Books to Read on Snazzy Books

To-Read (and currently reading)

Here’s a quick post on what I’m currently reading, and what’s on my to-read list…

Books to Read on Snazzy BooksCurrently reading:

Million Dollar Que$tion – Ellie Campbell (published 27 April 2015)

Million Dollar Question

Just as a huge financial scandal throws New Yorker, Olivia Wheeler, from wealth and success to bankruptcy and shame, struggling impoverished single-mother Rosie Dixon wins an unexpected million pounds. Good luck? Bad luck? Who can tell? Both women have more in common than they realize. While Olivia struggles to survive her humiliations, fleeing broke and homeless to London, shy unassuming Rosie discovers sudden riches arrive with their own mega-load of problems.

Can workaholic career-obsessed Olivia find a passion for something earthier and warmer than power and prestige? And can Rosie sift through envy and greed to discover true friends, true family and even true love? Two strangers who’ve never met. Yet neither realises how each is affecting the other’s destiny or the places their paths touch and fates entwine.

But will they surmount the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune?

That is the million dollar question.

I’m taking part in the book tour for this so the review will be up on my blog on May 1st!

To-Read list:

The Sudden Departure of the Frasers – Louise Candlish (published 7 May 2015)

The Sudden Departure of the Frasers

Welcome to Lime Park Road. A picture-perfect street with a secret at its heart.

When Joe and Christy Davenport step behind the Oxford Blue painted door of their ‘for ever’ home, they believe their dreams have come true.

Yet the boxes aren’t even unpacked before a series of events leads Christy to become obsessed with the previous occupant, the glamorous, enigmatic Amber Fraser, whose departure from Lime Park Road is shrouded in mystery.

What happened to her? And why are Joe and Christy’s attempts at friendship with neighbours met with an unnerving silence?

As Christy unravels the shocking truth about the Frasers and the place she now calls home, she discovers that behind the closed doors of even the most desirable postcodes, terrible secrets lurk.

This is out soon and looks like a really intriguing novel; I was lucky enough to receive an ARC for review so I’m really looking forward to starting this and seeing if it lives up to its intriguing synopsis!


All is Fair in Love and War
Michael Goodison (available now)

All Is Fair in Love and War

Set in a war-torn Australia, where killer mercenaries and violent gangs rule the streets, a lone journalist embarks on an adventure to try to piece together a broken world. Fortune favours the lucky…

Looking forward to reading this as it’s something a little different to what I usually read! It’s always good to try something a little different, after all!

Books to Read on Snazzy Books
I am aware that the following books are ones I’ve been saying I’ll read this for ages, but as usual other books come up that I may have borrowed or need to read before these so they keeps getting pushed back, but I WILL get the following books read soon!

The Miniaturist – Jessie Burton (available now)
The Miniaturist

On an autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman arrives at a grand house in Amsterdam to begin her new life as the wife of wealthy merchant Johannes Brandt. Though curiously distant, he presents her with an extraordinary wedding gift; a cabinet-sized replica of their home. It is to be furnished by an elusive miniaturist, whose tiny creations ring eerily true.

As Nella uncovers the secrets of her new household, she realises the escalating dangers they face. The miniaturist seems to hold their fate in her hands – but does she plan to save or destroy them?

 

The Marriage Plot – Jeffrey Eugenides (available now)

The Marriage Plot

Madeleine Hanna was the dutiful English major who didn’t get the memo. While everyone else in the early 1980s was reading Derrida, she was happily absorbed with Jane Austen and George Eliot: purveyors of the marriage plot that lies at the heart of the greatest English novels. Madeleine was the girl who dressed a little too nicely for the taste of her more bohemian friends, the perfect girlfriend whose college love life, despite her good looks, hadn’t lived up to expectations.

But now, in the spring of her senior year, Madeleine has enrolled in a semiotics course “to see what all the fuss is about,” and, for reasons that have nothing to do with school, life and literature will never be the same. Not after she falls in love with Leonard Morten–charismatic loner, college Darwinist and lost Oregon boy–who is possessed of seemingly inexhaustible energy and introduces her to the ecstasies of immediate experience. And certainly not after Mitchell Grammaticus–devotee of Patti Smith and Thomas Merton–resurfaces in her life, obsessed with the idea that Madeleine is destined to be his mate.


Mad About The Boy
(Bridget Jones Diary, book 3) – Helen Fielding
(available now)

Mad About the Boy (Bridget Jones, #3)

Set in the present, the new novel will explore a different phase in Bridget’s life with an entirely new scenario. As Helen Fielding has said: “If people laugh as much reading it as I am while writing it then we’ll all be very happy.”

Edit: I now have another to add:

Little Black Lies – Sharon Bolton (published 2 July)

Little Black Lies

In such a small community as the Falkland Islands, a missing child is unheard of. In such a dangerous landscape it can only be a terrible tragedy, surely…

When another child goes missing, and then a third, it’s no longer possible to believe that their deaths were accidental, and the villagers must admit that there is a murderer among them. Even Catrin Quinn, a damaged woman living a reclusive life after the accidental deaths of her own two sons a few years ago, gets involved in the searches and the speculation.
And suddenly, in this wild and beautiful place that generations have called home, no one feels safe and the hysteria begins to rise.

But three islanders—Catrin, her childhood best friend, Rachel, and her ex-lover Callum—are hiding terrible secrets. And they have two things in common: all three of them are grieving, and none of them trust anyone, not even themselves.

In Little Black Lies, her most shocking and engaging suspense novel to date, Sharon Bolton will keep the reader guessing until the very last page.



That’s all from me for now- there’s a huge pile of books after this but for now this will do!

What are you reading at the moment, and what’s on your to-read list?

Advertisements

The Water Travelers: Heir of the Unknown

The Water Travellers by Daniel WaltzThe Water Travelers: Heir of the Unknown

The Water Travelers: Heir of the Unknown is book 1 of a new Young Adult Fantasy series called The Water Travelers by Daniel Waltz.

Synopsis:
The people of Upitar have the ability to go back forth between their world and Earth, through water. Aaron Archien is the heir to the throne of Upitar, and before his father feels he is ready to become king, he is given one last task: go to Earth, find the daughter of Michael Harper, bring her to Upitar, and kill her. The girl, Madalyne Harper, was prophesied about long ago to destroy the waterways, thus ending the world of Upitar. Although against the idea of taking an innocent life, Aaron agrees to do it for the sake of his people. But, upon going to Earth, he unknowingly meets Madalyne and they fall in love before their fates become known.

Now, before I start this review I should point out that this is definitely a different kind of novel to the type i usually read. I don’t often read YA novels – although when I do I usually really enjoy them so I should read more really!- and fantasy isn’t a genre I tend to read a great deal either. Because of this, I was really intrigued to start The Water Travelers and see what I thought of it.

The novel uses quite simple language and is fairly easy to read and follow. There are quite a few characters introduced, but it’s easy enough to differentiate between them as they’re all quite unique. I really liked the two main characters, Aaron and Madalyne (Madi), although at first I thought Madi might be a bit annoying. As the book went on, however, she developed into a likeable, pleasant character who was very brave, considering she was being brought into a new world that she’d never experienced. In contrast, Aaron was portrayed as a confident, quick-thinking, skilled adventurer, but I liked that he wasn’t always 100% sure of himself. There were times when he seemed a little unsure or afraid, and that just made him appear more human.

I did feel that some of the story was quite predictable, and sometimes over-explained things more than necessary. I also feel that there were a few clichés that didn’t appeal to me as a reader as much, but would probably appeal to a YA audience more, which makes sense. However the world which Daniel Waltz has created, along with its characters, really draws you in The Curse of Senapin by Daniel Waltzas the story advances. In my opinion there is a great mix of action and dialogue which didn’t leave me bored or uninterested. It starts a little slow but soon picks up the pace and moves along at just the right speed until the end where you’re left with an interesting revelation that left me wishing I already had book 2, The Water Travelers: The Curse of Senapin! Book 2 promises to be darker and a bit longer, and will introduce us to more characters and more secrets! The Curse of Senapin is out now in digital and paperback formats.

I’d recommend this book to anyone who enjoys YA fiction and fancies starting a new, easy-to-read fantasy series.

Rating: 3.5/5


Check out Daniel Waltz’s blog for more information about upcoming releases!

Many thanks to the author for providing a copy of this novel in return for an honest review!

You Can Trust Me by Sophie McKenzie

You Can Trust Me by Sophie McKenzie – review

You Can Trust Me

You Can Trust Me by Sophie McKenzieYou Can Trust Me is the new psychological thriller from Sophie McKenzie which explores multiple murders as well as the nature of relationships and marriage, and – not surprisingly from the title- who you can really trust.

Synopsis:

The suspicious circumstances of her best friend’s suicide drive a woman to the possibility that it was murder—a murder which might involve the same man who killed her sister eighteen years ago

On a quiet, gray, Saturday morning, Livy arrives at her best friend Julia’s flat for a lunch date only to find her dead. Though all the evidence supports it, Livy cannot accept the official ruling of suicide; the Julia she remembers was loud, inappropriate, joyful, outrageous and loving, not depressed. The suspicious circumstances cause Livy to dig further, and she is suddenly forced to confront a horrifying possibility: that Julia was murdered, by the same man who killed Livy’s sister, Kara, eighteen years ago.

Desperate to understand the tragedies of her past and hold her unraveling life together, Livy throws herself into the search for Kara and Julia’s killer, who she now believes is someone close to her family. But if that is true, who can she still trust? Damien, the man Julia was secretly dating? Leo, her husband’s boss and a close family friend? His son Paul, her husband’s best mate since college? Or Will, her own dear husband, who has betrayed her perhaps one time too many?

When Livy finally faces her sister’s killer, and he tries to force her to destroy her family with one horrible, impossible choice, she must finally decide: is she strong enough to trust herself?

Though there were quite a few interesting, convincing characters in You Can Trust Me, there was also a lot of secondary characters included in the story so some of them weren’t as fleshed out as others, but that’s to be expected. For example Julia, the friend of Livy who is killed at the beginning of the novel, is only presented through memories, so at some points in the novel I wondered if she was really who she seemed to be – and this only adds to the mystery!

Surprisingly enough I felt that the main character Livy was actually a little 2 dimensional, even though we heard most of the story from her point of view, and overall she just seemed a bit wooden. It seemed like Livy felt that her life was pretty dull and ‘normal’, apart from her sisters awful death years ago, but she didn’t DO anything about it until Julia died. Julia’s death was the catalyst for Livy to come alive and investigate the true cause of death but even then, her character fell a little flat.

There were a few people I thought of as the murderer, which I really liked as it kept me interested in the story, and it wasn’t until toward the end that I worked out who it was, a little bit before we found out properly. I don’t usually guess who the perpetrator is correctly so this was quite good for me! It certainly kept me guessing before that though, and I do love a whodunnit, particularly when you know it must be one of the characters you’ve probably already met (this isn’t really a spoiler, you’ll know this pretty much from the start of the book).

There were various twists and turns throughout that I enjoyed reading, as well as the sections told from the killer’s perspective. I liked trying to work out who they might be from the ‘clues’ that his person might have revealed in these sections. This really added an interesting alternative narrative to the story, especially as it offered a different perspective to Livy’s. Both of these moved along at a fairly quick pace, though quite a bit of Livy’s story was centered around her and Will’s marriage, and I found this quite interesting though hard to read about- especially the parts about Will’s affair, as I found that quite depressing to read about. At these points I did feel really sorry for Livy and felt more empathy with her than at other times.

In general the story wasn’t that original in my opinion, but it was still a fast-moving and enjoyable thriller that kept me wondering who ‘did it’. It was pretty easy to follow and I really enjoyed reading it- I must have done as I got through it in about 24 hours!

I’d recommend this for anyone who enjoys psychological thrillers and fancies a quick, entertaining read!

Rating: 3.5/5

You Can Trust Me will be published in the UK in paperback on 14th April 2015, and is already available to buy in hardback.
** Many thanks to the publisher for providing a copy of this novel in return for an honest review. **

The Girl Who Just Appeared: 5 stars!

The Girl Who Just AppearedSynopsis: 

London – the present: Holly Smith has never fitted in. Adopted when just a few months old, she’s always felt she was someone with no history. All she has is the address of where she was born – 32B Gambier Terrace, Liverpool. When Holly discovers that the flat is available to rent, she travels north and moves in. And in the very same flat, under the floorboards, she finds a biscuit tin full of yellowing papers. Could these papers be the key to her past?
Liverpool – 1981: Fifteen-year-old Darren is negotiating life with his errant mother and the younger brother he is raising. When the Toxteth Riots explode around him, Darren finds himself with a moral dilemma that will have consequences for the rest of his life. Moving between the past and the present, Darren and Holly’s lives become intertwined. Will finding Darren give Holly the answers she craves? Or will she always feel like the girl who just appeared?

Firstly, can I just say: don’t judge this book by its title! I feel like “The Girl a who Just Appeared” makes it sound kind of like a standard ‘chick-litty’ novel when in actual fact there’s so much more to it!

The story is set in two different eras; the ‘current day’ story is told by Holly, whose adoptive parents have died so she is desperate to track down the parents who gave her up, and Darren, whose diary tells the story of him growing up in 1980’s Liverpool.

I loved both narratives- Holly’s is easier to read and flows better whilst Darren’s is often written phonetically, as he isn’t very good at spelling, and so you really have to concentrate at some points to work out what he means. I feel like this really adds to the story and serves as a constant reminder of what a bad education poor Darren has evidently had.

I really got a strong sense of atmosphere whilst reading The Girl Who Just Appeared. I honestly felt like I was RIGHT THERE in 1981 when the Toxteth Riots were kicking off, and I REALLY wanted Holly to find out what had happened when she was given up for adoption. The novel addresses many tricky themes (I won’t list them all here as it might give away some of the surprises) and deals with them all very well, in my opinion! There were various twists which I loved, and although I suspected a few of them I certainly didn’t guess them all! The way it enveloped me when reading it made me realise what a fantastic book this is.

I just loved this novel, from the beginning to the very last page. It was emotional without being overly dramatic, touching without being cheesy, humorous without it taking away from the serious subject matter, and full of twists without being ridiculous. The characters were brilliant and so well developed by Harvey; I haven’t read any other books by him but I definitely will be now!

I highly recommend this novel to anyone, I can’t imagine anyone really hating it to be honest (but who knows!)

Rating: 5/5

Have you read The Girl Who Just Appeared? What did you think?

Buy with Amazon

Easter reading list!

It’s lovely having a 4 day weekend over Easter! I thought I’d get lots of reading done but so far I’ve been so busy with house stuff that I haven’t read as much as I’d like to.

Still, here’s what I’m reading at moment/ have recently finished…!

Edit Abattoir Blues by Peter Robinson

Abattoir Blues

In The Dark Places- Peter Robinson (publication date: 11 August)

(Note: this seems to be the US title; in the UK it looks like it will actually be called ‘Abattoir Blues‘… Though I can’t find much info about it at the moment!)

SynopsisIt’s a double mystery: Two young men have vanished, and the investigation leads to two troubling clues in two different locations—a scorched van and a peculiar bloodstain in an abandoned airport hangar.

As Banks and his team scramble for answers, the inquiry takes an even darker turn when a truck careens off an icy road in a freak hailstorm. In the wreckage, rescuers find the driver, who was killed on impact, as well as another body—a body that was dead well before the crash.

Snow falls. The body count rises. And Banks, perceptive and curious as ever, feels himself being drawn deeper into a web of crime, and at its center something—or someone—dark and dangerous lying in wait.

Vibrating with tension, ingeniously plotted, and filled with soul and poignancy, In the Dark Places is a remarkable achievement from this masterful talent.

I do love the DCI Banks novels by Peter Robinson, so I was really excited to receive an advance reading copy of this new novel in the series, which I’ve recently finishedFirst impressions are that its a well written Detective novel, as is always the case with Peter Robinson’s writing, and Banks is always a great character to read about. However in my opinion this is not one of the best in this series- partly because the standard is so damn high! However I’ll be posting a review nearer the publication date so keep an eye out for that!

The agirl Eho Just Appeared by Jonathan Harvey 


The Girl Who Just Appeared

The Girl Who Just Appeared– Jonathan Harvey 

SynopsisLondon – the present

Holly Smith has never fitted in. Adopted when just a few months old, she’s always felt she was someone with no history. All she has is the address of where she was born – 32B Gambier Terrace, Liverpool. When Holly discovers that the flat is available to rent, she travels north and moves in. And in the very same flat, under the floorboards, she finds a biscuit tin full of yellowing papers. Could these papers be the key to her past?

Liverpool – 1981

Fifteen-year-old Darren is negotiating life with his errant mother and the younger brother he is raising. When the Toxteth Riots explode around him, Darren finds himself with a moral dilemma that will have consequences for the rest of his life.

Moving between the past and the present, Darren and Holly’s lives become intertwined. Will finding Darren give Holly the answers she craves? Or will she always feel like the girl who just appeared?

Well I’ve almost finished this and I have to say, this is one of the most enjoyable, enthralling books I’ve read in a long time. It’s just so good!

I won’t give anything away here as I’ll be posting a review soon, but – unless the last 20 pages completely let it down – this is one of my favourite books of 2015 so far and one that I will definitely be recommending to everyone I know!

The Sudden Departure of the FrasersWild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

Wild– Cheryl Strayed 

Synopsis: At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State — and she would do it alone.

Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.

This is April’s reading group book, so stay tuned for a review once we’ve met and discussed it!

That’s all for now- what have you been reading over Easter? Any recommendations?