Soulmates

Soulmates

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Previously reviewed by the same author:

Standalone

The Spinster Club 

Synopsis:

Every so often, two people are born who are the perfect matches for each other. Soulmates. But while the odds of this happening are about as likely as being struck by lightning, when these people do meet and fall in love…thunderstorms, lightning strikes and lashings of rain are only the beginning of their problems.

Enter Poppy, the 17-year-old cynic with a serious addiction to banana milk, and Noah, the heart-throb guitarist; residents of mediocre Middletown, sometime students, and…soulmates.

After a chance meeting at a local band night, Poppy and Noah find themselves swept up in a whirlwind romance unlike anything they’ve ever experienced before. But with a secret international agency preparing to separate them, a trail of destruction rumbling in their wake, (and a looming psychology coursework deadline), they are left with an impossible choice between the end of the world, or a life without love… 

Thoughts:

I’ve read a few Holly Bourne books now, but had been shying away from her debut, as it was over 500 pages long. I don’t have a lot of time to read unless it’s the holidays, so I tend to stick to shorter books so my concentration doesn’t wane too much. I decided to put Soulmates on my holiday TBR and I’m so pleased I did, because I thought it was an excellent debut from Holly Bourne.

Soulmates may seem like a really overdone topic in YA, but Holly Bourne takes a new twist on it. In Soulmates she explores whether meeting your soulmate is a bad thing. The main characters Poppy and Noah find themselves swept up in a whirlwind romance. However, their love is dangerous. A secret international agency is working on separating the couple, because their love is causing destruction. Poppy and Noah have to decide between the end of the world or a life without their love.

Even though this book is quite a beast, it’s so easy to read! The writing is delightful and I got easily captured within its pages. The characters are so easy to love. I always love the strong feminist tone in Holly’s books. It’s something I really appreciate. Poppy is a great character. I loved how she was so cynical about love but was totally open to it happening when she met Noah. It was a little bit insta-love, but for some reason it worked for me. I also appreciated how Poppy experienced panic attacks (although they seemed to disappear when she met Noah and I’m not sure that sat quite right with me!) It’s always great to read mental health representation in YA stories.

I loved how we occasionally got a different point of view from the secret international agency, it kept me interested as to why Poppy and Noah couldn’t be together. I was desperate to find out why. Soulmates is different because it has this almost sci-fi aspect to the story. It was a really interesting take on love! I would highly recommend this book, if you’re looking for something different in YA!

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

A wonderfully gripping read!

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Call Me Star Girl

Call Me Star Girl

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Synopsis:

Tonight is the night for secrets…

Pregnant Victoria Valbon was brutally murdered in an alley three weeks ago – and her killer hasn’t been caught.

Tonight is Stella McKeever’s final radio show. The theme is secrets. You tell her yours, and she’ll share some of hers.

Stella might tell you about Tom, a boyfriend who likes to play games, about the mother who abandoned her, now back after twelve years. She might tell you about the perfume bottle with the star-shaped stopper, or about her father …

What Stella really wants to know is more about the mysterious man calling the station … who says he knows who killed Victoria, and has proof.

Tonight is the night for secrets, and Stella wants to know everything…

Thoughts:

I have to admit that this is the first time that I’ve read Louise Beech’s work, even though I have heard a lot about her books. And boy, what a great first experience it was for me. I was absolutely gripped by this story and it barely took me long to read at all.

The story centres around Stella McKeever, a radio personality at a local radio station. Stella has a lot of secrets. For her final show, she wants to talk about secrets. Hers include… a boyfriend that likes to play games, a mother who abandoned her and has now returned… a mystery around a star-shaped stopper on a perfume bottle and her father who she recently found out his true identity. Will she spill any of her secrets? Stella is more intrigued by the mysterious man calling the radio station. There’s been a vicious murder of a pregnant woman called Victoria and this man knows who killed Victoria and he said he has the proof…

Wow, is all I can really say! What a plot. This book is so dark and devastating at the same time. I really didn’t expect one of the twists and it broke my heart. I can’t say anymore than that because I really don’t want to ruin the wonder that is this story!

If Louise Beech’s characters are always this well developed, I seriously need to check out more of her back catalogue. I loved getting to know these complex characters with all of their secrets. Louise’s writing is so easy to devour and get stuck into. This book was the perfect start to my holiday. It was intense, dark and a deeply disturbing thriller!

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

I was gripped by this story! It has some awesome twists and turns along the way. A wonderful thriller!

Beth and Chrissi Do Kid-Lit- The Dreamsnatcher (Dreamsnatcher #1)

The Dreamsnatcher (Dreamsnatcher #1)

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Synopsis:

Twelve-year-old Molly Pecksniff wakes one night in the middle of the forest, lured there by a recurring nightmare – the one with the drums and the rattles and the masks. The Dreamsnatcher is waiting. He has already taken her dreams and now he wants her life.

Because Moll is more important than she knows… The Oracle Bones foretold that she and Gryff, a wildcat that has always been by her side, are the only ones who can fight back against the Dreamsnatcher’s dark magic. Suddenly everything is at stake, and Moll is drawn into a world full of secrets, magic and adventure. 

Thoughts:

I had heard good things about this author, so I was intrigued to pick up a copy of The Dreamsnatcher. For me, it was a little slow to start but when it picked up the pace, it was hard to put it down.

Our main protagonist is a 12 year old girl called Molly. She wakes one night in the middle of the forest, having being lured there by a nightmare. The nightmare that keeps on recurring. When she arrives there she realises The Dreamsnatcher is waiting for her. He has taken her dreams and wants to take even more. What Moll doesn’t realise, is that she’s actually very important. She and the wildcat, Gryff are the only ones that can battle The Dreamsnatcher’s dark magic. We’re thrown into Moll’s world as she begins to unravel secrets through her journey and adventures.

I really enjoyed the world in which this book is set in. Abi Elphinstone’s writing is superb and so easy to read. There’s so much to get stuck into and enjoy. I really think it would capture the attention of both adults and children. The chapters are fairly short so it leaves you eager to find out what is going to happen next.

For Beth’s wonderful review, please check out her blog HERE.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes!

Next up in the Beth and Chrissi do Kid-Lit Challenge (August):
The Royal Rabbits of London- Santa Montefiore and Simon Sebag Montefiore

The Missing Wife

The Missing Wife

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

Synopsis:

You think you know those closest to you. You are wrong…

A sleep-deprived new mother approaching her fortieth birthday, the very last thing Louisa wants to do is celebrate.

But when her friend Tiff organises a surprise party, inviting the entire list of Louisa’s Facebook friends, Louisa is faced with a room full of people she hasn’t spoken to in years – including someone she never expected to see again: her ex-boyfriend, Oliver Dunmore.
 
When Oliver’s wife Melissa goes missing after the party, everyone remembers the night differently. Someone knows what happened to Melissa, and Louisa is determined to find them. But the truth could be closer, and the deception more devastating, than she’d ever imagined…

Thoughts:

I hadn’t read anything by Sam Carrington before so I was intrigued to see what this book would be like. If you’re not new to my blog, you’ll know that I read a lot of thrillers, especially psychological ones. Sometimes I find the to be a little samey and predictable. Whilst I did pick up on where the story was going, I did still thoroughly enjoy this reading experience!

The Missing Wife centres around Louisa who is having massive problems sleeping after having a new baby. She’s starting to forget things and her mind is generally a bit of a mess. She’s definitely not in the right place for the surprise 40th birthday that her husband and her best friend have planned. She doesn’t really keep in touch with her old friends and finds herself being confronted with them at her party (including her ex boyfriend Oliver!) Their relationship ended badly several years ago and she hasn’t heard from him since. Yet things are set to get worse, Oliver’s wife Melissa goes missing. Louisa was incredibly drunk at her party and doesn’t remember anything about Melissa’s whereabouts. When Oliver arrives at her door asking for her help, she feels she has to help him… especially as he keeps alluding that she owes him a favour…

This book is interesting because of Louisa’s mental state. She’s remembering things slowly and her mind is incredibly muddled. You’re never sure, as a reader, whether Louisa is a character that’s stable enough to get on board and believe in. There are moments in the story where I doubted her. She’s certainly a fascinating character. Louisa and Oliver’s shared past is intriguing. I was eager to find out more about their history. There’s not many characters that you can trust in this story and I personally LOVE that.

I don’t want to say too much and ruin the story. Just know there’s plenty to get stuck into.

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

This book kept me gripped throughout. I could have easily read it in one sitting!

I Looked Away

I Looked Away

How did I get it?:
NetGalley- thanks to Penguin!

Previously reviewed by the same author:

Synopsis:

Every Monday, 49-year-old Ellie looks after her grandson Josh. She loves him more than anyone else in the world. The only thing that can mar her happiness is her husband’s affair. But he swears it’s over now, and Ellie has decided to be thankful for what she’s got.

Then one day, while she’s looking after Josh, her husband gets a call from that woman. And just for a moment, Ellie takes her eyes off her grandson. What happens next will change her life forever.

Because Ellie is hiding something in her past.

And what looks like an accident could start to look like murder…

Thoughts:

As you can see, I’ve read a few of Jane Corry’s books. I always enjoy reading her books. They always grip me and keep me wanting more and this book was no exception. It was so easy to get stuck into. It’s one of those books that you don’t want to say too much about before people read it otherwise it will ruin the surprise of the story.

I Looked Away follows Ellie from being a young girl until she’s a grandmother. It bounces about in time and whilst this can sometimes confuse me, Jane Corry tackled it with ease. As a reader, I felt very sorry for Ellie. She goes through so much throughout her life. She’s definitely not has the best of luck. After some events in her life, her grandson Josh is her sole focus. However, when Ellie looks away one afternoon, things spiral out of control and bring events from the past right back to the present day.

Jane Corry takes the reader on such a journey. It really is an emotional read that keeps you turning the pages. Jane Corry covers many issues within the story and does it so well without you feeling like she’s trying to push everything into the plot. The characters are fantastically developed and easy to invest in. The dual timeline is fascinating and I love how it weaves together.

If you like a thriller with some twists and turns along the way, then this book is for you!

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

Loved getting stuck into this gripping story!

Blog Tour- I Hold Your Heart

How did I get it?
Sent to me for the blog tour. Thanks to Bloomsbury!

Previously reviewed by the same author:

Countless

Synopsis:

‘You make me feel like there’s something good in the world I can hold on to,’ Aaron says. He kisses me again, draws me so close it’s almost hard to breathe. ‘I love you, Gem. And I promise I’ll hold your heart forever.’

When Gemma meets Aaron, she feels truly seen for the first time. Their love story is the intense kind. The written-in-the-stars, excluding-all-others kind. The kind you write songs about.

But little by little their relationship takes over Gemma’s life. What happens when being seen becomes being watched, and care becomes control?

Thoughts:

I was approached to read this book and thought it would be something that I’d really be interested in. Relationships like those in this book, don’t always work for me and make me highly uncomfortable. However, I recognise that books like this do have a place and I thought Karen Gregory handled the relationship with sensitivity. This book gripped me from the very start and hardly took me long to read at all.

It centres around Gemma, who is a confident prospective songwriter. She’s got a great group of friends and life is going well for her. She meets Aaron at her brother’s football game. He’s confident, sensitive and completely into her. Aaron always says the right thing and quickly she feels intensely for him. Everything seems brilliant, except that Aaron isn’t all that he seems. As time goes on, Aaron becomes a lot more controlling. Gemma’s friends begin to worry for her wellbeing…

There’s no beating about the bush here, I Hold Your Heart centres around emotional abuse. As a reader, we see Gemma spiralling and completely oblivious to what is happening to her. This is the case for many relationships like this. Outsiders can see what’s going on, but when you’re in the relationship, it is everything to you. Aaron manipulates Gemma and we see her former strong self shrink into the shadows as she becomes more and more insecure.

Controlling, manipulative relationships are not my favourite thing to read about. They make me intensely uncomfortable. However, I think it’s important that there are books out there that cover this subject. People should understand what love should and shouldn’t be and it’s clear throughout this story that the relationship is not healthy. It shows how a seemingly perfect relationship can spiral out of control.

Gemma’s friendship group are wonderful. I think Karen Gregory really showed how friendships are affected. I wanted to scream out at Gemma to trust her friends and keep them with her. Aaron’s behaviour isolated Gemma from her friends and it took her a while to realise what a great bunch of friends they were.

I Hold Your Heart is not an easy read by any means, but it’s utterly addictive and so important.

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

I really enjoyed reading this book. I thought Karen Gregory dealt with the topic very sensitively.

Music and Malice in Hurricane Town

Music and Malice in Hurricane Town

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Previously reviewed by the same author:

Synopsis:

Jude Lomax scrapes a living playing the trumpet on the neon streets of Baton Noir. Then she is invited to play at the funeral of the infamous cajou queen, Ivory Monette. Passing through the cemetery gates, Jude finds herself possessed by the murdered queen’s spirit. And Ivory won’t rest until she’s found the person responsible for her death.

If Jude wants to be rid of the vengeful spirit, she must take a journey deep into the dangerous underbelly of the city, from the swampy depths of the Black Bayou to the velvet opulence of the vampires’ secret jazz clubs. But as Jude untangles Ivory’s web of secrets, she is confronted with a few dark truths from her own past… 

Thoughts:

I have really enjoyed Alex Bell’s step into YA horror/fantasy in the past so I was super excited to read her newest book Music and Malice In Hurricane Town. After the first few chapters, I was gripped.

The story centres around Jude who is a young woman that works hard to pay the rent. Jude looks after her father who has become very dependent on her after a tragic accident. Jude plays in the Done and Dusted band and has accepted a job in Moonfleet Manor. The Phantom owns Moonfleet Manor and he’s just as creepy as the estate itself. Jude is desperate to save her dad from the past. Whilst playing at the cajou queen’s funeral, she is possessed by the spirit of the murdered queen. Ivory is determined to find out who murdered her and she doesn’t mind using Jude’s body until she finds out exactly who killed her. Everywhere and every single thing that Jude does, something dangerous occurs. Just how far will Jude go to help her father?

Jude is such a strong character. I really enjoyed reading about such a powerful female character. She goes through so much throughout the story, but she still keeps going. Many female characters could learn a lot more from her. I admired her inner strength. The Phantom was such an intriguing character. I don’t want to say too much about him and ruin the story, but my… he was interesting.

The plot itself is exciting. There’s so much going on but it never feels like an info dump at any point. It definitely has that eerie vibe and I adored that!

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

A fantastic YA horror/fantasy read. Well worth checking out!