Favourite person in the world

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”Thanks for reading and reviewing The Marriage Lie! 👰🏻💍📚💖

kimberly belle

I bought “The Marriage Lie” by Kimberly Belle for under €2 as an e-book. Iris’ marriage seems perfect, until the day when she finds out that her husband was killed in a plane crash. She refuses to believe that he is dead, as Whilliam was not supposed to be on a plane to Seattle. He was meant to be on another aircraft, one that has safely landed in a Orlando.

When she rings the hotel, where he told hear he would be staying, she finds out that not only he hasn’t been booked there but that the conference he was meant to be a part of, never took place. Despite this discovery, she keeps her hopes up, as it still doesn’t prove that he was on the tragic flight. She is a school psychologist and as a therapist she realises what other people must think, that she is in denial, that she doesn’t want to acknowledge her husband’s death. She knows what her second step is going to be to prove to everyone else that her husband’t wasn’t on the tragic flight.

When she flights to Seattle with her twin brother for a company, she is shocked to uncover that there are people who knew her husband. Whill apparently grew up there and not in Memphis as she thought. His pictures are all over the yearbooks in a school in Seattle, while nobody ever heard of him in Memphis. But there is more, people who knew him from his childhood and adolescent years, don’t put him in a good light. They refuse to talk about him, nearly spitting at the mention of his name.

The dipper she digs the more lies she uncovers and each one more horrible the the former. She is beginning to doubt that she knew her husband at all. In fact, she doesn’t know what to believe anymore. She isn’t even sure if her husband is really dead. Somebody sends her anonymous messages wanting her to go back home and leave the past behind. Somebody lives her notes in the house in her husband’s handwriting. Is someone just trying to mess with her head or is Whill really alive? If he is, where is he and why is he hiding? Why did he lie to her, to his ”favourite person in the world”?

The book kept me interested, lots of unexpected twists and turns.When you think you know how the plot is going to unravel, the author introduces another surprise and a change of direction. 3 Cartoon-Spoon-300px Cartoon-Spoon-300px Cartoon-Spoon-300px spoons, forks or frying pans granted.

Spoons, forks or frying pans rating

Cartoon-Spoon-300px Cartoon-Spoon-300px Cartoon-Spoon-300px Cartoon-Spoon-300px Cartoon-Spoon-300px – one of the best books I read

Cartoon-Spoon-300px Cartoon-Spoon-300px Cartoon-Spoon-300px Cartoon-Spoon-300px – charmed

Cartoon-Spoon-300px Cartoon-Spoon-300px Cartoon-Spoon-300px – good read

Cartoon-Spoon-300px Cartoon-Spoon-300px – disappointed, I thought it was going to be better

Cartoon-Spoon-300px – don’t waste your time

The World around me

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”Room” by Emma Donoghue is one of of those books that are hard to put down. ”Jack is five. He lives in a single, locked room with his Ma.”– this is all the synopsis on the back cover says. Their world is so confined that the everyday items have much more significance for little Jack than they would have for any other child his age, it is shown by the author in a simple but ingenious way of using capital letters for the ”Lamp, Bed, Duvet” etc. Nothing much changes in their everyday routine.

What Jack doesn’t realise is that they are being held captive by Old Nick, who comes at night and rapes his mother and that she has been missing for around seven years. In fact Jack doesn’t know that the world outside the Room exists. Room is all he has ever known since his birth and Ma explained that nothing outside it is real, just like pictures on the telly they sometimes watch. Out of love and desperation, she tries to make his live as normal as possible in the surreal and horrendous situation. She hides him in the closet for the night, where he sleeps and where he is out of sight of Old Jack, who visits them at night time. She makes sure her son eats healthily and teaches him hygiene, using the sparse and basic supplies that Old Jack brings. She is growing more and more anxious, her son has turned five and she knows that the older he gets the harder it will be for her to shield him from the sick reality they have been forced into, as he will start to understand more. Furthermore Old Nick has lost his job and he might loose his house. She fears the worst, she knows that when he is forced to leave, he won’t be able to keep them, but that he won’t definitely let them go free.

She plots an escape plan but she has to tell her son first that they will be going outside, that there is a world out there. At the age of five, will Jack be able to completely change his understanding of what’s real and what’s made up, if the Room is all he knows? If so, will they escape and how? And even if they do, will she and Jack especially, be able to find themselves in the real world? Very imaginative, insightful, heartbreaking. A definite page turner, 4 1275417416-300px 1275417416-300px 1275417416-300px 1275417416-300pxkeys, locks or clouds from me.

Keys, locks or clouds rating

1275417416-300px 1275417416-300px 1275417416-300px 1275417416-300px 1275417416-300px – one of the best books I read

1275417416-300px 1275417416-300px 1275417416-300px 1275417416-300px – charmed

1275417416-300px 1275417416-300px 1275417416-300px – good read

1275417416-300px 1275417416-300px – disappointed, I thought it was going to be better

1275417416-300px – don’t waste your time

Hidden memories

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I bought “Close to me” by Amanda Reynolds as an ebook for barely €1. The protagonist, a woman in her fifties looses a year of memories after a bad fall and a head injury.

I liked the structure of the book, fragments of events, as they were coming back to her, get repeated with more information revealed. Surprisingly I didn’t find the repetitions tedious, I thought they enriched the book as they would show the events from sometimes slightly and other times completely different perspective. I would gladly pick up the book and continue reading, which is often a good sign, though I found it slightly less compelling towards the end, I think the pace has slowed down unnecessarily.

I liked the idea of Jo feeling that something was off, even though she couldn’t remember what has happened, how she struggled between what her gut was telling her and the logical and factual thinking, not knowing which she should trust. We could see how, without having a full insight into the actual facts, we can misread a situation or even how people are capable of manipulating the reality for the purpose of making things look better for themselves or simply just for some twisted sort of fun on someone else’s expense; how unfortunately others can become “collateral damage” if people are guided by their egoistic goals and the price to pay can be high.

Jo lives in an immaculate and secluded house, she feels lonely, confused and betrayed. She doesn’t know who to trust and what to believe. She doesn’t remember what has happened to her. A lot seemed to have changed during the lost year and what is even more frustrating her family doesn’t want to talk about it. She is afraid and disgusted by her husband, a feeling she cannot explain towards a man whom she loved for over twenty years and who seems as caring as ever. She is desperate to hear from her fragile son but he is an introvert and refuses to confess what has been bothering him. What is behind the drastic change in her daughter’s look and when will she meet her boyfriend whom she is told neither she nor her husband approve of?

If you want to find out if Jo will finally remember it all, give the book a go. Overall a good read, 3 Manchego-mill-01-300px.pngManchego-mill-01-300px.pngManchego-mill-01-300px.pngwind mills, wind chimes or umbrellas.

Wind mills, wind chimes or umbrellas rating

Manchego-mill-01-300px.pngManchego-mill-01-300px.pngManchego-mill-01-300px.pngManchego-mill-01-300px.pngManchego-mill-01-300px.png– one of the best books I read

Manchego-mill-01-300px.pngManchego-mill-01-300px.pngManchego-mill-01-300px.pngManchego-mill-01-300px.png– charmed

Manchego-mill-01-300px.pngManchego-mill-01-300px.pngManchego-mill-01-300px.png– good read

Manchego-mill-01-300px.pngManchego-mill-01-300px.png– disappointed, I thought it was going to be better

Manchego-mill-01-300px.png– don’t waste your time

The destructive culture of instant gratification

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”Three Seconds to Rush” by Danielle Steward was on offer as a free e-book and I wasn’t disappointed. It started rather fast, when Tara wakes up in a hospital and is told that she overdosed on heroin and was rescued just in time by a policeman. She is also informed that her son, who is only a toddler, was found in a the parking lot of a supermarket nearby, left alone in cold temperatures. She is shocked as she insist that she doesn’t do drugs and would never have abandoned her son. The police officers and child protective services are not convinced, especially after they find out that the father of the child died of an overdose.

Tara is determined to get Wylie back but she is starting to realise it may not be that simple. Out of her despair she calls the only person she can think of who may be able to help. Her long lost childhood friend Reid is a lawyer now, and she hopes he still remembers her. It takes Tara a while to convince him to listen to her, the high hopes she had of him burning out with his reluctance to take on her case. He finally agrees but his skepticism he seems to have developed during the years as an attorney, puts her off when he insists that she should plea guilty in order to be able to hopefully see her son again after she has proven that she is fit to look after Wylie again. Reid is adamant when she tries to refer to their common memories from their childhood. He argues that she has no chance of winning the case if she pleas not guilty of the felony charges of child endangerment. Eventually he gives in though reluctantly and decides to follow with her not guilty plea, but deep down he doesn’t seem to believe her. Her chances are looking even less likely when the estranged but resourceful and wealthy parents in law step in and are up for a battle as they demand full custody of Wylie.

I have to say that before I reached the final chapters I kind of guessed the bits of the books that were meant to be kept as a mystery, but I often do, there are hardly any books that are so unpredictable that they keep the reader completely in the dark, it is more of a wonder as to which way will the book go. Nevertheless I enjoyed the read and am granting it 3 Schnecke-300px.png Schnecke-300px.pngSchnecke-300px.png snails, turtles or rabbits.

Snails, turtles or rabbits rating

Schnecke-300px.pngSchnecke-300px.pngSchnecke-300px.pngSchnecke-300px.pngSchnecke-300px.png – one of the best books I read

Schnecke-300px.pngSchnecke-300px.pngSchnecke-300px.pngSchnecke-300px.png – charmed

Schnecke-300px.pngSchnecke-300px.pngSchnecke-300px.png – good read

Schnecke-300px.pngSchnecke-300px.png – disappointed, I thought it was going to be better

Schnecke-300px.png – don’t waste your time

Tell me everything

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”Before I let you in” by Jenny Blackhurst is psychological thriller and a good one too. I paid barely 1 euro for the ebook, so I was pleasantly surprised. Gripping and fast paced with twists that are not easily foreseen. Which is basically all a good thriller should be about, isn’t it?
Karen and her two best friends Eleanor and Bea, are the main characters. They have known each other since their childhood and are still in each other lives, even now with their own families, careers etc. They share everything, that’s what they believe anyway, but Karen has a secret she has not revealed to the others. Her baby sister died when she was only little. She knows she shouldn’t blame herself, she was only four and her beloved sibling shouldn’t have been left in her care in the first place. She is a successful psychiatrist and understands guilt and grief as abstracts, but they have been eating her up ever since.
Eleanor is a mum of an adopted toddler as well as a baby she gave birth to, and is at her wits ends. She is exhausted, not sleeping enough, and in a desperate need of doing something outside her domestic responsibilities. Meanwhile Bea, not having family of her own and stuck in an uninsipring office job, feels like she is running behind her friends – Eleanor with her happy family and Karen with her high flying career. All the women seem rather vulnerable and this is only just a beginning as all their lives begin to shatter when Karen takes on a new patient, Jessica Hamilton.
Jessica tells her therapist things that seem to be directed at Karen personally. Karen starts to worry that this young and unpredictable girl may be a threat not only to her, but to her friends as well. She feels trapped as she cannot break the doctor – patient confidentiality, not without any solid proof that anyone is in danger, and the girl is smart and careful. Karen is on a mission to get the proof. She is worried she may be risking her licence, but feels that the safety of the people she is closest to is more important. Jessica seems to be holding all the cards, she knows Karen’s secret, the one from long ago and another, neither of which shared with Bea or Eleanor. Things are spiraling downhill and fast.
I enjoyed the book and the price was excellent. I am granting 3 pera-300pxpera-300pxpera-300pxpears, plums or apricots.

Pears, plums or apricots rating:

pera-300pxpera-300pxpera-300pxpera-300pxpera-300px – one of the best books I read

pera-300pxpera-300pxpera-300pxpera-300px – charmed

pera-300pxpera-300pxpera-300px – good read

pera-300pxpera-300px – disappointed, I thought it was going to be better

pera-300px – don’t waste your time

Don’t give up hope

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In ”Find Me” by J.S. Monroe we see Rosa’s story through her diary which her boyfriend Jar gets to read in a haphazard order. After just a few months of knowing Jar, Rosa commits suicide. He however doesn’t believe that she is dead, says that it was out of character for her, yet everything we have learnt about her so far points to the contrary. He keeps seeing her in the city but his therapist insists that he is experiencing post bereavement hallucinations. Is there another explanation? Perhaps somebody wants to make it look like she was dead. Why? Her recently deceased father worked for the Foreign Office in UK. Could she possibly be a spy?

I felt detached from the main characters. It wasn’t a question of me liking or disliking them, I simply didn’t feel like I got to know them well enough, I wish more foucs was put into drawing them. Since I did’t find the main characters gripping, the book didn’t compel me to keep reading. The first part seemed too long. Yes, there were places were it was more interesting, but I felt like it needed some more editing, maybe even rewriting. The structure was ambitious but a bit confusing. I think it might heve been more believeable if it was written from a perspective of Max, the journalist whom Jar meets and questions about the article he was working on. He was investigating the high rates of suicides in prestigious Universities in UK and the large number of missing bodies of those students. If Max was the leading character, he could have then concentrated on Rosa as the lates subject of his reaserch, maybe meet with Jar to talk about her… Just an idea.

The book is divided into two parts, a new narrator is added in the second part, a malicious character. It gets more interesting when the plot starts to slowly reveal itself. Warning: it also gets darker, there are rather graphic descriptions of cruelty, torture, inhumane and unethical experiments.

Overall, I am afraid the book gets from me two Umbrella-Closed-300px Umbrella-Closed-300px umbrellas, earmuffs or cuff links, as I really thought it was going to be better. The story was there, but in need of rewriting and editing, in my opinion, with more focus on the main characters and shortened for a more gripping and quicker pace. I bought the e-book for under 2 euro.

Umbrellas, earmuffs or cufflinks rating

Umbrella-Closed-300pxUmbrella-Closed-300px Umbrella-Closed-300px Umbrella-Closed-300px Umbrella-Closed-300px – one of the best books I read

Umbrella-Closed-300px Umbrella-Closed-300px Umbrella-Closed-300px Umbrella-Closed-300px – charmed

Umbrella-Closed-300px Umbrella-Closed-300px Umbrella-Closed-300px – good read

Umbrella-Closed-300px Umbrella-Closed-300px – disappointed, I thought it was going to be better

Umbrella-Closed-300px – don’t waste your time

Not for the faint-hearted

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How do you pick you books? I skim through the synopsis on the back cover (though I can never concentrate on reading those for some reason, my mind just wonders off whenever I try…) I also check the first couple of sentences and maybe a few randomly picked lines from further along the book, just to get a feel for it – but never the ending, wouldn’t want to spoil the read. After the not so elaborate decision process, with the price of under four euro sped up a lot, I knew I was getting a crime novel with an FBI agent. To my surprise I later found out later that the book has been written by an Irish author who did some necessary research in the United States.

The Killing Ways’’ by Alex Barclay wasn’t the type of thriller that I am used to reading. It was like watching ”Criminal Minds’’, shocking, intense, dark with a sadistic serial killer and a rapist running loose. A joung agent Ren Bryce is in charge of the investigation into the brutal murders he is commiting. Ren, a good hearted but not without personal issues, is more of a lone wolf when it comes to her work rather than a team player. She is on good terms with her work colleagues socially but so determined in her search for the psycho that she takes risks, jumps into dengerous situations often without any backup. As the list of victims grows Ren becomes more anxious. Her boss is pressing her to continue the therapy sessions she attends and insists that she takes the medicines the doctor is prescribing, the drugs that she is avoiding, afraid they would cloud her mind. Has the killer got her on his radar or is she getting paranoid? Are the people she cares about in danger? Is the monster on a mission to get them in order to hurt her?

If you feel like turning the TV off when the news is on, not wanting to hear about the dark side of the human nature, the book won’t bring you an escape as it shows humanity at its worst. It shows how lack of love and mercy can damage an innocent and turn them into a monster. Almost graphically describes an underworld of abusers and sadists. A dangerous word that agent Bryce steps into in order to do her job and doesn’t come out undamaged. She drinks too much and parties till the wee hours almost every night – to forget? Every new victim shakes her up even more. Will she catch the killer or will she become one of his many victims?

How do I grade the book? 3 fountain pens pluma-300px pluma-300px pluma-300px, dots or badges.

 

Fountain pens, dots or badges rating

pluma-300px pluma-300px pluma-300px pluma-300px pluma-300px – one of the best books I read

pluma-300px pluma-300px pluma-300px pluma-300px– charmed

pluma-300px pluma-300px pluma-300px – good read

pluma-300px pluma-300px – disappointed, I thought it was going to be better

pluma-300px – don’t waste your time

A long winter

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I am getting a little fed up with the winter now, but that’s how I usually feel come February, Christmas long gone, no snow and still a month or so of the rainy, damp and windy weather ahead. Are you looking for something to read to pass the time? It was a paper back I opted for this time around. Hard to resist for under 4 euro, ‘’The Shadow Year’’ by Hannah Richell.

Lila is looking for an escape. She is grieving her miscarried baby. Her marriage doesn’t seem to be handling the strain it has been put under. She is not coping with the loss and she doesn’t welcome her husband’s constant efforts to make her feel better. She just wants to be on her own. She is far from being pleased that her mother has been called for help. The unexpected and mysteriously anonymous gift of the land and a cottage in the middle of nowhere seems to be what she is looking for, but is the remote and isolated location a good place for her to be right now?

Lila cannot remember the events that led to her miscarriage. Her mother found her at the bottom of the stairs, but everything shortly before, and the fall itself has been errased from her memory. She is tossing and turning at night, the lost memories trying to surface. She is starting to believe that she wasn’t alone just before her accident, but who was with her and why have they left her unconcious?

The project of restoring the old cottage, that she takes on herself, gives her a new purpose. Her mother and husband don’t approve. It is a cold winter in full swing and the thought of her being there by herself doesn’t put them at ease. While Lila is trying to make the abbandoned place habitable, she wonders what is the meaning of the strange drawings on the walls in one of the rooms? Is the noise that wakes her up at night just a creation of her feverish mind? Who were the previous owners and what has happened to them?

We, as readers get to see who the previous occupants were. Charismatic and controlling Simon, shy and secretly fancying him Kat, easygoing couple Carla and Mac, practical Ben and Kat’s carefree sister Fraya. Handful of friends who one day decided to move into the cottage, attracted by the idea of selfsustainability, of living in a desolated place, separated from the rest of the word and its modern commodities. A decision that will change all their lives forever.

Will Lila figure out who used to live in the house and what has happened to them? Why have they abbandoned the place so abruptly leaving unwashed cutlery and other belongings behind? Is there more to know? What is their connection to Lila? Why was she given a key to the house and by whom?

The story plot is gripping and well thought through, suspenseful, full of surprises and twists, dark and even shocking in places – well written. A good read indeed, deserving 3 beakman-black-feather-300pxbeakman-black-feather-300pxbeakman-black-feather-300px feathers, scarfs or hats.

Feathers, scarfs or hats rating

beakman-black-feather-300pxbeakman-black-feather-300pxbeakman-black-feather-300pxbeakman-black-feather-300pxbeakman-black-feather-300px– one of the best books I read

beakman-black-feather-300pxbeakman-black-feather-300pxbeakman-black-feather-300pxbeakman-black-feather-300px– charmed

beakman-black-feather-300pxbeakman-black-feather-300pxbeakman-black-feather-300px– good read

beakman-black-feather-300pxbeakman-black-feather-300px– disappointed, I thought it was going to be better

beakman-black-feather-300px – don’t waste your time

On another shelf

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I am in the middle of reading another book by Roisin Meaney, and I will post a review soon, in the meantime here is a different one, while you wait. You are not going to believe me, but I bought this e-book for under €2. (I did promise I would discuss cheap books, didn’t I? So you can see what you can get for the price.) “Gone Again” by Doug Johnstone. Was it a masterpiece? No. Did I enjoy it? Yes.

It is a rather fast paced thriller. There is something about a male narrator that I enjoy – the lightness, if I was to describe it in one word. The “eh” kind of an attitude; I won’t have a healthy meal today, I will buy a take away two days in a row and won’t think about it twice – kind of an attitude. I cannot say that I got to like Mike, the main character very much, not with his anger management issues – no to hitting women. Not even when she is a bitchy mother of a school bully who picks on your son. It’s just not right. I didn’t dislike him though, he is a loving father, I have to give him that. He doesn’t make his life too complicated but life tends to get tangled whether you like it or not – especially when you are a fictional character of a thriller book, then it can really get out of hands.

Mark’s wife disappears one day. He is happily married, but he questions his marriage when she is gone for a second time. He finds it hard to believe however, that she would have abandoned their son Nathan out of her own free will, even if she got fed up with her partner. He recalls her post natal depression that drew her away from home the first time and wonders if this it happening again, now that she is pregnant with their second child. The author digs dipper into the troubled young mother’s past to give us a more complex picture of her personality.

The more information the detectives gather the more inclined they are to consider a foul play in her disappearance and her husband as a suspect. While the police is concentrating their scarce resources on him, Mark decides to take the investigation into his own hands… Cliche? Yes. Readable? Yeah. Take on a sunny holiday to the beach or read on a bus half asleep in the mornings. Action spirals out of control pretty quickly, so it’s a fast read.

How is the poor little Nathan going to forget about all he has seen, pictures that no little boy should have witnessed? I don’t know, poor Mark asks himself that very question. What happened to his wife? No spoilers, you will just going to have to find out for yourself.

Rating? Ah, alright let it be 3 grey-cloud-1-300px grey-cloud-1-300px grey-cloud-1-300pxclouds, stars or monkeys.

clouds, stars or monkeys rating

grey-cloud-1-300pxgrey-cloud-1-300pxgrey-cloud-1-300pxgrey-cloud-1-300pxgrey-cloud-1-300px – one of the best books I read

grey-cloud-1-300pxgrey-cloud-1-300pxgrey-cloud-1-300pxgrey-cloud-1-300px– charmed

grey-cloud-1-300pxgrey-cloud-1-300pxgrey-cloud-1-300px– good read

grey-cloud-1-300pxgrey-cloud-1-300px– disappointed, I thought it was going to be better

grey-cloud-1-300px – don’t waste your time