Sunday 16 August 2015

The Verdict

So I have the results back from my scans and it turns out I have torn some ligaments in my knee, but because it is a lot better than it was I just have to keep doing what I have been which is resting it when I can and being gentle with it. I am grateful, it could have been much worse but I am frustrated because now that the weather is getting nicer I had plans for doing fun active outdoorsy stuff which I will have to put on hold.
I will be working six days a week for the next couple of weeks which won't leave me much time for anything else but it is only a few weeks before I am on holidays, so excited!

Friday 7 August 2015

Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica

Title: Pretty Baby
Author: Mary Kubica
ISBN: 9781743690352
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Publish Date: August 2015


A chance encounter sparks an unrelenting web of lies in this stunning new psychological thriller from national bestselling author Mary Kubica
She sees the teenage girl on the train platform, standing in the pouring rain, clutching an infant in her arms. She boards a train and is whisked away. But she can't get the girl out of her head…
Heidi Wood has always been a charitable woman: she works for a nonprofit, takes in stray cats. Still, her husband and daughter are horrified when Heidi returns home one day with a young woman named Willow and her four-month-old baby in tow. Disheveled and apparently homeless, this girl could be a criminal—or worse. But despite her family's objections, Heidi invites Willow and the baby to take refuge in their home.
Heidi spends the next few days helping Willow get back on her feet, but as clues into Willow's past begin to surface, Heidi is forced to decide how far she's willing to go to help a stranger. What starts as an act of kindness quickly spirals into a story far more twisted than anyone could have anticipated.

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed Mary Kubica's first novel 'The Good Girl' so when I saw 'Pretty Baby' I knew I had to read it and I wasn't disappointed.
Pretty Baby grabbed me from the first page and wouldn't let go. From it's tightly woven plot with enough twists to keep you guessing to the well developed and complex characters, Pretty Baby is everything I hoped it would be and more. Packed full of emotion and mystery it deals with sensitive issues and how sometimes even the most well intended deeds do not always end up going according to plan.
Written from multiple points of view gave a fascinating insight into the complexity of the characters and their interactions, slowly feeding the suspense and mystery of the compelling story line.
I highly recommend this suspenseful page turner and look forward to reading Kubica's future works.

Friday 31 July 2015

Lifeand a Marathon Weekend Read

As most of you will know I injured my knee a month ago and because I am stubborn I delayed going to the doctor until last week, thinking it would just get better by itself. Alas that did not happen and I am booked in to have and ultrasound next week to see what is actually wrong. The result of my stubbornness is having very painful knees that hardly bend and I am beginning to wonder if I have inadvertently done more damage.
So basically this has led to my days being filled with a very painful work experience, having to stand almost all day on sore knees and being too drained at night to do much more than sit in front of the TV barely able to stay awake. My weekends have been very similar to my evenings with the exception of being able to start and finish reading a recommendation from my boss, Shantaram by  Gregory David Roberts, which I read over a two day period, much to the awe of my 13 year old. This was a marathon for me at over 900 pages! Although I must confess while I enjoyed the first three quarters of the book I did skim read the last quarter as I found myself losing interest.
I can't see much of a change over the next two weeks, but hopefully the scan on my knee and the subsequent doctors visit will shed some light and relief onto my health and things will then begin to return to some sort of normality. I find the forced resting to be frustrating despite that when I am able to do whatever I like all I want to do is sit around and read and watch TV. The fact that I do not have the choice grates on my nerves.

Friday 19 June 2015

Looking for Podcasts

In my absence I have decided now is the time to start looking after myself more. You know, the usual way like eating better and exercising more... Of course, as fate would have it mere days after making this decision to be more active I happened to fall down the stairs resulting in an injured knee. My own fault for trying to navigate the stairs whilst half asleep and not turning on the light! Fortunately the damage is not too severe and I can still perform normal tasks, such as going to work (oh the joy!) but I am going to postpone any serious exercise for a few weeks until my knee is functioning a bit better. So what better way to pas the time than searching for things to listen to when said fitness time rolls around. I want something other than music to listen to, this is where you come in, my lovely readers... Can you please recommend some podcasts that you enjoy, bookish or non book related, I am open to any suggestions. Thanks in advance.

Tuesday 16 June 2015

Back on Track

So my life took a bit of an unexpected turn recently and I was not sure if or when I would be able to update this blog, but things have now settled down and with things back on track it is time to come back to the blog. I have also been toying with the idea of sharing some of my other interests here, which after careful consideration I think I will. I look forward to some normality.

Monday 27 April 2015

On Hold

Just a note to inform my readers that this blog will be put temporarily (I hope) on hold. Due to a major upheaval in my personal life and living arrangements I will be unable to maintain the blog, although I do plan on returning at some stage.
Thank you to all my readers and followers.

Monday 13 April 2015

The Death House by Sarah Pinborough

Title: The Death House
Author: Sarah Pinborough
ISBN: 9780575096875
Publisher: Gollancz
Publish Date: April 2015


Toby's life was perfectly normal... until it was unravelled by something as simple as a blood test.

Taken from his family, Toby now lives in the Death House: an out-of-time existence far from the modern world, where he, and the others who live there, are studied by Matron and her team of nurses. They're looking for any sign of sickness. Any sign of their wards changing. Any sign that it's time to take them to the sanatorium.
No one returns from the sanatorium.
Withdrawn from his house-mates and living in his memories of the past, Toby spends his days fighting his fear. But then a new arrival in the house shatters the fragile peace, and everything changes.
Because everybody dies. It's how you choose to live that counts.

My Thoughts:

Normally I write reviews a few hours after finishing a book, a few days later at the most. This time it was different, I waited almost two weeks to write this review, I had to let my experience, settle in my mind and really think about what I wanted to say. I was left feeling conflicted, I really wanted to love it, yet at the same time I can't say that I didn't enjoy it.
Let me start by saying that The Death House did not meet the expectations of what I thought I was getting. I was totally prepared for something a lot creepier, after all that cover just screams creepy! Despite the lack of creepiness, I was not disappointed, instead what I was faced with was the story of a group of children and teens dealing with love, loss and friendship while battling knowledge of their inevitably short futures.
The story focuses on the relationships between the main characters, Toby and Clara with a few secondaries, namely Will and Louis, being the most memorable. The dynamics between the characters are well written and one can't help but feel for these kids as they struggle to make sense of their emotions and cope with their fears.
At first I was disappointed with the number of unanswered questions but as I took more time to process my feelings I feel it is better leaving them unanswered, creating a sense of mystery and providing a wonderful opportunity for discussion, making The Death House a great choice for book clubs.
The Death House is a story of living life to the fullest, a tale of first loves and friendship, with an dark undercurrent of tension which leads to an emotional yet beautiful ending. This is one book I will not forget in a hurry.

Thank you to Hachette Australia and Net Galley for the ARC.

Monday 6 April 2015

Leap of Faith by Fiona McCallum

Title: Leap of Faith
Author: Fiona McCallum
ISBN: 9781743692400
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Publish Date: April 2015


Jessica Harrington is a promising horse-rider who dreams of representing her country. But the recent death of her father – her coach and mentor – has left her doubting her ability to continue in the sport. When she fails at the Adelaide International Horse Trials her fears are confirmed – and her world begins to fall apart.

Unable to bear seeing her well-bred, highly trained horses languishing in the paddock, she makes the snap decision to sell. She’s broken her own heart, but can’t see any other way – now she will just have to focus on a life without them. Her husband Steve and best friend Tiffany, however, can see through her bravado.

Jessica is dismayed when Steve brings home a horse from a clearing sale, a horse so skinny and forlorn he just couldn't leave it behind. Unwilling to be drawn back into the world of horses, she's reluctant to get involved. But when a summer thunderstorm brings on a life-or-death emergency, she finds she underestimated the heart of one little horse. Can Jessica put her trust in Faith?

My Thoughts:

As a lover of horses I was instantly drawn to Leap of Faith and I wasn't disappointed. Leap of Faith focuses more on the love of a way of life rather than romance, with the focus being on Jessica overcoming her fears.
Jessica was a hard character to like for the first part of the book and at points I had to put it down as she frustrated me with her snobbishness and elitist attitude...seriously, I could have slapped her. But I was drawn back by that glimmer of hope that Faith provided and the need to know what happened next.
Jessica's fears were very easy to relate to as was her impulsive decision making, in a way it struck very close to home for me allowing me to sympathize with Jessica's situation.
Leap of Faith is a lovely story of courage and dare I say it, faith. Well written and engaging, Leap of Faith was an enjoyable read.

Tanks to Harlequin Australia for the ARC.

Wednesday 11 February 2015

The Two of Us by Andy Jones

Title:  The Two of Us
Author: Andy Jones
ISBN: 9781471142444
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publish Date: February 2015

Falling in love is the easy part. What matters most is what happens next...

Fisher and Ivy have been an item for a whole nineteen days. And they just know they are meant to be together. The fact that they know little else about each other is a minor detail. Over the course of twelve months, in which their lives will change forever, Fisher and Ivy discover that falling in love is one thing, but staying there is an entirely different story.

My Thoughts
The Two of Us is the story of a whirlwind romance and and the struggles of keeping a relationship together. The story is told through the eyes of Fisher giving this book a unique feel.
For the most part it is a light and fluffy read, although, like every relationship there are times when Fisher and Ivy's journey will pull at your heartstrings.
The characters are real and well written, making them easy to care about and drawing the reader into the story.
The Two of Us is a beautifully told story of love, friendship, loss and new beginnings that will stay with you long after the pages are closed.
Thanks to Simon & Schuster Australia and Netgalley for the ARC.

Tuesday 27 January 2015

Before I Go by Colleen Oakley

Title: Before I Go
Author: Colleen Oakley
ISBN: 9781760111939
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Publish Date: January 2015

Daisy never asks you to feel sorry for her.
Daisy is 27-years-old and has only months to live. And, each day, she's finding her way through what needs to be done.
Her major worry is what her wonderful, charming husband, Jack, will do without her. She knows that he won't take care of himself so Daisy has to do it for him. As she searches for Jack's next wife, she begins to realise that her plan to ensure Jack's happiness is much more complicated than she expected.

My Thoughts:

Before I Go is one of those books where you know exactly what you are getting, but it is also surprising light-hearted for such a serious and heartbreaking subject. These days we all know someone who has fought or is fighting a battle with cancer making it easy to relate to the characters in the story and leaves you asking the question, 'what would I do?' This book has left me thoughtful and, dare I say it, a little more appreciative of my health. Daisy and Jack's relationship show us the importance of being able to openly communicate with our loved ones and not to take each other for granted.
Before I Go is an emotional roller coaster that is wonderfully written. Definitely recommended, but you might need some tissues.

Review copy received from Allen & Unwin Australia via GoodReads giveaway.

Friday 16 January 2015

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Yes I am late on the bandwagon for this one and yes it is entirely by choice. I went to the cinema and watched this last week, I put off going, firstly because I hate crowds and secondly because I hate endings. I was having trouble accepting that this would be the last time I would be seeing Middle Earth on the big screen. I know a lot of people had issues with these movies but I personally loved them, They are a beautiful interpretation of Tolkien's books.
As usual my family and I were the last ones to leave the cinema. as we always watch the credits, after all the hard work these people put in the least we can do is acknowledge them, and the credits on this movie were worth watching as they were accompanied by stunning art and design sketches from the film. The talent of these artists never ceases to amaze me and I left the theatre feeling heartbroken yet inspired.
What a wonderful way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Wednesday 14 January 2015

Daughter by Jane Shemilt

Title: Daughter
Author: Jane Shemilt
ISBN: 9781405915298
Publisher: Penguin
Publish Date: January 2015


Jenny is a successful family doctor, the mother of three great teenagers, married to a celebrated neurosurgeon.

But when her youngest child, fifteen-year-old Naomi, doesn’t come home after her school play, Jenny’s seemingly ideal life begins to crumble. The authorities launch a nationwide search with no success. Naomi has vanished, and her family is broken.

As the months pass, the worst-case scenarios—kidnapping, murder—seem less plausible. The trail has gone cold. Yet for a desperate Jenny, the search has barely begun. More than a year after her daughter’s disappearance, she’s still digging for answers—and what she finds disturbs her. Everyone she’s trusted, everyone she thought she knew, has been keeping secrets, especially Naomi. Piecing together the traces her daughter left behind, Jenny discovers a very different Naomi from the girl she thought she’d raised.

My Thoughts:
Every parents nightmare is a missing child. When 15 year old Naomi goes missing, the lives of her family start to fall apart. Told from Naomi's mother, Jenny's, point of view, Daughter is a story of betrayals and secrets.
The story bounces between the past and the present, slowly revealing information and clues about what happened on that fateful night. The pacing was perfect, with enough information given at the right times to keep the pages turning and the reader guessing. I did find the main character, Jenny, irritating and not very engaging, making her difficult to relate to, but I could not help but feel for her circumstances, despite not liking her as a character.
Daughter is a solid mystery and family drama with many twists and secrets that kept me guessing. An engaging read.
Thanks to Penguin Books Australia and Netgalley for the review copy.