Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Book review: Postmortem - Patricia Cornwell (Kay Scarpetta #1)


A serial killer is on the loose in Richmond, Virginia. Three women have died, brutalised and strangled in their own bedrooms. But there is no pattern. Dr Kay Scarpetta, chief medical officer, now fears for those who will follow.


My opinion.
A horrific killer that strikes faster and in more horrific ways with each new victim he claims. Why is he doing it, and who's going to be his next victim?The investigation is closing in on Kay and the police, the pressure to solve this case is coming at her from all corners and all the while her judgment and professionalism are being questioned. The rush and pressure keeps you glued to the pages, although the details of the crimes this killer commits are nauseating and disturbing. With sexual assault, I must say I wish Patricia Cornwell had been a bit less... "rich" with her descriptions.'Postmortem' feels like a classic thriller. With suspense, surprise and a strong character in Kay Scarpetta, this book has all the ingredients of a great thriller.That being said I did have trouble connecting to Kay. I'm curious to find out more about her in the following books of this series, but as far as 'Postmortem' book goes, the disconnect meant that there was something missing that would make this book unforgettable. That and the really um.. "vintage" computer problems ;-) 


 



Monday, 6 February 2017

Book review: The Sunrise - Victoria Hislop



In the summer of 1972, Famagusta in Cyprus is the most desirable resort in the Mediterranean, a city bathed in the glow of good fortune. An ambitious couple open the island's most spectacular hotel, where Greek and Turkish Cypriots work in harmony. Two neighbouring families, the Georgious and the �zkans, are among many who moved to Famagusta to escape the years of unrest and ethnic violence elsewhere on the island. But beneath the city's facade of glamour and success, tension is building. 
When a Greek coup plunges the island into chaos, Cyprus faces a disastrous conflict. Turkey invades to protect the Turkish Cypriot minority, and Famagusta is shelled. Forty thousand people seize their most precious possessions and flee from the advancing soldiers. In the deserted city, just two families remain. This is their story.



My opinion.
In 'The Sunrise' Victoria Hislop introduces us to a wide range of characters. At first glance they seem worlds apart but as the book continues their stories come together and intertwine. When troops invade sunny Cyprus, class and ethnicity, greed and status don't seem to matter as much anymore to the main characters. When the country and world politics are more divided than ever, the lines and walls that kept them separate before start to crumble down. 
The characters, their stories and the gorgeous resort of Famagusta are all incredible rich. There's so much detail and depth, but for some reason I felt as if you were kept on the outside, looking in from afar, instead of getting sucked into the book.
Against the backdrop of, at first, paradise on earth and a civil war afterwards, the characters go through a roller-coaster of emotions. But to me the description of those felt clinical and stand-offish.
I enjoyed it, but I'm afraid I will have forgotten Famagusta and it's inhabitants in a few weeks. I, however, highly recommend Victoria Hislop's earlier book 'The Return'. It's been years(!) since I've read it and I still remember the intensity and passion.


 




Friday, 3 February 2017

Book review: The Rosie Project - Graeme Simsion


Meet Don Tillman. Don is getting married. He just doesn't know who to yet. But he has designed a very detailed questionnaire to help him find the perfect woman. One thing he already knows, though, is that it's not Rosie. Absolutely, completely, definitely not.


My opinion.
Don Tillman is awkward. Let's be blunt. But there's never been a character that stole my heart as fast as Don did. He's confused - rightly so, when you've seen his perspective - by the (social) world around him. Yet he's accepting and sober about how he fits into that world. Simply said: he doesn't fit in, and never has. But the social isolation doesn't get him down. He gets confronted with his flaws on a daily basis, yet he's still confident in all his talents and although he has had every reason to give up on people, he's still the most loyal friend.

This has just become one of my new favourite books. I loved every single page of it. It was endearing, funny, romantic, emotional,... 
I literally missed my train reading this - I was so engrossed I just forgot about the world around me.
Has this been optioned? 'Cause this has Benedict Cumberbatch written alllll over it. 


 




Saturday, 21 January 2017

Book review: The Chemist - Stephenie Meyer


In this gripping page-turner, an ex-agent on the run from her former employers must take one more case to clear her name and save her life.

She used to work for the U.S. government, but very few people ever knew that. An expert in her field, she was one of the darkest secrets of an agency so clandestine it doesn’t even have a name. And when they decided she was a liability, they came for her without warning.

Now, she rarely stays in the same place or uses the same name for long. They’ve killed the only other person she trusted, but something she knows still poses a threat. They want her dead, and soon.

When her former handler offers her a way out, she realizes it’s her only chance to erase the giant target on her back. But it means taking one last job for her ex-employers. To her horror, the information she acquires only makes her situation more dangerous.

Resolving to meet the threat head-on, she prepares for the toughest fight of her life but finds herself falling for a man who can only complicate her likelihood of survival. As she sees her choices being rapidly whittled down, she must apply her unique talents in ways she never dreamed of.

In this tautly plotted novel, Stephenie Meyer creates a fierce and fascinating new heroine with a very specialized skill set. And she shows once again why she’s one of the world’s bestselling authors.


My opinion.
Let's start with the "elephant in the room". Yes, this is the same Stephenie Meyer that wrote the Twilight series. A controversial series if there ever was one. But love it or hate it, Stephenie Meyer knows how to captivate an audience. 
Having read the series myself years ago, I was really surprised and very intrigued by the synopsis of The Chemist. I wasn't sure what to expect but I couldn't be happier I gave this a shot.
It took me a couple of chapters to settle in - I didn't really know who the character was or where the story was going. But then all of a sudden I found myself engrossed in this book.
Of course, this is not James Bond or Jason Bourne material, but I was still captivated by the CIA/Black Ops theme and the way the author mixed it with the characters' relationships. 
The Chemist surprised me in a lot of ways, and it's probably this that made me like the book so much. 


 




Sunday, 11 December 2016

Book review: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children - Ransom Riggs




A mysterious island. 
An abandoned orphanage. 
A strange collection of curious photographs. 

It all waits to be discovered inMiss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. 

As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that Miss Peregrine's children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.


My opinion.
I had very high hopes for this book. I don't think I'd ever seen a lay-out more detailed, original and beautiful in a regular paperback edition. The creepy old pictures alone were such an incredible thing to have added. It really brought the descriptions to live. It did very little, however, to actually draw me into the story - it turned out. It felt like one big build up that never had its climax. In books like this the thing I like most is the escapism - loosing yourself for a couple of hours in another, magical, world. That didn't happen. Add the fact that they've now made a huge movie adaptation, I felt a bit disappointed. It wasn't a bad read, of course, it was very original throughout and at times really fascinating, but I'm pretty sure I won't be reading the rest of the series. Too bad!



 


Watch this space to find out how I liked the movie, compared to the original book.





Friday, 9 December 2016

Blog Tour: On Thin Ice - Aven Ellis (Dallas Demons #4)



Holly Johansson knows some things in her life are certain after college graduation: 

1.) It’s a long road to become a full-time author. 
2.) She’ll need to work to pay her bills. 
3.) And Dallas Demons superstar Matt Rhinelander will never return her feelings.

Holly knows her unrequited crush on the partying hockey player is ridiculous. There’s no way Matt would be attracted to a woman who prefers nights in watching TV or reading books when he’s known for his frequent bar hops and fast lifestyle. Obviously he would never see her as anything other than his teammate’s little sister.

Yet Holly is drawn to the other side of Matt—the man she knows has always been thoughtful and easy to talk to whenever she’s been alone with him. It is this Matt that fueled the crush Holly has on him. And she knows it will always be just that—a secret crush.

Or will it?

Because when Matt helps Holly through a crisis, her heart begins to believe that there might be feelings on his part, too. After a night of hard partying puts Matt in jeopardy with the Dallas Demons, can Holly be the one to save him? And when Matt admits he sees her as more than Nate Johansson’s sister, will it put both of them on thin ice? 



My opinion.
It's no secret that I've enjoyed every single one of Aven's novels, ever since she first published her debut "Connectivity". With On Thin Ice though, she wrote my favourite one of hers yet. All Aven's leading ladies are inspiring, beautiful girls you'd be lucky to have as your friend. With Holly Johansson she takes this to a whole new level. Not only did Holly feel like a best friend from the start, I recognized so much of myself in her. 
Holly is the heroine of the quirky, nerdy girl. She proves that, although it is faaaar from easy, being yourself without fear of judgment and overcoming your fears is worth it. Something we could all learn from..
The fact that she's encouraged in this by a very sexy, sweet, smart and funny male lead is of course the ultimate bonus ;-) Another perfect book boyfriend - thank you, Aven!
As a couple they face their share of obstacles. Some maybe a bit predictable, but when both of them open up, you find out there's much more to them - and their relationship - than you'd first assume. The connection they have is intimate, romantic and gaaaah I just love how they both see the best in each other, even when they don't see it themselves. I couldn't think of two characters better suited for each other.
On Thin Ice made me laugh and cry, and left me hopelessly in love with Holly and Matt's story.



 


About Aven Ellis

I live in the Dallas area with my family. I enjoy clipping out recipes I will never get around to trying, working out, and chatting with friends on social media. I’m a hockey nut (Go Stars!) and watch as much as humanly possible. I also love shopping and fashion and admit to being obsessed with whatever the Duchess of Cambridge is wearing. In addition to be obsessed with the Duchess, I’m equally obsessed with any show or cookbook featuring Gordon Ramsay.
Links

Website/Blog - http://avenellis.com/ 
Twitter - https://twitter.com/@AvenEllis 
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/AvenEllis1 
Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7265661.Aven_Ellis 
Amazon Page - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Aven-Ellis/e/B00GHUYO90/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1455968038&sr=1-1 
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/avenellis/



Check out more fabulous books by the amazing Aven Ellis: