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About chocolatepages

Just a girl loving books, crafting, baking and new things...... hence this blogging experience!!!!!..........

Who or What is it? Niegfrid, by Darren Tarditi #BookReview

Who or What is it?  Niegfrid, by Darren Tarditi #BookReview

Thank you to Author Darren Tarditi for gifting me a copy of his first published novella. And many congratulations on self publishing his first book.

This is one of the extremely rare books that I accepted to review without really knowing what it was about. I fancied a novella and Darren contacted me at just the right time.

Description:

A brutal and horrific crime occurs, shaking a town to its core, not least Sergeant Stevie McBride.
Prior to this, Paul Michaelson was a normal lad, going about his life when he suffers an accident. Due to a brain injury he suffered during this accident, he lands in a coma for many months.
When he awakens his life has been turned upside down, with the sudden departure of his girlfriend whilst he was still in the coma and feelings of rage and injustice that he cannot clear.
As his recovery progresses, he starts hearing a persistent voice in his head. He has no idea that not only is the voice real, but that it belongs to an incredibly powerful creature who has ravaged and desecrated its own world for millennia.
Now Earth is its next target and Paul its vessel.
Slowly but surely, it twists and manipulates Paul into performing a series of horrific deeds.
With all this going on it catches the nose of Sergeant Stevie McBride. As times passes, he starts to realise something is not right, but he can’t quite put his finger on it.
As the creature and Paul ramp up their agenda, Stevie scrambles from one clue to the next, hoping to catch a killer, and unknown to him, stop something so much worse…

My Thoughts:

This is not my usual kind of read. I went in blind and hoped for the best. Sometimes this is a refreshing way to go into a book as a bookblogger where there are no expectations.

I was very pleasantly surprised that within the first few pages I found that the book was based not far from where I live in Scotland.

As I read on, I realised that this isn’t your average crime thriller book. There are realms of crime, possible supernatural and gory horror. This book is not for the faint hearted. I’m not a fan of supernatural, but the plot could leave it open to the readers imagination, real or ghostly?

The horror part of the plot was graphic and bloody. I’m used to it with all the crime, murder books I read. But even at that, this was very dark.

The novella is a quick read with a gritty plot and characters that get you thinking. If you are wondering why the title Niegfrid, well who and what Niegfrid is will become apparent as you read on.

I liked the Scottish dialect that was added in. If a book is based in a place then it has to be believable that the Author knows the area and this is true for this novella and Author.

The descriptive work in the novella shows good potential for more books to come from this new Author.

“…….like a virus he was working his way into Paul’s psyche….”

If you like dark books with violent crime and a bit of a weird plot, then this book is worth a download.

As a first novella and self published Darren Tarditi has good potential for more books to come.


Links:

Amazon

 
2 Comments

Posted by on May 25, 2020 in Books

 

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#MenCanWriteRomance Review: Jack and Jill Went Down Hill. By R J Gould.

#MenCanWriteRomance Review: Jack and Jill Went Down Hill. By R J Gould.

Thank you to Author R J Goulds for contacting me with this book. It was a nice change to read amongst my crime books.

I often look at Goodreads before starting a book, especially if it’s been waiting on my shelf for a while and I have forgotten what it was about. I was a little frustrated when I did this for this book as one of the reviews I read was far too detailed for my liking. I will keep my reviews always about my thoughts in the book rather than relay the plot / story. 😠

Anyway, after reading Jack and Jill Went Down Hill, these are my thoughts, with no spoilers attached. 😊👍

Description:

Jack and Jill meet on Freshers Big Party Night at university and for both of them it’s love at first sight. Despite their backgrounds, personalities and interests being poles apart, the relationship flourishes during their university years. It’s not quite as comfortable when their studies are over and they start work, Jack in the City and Jill as a teacher.

Way back when they first met, they’d shared the joke that their names were those of the nursery rhyme. Down the line, they fail to recognise that their lives are matching the plot – Jack falls down and Jill comes tumbling after.

Their relationship is on the rocks. Can it survive?

Publisher: Lume Books (11 July 2019)

My Thoughts:

When I decided to download this book, I was expecting a bit of a ride back to my uni days and city life. Fun times for me and it was fun times for Jack and Jill who meet each other on the very first night at university.

I did enjoy reminiscing about those days while Jack and Jill did their time there. The Author got the right mix of other types of students, the atmosphere and the mind frame of two very different students. Jack’s Uni plans were not the same as Jill’s. But both were relatable.

It’s no spoiler to say the book follows Jack and Jill’s relationship and lives.

The Author has brilliant way of writing people. I really liked Jill. She would be the type of girl I would like to know. Jack not so much, he had his good sides and his quirky sides. As the pages turned the characters developed together and separately.

As I said the story follows Jack and Jill’s relationship and lives. But we also meet their parents, friends, other family and this allows us to get further insight into why Jack and Jill are the way they are.

The plot is not predictable. It’s easy reading and fun. When books are so centred on characters, it’s important for the reader to be invested in them, and I was. I wanted to see where they ended up. I was rooting for them.

As I said it’s not predictable so you will have to read it to see where they end up.

Light, easy reading, relatable and the characterisation is fantastic. I recommend Jack and Jill Went Down Hill.


Links:

Amazon.co.uk

www.rjgould.info

 
7 Comments

Posted by on May 17, 2020 in Books

 

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Book Review: The Mysterious Writing Group by Susan Willis

The lovely Author Susan Willis has released another fabulous short story. I have to admit after reading many of her short stories ( All of which you can find reviewed on my blog), The Mysterious Writing Group is my favourite so far.

I downloaded when it was available to download for free. So thank you Susan for this freebie little coffee break read.

Description

Christine has joined her four friends from a writing group at a murder-mystery weekend in a manor house. Although they enjoy each other’s company in their writing sessions, Christine wonders how the dynamics of the group will work over three days? They have been studying the golden age detectives and she is huge fan of Sherlock Holmes.
To even out numbers Christine pairs up with a newcomer, a Welshman, called Owen who she immediately likes when he offers to be her sidekick, Doctor Watson. While using their powers of deduction they discover some mysterious happenings, which makes Christine wonder if everyone is who they say they are?

My Thoughts:

The Mysterious Writing Group is a perfect coffee break read. Like I have said with all of my reviews for Susan Willis’ short stories, they are a great little escapism read when you have a little time to yourself.

I liked this story because it’s all things bookish. The characters are from a writing group where they meet to discuss their work. The main character Christine begins within the first few pages talking about well known authors who write crime books. And to top it all off they go to a murder mystery weekend. It is a booklovers perfect set up.

The writing flows, the characters are relatable, and the story has a full rounded plot within its shorter styled book.

I have to say as well, I was not expecting it to end as it did……..

A cracker of a read and my favourite short story by Susan Willis so far. I’m readily waiting for the next one. 😊


Links:
susanwillis.co.uk

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Twitter – @SusanWillis69

 
2 Comments

Posted by on May 10, 2020 in Books, Uncategorized

 

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The Currently Reading Book Tag. #Booklover

The Currently Reading Book Tag. #Booklover

I have found myself with more free time to read at the moment, and although it started off with a slight lack of concentration, I’m really enjoying my books again. So this is the perfect tag for me at this time.

I saw this tag on Meggy’s site and thought it was a fun tag to do. I haven’t done one in ages. You can read Meggy’s answers HERE!

The Currently Reading Book Tag was created by Charly Reynhorse.

How many books do you usually read at once?

I usually have 2 books on the go. One in paperback and one on my kindle.  But they have to be completely different stories and usually different genres.

 

If you’re reading more than one book at a time, how do you decide when to switch to reading the other book (do you read a certain amount of pages in each?)

I read my paperback when I have more time to sit and relax with my book.
I read or listen to my kindle when I have less concentration and when I’m doing other things, like ironing, driving, chopping veg etc.

Do you ever switch bookmarks while you’re part way through a book?

Not usually part way through a book, but usually after I finish a book. Part of the joy of choosing a new book also includes choosing a new bookmark.  Here are some of my favourite bookmarks.

Where do you keep the book(s) you’re currently reading?

My paperback is usually on my bedside table, unless I’m reading it in which case it’s in my hands. 😁. My kindle doesn’t have a “place”. That could be found anywhere from my bedside table to sofa to in my bag.

This is what I’m reading at the moment.

What time of day do you spend the most time reading?

This varies depending on what’s going on in my life at the time. During this lock time period, I’ve been reading a little in the morning with a cuppa when I wake. A little as an afternoon break and then sometimes in the evening.  When life becomes more ” normal ” again though, this will change.

How long do you typically read for in one go?

Again depends on what’s going on at the time. At the moment this can range from 5 minutes to 2 hours. I guess a usual time would be about half an hour before I take a break to make another cuppa or do something else.

Do you read hard covers with the dust jacket on or off?

Always on! I know some people like to keep them in perfect condition, but my books are most enjoyed when reading them. So always jackets on so I can keep looking back at the cover if I choose to. The cover always relays more of the story the more you read of a book.

Which position do you mainly use to read?

Either sitting up in bed or on the comfy chair in my living room. I used to be able to read lying down in bed…… now my reading glasses don’t allow that!

Do you take the book you’re currently reading with you everywhere you go?

No. I don’t take my book to work with me as I don’t have any free time to read it there. If I’m going to most other places then usually yes. This could be either my kindle or a paperback. 

How often do you update your progress in the book you’re currently reading on Goodreads?

Only when I start it and when I finish it. Although I often forget to do this and have a catch up process of what I’ve read and am reading. 

If you have done or fancy doing this tag, link your post in the comments below so I can read your answers too. If you don’t fancy doing the whole post, just let me know an answers or two in the comments. I’d love to hear your reading habits too.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on May 3, 2020 in Books, Tags, Uncategorized

 

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Book Review: Degrees of Guilt, by H S Chandler.

Book Review: Degrees of Guilt, by H S Chandler.

Thank you very much to the Author H S Chandler, the publisher Trapeze and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review Degrees of Guilt. I am a sucker for most legal thrillers and was excited to read Degrees of Guilt. Also it has been recommended highly by other brilliant book bloggers, in particular Meggy where you can find her brilliant review HERE!

Description:

When you read this book, you will think you know every twist in the tale.

Maria is on trial for attempted murder.
She has confessed to the crime and wanted her husband dead.
Lottie is on the jury, trying to decide her fate.
She embarks on an illicit affair with a stranger, and her husband can never find out.
You will think you know who is guilty and who is innocent.
You will be wrong.

40103980._SY475_

Published May 16th 2019 by Trapeze


My Thoughts:

Degrees of Guilt is my first book by this author but certainly not my last.

At first I contemplated Maria’s plea of not guilty, but admittance to killing her husband! As the trial went on and we hear from both lawyers and the behind the court room door private discussions between the jurors, I wondered what if my fate lay in the minds of regular people, some I found so single minded and some so selfish. And then after having been part of a jury myself recently, the lawyers themselves! They can twist the evidence they have using clever words and phrases. I didn’t know until the jury decided themselves which way Maria’s fate lay.

How unfair it seemed sometimes, but this is our legal system and whether it’s down to clever lawyers or manipulative jurors, there are 12 people, 2 lawyers, a judge and whatever witnesses ( if any) to decide whether someone is innocent or guilty.

The author did an amazing job of portraying the courtroom, the jurors room and the characters. I felt like I was in the courtroom watching and then anonymously and quietly in the jurors room watching.

The main juror that the author focuses on is Lottie who has problems of her own. Although I felt for Lottie in her own marital situation, I didn’t agree with a lot of her decisions. She is a great character to get to know and her strength of character developed throughout the book.

This book drew me into Maria’s world, Lottie’s world and allowed me to consider what would I have done in Maria’s world and what would I have done if I were on that jury.

A thought provoking fabulous courtroom drama with a twist of thriller and domestic noir. Just grippingly fantastic.

Links:

Goodreads

Amazon.co.uk

Twitter/@HSCinkpen

 
4 Comments

Posted by on April 26, 2020 in Books

 

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Book Review: The Gift of Cockleberry Bay by Nicola May. #BlogTour #TGOCB Includes a fab #giveaway.

Book Review: The Gift of Cockleberry Bay by Nicola May.  #BlogTour #TGOCB Includes a fab #giveaway.

I’m happy to be bringing you my review on this blog tour for Nicola May’s fantastic new book. The Gift of Cockleberry Bay.

 

* Firstly apologies for the layout of this post, due to lack of laptop and self isolating.  #StayAtHome

 

I have read and reviewed the previous 2 books in this series.

1. The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay.

2. Meet Me in Cockleberry Bay.

Both were 5 star amazing!


I was very happy when the brilliant blog tour organiser Rachel contacted me to ask if I would like to take part in this tour.

Nicola May is one of my favourite Authors and a lady that I find inspirational 💗

Please support the Author and all these other amazing bloggers on the tour. My review is raving and I know that many more of these reviewers will be giving rave reviews too. .


Book Description:

From the author of the #1 BESTSELLING The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay.

All of our favourite characters from Cockleberry Bay are back in this final, heart warming story in the series. Including Hot, Rosa Smith’s adorable dachshund and his new-born puppies.

Now successfully running the Cockleberry Café and wishing to start a family herself, Rosa feels the time is right to let her inherited Corner Shop go. However, her benefactor left one important legal proviso: that the shop cannot be sold, only passed on to somebody who really deserves it.

Rosa is torn. How can she make such a huge decision? And will it be the right one? Once the news gets out and goes public, untrustworthy newcomers appear in the Bay . . . their motives uncertain. With the revelation of more secrets from Rosa’s family heritage, a new journey of unpredictable and life-changing events begins to unfold.

The Gift of Cockleberry Bay concludes this phenomenally successful series in typically brisk and bolshy style and will delight the many thousands of Rosa’s fans.

My Thoughts:

How nice it was to be reunited with Rosa, Titch, Mary and of course  Hot the cutest little Mr Sausage Dog. 
After reading many of Nicola May’s books and of course the two that preclude this book, there was no doubt in my mind that I would enjoy this one.
I slipped effortlessly back into Cockleberry Bay life and enjoyed catching up with the old residents and meeting a few new ones.
I just want to add that although I have read the previous 2 books in this series, it would be perfectly fine to read this as a standalone. The Author gives brief updates on past events. Not enough so previous readers will be bored, but enough so new readers know the story.

In this book, Rosa and Josh are married. Rosa now owns a share in the local cafe and she is considering moving on from her beloved pet themed corner shop. A stipulation on Rosa’s inheritance of the shop was that she does not sell it, but gives it away to someone who deserves it.
Rosa is a perfectly imperfect character. She has flaws, ( as do we all), but she is kind hearted, generous, empathetic and fun. I saw an interview that Nicola May did with another blogger where she says who she would like to play Rosa if she ever got to make a tv series of the books. I googled the name and found the image in my head was very similar to the actress I found. I feel from the narrative and descriptions I feel like I know Rosa and also Cockleberry Bay. What a lovely quaint place to be, despite the gossip and everybody knowing everybody.  It’s a place I would like to visit. 

Nicola May writes as she describes herself  ” chick lit with a kick “. There is tradegy , happiness , sadness and sometimes deceit in most of our lives. Nicola May writes real life themes in a fictional way, but adds humour and interesting plots so that she can write about harsher things that you might not find in chick lit fluff books.  ( not a criticism of these kind, just a comparison).

The plot in this book is centred a lot on who Rosa will give her shop too. I had my hopes pinned on who I would like to have it, but I didn’t know who Rosa would choose as she chose an interesting way to make the decision.

I think the series ended in a way that was perfectly suited to Rosa. And although I will miss hearing how Rosa and all the other residents get on in Cockleberry Bay. I am already excited to read whatever book Nicola writes next.

Ps. My favourite book of Nicola’s that made me fall in love with her writing is The SW19 Club. If you haven’t read this one, check it out plus the many others she has written. I have nothing but high praise for this talented inspirational author.

Thank you to  Eye Lightening Books for sending me a paperback book of The Gift of Cockleberry Bay. It will be taking a proud place on my bookshelf.

Author Bio:

Nicola May lives in the UK, five miles from the Queen’s castle in Windsor, with her black-and-white rescue cat, Stan. Her hobbies include watching films that involve a lot of swooning, crabbing in South Devon and devouring cream teas.

Her bestselling The Corner Shop in Cockleberry, the 1st book in the Cockleberry Bay series, went to #1 on Amazon and stayed there for an unprecedented 6 weeks.

She classes her novels as ‘chicklit with a kick,’ writing about love, life and friendships in a real, not fluffy kind of way. She likes burgers, mince pies, clocks, birds, bubble baths and facials – but is not so keen on aubergines.

Giveaway:
To win a signed copy of The Gift of Cockleberry Bay –
all you have to do to be in with a chance is enter via this rafflecopter link. Press the link and follow the instructions. It’s easy and it’s international. 

Press here for rafflecopter link.

Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Find and follow Author Nicola May here.

Links:

Website – www.nicolamay.com

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/NicolaMayAuthor

Twitter – https://twitter.com/nicolamay1

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/author_nicola/


Buy The Gift of Cockleberry Bay using these links.

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

 
4 Comments

Posted by on April 10, 2020 in Books, Giveaways

 

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Three Little Lies by Laura Marshall.

Three Little Lies by Laura Marshall.

I received my copy of Three Little Lies from a book loving friend that I often swap books with. She loved it so I was hoping I would too. Also as I saw it was the same author that wrote Friend Request, I was expecting it to be good…….and it was…….very good.


Description

Someone told a lie.
Someone knows the truth.

Someone is watching you.

*****

When Sasha North comes into Ellen’s life, Ellen falls under her spell. As Ellen is welcomed into Sasha’s family, she doesn’t see the darkness that lies beneath their bohemian lifestyle. Not until a brutal attack changes all their lives forever.

Ten years later, Ellen and Sasha share a flat in London, still bound together by that night. When Sasha disappears, Ellen fears the worst. The police won’t take her seriously, but the events of the past give Ellen good reason to be frightened.

What really happened that night? Who is telling the whole truth? These are the questions Ellen must confront when searching for her friend. But someone knows Ellen is looking. And they don’t want the answers coming out . . .





My Thoughts:

Three Little Lies was a brilliant page turner of a read. A mix of friendship, lies and wondering if you really know someone as well as you think you do. We all have secrets, maybe we all tell the odd white lie. But what if those lies have life long consequences?

The book alternates between characters view points. But we mostly hear from Ellen who is best friends with Sasha who has disappeared.  Ellen is extremely concerned about Sasha and takes on the responsibility to try to find her. As Ellen’s hunt continues, she finds out that maybe she didn’t know her best friend as well as she thought she did.

The characters bring about a range of feelings for the reader. Some characters I didn’t like, some I felt sorry for. For an Author to invoke feelings about characters, I know that she has written them well.

The plot took me on a hunt for a girl, her secrets and her lies. What I found shall remain unsaid ( by me). Read Three Little Lies and let Laura Marshall tell you. You won’t regret it



Links:

Amazon.co.uk

Goodreads

lauramarshall.co.uk

 
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Posted by on March 15, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

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Kick #Anxiety to the curb! Book Review: Anxiety Girl by Lacey London.

Kick #Anxiety to the curb! Book Review: Anxiety Girl by Lacey London.

Many of us experience anxiety in our lives, some to a lesser extent and some people suffer from it in a life altering way. I have seen often on Twitter that the Author of this book has offered it free to download, as she wanted to share her experiences to help others.

I downloaded this book when it was available free for kindle download about Christmas time I think. I have seen it talked about a lot on Twitter so thought I would give it a read. If you look on Amazon, there may be other times where it is available free.

 

Description

From the best-selling author Lacey London.

When a seemingly perfect life takes a dangerous turn, nothing is certain… 

Loving life in the glitzy village of Alderley Edge, Sadie Valentine thought she had it all.

With her best friend, Aldo, for company, Sadie spends her time sipping bubbles amongst the glitterati in her many local bars and restaurants. However, unbeknown to the outside world, a series of unfortunate events cause her to fall into a lonely hole. 

Keeping her mask in place on a daily basis proves harder than Sadie anticipates, and when she is dealt yet more blows, her positivity starts to crumble. 

Despite her efforts to battle her demons, Sadie soon realises that sometimes, it’s not quite as simple as picking yourself up and carrying on.

With Aldo by her side, can Sadie crawl out of the impossibly dark hole and take back control of her life? 

Join Sadie Valentine as she discovers who she really is, and learns the true meaning of friendship…

 

Published March 21st 2017 by Independently published

My Thoughts:

The book starts off with main character Sadie explaining to us a bit about her life, how it started off seemingly all rosy and nice. Until a few things happened and caused her to be gripped by feelings that she hadn’t felt before and found difficult to explain and understand at the time. These feelings as we know from the title of the book were anxiety.I was looking for a book that was mildly entertaining, easy to read and perhaps one that would give tips to help with anxiety. I would say this ticked the box for all of those quotas. It was mildly entertaining, certainly easy to read. It gave a few tips on how to help with anxiety, but I also thought that if you severe anxiety then you may feel that this book makes it sound a bit too easy to overcome. ( just my opinion though).There were a few tips that I already knew about and perhaps are well known for sufferers? breathe, talk about it, counselling. But there were also tips that I hadn’t heard of before. For example, Sadie gave her anxiety a name – and this way she could talk to it and feel more in control, which may be helpful for some. I think anyone suffering would appreciate and try any tips they are able to, so any reasonable and thoughtful suggestion is a positive. Whether or not it works for you is a different matter, but as with all things, life is about trying to make things the best you can.“This too shall pass”, is a quote that Sadie found from a friend and found useful when she was finding herself having a difficult time.To be honest I found the first quarter of the book difficult reading as we hear all about Sadie’ s problems and although it was necessary to understand her story, it wasn’t enjoyable reading. Maybe it wasn’t meant to be?The friendship between Sadie and her best friend Aldo was amazing. Again this was great for Sadie. But many sufferers will not be in such a lucky position to have such a supportive friend.There are a few follow on books to this series and although I imagine they will be ok, I doubt that I will be reading them.Anxiety Girl was worth a read but if you are looking for how to help your severe anxiety, I would look elsewhere. 
Links:Amazon.co.ukAmazon.com

I was looking for a book that was mildly entertaining, easy to read and perhaps one that would give tips to help with anxiety. I would say this ticked the box for all of those quotas. It was mildly entertaining, certainly easy to read. It gave a few tips on how to help with anxiety, but I also thought that if you severe anxiety then you may feel that this book makes it sound a bit too easy to overcome. ( just my opinion though).There were a few tips that I already knew about and perhaps are well known for sufferers? breathe, talk about it, counselling. But there were also tips that I hadn’t heard of before. For example, Sadie gave her anxiety a name – and this way she could talk to it and feel more in control, which may be helpful for some. I think anyone suffering would appreciate and try any tips they are able to, so any reasonable and thoughtful suggestion is a positive. Whether or not it works for you is a different matter, but as with all things, life is about trying to make things the best you can.“This too shall pass”, is a quote that Sadie found from a friend and found useful when she was finding herself having a difficult time.To be honest I found the first quarter of the book difficult reading as we hear all about Sadie’ s problems and although it was necessary to understand her story, it wasn’t enjoyable reading. Maybe it wasn’t meant to be?The friendship between Sadie and her best friend Aldo was amazing. Again this was great for Sadie. But many sufferers will not be in such a lucky position to have such a supportive friend.There are a few follow on books to this series and although I imagine they will be ok, I doubt that I will be reading them.Anxiety Girl was worth a read but if you are looking for how to help your severe anxiety, I would look elsewhere. 
Links:Amazon.co.ukAmazon.com

Goodreads.

 

 

 

 
4 Comments

Posted by on February 29, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

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Book Review: Don’t Turn Around by Amanda Brooke.

Book Review: Don’t Turn Around by Amanda Brooke.

Thank you very much to Author Amanda Brooke and Publishers Harper Collins for my copy of Don’t Turn Around.

Description:

She died.
You’re next.
Now he’s coming for you
Ten years ago, Jen’s cousin Meg killed herself after failing to escape an abusive relationship.Now, Meg’s ex is back and Jen’s domestic abuse helpline has started getting frightening calls from a girl who knows things about Meg – details that only the dead girl or the man who hurt her could have known…
As Jen starts to uncover the past, someone is determined to stop her. Can she save this young woman from Meg’s fate? Or is history about to repeat itself?

Published by Harper Collins January 2019.

Potential Trigger Warnings:

Contains details of suicide, death of a child and grief.

My Thoughts:

This is the first book I have read by Author Amanda Brooke. I was intrigued by both the cover and the description.

The story is told from.the perspective of Ruth ( Meg’s Mum) and Jen ( Meg’s cousin and best friend).

Meg committed suicide ten years ago. Since then understandably the family have not gotten over her death and the way it happened. They believe that she was abused by her boyfriend Lewis but with no proof, nothing could be done.

In attempt to help others and themselves Ruth and Jen set up a helpline to try to help other people who feel they may be in vulnerable relationships.

The book is a domestic thriller, which kept me intrigued and attached the whole way through. The Author did a great job of describing how I imagine the grief would feel like for Meg’s family. Everyone deals with grief differently and this was shown by the people who knew Meg.

I read the second half of the book a lot faster than the first half as I had more inklings of what may happen as the pages turned at this point.

Don’t Turn Around is very well written. In the acknowledgements at the back the author thanks Alder Grief Centre for their help and support, which sounds like an amazing and such a supportive group of people. There should be many more of these types of helplines.

Although the plotlines and trigger warnings imply this is a difficult book to read, it is a suspense thriller which got me gripped and rooting for Jen and Ruth to find a life that they could be content with. Whether or not this happens you will need to read to find out. But things are not as they first seem. And that is what makes a good thriller and a good author for me.

Highly recommended book. And as I now know there are many more books written by Amanda Brooke.

If you have read this or any other book by Amanda Brooke, feel free to recommend your favourites.


Links:

Goodreads

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Twitter/@AmandaBrookeAB

www.amanda-brooke.com

Facebook

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2020 in Books

 

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Bring positivity to 2020 with : You Are Awesome by Neil Pasricha. Book Review:

Bring positivity to 2020 with : You Are Awesome by Neil Pasricha. Book Review:

Thank you to publishers Gallery Books and Netgalley for my copy of You Are Awesome by Neil Pasricha. I had a lovely email asking me if I wanted to read and review this book. The lady had looked at my blog and actually compared this book to a book that I had already read and reviewed. Option B, by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant Therefore thinking that I might like this one too. This is the kind of requests I like. Thank you Kalee.

Description:

From Neil Pasricha—New York Times, million-copy bestselling author of The Book of Awesome series and The Happiness Equation, thought leader for the next generation, and one of the most popular TED speakers in the world—comes a revelatory and inspiring book that will change the way we view failure and help us build resilience.

We are lucky. For most of us, famine, plague, economic depression, and other life-threatening catastrophes are the stuff of history books. We’re living in an era with the highest-ever rates of longevity, education, and wealth. Cars drive us home as our phones entertain us before we arrive to food delivered to the front door. We have it all!
But there’s just one side effect. We no longer have the tools to handle failure…or even perceived failure. When we fall, we lie on the sidewalk crying. When we spill, we splatter. When we crack, we shatter.
We are turning into an army of porcelain dolls.
A rude email from the boss means calling in sick. Only two likes on our post means we don’t have friends. Cell phones show us we’re never good enough. Yesterday’s butterflies are tomorrow’s panic attacks. Record numbers of students have clinical anxiety. And what about depression, loneliness, and suicide?
All rising!
What do we desperately need to learn?
RESILIENCE. And we need to learn it fast.
Read You Are Awesome to learn:
• The single word that keeps your options open after failure
• What every commencement speech gets wrong
• 3 ways to dramatically accelerate your ability to learn and adapt
• The 2-minute morning practice that helps eliminate worry
• Why you need an Untouchable Day (and how to get one)
• and much, much more…
Because the truth is, you really are awesome.


My Thoughts:

I read this book in parts. For me it was the kind of book that I didn’t want to read all in one go. I wanted to absorb each chapter as I read it and take in the advice and positivity.

The book starts with the authors experiences and why he felt recognising our awesome-ness is important. He gives examples of how his life went “wrong”, and explains in steps how we can accept and overcome the trials and pain that life throws all of our ways. The book is realistic and not in any way patronizing ( which some self help books may be). The Author acknowledges that it is not an easy thing to do to accept things that have gone wrong or that you can’t change. But he shows us ways to realise the potential that we have, the things that we do have rather than what we don’t.

The Author didn’t live an easy life and decide to preach to us. He had testing times and shares his experiences both good and bad with us.

I found this book helpful, positive and a book that I will keep to dip in and out of as I feel the need to. I particularly like the idea of ‘Untouchable days’

One of the nice ideas I read about in You Are Awesome is that the Author started a blog where he wrote one good thing in every day. Similar to the Positivity Waves we read about on Twitter and wordpress started by the incredibly awesome Meggy It’s a way to look for the little things that make you smile and happy. These all count and by acknowledging them, we can see things more clearly.

A good self help book that I definitely recommend to help you realise that You Are Awesome. 😊


Links:

Goodreads

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

https://www.neil.blog

Twitter/@neilpasricha

 
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Posted by on February 15, 2020 in Books

 

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