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Goodreads Reading Challenge 2018

Truly Madly Guilty – Book Review #14

I really enjoyed Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies. I saw Truly Madly Guilty in the charity shop and figured it would probably be a good read.

It wasn’t a good read, it was a great read! I’ll be getting her other books when I see them.

Truly Madly Guilty

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

Six responsible adults. Three cute kids. One small dog. It’s just a normal weekend. What could possibly go wrong?

In Truly Madly Guilty, Liane Moriarty turns her unique, razor-sharp eye towards three seemingly happy families.

Sam and Clementine have a wonderful, albeit, busy life: they have two little girls, Sam has just started a new dream job, and Clementine, a cellist, is busy preparing for the audition of a lifetime. If there’s anything they can count on, it’s each other.

Clementine and Erika are each other’s oldest friends. A single look between them can convey an entire conversation. But theirs is a complicated relationship, so when Erika mentions a last minute invitation to a barbecue with her neighbors, Tiffany and Vid, Clementine and Sam don’t hesitate. Having Tiffany and Vid’s larger than life personalities there will be a welcome respite.

Two months later, it won’t stop raining, and Clementine and Sam can’t stop asking themselves the question: What if we hadn’t gone?

In Truly Madly Guilty, Liane Moriarty takes on the foundations of our lives: marriage, sex, parenthood, and friendship. She shows how guilt can expose the fault lines in the most seemingly strong relationships, how what we don’t say can be more powerful than what we do, and how sometimes it is the most innocent of moments that can do the greatest harm.

My Thoughts

The chapters were written from different timelines. I loved how the early chapters written in the present enticed you into finding out what had happened at the recent barbeque.
There just enough of a tease for it not to be annoying! The ‘event’, when it came, wasn’t what I expected. Actually, I don’t know what I expected but it wasn’t disappointing.

The three couples are all very different and we get to know a lot about them. I liked them all but Vid and Tiffany stuck out for some reason. Vid loves to throw parties and is happiest when his house is full of guests. I like the idea of throwing parties just for the sake of inviting people around!

“This book really drew me in and I found myself reading whenever I got chance. I can’t wait to buy all her other books 🙂
If you’re looking for a new way to light your reading nook take a look at this moon lamp by

Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty
Goodreads reading challenge 2018 - 14 books read


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The Ice Twins By S. K. Tremayne – Book Review #13

This is another charity shop find. I was stocking the shelves ready for the weekend and for some reason, The Ice Twins caught my eye.

The Ice Twins

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

A year after one of their identical twin daughters, Lydia, dies in an accident, Angus and Sarah Moorcraft move to the tiny Scottish island Angus inherited from his grandmother, hoping to put together the pieces of their shattered lives.

But when their surviving daughter, Kirstie, claims they have mistaken her identity—that she, in fact, is Lydia—their world comes crashing down once again.

As winter encroaches, Angus is forced to travel away from the island for work, Sarah is feeling isolated, and Kirstie (or is it Lydia?) is growing more disturbed. When a violent storm leaves Sarah and her daughter stranded, Sarah finds herself tortured by the past—what really happened on that fateful day one of her daughters died?

My Thoughts

I found myself wishing we hadn’t started decorating the front room because I would have had more time to read if we hadn’t!
Something grabbed me and dragged me right into this story. I found it hard to put down. It’s hard to imagine having twins and not having any way to find out which one had died.

I loved the idea of moving to a remote Scottish island. It would be Ant’s and my idea of heaven but only when the kids have grown up and moved out!

The ending took me a bit by surprise but I won’t say anything else because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone.

The Ice Twins by S.K. Tremayne


Goodreads reading challenge 2018 - 13 books read


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More Tales Of The Unexpected Roald Dahl Book Review #12

I remember watching a few episodes of Tales Of The Unexpected when I was younger. I’m not sure how old I was but I suspect it wasn’t really supposed to watch it!

I can only remember one of the stories and I was happy to find that it was one that is in this book.

More Tales Of The Unexpected

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

– Poison
– The Sound Machine
– Georgy Porgy
– Genesis and Catastrophe
– The Hitch-hiker
– The Umbrella Man
– Mr Botibol
– Vengeance Is Mine Inc.
– The Butler

Roald Dahl’s Tales of the Unexpected is a delightfully dark collection of sixteen stories, each with a startling end. Among the unforgettable characters lurk the homicidal wife and her deadly leg of lamb, a conniving and lecherous wine connoisseur and the one-eyed brain at the mercy of his vengeful spouse. Tales of the Unexpected is an astonishing assortment of twisted treats from the master storyteller.

My Thoughts

Although the stories are very dated, I found myself enjoying most of them. I’ve always been a fan of Roald Dahl since as long as I can remember.

The one story I remember watching on the TV series is The Sound Machine. It’s about a man who invents a machine that records sounds we wouldn’t normally be able to hear. For example, he takes it out of his workshop and into the garden where his next door neighbour is busy cutting roses and putting them in a basket.

He puts on the earphones and hears a terrible scream like sound. At first, he doesn’t know where the sound is coming from but he soon works out that it’s the noise the roses are making as they’re being cut.

I remember watching the program and feeling incredibly guilty for picking daffodils from the roadside for my mum for Mother’s Day!

A couple of days after reading More Tales Of The Unexpected, I saw the first book in the charity shop and bought it. I figured even if I didn’t get around to reading it, it’s nice to have both books!

More tales of the unexpected by Roald Dahl

Goodreads reading challenge 2018 - 12 books read


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Little Black Lies By Sharon Bolton Book Review #11

I read one of Sharon Bolton’s books as part of my Goodreads reading challenge 2016. It was called Awakenings and I enjoyed it.
Little Black Lies was even better. I kept finding myself thinking about it while doing other things. I kept wanting to stop doing what I was doing and sit down to read!

Little Black Lies

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

In such a small community as the Falkland Islands, a missing child is unheard of. In such a dangerous landscape it can only be a terrible tragedy, surely…

When another child goes missing, and then a third, it’s no longer possible to believe that their deaths were accidental, and the villagers must admit that there is a murderer among them. Even Catrin Quinn, a damaged woman living a reclusive life after the accidental deaths of her own two sons a few years ago, gets involved in the searches and the speculation.

And suddenly, in this wild and beautiful place that generations have called home, no one feels safe and the hysteria begins to rise.

But three islanders—Catrin, her childhood best friend, Rachel, and her ex-lover Callum—are hiding terrible secrets. And they have two things in common: all three of them are grieving, and none of them trust anyone, not even themselves.

My Thoughts

I don’t know why but the setting of the Falkland Islands really appealed to me. Straight away I loved this book. It was hard to put down and if we hadn’t been decorating the living room I’d have spent even more time reading.

The book is split into three parts. The first part is about Catrin, the mother who lost her children due to an accident.
Part two is about Callum; a soldier who fought in the war and returned to live when it was over.
The third part is about Rachel, Catrin’s best friend. She’s the one who was looking after Catrin’s children when the accident happened.

As well as the three of them dealing with everything that happened in the past there’s also something happening on the island. Children have gone missing and most people don’t want to think that someone could be taking them. They want to believe the children wandered off and got lost. There are lots of cliffs, bogs and dangerous waterways that they could have encountered.

You’re kept guessing about what is actually going on but it’s not in an irritating way. Everything flows nicely and whilst there could never be a happening ending to a book where children have died, it’s a satisfying ending.

Little Black Lies by Sharon Bolton

Goodreads reading challenge 2018 11 books read


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Once by James Herbert Book Review #10

I’m a big fan of James Herbert. Ant bought me nearly all his books for Christmas a few years ago. I thought I’d read them all but while sorting through my books out I came across Once which I hadn’t read.

Once By James Herbert

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

For Thom Kindred, life is nothing spectacular. A stroke victim, Thom finds himself partially incapacitated and battling daily to regain control of his life. Moved by haunting dreams of his youth, he travels back to the wooded land where he grew up to recuperate. Surrounded by the comforts of Castle Bracken, Thom plans to relive old, forgotten memories.

But Thom’s return has stirred an ancient evil at Castle Bracken, one cloaked in the guise of a friend. His only chance for survival lies in a world that he no longer believes in.

International bestselling author James Herbert opens the door into a place of wonder and terrible danger; where the unexpected becomes the norm, where the separation of dreams and nightmares is thin, and where “Once upon a time . . .” doesn’t always lead to a happy ending.

My Thoughts

Well, I wasn’t expecting to be reading erotic fiction in a James Herbert book; it took me quite by surprise! I have to say it was very descriptive in places!

As usual with JH, I found it hard to put down and I really enjoyed it.
Some of the descriptions were very creepy, especially when the millions of spiders came out of the jar. If having all those spiders wasn’t bad enough, reading about them being squished and squashed against Thom’s skin made my stomach turn!

I love fantasy stories about fairies and elves and all things magical and this book gave me everything. I think it’s now my second favourite James Herbert book. The first is The Magic Cottage and the third is The Secret Of Crickley Hall.

Once by James Herbert

goodreads reading challenge 2018 10 books read


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Life Of Pi By Yann Martel Book Review #9

I enjoyed the Life Of Pi movie when we watched it a few years ago. When a friend recommended it on Goodreads I picked it from the charity shop and added it to my TBR list.

I had it on the list for over a year and when I was sorting out my Goodreads challenge for this year I decided it was time to read it.

Life Of Pi

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

After the tragic sinking of a cargo ship, one solitary lifeboat remains bobbling on the wild, blue Pacific. The only survivors from the wreck are a sixteen-year-old boy named Pi, a hyena, a zebra (with a broken leg), a female orangutan… and a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger.

My Thoughts

I’ll be honest and say I nearly didn’t read until the end. I found the start of the book really hard work. I couldn’t keep my interest up and found myself having to re-read parts because I couldn’t take in what I was reading.

It was only by remembering the review I’d seen by a friend on Goodreads that I decided to persevere with it.
I’m really glad I did because when it got to the boat part of the book I couldn’t put it down.
It was a bit gruesome in places and I struggled to imagine myself doing the same things Pi did. I’m sure I would if it came to do the choice of staying alive or not but it’s still hard to contemplate having to do it.

I would definitely recommend The Life of Pi.


Life Of Pi by Yann Martel

Goodreads reading challenge 2018. 9 books read


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Tennison By Lynda La Plante Book Review #8

We watched Tennison when it was on TV last year and we really enjoyed it. I’ve not read any Lynda La Plante books before but I’ll be reading more now.


Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

From the creator of the award-winning ITV series Prime Suspect, starring Helen Mirren, comes the fascinating back story of the iconic DCI Jane Tennison.

In 1972 Jane Tennison, aged 22, leaves the Metropolitan Police Training Academy to be placed on probationary exercise in Hackney where criminality thrives. We witness her struggle to cope in a male-dominated, chauvinistic environment, learning fast to deal with shocking situations with no help or sympathy from her superiors. Then comes her involvement in her first murder case. No one witnessed the savage beating of a tragic young girl who, the post-mortem reveals,was pregnant when she died. The murder enquiry is soon running cold…

My Thoughts

While reading the book I felt that the TV series had followed it quite closely. It was about a year ago when I watched the TV show so I may not be remembering it correctly.
The reason I say that is because Lynda La Plante has said in a Facebook post that she felt ITV were changing the story and characters too much so a second series is not on the cards.

It’s sad because I would have loved another series. There are more books featuring the young Tennison, though, so I’ll have to be content with those!

I’m going to be on the lookout for Hidden Killers, the second book in the Tennison series. Good Friday is the 3rd and a fourth book is in the works.


Tennison by Lynda La Plante

Goodreads reading challenge 2018 8 books read


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The Way You Look Tonight By Richard Madeley Book Review #7

I was supposed to be reading and reviewing Mark Haddon’s The Red House this week but I’m afraid I really couldn’t get into it.
After reading The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time I was looking forward to The Red House, but I found it very difficult to understand what I was reading.
I decided life was too short to force myself to read it and I changed to The Way You Look Tonight by Richard Madeley.

The Way You Look Tonight by Richard Madeley

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

Not until she was 16 did Stella Arnold learn the full truth about her father, how handsome, charming James turned out to be a cold-blooded, psychotic extortionist, racketeer and killer. Knowing now what her father was capable of, she decides to study psychology and the criminal mind, and to further her education in America.

In the spring of 1962, she flies to Boston where, being beautiful, bright and fashionably English, she becomes someone of huge fascination and on every invitation list. Then comes an invitation one summer weekend to the home of the Kennedys. Stella quickly becomes part of the inner Kennedy circle as they party through the hot summer nights. Both brothers, JFK and Bobby, make their moves on her but she firmly, charmingly, repels them.

Further south, on the Florida Keys, a killer is on the loose. The case, unsolved, begins to rock America, and with her specialist knowledge of psychopaths, Stella is co-opted by the police investigation and prepares to fly south…

My Thoughts

If I’d have seen this book on the shelf in a bookshop, I’d have mistaken it for a chick-lit style story. The cover does not convey the actual genre of the story and I wouldn’t have bothered picking it up.
it was only the fact that I’d read one of Richard Madeley’s books before that I decided it was worth reading the blurb.

I try not to read any reviews on the current book I’m reading until after I’ve finished because I don’t want to be swayed either way.
I’ve just been checking out the reviews now I’ve finished the book and I wasn’t surprised to see my blogging friend, Cheryl, had written much the same as me about the book cover, back in 2014 – I didn’t copy your review, Cheryl, honest!

The Way You Look Tonight By Richard Madeley

I’m glad I did because I really enjoyed it. I like Stella and Lee and I’m glad they got a happy ever after.
It usually annoys me when different chapters are told by the different characters but it wasn’t the case this time. In fact, I didn’t give it much thought, to be honest. It worked well.

I’m now on the lookout for Someday I’ll Find You, which I’ve just found out from Cheryl’s review that I should have read that first, seeing as it’s the story of Stella’s mum and dad!


Goodreads reading challenge 2018 7 books read


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15 Seconds By Andrew Gross Book Review #6

15 Seconds was my first Andrew Gross novel and I’m happy to say, it won’t be my last. I really enjoyed it. It kept me turning the pages and not wanting to put it down.

15 Seconds by Andrew Gross

15 Seconds

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

Henry Steadman is a successful Florida plastic surgeon on his way to deliver a keynote address at a conference when his world falls apart. Stopped by the police for a minor traffic violation, the situation escalates and he is pulled from his vehicle, handcuffed, and told he is under arrest. Several other police cars arrive and the questioning turns scary, but after it subsides, and Henry is about to move on, the officer is suddenly killed in his car and there is only one suspect: the very person he was about to arrest not ten minutes before. Henry! When a second friend turns up dead, Henry realizes he’s being elaborately framed. But in a chilling twist, the stakes grow even darker, and he is unable to go to the police to clear his name.

15 Seconds is a story of how even the best of lives can be destroyed in just an instant– and of an innocoent man, framed for murder, who has to save the person he loves the most, and who cannot go the police to clear his name.

My Thoughts

I found it hard to know where to start with this review. So much seems to be happening in this book.

The mother and tiny baby dying at the hands of a drugged up teenage girl called Amanda is so sad. What makes it even more so is the fact that her husband is away in the army and hadn’t even met his son yet.

Amanda’s father, Vance, blames everyone else for the state of his daughter.
He’s a former policeman who lost his job, his wife and his home. All he had left was his daughter.

In contrast, Henry, a renowed plastic surgeon has a great life. He’s off to play golf with an old friend before speaking at a conference for Doctors Without Borders.
Unlike Vance, his daughter is doing wonderfully and Henry is very proud of her.

Carrie works in the police outreach division and has just returned back to work after her son and husband ended up fighting for their lives on the same day. Her son lived, her husband didn’t.

All these lives crash together to give us a roller coaster ride of police chases, revenge, kidnapping and murder. If I didn’t have family and work to do, I’d have finished it much sooner. I didn’t want to put it down.

15 Seconds by Andrew Gross

Goodreads challenge 2018


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Home By Amanda Berriman Book Review #5

Wow, week 5 already. We’re steaming through the year!
This week’s book, Home by Amanda Berriman, is a download from NetGalley. I wasn’t going to review any books from NetGalley this year because I’ve got my pile of actual books to read that will last me all year! After reading the blurb, though, I couldn’t not read it.

It’s written from the perspective of 4-year-old Jesika which reminded me of the book, Room by Emma Donahue.
I had reservations about Room when I first started reading it. I thought it was going to be hard to read but I very soon got into it and read the whole book in a couple of days.


Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

Jesika is four and a half.

She lives in a flat with her mother and baby brother and she knows a lot. Jesika knows their flat is high up and the stairs are smelly. She knows she shouldn’t draw on the peeling wallpaper or touch the broken window. And she knows she loves her mummy and baby brother Toby.

She does not know that their landlord is threatening to evict them and that Toby’s cough is going to get much worse. Or that Paige, her new best friend, has a secret that will explode their world.

My Thoughts

It’s not an easy subject matter but I had to finish it to see what happened to Jesika. She’s such a little a cutie and I found myself wishing I could give her a big cuddle.

The book was really well written from Jesika’s point of view. It was frustrating only hearing from Jesika because as an adult, I’d usually be privy to all the information from the adult conversations but because Jesika wasn’t included in the conversations, neither was I!
It made me actually think what it must be like for a child listening to us adults talking and not being able to understand everything.

I loved that Tina, Jesika and Toby found such a great support network and even though there was a sad bit at the end, I finished the book feeling so happy for Jesika and her family.

I gave the book 5 stars on Goodreads. I’ll be keeping an eye out for any future books by Amanda Berriman 🙂

You can Amanda Berriman on Twitter

Home by Amanda Berriman

Goodreads reading challenge 2018 5 books read


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