The Love That Split The World

The Love That Split the World

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Synopsis:

Natalie Cleary must risk her future and leap blindly into a vast unknown for the chance to build a new world with the boy she loves.

Natalie’s last summer in her small Kentucky hometown is off to a magical start… until she starts seeing the “wrong things.” They’re just momentary glimpses at first—her front door is red instead of its usual green, there’s a pre-school where the garden store should be. But then her whole town disappears for hours, fading away into rolling hills and grazing buffalo, and Nat knows something isn’t right.

That’s when she gets a visit from the kind but mysterious apparition she calls “Grandmother,” who tells her: “You have three months to save him.” The next night, under the stadium lights of the high school football field, she meets a beautiful boy named Beau, and it’s as if time just stops and nothing exists. Nothing, except Natalie and Beau.

Thoughts:

I remember being so excited about this book when it first came out and then I started to see a lot of mixed reviews. I tried not to read any as I like to give a book a fair chance. However, seeing a few mixed reviews put me off reading this book. I’m glad I decided to pick it up though as I thought it was a really decent read and I’m intrigued to see what Emily Henry writes in the future. I thought this was a great debut!

The Love That Split The World centres around Natalie. Natalie, we find out is adopted by a loving family. During the summer after graduating from high school, Natalie begins to have some very strange experiences. She is visited by ‘Grandmother’ who she believes is God and who her parents believe is a hallucination. Grandmother tells Natalie that she only has a few months to save ‘him’ and then disappears without a trace. Natalie doesn’t know who ‘he’ is. Admist that confusion, Natalie experiences some more strange goings on. Buildings change, the environment around her changes and buildings disappear. Then, there’s Beau, someone that she’s never come across in her life, even though she lives in a small town where everyone knows everyone. Natalie spends some time with Beau and really gets to know him over the summer. She also spends time trying to unravel the mystery that’s going on in her life alongside some help from a psychologist.

It’s really hard to describe this book because it’s so many things. It’s romance, it’s time-travel, it’s mystery and magical realism. I found the writing to be utterly beautiful and compelling. It didn’t take me long to read at all. Yet, a few days after finishing this book I’m starting to see its flaws when I think about it. I think the major flaw that prevented me from rating this book any higher was the instalove. The relationship was cute, sure, but it happened so quickly.

Instalove aside, I really enjoyed reading this book. Much more than I had anticipated. It won’t be for everyone. It’s not perfect, but in my opinion, it’s a good reading experience and a very promising debut!

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

A very unique debut! I thoroughly enjoyed it.

V is for Violet

V for Violet

How did I get it?:
NetGalley- thanks to Hot Key Books

Previously reviewed by the same author:
The Quietness
The Madness
The Beloved

Synopsis:

Battersea, 1961. London is just beginning to enter the swinging sixties. The world is changing – but not for sixteen-year-old Violet. She was born at the exact moment Winston Churchill announced Victory in Europe – an auspicious start, but now she’s just stuck in her family’s fish and chip shop dreaming of greatness. And it doesn’t look like fame and fortune are going to come calling anytime soon. Then she meets Beau. Beau’s a rocker – a motorcycle boy who arrives in an explosion of passion and rebellion. He blows up Violet’s grey little life, and she can’t believe her luck. But things don’t go her way for long. Joseph, her long-lost brother, comes home. Then young girls start going missing, and turning up murdered. And then Violet’s best friend disappears too. Suddenly life is horrifyingly much more interesting. Violet can’t believe its coincidence that Joseph turns up just as girls start getting murdered. He’s weird, and she feels sure he’s hiding something. He’s got a secret, and Violet’s got a dreadful feeling it might be the worst kind of secret of all…

Thoughts:

I am unashamedly a massive fan of Alison Rattle’s writing. Seriously. I can’t get enough. I devour (and love) everything that she has come out with. When I first heard about V is for Violet, I didn’t even need to read the synopsis, if I’m totally honest. It was a no brainer. She’s an autobuy author. I just NEED to read her books and love when I get the opportunity to read them before they’re released. Fangirling aside, I shall try and put some coherent thoughts down for you.

V is for Violet is set in Battersea in the 1960s.  It’s quite a bleak time for Violet and her family. Violet’s family lost their first born son when he went missing during the war. Violet has just left school and instead of following her friend, Jackie into a career at a sugar factory, Violet is made to work in the family fish and chip shop. Not the most exciting job. Violet feels like she’s losing Jackie. Jackie is growing up and doing things that she always promised she’d do with Violet. Jackie’s becoming really popular and Violet believes she’s lagging behind. Then girls of around Violet’s age begin to go missing and then their bodies turn up. There’s a murderer out on the loose and when Violet’s brother, Joseph, returns to the family home, Violet begins to suspect something.

As always with Alison Rattle books I absolutely adored the characters. Violet is such a brilliant protagonist. I imeediately liked her, warmed to her and wanted the best for her. I felt for her as she tried to create an identity that was much more than the dutiful daughter who would work in the family business. She didn’t want to be like her sister Norma. Norma seemed too old for her age and was married to an incredibly boring man. I adored the introduction of Beau who was a complete contrast to Violet. He was a biker bad boy and so different to Violet. He really spiced up her seemingly dull life. There are elements of mystery within this book which I absolutely adored. It was never clear cut who the murderer was, which I really appreciated. Twists and turns aplenty. I like!

Again, with Alison Rattle’s writing, you can guarantee that there will be great atmosphere and build up. I seriously don’t know how she does it. She’s a genius, but I always feel like I’m IN the book watching the story unfold. Her books may be marketed at Young Adult, but I truly believe you can enjoy Alison’s writing no matter what age you are. She has a way with words and really should be read more!

Would I recommend it?:
Without a doubt!

Another gem from one of my favourite writers. READ IT!

Moth Girls

Moth Girls

How did I get it?:
NetGalley- thanks to Bonnier Publishing/Hot Key Books

Previously read by the same author:
Dead Time
Killing Rachel

Synopsis:

They called them the Moth Girls because they were attracted to the house. They were drawn to it. Or at least that is what is written in the newspapers that Mandy reads on the anniversary of when her two best friends went missing. Five years have passed since Petra and Tina were determined to explore the dilapidated house on Princess Street. But what started off as a dare ended with the two girls vanishing. As Mandy’s memories of the disappearance of her two friends are ignited once again, disturbing details will resurface in her mind.

Thoughts:

I have read and enjoyed two books by Anne Cassidy before, so when I heard about this book from Hot Key Books, I was immediately intrigued. The synopsis pulled me in, so I knew that I’d be giving it a go ASAP.

Moth Girls centres around two girls that have gone missing. The girls are called the Moth Girls because they have always been drawn to a house. The book is split into parts. Sometimes the reader is learning about the present, narrated by Mandy who is talking about her two best friends Petra and Tina. The rest of the time, the reader is learning about the past and what led the girls to go to the house on Princess Street which is narrated by Petra.

I expected this story to be dark, Anne Cassidy’s previous work does have a bit of a darker edge to it. It certainly has an atmospheric feel which built as the story progressed. I was interested to read what had happened to the girls and I didn’t predict it right from the offset, which is always a good sign!

Anne Cassidy’s writing is easy to read. The mystery keeps you turning the pages. I am looking forward to reading more of her books!

Would I recommend it?:
Yes!

An intriguing, atmospheric mystery!

Dead To You

Dead to You

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Synopsis:

Ethan was abducted from his front garden when he was just seven years old. Now, at sixteen, he has returned to his family. It’s a miracle. At first. Then the tensions start to build, and his family starts falling apart all over again. If only Ethan could remember something, anything, about his life before, he’d be able to put the pieces back together. But there’s something that’s keeping his memory blocked. Something unspeakable.

Thoughts:

The synopsis of this book immediately intrigued me when I picked it up in the bookshop. I found Dead To You to be an intriguing page-turner although I was a little disappointed with its predictable ending. Perhaps I just saw it coming, so it didn’t surprise me, perhaps other people were excited/unprepared for the ending! You’ll have to read it to find out, if you like the sound of Dead To You. 

Dead To You centres around Ethan who, at the start of the book, return to his family 9 years after he was abducted from his garden. We hear from Ethan’s point of view and learn how his family, especially his younger brother, are adapting to having him back in their lives. I can’t say much more about the plot otherwise I’ll ruin it!

I was really excited by the start of this book. I found it interesting to read about the family adapting to the changes in their life. It was particularly intriguing to read how Gracie, Ethan’s sister who was born after the abduction, adapted to having a big brother that she had never met. The reactions were believable with a mixture of emotions involved. I kept turning the pages to see if I was right with my predictions. It certainly kept me interested.

So why was it three stars and not four? I was just let down by the ending. I had predicted it from the start which I’m always a little disappointed by. I also thought it could’ve easily had more closure. I know some authors and some books work well with such an open ending, but I was left dissatisfied. Perhaps you’d feel differently. I think it’s a book worth trying!

Would I recommend it?:
Yes!

Not as wonderful as I wanted, but still a solid three star read!

Find Me (Find Me #1)

Find Me

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Synopsis:

A girl is dead…
A killer’s closing in…
And two little words are the only clue…
“Find Me”.

These are the words that Wick Tate finds in Tessa Wayne’s diary. And now Tessa has been found … dead. Does someone out there really expect Wick to uncover the truth about her death?

An expert computer hacker, Wick has the skills for the job, but with the threat of her ex-con dad returning, the detective hunting him sniffing around and new foster parents to keep happy, getting involved with a murder case is the last thing she wants to do. Until her little sister, Lily, is the next target.

Foster child. Daughter of a felon. Loner hacker-girl. Wick has a bad attitude and sarcasm to spare. And now she’s going to find this killer, no matter what it takes. Because it just got personal.

Thoughts:

I wasn’t expecting to like this book as much as I did. I had heard some good things about it when it was initially released, but nothing about the rest of the books. I thought Find Me was an incredibly engaging read which read very much like a thriller. I couldn’t wait to devour the book and I practically read it in one sitting!

Find Me starts with Wick, who lives with her sister Lily and their foster parents. Wick is a computer hacker, and is able to hack people’s emails and find out information about them. She uses these skills to help women who believe that their husbands/partners are cheating. One day, Wick receives a diary from Tessa, a girl who has recently committed suicide. It is left on the doorstep with the note ‘Find me.’ Wick certainly has a mystery to solve and it gets personal as her sister, Lily could be the next victim…

I thought the characters in this book were absolutely fantastic. Wick was a great protagonist. She was so real and easy to like. I also really enjoyed how her love for her sister was portrayed. I do love a strong sibling relationship and it was clear that Wick and Lily really cared for one another. Griff is a character that I don’t feel like we got to know very well, but I am excited to learn more about him further on in the series.

The plot of this book is fantastic. It starts with a bang and continues to impress for me. I couldn’t put the book down. The only reason that I gave this book four stars instead of five was because I had guessed who was involved with Tessa/Wick/Lily and I feel if I had been completely wrong it would have been an unforgettable reading experience. Don’t be put off by that though, I truly think Romily Bernard has created a fantastic, exciting, engaging series!

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

This series is off to a great start. I can’t wait to continue with it!

The Bones of You

The Bones of You

How did I get it?:
I received it from Pan Macmillan- many thanks to them!

Synopsis:

I have a gardener’s inherent belief in the natural order of things. Soft-petalled flowers that go to seed. The resolute passage of the seasons. Swallows that fly thousands of miles to follow the eternal summer.

Children who don’t die before their parents.

A community in shock

When eighteen-year-old Rosie Anderson disappears, the idyllic village where she lived will never be the same again. Local gardener Kate is struck with guilt. She’d come to know Rosie well, and thought she understood her – perhaps better even than Rosie’s own mother.

A family torn apart

Rosie was beautiful, kind and gentle. She came from a loving family and she had her whole life ahead of her. Who could possibly want to harm her? And why?

A keeper of secrets

Kate is convinced the police are missing something. She’s certain that someone in the village knows more than they’re letting on. As the investigation deepens, so does Kate’s obsession with solving the mystery of what happened to Rosie.

Thoughts:

I thought the synopsis of this book was incredibly intriguing, so when I was approached to read and review a copy, I jumped at the chance. The Bones of You is a decent pyschological thriller, which doesn’t take long to read once you get into it. I thought it started quite slowly, but once I was into it, I couldn’t put it down.

The Bones of You centres around Kate and Rosie and it is told from both of their perspectives. The story starts with a phonecall to Kate, who finds out that someone’s daughter Rosie has gone missing. Kate had got to know Rosie recently, after Rosie loved Kate’s horses. Rosie is a quiet, ‘good’ girl so her disappearance is totally out of character. Everyone hopes that Rosie will return home soon. The Bones of You looks at what goes on behind closed doors and how things aren’t always as perfect as they might seem!

I thought the characters were interesting and I really enjoyed the dual narration. I can totally see why it has been compared to The Lovely Bones. I think The Bones of You is a good read in its own right though.

The Bones of You is definitely more of a thriller/mystery than anything else. It concentrates on family, specifically how complex they can be. This book isn’t as fast paced as other books in the genre, but I was never bored with it. I had an inkling around halfway through about what had happened to Rosie. I was right, but my enjoyment of the story wasn’t affected because of it!

Would I recommend it?:
Yes! 3.5 stars

A decent pyschological thriller. It’s a slow burning book, but a book that’s well worth reading!

Talking About ‘No Safe House’ with Bibliobeth

No Safe House

How did I get it?:
I borrowed it from Beth!

Synopsis:

Seven years ago, Terry Archer and his family experienced a horrific ordeal that nearly cost them their lives. Today, the echoes of that fateful night are still audible. Terry’s wife, Cynthia, is living separate from her husband and daughter after her own personal demons threatened to ruin her relationship with them permanently. Their daughter, Grace, is rebelling against her parents’ seemingly needless overprotection. Terry is just trying to keep his family together. And the entire town is reeling from the senseless murder of two elderly locals.

But when Grace foolishly follows her delinquent boyfriend into a strange house, the Archers must do more than stay together. They must stay alive. Because now they have all been unwillingly drawn into the shadowy depths of their seemingly idyllic hometown.

For there, they will be reconnected with the man who saved their lives seven years ago, but who still remains a ruthless, unrepentant criminal. They will encounter killers for hire working all sides. And they will learn that there are some things people value much more than money, and will do anything to get it.

Caught in a labyrinth between family loyalty and ultimate betrayal, Terry must find a way to extricate his family from a lethal situation he still doesn’t fully comprehend. All he knows is that to live, he may have to do the unthinkable….

CHRISSI: This book is a sequel to No Time For Goodbye. How do you think it compares?

BETH: No Time For Goodbye was the first book by Linwood Barclay I ever read and I remember being pleasantly surprised by it. I continued to read his novels although I haven’t read one for a while I have to be honest. At the start, I didn’t really remember No Time For Goodbye too well although bits and pieces came back to me as I made my way through No Safe House. I think both books are stand-out in the genre and kept me turning the pages, eager to find out what was going to happen next.

BETH: Grace has a very difficult relationship with her mother. Discuss this and if it felt resolved to you at the end of the novel.

CHRISSI: Grace was really rebellious and seemed to want to really push the limits and test her parents. Especially her mother. Grace’s family are understandably very protective over her, due to the things that have happened

CHRISSI: This novel is definitely a real page-turner. Discuss how Linwood Barclay structures his novels to create this pace.

BETH: I don’t think the author needs any fancy gimmicks or multiple narrators to tell his story. He has a sterling plot, compelling and intriguing characters, lots of action and bags of mystery which all equal a read that is unputdownable.

BETH: What did you think about Cynthia’s decision to live apart from her family? Did you understand her reasons?

CHRISSI: This is where I have to admit, that I didn’t really like Cynthia as a character. She was so paranoid. I know given her families history it’s only natural to be anxious, but I think it would’ve felt more believable if she wanted to be close to her family and build a better relationship with her daughter. Cynthia moves away to give Grace space after her overprotectiveness almost suffocates her daughter, but I would have preferred to read about a mother who works more on a relationship with her daughter than one that moves away.

CHRISSI: Was there a stand out character for you?

BETH: I loved the father, Terry. His love and devotion to his family were clear to see and I loved that he would go to ANY lengths to protect his daughter, even if she was in the wrong at the time. I also really enjoyed the character of Victor who I remembered from No Time For Goodbye quite vividly once I began reading. He is a crook and there is no doubt that he has no remorse when he kills but he was VERY readable.

BETH: Who was your favourite character and why?

CHRISSI: Terry was my favourite character although in this particular book, I didn’t always feel that his decisions were believable, but like you, I loved his devotion to his family, especially his devotion to his daughter. He wasn’t as overpowering as Cynthia!

CHRISSI: Discuss the ending of the novel.

BETH: I don’t want to give too much away but I was pleased with how it ended. There was some sadness, which I wasn’t expecting but I think things were pulled together perfectly and in a way that would give every reader some satisfaction. I sure hope this poor family gets a break now!

BETH: Would you read another book by this author?

CHRISSI: I would, but at the same time I’m not rushing to read another book by him. I find his books gripping and exciting, but I have to admit I was a little let down by the sequel to No Time For Goodbye!

Would we recommend it?:

BETH: Of course!

CHRISSI: Yes!