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review 2016-02-03 12:17
Review - The Stylist by Rosie Nixon
The Stylist - Rosie Nixon

I didn't have any particular expectations going into this one, other than it was going to be a chicklit read and possibly featured a few celebs. It's billed as perfect for fans of The Devil Wears Prada but that's not one I've read (or watched), and for those who liked the Shopaholic books - again, not a series I've read. I do watch The Real Beverly Hills Housewives religiously though and pick up Heat and Hello and other gossip mags occasionally when the mood strikes me so I'm not completely in the dark when it comes to Celebrity culture.


Right from the first chapter I was hooked, it's a great story and Amber is a character who is not hard to like. She's a normal girl who gets roped into assisting stylist to the stars Mona Armstrong and it's a total circus from start to finish. I felt like I was getting some insider gossip while reading it and loved all the shenanigans and capers that Amber had to deal with while trying to style the stars for the Golden Globes, BAFTA's and ultimately the Oscars.


The characters were great too and I loved the ones I was meant to love and hated the one(s) I was meant to hate. Mona was particularly hard to like but at times I found myself actually feeling sorry for her. Not that the feeling lasted because overall she was repellent but at times I felt my heart go out to her a bit. Such is the power of really good storytelling.


I would definitely read more of this authors books if there were any and it wouldn't surprise me in the least to see this one made into a movie. I'd happily watch it.


A really good story and well told.


I received this free title from the publishers for review purposes.




Another letter checked off my Silver Thistle 2016 Reading Challenge too.  Since this book has a publication date next week (Feb 11th 2016) it covers my letter 'Y' - A book published this YEAR.



Annnnd, it's 416 more pages added to my One Million pages in my lifetime challenge!  More than a 10th of the way there!





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review 2016-01-31 12:44
Review - The Dark by V.M Giambanco
The Dark: Written by V. M. Giambanco, 2014 Edition, (UK Airports) Publisher: Quercus Publishing Plc [Paperback] - V.M. Giambanco

Well, this was much better than the first one (The Gift of Darkness). I liked the first one well enough but overall the pace was poor and particularly the tediously slow first half which almost prompted a DNF.   I was sent #1 and #3 in the series for review so bought this one to bridge the gap as I hate reading out of sequence.  Definitely a more rounded story with none of the previous book issues.


I liked that most of the characters from the earlier story were still involved and I'm getting to know them all a bit better.  I'd love a romance between Madison and Cameron but that's probably an idle wish, considering their differences. 


Anyway, really good story and lots of layered plot to get my teeth into.  I actually guessed who the villain was around the half way point and that's something I'm rarely able to pull off.  Fairly quick read for me and I was picking it up every chance I got see if I was right and the ending was all the more satisfying because I saw it coming.


On to the third one now, Blood and Bone and I hope it's more of the same.




Annnnd, it's 467 more pages added to my One Million pages in my lifetime challenge!





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review 2016-01-25 17:40
Review - The Gift of Darkness by V.M Giambanco
The Gift of Darkness: Detective Alice Madison (1) - Valentina Giambanco

I very nearly gave up on this within the first 100 pages. It was very slow to get going and confusing too with all the character, timeline and tense changes. It started to pique my interest eventually but it was still touch and go for a DNF up until the halfway mark which was when the story really got under way and got my attention. For a 500+ page book to take 250 pages to hook me is disappointing. I'd hope to be well and truly gripped by the halfway mark but this one was slow going and quite boring in places.

Because of the rocky start I found it hard to keep all the minor characters straight in my head but the main characters were interesting and it dawns on me that as this is the first in a series they'll probably be fleshed out in later books. I have bought the second one in the series and am about to start that today so we'll see how that goes.

Disappointing that it didn't grab me from the start but it's a good story and it's well written, it's just tediously slow to get to the point. I'm looking forward to the next in the series though so it wasn't all bad news.


I received this free title direct from the publisher for review purposes.




Another letter checked off my Silver Thistle 2016 Reading Challenge too so it's win/win.  This one covers my letter 'P' - A book with more than 500 pages!



Annnnd, it's 505 more pages added to my One Million pages in my lifetime challenge!





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review 2016-01-03 17:19
Review - Where the Bodies are Buried by Christopher Brookmyre
Where the Bodies Are Buried - Christopher Brookmyre

I started Where the Bodies are Buried last year (that feels weird to say since it's only been a few days) and it is my first finish of 2016.  I had heard lots of good things about Christopher Brookmyre so a few months ago I picked up Quite Ugly One Morning which is the first of the Jack Parlabane series and I can see why he's so popular, I loved it.  Tartan Noir with liberal doses of black humour and I bought several more of his books on the strength of it. 


Where the Bodies are Buried is the first in another of his series, Sharpe Investigations.  It was slow to start and I was a bit disappointed because the humour is missing from this one.  I had heard that the series was a bit light on laughs compared to his earlier work so it wasn't unexpected but still felt lacking, a bit.  I plowed on though and it was actually a great read by the end.  The ending though, gah!  I was seriously vexed by the last sentence which went something like, "She took a deep breath and found the courage to say the four words."  I was like, "Wait!  What?!  What four words?!!  What did she say????"  I brooded on it all last night and most of this morning too until suddenly it came to me!  I get it!  I know what she said and the four words make me even more keen to get to the next one now.  I won't spoil it for anyone by spilling the four words though.  You're welcome :D


The guy can definitely write.  Slick story, plenty of surprises, great characters and Glasgow is a brilliant setting.  The Glaswegian gallows humour is like music to my ears and although not as full on as in his earlier book it was still very well done. 


He has a way to go until he overtakes the king of Scottish black humour (Jay Stringer - Ways to Die in Glasgow) but he's close and I'll definitely keep working through his books.


This first finish allows me to cross off the first letter in my AtoZ challenge and I'm calling this one:  D - A book with lots of DEATHS


Also, it adds another 304 pages to my 1 Million pages challenge.




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text 2016-01-02 22:37
My A to Z 2016 Reading Challenge

For the last eight years I've joined one (or more) reading challenges.  For the last eight years I've failed to complete any of them.  Not a single one.  Made of fail.  I try to pick challenges that I feel I have a decent chance of managing but when I hit a book that I don't fancy it all stalls.


This year I thought I'd try and give myself a fighting chance and rather than try to mold my reading to someone else's choices I'd make my own one. 


I'm taking part in The Silver Thistle 2016 AtoZ Reading Challenge :)


Wish me luck!  If I can't do this one then there is something wrong with me, LMAO




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