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Read 100 books #33 The Judas Scar by Amanda Jennings

Well I didn’t make my 100 book challenge. There’s no way I’m going to read another 65 books (still got 34 and 35 to write about) before the end of my day zero challenge next month!

Read 100 books - the judas scarAnyway, here are my thoughts on The Judas Scar by Amanda Jennings. I got this book through the Britmums book club and it’s the first book from the book club that I’ve really liked and actually finished.
It came with a lovely postcard, same design as the cover with a note from the author. I loved this little touch and used it as a bookmark 🙂

Will and Harmony are seemingly very happily married but as you get pulled into the story, you find out there are a few cracks showing, mainly down to the miscarriage they’re both dealing with, or so we thought.
Harmony thinks they can try again, but Will told her when they got married that he didn’t ever want children and it’s not going to be as easy for them as Harmony hopes.

You’d think this would be enough for the couple to have to deal with but we find that Will is trying to bury his past, a past that is slowly shown to involve bullying at boarding school.
It’s all brought right back to him though when his one time best friend from school, Luke, suddenly appears in his life.

Harmony, Will and Luke’s lives become intertwined by present actions and past hurts.

I wasn’t prepared for the ending, I usually see the twists coming and know what’s going on for most of the story but this one kept me in suspense and made me look forward to losing myself in the story each night.

I was surprised to start feeling sorry for the bad guy and angry at the supposedly good guy. I had to remind myself that the good guy wasn’t a guy when it all happened, he was a child, a child with his own demons to deal with, at an age where he shouldn’t have had any at all.

I was sorry to finish the book because I knew I was going to miss it!

I now have to read Sworn Secret, Amanda’s first novel and I’m looking forward to future books 🙂


Gone series by Michael Grant – Read 100 books: numbers 27-32

I haven’t updated my, ‘read 100 books’ challenge, I set myself as part of my day zero challenge recently so I figured it was about time I did, especially as I’ve got quite a few to add!

Gone Series – Book 1

Gone seriesAiden got the Gone series for his birthday last year. He read the first book and when he’d done he said I should read it. The last time he’d said that to me was after he’d finished The Hunger Games which he absolutely loved, as did I so I gave this a go.
I have to say, I wasn’t expecting great things but right from the start this book totally grabbed me and sucked me in.

Here’s a short synopsis, not written by me because I tend to waffle on and can’t really keep it short and without spoilers so this is from Amazon!

Suddenly it’s a world without adults and normal has crashed and burned. When life as you know it ends at 15, everything changes.
In the blink of an eye, all the adults disappear in a small town in southern California and no one knows why. Cut off from the outside world, those that are left are trapped, and there’s no help on the way. They must do all they can to survive. Chaos rules the streets. Gangs begin to form. Sides are chosen – strong or weak. Cruel or humane. And then there are those who begin to develop powers . . . It’s Lord of the Flies for the Heroes generation.

It’s not for the faint of heart as some of it, and the rest of the books in the series, can be quite gruesome. I’m not going to suggest an age range for this series of books because it really does depend on the maturity levels of the individual so what I’d say is to check them out yourself before letting your young adult read them.

Gone series

Book 2 – Hunger

When life as you know it ends at 15, everything changes. The clock is ticking for Sam Temple and the kids of Perdido Beach but it’s not the big one-five that they face now; it’s starvation that threatens the FAYZ. In an abandoned mineshaft a faceless animal lurks, pulling the strings, toying with human and mutant alike. And he’s hungry – hungry in the darkness.
An uneasy calm has settled over Perdido Beach. But soon, fear explodes into desperation as starvation sets in and the mob look to place blame. For the ‘normals’ the buck must stop somewhere: with the ‘freaks’. More and more kids are developing strange powers and, just as frighteningly, so are the animals in the FAYZ: talking coyotes, swimming bats and deadly worms with razor-sharp teeth are just the beginning.
For Sam Temple the strain of leadership is beginning to show and he’s got more than just dwindling rations and in-fighting to worry about – Caine is back with the psychotic whiphand, Drake, by his side. And in the background lies the greatest danger of all – and he too needs to be fed.

Book 3 – Lies

It happens in one night: a girl who died now walks among the living, Zil and the Human Crew set fire to Perdido Beach, and amid the flames and smoke, Sam sees the figure of the boy he fears the most – Drake. But Sam and Caine defeated him along with the Darkness . . . or so they thought.
As Perdido Beach burns, battles rage: Astrid against the Town Council; the Human Crew versus the mutants; and Sam against Drake. And the prophetess Orsay and her companion, Nerezza, are preaching that death will set them all free. As life in the FAYZ becomes more desperate, no one knows who they can trust.

Book 4 – Plague

The FAYZ goes from bad to worse . . . The Darkness has been foiled once again and the resurrected Drake has been contained. But the streets of Perdido Beach are far from safe. With a growing army of mutants fighting against the humans, power in the town hangs in the balance. In a small room of a house near the edge of town Little Pete lies ill on a bed. In his fevered dreams he continues his battle with the hidden evil that seeks to use his power to bring about anarchy and destruction.

Book 5 – Fear

Night is falling in the FAYZ. Permanently. The gaiaphage has blotted out the sun and the barrier that surrounds the town of Perdido Beach is turning black. It’s Sam’s worst nightmare. With Astrid still missing and Edilio and Lana struggling to maintain order, Sam and his followers need all the courage they can get. As their world descends into darkness, only real heroes will survive.

Book 5 – Light

All eyes are on Perdido Beach. The barrier wall is now as clear as glass and life in the FAYZ is visible for the entire outside world to see. Life inside the dome remains a constant battle and the Darkness, away from watchful eyes, grows and grows . . . The society that Sam and Astrid have struggled so hard to build is about to be shattered for good. It’s the end of the FAYZ. Who will survive to see the light of day?

The rest of the books in the series all kept me hooked and I have to admit to being quite sad when I reached the end of the final book, especially when I read the note from the author. It felt like I’d lost friends with whom I’d been on a long and exhausting, epic adventure!


Read 100 books – #26 Wait for me

I was reading the paperback version of ‘Others’ by James Herbert a couple of months ago but when we went to Portsmouth I only took my Kindle as it was smaller and lighter.
While Ant went to look at HMS Warrior (I needed to rest my sore ankle and back after walking around HMS Victory the day before) I went and sat in Porter’s Garden and spent a lovely few hours engrossed in ‘Wait For Me’ by Elizabeth Naughton.

I knew from the first chapter that I was going to enjoy this book and when we returned home the next day I put ‘Others’ to one side in favour of ‘Wait For Me’.
It kept me engrossed and wanting to go to bed to find out what was going to happen next.

Here’s the blurb from Amazon 🙂

A woman without a past…
After a tragic accident left her with no memory, Kate Alexander struggled to fit in with a husband and world that didn’t feel right. She’s had no reason to question what friends and family have told her, not until her husband is suddenly killed and she finds a photo of a young girl in his office. A girl who can’t be anyone but a daughter Kate didn’t know she had.

A man desperate for a reason to live…
Ryan Harrison lost his wife in a plane crash five years ago. To cope with the pain of her loss, he dedicated himself to his job and to raising their daughter. Now a successful pharmaceutical executive, Ryan has everything a man could want–money, fame and power–but he’d give it all up in a heartbeat for just one more day with the woman he still loves.

Two lives about to converge.
As Kate begins to dig into a past she doesn’t remember, evidence leads her to San Francisco and puts her on the path toward Ryan, a man who sees in her the woman he loved and lost. Kate feels a draw to Ryan, one she can’t explain, but is that feeling enough to convince her this is where she’s supposed to be? As Ryan and Kate search for answers, they uncover lies long buried, a passion hotter than either expected and a danger that threatens…even now…when the second chance they’ve both been searching for is finally within reach.

I think I’m going to try the Stolen series by Elizabeth Naughton next, they look really good!

Read 100 Books # 25 Haunted

I didn’t realise I was watching a James Herbert story when I watched the film, Haunted, a few years ago and when I started this book all I could think about was the movie. I like to read the books first so that I don’t get stuck with the faces of the actors when I’m reading and I have to say that knowing the ending did spoil the book a little for me.

However, it’s well written and if you don’t know about the twist at the end, I imagine it would be a very enjoyable read.

Here’s a little about the story…

Three nights of terror at the house called Edbrook. Three nights in which David Ash, there to investigate a haunting will be victim of horrifying and maleficent games. Three nights in which he will face the blood-chilling enigma of his own past. Three nights before Edbrook’s dreadful secret will be revealed…. And the true nightmare will begin Remember with Fear!

I know I’d have enjoyed it more if I hadn’t known the twist at the end but it was still worth reading 🙂

Read 100 Books # 24 The Magic Cottage

Another James Herbert book and I have to say it’s been a very long time since I’ve felt scared when reading late at night. Even when I went through my Stephen King phase, I didn’t find his books scary, not like watching movies (I can’t watch horror movies on my own because I get too scared to upstairs to bed!) but The Magic Cottage really played on the fear I have of someone out in the dark, watching me through a window.

When I went to America to spend a month with my aunt, she lived in a beautiful big house with floor to ceiling windows and no curtains. I loved the house but when night time came, I couldn’t relax because it felt like someone was out there, looking in!
The cottage sounds idyllic and it would be our dream to buy a cottage in the woods with a lovely little stream running through the bottom of the garden but I wonder whether I’d always be nervous, worrying about someone hiding in the woods, watching me.
The book really struck a chord with me, as you can tell from this post….I haven’t even mentioned what the book is about really, just the effect it had on me!
Here’s a little about it –
“We thought we’d found our haven, a cottage deep in the heart of the forest. Charming, maybe a little run down, but so peaceful. That was the first part of the Magic. Midge’s painting and my music soared to new heights of creativity. That was another part of the Magic. Our love for each other – well, that became the supreme Magic. But the cottage had an alternative side. The Bad Magic.” “What happened to us there was horrendous beyond belief. The healings, the crazy sect who wanted our home for themselves, the hideous creatures that crawled from the nether regions, and the bats – oh God, the bats! Even now those terrible things seem impossible to me. Yet they happened…”
This another James Herbert book that I really enjoyed and he’s fast becoming one of my favourite authors 🙂

Read 100 Books #19 – Nobody True

I just realised that I forgot to publish this post when I finished the book a few months ago! I now have another book post out of sequence, just to confuse me when I’m trying to keep track of the books I’ve read for my day zero project!

Anyway, onto my thoughts about the next James Herbert story that I read.

You may have heard me mention that I’m a new James Herbert fan after watching The Secrets Of Crickley Hall last year on ITV.

I’m really enjoying his books and this one didn’t disappoint.

James True is able to leave his own body which he unfortunately does on the night someone murders him. We follow him as he tries to come to terms with his murder and to protect the family he left behind. However, he finds that this isn’t easily done when you can’t touch anyone or anything.

It kept me turning the pages and made me have too many late nights when I just couldn’t put it down!

Read 100 books #21, 22 and 23 – The Hunger Games trilogy

To say I enjoyed these books would be an understatement! I haven’t read any books as quickly as I read these, in a long time.

While we were on holiday in our glamping tent last October, Aiden borrowed The Hunger Games from the honesty shop and read it in a few days. He really enjoyed it so my mum bought him the trilogy for Christmas.
He whizzed through them and I think it’s fair to say he seemed to enjoy them more than any other books he’s read, even Harry Potter! I know he loves the HP books but he wasn’t always getting his jobs done quickly so he could get back to them like he did with The Hunger Games.

He kept telling me I should read them so once I’d finished Nightingale Woods I picked up The Hunger Games and didn’t look back. I started reading it around March 10th and yesterday I finished the third book.
Three books in less than a month is a record for me (well, only since having kids! before that I could read a book or two a week depending on my job!). I was in turmoil because I wanted to read and read and read to find out what happened but I also didn’t want them to end and felt really sad when they finally did; it was like I was leaving some old friends, never to see them again.

The writer did a brilliant job of getting me to care about the characters, I mean, really, truly care about them; I wanted them to be safe and get their happy ever afters. I nearly cried when people died, I felt their anger when they had to deal with the starvation and unfair treatment and I wanted more than anything, to kill President Snow!

I watched the movie the other day and enjoyed that as well. I can’t wait to see the next two!

Read 100 Books # 20 – Nightingale Woods

I wasn’t sure about this book when I first started reading it. I’ve discovered I’m not a fan of the diary format that’s used in the beginning of the book but the story was good enough to make me want to keep reading.

I did enjoy it more when the diary part ended about half way through and for the most part, I wanted Rachel to get her man and live happily ever after, even though she’s the other woman!
I don’t want to ruin the ending so I won’t say anything except that I was a little disappointed and felt it ended a bit too soon.
I really can’t elaborate without giving away what happens so I’ll leave it there!

I looked forward to reading Nightingale Woods after reading Discovery at Rosehill by the same author and I wasn’t disappointed; I love Kathryn’s writing style and hope to read more by her in the future 🙂

Read 100 Books #18 The Secret of Crickley Hall

I’m a new James Herbert fan and that’s all thanks to the showing of The Secret of Crickley Hall on ITV last year.
I love a good ghost story and I was hooked with this one. I think maybe the fact that I saw the TV show before reading the book may have ruined it a little for me. I prefer to read first then watch but I have to admit, when I saw on the opening titles that it was written by James Herbert I had to go to Amazon to find out who he was and what books he’d written.
I couldn’t believe that I’d not heard of him when he writes about ghosts and the supernatural!

I was lucky enough to be given loads of his books for Christmas from my girls and I’m now looking forward to going to bed every night to read more of my Nobody True book. I’m about two thirds of the way through and loving it!

Anyway, back to Crickley Hall….

Eve and Gabe Caleigh move to Crickley Hall with their daughters after suffering through a horrible year. Gabe hopes the change of scene will help Eve come to terms with the loss of their son who went missing a year ago.
Crickley Hall is big and old with a river that runs through the front garden and under the building. The cellar houses an old well that goes down to the river and is one of the reasons why the house is always cold.
As well as following the story of Gabe and Eve in the present day we also meet the owners of Crickley Hall during the war years and get to know the children that were evacuated there.

Chilling in places and extremely emotive in others, it’s a great read and I thank ITV for introducing me to excellence that is James Herbert 🙂

Read 100 Books #17 Ryan’s Return

This was another freebie download from the Amazon Kindle store although it’s not free anymore! It’s worth the price though as it’s a great read for those who like chick lit.

Available at Amazon

It didn’t speed through the story, which I find often happens with these kind of books and it has a bit of everything I like; romance, ghosts, family feuds and a small town that I’d love to move to!
Ryan returns to his home town after years away travelling round the world taking wonderful photos.
He fell out with his dad and brother years ago and his return to the town is hard for them all.
It’s a nice easy read and I looked forward to going to bed each night so I could read some more!

I did mistakenly delete it from Kindle half way through reading it while we were away on holiday and didn’t have Internet access! I was really looking forward to finishing it while we were away and somehow (I still don’t know how to delete books from the Kindle without going to my Amazon account and doing it from there!) I accidentally pressed something which deleted the book on the first night we were there.
I couldn’t wait to get home, sign into Amazon and send it back to my Kindle!

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