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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.




343 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 2016-02-03 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 2016-01-28 13:41
Review - Bear is Broken by Lachlan Smith
Bear is Broken (Leo Maxwell 1) - Lachlan Smith

I read plenty of thrillers whether they be police procedural, PI or just general crime but I haven't really dipped much into the Legal Thriller and thought this might be a fast read to get a feel for it. Turns out I do like the genre and this story has made me want to read more, but it's not without it's faults.


First of all there's the main character, Leo - He comes across as a right idiot. I hope he matures over the course of the next books because in this one he hasn't got a clue. He jumps from one hypothesis (and suspect) to another without much in the way of deduction, just a guess of who it might be and then he's sold on that idea until someone else puts another name in his mind and then he switches to that new person as his guilty party. I couldn't work out why he did most of what he did and/or thought, to be honest, he just shambles from one thing to another without much in the way of logical thought...well, not that I could see anyway. He's a terrible judge of character and is either very naive or gullible or a combination of both and a few times I almost gave up on him and laid the book aside for good because he was so annoying.


But - that didn't happen because I actually couldn't leave it sitting for long and wanted to know how it ended. It's a good story and although there are plot holes and characters/actions that make no sense it's not a terrible story. The ending felt rushed and more could have been made of it but it is what it is.


It sounds like I didn't like it much but I did. It's frustrating and annoying and lacking in places but the plot isn't too bad, as debuts go, and I'm hopeful that the author will find his stride in the next and later novels. I'm looking forward to them.


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




Another 255 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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