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review 2016-02-08 22:38
Review - Time to Say Goodbye by S. D Robertson
Time to Say Goodbye - S. Robertson

 

2016 is still new but I've already found a strong contender for my favourite book of the year. I absolutely loved this! Emotional, heart-warming, tragic, bittersweet, charming and very, very satisfying are all words I'd use to describe this and I read it in a day, which is something I rarely manage. I started this at 7am this morning and turned the last page at 8pm tonight and loved every word of it.

Will, widower and single father to six year old Ella, has promised he will never leave her. On his way to pick Ella up after school he meets with a fatal accident and is devastated at having to break his promise and at having to leave without saying goodbye. His guide to the spirit world, Lizzie, gives him a little extra time to come to terms with his situation and to decide if he will stay to watch over Ella and his family or if he will take the journey to paradise that she would like to lead him to.

As a parent it was all too easy to put myself in Wills shoes and his frustrations were mine. I shared his joys too though and was supporting him all the way through to make the right decision. The family troubles which ran alongside his own fleshed everything out and the twist near the end caught me unawares and was brilliantly executed. His daughter, mother, sister, father and even the spirit guides just sprang to life for me and I was totally engrossed from start to finish.

S.D Robertson can definitely write and I can heartily recommend this as a fabulous read. I'm drawn to books I categorize as 'dead narrators' and usually find they're much lighter than the name conjures up. This one, despite the heart rending situation does also have a lightness to it while still touching on some deeper family issues. I just can't fault the story or the storyteller.

Some similar books I've enjoyed which encompass the 'dead narrator' are The Angel at No. 33, The Five People You Meet In Heaven and The Brief History of the Dead and Time to Say Goodbye ranks up there with the best of them!

 

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

 

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343 more pages added to my One Million pages in my lifetime challenge!  More than a 10th of the way there!

 

 112,581/1,000,000

 

 

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review 2013-11-03 20:36
Review - Heaven Can Wait by Cally Taylor
Heaven Can Wait - Cally Taylor

My newly found love of chick lit has brought me to this one by Cally Taylor and I loved it so much! I think maybe I still have one foot in the 'Paranormal' camp though because I seem to be drawn to the one's that have something magical about them. This one has ghostly going's on and despite the fact that the leading lady dies within the first few pages it's really funny. I especially loved the other characters. Stinky Brian was my favourite I think. Bless. He's got a rug in his room that smells like boiled cabbage and a Thomas the Tank engine duvet cover. Loved him!

Anyway, as mentioned Tess dies (on the eve of her wedding) and is given a choice - go straight to heaven or go back down to earth and become a ghost so she can hang around her husband-to-be Dan. She chooses to become a ghost so needs to pass her 'task' first and she's got 21 days to do it in. She shares a grotty bedsit in London with a couple of other Wannabe ghosts who also have their own 'tasks' to complete and it's impossible to not get dragged in to their respective dilemma's and feel for them. The characters are so well written that I pictured them clearly in my mind and couldn't put the book down until I knew how their stories ended. I really felt like I knew them.

Trainspotter Brian has his work cut out for him with his task and has some fantastically funny moments trying to solve it. Damaged Claire's has attitude and has erected a shield of bitchiness around herself to mask how vulnerable she really is (I felt really sorry for her). The IT guys are suitably geeky and it's like watching an episode of 'The IT crowd' when they get going (the boss especailly reminds me of the IT crowd boss). Even the secondary characters are fleshed out and Sandwich Sally is like a little powerpuff girl - cuteness and sass all rolled into one. Love them all.

The only bit I wasn't overly fond of was the last chapter. I didn't care for how it ended. Really, given that this is chick lit it was the only way it could have ended but that doesn't mean I like it. The options were probably limited and another ending would have given a whole different feel to the book but I still wasn't keen on that last chapter.

That said though, I wish this was a series so that I could read more about other wannabe ghosts. I'd auto buy all the others if it was. I might even go back to this one for a re-read some time. I'd definitely LOVE to see this made into a movie!!

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review 2013-05-26 22:01
Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans
Level 2 - Lenore Appelhans

My feelings about Lenore Appelhans' Level 2 are divided... although I felt like this first book in The Memory Chronicles was interesting (enough so that I'll be reading the second book), I also felt that the pace was sometimes too slow or that nothing much was actually happening.

Level 2 focuses on Felicia, who is, as far as she knows, dead and resides in a hive-like structure populated by countless more drones (as these dead call themselves) who rarely interact, instead spending their days reliving their memories and the memories of the other drones. The memories are accessed via a pod and are categorized with tags, comparable to the shelf tagging system on GoodReads. In the hives, memories are both the currency and the product. Felicia and her fellow drones have no idea how they've come to be in this place after their deaths, nor do they know what their purpose is... and no one seems all that driven to find any answers.

All this changes, however, when Julian, a boy from Felicia's life, shows up in her hive. It's clear to the reader that Felicia and Julian's past is complicated - and perhaps not all that positive - but Felicia leaves with him after he promises to reunite her with her boyfriend, Neil, who she misses terribly and thinks of constantly. While the readers know very little about Julian, they are well aware of how Felicia feels for Neil, as her favorite and most accessed memories all feature Neil.

I really liked how Appelhans used the memories and tagging system to give the reader more information about Felicia. I felt this was a really creative execution of "show not tell" and allowed the author to give character history and detail while simultaneously explaining the world of Level 2

One of the only reasons that I didn't love, love Level 2 was the pacing. As I read, I sometimes felt like there was detail where it wasn't necessary. I could be remembering incorrectly, but I really felt that there were too many scenes of Julian and Felicia running and fleeing and describing the many hives they passed. There were times when I thought to myself: when is something going to happen?? 

Other than the pacing, I found Level 2 really interesting. I'm especially curious about Julian, who Felicia appears to think so little of, but I can't help but wonder about. Appelhans did a great job of giving just enough information about characters and events that the reader is left curious and hungry for more detail, so I'm hoping the second book answers some of my questions!

Source: thehidingspot.blogspot.com/2013/05/review-level-2-by-lenore-appelhans.html
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