By Midnight – Review

Leave a comment

Welcome to Ravenwood…The school with BITE


This week I got an advance copy of By Midnight by Mia James. This is the first in the “Ravenwood” series. By Midnight is looking to be the next in the Vampire craze that has swept teens and adults the world over, with the success of the Twilight Saga and the Vampire Academy Series it’s not hard to see that Mia James is on to a winning formula. Vampires, angsty teens and paranormal romance are the style du jour and its easy to understand why so many writers have jumped on this very successful bandwagon. Its entertaining, allows for a lot of angst and romance and of course has just the right amount of fear inducing horror to keep teens reading.

By Midnight is definitely aimed at a YA audience and readers of Twilight will definitely love this series. This is a bit younger than Twilight in its reading age but still infinitely enjoyable if you like a good vamp story. I am a bit of a devotee of this genre having grown up reading Anne Rice and Poppy Z Brite, so it’s no surprise that this new wave of vamp books appeals to me. These stories are far more palatable and appropriate for younger readers than vamp books of the past and its great that so many young readers are rediscovering a love of books.

By Midnight is the story of April Dunne she has recently had to move to Highgate in London from Edinburgh. She has left behind her friends and her social life. She has to face the horrifying reality of starting at a new school. But that’s not the worst of it. She is stuck living in an ancient creepy dump of a house that doesn’t even have mobile phone reception.

Her new school Ravenwood is a prestigious school full of talented and bright students. Now April is stuck with a bunch of rich beautiful and talented students. The only saving grace is finding a fast friendship with Caro and a budding romance with brooding and dark Gabriel.

But of course Ravenwood isn’t as it seems and there is a dark secret lurking beneath the surface. First there is the strange murder of rock superstar Alix Graves and then she is saved from a mysterious and dangerous situation in Highgate cemetery  by Gabriel. Then she discovers that a murder took place in the very same place that Gabriel saved her from. Determined to get to the bottom of things April sets herself on a path into very dangerous and dark territories which will test her resolve her strength and even her life.

No one said being a teenager was easy but at Ravenwood it could be deadly …

This is a great start to a series and Mia James has set a good pace for what will no doubt be a very successful series for her. This wasnt my favourite vampire book ive ever read but it certainly kept me turning the pages well in to the night and beyond. A great easy read that is super entertaining and enjoyable !







Live To Tell – Review

Leave a comment

I am a huge fan of crime fiction. You could even go so far as to say that it is my favourite genre. Lisa Gardner is far and away one of my most favourite crime writers. She is edgy and gritty and oh so scary,her books will leave you chilled to the bone and looking over your shoulder long after you finish them. Live To Tell was no exception. Live To Tell is an intricate story of three women and how their lives intertwine through a terrifying series of events.



He knows everything about you—including the first place you’ll hide.

On a warm summer night in one of Boston’s working-class neighborhoods, an unthinkable crime has been committed: Four members of a family have been brutally murdered. The father—and possible suspect—now lies clinging to life in the ICU. Murder-suicide? Or something worse? Veteran police detective D. D. Warren is certain of only one thing: There’s more to this case than meets the eye.

Danielle Burton is a survivor, a dedicated nurse whose passion is to help children at a locked-down pediatric psych ward. But she remains haunted by a family tragedy that shattered her life nearly twenty-five years ago. The dark anniversary is approaching, and when D. D. Warren and her partner show up at the facility, Danielle immediately realizes: It has started again.

A devoted mother, Victoria Oliver has a hard time remembering what normalcy is like. But she will do anything to ensure that her troubled son has some semblance of a childhood. She will love him no matter what. Nurture him. Keep him safe. Protect him. Even when the threat comes from within her own house.

Live to Tell starts with a shocking and brutal crime and I am happy to say for all you gore lovers that it doesn’t let up in its pace or its horror fest. Lisa Gardner is known for her violent crime writing and Live To Tell certainly doesn’t disappoint. This really isn’t a book for people who aren’t fans of crime though. If you don’t like dark and disturbing this really isn’t the book for you. Now all warnings aside it is FANTASTIC. I absolutely loved this book!

Not one to shy away from the more edgy topics and plot lines Lisa tackles all of it here. Family abuse, mentally ill children and brutal murder. This is a really scary look at the darker side of humans and what we are capable of. Filed with lots of twisty turny plot lines and of course the requisite scary bits this is definitely a book that will keep you guessing till the last page !




Carte Blanche – Review

Leave a comment

Carte Blanche is the latest book from Jeffrey Deaver and I have to admit my initial excitement dimmed a little when I heard it was a James bond novel. I don’t have anything against the 007 franchise but it’s not my style of crime writing. But happy to give it a go I suspended my thoughts and hoped for the best and I was more than pleasantly surprised. This is a book for fans of 007 to really sink their teeth into. Not the typical style for Jeffrey Deaver, but one he has done very well at.

“The face of war is changing and. The other side doesn’t play by the rules much anymore. There’s thinking in some circles, that we need to play by a different set of rules too….”

Fresh from Afghanistan, James Bond has been recruited to a new agency. Conceived in the post 9/11 world, it operates independent of Five, Six and the MoD, its very existence is deniable. Its aim: to protect the Realm, by any means necessary.

The Night Action alert calls Bond from dinner with a beautiful woman. GCHQ has decrypted an electronic whisper about an attack scheduled for later in the week: casualties estimated in the thousands, British interests adversely affected.

And 007 has been given carte blanche to do whatever it takes to fulfil his mission.

This is Bond at his charming, well dressed best. If you’re a fan of the 007 franchise this is the book for you. If not it’s definitely worth giving it a look. For me, this is the sort of good spy novel that while not believable, is so infinitely enjoyable that a few far fetched plot lines only add to the enjoyment.

Filled with mystery, suspense, fast cars and beautiful women and of course violence this is the sort of reading that u enjoy when you’re having a break from your more serious choices. Jeffrey Deaver probably won’t win any literary prizes with this novel but I can guarantee he will win himself a lot of new fans.

Buckle yourself in because Carte Blanche has all the thrills, spills, crashes and crazy antics you have come to love from Bond and even more. Complete with cool gadgets, outrageous scenarios, really amazing cars and the latest in cool “boy toys” this is 007 at his finest. Men will want to be him and women will want to know him. And take it from me picturing Daniel Craig as 007 doesn’t hurt the reading experience at all.

Fallen – Review

Leave a comment

Fallen is the latest release from the queen of crime and gore Karin Slaughter. Once again living up to her namesake Karin Slaughter has delivered another knock out crime novel. Lovers of Karin Slaughter will be delighted to see the return of heroine Faith Mitchell, the butt kicking young cop that so many readers have fallen in love with. Faith is a brilliantly written multifaceted character that many readers have really formed a bond with.

Fallen sees her return with a new baby and facing down criminals in her own inimitable style. Fallen sets off at a cracking pace as do all of Slaughter’s novels, with Faith coming home to find a trail of blood leading into her home. Her infant daughter locked in the shed and her Mother’s gun missing. Evelyn, Faith’s mother is nowhere to be seen and Faith’s home is littered with dead bodies.

Fallen of course also sees the return of Sara Linton and Will Trent, characters made famous by Slaughter’s earlier novels. Will is on hand to help Faith with the investigation and they will need the help of trauma doctor Sara to help them along. Faith struggles in the search to find her mother and faces barriers thrown up at every turn. The Police close ranks and protect a truth that Faith isn’t sure she wants to explore, but she will have to in order to find her mother and face down the people she thought she could trust.

Add to the mix that Faith is now not only investigating her mothers disappearance but she is also being treated as a suspect and you have the perfect mix for an outstanding whodunit.

Karin Slaughter really sets the pace from the first page and with Fallen she keeps it going right until the end. This is an absolutely cracking novel full of suspense and lots of blood and gore. Karin Slaughter is not for the fain hearted but lovers of crime with really enjoy this newest offering from one of my favourite crime writers of the moment. If you haven’t read Karin Slaughter yet, now is the time to discover how great she is!

The Wreckage – Review

Leave a comment


The Wreckage is the latest book from Australian master of crime Michael Robotham. Readers who have previously enjoyed the work of Michael Robotham will be excited to hear that this latest offering is even better than the earlier ones. He really has hit it out of the park this time and I know anyone who reads The Wreckage will really enjoy the rollercoaster thrill ride you are taken on.

Fans of Michael’s earlier books will be excited to see the return of some old characters and a whole host of new ones too. He has really set the bar high with The Wreckage; it is a gritty political crime thriller that brings back the character of Vincent Ruiz, a character that many fans already enjoy reading.

Michael has delved deeper with his writing and the result is stunning. This is fast paced, political, edge of your seat writing that will have you hooked from the first chapter. The story starts with Vincent Ruiz rescuing a young woman from a violent boyfriend, but of course it’s not as it seems and he wakes the next morning to find that he has been set up and robbed. As he tracks down the thieves, he discovers the boyfriends tortured body and learns that powerful men are looking for the girl. What did Holly Knight steal that is so important to them?

Meanwhile in Baghdad, the bank robbery capital of the world billions of dollars in reconstruction funds have gone missing and Pulitzer prize-winning journalist LucaTerracini is trying to “follow the money”. The dangerous trail will lead him to London where he teams up with Vincent Ruiz and together they investigate the disappearance of an international banker and mysterious “black hole” in the bank’s accounts.

Bouncing around to different exotic and sometimes fearful locations this is the perfect mix of espionage spy thriller and criminal psychological drama. Brilliantly mixing contemporary issues with fast paced action The Wreckage is the sort of book that will have you looking behind you when you go out, and questioning who people really are. This is the perfect crime story from money to murder and far beyond. Robotham’s style is efficient with his wording and utterly compelling. Told in a terse and often times sharp fashion the books reads like the characters would speak. This is further proof of why Michael Robotham has won himself so many fans.

If you haven’t read Michael Robotham before then now is the time to start, The Wreckage is a brilliant story that will appeal to anyone who enjoys quality crime writing. Do yourself a favour give this great Australian author a go you won’t be disappointed.




Delirium – Review

Leave a comment

Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love–the deliria–blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold.

Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the government demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Haloway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: she falls in love.

This is the latest offering from the author of the brilliant Before I Fall. Lauren Oliver has delivered another work of YA Fiction that will blow readers away. This is a fantastic work of dystopian fiction that crosses age barriers flawlessly. Lauren Oliver writes beautifully and skillfully, she has offered up another great book that takes the notion of YA fiction and turns it upside down.

Many readers hear the term YA and cringe or back away for fear that this is yet another Twilight remake. But fear not this is not another paranormal romance novel with annoying characters. This is absolutely fantastic. More readers are turning to YA Fiction for more of what they love, dystopian fiction, sci-fi and fantasy. The lines are blurring and the crossover potential is infinite. YA is fast becoming one of the best-selling genres of the moment and with books like this it’s not hard to see why.

Dystopian fiction is one the rise again, this genre is not new but this take on it definitely is. Thanks to the popularity of such dystopian classics as Soylent Green and 1984 and the unforgettable Brave New World, authors are turning back to a formula that works and we are all truly grateful.

Delirium takes readers to the not too distant future where love is a disease that needs to be cured and the powers that be have decided that it is the reason for all that is wrong with the world. Delirium explores that idea that by curing people of this disease “love” that the world would be rid of civil unrest, and thus society would be placid and more pliable. But of course it wouldn’t be a story without some romance and Lauren Oliver has cast Lena as the troubled teen who falls in love amidst circumstances that forbid it.

I don’t want to give too much away about the plot and the way this story evolves because you just have to read it for yourself, it’s a great read. Lauren Oliver’s writing is captivating, beautiful and skillful it draws you in right to the last page.The use of language in Delirium is stunning and that’s what sets Lauren Oliver apart from most YA writers. She doesn’t dumb down the language or assume that her readers can’t understand the big words and that is part of what makes Delirium so incredible. Not to mention the characters are real and totally believable and likeable. Lena is a great character and I know everyone who reads it will empathise with her right till the end. Do yourself a favour if you haven’t read Lauren Oliver yet do it now you will not be disappointed.



Divergent – Review

Leave a comment

One choice. One choice decides your friends, defines your beliefs, and determines your loyalties . . . forever. Or, one choice can transform you. In Veronica Roth’s début novel, Divergent, a perfect society unfolds into a dystopian world of electrifying decisions, stunning consequences, heartbreaking betrayals, and unexpected romance.”

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series—dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.

Divergent is a brilliant début novel, and the best part of that is that it’s the first in a trilogy. Veronica Roth has taken the YA world by storm with this stunning book. Divergent has it all, edge of your seat thrills, death-defying stunts and non stop action. Fast paced, gritty and at times disturbing Divergent is a fantastic new book from a writer that I am personally very excited to have discovered. I started Divergent and I didn’t stop reading until the last page. I was completely hooked, I got drawn into Tris’ world and I did not want to leave. I put everything else aside, I couldn’t help myself I just had to keep reading it. Divergent is the reason the term “captivating page turner” was coined.Be prepared to do nothing else except read until this book is finished.
Tris is the ultimate female protagonist, gutsy, determined, fearless and yet vulnerable and inherently feminine. She will appeal to readers over a huge age range and better yet she will appeal to male readers as well as female. Tris in short kicks ass and she does it all without being a whiney pain in the ass like so many characters in YA fiction. I really love this character and had to keep reminding myself that she is in fact just a character. She is just so real!
You simply could not write a review of Divergent without a mention of the other protagonist in this book. Four is a startlingly brilliant character and for anyone who doesn’t enjoy a female lead Four will make up for the focus on Tris. He is amazing, completely three-dimensional, infinitely believable and strong. He is strong, fearless, and at times frightening. Male readers will want to be him and female readers will want to date him. He really is that good.
I really could go on and on about Divergent it is a fantastic book that will have readers hooked. I am already counting down the days until book two is released.

Friendship Bread – Review

Leave a comment

One afternoon, Julia Evarts and her five-year-old daughter, Gracie, arrive home to find an unexpected gift on the front porch: a homemade loaf of Amish Friendship Bread and a simple note: I hope you enjoy it. Also included are a bag of starter, instructions on how to make the bread herself, and a request to share it with others.

Still reeling from a personal tragedy that left her estranged from the sister who was once her best friend, Julia remains at a loss as to how to move on with her life. She’d just as soon toss the anonymous gift, but to make Gracie happy, she agrees to bake the bread.

When Julia meets two newcomers to the small town of Avalon, Illinois, she sparks a connection by offering them her extra bread starter. Widow Madeline Davis is laboring to keep her tea salon afloat while Hannah Wang de Brisay, a famed concert cellist, is at a crossroads, her career and marriage having come to an abrupt end. In the warm kitchen of Madeline’s tea salon, the three women forge a friendship that will change their lives forever.

In no time, everyone in Avalon is baking Amish Friendship Bread. But even as the town unites for a benevolent cause and Julia becomes ever closer to her new friends, she realizes the profound necessity of confronting the painful past she shares with her sister.

About life and loss, friendship and community, food and family, Friendship Bread tells the uplifting story of what endures when even the unthinkable happens.

Friendship Bread is the sort of feel good story that would work beautifully for a book club choice or as a gift to a great girl friend. This is a book to be shared. Friendship Bread is reminiscent of such great girly reads as Fried Green Tomatoes and The Jane Austen Book Club. Uplifting, funny, sweet, at times sad and always entertaining Friendship Bread will have you wanting to bake the bread and share it with your friends.

I started this book and I could not stop ! I didn’t want to do anything till I finished it. I had to go out and I was annoyed that I had to put it down. This is such a beautiful heart warming story. I really enjoyed the way Darien Gee wove the story, with chapters devoted to many characters this book just draws you in. Each chapter is almost like a story within a story. I found myself wishing it was longer simply so I could learn more about the quirky characters of Avalon.

The story begins with Julia Evarts, her story is heart breaking and beautiful. Told in a simple style Julia’s story will have you weeping with her tragedies and cheering as she finds her way back into the world. Her discovery of this strange gift brings her out into the world after shutting herself off after the death of her son. She meets some wonderful new friends and starts to see that there is life after tragedy.

Readers will fall in love with Julia and her new friends and the beautiful little town of Avalon. This is a book to be shared over and over again. Give it to the women in your life, share the gift of this beautiful story, your friends will thank you.

Like me I know many readers will be very happy to discover that Darien Gee has thoughtfully included recipes for the starter for Friendship Bread, instructions on how to make it and of course variations of the recipe too. I know I will definitely be attempting to make this bread after reading the story. I hope everyone enjoys this book as much as I did, it really is a beautiful story that makes you feel happy to have friends to share it with.



Summer In The City – Review

Leave a comment

Following the success of the The Carrie Diaries the prequel to her multi award-winning Sex And The City,Candace Bushnell brings us a little more of the early years of Carrie and the girls in New York City. The latest instalment in what looks set to be a series is called, Summer In The City.

Summer is a magical time in New York City and Carrie is in love with all of it—the crazy characters in her neighborhood, the vintage-clothing boutiques, the wild parties, and the glamorous man who has swept her off her feet. Best of all, she’s finally in a real writing class, taking her first steps toward fulfilling her dream.

This sequel to The Carrie Diaries brings surprising revelations as Carrie learns to navigate her way around the Big Apple, going from being a country “sparrow”—as Samantha Jones dubs her— to the person she always wanted to be. But as it becomes increasingly difficult to reconcile her past with her future, Carrie realizes that making it in New York is much more complicated than she ever imagined.

With her signature wit and sparkling humor, Candace Bushnell reveals the irresistible story of how Carrie met Samantha and Miranda, and what turned a small-town girl into one of New York City’s most unforgettable icons, Carrie Bradshaw.

I am a huge fan of Sex And The City, I have watched every episode of the show more times than I care to admit, I have seen both movies far too many times as well. I am such a fan that when they released the first ever box set of the show on dvd (in a limited edition shoe box no less) I didn’t buy just one but two yes two. (I gave one away as a gift, im not a complete freak) anyway I digress….

I am a huge fan of Candace Bushnell I loved the original book that spawned the series so you can imagine my psychotic fan girl joy when I heard that there was a prequel. The Carrie Diaries was great although a little young. Well only yesterday I picked up the next instalment and I have barely stopped since I picked it up.

Now I will attempt to keep my fan girl crush to a minimum here but I have to say I loved it ! This is not a great work of literary genius but it is ridiculously enjoyable. For fans of the show this a great back story to the characters we have come to know and love. While the target audience for this book is fans of the show I do find it more suited to the Young Adult genre. This certainly isn’t the type of content people have come to expect from Candace Bushnell.

This is a great fun easy read that gives you a little more insight into the characters you love and is a nice way to waste a few hours fantasising about New York, fashion and fun.



A Discovery Of Witches – Review


It begins with absence and desire

It begins with blood and fear

It begins with a discovery of witches…..

When historian Diana Bishop opens a bewitched alchemical manuscript in Oxford’s Bodleian Library it represents an unwelcome intrusion of magic into her carefully ordinary life. Though descended from a long line of witches, she is determined to remain untouched by her family’s legacy. She banishes the manuscript to the stacks, but Diana finds it impossible to hold the world of magic at bay any longer.For witches are not the only otherworldly creatures living alongside humans.

 There are also creative, destructive daemons and long-lived vampires who become interested in the witch’s discovery. They believe that the manuscript contains important clues about the past and the future, and want to know how Diana Bishop has been able to get her hands on the elusive volume.

 Chief among the creatures who gather around Diana is vampire Matthew Clairmont, a geneticist with a passion for Darwin. Together, Diana and Matthew embark on a journey to understand the manuscript’s secrets. But the relationship that develops between the ages-old vampire and the spellbound witch threatens to unravel the fragile peace that has long existed between creatures and humans—and will certainly transform Diana’s world as well.

A Discovery of Witches has been referred to as Twilight for adults. While I can see why this assumption is made it leaves me questioning, did the people who make that reference actually read the book? This book is so much more than just a romance between two people who shouldn’t be together.

A Discovery of Witches blends romance, history, genetics, alchemy, ancient books, magic, wine, supernatural race relations, evolution and so much more. This is a fascinating book that has everything a good novel needs to grab a reader’s attention and hold it.

Diana is a complex character that at first I found frustrating, she refuses to use her powers (why would you?) but towards the end of the book the reason behind her stubbornness is revealed and my frustration turned to understanding. She is the perfect female protagonist, strong-willed, stubborn and headstrong she leaves the whiny Bella Swan’s in her wake. This is a powerful female who should not be underestimated.

Then we have Matthew Clairmont the dark, brooding and at times moody vampire that looks set to steal Diana’s heart and turn the world of supernatural creatures upside down. Matthew is rich, handsome and best of all an educated articulate MAN yes I say man in capitals because it such a nice departure from all the teen characters we have had to endure for so long.

Fate brings Diana and Matthew together but the Congregation threatens to drive them apart. There are rules you see and the Congregation is there to uphold them. Diana and Matthew’s love could destroy everything.

Diana must fight to learn her magic and practice her once dormant skills as a witch and Matthew must fight to save the woman he loves. Packed full of action and romance A Discovery of Witches will take the reader on a magical journey to France, England and beyond. Let yourself get swept up in Diana and Matthew’s story you won’t be disappointed.

A Discovery Of Witches is book one in the All Souls trilogy By Deborah Harkness, book two is due for release in 2012.

A romp through magical academia’ Guardian

‘Romantic, erudite, and suspenseful’ O, The Oprah Magazine

‘A bubbling cauldron of illicit desire…all the ingredients for an assured saga that blends romance with fantasy’ Daily Mail

Older Entries