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The Boy That Never Was – Book Review Week 8

Book Review – The Boy That Never Was

My review this week was supposed to be about the book, Everything You Do Is Wrong but I can’t publish it yet. I recently found out from NetGally that I can’t blog about it until a week before the release date. It was an advanced copy; I can write a review on NetGally but not on my personal blog just yet.

So today I’m reviewing the next book I read on my Goodreads reading challenge which was, The Boy That Never Was by Karen Perry

The Boy That Never Was by Karen Perry Review

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads

You were loved and lost – then you came back . . .

Five years ago, three-year-old Dillon disappeared. For his father Harry – who left him alone for ten crucial minutes – it was an unforgivable lapse. Yet Dillon’s mother Robyn has never blamed her husband: her own secret guilt is burden enough.

Now they’re trying to move on, returning home to Dublin to make a fresh start.

But their lives are turned upside down the day Harry sees an eight-year-old boy in the crowd. A boy Harry is convinced is Dillon. But the boy vanishes before he can do anything about it.

What Harry thought he saw quickly plunges their marriage into a spiral of crazed obsession and broken trust, uncovering deceits and shameful secrets. Everything Robyn and Harry ever believed in one another is cast into doubt.

And at the centre of it all is the boy that never was . . .

It was an enjoyable read and I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads. I shouldn’t have liked Harry really, given what he was doing to little Dillon but somehow I did. I felt his devastation when he returned home to find not only Dillon but his home gone.

The story is alternated between Harry and his wife, Robin’s, viewpoints. This seems to be common in a lot of books now. I can’t say I dislike it but I do sometimes forget which character I’m reading and it doesn’t take much to confuse me!

There was a twist that I didn’t see coming which I enjoyed but after the twist, it seemed to go downhill a bit. I wasn’t keen on the ending, I have to admit.

Book Review week 8


MamaMummyMum

The Letter – Goodreads Book Review Week 7

The Letter

 

The Letter isn’t my usual choice of reading material but I couldn’t resist when I read the blurb. Working in a charity shop myself, the idea of finding something like this, written 30 years earlier really intrigued me.

It tells of two relationships, Tina and Rick in the 70s and Chrissie and Billy in the 30s.

1970s

Tina volunteers in a charity shop on a Saturday and finds the letter in the pocket of a suit that has been donated. It was written by Billy in 1939 for Chrissie but for some reason, it was never sent.

Tina opens it and finds herself wanting to unravel the mystery of Chrissie and Billy.

1939

Chrissie and Billy fall in love just before the start of the war. Chrissie gets pregnant and ends up getting sent to Ireland to stay with an aunt.
Her aunt dies and Chrissie has to go and stay at a convent to have her baby.

Her home life isn’t good. Rick’s an alcoholic and Tina puts up with and makes excuses for him when he gets drunk and beats her up.
She does leave for a while but in the end, she goes back to him.

It was hard to read in places due to the domestic abuse and the way Chrissie is treated at the convent but it kept me reading.

The Letter by Kathryn Hughes

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads

Tina Craig longs to escape her violent husband. She works all the hours God sends to save up enough money to leave him, also volunteering in a charity shop to avoid her unhappy home. Whilst going through the pockets of a second-hand suit, she comes across an old letter, the envelope firmly sealed and unfranked. Tina opens the letter and reads it – a decision that will alter the course of her life for ever…

Billy Stirling knows he has been a fool, but hopes he can put things right. On 4th September 1939 he sits down to write the letter he hopes will change his future. It does – in more ways than he can ever imagine…

Goodreads Reading Challenge

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Lincoln Rhyme #11 The Skin Collector – Book Review Week 6

Lincoln Rhyme #11

 

I love Jeffrey Deaver’s Lincoln Rhyme series. My best friend bought me a box set of the first three books in the series. I’d never been a fan of thrillers, much-preferring chick lit style but I decided to give the first one a go and absolutely loved it.

The Skin Collector is book number 11 in the series and like all the others, I thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s been quite a while since I read a Lincoln book but as soon as I started it felt like I was back with old friends.

Taken from Goodreads

A new type of serial killer is stalking the streets of New York. One more devious and disturbing than ever before.

They call this butcher The Skin Collector: a tattooist with a chamber of torture hidden deep underground. But instead of using ink to create each masterpiece, the artist uses a lethal poison which will render targets dead before they can even entertain the prospect of escape . . .

Drafted in to investigate, NYPD detective Lincoln Rhyme and his associate Amelia Sachs have little to go on but a series of cryptic messages left etched into the skin of the deceased.

As the pair struggle to discover the meaning behind the designs, they are led down a treacherous and twisting path where nothing is as it seems. And with the clock rapidly ticking before the killer strikes again, they must untangle the twisted web of clues before more victims – or they themselves – are next.

I gave this 4 stars on Goodreads. I was going to give it 5 but I’ve enjoyed some of the others in the series more than this so I figured a 4 was a good rating.

Goodreads reading challenge


MamaMummyMum

Dear Amy – Book Review Week 5

Dear Amy

I really liked the sound of Dear Amy when I read the blurb. I have to say, it wasn’t as good as I expected it to be. It did keep me reading so it wasn’t all bad but I think I was expecting too much.

It’s hard to really talk about it without giving away spoilers so this is going to be a short review!

The start of the book was good. It got me hooked. It made me want to read instead of the 100 other things I should have been doing! Towards the middle, though, I felt like it started going downhill a bit. Another reviewer on Goodreads, Liz Barnsley, said exactly what I was thinking:

there were one or two very generic plot devices used to prevent the characters getting somewhere too quickly. I roll my eyes these days every time a mobile phone has no signal (usually all of a sudden) or has run out of battery (hey it happens but EVERY time someone is in mortal danger or whatever? It seems so if you are a character in a psychological thriller) Thats fine too there are only so many ways of moving (or not) a plot forwards at the pace required but when you’ve read the same reason many many many times it becomes slightly dull.

It wasn’t badly written, it was just a bit, ‘meh’.

Dear Amy book

Goodreads challenge 5 books read


MamaMummyMum

The Forgetting Time – Weekly Book Review Week 4

The Forgetting Time

I’ve always found the idea of reincarnation interesting. I’m not sure if I believe it but I enjoy reading about it and I really enjoyed The Forgetting Time.

It was a bit slow to start (I seem to be getting slow starters at the moment!) but it soon picked up. The story centres on 4-year-old Noah and his single mum Janie.
Noah keeps asking when he’s going to go home and when will his other mum come for him. He talks about things Janie knows nothing about, for example, Harry Potter, guns and lizards.

He has an unexplainable water phobia and refuses to bathe. His behaviour problems get too bad for his preschool to deal with and Janie ends up taking him to see various medical professionals.
None of them seems able to help and one of them even suggests putting Noah on pills.

Janie meets Professor Jerome Anderson who studies past lives and is writing a book on the subject. He tries his best to help them but he’s struggling with a form of Aphasia which means he’s losing the ability to read, write and even talk. He wants to finish his book before the Aphasia totally takes hold.

The story brings 2 families and Jerome together for a short while and in that time, they all find what they need.

The Forgetting Time

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

Noah wants to go home. A seemingly easy request from most four year olds. But as Noah’s single-mother, Janie, knows, nothing with Noah is ever easy. One day the pre-school office calls and says Janie needs to come in to talk about Noah, and no, not later, now – and life as she knows it stops.

For Jerome Anderson, life as he knows it has stopped. A deadly diagnosis has made him realize he is approaching the end of his life. His first thought – I’m not finished yet. Once a shining young star in academia, a graduate of Yale and Harvard, a professor of psychology, he threw it all away because of an obsession.

Anderson became the laughing stock of his peers, but he didn’t care. Something had to be going on beyond what anyone could see or comprehend. He spent his life searching for that something else. And with Noah, he thinks he’s found it.
Soon Noah, Janie and Anderson will find themselves knocking on the door of a mother whose son has been missing for seven years – and when that door opens, all of their questions will be answered.

I’d recommend this book if you’re at all interested in reincarnation.

The one thing I didn’t much care for was the stories at the start of each chapter. They’re taken from a book about reincarnation by Jim B. Tucker.
They were interesting but I felt they were keeping me from reading the story I wanted to read. I can’t actually remember any of the stories because I found myself reading them quickly so I could back to Noah and Janie!

Goodreads challenge 2017 4 books read


MamaMummyMum

Gone Girl – Weekly Book Review Week 3

Gone Girl

I was expecting to enjoy Gone Girl as much as I did, The Girl On The Train.

I didn’t.

In fact, half way through the book, I posted a picture of it on Instagram and said that I was struggling to get to the end. The first half felt like a real slog.
It wasn’t gripping me and I occasionally wondered whether finding out what was actually happening was worth having to read to the end!

gone-girl-by-gillian-flynn-goodreads-reading-challenge

I read a few reviews that said the second half was much better than the first so I decided to finish it.

If you haven’t read the book, then here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

The second half was indeed much better than the first but I found the ending a bit disappointing. I can’t really say why without ruining it for anyone who hasn’t read it yet so I won’t.
I will say if you haven’t read the book or seen the movie, the movie sticks quite closely to the book and is much easier to get through!

Gone Girl - Book Challenge Book 3

 

 

The Widow – Weekly Book Review Week 2

The Widow

I’m not sure what it was that caught my eye with The Widow but something made me read the blurb when I came across it in the charity shop. Maybe it was because of the line on the cover that said, ‘A loving husband or a heartless killer. She’d know, wouldn’t she?’

The Widow by Fiona Barton

This is taken from Goodreads:

We’ve all seen him: the man – the monster – staring from the front page of every newspaper, accused of a terrible crime.

But what about her: the woman who grips his arm on the courtroom stairs – the wife who stands by him?

Jean Taylor’s life was blissfully ordinary. Nice house, nice husband. Glen was all she’d ever wanted: her Prince Charming.

Until he became that man accused, that monster on the front page. Jean was married to a man everyone thought capable of unimaginable evil.

But now Glen is dead and she’s alone for the first time, free to tell her story on her own terms.

Jean Taylor is going to tell us what she knows.

4 Stars

I gave the book 4 stars on Goodreads. I would have given it 5 but I felt the ending lacked something. I’m not exactly sure what, I just know I felt a little deflated when it was done.
The story kept me wanting to read through all of the book but it’s been a few days since I finished and I’m struggling to remember why I liked it!

It did keep me guessing, wondering who the kidnapper could be and whether, in fact, they weren’t just a kidnapper but a murderer as well.
I wasn’t expecting it to be the person it turned out to be. It had taken me through multiple suspects and I was convinced it was going to be someone else.

The Widow is Fiona Barton’s first book and I’m looking forward to her next one, which is called, The Child.

Goodreads challenge

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Amy Snow – Weekly Book Review Week 1

Amy Snow

I’ve started another reading challenge on Goodreads and the first book I read was Amy Snow by Tracy Rees.
I’ve challenged myself to read 45 books this year but after seeing how Cheryl, from Madhouse Family Reviews, did with her challenge, I decided to go and change my goal to 52 and try reading a book a week.

I don’t know if I’ll make it but I’m going to give it a good go!

Amy Snow by Tracy Rees

So onto my review.

I work on the book section in the charity shop 2 mornings a week. That’s where I came across this book. The cover stood out of the hundreds of books I deal with a week so I read the blurb.

Abandoned on a bank of snow as a baby, Amy is taken in at nearby Hatville Court. But the masters and servants of the grand estate prove cold and unwelcoming. Amy’s only friend and ally is the sparkling young heiress Aurelia Vennaway. So when Aurelia tragically dies young, Amy is devastated. But Aurelia leaves Amy one last gift. A bundle of letters with a coded key. A treasure hunt that only Amy can follow. A life-changing discovery awaits . . . if only she can unlock the secret.

I liked the sound of it so I bought it and gave it the husband to put away so one of the kids could give it to me for Christmas.

Two copies

I must have really liked the sound of this book because months later I came across it again and bought it, again. Because it had a different cover, I didn’t realise I’d already had it but to be fair I do read a lot of blurbs each week so I’m sure I can be forgiven for not realising!

I figured it was a sign that I needed to read this book first and I wasn’t disappointed. It took less than a week finish because I couldn’t put it down. It was a nice, easy read and made a change from all the Christmas fiction I’d been reading.

Amy and Aurelia are likeable characters. I found myself feeling the same as Amy as she went about her quest; I wanted to protect Aurelia and I hated her parents. The way Aurelia’s mother treated Amy was awful and I thought the way the author tried to justify her behaviour at the end was disappointing.

It was also a little disappointing that Amy figured out the secret half way through. I was looking forward to that feeling you get when you can’t wait to get to the end of the book to find out what happened but you also don’t want the book to finish. That feeling fizzled when I realised Amy was probably right with her suspicions.

I’ll be looking out for her second novel, Florence Grace when I’m working in the charity shop 🙂

Goodreads reading challenge 2017

Completed My Goodreads Reading Challenge 2016

Goodreads Reading Challenge

I’ve really enjoyed all the extra reading I’ve done this year, thanks to my Goodreads reading challenge. I first pledged to read a book a month but, by May I’d read 12 books! I changed my pledge from 12 to 40 and I’ve ended the year having read a total of 42 books.

I’m really pleased to have completed my 2016 challenge. I’m going to challenge myself to read 45 books in 2017.

Wish me luck!

In 2016 I read the following books:

Goodreads reading challenge

 

Goodreads reading challenge

Goodreads reading challenge

Goodreads reading challenge

Goodreads reading challenge

Here are some stats about my challenge that I found interesting

Goodreads reading challenge

Goodreads reading challenge

Goodreads reading challenge

If you’re challenging yourself on Goodreads next year, I’d love to be friends on there 🙂

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