logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: arc-received
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-12-29 23:07
Review: Sculpting Amanda by Julie Sanford
Sculpting Amanda: nobody is born a victim , but they can be made one. - Julie Lynn Sanford

Self-published  (29th January 2017)

 

ISBN: 978-1520487168

 

Source:  author provided review copy

 

Rating: 3*

 

Synopsis: 

Meet Amanda Wake, starting her new job. Her only requirement is to earn enough money to buy a coveted mobile phone. Seventeen and fresh from school, she dreams of a Mills and Boon love story developing between her and her new boss. Meet Mathew Mason, A successful businessman, and Amanda’s new employer. What Amanda doesn’t know is that Mathew has aspirations too. He has an unhealthy and immoral obsession with Amanda. The job was created so that he could have better access to her. Set over the course of sixteen years we follow their journey. Amanda’s life is plagued with many unfortunate twists and turns unbeknownst to her all due to Mathew’s intervention. A dark and disturbing suspense thriller that will have the reader screaming out for a book buddy just so they can discuss the plot. Not for the faint hearted, read Sculpting Amanda if you dare.

 

Review:

The description of this book is accurate.  It's the story of Matthew's complete obsession with Amanda, to the point that he creates a job for her, organises certain things to happen and orchestrates turns of events that are at times more than a little far-fetched...but it is a work of fiction after all, so anything can happen! 

 

There are several sexual scenes in the book that make for uncomfortable reading. I obviously cannot say why without giving any of the plot away, but I will say that I consider this book unsuitable for younger readers under the age of 14. These scenes are crucial to the story, however. 

 

At the beginning of the book, Amanda is a very naïve seventeen year old but Matthew is more mysterious. We aren't given any real sense of background on either main character, but I don't feel it's really needed here as we learn all we need to during the sixteen years over which the book is set. 

 

One main point I'd like to pick up on is the poor attention to detail throughout this book. The whole book, particularly the ending, feels very rushed, as though it's not been read through after being written. The spelling, grammar and punctuation is appalling. I realise not everyone can afford to have their work professionally proofread and edited, but all computers have a spellchecker! If this had been addressed, the book would feel so much more polished. It would also be easier to read, and the reviews would be so much better. 

 

Having said that, there are some really good points here. The story grabbed my attention, I wondered what was going to happen next, and I didn't quite foresee that ending...not entirely! I'd be interested to read the author's next book at some point, and I'll definitely remember Sculpting Amanda!

 

Special thanks to Julie Sanford for providing an advanced review copy.  This is my honest review. 

 

Like Reblog Comment
review 2016-11-22 08:55
Short thought: The Girl with the Windup Heart
The Girl with the Windup Heart - Kady Cross

The only other book I've read from the Steampunk Chronicles series is The Girl with the Iron Touch..and frankly I didn't even took the time to check the order of the books. While I like this one, I would say I like the earlier one better. Both the books have a kind of serious tone to them I would say, but this is definitely a recommended read for those who like steampunk novels.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2015-07-09 16:34
If You Only Knew by Kristan Higgins
If You Only Knew - Kristan Higgins

ARC received from publisher via NetGalley

I've read, and mostly enjoyed Higgins's Blue Heron quartet, and this one interested me because the description reminded me a bit of Susan Mallery's The Girls of Mischief Bay, which I loved. If You Only Knew is a bit of a departure from Higgins's romance - the trademark humor is still there, but as the story progresses you realize it's not a category romance but a story with romantic elements.

The POV switches between two sisters:

1) Divorced Jenny, who forges steadily into a new life with her dress shop but can't break away from her old one. Actually, the people who should be in her past *won't* let go.

2) Married Rachel, who has spent the last decade putting on the front of perfect wife/mother that she misses details like...uh, her husband's womanizing.

As these two lives intertwine there are subplots that contribute to the drama and peel away history that impacts the people involved. Family secrets, old emotional wounds, and the ubiquitous back-handed compliments from Mother (seems like there's a mother like this in every Higgins book I've read).

But I enjoyed this story, despite my wanting to slap some sense into Jenny and Rachel from time to time. Eventually they figure out what they need on their own, and it's a fascinating journey there.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2015-04-15 01:24
Ringo: With a Little Help by Michael Starr
Ringo: With a Little Help - Michael Starr

Does Ringo Starr get enough credit as a musician? Other professionals have cited his influence on them, mainly by virtue of The Beatles' reach and an equal focus on all four members. Think of how many kids watched the band on Ed Sullivan and went to pursue music - not all of them became guitarists.

Others may argue that Ringo is no Buddy Rich or Neil Peart - then again you can reverse that argument. How well would Neil and Buddy have paraded through A Hard Day's Night or mugged through Help! and The Magic Christian without Ringo's effusive charm? Legend has it Buddy once told a young fan, "fuck off, kid," so it's safe to say we wouldn't have heard him narrating any Thomas the Tank Engine stories.

Ringo was/is a drummer, memorable enough to make Best Of lists, and more so an entertainer. Think of each of the Beatles movies: Ringo has a significant side story in AHDN, is practically the focus of Help!, and opens Yellow Submarine andMagical Mystery Tour. Sometimes people debate over rock groups and the possibility of expendable members. Ringo isn't one of them.

Ringo the musician is not without his critics, but it's not enough to dismiss his skills entirely. He can claim a fair number of fans in the industry. While he didn't enjoy lasting solo success on the music charts compared to the other ex-Beatles, he never had a problem lining up capable sidemen for his albums. Check the liner notes of any of his records - each is a who's who in classic rock. I can't say if these music makers expected high sales, but it's clear they believe enough in Starr's talent to give their time to him.

Despite five decades in the public eye, you don't find much in the way of detailed biographies on the man. Look on Goodreads, and you'll see his photography collections, and a few bios with negative reviews - claims of poor writing and research. Michael Starr's Ringo: With a Little Help (AMZ / BN) may very well set a precedent. Like other Beatle biographies, this is an unauthorized work - author Starr (no relation, of course) even notes a Facebook post from Starr's official page denying any participation in the book's creation. It's possible Starr isn't interested in having his whole life story told, which makes sense considering the professional and personal nadirs revealed here.

The tone of Ringo, however, is kind. Ringo reads quite the opposite of Howard Sounes's Fab:An Intimate Life of Paul McCartney (reviewed here). Where Sounes's biography teeters between disappointment of and scorn for its subject,Ringo is almost apologetic in recounting post-Beatle struggles, as though the author doesn't want to put the star in a bad light. Even so, consider the content to work with: a string of low-charting solo albums (when they did chart), low-grossing movies and failed TV pilots, and a decade's worth of drunken debauchery. Hey, it happened, but Ringo survived. His All Starr Band is on it's thirteenth tour, and he's about to be inducted solo into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Granted, it's being done not as a performer but under the title of Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence or whatnot, but the Rock Hall could simply have let the Beatles induction suffice for him.

On top of all this, he's 72 and looks 40. Eat your broccoli, kids.

As a biographer, author Starr appears to have done his homework. Ringo comes with an extensive bibliography and list of cited sources, though it looks as though he relied heavily on certain ones - specifically Beatles books I've read for the first third of the history. You won't find many new revelations in the Beatles era, beyond the hints of reunion in the following years. One nit pick: the book states the claim of a near crime-free evening in New York during the Sullivan show, which the people at Snopes have debunked.

Ringo's post-Beatle debauchery well matched, if not surpassed, the decadence of Lennon's fabled Lost Weekend, only in his case it's a Lost Decade or two. You would expect a more rounded portrayal of Ringo here, and experience his frustration of wanting to move on from the past. I get the impression, though, author Starr is more interested in protecting Ringo and downplaying some of the uglier public moments. They exist.

With the new tour and Rock Hall honors, and every year until 2020 will be the 50th anniversary of something Beatle-related, Ringo is a timely release, one for fans interested in more about the man who inspired so many to pick up sticks.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2015-03-30 02:40
The Virgin's Daughter by Laura Andersen
The Virgin's Daughter: A Tudor Legacy Novel (Tudor Legacy Trilogy) - Laura Andersen

ARC received from publisher via Edelweiss

The Virgin's Daughter follows Andersen's excellent Boleyn Trilogy, which is now styled as The Tudor Legacy series to accommodate more stories. You really should read the first three books before this one, though as it stands by itself you won't be too lost. It's best, though, to start from the beginning to get a better sense of the alternate history Andersen writes.

The title is sort of a misnomer, because you get the impression Elizabeth's daughter, Annabel, is the focus of the story. She has a significant role, but the heart of the story centers more on Lucette Courtenay, the daughter of Elizabeth's old friend Minuette, and her family's involvement in uncovering plots connected to the Queen and Mary, Queen of Scots.

If you love Tudor fiction, this series offers an intriguing "what if" scenario to the history. I look forward to the next one.

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?