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review 2018-09-10 20:21
The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle - Stuart Turton

A special thank you to NetGalley, Edelweiss, HarperCollins and Sourcebooks Landmark for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.  

 

"Nothing like a mask to reveal somebody's true nature."

 

Evelyn Hardcastle, the young and beautiful daughter of the house, is killed. But Evelyn will not die just once. Until Aiden Bishop—one of the guests summoned to Blackheath for the party—can solve her murder, the day will repeat itself, over and over again.

 

But each time the day begins again, Aiden wakes in the body of a different guest. And someone is determined to prevent him ever escaping Blackheath...

 

As far as any book goes, the concept is actually brilliant, especially for a debut.  The book is smart, (mostly) well-executed, and clever.  

 

Here's where my glowing review ends.  I was confused throughout and had to keep going back to reread parts which given the size of the book, was not ideal.  It was unclear at times as to which body Aidan was in and at what times.  There were also a lot of characters and it was challenging to keep them straight.  Having a character change their identity eight times is a gamble for Turton and he almost pulls it off.  Where he fails is that the reader questions how well they know and understand the characters—they are suspect because of all of the different identities inhabited.  

 

The premise, as mentioned, is fantastic.  When you read the synopsis, there is definite intrigue, but actually reading it was a whole other matter.  I was left disinterested around day six.  There was some unnecessary bulk at this point in the storyline and hopefully this will be resolved in the published product.  My final thought is that given the level of detail, the number of players, and the intricate plot, this should have been a series.

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review 2018-09-03 15:00
CROSS HER HEART by Sarah Pinborough
Cross Her Heart: The gripping new psychological thriller from the #1 Sunday Times bestselling author - Sarah Pinborough

 

Starting at 12:01 on Saturday morning and finished by 7pm Sunday night, CROSS HER HEART consumed almost my entire weekend. A fast paced thriller with so many twists and turns, I can honestly say that I did not guess how it would end. I love when that happens!

 

There are so many reviews out already, I'm not sure what I can add to what's already been said, but here we go. Lisa loves her daughter Ava so much, but is suffocating her by being so over-protective. Now that Ava is 16, she's chomping at the bit to get on with her life and for her mom to back off. Ava is an excellent swimmer and on the swim team at school. When a young boy falls into the water at a community fair, Ava doesn't hesitate to jump in and save him, and as a result, both her and her mom's pictures are plastered all over the local papers. This sets in motion a series of events that will change their lives forever. How do their lives change due to these pictures? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

This is only my second Sarah Pinborough novel but I'm happy to know there are several older books for me to catch up with. Her writing style appeals to me because of the pacing, the depth of the characters and her ability to change the direction of the story on a dime. A dime, I say! I was rooting for Lisa and Ava to pull through. I was rooting for Lisa's best friend Marilyn too. With bad guys you can easily hate and protagonists that are easy to love, Sarah Pinborough has gained a reader for life.

 

Highly recommended for fans of mystery, suspense and thrillers!

 

*I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher, via Edelweiss, in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

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review 2018-08-31 19:42
Hot Winter Nights (Heartbreaker Bay, #6) by Jill Shalvis
Hot Winter Nights - Jill Shalvis

 

Jill Shalvis knows her way around romance. Hot Winter Nights gave me heart tingles. Molly finally gets her chance to shine. She's sick of waiting on the sidelines. Unfortunately, she jumps from the frying pan rather quickly and lands herself in some serious hot water. Leading with her heart has a way of biting her in the butt. This time around Lucas is there to cushion the fall. She comes into her own with that fighting spirit, I love and a vulnerability she always hides. Shalvis can take a piece of my heart anytime.
 
 

 

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review 2018-08-25 21:02
Coding Projects in Python
Coding Projects in Python - DK Publishing

[I received a copy of this book through Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.]

Actually, I finished reading this book quite a while ago, as a quick read, and was planning on going through it a second time at a different pace in order to fully use it—namely, to teach myself Python. I thought (and I still think I was right) that I’d then be able to review it properly. Unfortunately, between work and studying for both network certifications and uni, I don’t really have enough time to add programming to my timetable, so this will have to wait.

I made it to 25% of the book, in terms of following its teachings. From what I’ve experienced here, while I wouldn’t recommend it to younger children, it looks to me like it’d be an appropriate place to start for kids around 10-12. And older kids as well, of course. Or even adults. Because we’re ‘adults’ doesn’t mean that the colourful pictures will magically alter our ability to follow instructions to develop programs in Python.

The lessons were easy to understand and to put in practice. There were a few typos, but since I had an advanced copy, hopefully they’re gone from the printed version. (I could find my way around them, it was a matter of logics, but I’m not sure if a child would? Or maybe they would, who knows! Also, it’s good training in debugging, and this is never a waste.)

I wish I could give a deeper review. Maybe at a later time, once I can pick it up again.

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review 2018-08-18 01:43
When the Lights Go Out by Mary Kubica
When The Lights Go Out - Mary Kubica

A special thank you to NetGalley, Edelweiss, HarperCollins, and Park Row Books for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

 

Jessie Sloane had been caring for her mother, Eden, and is now on her own for the first time in her life.  She takes out a lease on an apartment in an old carriage house and applies to college.  But when the college informs her that her social security number belongs to a deceased three-year-old girl, Jessie begins to doubt everything she's ever known.

 

For as long as Jessie can remember, it had only been just the two of them.  When she asked about her father, Eden never disclosed who he was.  The mystery of Jessie's life and who she is becomes further exacerbated by the grief surrounding the death of her mother as well as the lack of sleep—Jessie refuses to sleep because when she fell asleep at the hospital, her mother died, and she feels an incredible amount of guilt.  As the days go by and the insomnia gets worse, Jessie's mind starts to play tricks on her and she can't decipher what is real and what is actually happening.  

 

Twenty years earlier and two hundred and fifty miles away, Eden appears to be happily married and dreams of having a child with her husband, Aaron.  The couple is struggling with infertility and Eden's desperation for a child becomes all-consuming.  Eden makes an impulsive decision that years later has Jessie questioning her whole life—has it been a lie, or have her delusions finally gotten the best of her?

 

Told in alternating perspectives and timelines, the sharp plot is blunted by Jessie's delusions and Eden's obsessive behaviour.  The reader is stuck inside both Jessie's twisted perceptions, not knowing what is real and what isn't, and Eden's emotional breakdown.  As unreliable narrators, Jessie and Eden are the perfect vehicles to execute this psychological thriller.  

 

Kubica is at the top of her game and she pens something totally fresh in When the Lights Go Out.  I would highly recommend this book, it was a fantastic read and I enjoyed the many twists in the plot.  

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