Rhythm of Deceit (The NightHawk Series) by Rachael Richey

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Hellloooo readers, hope you’re well and not too hungover/full of christmas turkey because I have another really exciting review for you. I reviewed Rachael’s first book a little while back and had the sequel just lingering and waiting to be read. In my slightly bookish slow down in terms of reading I’ve been going to authors I know will engage and excite me and this one definitely did. Thank you to Rachael for sending her book and helping me with my bookish slump – with no more delay onto the review.

Two years after finally being reunited, Abigail Thomson and Gideon Hawk are happily married and living in Cornwall with their children.

While Gideon is busy focusing his energies on his musical career, Abi makes an unexpected discovery of old diaries dating from 1950. As she and her daughter read through them, the reasons behind Abi’s mother’s destructive actions become much clearer, and they discover a shocking sixty-year-old deception.

Meanwhile, Simon Dean, the vengeful ex-drummer of Gideon’s band NightHawk, is about to make life very difficult for them all—again—and he is prepared to go to desperate lengths to achieve his goals

I think I’ll start by saying that I really did enjoy Rachael’s first book and this one really just follows on just a few years from where the first book ends. Abi and Gideon (*swoons*) are very happily married and have a new little one called Ollie. Gideon is in the thought process of creating a new solo career in London whilst Abi and her daughter Natasha stay at home and look after darling little Ollie. After a slightly unwarranted visit to Abi’s father a suitcase is discovered which belonged to Abi’s mother. Here we get to dip into the story of Joan and Pauline (Abi’s mother and her sister) and see the heartbreaking story that has been hidden for so long. Whilst this is all developing, Gideon is still have trouble with Simon who just can’t leave his dreams of reuniting the band alone. Will it all end in happiness? You’ll have to read the book to find out (you know me by now, no spoilers here!)

Now I’ve got that out of the way onto the details. I must admit, and Rachael did warn me, I loved this book even more than the first – the relationship between Abi and Gideon grows and they really become a power-house of a couple and it left me feeling so warm inside. Simon becomes even more of an aggravating git but the evil side of him definitely adds a smidgen of drama and made me gallop through the book. Natasha is also utterly utterly wonderful which to a point I knew she would be – young yet gutsy and determined she adds an extra spark to the story. I found the backstory between Joan and Pauline incredibly heartwarming and I found myself feeling incredibly torn with my feelings during the first book. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and spending the first book cursing Abi’s parents I found myself torn. The author has really worked to make this tale a emotive and evocative tale.

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The writing is exciting and moves with pace throughout and we get to experience each different story-line as it develops; the diary, the story between Gideon and Simon and the life of Abi and Natasha. They all intermingle throughout and the story really pulls it all together in a way that is so clever and found my gabbling to get to the end and find out the final conclusion. The writing is heady exciting and has a warmth to it overall. I write reviews where I want more from the characters but here it really is thrown at you.

I can’t really put into words why I liked this so much better but I think it’s that the relationships and the dangers are emphasised so much more and having been so excited about the first book watching everything develop I felt I had such a connection with the characters which doesn’t happen in all books. I honestly couldn’t put this down and I honestly cannot wait to see what happens next. Thumbs up – this book is pretty fantastic.

Linkkks

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Author Website 

 

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Skin by Adrienne Maria Vrettos

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Hellllllo readers, hope you’re having a wonderful weekend. I’ve had a bit of a reading standoff recently. I feel like I never have a minute where I’m not panicking about not reading and it’s a bit tiring. I want to read allllllllll the books but there are so many exciting things to do/watch/tidy. Yes tidy. I took three days off a couple of weeks ago and tidied my room instead of reading that’s how bad it has got. But it’s okay; because I’m going to delve into the shelves of my not-yet-reviewed books and bring you some that I’ve read numerous times but never reviewed. Why? Oh, I don’t know. But I can have a bit of a reading break and still bring you some (hopefully) great content. This is a book I’ve read so many times, and it’s just a bit brilliant.

I’M TELLING YOU THIS BECAUSE YOU DIDN’T ASK. I’VE GOT IT ALL HERE, GROWING LIKE A TUMOR IN MY THROAT.

I’m telling you because if I don’t, I will choke on it. Everybody knows what happened, but nobody asks. And Elvis the EMT doesn’t count because when he asked, he didn’t even listen to me answer because he was listening to my sister’s heart not beat with his stethoscope. I want to tell. It’s mine to tell. Even if you didn’t ask, you have to hear it.

Fourteen-year-old Donnie’s older sister, Karen, has always been the one person in his life on whom he could totally depend. But as Karen slowly slips away in the grip of an eating disorder, Donnie finds himself alone in facing the trauma of his parents’ faltering marriage and his new life as an outcast at school.

Donnie makes it his responsibility to cure his sister’s illness and fix his parents’ issues, letting every part of himself disappear in the process. It is more important — and somehow easier — to figure out if today is a day when Karen is eating, or to know if Dad and Mom are sleeping in the same bedroom, than to deal with his own problems. In the end, though, Donnie must decide whether to float through life unnoticed, or to claim his rightful place as a member of his family and of the world. This powerful story from a brilliant new talent introduces a memorable boy in Donnie, who, from his funny and painfully honest point of view, describes a harrowing year that leaves both him and his family forever changed.

I’m not sure whether you would class this as YA but it’s a book I have read so many times. It sings to the reader in me as to the characters, the writing style and the feel of book. Yes, books have feels. The plot follows Donnie as he reviews the life he has lived so far, carefully pulling apart the seams of his family to find out when everything went so wrong; his parents’ marriage derailing, his sister slowly slipping away from him, the sudden rejection from his so called friends. Donnie attempts to disappear, to stop existing in the world which is breaking up and causing so much negative events in his life. It’s a harrowing tale in the year of the life of a boy who just isn’t sure what to do anymore.

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I realise that all sounds a little bit depressing but this book is gold. The writing is so soft and lyrical. It moves seamlessly between past events, Donnie’s imaginary events (tight-rope walking, in the jungle with the army and the like.) It is told from Donnie’s point of view but we really get to delve into the relationship with his sister and her eating disorder which is beautifully told, but showing the devastating effects it has on each member of the family. The plot doesn’t move quickly but it does cover a lot of ground; the holidays, the fights, the moving in of the new neighbours. It gives you an honest but hopeful view of this dysfunctional family. All of their trials and tribulations  but also the bonds that help to keep them together.

The book is at times funny, a little sweary, gut-wrenchingly painful and then hopeful it helps to stir all these emotions and yet it pulls me back every single time. There are parts of this book I can still remember clearly now even though it is a year of so since I last read it. Donnie and Karen sat on the step outside in the freezing cold escaping another argument, the summer on the deck, the greatest dive in the history of dives. I know this means very little but to be able to pull out so many thoughtful moments really shows what a joy this book is to read. A beautiful tale that I will continue to adore.

Liiiiiinks

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Gerald’s Party by Robert Coover

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Hellllo readers, another day another review; today’s book is a really interesting novel that I picked up when at my local library. Libraries are brilliant for us who hoard books (book bloggers I’m looking at you.) Quite often I read books and although I enjoy them, I’m not truly happy with them and I don’t feel the need to necessarily keep the books. The memories of reading the novel are enough and this was one of those books. I can’t decide whether I *liked* this book yet, but it was certainly an experience as such. My review of Gerald’s Party by Robert Coover

Robert Coover’s wicked and surreally comic novel takes place at a chilling, ribald, and absolutely fascinating party. Amid the drunken guests, a woman turns up murdered on the living room floor. Around the corpse, one of several the evening produces, Gerald’s party goes on — a chatter of voices, names, faces, overheard gags, rounds of storytelling, and a mounting curve of desire. What Coover has in store for his guests (besides an evening gone mad) is part murder mystery, part British parlor drama, and part sly and dazzling meditation on time, theater, and love.

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Gah I think I might have gone classic crazy; I’ve gone from detesting them to utterly adoring them in a matter of months. Little Women, and Ulysses are both on the cards although we’ll have to see how they go. In terms of today’s book the narrative follows the almost hallucinogenic nightmare of confusion and turmoil of the rather simply named Gerald’s Party. The book follows the absurd affair as we follow Gerald and his unnamed wife as they entertain dozens of different character. There’s Vic, Dickie, Kitty, Iris, Lloyd, Patrick, Allison and her husbands and numerous others but you would need a checklist to keep an eye on all of them.

Additionally as the blurb suggests there is the body, curled up on the floor amongst the partiers that belongs to the actress named Ros. With a gushing hole in the centre of her chest the mayhem is stirred and her jealous husband Rodger gets a little frantic. With the Police called; (Fred and Bob) and their homicide detective (Nigel Pardew) a rather odd character who immediately demands the watches of all those that have entered (later deducing that the murder happened half an hour before they arrived.) It sounds pretty normal but the writing style is anything but. Dialogues over-lap, characters movements do too. We’re in the garden, bare feet against the grass, then suddenly in the kitchen seeing Gerald’s wife cooking more and more food for the stacked table, then with his son Mark and his mother and law. It all overlaps haphazardly and confusingly. Characters melt into one.

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The thing is that ‘Gerald’s Party,’ is noticeably about time, quite obviously shown in the removal of the watches. The party seems to stretch for hours whilst the guests waver in and out of drunkenness. They’re also piles of sexual activity. Each of the couples appears to have at least one other sexual partner at said party and at one point we see Gerald wiping the bottom of a woman who has to put it nicely ‘lost control of her bounds.’ The sexual energy during this is scene is both baffling and amusing. It is riotous read that ploughs through taking the reader whether they want to or not.

I must admit I think I will one day when older I will maybe try this novel again. The effect of the writing for me becomes a little too excessive. The repetition at the beginning is exciting and intriguing but it quickly wears off. The startling acts of the characters becomes too over the top and audacious. For me it is a very evocative and fascinating book that was a bit to jolty to really carry it off and although the idea of time being non-existent at the start was exciting two hundred of so pages in I was starting to lose my stamina. I found that the book felt like a jigsaw puzzle I had to put back together again but had no chance of doing so.

Overall I will probably look at this review in a few years and feel silly but right now this book was really difficult for me to read. I found it really interesting to read and I would definitely recommend but it is honestly nothing like I have ever read before.

Linkkkkks

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Goodreads 

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books That Would Be On Your Syllabus If You Taught life 101

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*Sighs* this might be my favourite Top Ten Tuesday post so far. The actually topic is Ten books that would be on your syllabus X 101. Examples include YA, fantasy, classic literature, feminist literature, you get the idea. I’ve picked ‘life 101’ and I mean it, not in a literal way, but more of the way in which books teach you something. These books include teaching you how to pick yourself up, get over heart-break, family strains. These are the books that have given me something back.

1)       The Last Lecture by Randy Pauch

This book, honest to the word, has helped in ways that I could have never expected it to. It talks of life in such an honest, wonderfully light and subtle way, but it talks of death, love and family too. The fact that author is dying as we read along makes it feel all the more destructive but it has a calming presence. It talks of never wasting time, living every day the way we want to and to take control. I haven’t really looked back since finishing this book.

2)       Skin by Adrienne Maria Vrettos

I’ve never reviewed this book for mylittlebookblog, but I think I might soon. The book follows the main character as he comes to terms with his sister’s death from anorexia. It highlights the struggle of family life, the tough decisions we have to make, and the loss of people close to us. It’s a tale that I always dip into now and again and it’s written in a wonderfully lyrical style. My and sister and I rarely got on a couple of years back but now we’re a solid pair of besties. She’s one in a million.

3)       ‘Giovanni’s Lover by James Baldwin

When I first started this book I didn’t think I would finish it let alone make its way onto this list, but this book taught me that there are some things, we cannot take back. I went through a lot of time not caring how I made other people feel because I barely cared about myself, at all. This book taught me that our decisions, our words, our actions towards others can be detrimental to people that we love. I know it seems trivial but I needed this to speak to me and tell me I needed to stop being an ass.

4)       Eat, pray, love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Maybe a controversial choice, but this book helped to change the perception that I needed to plan out, almost exactly, how my life was going to pan out. I panicked about too many different elements in my life; relationships, career, where I was going to live etc. The mother bought this and told me to read it, get some perspective and calm the hell down. This was the starting blocks to letting go a little more and trusting me more.

5)       Remember to breathe by Simon Pont

I have written about this book many, many a time but reading this really helped to break through my wailing and make me think that the collapse of my relationship was merely a blip in the road. I’ve met someone who is miles better for me, and just gets me and this book helped to smooth over all the feelings that were raging at the time.

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6)       Factotum by Charles Bukowski

Another maybe, odd choice? I’ve always worried a lot about where I’m going to be, in terms of career and this book made me think. I know that what I’m doing right isn’t right for me, it’s not challenging me but the main character in this book is all over the place. He’s changing jobs every second, turning up late, drunk, forgetting things falling asleep. Although quite obviously isn’t the way to do it, the way that you can change your life and do something else, even something polar opposite,  made me positive that I’m never stuck. I can always go a different way.

7)       The Fault in our stars by John Green

This also wasn’t going to make the list but I thought, fuck it. It’s a book about adoration, love, belief and pain. But it’s a tale that teaches us that pain and hurt exist, but to live in the present, in the moment you might say if you’re feeling all gushy. This book is worth a bloody read.

8)       The Chocolate Run by Dorothy Koomson

I know this appears in all my lists but I couldn’t help myself once again. As I’ve come to terms with my anxiety many things I thought were ‘control-freak,’ tendencies were in fact my anxiety. I’ve struggled with losing friends in the past, holding on despite deceit, awkward silences and their brush-off manner. This book taught me it is okay to lose people, not because you want to but because it’s better, often for both of you.

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9) Pearshaped by Stella Newman 

Another tale about relationships but taken from the other side this book looks at the problems of unhealthy, manipulating and downright awful relationships. We are allowed to say when something is not up and stand up for ourselves. This books says that, loud and clear.

10)       Finally, Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol

I picked this because, some of the quotes features are so profound and special. I often like to ask people if they would like to be friends with Alice or be Alice, because her sudden change in perception is mind-blowingly beautiful. There are so many twisted bits of knowledge woven in and we see Alice grow as a person. It’s a classic book that means a lot to me and many readers and I’m glad it’s made the list.

I wrote a lot more here than I thought I would surprisingly but I thought this was a list where you really needed to explain why they made the list. This isn’t an extensive list (obviously) and when I read Wild, which I will do, I might have to include that as a bonus book because I think it might just change my outlook on everything but we’ll see. Another day another book.

I do love it when people comment and ask me and the choices, the reasons, and just hearing what you would add so if you have anything pop in down in the comments below. Lots of love and hugs, lizzy. X

The Love & Hate Tag

The Love-Hate Tag

Helllllo readers, I’ve been tagged in lots of new blogging awards recently which as always is bloody lovely. I feel like I’ve written a lot of bookish things recently and less ‘lizzy-bits,’ so thought I would take the chance to write out the love & hate tag before I forget. The idea is that you write ten things you love and ten things you hate and then you tag someone else to write theirs down and so on and so on. Simples.

Love:

  1. Reading: Might as well get this one of the waaaaay. I’m an obsessive reader to the point where it’s starting to terrify me. I’m not sure I can balance my life with how much reading I wish I could get done but, imma trying.
  1. Margaritas: Gah my cocktail of choice (or just anything with tequila.)
  1. Blueberry Yoghurt: This is a recent thing but I used to abhor blueberries, horrible little things. But trying blueberry yoghurt in the past month or so I have been an addict. Not sorry.

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  1. Early morning cuddles: If me and the boyf are staying the night with each other, we’ll set the alarm half an hour early so we can have a morning big/little spoon snuggles because we’re gross and we know it.
  1. Walking: I’ve always preferred walking but getting up in the morning is sometimes a little difficult, but recently I found out I could walk to work and save myself £60 or so pounds a month (BONUSSS.) Now I seem to walk everywhere, to the station, to friends, into town. It helps my anxiety too because public transport is killer.
  1. BURRITOS: That is all

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  1. Peppermint tea with nettles and camomile: This stuff is just, beautiful.
  1. Cinema dates with all the gang: Anything with my motely group of friends. Spoons dates, cinema trips, days in the sunshine in the park, traveling to unplanned parts of the world; all good.
  1. Weekends with my parents: I never realised how close my family are but we are a close-knit gang. I love spending the weekend helping Mumma B with the chores, popping out for lunch bits, going for a walk around Stowe. Imma home bird and I do not give a monkeys.

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  1. Driving: Although I still can’t drive I really love driving around and trying not to cause chaos on the roads. It was a little nerve wracking to start but I cannot wait to get my own little car and be whizzing around all over the place.

Hate:

  1. People that are always late: Get a watch? I mean we all check our phones enough we should know that if you say seven, twenty past isn’t going to cut it.
  1. Blackberry soothers: The smell of these things makes me choke; gross.

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  1. Jellllllllllllllllllllly: (or Jello) I think jelly is horrible, the taste and the texture of the stuff is just blergh.
  1. My inability to remember to add reviews to Amazon/Goodreads/My own review list: The organisation of my day-to-day life is pretty on pointe but this I always seem to forget and then have to add tens of them on in one go. Sorrrrry
  1. Emails that don’t answer questions: Is it me or if you email someone a number of questions no matter how carefully bullet pointed they answer the first one, maybe the second if you’re lucky but not all. What is that?

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  1. Snakes: These, terrify me. My desk-neighbour at work is always trying to trick me into looking at pictures of them on his computer. Dude, no.
  1. Going to the dentist: Years of having to go to have my braces tightened has made this an utterly terrifying experience for me, not that it wasn’t already.
  1. Not travelling: I have the travelling bug so much right now and I have no-one to go with *wails*

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  1. Constantly being covered in bruises: Doesn’t matter what I’m doing/wearing/drinking I end up with random uncomfortable bruises and they are so unattractive when they’re on your wrists/elbow/feet. How does that even happen?
  1. Running out of liquid eyeliner: That stuff is ma jam.

Ten things I love, ten things I hate, I now tag Stefani at ‘Caught Read Handed’ to complete said taggg. Enjoy!

The Lebrus Stone by Miriam Khan

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Hellllllo readers, a little bit of an emotional review for you today; I’ve spoken to a number of bookish bloggers about this but sometimes it gets a bit too much. I’ve thought for a while about taking a blogging break and step back for a while, create some breathing space, get through my review requests and get back on top of it all. We’ll have to see; sometimes it feels like it’s all a bit too much. The reading, reviewing, writing, the social media, the emails, and all whilst attempting to hold down a full-time job, travel home and see friends/family/Lola & Barbie and trying to build on a new relationship. Gah, I feel like I’m having a blogging midlife crisis. I’ve also struggled with the book used for today’s review; a fantasy book which I found difficult to read, but I’ll let you find out why.

When eighteen-year-old orphan, Crystal Valdez, accepts an invitation to the small town of Blacksville, West Virginia, she hopes to have a summer to remember and a chance to learn more about her parents, to also get to know the family she never knew existed. But the Lockes begin to act strange and erratic; eerie movements in the night fuel her vivid and gruesome nightmares. To complicate her summer further, she becomes attracted to the menacing yet handsome Cray Locke: her none blood related cousin. He seems determined to keep his distance.

The only bonus to her trip seems to be the housekeeper and gardener. And when a local informs Crystal of the secrets buried at Thorncrest Manor, the kind consisting of a forbidden relationship and a war between hidden worlds, and witchcraft, she must decide whom to trust. Even if it means leaving behind those she has come to love.

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As the blurb suggests the book follows Crystal who has a horrible start in life in which both her parents die in a terrible car accident. Sent to live with her Aunt who is then a little shockingly killed in a house fire thing aren’t looking to positive. Alone in the world and spending her remaining childhood in a foster care home, a woman who claims to be her long lost great aunt appears seemingly out of nowhere, Crystal is invited to find out more about her mother and her family. But not is all as it seems, once in Thorncrest Manor, the family appear to turn on Crystal and her destructive relationship with Cray looks soon to burst; as readers we follow Crystal as she seeks to find out more about herself and the family she barely knew.

In terms of positives Crystal is a well-developed although complicated character. She has a lot of emotion and she’s written with passion. Her relationships throughout the book were thorny and although she has a lot of layers to her as a character, I found her difficult to warm to. At times she was prickly and her relationship with Cray is a little odd. They are both distant with each other and at times he treats her horribly whilst she adores him. It didn’t sit well with me as a reader. Their relationship is uncomfortable at best and they don’t interact in an open way at all. Additionally with her mood swinging, from needy to jealous to desperately in love, I was exhausted. Although the writing is quite strong in places, as to the description of characters and the like, the pace is slow and I found myself having to read the first few chapters a number of times to get into the book; saying this it does pick up but it’s a slow burner.

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I also questioned throughout Crystal’s decision to stay at the Manor. From almost the moment she arrives there, it becomes noticeably clear that there is something very wrong with the Locke family. Isobel’s character changes so utterly she’s barely recognisable (whilst she shows no intention of sharing any further information) and Crystal starts to suffer with terrifying nightmares which are suggested to be due to her being tormented by ghosts. Throughout Crystal attempts to rationalise what is happening whilst I was yelling to myself ‘get the hell out of there.’ It didn’t make sense to me that a girl with such intellect would stay there so long in such a unpredictable environment. Additionally towards the end of the book it becomes truly disturbing; there are a number of descriptions of rape and sensitive material that I didn’t find fitted or was needed. It all became a bit too much. Additionally the ending didn’t clear anything up for me. Many questions are left unanswered and although I assume due to the ending a second book is in the making I don’t think I’ll be reading it.

I guess for me this book just didn’t work. I’m not sure what I was supposed to get or enjoy from this book. The writing at times works well it has ebb and flow and although it moves with a slow pace many of the descriptions are spot on. I found however the situation that our main character is in and her personality as a whole jarred and became confused. Additionally as we work our way through the story and realise that we’re not getting the answers we expected it feels like the book was for nothing. It’s frustrating and unrealistic and I found it a difficult to read. Unfortunately one I’m a little saddened to have read.

Linkksss

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Dreamscape by Kirstin Pulioff

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Helllllo readers, today’s review is quite special to me because it was recommended by an author that she contact me. Being recommended by an author that you’re worth the wait for a review is an *over-the-moon* feeling. You want your blog to get to the point where people ask for reviews not only because you review alllll books but because they are good/solid reviews. It just makes it feel all the more special. Before I get too mushy, onto my review of Dreamscape.

Sixteen-year-old Alexis Stone is used to getting away from life’s frustration with Dreamscape, a video game she’s loved since childhood. As her family prepares to move, a sleepy night of gaming pulls her into the world like never before. Trapped in Dreamscape’s realm, Alex is about to learn that being a hero has consequences… and this time, the stakes are deadly. Will helping the rebellion cost her everything she knows and loves? Or will she betray them to save her own life?

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The more fantasy books I read the more I admire the genre as a whole; I don’t fully enjoy the genre yet, and I wouldn’t pick up a fantasy book as a choice in a book store but more books like this one could help me to really start reading this genre but extensively. As the blurb suggests the book follows Alex who is in a bit of a mess. Her family are planning the move from her childhood home and it’s the worse time possible. As she prepares to move her and her best friend decide to play their favourite childhood game, but after dark when she attempts the game again, she is pulled into the world of Dreamscape. Here she must battle the game again but without the cheats; will she succeed? Will she join the rebellion? Can she ever escape the game? In this fantasy story all will finally be revealed.

This isn’t your typical fantasy tale, here we explore a fantastical world but in the sense of the game ‘Dreamscape.’ I thought the descriptions of the games were evocative and rich helping to place us into the narrative background. Alex at the beginning is exasperatingly angry about having to move which I found infuriating but as the book progresses her character truly evolves into a warmer more intriguing character. I must admit I didn’t really fall for her in the way that I do, as in I desperately wanted her to succeed but it’s nice to watch her story and her journey develop. I thought in terms of this when she has to decide whether to face her role as the hero full on or use her ‘cheats’ and ‘shortcuts’ to leave the rebellion was an intriguing way to connect the game, and the difficulties that Alex is dealing with in her real life.

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In terms of the additional characters that we meet along the way I thought they were delightful. Arrow is writing with power as being the leader of the rebellion but he has a warmer kinder side to him whilst I thought that Melody was a deadly power female and wished we had learnt and heard more from her throughout. The writing as I mentioned briefly is strong; Alex seems everything in the game much more vividly and I thought the little changes between the game and reality helped to both connect both realities but also keep them separate. Also if you’re looking for castle, guards, missions, secret-missions, that’s all here too; all the standard game items as well.

In terms of problems the book doesn’t start with a bang, it starts quite slowly and with a lack of pace. It does pick up and for me I would keep reading for enough chapters to really get into the book but it was a little hard going. Although the characters are given interesting character profiles Alex to start with is whiny and irritating. As I’ve mentioned in the main review it’s okay because she changes so much as the novel progresses but at the beginning it does grate. Additionally the ending was, how can I put this? Disappointing? It made me angry as a reader because it just ends. The book works on a romantic storyline which is just dropped.

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Overall a book of two halves for me; writing is strong, starts slow but moves with pace. Characters are well worked but then the ending falls a little flat. I think overall this is a good fantasy reader for YA readers who like the genre. I thought the concept was really clever but a little more explanation with the ending and making Alex a more likeable character would have help me to utterly love this book.

Liiiiiinkkks

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Website

Goodreads 

Storm Rising by Rachael Richey

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Helllllllo readers and welcome to another review|*cheers*| I made a blunder the first time writing this review stating Rachael Richey wrote The Beauty Thief when in fact Rachael Richtey wrote it! How close are those names, that’s crazy! Anyway back to this review, this is my first review from this author on the back of reading it I really want to read more from her. Brilliant writing and one I think you will utterly adore.

Frontman of the grunge rock band NightHawk, Gideon Hawk has had enough of the rock star life. He is jaded, disillusioned, and haunted by the memory of an unresolved heartbreak. On a whim, he leaves the band in New York and heads to England in search of answers.

After attending the funeral of her estranged mother, Abigail Thomson makes a shocking discovery in her parents’ attic. The still-raw memories that surface, along with even more startling discoveries, force Abi to face a devastating truth that leads to a series of life-changing events. She and Gideon must race against time to reclaim the life stolen from them a decade before.

The book jumps between two periods of time, from 2005 to flashbacks of 1994/5 when both Abi and Gideon were teenagers.

We begin the tale at the funeral of Abigail Thomson’s estranged mother who Abi has not seen let alone spoken to in ten years. Meeting her father again, feelings begin to unravel and when stashes of undelivered letters addressed to Abi are found in the attic, our story really begins. The letters are from Abi’s teenage first love, Gideon Hawk who just so happens to be the frontman of the band Night Hawk, but in an attempt to ditch the limelight after a concert held in New York he sensationally quits the band. The book flits between the burgeoning relationship between Abi and Gideon set a decade before and the present day as we see the two very different lives begin to become parallel once again.

I really enjoyed this lovely little tale; although it may appears to take the stereotypical girl meets rock-star, their relationship crumbles, he attempts to escape the limelight, throughout there is a mysterious secret that builds from the very beginning. Why were the letters undelivered? Why did Abi have to tread on eggshells around her mother? Was her father also involved in the traumatic event that happened? The book twists and turns between the two time periods allowing the writer to give us dribs and drabs causing the story to intensify and made me gabble through the pages.

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The characters are written with style and warmth; Abi is a darling character, warm and bright I found her an unforgettable character. Determined, and charming and then suddenly a little helpless I really felt for her. Additionally witnessing her rebellious teenage years reminded me a lot of my own. Telling my parents I would be in one place when I would be stealing away to another. I thought that Gideon was a hot mess; a diamond in the rough, his charming and gentleman like character mixed with his rock-star attributes made me have a serious character crush. Judy and Chris make superb supporting characters who I also found really brilliant to read about.

I only have two little wobbles with the book as a whole; firstly at the beginning the book lacks some pace. It does take a while to get into the book and to be fair the secretive nature of Abi’s dislike at having to attend her own mother’s funeral really pulled me in but the writing could have been snappier and flowed quicker I think. The second I thought that Gideon’s sudden upheaval from the states could have been toyed with more just because it felt a bit quick or overly easy? For me I would have liked to have seen that played with a bit more and in the relationship and the bond between him and Abi in the present tense.

Despite this, I couldn’t put this down. Lyrical writing style, strong characters, a good solid plot-line and a smattering of well-built up characters (main and supporting) this book has everything going for it. A strong tale, one that I really enjoyed and one I think you will to.

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