Thursday, 2 October 2014

The Hard Way by Lee Child : Review

I hope you enjoy my first book review for Hanging on Every Word, for it is in fact my first ever book review. 

Synopsis reads: Jack Reacher is alone, the way he likes it. He watches a man cross a New York street and drive away in a Mercedes. The car contains $1 million of ransom money. Reacher's job is to make sure it all turns out right - money paid, family safely returned. But Reacher is in the middle of a nasty little war where nothing is simple. What started on a busy New York street explodes three thousand miles away, in the sleepy English countryside. Reacher's going to have to do this one the hard way.

My Review: The Hard Way is the tenth book Lee Child has written about the character Jack Reacher. All of the Jack Reacher books stand on their own, there is no need to have read any of the previous books.

The book starts with Reacher an ex army cop unknowingly witnessing a kidnapping money drop. With the family of missing Kate eager to know all that Reacher witnessed, it soon becomes apparent they are not your average family.

Reacher want to to help put right this wrong and to help reunite Edward Lanes family. With strictly no police involved all of Reacher's investigative skills are required. Edward Lane seems a little cagey divulging his history - a previous wife also kidnapped, his own Mercenary army, and the ability to pay kidnappers millions in cash within hours.

Reacher has to balance investigating and resolving the kidnapping, whilst trying to discover the truth about Edward Lane and his loyal mercenaries – or are they loyal?  There are twists and turns a plenty as the kidnapping develops. Although I did predict two elements of the kidnapping plot as I progressed though the book, there were still plenty of the story I could never have predicted.

I liked the relationship between Reacher and Pauling the ex-FBI agent involved in investigating the kidnapping of Lane’s first wife. Both respecting and bouncing off each others methods of investigating, though not always agreeing. Yes, there is something between the two, but it is not love – Reacher never does love.

Through the book Reacher wants to ensure the right thing is done, this includes payback for any wrong doing and payback in the most appropriate and deserving way. An aspect of his character I actually found quite endearing.

Lee Child does not shy away from violence in this book, any story that features a small army of mercenary is never going to just play nicely. This is no fluffy read, I accept that violence has a place in this story, there is one particular scene set in West Africa that stayed with me.  That said this is not just a book to be read by men, as a woman I really enjoyed this book. When Lee Child writes a female character they are usual strong, intelligent woman. Pauling the ex-FBI agent, Kate the kidnapped wife, Patti the sister of Lanes first wife and Dee Marie sister of Hobart one of Lane’s mercenaries -all exceptional female characters.

I guarantee once you pick it up you will not be quick to put it down. Never will you read 500 pages quite so quickly. You know how it goes with a good book. I will just read to the next chapter and then I will turn the light off and go to sleep – yeah really, that was at midnight its one a.m. and the light is still on!

I gave this book 4 stars out of 5 on Goodreads where it had an average of 4.5 stars.

To find out more about the book or the author Lee Child visit the following links.

Angela

Post may contain affiliate links.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Top Ten Tuesday | Top Ten Authors I've Only Read One Book From But NEED to Read More

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/meme started by The Broke and the Bookish. This weeks post is all about those authors who you need to read more of (but have only read one book so far!). I have a few of these so here goes:




Lauren Oliver
Yep, despite owning her very famous trilogy I still haven't got round to reading them! I have, however, read Panic which I loved and reviewed here for My Keeper Shelf.

John Green
Don't worry, this will be rectified shortly. Having read The Fault In Our Stars and adored it, I am eager to read every other book he has ever written. Plenty of my friends rave about him and they weren't wrong when it came to TFIOS so I doubt they'll be wrong when it comes to his other books.

CJ Omolulu
Having read and reviewed Transcendence for MKS, I've been eager to read some more of CJ's books and haven't yet had the chance to pick any up! Having given Transcendence five stars, I've got high hopes for her other books.

Bethany Wiggins
Another review for MKS with Stung, this may be a little naughty as technically I have started the second book in the series (well, a few pages) but I put it down to try and catch up with review copies. I will hopefully be picking it up again soon.

Jessica Brody
I am sensing a theme here - this list is mostly compiled of authors I discovered through reviewing for MKS (in this case, Unremembered) but some of these authors have really stayed with me, despite only reading one of their novels. Jessica Brody really captured my imagination with this book and I really can't wait to read more from her.

Susan Hill
I've read what is probably her most favourite novel The Woman In Black but I keep seeing other book bloggers and Booktubers raving about various other books so I really need to check them out!

Eva Ibbotson
I read The Secret Countess as part of a reading series over on Odd Socks and Pretty Frocks and keep meaning to pick some more books up by her - this hasn't happened yet though!

C.J Box
I read a book by C.J. Box a couple of years ago that completely took my breath away but haven't read another since and I am not sure why. This needs to be rectified as soon as possible.

Dennis Lehane
This name keeps cropping up. Shutter Island is a favourite film of mine and I keep meaning to pick up the book after reading Moonlight Mile by the same author - yet it still hasn't happened! I guess my Christmas and birthday wishlists are going to be huge, eh?

Stieg Larssen
Despite owning the other two in the series, I have only read the first book in the trilogy..oops! I'm determined to get round to them soon as the first book was amazing.

What ten authors do you need to read more of?



Thursday, 11 September 2014

If I Could Turn Back Time by Nicola Doherty: Review

IF I COULD TURN BACK TIME - NICOLA DOHERTY
Goodreads - The Book Depository Amazon



Synopsis

What if you found The One, then lost him again? 

Or not so much lost him as became the neurotic, needy girlfriend from hell. The girl who tried to make him choose between her and his job, and got seriously paranoid about his relationship with his best female friend... 

Zoe knows she doesn't deserve another chance with David. But if there's the tiniest possibility of making things right, she'll snatch it. Even if it means breaking the laws of physics to do so..




My Review

I haven't read much chick lit over the last few years, preferring to stick to YA, dystopian and crime/thriller novels. My Goodreads certainly reflects the lack of chick lit but when I saw this pop up on Bookbridgr, I couldn't resist requesting it.

This story tells the tale of Zoe, a girl who loved and lost David, her perfect man. The problem with their relationship? David's best friend, Jenny. A girl who sets out to get what she wants and normally wins - and Zoe knows that Jenny is determined to get her claws into David. However, David doesn't see it that way and after yet another argument over his friendship with Jenny, Zoe and David break up.

It is very clear to see why Jenny gets under Zoe's skin so much - she is stuck up, patronising and just a little evil at times. David, on the other hand, seemed quite nice so it did seem a little peculiar that he would have such a horrible best friend. But then he couldn't see what she was truly like. It would have been great to see if he finally saw her true colours further down the line.

Stuck in a job she doesn't really like, reporting to a horrible boss and generally having nothing to look forward to, Zoe finds everything changes after running after a customer who had left something behind in the store. The customer tells her to wish for what she wants - is the little old lady magic? We'll never know - but Zoe somehow time travels back a few months and is able to relive everything again.

Does she use this to her advantage? Of course she does -  wouldn't you? Although originally shocked by what has happened, she takes it all in her stride and uses her prior knowledge to score a promotion at work and nip any potential arguments with David in the bud.

The only person she really tells about her 'time travelling' is David's friend, Max. Max moves in with Zoe when she is on the search for a new room mate and it soon becomes clear that Max may have feelings for Zoe. Will his knowledge of what has happened ruin her and David?

I loved Zoe as a character even if I did feel that sometimes she was a little devious - I think everyone would use some prior knowledge to their advantage - but she used it all the time and this proved to be her downfall. Max was a great addition to the story - at first, he just seems like this weird, messy background character who serves no purpose to the story at all but with Zoe's inclusion of Max into her secret, the character gets pulled right into the story as it builds up to a slightly predictable but very entertaining end.

This was definitely a fluffy read but it was definitely needed to help pull me out of my recent reading slump. If you are looking for a quick cutesy read then this may be the book for you.



Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Read On. Get On. Let's Get Every Child Reading by 11

I was just browsing across the internet when I came across this campaign and it is something I feel very strongly about. It shocks me that up to 40% of children enter secondary school without being able to read well. An inability to read well can definitely hinder children in later life and we need to help our nations children - whether it is helping them to read to prepare them for the working world or whether it is to introduce them to a whole new world of characters in some amazing books.

So how can you help? First of all, please do think about signing the petition here. Make our political leaders stand up and take notice of a growing problem in our education system. For more ways to help, please check out the website here.

Thanks,

Bex


Monday, 25 August 2014

Serial Vengeance by Melissa Wren: Review


Serial Vengeance by Melissa Wren

Olivia Penn is a Pulitzer Prize winning reporter for the Washington Post. In the last two years a lot has happened from the disappearance of her best friend Stacy after a night out, to her son Patrick being still born.

With the help of a friend within the police force Olivia is on the case of some high profile suicides, all of whom left behind a suicide note with a very common line; "I deserve to die", leading Olivia to believe these aren't suicides and the want to break the story.

However the more Olivia delves into the story, the closer she comes to the truth and her own demise.

I have to admit to really enjoyed this book, I found from the first page it was hard to put down (and actually managed to finish it in days, which of late has been a huge struggle for me). I wanted to keep reading and delving deeper into the story, what would happen next - were my theories right or wrong?

While the story hinted at a certain person being 'The Punisher' I did have other ideas early on, so I really had to keep reading to find out if I was right.

Quite a dark, psychological thriller - I would suggest this book to anyone who loves such genres as I think, like me - you will find it hard to put down, once you pick it up.

To find out more about Serial Vengeance or its author Melissa Wren take a peek over on:

Goodreads / Amazon *I received a copy free of charge for review **Post may contain affiliate links.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

The Last Ancient by Eliot Baker: Review

Synopsis

Around Nantucket Island, brutal crime scenes are peppered with ancient coins, found by the one man who can unlock their meaning. But what do the coins have to do with the crimes? Or the sudden disease epidemic? Even the creature? And who--or what--left them?

The answer leads reporter Simon Stephenson on a journey through ancient mythology, numismatics, and the occult. Not to mention his own past, which turns out to be even darker than he'd realized; his murdered father was a feared arms dealer, after all. Along the way, Simon battles panic attacks and a host of nasty characters -- some natural, others less so -- while his heiress fiancee goes bridezilla, and a gorgeous rival TV reporter conceals her own intentions.

Review

The book starts with a bang, Simon the main character is out following the brutal killings of local deer on Nantucket, as more deer turn up, so do ancient coins and soon well it isn't just the deer running riot as mythical creatures and a deadly virus start to come to light.

The story takes Simon on a roller coaster ride, as he follows the clues and the coins to find out just what really is going on. He has to face up to some of his childhood dramas, which he thought were long behind him, while learning the truth of who others in his life are.

He is actually a character you could resonate with (apart from the fact his father had been a well-known and hunted criminal until his death of course), he is laid back, he has a job he likes and a fiancĂ© he seems at least at first to love, which, when things start to happen left me wondering, just how would I cope finding out these secrets?

The book surprised me as it journeys through a number of different genres, moving from one to the other seamlessly. I often didn't know what to expect from each turn of the page and it really did offer some surprises I didn't see coming along the way.

The Last Ancient is a beautifully written book that just flows at a constant pace, it offered a type of book, I personally hadn't read before and the multi layers in it just make it stand out. Personally I would love to see it made into a film.

If you are a fan of the mystical and all things mythological - you might just want to grab this book and find out what happened to the last ancient.

About the author

Eliot Baker lives in Finland. He teaches communications at a local college and runs an editing and translating business, but would be content singing for his heavy metal band and writing novels full-time. He grew up near Seattle, got his B.A. in World Literature at Pitzer College, and got his M.S. in Science Journalism from Boston University. He was an award-winning journalist at the Nantucket Inquirer and Mirror, and before that he wrote for the Harvard Health Letters. He spent four years pursuing a career in the sciences while at the Harvard Extension School, during which time he spun old people in NASA-designed rocket chairs and kept younger people awake for 86 hours at a time in a sleep deprivation study. He likes good books, all music, and bad movies, and believes music and literature snobs just need a hug. His latest book is the supernatural thriller/historical mystery, The Last Ancient.

Visit his blog at www.eliotbakerauthor.blogspot.com.

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Saturday, 9 August 2014

YA A-Z Tag


A: A book you wish you owned?

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green. Yup, still haven't got around to picking that bad boy up. Oops.

B: Best book cover?

 Still think this is absolutely beautiful!

C: Could you see yourself with any of your favourite characters?
I don't actually think I could, no.

D: Do you ever wish you could live in a fictional world?

Often - they seem a lot more interesting and exciting sometimes.

E: Epic battle or love story?

How about a little bit of both?

F: Favourite YA title you have read so far?

Wow, do you really have to ask me this? I really don't know if I can choose!

G: Ghosts or aliens?

Ghosts.

H: How do you choose which books to buy?

I generally read lots of book blogs and watch lots of Booktube videos and get inspired that way. Beth from Plastic Rosaries is a big influence on my buys and sometimes the shops just draw me in!
 I: If you could be a fictional character for a day, who would you be and why?
 Harper from the Watersong series. Her dedication to her sister is unwavering and she seems like my kind of girl.
J: Judge books by their covers?
 I'm so ashamed but yes. Gorgeous covers often draw me in!

K: Killing characters in YA books - should it be allowed?

Yes! Sometimes it needs to be done for the story to continue!

L: Least favourite book you've read?

The Arrivals by Melissa Marr. 

M: Male protagonist or female protagonist?

Either or, I'm not bothered. I have been loving books with female protagonists recently though.

N: Name a book you are desperate to read?

 Crown Of Midnight by Sarah J Maas before the next book in the series comes out..I even own it and still haven't read it yet!

O: One book you want everyone to read?

Brightest Kind Of Darkness by P T Michelle
 P: Pick five characters you'd want on your side in an apocalypse?
1. Katniss Everdeen for obvious reasons 
2. Celaena from the Throne Of Glass series because she kicks ass
3. Harper from the Watersong series because she can kick butt when she wants to
4. Finnick Odair if he wasn't dead *sob*
5. Four. 

Q: Quick read or long read?

Either. Depends on my mood.

R: Reading is essential to a happy life - agree?

Wouldn't necessarily say essential but it definitely helps!

S: Series or standalone?

I am very much a series girl but I do have a few standalones that I love! 

T: Tell us the most recent book you've read?

That would be The Deadliners by Rachel Medhurst! Been in a major reading slump since due to tons of work and no time to read!
 U: Under the duvet - scariest book you've read?
I can't remember what it was called but I remember reading a book when I was younger that seemed very... Satanic -  don't know where it came from either!

V: Vaporise which series with a magic wand?

The Twilight series. Sorry.

W: What do you love most about YA fiction?

How they can all be so different but so great.

X: X marks the spot - where is your favourite reading spot?

Curled up in my armchair

Y: Your house is on fire - which three books would you save?

Harry Potter and The Prisoner Of Azkaban, Wake by Amanda Hocking, Soul Beach by Kate Harrison

Z: Zombies or vampires?

Neither.