Thursday, June 30, 2022

Musicals as Books Challenge

I love seeing everyone’s different challenges, and love trying to take part while I can. Lately I’ve been a bit lazy with them, so I’m hoping making my own will help me get back in the swing of things for the second half of the year.

I decided to do a musicals as books challenge. I made 12 prompts and a template. I’ll add them here, and add my progress on my Reading Challenges 2022 page.

You can also find the blank templates over on my Instagram account highlights.

If you join in make sure to tag me and use the hashtag #deesmusicalsasbookschallenge :)

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

WWW Wednesday 29.6.22


I haven’t joined in with WWW Wednesday for so long! So I’m going to try to do it more. WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Worlds.

Currently reading: I’m reading 2 books at that moment, The Hive by Scarlett Brade for TsundokuSquads June read, and The Adoption papers by Jackie Kay.

Recently finished: The last book I finished was The Blackbird by Tim Weaver, which I was sent an amazing proof, and loved it! 

Could read next: I think next I will move onto my next buddy read with my friend Kath, we’re planning Paper Towns by John Green for July.

See you again next week, see if my options have changed!

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Book Tour. The Blackbird by Tim Weaver

David Raker is back with another heart-pounding and tense missing persons case. Ten seconds before the crash, Cate and Aiden Gascoigne are recorded on CCTV. The couple are laughing - happy, untroubled. Then their car plunges into a ninety-foot ravine.

The impact should kill them. And if that doesn't, the fire will. Within seconds, the vehicle is an inferno - with the Gascoignes trapped inside. But when fire crews arrive at the scene, they find something impossible. The vehicle is empty. Cate and Aiden have vanished.

Now only missing persons investigator David Raker can solve the mystery…

I was asked by Jennifer from Michael Joseph if I’d like to be on the tour for The Blackbird. I had already received a gorgeous #gifted proof of this book from Mubarak Elmubarak, Michael Joseph, Penguin Random House. I have him to thank massively, I don’t think I’d have picked this up without him asking me if I’d like to read it. I’d never read a Weaver book before.

So I’ve been really tired lately, and have been falling asleep every time I try to read, so I haven’t been getting far with The Blackbird. That is until recently when I absolutely drank in the last ⅓ of the book in one sitting. 

Wow is Tim Weaver a good writer or what?! I thought I had maybe a small idea of where the story was going, then you hit a certain point where he just smacks you in the face with all the twists! And he pulls no punches, the twists keep coming right until the book ends, and it ends on a cliffhanger that makes me desperate to find out what’s coming next! The main character of Raker was great, I loved reading about him visiting all the places in my hometown, wandering down Dean Street, seeing the bridges, the Metrocentre, and plenty more. 

I’m definitely up for going back to the start and reading all of the Raker novels.

Thanks again to Jennifer for asking me to be on the tour, to Murabak for talking me into reading it, and Mr Weaver for writing a bloody great story!

My name is on the book sleeve!!!!!!!!

Saturday, June 18, 2022

The Silent Brother by Simon Van Der Velde

When his beloved little brother is stolen away, five-year-old Tommy Farrier is left alone with his alcoholic mam, his violent step-dad and his guilt. Too young to understand what has really happened, Tommy is sure of only one thing. He is to blame.

Tommy tries to be good, to live-up to his brother’s increasingly hazy memory, but trapped in a world of shame and degradation he grows up with just two options; poverty or crime. And crime pays.

Or so he thinks.

A teenage drug-dealer for the vicious Burns gang, Tommy’s life is headed for disaster, until, in the place he least expects, Tommy sees a familiar face...

And then things get a whole lot worse

I was extremely excited when Simon asked me if I’d like to be an early reader for The Silent Brother, and waited in anticipation for my review ebook so I could dig straight in. And boy am I glad I got to read this!! Thanks so much to him and Northodox Press for my arc ebook.

The Silent Brother had me glued to the screen. Being a born and bred Geordie had me loving reading about the places in the book, the bars and pubs, the areas I know and pass through quite often. We took our kids to Inflataspace last week, and passed the Byker Wall on the Metro, I immediately thought of Tommy and Annie.I love it when a book does that, and places and things take you back to it.

So The Silent Brother had been described to me by someone as a Geordie ‘Shuggie Bain’, and you know what? They were totally right. The sadness and poverty in the story really shows itself and is always there in the background. The crime rang so true, in Newcastle the crime, especially drug related crime is huge, and something we see around here more often than not. Reading the way Tommy felt like working for the drug gang was the best way forward, makes you see how easy it is to be pulled into a lifestyle like that. 

The first few chapters had me reading with my hand on my chest, and as I told Simon, my stomach was in my arse! Benji, oh sweet Benji, his story is remembered all the way through the story, and pulled at my heart strings. But also Annie, ‘the girl with the scrunched up face’. I loved reading about her and Tommys friendship and how it developed when they were young. 

There were so many things that made me smile, or cry, but I don’t want to get into much more and spoil anything. 

Please give this book a go, it really is amazing. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Ben and Sally by Oliver Sparshot

Ben has ditched his entire life to move to London, and Sally needs a roommate. A match made in heaven? Maybe not - because Ben is more interested in sleeping in other men's beds than finding one of his own, and Sally is probably the worst housemate in the entire city!

Based on a real life diary, this funny, heart-warming and true story leaves NOTHING to the imagination.

Okay, so this book opens with a bang (literally by the way)! I was gutted I missed out on being on the tour, so I decided to buy it on release day and read it as quick as I could. It is absolutely hilarious, and down right rude! In a good way though.

I love the way each chapter starts with a little text conversation between Ben and Sally (& Kate), and it had me guessing for so long as to who Kate was, we find out about halfway through the story, and it made so much sense! I love both Ben and Sally, and think they would just be perfect friends. Ben’s mother also plays a brilliant role, and has some smashing crack.

There were so many laugh out loud parts, at one point I even snorted and the dog looked at me funny! The best line from the story is ‘Yes! It’s too much for a fucking ice cream.’ This was the snorty part.

Along with all the laughs is a whole butt load of sex (don’t pardon the pun, the pun was intentional), and boy oh boy is it graphic! But don’t let that put you off, as the story is just brilliant, a hoot and a half. 

I’m really looking forward to season 2, and I’m definitely going to try to jump on the tour for that one (so keep me informed Instabooktourstours!!)

Falling by T.J Newman

You just boarded a flight to New York.

There are one hundred and forty-three other passengers onboard.

What you don't know is that thirty minutes before the flight your pilot's family was kidnapped.

For his family to live, everyone on your plane must die.

The only way the family will survive is if the pilot follows his orders and crashes the plane.

Enjoy the flight.

I read this with my friend Kath, I love our buddy reads as we always chat loads.

Well if this book isn’t gripping then I don’t know what the hell is! I was glued. I read the first 8 chapters, then stopped to let Kath catch up. But once we both started properly again, we had to finish. I raced through the last 100 or so pages in one morning as I just couldn’t put it down!

The book all takes place within 6 hours I think, either on the plane or down on the ground with the Bad Guy, and the pilot’s family. All I kept thinking was what would I do in this situation. The pilot is amazing, Bill his name is. I loved reading his parts, trying to figure out what he was going to do, how he was feeling, and how was he staying so calm? There were so many times me or Kath messaged each other saying things like ‘OMG ch8’! OMG ch 18’.

Honestly I’d recommend everyone read this, what a debut novel it is! Fast paced, edge of your seat thriller. Very exciting read . Well done Ms Newman… I don’t know if I’ll fly again!

How To Kill Your Family by Bella Mackie

I have killed several people (some brutally, others calmly) and yet I currently languish in jail for a murder I did not commit.

When I think about what I actually did, I feel somewhat sad that nobody will ever know about the complex operation that I undertook. Getting away with it is highly preferable, of course, but perhaps when I'm long gone, someone will open an old safe and find this confession. The public would reel.

After all, almost nobody else in the world can possibly understand how someone, by the tender age of 28, can have calmly killed six members of her family. And then happily got on with the rest of her life, never to regret a thing.

How To Kill Your Family was Tsundoku Squads May read. We done this one a little different, one of us found a book group app where comments are hidden until you click the post. So we decided to make little chats for each chapter so we could choose which ones to discuss when we wanted.

This meant though some of us finished the book quickly, so we had to catch up on others comments when we were done. I liked doing it this way, it meant I could get on with reading the book instead of pieces each week, I think it helped me enjoy it more.

I gave this book 5 stars, I loved it. It was a bit far fetched at times but I think that added to the excitement. I realised I was rooting for the main character the whole time, and she’d offed most of her family, she was not a good person! The killings are all different, one was extremely strung out and a lot of work went into it. Others were still researched but happened a little quicker.

I was a little disappointed with the end but not enough to lower the rating I gave it. I’d recommend this one, a funny book with some mad twists.

Check out Em’s collective group thoughts over on her blog

Monday, June 13, 2022

Book Tour - The Setup by Lizzy Dent

There are two men in my life. But this is not a love triangle.

Mara Williams reads her horoscope every day - but she wasn't expecting to be in a whole other country when destiny finally found her. Just as a fortune teller reveals that her true love is about to arrive, a gorgeous stranger literally walks into her life. And now Mara is determined to bring them together again . . . Surely even fate needs a nudge in the right direction sometimes?

But while Mara is getting ready for 'the one', the universe intervenes. Her new flatmate Ash is funny, and kind, and sexy as hell . . . There was no predicting this: it's as if her destiny just arrived on her doorstep.

So will Mara put her destiny in fate's hands - or finally trust herself to reach for the stars?

I was very excited when this book dropped through my door, I loved The Summer Job and love being part of Lizzy’s Lobster Army!

I ended up giving The Setup 3.5 stars. I was drawn in at first, but felt the second half dwindled a bit. I liked Mara, but at times I found her quite annoying. There were things she done which I just thought probably wasn’t a good idea. I loved the fact that she started concentrating on herself, making herself feel better etc.

 I loved the character of Ash, and found him a very kind person. I also really liked Joseph, the gorgeous stranger, I loved the idea of him being in the orchestra, and I imagined him like someone’s from 2 Cellos. 

I know who I was rooting for throughout the story, I wonder if you were or will root for the same person!

Thanks to Viking Books for my beautiful proof, and for asking me to be on the tour. Good luck to Lizzy for the release!

Last Post

Paper Towns by John Green