Book Reviews

Book 10 of 2018: The Body in the Library

This morning I finally wrapped up book 10 of 2018 – I have to admit, I’m feeling really proud of myself right now. This time last year I hadn’t even picked up a single book. I was determined to read one book every day until the 15th of January but my mind’s not been totally with me the last few days.

Despite studying English Literature for at least 6/7 years, I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve never paid much interest to Agatha’s Christie’s work and honestly, I have no idea why. I can only assume it’s because her works are so famous. I have this weird thing about not following the crowd.

I read Murder on the Orient Express at the end of last year because I thought the movie would be fantastic (I was wrong, it was awful) but I really enjoyed the book. I realized, among my 200 books I had The Body in the Library, and it fits the 2018 Popsugar Reading Challenge Prompt: A book that takes place in a library or bookstore.

Now normally I read the real thriller stories. The kind that completely mess with your head and leave your shivering in fear as you hide under the bed covers, but I’m starting to warm to these fairly calm, detective stories.

I’d give this book 4 stars because I absolutely love the way Christie writes. There’s a real old-fashioned elegance in her words and the way she directs your suspicion from person to person without you even questioning her is brilliant.

At least twice I thought, ‘yup! It’s definitely him / her’ and then a few pages later I think, ‘wait, what? Of course it’s not them!’

Great twists in the story, well-rounded characters without wasting time on giving them pointless traits or flaws. I don’t know how she did it, but she’s a real genius!

What Agatha Christie books have you enjoyed?
If you’re in the UK is there any you’d like to book swap with me?
Please let me know your opinions or any recommendations you have.


Book Reviews, Uncategorized

Book 8 of 2018 : Hopes and dreams amongst the Northern Lights

Sky Song – by Abi Elphinstone

My oh my! What a truly beautiful piece of art. This book contains so much more than just words. The magic within this book is dreams and love, friendship and bravery, family ties and determination.

Whilst I rarely ever read books like this, because I’m completely obsessed with crime, thriller and gore, I’m so glad I chose this.

As Waterstones’ book of the month, it was placed in piles around the shop and I couldn’t help but fall in love with the cover!

I would recommend this book to anyone with a hopeful heart and someone who enjoys a little magic. Two new friends will take you on a journey to save their divides kingdom, whilst making new friends along the way!

Book Reviews

Book 7 of 2018: A chilling read

The Girl in the Ice by Robert Bryndza

Wow! What a book!

I bought this on my iPad sometime last year and just never got around to reading it. In all honesty, I don’t like reading on tablets, etc. Real books ftw!

Anyway, from the second page I was hooked! Erika Foster is brought back from her ‘time out’ after a heartbreaking loss, only to be thrown in at the deep end of a nasty murder case.

I read from 8pm until 2am with barely a break. I just could not put this book down! I absolutely loved it. It’s gripping, heart-racingly worrying and quite disturbing in all honesty.

I read some reviews saying Erika Foster was just a stupid character, but let’s face it, it’s fiction and if no body made stupid decisions, bad things wouldn’t happen and we’d have no story? Amirite?! The relationships between some of the characters are warped and disturbing, yet others are heart-warming with their friendship.

If anyone’s read it, please let me know what you think!

Book Reviews

Book 5 of 2018: When the Music’s Over

When the Music’s Over, by Peter Robinson

My mum bought this book on our trip to Taiwan back in June of last year and she’s only just put it down! I know my mum’s too busy for reading, but I thought, ‘that book must’ve been awful if it took her that long to read it!’


When the Music’s Over, by Peter Robinson is the 23rd novel in the DCI Banks series in which Banks has recently been promoted and somewhat enjoying his new power – getting one of the youngsters to drive him home after a few too many beers, overseeing multiple investigations… Unfortunately none of them are pretty, as to be expected from a crime novel, but these really make your stomach churn. The question is, will he ever solve them?

Throughout the book I couldn’t help but see Stephen Tompkinson’s face and hear his voice every time DCI Banks was mentioned in the novel, he plays DCI Banks in the UK TV Series, but I must admit they cast him perfectly. Would I have felt the same if I’d read the book first? I don’t know.

Honestly, it took me about 100(ish) pages to really get into the book, you have to go through the backstory, the nitty gritty details so that the remainder of the novel makes sense, but it’s worth it. I noted on page 246 that I was hooked! Before I knew it, it was 1am…

This book works perfectly well as a stand-alone novel, but personally, I might hunt down the very first one in the series and see how I enjoy it.

Have you read any of Peter Robinson’s books? Let me know!

Book Reviews

Book 4: I’ll Give You The Sun

Book number 4 of 2018 happens to be this: I’ll give you the sun, by Jandy Nelson

It’s been on my shelf for months and months. I bought it because I was seeing it on many TBR lists or people’s book instagrams and I thought, ‘well this must be a good’un!’.

It turns out I should have read it sooner! It’s got a John Green, Jennifer Niven feel to it but it’s different. Written between twins Noah and Jude, and the time changes from the twins being 13, 16, 14 and captures the vital points of their teenage years.

Dealing with love, self-discovery, divorce, death, grief and more… it’s sad, it’s moving, but I didn’t feel a sense of devastation like I have with other stories. Maybe I’m just being a tough old cow today?

The bond between the twins seems unbreakable, the love between the sets characters is rocky, but how does it pan out? You have to read it and find out!!

“I gave up practically the whole world for you,” I tell him, walking through the front door of my own love story. “The sun, stars, ocean, trees, everything, I gave it all up for you.”
― Jandy NelsonI’ll Give You the Sun

Book Reviews

Book 3 of 2018: Reasons to Stay Alive

Matt Haig, quite possibly an unintended literary genius?

I have tried, numerous times over the past 18 months, to read this book but each time ended up in floods of tears, so much so that I couldn’t read on. The book hit too close to home. I was struggling with my worst stage of depression and I couldn’t possibly read about it on top of the emotions I was dealing with.



Today, about 9 months after I feel I have finally conquered my own depression, I got through this book. I won’t lie, I cried for a good hour and a half whilst reading this. It brought up so many emotions and made them feel so raw. It was heart-breaking to read what Matt went through.

But, and there’s always a ‘but’, he got through it. Matt found things in life that helped him deal, cope and manage with his struggles and he made it. What struck me so strongly was how his, now, wife Andrea stuck by him through this entire time. I cannot even imagine how difficult this must have been for her, or for Matt, but it only signifies how strong true love can be.

Their love, as portrayed through Matt’s words, gives me so much hope.

All I can say is that if you have ever struggled in life, whether it’s with depression, anxiety, mental health issues of any kind, or not, you have to read this book. You will most likely cry, you will be moved beyond explanation, and you will be inspired.

Matt has reminded me that although our demons may always be deep within us, we can win. We can move on from our darkest days, months, even years, and be happy. Our lives will get better and we will find things that are worth living for. Both small things like flowers, universal moments like sunsets, children, love, family, and my personal favourite – books!

I am proud of myself for finally finishing this book, but I am also immensely moved by Matt’s words and cannot thank him enough for sharing his story.

I’ll leave you with the quote I most relate to from his book, about mental illness:

“To other people, it sometimes seems like nothing at all. You are walking around with your head on fire and no one can see the flames.”
― Matt HaigReasons to Stay Alive

Matt is on twitter at @MattHaig1

and you can buy his books in Waterstones, Amazon, and most bookstores around the world! (I strongly recommend you do so!)

Book Reviews

Book 2 of 2018: Matt Haig

Okay so, on January 1st I read Double Act and on January 2nd I finished Matt Haig‘s How to Stop Time in one sitting.

I just want to emphasize what a genius this man is with his words. It’s not that this idea is necessarily new, we’ve all thought about people living forever, but the way that this book has been written is so beautiful, heart-breakingly sad but also full of life lessons.

Be brave. Don’t take people for granted. Stand up for yourself. Don’t let good opportunities pass you by. Take care of the ones you love.

The story alternates between different centuries but focuses on the main character Tom and I couldn’t put the book down because I just had to find out what was happening next.  

Whatever I tell you will ruin the story so I will say no more, but please, PLEASE read this book.