and his past.

Live Wire by Harlan Coben

Goodreads 2018 reading challenge 37 books read


MamaMummyMum
 

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Long Lost By Harlan Coben – Book Review #36

Long Lost is the 9th book in the Myron Bolitar series. Only 2 more to go and I’ll be leaving Harlan Coben books for the rest of the year. I’m planning on reading some Lianne Moriarty, Maeve Binchy and Ransom Riggs for something totally different 🙂

Long Lost

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

Myron is summoned to Paris at the behest of an old lover, Terese. She is in unspecified trouble and needs his help. When he gets there, he discovers that her husband has been murdered and she is the main suspect. The interesting thing is that more than one blood-type has been discovered at the scene – and the other blood can only be attributed to her daughter. But she died 10 years before. As Myron and Terese try to find out exactly what’s going on, they uncover more and more questions. Did the daughter really die? Did Terese’s husband have a further child with someone else? But the truth is something no one expected…

My Thoughts

Not one of the best in the series. I particularly disliked the part where Myron is held and tortured. There has been violence in every book but this seemed a step too far; it was uncomfortable reading.
I was glad when it was over, to be honest, which isn’t the best recommendation for a book!

Long Lost by Harlan Coben

Goodreads 2018 reading challenge 36 books read


MamaMummyMum
 

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