Blog Tour- The House by Simon Lelic

The House

How did I get it?:
I received it from Penguin Random House for the blog tour!

Synopsis:

What if your perfect home turned out to be the scene of the perfect crime?

Londoners Jack and Syd moved into the house a year ago. It seemed like their dream home: tons of space, the perfect location, and a friendly owner who wanted a young couple to have it.

So when they made a grisly discovery in the attic, Jack and Syd chose to ignore it. That was a mistake.

Because someone has just been murdered. Right outside their back door.

And now the police are watching them…

Thoughts:

I was incredibly intrigued by the publicity around this book. I was sent a postcard and key in the post. I had to visit the website and ‘unlock’ my advanced reading copy. I was immediately gripped by this and was so intrigued by the book.

I didn’t have any preconceived ideas about this book. I was so excited to pick it up to start to read it as it sounded like something I’d really enjoy. I’m a massive fan of all things thriller. The House doesn’t follow your average thriller narration which is something that I really respected and bought into. It seemed more like a mystery in places.

The House centres around Jack and Sydney who are hopeful that they’ll get a house in London. They have been saving for a while and looking for their dream home. One day, they attend an Open Day of a house that ticks all of their boxes. The owner has gone to Australia to be with someone he met online. The owner has left the house completely furnished. Jack and Sydney put in an offer not expecting to get the house. Totally unexpectedly, Jack and Sydney get the house. Jack feels uncomfortable about the house and his feelings don’t change, especially when he finds stuff in the attic…

Jack and Sydney tell their story in the form of journal entries. The narration is different because it’s clear that the couple are writing for the purpose of showing someone. I really enjoyed the narration in The House. I loved how we got to see the story from each point of view and I particularly enjoyed the moments when they spoke to each other within their entry. Using this narration, meant the story unfolded slowly. It was clear that something had happened and for quite some time the reader doesn’t know. I think this definitely helped to keep my interest. Through this medium, the reader learns about many events both past and present. We learn that Sydney had an awful childhood and that she has lost her sister (I don’t want to say too much about this as it will spoil the reading experience!) Sydney befriends a little girl called Evie who reminds her of herself when she was younger. They go through very similar experiences and Sydney is determined to help Evie before it’s too late.

I was creeped out by this book at many points, it’s in no way a scary book, but there are some very unsettling things that happen. I hate (but really love) when I don’t know who to trust and that was totally the case with this book.

This book has really dark themes. There’s strong language, drug use and some quite explicit content. It’s about how something in the past can impact on your present day life. I was gripped at the start and the unique narration kept me turning the pages. The writing is good and the pace is quick. It’s certainly an easy book to read. I did guess who was responsible for some of the incidents in the book which was a shame, but I didn’t necessarily see the ending coming!

Would I recommend it?
Yes! 3.5 stars!

Click on the blog tour poster for clearer details!

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Trust Me (Social Media Murders #3)

Trust Me (Social Media Murders, #3)

How did I get it?:
I received it from the publisher, Avon. Many thanks to them!

Previously reviewed by the same author:
Follow Me
Watch Me

Synopsis:

What do you do if you witness a murder…but no-one believes you?

When Kate sees a horrific murder streamed live on her laptop, she calls the police in a state of shock. But when they arrive, the video has disappeared – and she can’t prove anything. Desperate to be believed, Kate tries to find out who the girl in the video could be – and who her killer is.

Freddie and Nas are working on a missing persons case, but tensions in the police force are running high and time is ticking. When Kate contacts them, they are the only ones to listen and they start to wonder – are the two cases connected?

Dark, gripping, and flawlessly paced, Trust Me is the brilliant third novel in the hugely popular social media murderer series.

Thoughts:

This is the third book in the Social Media Murders series, and I swear the books are getting better and better. Whilst I enjoyed Follow Me, I thought Watch Me was even better and Trust Me certainly lived up to my expectations.

It centres around Kate, Nasreen and Freddie. Kate was watching live videos on the internet and saw someone being sexually assaulted and then stabbed. Pretty gruesome, right? Kate immediately phones the police and they’re not sure she’s telling the truth. There were no reports from anyone else and the account seems to have disappeared after the assault. Nasreen and Freddie feel like they have enough to go on to investigate Kate’s claims. Freddie believes Kate from the start and after a while Nasreen comes around. They’re determined to find out what has happened to the girl and see if there’s a link with another girl that’s gone missing.

I thought this book was really gripping. I wasn’t sure where it was going to go, but I was eagerly turning the pages. I thought it was incredibly well paced. I have really enjoyed getting to know Nasreen and Freddie better throughout the series. I definitely think both characters have got more likeable over time.

I’m glad to say that I didn’t predict what was going to happen. I love that in books! I like to be kept guessing and for me Trust Me did exactly that.

I don’t know if it was the author’s intention to make readers more wary of social media, but I really am more wary after reading this series. I always teach the children in my class (primary school) about internet safety, but I’d never thought about how dangerous it is for adults out there too.

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

A creepy crime read which can be enjoyed as a standalone!

Watch Me (Social Media Murders #2)

Watch Me (Social Media Murders, #2)

How did I get it?:
Received from the publisher, Avon- Many thanks to them!

Previously reviewed by the same author:
Follow Me

Synopsis:

YOU HAVE SIX SECONDS TO READ THIS MESSAGE…

The body of a 15-year-old is found hours after she sends a desperate message to her friends. It looks like suicide, until a second girl disappears.

This time, the message is sent directly to the Metropolitan Police – and an officer’s younger sister is missing.

DS Nasreen Cudmore and journalist Freddie Venton will stop at nothing to find her. But whoever’s behind the notes is playing a deadly game of hide and seek – and the clock is ticking.

YOU HAVE 24 HOURS TO SAVE THE GIRL’S LIFE.
MAKE THEM COUNT.

Thoughts:

As you would’ve seen on Monday, I found the first book in the series to be a slow starter. This one is completely different. I was immediately gripped by the story. It’s not often that I find a second book in the series to be stronger than its predecessor, but I totally felt like this was the case with Watch Me. 

Watch Me centres around Nasreen and Freddie once more. Yet again, it highlights the dangers of the internet and how you never really know who is behind the messages. This book uses Snapchat as the media behind the crime. Chloe is dead and has sent a suicide note via the app. Another girl has been abducted and several people (including the police) have been sent a Snap to tell them they have 24 hours to save the girl’s life. The girl in question is the sister of DCI Burgone. Here starts a very intriguing read as the book spans the 24 hour period and the chase to save the girl’s life. Nasreen and Freddie put away the Hashtag Murderer (see previous book) and they’re surprised to see that there’s a link between that case and the current case. They can’t see how there can be a link between them, as he’s in prison with no internet…but if it isn’t him, then who is it?

I loved that this book included Snapchat and Instagram. Like I said in my review of the first book in this series, it makes these crime books utterly modern.Watch Me doesn’t cover light subjects. There’s revenge porn and exploitation of young teens. However, its subject matter makes it an incredibly intriguing, intense page-turner.  I found it incredibly hard to put down!

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

Look out for the third book in this series, Trust Me, coming tomorrow!

A fabulous follow up to Follow Me, this book can be enjoyed as a standalone, but makes much more sense if you read its predecessor!

Follow Me (Social Media Murders #1)

Follow Me (Social Media Murders, #1)

How did I get it?:
I received it from the publishers, Avon. Many thanks to them!

Synopsis:

LIKE. SHARE. FOLLOW . . . DIE

The ‘Hashtag Murderer’ posts chilling cryptic clues online, pointing to their next target. Taunting the police. Enthralling the press. Capturing the public’s imagination.

But this is no virtual threat.

As the number of his followers rises, so does the body count.

Eight years ago two young girls did something unforgivable. Now ambitious police officer Nasreen and investigative journalist Freddie are thrown together again in a desperate struggle to catch this cunning, fame-crazed killer. But can they stay one step ahead of him? And can they escape their own past?

Time’s running out. Everyone is following the #Murderer. But what if he is following you?

ONLINE, NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU SCREAM. . .

Thoughts:

I was approached to read this book by the publisher, Avon. They kindly sent me the whole series, in time for the third book coming out. I binge read this series within a week. At first, I wasn’t sure that I was going to enjoy it, but after a slow start to Follow Me, I was soon gripped and desperate to know what happened next.

Follow Me centres around Nasreen and Freddie, two childhood friends. Freddie is a struggling journalist and Nasreen works with the police. Freddie is super internet savvy and finds herself employed by the police as a social media consultant. They have a tough job to try and track down a murderer who is dropping clues on Twitter.

You have to suspend your disbelief at the story line, as I don’t think it’s very likely that the police would employ a civilian or not have someone that wasn’t particularly internet savvy on their team. If you can suspend your disbelief the story really is intriguing. It’s so much fun to read, but creepy at the same time. This book is a really modern crime read. I found the use of social media particularly cleverly done. I loved the use of social media which is so prevalent today. I loved the characters in this book so I was happy to read that they featured in the series.

I don’t think all of the characters are likeable, but that’s what makes a story interesting for me. I don’t always love all of the characters and I think that’s true to life. You certainly don’t like everyone you come across. I’m glad I had the next book ready to read as I was eager to find out what Freddie and Nasreen would do next.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes!

Watch out for the next book in the series Watch Me, coming up on my blog on Wednesday!

A very modern crime read. Slow to start, but worth it!

The One Memory of Flora Banks

The One Memory of Flora Banks

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

Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Flora Banks has no short-term memory. Her mind resets itself several times a day, and has since the age of ten, when the tumor that was removed from Flora’s brain took with it her ability to make new memories. That is, until she kisses Drake, her best friend’s boyfriend, the night before he leaves town. Miraculously, this one memory breaks through Flora’s fractured mind, and sticks. Flora is convinced that Drake is responsible for restoring her memory and making her whole again. So when an encouraging email from Drake suggests she meet him on the other side of the world, Flora knows with certainty that this is the first step toward reclaiming her life.

With little more than the words “be brave” inked into her skin, and written reminders of who she is and why her memory is so limited, Flora sets off on an impossible journey to Svalbard, Norway, the land of the midnight sun, determined to find Drake. But from the moment she arrives in the arctic, nothing is quite as it seems, and Flora must “be brave” if she is ever to learn the truth about herself, and to make it safely home.

Thoughts:

I have to admit that this book’s synopsis really pulled me in and had me eagerly downloading it. Luckily, it’s a publisher that had auto approved me (thank you Penguin Random House) so I could download it straight away. I think The One Memory of Flora Banks is a very unique read and I’m pleased that I had the chance to read it.

The story centres around Flora Banks who is a seventeen year old girl. After suffering a brain tumour, Flora has lost the ability to create long term memories. She can keep things in her head for a few hours at the most. One night she kisses her best friend’s boyfriend and finds herself remembering that moment. It leads Flora to an adventure to find this guy as he is now in the Arctic. Flora is determined to find out why she can remember the kiss and only the kiss.

This book was intriguing because I don’t think it comfortably sits in one genre. It’s of course, a YA read, but there’s also an element of thriller and mystery which I hadn’t anticipated. There’s a bit of romance as well.

I really enjoyed the character of Flora. She was incredibly brave, intelligent and I loved her resilient. Flora is such a vulnerable character. I felt for her every step of the way through the novel. I completely bought into her story.

The writing style is interesting because it can be repetitive at times which I think is really fitting to the story because Flora herself has to go through the same thing every day. I can’t imagine a life like that. I can imagine that it might frustrate some readers but I would encourage you to stick with it because it’s worth it.

I do think this book suffers a little from a slow pace towards the middle of the story. However, I found the end to be particularly gripping. I did have a few unanswered questions at the end of the book, but nothing that annoyed me too much.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes! 3.5 stars

An interesting story. I’d definitely read more from this author!

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!

The Accident Season

The Accident Season

How did I get it?:
It was a Christmas present!

Synopsis:

It’s the accident season, the same time every year. Bones break, skin tears, bruises bloom.

The accident season has been part of seventeen-year-old Cara’s life for as long as she can remember. Towards the end of October, foreshadowed by the deaths of many relatives before them, Cara’s family becomes inexplicably accident-prone. They banish knives to locked drawers, cover sharp table edges with padding, switch off electrical items – but injuries follow wherever they go, and the accident season becomes an ever-growing obsession and fear.

But why are they so cursed? And how can they break free?

Thoughts:

At the end of last year, I heard so much about this book throughout the blogosphere. I knew I wanted to get my hands on it, so I put it on my Christmas wishlist. I was lucky enough to get a copy at Christmas time! I’m thrilled that I did, because I thoroughly enjoyed this unusual read, which really wasn’t what I expected it to be. It’s an incredible debut novel which makes me very excited for the author’s future work!

The Accident Season centres around Cara and her siblings. Cara’s family have been cursed with bad luck. Every October, they have to be careful as it is the accident season. It is a time when every member of the family gets hurt in one way or another. Some accident seasons have ended in death- others are cuts, bruises and broken bones. Cara’s mother is extremely paranoid and makes her family cover up, she hides dangerous items and does everything she can to prevent accidents. Cara is infuriated by her mother’s paranoia. She decides that this year she will have a Halloween party in a spooky old house that she’s just discovered. The Accident Season is mysterious throughout. We begin the story learning about a girl named Elsie who is strangely in every photograph that Cara has taken. Cara wants to find out why Elsie is appearing everywhere and then suddenly, isn’t as present in ‘real life’.

Don’t expect to go into reading The Accident Season expecting to know what was going on. There were times throughout that I didn’t have a clue where the story was going. I didn’t always understand what was going on at all times, but that’s what was so unique about it. I wasn’t frustrated though. It really worked in this book.

I struggled to categorise this book, because there really is a slice of everything. It’s certainly a YA read, but it’s also got a paranormal, fantasy, magical realism and a slice of romance edge to it. It’s a book that many readers will enjoy but at the same time, I get the feeling its uniqueness will divide! I recommend that you read it to form your own opinion!

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

A fantastic, addictive debut which will make you think!