The Fear

The Fear

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Previously reviewed by the same author:

Synopsis:

When Lou Wandsworth ran away to France with her teacher Mike Hughes, she thought he was the love of her life. But Mike wasn’t what he seemed and he left her life in pieces.

Now 32, Lou discovers that he is involved with teenager Chloe Meadows. Determined to make sure history doesn’t repeat itself, she returns home to confront him for the damage he’s caused.

But Mike is a predator of the worst kind, and as Lou tries to bring him to justice, it’s clear that she could once again become his prey…

Thoughts:

I have been really enjoying catching up on this author’s books. I believe I am now all caught up! Yay. I was somewhat hesitant to start this book because I had seen some very mixed reviews surrounding it. I can see why it had mixed opinions. Certainly, it’s subject matter is very difficult to read about. As a teacher myself, I find it really hard to read about books that include relationships with young children/teenagers. However, there was something about The Fear that kept me reading.

The Fear centres around Lou Wandsworth who ran away to France with her teacher Mike when she was younger. Mike turned out to be as lovely as he seemed and he shattered Lou’s confidence and left her life in pieces. Now an adult, Lou finds out that Mike is involved with another teenager. She doesn’t want the same thing to happen to young Chloe, so she is determined to confront him. Mike is clever though and it’s not certain that Lou won’t the one being hurt…

There were a few points of view in this story and plenty of twists and turns along the way. I have come to expect a lot of twists when I read a C.L Taylor book and this book certainly does have twists and turns. I did see some coming, but I think that’s because I’m quite familiar with this genre and I’ve come to expect or at least anticipate some twists.

The characters are fantastic, even if Lou does make some very silly choices throughout. You want to reach into the book and tell her to get her act together. I have to say, I think Wendy was my favourite character. She’s not exactly a lovable character, but I thought she was the most interesting!

There were some inaccuracies within this story which is why I dropped half a star for its rating. I agree with other reviewers, that the social media involved in the story wasn’t around when the story was set. Other events described weren’t also around in the time period. I know it’s being really picky commenting on that, but when the story is as good as it is, inaccuracies can be incredibly frustrating. I think, aside from that, I would’ve rated it a 4 stars.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes! 3.5 stars

Not an easy book to read, but addictive all the same!

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Fairy Tale Friday- The Frog Prince

This story is such a well known classic, but it’s been a while since I read it. I was super happy to read it for this week’s fairy tale feature.

It centres around a lonely princess who was playing with her golden ball in the palace garden. A stag got in her way, causing her to miss the catch and lose her ball into a pond. The princess couldn’t even see a glimpse of it and started to cry. A frog jumped out of the water. She was repulsed as she didn’t like slimy creatures. Surprisingly, the frog opened its mouth to speak to her. It asked her why she was sad. The princess told her about the ball. The frog told her that if she promised to love him and let him sit at her table, eat from her plate, sip from her cup and sleep on her pillow then he’d get the all for her. The princess promised as the golden ball was such a special present from her father. Before long, the frog had retrieved the ball for her.

At supper the next day, the princess heard a croak at her feet. She was reminded of the promise she had made to the frog. Her father was puzzled and the princess had to tell her about her promise. He insisted that she had to keep the promise that she had made. The princess told her father that she couldn’t bear to pick the frog up. Her father was disappointed with her, so she did as she was asked. Each thing that she had promised, the princess had to do, even if it repulsed her.

The frog was sad the next morning and the princess couldn’t understand why. She had done everything that he had asked. She asked him why he was so sad and he questioned if she loved him. The princess realised much the frog had done for her, how he’d dived into the pond, how he’d searched for her and she’d treated him nastily. She scooped him up and saw his gentle eyes and kind heart. As she kissed his tiny green head, he transformed into a prince. The prince told her how he’d been under a spell and her love had set him free. The princess was so astonished. The prince thanked her for keeping her promise to him! (Even if it took her a while to see past his appearance!) ❤

Next Fairy Tale- The Mole’s Wedding

The Alchemist

The Alchemist

How did I get it?:
It was a gift!

Synopsis:

Paulo Coelho’s masterpiece tells the mystical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure. His quest will lead him to riches far different—and far more satisfying—than he ever imagined. Santiago’s journey teaches us about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, of recognizing opportunity and learning to read the omens strewn along life’s path, and, most importantly, to follow our dreams.

Thoughts:

I was bought this book, told that I had to read it, because it was one of the best books in existence. Hm. Whilst I can see why some people absolutely love this book, it wasn’t really for me. I have to admit that it really surprised me. My first degree at university was a very philosophical one, so I thought that I might really ‘get’ this book. I appreciated its sentiment, but I had a real disconnect from it.

The Alchemist follows Santiago, a shepherd on a quest for treasure. He travels and experiences many things, each teaching him something along the way.

I loved the message of following your dreams and listening to your heart. However, I didn’t feel as connected to it as I wanted to. It was a sweet read, but despite how short it was, it felt like a very slow paced read. I wasn’t compelled to keep turning the pages. I was left feeling slightly underwhelmed and wondering what I had missed. That said, I can’t deny that this book has a lovely, spiritual message which is why I would recommend it to others.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes!

Whilst I didn’t have the connection I expected with this book, I still thought it had some very profound statements and one I’m sure others will connect with more.

The Silent Patient

The Silent Patient

How did I get it?:
NetGalley- thanks to Orion Publishing

Synopsis:

Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.

Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.

Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations—a search for the truth that threatens to consume him….

Thoughts:

Ahhh this book. I had seen it absolutely everywhere and I held off until February to read it, as I had an ARC. The struggle to wait for it. The struggle. I can confidently say that I’m so pleased I waited. It was an amazing read. I’m absolutely blown away that this is a debut novel. It was incredible. I really should stop gushing now and get into my review.

This has a really exciting premise. It’s about a woman named Alicia Berenson who is accused of murdering her husband. The trouble is, since the crime, Alicia hasn’t spoken. For six years she’s been living in a mental health unit called The Grove. The Grove is for very dangerous people with serious mental health issues. Readers then meet Theo Faber, who has had a tough childhood. He’s now a psychotherapist. He’s intrigued by Alicia and wants to be the one to ‘cure’ her and getting her to speak again. He wants to help solve the mystery as to why she murdered her husband.

This is one of those reviews where I’m going to be terribly vague because I don’t want to ruin the story. I will say that it’s an incredibly well written story. It’s so compulsive. I desperately wanted to find out what was going on. I absolutely loved the inclusion of Alicia’s diary. Argh. I want to say so much but I can’t because of spoilers. It is a bit of a slow burner, which I don’t usually enjoy, but this one had me from the very beginning.

I have to admit that I didn’t see the twist coming. I know many people will do, but for me I was quite shocked which is why I had to give it a 5 star rating. I think this will be an excellent book club read. It truly deserves all of the praise it’s getting.

Would I recommend it?:
Without a doubt!

A truly excellent 2019 debut. Alex Michaelides is truly one to watch!

Top Ten Books I’m On The Fence About Reading

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It’s all about love of lists, love of literature and bringing bookish people together. 

This week’s list are the books that we’re on the fence about reading. I have a few of these! Ha.

As ever, book images go to Goodreads!

The Jewel (The Lone City, #1)

I used to really want to read this book but I’ve heard a few things that have put me off.

Water for Elephants

I have wanted to read this book for a long time! I think I’m nervous I won’t like it.

Easy (Contours of the Heart, #1)

I’m not a massive fan of this genre, but I’ve heard good things. I’m torn!

Half-Blood (Covenant, #1)

I have yet to read this series. I’m not sure whether it would be for me or not.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns, #1)

Pretty sure that this book has made numerous appearance on my blog, but I STILL haven’t made time for it.

Incarnate (Newsoul, #1)

Hm. I used to really be into this sort of read, but I’m not anymore.

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)

I know this series is massively popular but I’m not sure it’s for me.

Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1)

I’ve heard very mixed things about this book so I’m really on the fence about reading it.

Into the Dim (Into the Dim, #1)

I was originally really excited about reading this book, but I’m not so sure about it now.

Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass, #5)

I’m not sure I want to continue the Throne Of Glass series. I started this book but felt pretty ‘meh’ about it.

What do you think about my selection? Are there any of your favourites that you want to root for? Let me know!

I’ll Find You

I'll Find You

How did I get it?:
NetGalley- thanks to Bonnier Zaffre

Synopsis:

Emily Jacobs, a nurse, is in hospital for a minor operation. When she wakes in the night, woozy with anaesthetic, she sees the doctor frantically trying to resuscitate the woman in the bed next to her. In the morning, she is told that she must have had a nightmare. The bed has been empty all along . . .

When Emily returns to work she discovers a bracelet that she believes belonged to the missing woman. Soon, she becomes convinced that her colleagues at the hospital are hiding a terrible secret.
What if she’s wrong? What if her own troubled past has affected her more than she knows?

But what if she’s right?

What else could they be capable of?

Thoughts:

I had heard mixed reviews about this book, so I was somewhat hesitant to start it. However, I try as much as I can not to let reviews sway me. I went into this book with an open mind. I did find it enjoyable and it didn’t take me long to read at all, but I can see why some reviewers have had some trouble with it.

The premise of this book is really exciting.  Emily’s sister, Zoe, went missing from a hospital 12 months ago. Emily has been signed off work as a nurse after suffering with her mental health. Emily is about to return to work after deciding that she needs distraction. However, Emily discovers a lump in her breast and needs to get it removed. After surgery, Emily comes around to a young girl being revived by several members of staff. When someone notices Emily, they inject her, sending her into a deep sleep. In the morning, staff deny any knowledge of anyone ever being in the room with Emily. Emily won’t let it lie though and is determined to prove she was telling the truth, no matter what…

I was really intrigued by the plot line but I’m sad to say that it became a little unbelievable in places. It didn’t seem like real life. I’m not saying that stories should be similar to real life, but in thrillers, I do tend to like some sense of reality within the pages. A good thriller creeps you out because you know it could happen.

There are some really interesting characters in this story and there was certainly enough to hold my attention. It was clear that the writer has good medical knowledge, being a nurse herself. I just wish it had been more believable.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes! (just!)

 

Despite my reservations about this book, I think many would enjoy it, so I would recommend it!

A Week In The Life Of A Primary School Teacher- Let’s work on our listening skills…

Every Sunday (hopefully) I shall be posting a personal post about my life as a primary school teacher. I currently work at a primary school teaching 7-9 year olds. I have worked for two years with 6-7 years, 1 year with 7-9 and now I’m returning to my favourite age! My training posts on this subject were really successful and so therapeutic for me, therefore I’ve decided to continue posting on the topic. I will not be naming any children, or the school where I work. If personal posts aren’t your thing then feel free to skip these posts. I won’t mind! Bookish goodness returns as normal Monday-Saturday!

This week has been an interesting one. I managed four weeks of having a wonderful time with my class. Last week was our 5th week at school and behaviour started to slide. Their work isn’t slipping, although they’re not putting as much effort as they were! However, they’re just not listening! It’s so frustrating. It could be tiredness. We have next week and the week after until a break. But I’m spending next week going hard on ensuring they’re listening to instructions and being respectful of one another. I hate being overly strict, but sometimes needs must!

I have so much to pack into next week. We’re starting to audition for our musical in a few months, we’ve got writing to finish and a new unit of Maths to start and finish. Eek. So much to pack into 9 more working days! Let’s hope they start listening…