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Withdrawn from his house-mates and living in his memories of the past, Toby spends his days fighting his fear.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.