Missing, Presumed Dead by Emma Berquist

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Genre: YA Thriller

Publisher: Harper Collins

Publication Date: 27 June 2019

“When eighteen-year-old Lexi foresees the brutal murder of a young woman outside a club in downtown L.A., she is powerless to stop it.

But then the girl’s ghost appears, seeking vengeance, and Lexi is swept into a dangerous search that could put her directly in the path of a serial killer.

With a touch, Lexi can sense how and when someone will die. Some say it’s a gift. But to Lexi it’s a curse—one that keeps her friendless and alone. All that changes when Lexi foresees the violent death of a young woman, Jane, outside a club.

Jane doesn’t go to the afterlife quietly. Her ghost remains behind, determined to hunt down her murderer, and she needs Lexi’s help. In life, Jane was everything Lexi is not—outgoing, happy, popular. But in death, all Jane wants is revenge.

Lexi will do anything to help Jane, to make up for the fact that she didn’t—couldn’t—save Jane’s life, and to keep this beautiful ghost of a girl by her side for as long as possible.”

BOOK REVIEW

The synopsis for this book really grabbed my attention, it sounded dark and exciting so I couldn’t wait to get started!

Lexi’s life completely fascinated me, her gift of visualising someone’s death if they touched her was clearly, and understandably, a source of discomfort for her. She seemed like a really tough character but I did wonder if that was just a front and the only way she could get through it.

There were some truly chilling moments that gave me goosebumps, Lexi was pretty much permanently being haunted by one ghost or another and I have to admit that the idea of it really put me on edge (I struggled to read this book at night).

This wasn’t one of those storylines where you can easily predict who the murderer is and why it happened, I was constantly guessing and trying to come up with theories. Then a little LGBTQ romance was thrown into the mix and suddenly a whole host of other questions were raised.

As the storyline neared its conclusion, things became incredibly tense. My heart was pounding and I felt scared for Lexi and her friends, it was gripping!

This was a spooky murder-mystery with plenty of twists that will keep you flipping those pages.

kate1

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

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The Antidote by Shelley Sackier

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Genre: YA Fantasy

Publisher: Harper Collins

Publication Date: 21 March 2019

“In the world of healers, there is no room for magic.

Fee knows this, just as certainly as she knows that her magic must be kept secret.

But the crown prince Xavi, Fee’s best friend and only source of comfort, is sick. So sick, that Fee can barely contain the magic lying dormant inside her. She could use it, just a little, to heal him. But magic comes at a deadly cost—and attracts those who would seek to snuff it out forever.

A wisp of a spell later, Fee finds herself caught in a whirl of secret motivations and dark pasts, where no one is who—or what—they appear to be. And saving her best friend means delving deeper into the tempting and treacherous world whose call she’s long resisted—uncovering a secret that will change everything.”

MY REVIEW

The storyline jumped straight into the action with a prologue that raised plenty of questions. Following that was a delightful introduction to a trio of childhood friends, their bond was palpable and I couldn’t wait to see if that bond would hold through what was to come.

The writing style had a magical quality to it which I thought was appropriate considering the topic of the book. Magic was forbidden and secrets were being kept, there was clearly something untoward going on and I just had to know what it was.

As the pieces of the puzzle came together and I discovered the truth about the contagion, I found myself gasping in shock. After that came revelation after revelation, the author really knows how to keep a reader hooked on her words! For the things that hadn’t been revealed, I soon came up with some theories of my own – would any of them be correct?

Towards the end things become quite intense and I wasn’t sure if I’d finish reading in tears or with a smile on my face.

This was a lovely, magical read that was difficult to put down.

kate1

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

To Best The Boys by Mary Weber

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Genre: YA Fantasy

Publisher: Harper 360

Publication Date: 4 April 2019

“Every year for the past fifty-four years, the residents of Pinsbury Port receive a mysterious letter inviting all eligible-aged boys to compete for an esteemed scholarship to the all-male Stemwick University.

Every year, the poorer residents look to see that their names are on the list. The wealthier look to see how likely their sons are to survive. And Rhen Tellur opens it to see if she can derive which substances the ink and parchment are created from, using her father’s microscope.

Sixteen-year-old Rhen Tellur wants nothing more than to become a scientist. As the poor of her seaside town fall prey to a deadly disease, she and her father work desperately to find a cure. But when her Mum succumbs to it as well? Rhen decides to take the future into her own hands-through the annual all-male scholarship competition. With her cousin, Seleni, by her side, the girls don disguises and enter Mr. Holm’s labyrinth, to best the boys and claim the scholarship prize. Except not everyone’s ready for a girl who doesn’t know her place. And not everyone survives the maze.”

MY REVIEW

The whole idea of this storyline intrigued me so I was really looking forward to getting stuck in.

The first scene surprised me in a good way because I hadn’t expected to be amused, especially in such a dire location as an undertakers. Rhen and her friends were fascinating characters and the lives they led equally so. I thoroughly enjoyed following them as they navigated a world where the divide between men and women was vast.

The mysterious disease affecting the residents of Pinsbury Port brought a scientific side to the storyline as Rhen and her father worked tirelessly to find a cure. I shared Rhen’s frustration at people in authority not doing enough to solve the problem and felt the clock was ticking for the town.

The labyrinth was exciting, I held my breath in anticipation as I waited for the girls to be discovered and to see what kind of challenges the labyrinth would hold. It was incredibly easy to visualise everything thanks to the authors descriptions and I would love to see this made into a movie!

A fabulously exciting read with a hint of magic and romance. Loved it.

kate1

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

Sunset in Central Park by Sarah Morgan

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Image sourced from Goodreads

Genre: Romance

Publisher: Harper Collins

Publication Date: 14 July 2016

“After witnessing the fallout of her parent’s divorce, love has never been a priority for garden designer Frankie Cole. The only man in her life is her friend Matt–but that’s strictly platonic. If only she found it easier to ignore the way he makes her heart race…

Matt Walker has loved Frankie for years but, has always played it cool. Until he uncovers new depths to the girl he’s known forever, and doesn’t want to wait a moment longer.

Matt knows Frankie has secrets and has buried them deep, but can he persuade her to kiss him under the Manhattan sunset?”

MY REVIEW

It was great to be back with these characters, this time delving into Frankie’s story. As with the previous book, the author’s writing brought this lovely bunch of characters to life and at the same time pulled me in so that I felt part of it all too.

Frankie had a number of issues which I was determined to get to the bottom of, it frustrated me how she kept everyone at a distance. I just wanted her to be happy – I told you I felt like part of the storyline. As her love life progressed I found myself holding my breath, waiting for the moment that she would let go!

There were a lot of underlying emotional issues going on with most of the characters, they were people who had been broken in some way by things in their past. Something I took away from the storyline is not to believe everything your brain tells you and that life often looks very different from an alternative perspective.

This was a warm, heartfelt read with an important message. I look forward to reading more from this author.

kate1

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

A Perfect Cornish Summer by Phillipa Ashley

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Image sourced from Goodreads

Genre: Romance

Publisher: Avon Books

Publication Date: 25 April 2019

“Summer is on the horizon, and the people of Porthmellow are eagerly awaiting the annual food festival. At least, most of them are…

For Sam Lovell, organising the summer festival in her hometown is one of the highlights of her year. It’s not always smooth sailing, but she loves to see Porthmellow’s harbour packed with happy visitors, and being on the committee has provided a much-needed distraction from the drama in her family life (and the distinct lack of it in her love life).

When their star guest pulls out with only a few weeks to go, everyone’s delighted when a London chef who grew up locally steps in at the last minute. But Gabe Matthias is the last person Sam was expecting to see, and his return to Porthmellow will change her quiet coastal life for ever.”

MY REVIEW

Sam was a likeable character and I quickly found myself feeling emotionally invested in her festival preparations. The other characters were just as likeable, I enjoyed finding out more about their lives. It seemed that the festival was a lifeline for most of them.

With the star chef unable to attend the festival and the replacement not looking like a popular option, I was keen to see where it would all lead and this kept me flipping the pages.

I absolutely love Cornwall so there were many descriptions and moments that made me smile, one scene in particular brought back memories of tiny roads that absolutely did NOT feel like roads! Food was also a big part of the storyline which meant that I felt hungry on multiple occasions whilst reading this book.

I really enjoyed the ups and downs of life in Porthmellow and, even though there were a few troublemakers, the sense of community spirit was heartwarming. The committee get-togethers were a favourite of mine, the combination of personalities was just perfect and made for very entertaining reading!

This was a warm and comforting read, perfect for curling up on the sofa with a cuppa.

kate1

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

Song of Sorrow by Melinda Salisbury

IMG_1384Genre: YA Fantasy

Publisher: Scholastic

Publication Date: 7 March 2019

“Sorrow Ventaxis has won the election, and in the process lost everything…

Governing under the sinister control of Vespus Corrigan, and isolated from her friends, Sorrow must to find a way to free herself from his web and save her people. But Vespus has no plans to let her go, and he isn’t the only enemy Sorrow faces as the curse of her name threatens to destroy her and everything she’s fought for.”

MY REVIEW

After enjoying the first book, State of Sorrow, I was keen to find out what was in store next for Sorrow so I was thrilled to win this signed copy with a stunning pin to match!

It didn’t take long for me to sink back into the storyline and it was pretty clear that Sorrow was not particularly enjoying her new role as Chancellor of Rhannon.

This book had a completely different feel to the first, I guess because Sorrow was in a position of power this time. Unfortunately a side effect of that power was that she was susceptible to bribery, friendship struggles and other tricky situations. I got the feeling she was overwhelmed by her new lifestyle and this led to her not always making the best choices or reacting to things in a harsh manner.

I found myself hooked as she navigated her way through some dark and difficult times. The twists and turns were exciting and constantly kept me guessing where the storyline was heading next. I gasped out loud in shock during a particularly scary intervention and then again at the revelation that followed!

I enjoyed seeing Sorrow blossom and grow stronger as the story progressed, her decisions became clearer and I loved where the story ended up.

An addictive and gasp-inducing read that left me with a smile on my face.

kate1

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Mr One-Night Stand by Rachael Stewart

IMG_1318Genre: Romance

Publisher: Mills & Boon

Publication Date: 21 February 2019

“One night only.

Just think of the possibilities…

The second she sees Mr Oh-So-Delicious, Jennifer Hayes knows she needs one night of crazy. No names, no strings, no rules. Except that Jennifer’s naughty one-nighter is actually Marcus Wright—her new business partner! Now they’re mixing business with all kinds of pleasure. But when it comes to falling in love her sexy Mr Wright is either Mr Wrong or the best mistake of her life…”

MY REVIEW

Normally, I’m all for a book that jumps straight into the action but on this occasion it didn’t work for me. I felt disconnected during the first chapters because there wasn’t any time to form an opinion on the main characters, their partnership didn’t mean anything to me at that point.

Once they moved away from the bedroom and into the office I began to establish a clearer picture of each of them and found myself more interested in their predicament.

I liked the idea of the storyline but it just didn’t hold my attention the way I thought it would.

kate1

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