Round up of The British Book Challenge 2016

It’s that time of year again… time to reflect on the British Books I’ve read this year for the British Books Challenge. I read a grand total of 66 British books! (I shall add anymore to this post if I read more between now and 1st January) Yay!

The challenge involves reading 12 books from British authors, so I think we can safely say I smashed that number! 😉 I really enjoy finding British authors to read as much of my reading is dominated by US authors (they are amazing though!) Linked below are the reviews of the 66 British books that I read!

  1. Lighter Than My Shadow– Katie Green
  2. For Holly– Tanya Byrne
  3. Am I Normal Yet?– Holly Bourne
  4. The Demon Headmaster– Gillian Cross
  5. The Unbelievable Top Secret Diary of Pig– Emer Stamp
  6. The Haunting– Alex Bell
  7. In A Dark, Dark Wood– Ruth Ware
  8. The Number One Rule For Girls– Rachel McIntyre
  9. Carrie’s War-Nina Bawden
  10. The Sin Eater’s Daughter– Melinda Salisbury
  11. Radio Silence– Alice Oseman
  12. The Samaritan– Mason Cross
  13. Moving– Jenny Eclair
  14. More Of Me– Kathryn Evans
  15. The Next Together– Lauren James
  16. The Boy In The Dress– David Walliams
  17. Consumed– Abbie Rushton
  18. V is for Violet– Alison Rattle
  19. Read Me Like A Book– Liz Kessler
  20. Follow Me Back– Nicci Cloke
  21. Noble Conflict– Malorie Blackman
  22. When I Was Invisible– Dorothy Koomson
  23. Poppy’s Place– Karina Charman
  24. The Horse and His Boy– C.S. Lewis
  25. Orangeboy– Patrice Lawrence
  26. Always With Love– Giovanna Fletcher
  27. The Moonlight Dreamers– Siobhan Curham
  28. According To Yes-Dawn French
  29. The Borrowers– Mary Norton
  30. Swimming To The Moon– Jane Elson
  31. The Castle– Sophia Bennett
  32. The Woman Next Door– Cass Green
  33. Songs About A Girl– Chris Russell
  34. Maggot Moon– Sally Gardner
  35. Shtum– Jem Lester
  36. The One We Fell In Love With– Paige Toon
  37. My Embarrassing Dad’s Gone Viral– Ben Davis
  38. Cuckoo– Keren David
  39. Harry Potter and The Cursed Child– J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, Jack Thorne
  40. All About The Hype– Paige Toon
  41. The Girls– Lisa Jewell
  42. Head Over Heels– Holly Smale
  43. Crush– Eve Ainsworth
  44. Perijee and Me– Ross Montgomery
  45. How Not To Disappear– Clare Furniss
  46. A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding– Jackie Copleton
  47. Looking for JJ– Anne Cassidy
  48. A Boy Made Of Bricks– Keith Stuart
  49. Robyn Silver- The Midnight Chimes– Paula Harrison
  50. Isadora Moon Goes To School- Harriet Muncaster
  51. The Last Act of Love– Cathy Rentzenbrink
  52. Time To Say Goodbye– S.D. Robertson
  53. On The Other Side– Carrie Hope Fletcher
  54. Beautiful Broken Things– Sara Barnard
  55. The Widow– Fiona Barton
  56. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase– Joan Aiken
  57. Dead Romantic– C.J.Skuse
  58. Haunt Me– Liz Kessler
  59. Missing, Presumed– Susie Steiner
  60. Strange Star– Emma Carroll
  61. Ballet Shoes– Noel Streatfeild
  62. The Lie Tree– Frances Hardinge
  63. Into The Trees– Robert Williams
  64. Lighthousekeeping– Jeanette Winterson
  65. Infinite Sky– C.J. Flood
  66. The Sleeping Prince– Melinda Salisbury

A massive thank you to Kirsty from Overflowing Library for hosting this challenge this year.

As this is one of my favourite challenges, I am definitely on board for 2017. In 2017, the challenge will be hosted by Michelle from Tales of Yesterday. Sign up here!

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Talking About ‘The Samaritan’ with Bibliobeth

The Samaritan (Carter Blake, #2)

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

Synopsis:

When the mutilated body of a young woman is discovered in the Santa Monica Mountains, LAPD Detective Jessica Allen knows this isn’t the work of a first-time killer.

She’s seen this MO before – two and a half years ago on the other side of the country. Allen begins to dig deeper and soon uncovers a terrifying truth. A sadistic serial killer has been operating undetected for the past decade, preying on lone female drivers who have broken down. The press dub the killer ‘the Samaritan’, but with no leads and a killer who leaves no traces, the police investigation quickly grinds to a halt.

That’s when Carter Blake shows up to volunteer his services. He’s a skilled manhunter with an uncanny ability to predict the Samaritan’s next moves. At first, Allen and her colleagues are suspicious. After all, their new ally shares some uncomfortable similarities to the man they’re tracking.

But as the Samaritan takes his slaughter to the next level, Blake is forced to reveal that the similarities between the two men are closer than even Allen suspects. With time running out and an opponent who knows all of his tricks, Blake must find a way to stop the Samaritan …even if it means bringing his own past crashing down on top of him.

CHRISSI: You read a lot of crime fiction. How does this book compare?

BETH: I certainly do, although less than I used to as at one time I used to read it almost exclusively and kind of over-dosed a bit on it I think! I also found everything was becoming a bit “samey,” although I expect it’s quite difficult to come up with something completely original. As to how the book compares, I don’t think it’s the best crime fiction I’ve ever read but it’s by far not the worst! Generally, I really liked the characters and the plot captured my attention in a way that made me really want to know what was going to happen next.

BETH: One of the lead characters in The Samaritan is strong-willed detective Jessica Allen. How well did you think Mason Cross tapped into the female mind?

CHRISSI: I think Mason Cross did a good job of tapping into the female mind. I liked that she was a strong-willed and clever. Mason Cross made Jessica incredibly easy to like. I appreciate that! I do have to admit though, with her being referred to as Allen a lot, sometimes I had to remind myself that she was female!

CHRISSI: What do you think of Carter Blake – hero or flawed man?

BETH: For me, Carter Blake is definitely one of the good guys. He has somewhat of a murky past as we find out in the novel, and we don’t really find out too much about his past in any great detail (perhaps there is more to be revealed later on in the series?) but he is a hero for sure. For me, it makes a story all the more believable if a character has some flaws – after all, no-one is perfect, right? In the past he may have made some bad decisions and may even make a couple of wrong turns during this particular novel but he has so much good in him that makes up for his (very few) flaws!

BETH: Did you have a favourite character in this novel and why?

CHRISSI: I didn’t really connect with the characters as much as I wanted to. That’s not to say they weren’t great characters. I just didn’t connect with them. If I had to choose a favourite character it would probably be Carter Blake, mainly because I found him quite fascinating to read about.

CHRISSI: Discuss the idea of good and evil in the novel.

BETH: Ooh, good question! In The Samaritan, there is not such a clear cut between good and evil. Take the title for example, I’m sure we all know the definition of a good samaritan as being a person that goes out of their way to help somebody else with no real personal gain to themselves. Now, our bad guy in this novel is deemed The Samaritan by the police as his M.O. seems to be helping stricken young women with car trouble. This is obviously an ironic title in itself considering he ends up bumping them off! As a reader I also found myself quite dubious when Carter Blake first shows up. He is a bit of a maverick with an interesting past as I’ve already mentioned and as I haven’t read the first book in the series, I was unsure at the beginning of his motives in taking on The Samaritan case like our lead detective, Jessica. I don’t want to say too much more for fear of spoilers but I found myself wondering whether there is any truth in the statement “born evil,” compared to “learning evil.”

BETH: Were you surprised by the various twists and turns in this novel?

CHRISSI: I was. I enjoy good twists and turns in a novel. I like to be kept on my toes and to be kept guessing about what might happen next. I felt like the twists and turns kept the pace fast and certainly kept me as a reader, turning the pages. I was eager to find out how everything would unravel.

CHRISSI:  Did it matter to you that this book was a further book in a series that you haven’t read?

BETH: Hmm. I think you might know the answer to this question already…YES! I’m afraid I’m a bit obsessive compulsive over wanting to read things in order but that’s purely a personal preference. It’s quite silly really as I don’t see any reason why this book can’t be read as a stand-alone. In some ways, perhaps it’s a bonus as I wasn’t familiar with the character of Carter Blake which made trusting him that little bit more interesting.

BETH: Would you read another book by this author? Does this book make you want to read the first in the series?

CHRISSI: I’m not sure. I don’t really enjoy this genre as a regular read and only like to dip in and out of it. I don’t think I enjoyed it enough to read the first book in the series. That’s not to say the writing or the book is bad, it just wasn’t my type of read. I think fans of the genre will lap it up!

Would we recommend it?:

BETH: Of course!

CHRISSI: Yes!

This Week In Books #25

I am joining in with the lovely Lipsy from Lipsy’s Lost and Found’s feature which highlights our week in books. I shall be sharing what I’m reading now, then and next! I won’t be showcasing my new books as I do that on a Saturday. I’m really excited by this feature as I loved sharing my recent reads. My book reviews published on my blog are often WAY behind what I’m actually reading, so this is a good feature to keep you up to date!

As ever, click on the book image to get to Goodreads!

The Samaritan (Carter Blake, #2)  Carrie's War Girl of Nightmares (Anna, #2)

NOW- The Samaritan- Mason Cross- I am over halfway through this crime/thriller read. It’s okay, but it’s not blowing me away.

THEN- Carrie’s War- Nina Bawden- I enjoyed exploring this book recently for the kid-lit challenge that I do with my sister.

NEXT- Girl of Nightmares- Kendare Blake- I am aiming to read this book next, I’m determined to finish more series this year!

What are you reading this week? Feel free to leave a link to your posts and I’ll stop by!