The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton by Anstey Harris

Kate's Book Spot

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publication Date: 10 January 2019

“Between the simple melody of running her violin shop and the full-blown orchestra of her romantic interludes in Paris with David, her devoted partner of eight years, Grace Atherton has always set her life to music.

Her world revolves entirely around David, for Grace’s own secrets have kept everyone else at bay. Until, suddenly and shockingly, one act tips Grace’s life upside down, and the music seems to stop.

It takes a vivacious old man and a straight-talking teenager to kickstart a new chapter for Grace. In the process, she learns that she is not as alone in the world as she had once thought, that no mistake is insurmountable, and that the quiet moments in life can be something to shout about …”

MY REVIEW

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love a book that grabs me with the first line and that is exactly what this book did. I needed to know more.

I must admit there were some scenes that were uncomfortable for me to read, I didn’t approve of certain aspects of Grace’s life yet I still really liked her as a character. I felt torn.

Now, I’m not a musical person so I won’t pretend that I understood all the talk of instruments and notes but to be perfectly honest it didn’t matter. I could still appreciate the passion and love that the characters emanated when surrounded by music, it was compelling.

There were a variety of intensely emotional moments that pulled at my heartstrings for a number of reasons and as a whole host of secrets and lies came tumbling out, I felt numb. Grace’s story weaved its way into my heart and affected me deeply, it highlighted the importance of good friendships and self-belief and left me with a big smile on my face.

This was a thought-provoking read that played with my all of my senses. I feel like it’ll be a huge 2019 hit!

kate1

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Thank you to the publisher for sending me this proof in exchange for my honest opinion.

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Freefall Summer by Tracy Barrett

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Image sourced from Goodreads

Genre: Teens & YA

Publisher: Charlesbridge Teen

Publication Date: 3 April 2018

“Sixteen-year-old Clancy Edwards has always been “the good girl.” Ever since her beautiful, daring mother died in a skydiving accident, Clancy’s father has watched her like a hawk. Between her dad’s rules and her boyfriend’s protectiveness, she’s longing for an escape.

Then Clancy meets Denny, a college freshman and new skydiving student at the drop zone where she works. Clancy lets him think she’s the same age. But the lies snowball over the summer, and suddenly Clancy isn’t the person she wants to be. If only making choices were as simple as taking a leap out of a plane. Before Clancy can make things right, one last act of rebellion threatens her chance to do so–maybe forever.”

MY REVIEW

I had just read a book that I couldn’t finish because it wasn’t holding my attention so I was really hoping this would keep me interested and I’m pleased to say it certainly did that – I couldn’t stop reading!

Clancy was a character who I liked straight away, she seemed so tied down that I was willing her to break free and do what felt right for her. I was gripped by the events happening before me and filled with a variety of emotions as Clancy navigated her way through a tumultuous time.

Skydiving has never been something that appealed to me and, while I still have no desire to jump out of a plane, I found this side of the storyline fascinating. Finding out more about what goes on behind the scenes of a drop zone was surprisingly addictive!

This was a quick read for me that ticked all the boxes and left me wanting to know what’s next for the characters.

kate1

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Thank you to the publisher for approving my NetGalley request for this eBook in exchange for my honest opinion.

Snowflakes Over Holly Cove by Lucy Coleman

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Image sourced from Goodreads

Genre: Christmas Romance

Publisher: Aria

Publication Date: 18 September 2018

“As the snowflakes start to fall, the village of Holly Cove welcomes a new tenant to the beautiful old cottage on the beach…

For lifestyle magazine journalist Tia Armstrong, relationships, as well as Christmas, have lost all their magic. Yet Tia is up against a Christmas deadline for her latest article ‘Love is, actually, all around’…

So Tia heads to Holly Cove where the restorative sea air, and rugged stranger Nic, slowly but surely start mending her broken heart.

Tia didn’t expect a white Christmas, and she certainly never dared dream that all her Christmas wishes might just come true…

Set in Caswell Bay on the stunningly rugged Gower Coast, the cottage nestles amid the limestone cliffs and the woodlands; the emotions run as turbulently as the wind-swept sea.”

MY REVIEW

As we get ever closer to Christmas I find myself feeling ready to get stuck into the Christmas books so where better to start than the fabulous Lucy Colman’s offering.

When Tia set off to a seaside work location I had so many questions about where she came from, her job and what her current situation was. Nic was another mysterious character who had me coming up with all sorts of theories about his history and I was keen to find out more about both of them.

Occasionally Tia would say or do something that made me feel negatively towards her but by the end she had found her way to my heart. For me, the unexpected star of the story was Olwen. I found myself drawn to her and always looking forward to her next scene and wise words.

The storyline was thought-provoking and, at times, emotional. The romance was meaningful, I definitely feel like most people would be able to relate to some part of it especially as it covered a variety of relationship situations. Love and life featured heavily making this a book that causes you to stop and think. A nerve-wracking twist towards the end had me holding my breath and hoping for a good outcome.

The descriptive writing style meant that I was able to visualise each scene and location easily. I almost could have been there alongside Tia as she explored the Gower Coast, escaping to the seaside every time I picked up my Kindle was wonderful!

This was a treat of a read that was made for curling up on the sofa with.

kate1

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Thank you to the author for sending me this ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.

Vox by Christina Dalcher

Kate's Book Spot

Genre: Dystopian

Publisher: HQ

Publication Date: 23 August 2018

“On the day the government decrees that women are no longer allowed more than 100 words daily, Dr. Jean McClellan is in denial—this can’t happen here. Not in America. Not to her.

This is just the beginning.

Soon women can no longer hold jobs. Girls are no longer taught to read or write. Females no longer have a voice. Before, the average person spoke sixteen thousand words a day, but now women only have one hundred to make themselves heard.

But this is not the end.

For herself, her daughter, and every woman silenced, Jean will reclaim her voice.”

MY REVIEW

As soon as I read the description of Vox I was intrigued and wanted to know more. It didn’t take me long to find myself caught up in the uncomfortable reality that Jean and her family were living in. There were times when I stopped reading and had to remind myself that I was allowed to talk as much as I’d like, in fact I deliberately chatted away to myself just because I could!

The political and scientific elements were a little too much for me at times even though I knew they were an important part of the storyline. There just seemed to be a lot to take in. Then there was the big secret that I couldn’t quite figure out, I came up with a few theories and flew through the pages in an effort to find out what was going on.

There were characters that I loved and characters that I very much disliked, my feelings towards one person in particular surprised me as much as it did Jean – I wanted to feel differently but I just couldn’t. Not to begin with anyway.

This was a thought-provoking and tense read that was difficult to put down. I know it’ll stay in my mind for a long time!

kate1

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Thank you to the publisher for sending me this proof in exchange for my honest opinion.

One Thousand Stars and You by Isabelle Broom

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Genre: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Penguin

Publication Date: 23 August 2018

Alice is settling down. It might not be the adventurous life she once imagined, but more than anything she wants to make everyone happy – her steady boyfriend, her over-protective mother – even if it means a little part of her will always feel stifled.

Max is shaking things up. After a devastating injury, he is determined to prove himself. To find the man beyond the disability, to escape his smothering family and go on an adventure.

A trip to Sri Lanka is Alice’s last hurrah – her chance to throw herself into the heat, chaos and colour of a place thousands of miles from home.

It’s also the moment she meets Max.

Alice doesn’t know it yet, but her whole life is about to change.

Max doesn’t know it yet, but he’s the one who’s going to change it.”

MY REVIEW

In no time at all I found myself immersed in Alice and Max’s lives (I enjoy reading two sides of the same story). Both of them clearly had experienced quite a dramatic event in their past and I wasn’t sure if it was this that connected them or something more.

The sights and sounds of Sri Lanka were described beautifully so that I felt like I was right there alongside the characters. Alice’s journey of discovery was thought-provoking and so very real, I really felt for her as she struggled with her inner thoughts and feelings.

Although I had a pretty good idea how the storyline would end up, I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the journey to get to that point and there were even a few unexpected moments that managed to surprise me along the way!

This was a romantic and inspiring read that I know will stay with me.

kate1

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Thank you to the publisher for sending me this proof in exchange for my honest opinion.

The Break by Marian Keyes

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Image sourced from Goodreads

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Publisher: Penguin

Publication Date: 31 May 2018

“If only.

Amy’s husband Hugh says he isn’t leaving her.

He still loves her, he’s just taking a break – from their marriage, their children and, most of all, from their life together.

Six months in South-East Asia. And nothing she says can stop him.

But when does a break become a break up?

For a lot can happen in six months. And it’s enough to send Amy and her family of gossips, misfits and troublemakers teetering over the edge.

When Hugh returns if he returns, will he be the same man she married?

Will Amy be the same woman?

Because if Hugh is on a break from their marriage, then isn’t she?”

MY REVIEW

I haven’t read a Marian Keyes book for ages, I really enjoyed the previous books I’d read by her so when I got the opportunity to request The Break from NetGalley I couldn’t resist!

Even though I knew the basics of the storyline, Hugh’s revelation still hit me hard. I suppose I put myself in Amy’s shoes and, honestly, if felt devastating – it says something about the writing that I could feel that strongly at such an early stage in the book.

I was fascinated to see Amy adjust to a different way of life and her reactions felt very real to me, up one minute and down the next. There were touches of humour that lightened the mood a bit and I was grateful for that as sometimes Amy’s loss felt a little overwhelming.

I couldn’t wait to find out where the storyline was heading and I had so many questions that kept me powering through the pages. What would Amy get up to during the break? What was Hugh doing on his travels? Would he come back and what would happen if he did?

The Break was an emotional and thought-provoking read that entertained me throughout.

kate1

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Thank you to the publisher for approving my NetGalley request for this eBook in exchange for my honest opinion.

The Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke

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Genre: YA Fantasy

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publication Date: October 2018

“Frey, Ovie, Juniper, and Runa are the Boneless Mercies—girls hired to kill quickly, quietly, and mercifully. But Frey is weary of the death trade and, having been raised on the heroic sagas of her people, dreams of a bigger life.

When she hears of an unstoppable monster ravaging a nearby town, Frey decides this is the Mercies’ one chance out. The fame and fortune of bringing down such a beast would ensure a new future for all the Mercies. In fact, her actions may change the story arc of women everywhere.”

MY REVIEW

I was lucky enough to win this book proof from a giveaway on twitter. I was so intrigued by the description and couldn’t wait to get stuck in.

It took me a little while to become familiar with the characters as there were quite a few of them. I always struggle to keep track of who’s who if I’m introduced to a whole group of characters at the same time. The girls who were the Boneless Mercies were not what I was expecting. I assumed they would be cold-hearted killers without a conscience but instead I found a group of young girls fighting for survival in a harsh environment.

The whole concept of Mercy-killing was fascinating but I couldn’t decide if I was for or against it, I suppose you could say that I understood it but didn’t approve of it. Following the Mercies on their journey was an adventure in itself, there were so many obstacles to overcome and lessons to be learned.

The atmosphere was bleak but hopeful and the writing had a graceful feel to it, this combined to create quite an intense storyline.

The Boneless Mercies was so much more than I expected, this journey of self-discovery gently wove its way into my heart and most definitely left a mark. I know I won’t be forgetting it any time soon.

kate1

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