Thursday, 29 April 2021

Autism Awareness Month with Pablo

[AD/Gifted - We received the books mentioned in this post in exchange for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]

April is Autism Awareness Month and it is one that is close to my heart. My eldest child, C, is autistic and when he was first diagnosed. We had a lot of mixed emotions. 

Not long after C got his diagnosis, we heard that a new TV show called Pablo was due to air on CBeebies and not only is the main character an autistic boy, but the production company, Paper Owl Films, are based in my home city of Belfast. Double excitement for us.

Pablo really quickly became a favourite children's show for us because we were eager to show C someone who represented him. We have always been open with C about his autism and at the age of 8, he is well aware of it and understands what that means.

When we received these two books in the post - Pablo Picks His Shoes and Pablo's Feelings - C was delighted. He said "Pablo is autistic and I am autistic. He goes on adventures in his head and maybe that is why I can't turn my brain off at night." He then went off to read them straight away.


Upon reading Pablo's Feelings, he shouted to me, "Oh, Pablo's face sometimes forgets to show what he's feeling. Maybe that is what happens to me!" It was like a light had switched on in his head. He completely understood that and resonated with it.

I knew exactly what Pablo Picks His Shoes was going to be about before we'd even opened it as it is something that C has trouble with himself - making decisions. Pablo is choosing which shoes to wear but is afraid he will hurt his other shoes' feelings. For us, C is always afraid that he will make the "wrong" decision, no matter how many times we tell him that there is no wrong choice. He is worried that the choice that he doesn't make will be better and he will have no way of knowing what would have happened. I think it was nice for him to read about someone else having this issue too.

These books are fantastic to read with any child, not only autistic ones, to help them understand a bit more about how autistic brains work.

You can purchase these Pablo books from Penguin.



Monday, 26 April 2021

The Therapist by B.A. Paris | Book Review

[This post contains affiliate links.]

The Therapist by B.A. Paris - 3/5
Blurb:
"When Alice and Leo move into a newly renovated house in The Circle, a gated community of exclusive houses, it is everything they’ve dreamed of. But appearances can be deceptive…

As Alice is getting to know her neighbours, she discovers a devastating, grisly secret about her new home, and begins to feel a strong connection with Nina, the therapist who lived there before.

Alice becomes obsessed with trying to piece together what happened two years before. But no one wants to talk about it. Her neighbours are keeping secrets and things are not as perfect as they seem…"

Review: 
Alice and Leo have been together for 18 months and after dating and only seeing each other at the weekends, they decide to move in together. Leo buys a house in a place called The Circle in London, which is a gated community containing 13 houses.  

Alice arranges welcome drinks for the residents and a private investigator, Thomas Grainger, turns up, telling her that a woman named Nina Maxwell was murdered in their new home. Nina's husband Oliver was arrested and subsequently committed suicide but Oliver's sister Helen has asked for Thomas's help in finding the real killer as she knows it wasn't her brother.

Alice then starts to become a bit obsessive with Nina's murder. Lots of creepy things are happening and she ends up suspecting everyone from the residents to estate agent who sold them the house. But what is the truth and who is telling lies?

Alice feels a deep connection to this murder as the lady who was killed has the same name as her late sister. For me, this was just mentioned a bit too much throughout the story.

It has a great plot but I felt like it was a little too slow paced for me. I had guessed who the real killer was but there were a few surprises at the end which I didn't get.




Saturday, 24 April 2021

Knife Edge by Kerry Buchanan | Blog Tour Book Review

[AD/Gifted - I received a ebook copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.]

Knife Edge by Kerry Buchanan - 4/5
Blurb:
"Nic always hated clubbing.

She only went out that night because she’d promised a friend.

She wakes up, naked and bound in an abandoned cottage in the middle of nowhere. Dappled light comes in through a dirty window. Her body is covered in cuts. Across the room her friend groans in pain.

A shadow passes the window. He’s back.

He picks up a knife. He begins to cut her friend. In that moment of bloody frenzy, Nic wrenches free and runs.

She’s finally safe. But this is just the beginning.

Detectives Asha Harvey and Aaron Birch arrive at the scene hours later. There is no body, there is no sign of the killer. It’s as if it never happened."

Review:
Nic and friend Colm go out to a bar to celebrate friend Hannah's birthday. That night, Nic and Colm are abducted and tortured over six days. The abductor eventually kills Colm and Nic manages to escape.

This is a real cat and mouse style novel. We learn that this was the kidnapper's plan all along. He allowed Nic to free herself so he could torture her from afar. Letting her know that he was still there and still watching. He'd be back for her.

When he ends up taking Nic's sister Hazel, she vows to find her and take him down. The police think they know who is behind it as a similar case happened in Leeds and they think they preparator has travelled over to Northern Ireland.

I loved that the book was set in Belfast. It mentioned a lot of places that I am familiar with and would frequent quite a bit. You do need to suspend disbelief a little bit, like how closely Nic was able to work with police, but it was enjoyable all the same.

I quite liked the rapport between the officers and how they interacted with Nic. I thought the ending was very fitting too!

Bonus points for the Dropkick Murphys mention.


---

A massive thank you to Books n All Promotions for having me on the tour. You can find information of the other bloggers taking part in the tour in the graphic below.




Friday, 23 April 2021

A Black Widow's Web by Phil Martin | Blog Tour Book Review #ABlackWidowsWeb

[AD/Gifted - I received an e-book copy of the book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.]

A Black Widow's Web by Phil Martin - 5/5

Blurb:
"Estate agent Lawrence Hennessey has his eyes firmly on the prize, a future away from the mother of his daughter and a multi-million-pound property deal to fund his new life.

His dreams are shot to pieces though when he is arrested for the most heinous sexual crimes against his seemingly embittered ex, Summer, and their seven-year-old daughter, April.

He claims his absolute innocence, but the evidence is so strong that his world quickly turns against him. Having breached his bail conditions, he is sent to prison awaiting a trial that, with his life now in constant danger, may never come. Only one person stands with him; his sister Grace.

Desperate to break the allegiance between mother and daughter, Grace vows to leave no stone unturned in her quest to clear her brother’s name before it is too late.

She unearths a web of vicious deceit in Summer’s turbulent past but nothing to prove her brother’s innocence. She is convinced though that if she keeps digging she’ll unearth something much bigger about her brother’s accuser to weaken the validity of her claims.

But as the evidence against Lawrence gets more sinister, his alcoholism, blackouts and activity on the Dark Web paint a much different story to the one her brother is telling."

Review:
The word "unputdownable" was made for this book.

Before I start an ebook, especially before a blog tour, I tend to look up how many pages it is so I have a rough idea of how long it will take me to read it. When I saw 557 for this one, I thought "that's a chunky one!" and gave myself a good week. I didn't need it at all. I completely devoured this book and had read the majority in 24 hours.

Lawrence Hennessey has a seven year old daughter called April with partner Summer Wilson. He is having an affair with Zara Williams, a teacher from April's school. Summer seems a bit psychotic and as much as I don't root for cheaters, you understand why he is pulling away from Summer.

Just before a secret trip away with Zara to Monte Carlo, Lawrence is arrested for allegedly raping his daughter. I have a daughter who is almost seven so this was a tough one to read. What follows next is just horrific. His life starts falling apart. 

Lawrence obviously protests his innocence but there seems to be a lot of evidence stacked against him. The only person who believes him is his sister Grace. Whilst imprisoned, Lawrence is attacked a few times due to the nature of his "crimes" and Grace vows to uncover the truth. But Summer is always a step ahead.

I genuinely did not want to put this book down because I was desperate to see what was going to happen next. With novels like this, I worry about plausibility but everything was tied up nicely and made complete sense.

Grace is trying to show that Summer has coaxed April into lying to the police but the police aren't buying any of it. She delves into Summer's past, going back decades, and this is very cleverly written. You really feel Grace's frustrations when no one is listening to her.

A Black Widow's Web is clearly planned well and gets your heart racing. 

---

Phil Martin, author

Phil Martin has published seven ebooks in the crime genre. He is a journalist in the global casino and sports betting sectors. "I grew up in the creative cauldron of nineties Manchester when Madchester rocked the charts and the Hacienda ruled clubland. The city has shaped me as a writer. I write thrillers and crime stories based on the fine folk of Manchester and Salford and sell them online as ebooks.

---

A massive thank you to Damp Pebble Blog Tours for having me on the tour. You can find the information of other bloggers that are taking part in the tour in the graphic below.





Thursday, 22 April 2021

Let's Go See | Children's Book & App Review

[AD/Gifted - We received copies of the books for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]


A few weeks ago, E got a really exciting parcel in the post - a selection of books from Let's Go See!


Let's Go See was created by commercial airline pilot Rob Johnson and developed in conjunction with EYFS consultants. 

We received five books in the series:

  • Pilot Ollie & Pilot Polly's Amazing Adventures - London
  • Pilot Ollie & Pilot Polly's Amazing Adventures - Madrid
  • Pilot Ollie & Pilot Polly's Amazing Adventures - Rome 
  • Egypt: A Pilot Polly and Pilot Ollie Adventure
  • Pilot Ollie & Pilot Polly's Guide To The Airport
E, at the grand age of six, has unfortunately never been on a plane before. In recent months she has been asking if we can go on holiday somewhere but obviously, due to global pandemic reasons, it isn't possible.

These books have been fantastic to bring her into other worlds while we can't leave the country. The Guide To The Airport is brilliant for teaching little ones about what the airport is like and the 'Adventures In...' books are filled with beautifully imagery relating to the countries as well cultural elements and even pronunciation of languages spoken there.

After reading these, E's list of where she wants to go has gotten even longer! We loved that the books are inclusive too. Did you know that less than 2% of captains are female?

The stories of Captain Rob Johnson's travels have even been made into animations which can be found on YouTube.

The fun doesn't end there! Let's Go See have developed a mobile app using augmented reality to help bring the books to life.

Within the app, you can select a country and see the landmarks pop up in your very own living room! There is a little cost for a few of the countries but it really is a lot of fun.


Children can even have a go playing some games, doing puzzles, flying a jet and much more!

We have loved taking a look at the Let's Go See range and it is perfect for children to learn more about the world around them and what it is like to be a pilot.

You can download the Let's Go See app from the Google Play Store or App Store.



Tuesday, 20 April 2021

The Final Revival of Opal and Nev by Dawnie Walton | Book Review

[This post contains affiliate links.]

The Final Revival of Opal and Nev - 5/5
Blurb:
"Opal is a fiercely independent young woman pushing against the grain in her style and attitude, a Black punk artist before her time. Despite her unconventional looks, Opal believes she can be a star. So when the aspiring British singer/songwriter Neville Charles discovers her one night, she takes him up on his offer to make rock music together.

In early seventies New York City, just as she's finding her niche as part of a flamboyant and funky creative scene, a rival band signed to her label brandishes a Confederate flag at a promotional concert. Opal's bold protest and the violence that ensues set off a chain of events that will not only change the lives of those she loves, but also be a deadly reminder that repercussions are always harsher for women, especially Black women, who dare to speak their truth.

Decades later, as Opal considers a 2016 reunion with Nev, music journalist S. Sunny Shelton seizes the chance to curate an oral history about her idols. Sunny thought she knew most of the stories leading up to the cult duo's most politicized chapter, but as her interviews dig deeper, a nasty new allegation from an unexpected source threatens everything."

Review:
This book is something special.

Told in oral history format, you would be forgiven for thinking that it is a true story. It is told in interview style with editor's notes added in.

Opal Jewel and Nev Charles are an unlikely duo. She is a Black American woman and he is a redheaded Englishman.

S. Sunny Shelton is editor at Aural magazine and is writing a book on Opal and Nev, following a potential opportunity for the two of them to play together for the first time in decades.

We discover how Opal and Nev came to be, their childhood backgrounds and it follows the rise and fall of their musical careers. There is a personal aspect to this too. Sunny is the daughter of Jimmy Curtis, a backing drummer for the duo. Opal had an affair with Jimmy whilst Sunny's mother was pregnant with her.

The crux of this story is the Rivington Showcase. Opal and Nev are signed to Rivington records in the early 70s and the label decide to host a showcase gig of all of the bands they have signed. One of the bands, the Bond Brothers, carry a Confederate flag and this then causes a riot. Jimmy is tragically beaten to death by the bands racist supporters.

Racial divides, Black Lives Matter and the Me Too movement are prominent features throughout the book and the Showcase lights even more of a fire under Opal when it comes to activism and helping minorities. It touches on real life events like the Watergate scandal and I loved the fictitious transcripts from real people like Quentin Tarantino, Henry Rollins and Tom Morello.

It is so beautifully written and I was totally immersed in this world. It is full of depth, following a lot more than just their time together. The characters are fleshed out and I genuinely felt like I was watching a documentary on an old 70s band while reading.




Monday, 19 April 2021

Unicorn Charm Jewellery | Toy Review

[AD/Gifted - We received this item for the propose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]

E is at the age now, almost seven, where she enjoys more crafty toys and activities. The best thing is she can do most of them with next to no assistance.


She was very excited to receive the Unicorn Charm Jellewery set from Playmonster UK. Jewellery and unicorns - what more could she ask for?!

Inside the set, you receive:
  • 10 x silver-coloured metal charms
  • 60 x bicone beads in purple and pink
  • 200 x round beads in pink, white, blue, purple and silver
  • 30 x pearlescent beads in green and white
  • 40 x faceted beads in green and yellow
  • 10 x heart-shaped beads
  • 10 x star-shaped beads
  • 10 x rings to attach charms to
  • 5 x clasps
  • 5 x clasp beads

E was most taken by the charms upon first opening and took quite a while to decide what to use first!


The instruction leaflet clearly tells you how to measure out how much elastic to use and how to actually tie the bracelet or necklace tightly. We ended up using a tiny dot of glue at the knot to keep it super secure.


The mix of charms, bead colours and bead sizes mean that children have complete free rein over their designs or they can follow the instruction booklet. The fact that they can do a mix and match of bracelets and necklaces adds to the fun.

E needed minimal help when it came to making her own. I cut the elastic then left her to thread on whichever beads she wanted, then I did the knots and glue. Simple! The quality of the beads and charms are fantastic and aren't like a cheap version because it is a children's set.


She loves the set so much and wants to make bracelets for all of her friends now!


The Unicorn Charm Jewellery set makes 10 pieces of jewellery and is recommended for ages 4+. It retails at £9.99 and you can purchase yours from Argos.



Wednesday, 14 April 2021

The Dinner Guest by B.P. Walter | Book Review

[This post contains affiliate links.]

The Dinner Guest by B.P. Walter - 4/5
Blurb:
"Four people walked into the dining room that night. One would never leave.
Matthew: the perfect husband.

Titus: the perfect son.

Charlie: the perfect illusion.

Rachel: the perfect stranger.

Charlie didn’t want her at the book club. Matthew wouldn’t listen.

And that’s how Charlie finds himself slumped beside his husband’s body, their son sitting silently at the dinner table, while Rachel calls 999, the bloody knife still gripped in her hand."

Review:
This book is completely gripping. It opens strongly with a prologue subtitled "The day of the murder" - who doesn't want to instantly read on after seeing that?

Charlie's husband Matthew has been stabbed and Rachel calls the police, confessing to stabbing him. Did she really kill him or did Charlie or their teenage son Titus have reason to want Matthew dead too?

The chapters that follow are told from the perspectives of Charlie and Rachel and move between different timelines; before the murder and after the murder.

We discover that the chance meeting that Rachel had with Charlie and Matthew wasn't chance at all. She had planned it but why? What is her connection to this family? 

There is so much going on in this book and you are desperate to keep reading to find out the whole truth. There is a running theme of elitism and the prejudices between upper class and working class. Charlie and Matthew's family and acquaintances are high flying politicians and they live in manors in London with housekeepers whereas Rachel is from a working class background in Yorkshire.

There are so many twists and turns but none too unbelievable. I loved the development of Titus especially the way he spoke to Charlie towards the end of the book. 

The ending made me want to scream. I usually point blank hate cliffhanger endings but it really worked with this book.




Monday, 12 April 2021

Last Night by Mhairi McFarlane | Book Review

[This post contains affiliate links.]

Last Night by Mhairi McFarlane - 4/5
Blurb:
"Eve, Justin, Susie and Ed have been friends since they were eighteen. Now in their 30s, the four are still as close as ever, Thursday pub quiz night is still sacred, and Eve is still secretly in love with Ed.

Maybe Eve should have moved on by now, but she can’t stop thinking about what could have been. And she knows Ed sometimes thinks about it too.

Then one night, in an instant, all their lives change forever. And, as Eve learns she didn’t know her friends as well as she thought, she also discovers she isn’t the only person keeping secrets…"

Review:
Eve, Susie, Justin and Ed have been best friends since their school years. Eve has been in love with Ed since the night before they left for university and she thought he felt the same way. When back at home for Christmas break, he introduces his new girlfriend Hester. Fast forward 16 years later and Ed and Hester get engaged at one of their regular pub quiz nights. Eve has always held a candle for him so she is devastated.

That same night, Susie is tragically killed and everything changes. We experience Eve's pain which is so beautifully written. Susie's estranged brother Finlay travels from New York, where he lives, for the funeral. Following a discussion with Finlay, Eve starts to think more deeply about her friendship with Ed and reassesses everything.

I love the depth of this book. It explores the sudden loss of a lifelong friend, a seemingly unrequited love and delves into the reason why Finlay was shut out by his family.

I did expect it to be a standard "boy will realise how much he loves girl and they will end up together" but that's not the case at all. I absolutely loved the development of Eve's character.




Friday, 9 April 2021

When They Find Her by Lia Middleton | Blog Tour Book Review #WhenTheyFindHer

[AD/Gifted - I received a proof copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.]

When They Find Her by Lia Middleton - 5/5
Blurb:
"Naomi always wanted to be a mother.

But three years ago, her husband left, taking their child with him.

Now, her daughter has come to stay, and Naomi knows it's her one chance to re-build her family.

But the night ends in a terrible accident.

And Naomi has no memory of what happened.

Panicking, desperate, Naomi finds herself telling a lie:

'My daughter is missing.'

Now she can never take it back..."

Review:
Oh my goodness, this book!
Psychological thrillers are my absolute favourite and sometimes I feel like because I read so many, I'll be hard to please but this one is just fantastic.

Naomi has a four year old daughter called Freya with ex-husband Aiden. Freya lives with Aiden and new wife, Naomi's childhood best friend Helen.

The story moves between present day and events in the past. As it develops we understand the reason for Naomi and Aiden's split and we realise that Naomi has an issue with sleeping tablets. Freya is staying with Naomi overnight for the first time and when Naomi wakes in the morning, she finds Freya motionless at the bottom of the stairs. Naomi is pregnant with new partner Rupert's baby and in a moment of panic, she lies. She is terrified that she will be blamed and she will lose her new baby too. The sleeping tablets knock her out and she can't remember anything. Naomi calls the police and claims Freya is missing then hides Freya's body in an old World War 2 bunker that is on her property.

This then launches a search for Freya. Naomi knows she is dead but has to keep lying to the police. There were so many times that I just wanted to shout "What are you doing?!" to Naomi. 

You are just waiting for the police to find Freya and for the truth to come out. She is building lie upon lie and becoming more frantic. You feel the Naomi's emotions the whole way throughout and I could not have anticipated that ending.





---

A massive thank you to Penguin Michael Joseph for having me on the blog tour. You can find the Twitter handles of the other bloggers that are taking part in the tour in the graphic below.



Wednesday, 7 April 2021

Tall Bones by Anna Bailey | Book Review

[AD/Gifted - I received a copy of this book in order to take part in the readalong with Tandem Collective. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.]

Tall Bones by Anna Bailey - 5/5
Blurb:
"When seventeen-year-old Emma leaves her best friend Abi at a party in the woods, she believes, like most girls her age, that their lives are just beginning. Many things will happen that night, but Emma will never see her friend again.

Abi's disappearance cracks open the fa├žade of the small town of Whistling Ridge, its intimate history of long-held grudges and resentment. Even within Abi's family, there are questions to be asked - of Noah, the older brother whom Abi betrayed, of Jude, the shining younger sibling who hides his battle scars, of Dolly, her mother and Samuel, her father - both in thrall to the fire and brimstone preacher who holds the entire town in his grasp. Then there is Rat, the outsider, whose presence in the town both unsettles and excites those around him.

Anything could happen in Whistling Ridge, this tinder box of small-town rage, and all it will take is just one spark - the truth of what really happened that night out at the Tall Bones..."

Review:
Whistling Ridge, the town where no one would want to live.

This book is a masterpiece.

Emma leaves friend Abigail in the woods, near the Tall Bones, following a party. She goes missing and no one seems to know what happened to her.

Secrets start to come out in this small town. No one can be trusted. We read about Abigail's family life with father Samuel, mother Dolly and brothers Noah and Jude. It seems like a horrible life to be living. 

Whistling Ridge is wholly a Baptist community and it seems as though everyone justifies their actions by saying that God made them that way. They have no time for outsiders or people who aren't White Americans.

It isn't told in a linear format, flitting between Then and Now but everything lines up perfectly. With so many people hiding so many things, it is fascinating trying to work out what has really happened to Abi. Bailey writes brilliantly and every line captivates you. It is full of depth and totally enthralling.

The book touches on life in this Baptist community, sexual assault, domestic violence and homophobia.

This is probably one of the best debuts I've ever read.




Saturday, 3 April 2021

Trust Me by T. M. Logan | Blog Tour Review #TrustMe

[AD/Gifted - I received a digital copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.]

Trust Me by T. M. Logan - 4/5
Blurb:
"TWO STRANGERS, A CHILD, AND A SPLIT SECOND CHOICE THAT WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING...

Ellen was just trying to help a stranger. That was how it started: giving a few minutes respite to a flustered young mother sitting opposite her on the train. A few minutes holding her baby while the mother makes an urgent call. The weight of the child in her arms making Ellen's heart ache for what she can never have.

Five minutes pass.
Ten.

The train pulls into a station and Ellen is stunned to see the mother hurrying away down the platform, without looking back. Leaving her baby behind. Ellen is about to raise the alarm when she discovers a note in the baby's bag, three desperate lines scrawled hastily on a piece of paper:

Please protect Mia
Don't trust the police
Don't trust anyone

Why would a mother abandon her child to a stranger? Ellen is about to discover that the baby in her arms might hold the key to an unspeakable crime. And doing the right thing might just cost her everything..."

Review:
I did not know what I was letting myself in for when I started this book. 

41-year-old Ellen is returning from an appointment at a fertility clinic. She and her now ex-husband Richard could never conceive and she always longed to be a mother. Her heart is broken when she finds out that Richard's new girlfriend is pregnant.

While on the train, she meets Kathryn and baby Mia. Kathryn seems to trust Ellen and asks if she can hold baby Mia while she takes an urgent call. Kathryn then rushes off the train, leaving Mia with Ellen. Inside the changing bag, Ellen finds a note which says to protect Mia, not to trust anyone and not to trust the police.

Totally unsure of what to do, Ellen finds herself right in the middle of a huge situation. We meet Dominic, Kathryn's sister's ex-husband, Leon, a man who runs a crime podcast and police officers Gilbourne and Holt. 

Information is given to us a small bursts and Ellen is trying her best to find out the truth and who has Mia's best interests at heart. We follow along with Ellen's discoveries, suspecting everyone but that ending even shocked me! 

---

A massive thank you to Compulsive Readers for organising this blog tour and to Zaffre for eBook copy. The bloggers who are also taking part in this tour can be found in the graphic below.
Friday, 2 April 2021

The Lies She Told by Paula Johnston | Blog Tour Review #TheLiesSheTold

[AD/Gifted - I received a digital copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.]

The Lies She Told by Paula Johnston - 4/5
Blurb:
"Karly Winters has waited ten long years to have the man of her dreams, the handsome but duplicitous Jacob Cruthers. From her home in Glasgow she pines for the Londoner who casually keeps her dangling, never with a thought of giving her what she wants and never with any intention of leaving his wife.

For her part, Karly has no intentions of being second best any longer and she hatches an artful plan of devious intent that she is certain will work in her favour. Now, embarking on her dangerous game of high stakes, she is all too aware that someone is likely to get hurt. But for the winner, the prize will be incalculable.

But Karly hasn’t reckoned for new and equally underhanded forces that are at work. Lurking in the shadows are others, with their own agendas to follow and equally ruthless in their objectives.

With various factions hurtling towards a confrontation that none of them saw coming, someone is going to pay the price of infatuation.

But who?

Review:
This is a fantastic debut psychological thriller.

Split into two parts, we learn about Karly, a personal shopper from Glasgow. I've recently finished Caroline Kepnes new novel in the 'You' series and Karly honestly gave me female Joe Goldberg vibes!

She's been having an text only relationship with Jacob, who is based in London, for ten(!!) years and she is determined to be with him. There is just the small issue of Jacob's wife Lauren to deal with but has Karly met her match with her?

There are so many twists and turns in this book that I didn't know what was coming next. I genuinely had a smile almost the whole way through because I just thought "this is so good". The characters are developed brilliantly and the way that it is written meant that I just flew through it.

There is a real cat and mouse type feel and I loved the scenarios being told from both of the womens points of view.

I could honestly see this being adapted for TV.


---

A massive thank you to Love Books Tours for organising this blog tour and providing me with a copy of the book.

You can find the Instagram handles of all the other people who are taking part in this blog tour in the graphic below. Be sure to check out their reviews too! 
 


Thursday, 1 April 2021

You Love Me by Caroline Kepnes | Book Review

[AD/Gifted - I received a proof copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.]

You Love Me by Caroline Kepnes - 5/5
Blurb:
"Joe Goldberg is done with cities, done with the muck and the posers, done with Love. Now, he's saying hello to nature, to simple pleasures on a cosy island in the Pacific Northwest. For the first time in a long time, he can just breathe.

He gets a job at the local library – he does know a thing or two about books – and that's where he meets her: Mary Kay DiMarco. Librarian. Joe won't meddle, he will not obsess. He'll win her the old fashioned way . . . by providing a shoulder to cry on, a helping hand. Over time, they'll both heal their wounds and begin their happily ever after in this sleepy town.

The trouble is . . . Mary Kay already has a life. She's a mother. She's a friend. She's . . . busy.

True love can only triumph if both people are willing to make room for the real thing. Joe cleared his decks. He's ready. And hopefully, with his encouragement and undying support, Mary Kay will do the right thing and make room for him."

Review:
Wow. A fantastic new novel in the You series and I think it might just be my favourite one so far. If you haven't read 'You' and 'Hidden Bodies' read those ones first so you can follow on. You won't be disappointed!

After leaving L.A. (reasons all becoming clear as you read on) Joe is now living in Bainbridge Island in the Pacific Northwest. He is applying for a volunteer post in the library and we are right back again where he thinks he's found "The One" in librarian Mary Kay DiMarco.

He's determined to change his life in this small city, surrounded by good people. There hasn't even been a murder there in twenty years. Will it stay that way?

Joe has his sights set on Mary Kay and typical Joe reads into every text, every Instagram post, every 'like'. It won't be easy getting close to Mary Kay though. She is married to a washed-up rock star, she has a seventeen year old daughter and a "feminazi" best friend who doesn't like Joe very much. Joe will mould himself into her perfect man.

Given the genre of this book, I didn't think it would make me laugh so much. I love Joe. There, I said it. I probably shouldn't and I probably have some issues but being in his mind is bizarre and hilarious. He is delusional. I truly laughed at every mention of Dolly Carton and the smiley face emoticons peppered throughout the book.

In any other book I'd be thinking "this is too much" but it all makes sense in Joe Goldberg's world. I cannot wait for the next instalment.