Monday, October 26, 2020

BLOG TOUR! Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton

In rural Somerset in the middle of a blizzard, the unthinkable happens: a school is under siege. Pupils and teaches barricade themselves into classrooms, the library, the theatre. The headmaster lies wounded in the library, unable to help his trapped students and staff. Outside, a police psychiatrist must identify the gunmen, while parents gather desperate for news. In three intense ours, all must find the courage to stand up to evil and save the people they love.

I firstly want to say a huge thank you to Rosamund Lupton, and Ellie from Penguin Random House/Viking UK for my physical copy, and for giving me the chance to review on the blog tour.

Three Hours is written so the book actually follows three hours, it starts at 9.16am and ends at 12.15pm. I loved that it was written this way, and made me wonder how hard it actually was making sure all of the things in the book could actually happen over that set time. The school has a shooter, and lockdown procedure is happening. But there are kids and teachers all over in different parts of the school, and the school isn’t all in one building either. There is junior school, old school, and a separate pottery room in the woods. When there is a gunman on the loose, how do you know where to go? 

The book follows a few different peoples perspectives. To name a few, there is Beth, who’s son Jamie is in the school and isn’t answering his phone. There is Rafi, a refugee from Syria who’s little brother Basi is down in the Junior School building, which is down a private path in the woods, away from the old school building. Hannah is in the library with a lot of other scared kids, and their headteacher who has been hurt bad.

The story had me on the edge of my seat, I needed to know these kids were going to be alright, and if any weren’t going to be alright, who would it be? There were a few shock moments throughout, more so in part 2, and it added a great element to it with a few twists along the way. 

I have read one school shooting novel before and it was done so well, it did make me wonder how well this one would stand up against it. But Ms Lupton done great, and I read so much of this in one day. I would recommend this to everyone who likes thrillers and suspense.

Make sure to check out the other stops on the blog tour!! 

Out in Hardback now, and paperback on October 29th.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Call Me Mummy by. Tina Baker

Glamarous beautiful Mummy has everything a woman could want... except for a daughter of her very own.So when she sees Kim - heavily pregnant, glued to her phone and ignoring her eldest child in a busy shop - she does what anyone would do. She takes her. But little foul-mouthed Tonya is not the daughter that mummy was hoping for.

Meanwhile Kim is demonised by the media as a ‘scummy mummy’, who deserved to lose Tonya and ought to have her other children taken too. Haunted by memories of her own childhood and refusing to play by the media’s rules, she begins to spiral, turning on those who love her.

Though they are worlds apart, Mummy and Kim have more in common than they could possibly imagine. But it is five-year-old Tonya who is caught in the middle...

Call Me Mummy by Tina Baker 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher Serpents Tail/Profile Books, and Netgalley in return for an honest review.

There are 3 main characters in Call Me Mummy, there is Mummy, Kim, and Tonya. Mummy is rather stuck up, a bit posh I would say. She sees Tonya in a shop and feel she isn’t being watched as best she could, so decides to take her and run. She’s always wanted a child, and we find out more about this as the book delves into her past. Kim is young mother to 2 children, and has a baby on the way. She has a troubled past which has spread in different ways into her present life. Her boyfriend Steve is usually at his mates, or on his computer. She has Tonya and Darell to take care of, and sometimes needs to turn to her friend for help, who’s child has extra needs.Tonya is a cheeky little 5 year old, who takes crap from nobody. She reminds me of my niece to be honest, and I loved it. 

This story centralises around Mummy kidnapping Tonya, and keeping her a secret at her house. I was shocked a few times throughout the book, and there is a big twist I didn’t see coming. And the ending was great. I loved Tonya, and was so worried for her throughout, but you get the feeling for only being 5, she is darn smart. She knows how to get away with certain things, and when to do what ‘Mummy’ tells her. 

‘Mummy’ and Kim have more in common than they know, we are shown their backgrounds in flashbacks, their childhoods, and most of it isn’t great. It’s a scary, but a sad read deep down. I said a few days ago that the book is weird and fucked up, and Tina Baker agreed with me! So I must have nailed that one

Grab it and read it, you will not be disappointed, maybe a little freaked out.

Thank you to Viper books, Tina Baker and Netgalley for my free ebook :)

Out 25th February 2021

Monday, October 19, 2020

Sisters by Daisy Johnson

Something unshakable has happened to sisters July and September

Desperate for a fresh start, their mother Sheela moves them across the country to an old family house that has a troubled life of it’s own. Noises come from behind the walls. Lights flicker of their own accord. Sleep feels impossible, dreams are endless.

In their new, unsettling surroundings, July finds that the fierce bond she’s always had with September - forged with a blood promise when they were children - is beinning to change in ways she cannot understand.

Sisters by Daisy Johnson

I bought myself a signed first edition copy of this book as soon as I read the blurb online. I’m not usually a fan of horrors but this one caught my eye. One thing that grabbed my attention is that the girls are 10 months apart in age.... so are my 2 children. I just hope nothing else is similar!

Julie and September are close, very close. It’s a strange relationship, a controlling one, with September Being the one to make decisions for the two of them. They play a game called September says, which is like Simon say, but she gets rather carried away and says things like ‘September says hold your hand under the hot tap for 1 minute’, or ‘September says lie in the middle of the road’. September wants the girls to have a phone between them, not one each. She does most things for her sister, and July is starting to realise it isn’t normal.

Something bad happens which we don’t find out about for a long time in the story, and this is the reason Sheela moves the family to the Settle House, a strange old run down home which has been in the family for a while. The house itself is rather weird, and the girls relationship just made it seem even weirder.

The book started off a bit strange, but by the end of chapter 1 (which was only 27 pages in), it has you hooked, waiting to know what the bad thing that happened is. The story is written without any speech, and is mostly told from the viewpoint of July, which found a bit different at firs but got used to it quite quickly.

A good story which creeps into your mind. It had me hooked, and I read from page 27 to the end in one day!

Friday, October 16, 2020

BLOG TOUR!! The Unwrapping of Theodora Quirke by Caroline Smailes

When 19 year old Theodora Quirke heads to work on Christmas Eve, the last person she expects to find outside of her flat is St Nicholas of Myra - the Saint people think is Santa Claus (much to St Nick’s disgust). Given he is in full Santa suit and professing to be nearly 2000 years old, Theo is wary, but St nick insists he is there to save her - although he isn’t sure how or why.

St Nick does know that Theo is grieving however, so he shows her four scenes from her life that give her hope, but he’s also had cryptic messages from the Christmas Higher Powers that lead him to begin Theo’s training as the first ever female Christmas Anagel - a role Theo is not sure she is cut out for.

The training is soon derailed by St Nick’s evil brother, filled with jealousy and spite over his brothers popularity and, with confidence dented, and saddened by society’s spiralling levels of expectation and greed, St Nick begins to falter.

Theo does everything she can to defeat the evil brother, and to lift St Nick’s spirits but as the deadline for Christmas miracles draws close, she realises she must complete them herself - but is she up to the job? 

The Unwrapping of Theodora Quirke by Caroline Smailes

I am so excited to be on the blog tour for Theodora, I hope this makes you want to grab this book. 

I devoured this book over around 3 days, and its got me feeling all Christmassy. The first thing I want to say about it, is it got me googling St Nicholas of Myra. I didn’t know anything about him, I’d heard my children mention the Hungarian Santa in primary school, where they would take a slipper in to school and leave it overnight, it find it filled with sweets the next day. But I enjoyed researching and finding out a bit more of St Nicholas of Myra, and how the story of him evolved into what we know now as Santa Claus.

This book is hilarious, and I mean the laugh out loud at a few points kind of funny. It’s very sweary in just the right way, which to me made the story so different from what I was expecting. I didn’t think of St Nick as Santa at all throughout the story, which I thought I would have. I liked him, St Nick, in all his naked slobby glory. A grumpy old man with a good heart inside. 

Theodora, or Theo as she likes to be known, has had a rough life. She was adopted as a baby and didn’t know anything about her mother or why she gave her up, and has just gone through a recent tragedy. I liked her too, and I found myself crying for her a couple of times throughout the book. She just needed some guidance and a friend, and I think she finds both in St Nick. 

But we don’t just meet Theo, the story also follows Dottie who is the founder of Spitfire Saint Nicholas Umbrella Collective. These are people who have got together online to talk about their experiences with Saint Nick, and the miracles he has done for them. But it takes a bit of a turn and someone gets involved a little too much. Dottie is recently bereaved and SSNUC has helped her through a huge change in her life.

With a lot of laughs, a little heartbreak, some villainous behaviour, and some plotting and scheming, The Unwraping of Theodora Quirke was a brilliant story of love and friendship, and a lot of Christmas spirit. I’m now even more excited for Christmas, and St Nicholas Day on December 6th. Thank you Caroline, for spreading the Christmas cheer a little early this year, in a time that it’s really needed.

Plus.... dinosaurs (If you know, you know) 

Thank you to Caroline Smailes and Red Door Books for an advanced proof copy of this book.

Please check out the rest of the tour:

The Unwrapping of Theodora Quirke is to now in paperback!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

When I Was Ten by Fiona Cummins

Twenty-one Years ago, Dr Richard Carter and his wife Pamela were murdered in what has become the most infamous double murder of the modern age.

Ten-year-old Sara Carter - nicknamed the Angel of Death - spent eight years in a children’s secure unit and is living quietly under an assumed name with a family of her own.

Now, on the anniversary of the trial, a documentary team has tracked down her older sister Shannon Carter, compelling her to break two decades of silence.

Her explosive interview sparks national headlines and journalist Brinley Booth, a childhood friend of the Carter sisters, is tasked with covering the news story.

For the first time, the three women are forced to confront what really happened on that blood-soaked night - with devastating consequences for them all

When I Was Ten by Fiona Cummins

I received a copy of this book from the publisher Pan Macmillan and Netgalley in return for an honest review. Thank you to them both.

I loved this story. I think I’m turning into a thriller type of girl now! So this book threw a good few twists my way, there was a couple of open mouth moments there!

Sara and Shannon lived an awful childhood, and we get to find out so much of this throughout out the story. We get to understand why what happened happened, and you really do feel for the girls. Their childhood friend Brinley lives next door, and knows what goes on, but hasn’t actually seen anything happen, as Dr and Mrs Carter are so careful when others are around. We read flashbacks of that night, nights and days previous, and a lot of the present, always from Sara (or now as she is know Catherine), and Brinley’s POV. 

Catherine is now grown and living under a new identity, with her husband and daughter. But it isn’t long before things start unravelling, especially once Shannon goes on air to plead with her sister to find her again.

But there is another persons POV we see, and that is the Justice Secretary. To be honest I didn’t think he fit well into the story, and he could have been left out completely and I don’t think it would have made much difference. But he was there anyway, and I suppose just added an extra character. 

That didn’t take anything away from the story though. It was a fab thriller, and rather sad at times too, and I would definitely read more of Fiona Cummins work.

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Paper Towns by John Green