Thursday, 26 May 2016

Review of 'Shattered Rose' by Tammy L. Gray

My recent reviews have all been for vaguely chick flick-esque novels, and this one is another that fits into this category. I really wanted to take some time off of 'serious' reading, and read a few things that I could just kind of glide through with ease and comfort. Having said that, I've now started A Tale of Two Cities, so I'm back to getting the ol' cogs whirring.

Anyhow, if you have a Kindle, you can pick up Shattered Rose as a free ebook, and as free ebooks go it's really not all too bad. It's the first part of a trilogy, which I'm currently considering forging through after my current tome. However, unlike many free e-books you don't get half a story here, so that you basically have to go out and buy the second installment to actually understand the plot somewhat. Here we're given a full, stand-alone novel, with romance and some serious issues at stake.

TRIGGER WARNING - eating disorders

I'm so pleased that more and more authors are tackling serious mental illnesses, but I am honestly looking forward to a time at which there are warnings for triggers in a blurb, or at the start of a novel. Although it adds to the suspense I guess, there's nothing worse than suddenly coming across something that you didn't expect in a novel which can suddenly put your own mental health or recovery at risk. Avery, the protagonist of the novel, is under a great deal of pressure at college, and engages in a number of concerning behavioural patterns as a result of this. She tells no one at the college about her eating disorder, and grows more and more isolated as her recovery worsens. 

The novel tracks the toxic impression that people can have on someone struggling with an eating disorder. Avery begins to fall in love with her roommate's cousin, Jake, and the happiness that comes with their relationship means she becomes less and less reliant upon her eating disorder in terms of controlling her life. However, she also falls behind on college work. When Jake ultimately breaks her heart and she is alone once more, the stress of how behind she is piles on to her feelings of being unwanted: her eating disorder becomes worse than ever. I was a little disappointed to find that it improved once more when she finds a new man that her loves her; the author really seems to suggest that the 'cure' to an eating disorder is having a man to support you. I think this gives off a truly worrying impression to readers, especially young teenage girls (this is after all a young adult novel), as it indicates that being single makes you 'less worthy' of recovery, as Avery feels, when in fact this is not true.

Have you read it? What did you think?


Sunday, 8 May 2016

Review of 'The Girl in Between' by Laekan Zea Kemp

Sometimes when it comes to picking out a favourite quotation from a book I find it really hard - some authors just don't write in a way which appeals to me lyrically. But, with The Girl in Between I really was torn between a handful of quotations because this book was written so well. This one spoke out to me largely because it impacts the way I read, as well as the way I think about people. I'm always looking for the 'bad' character or 'good' character and sometimes it's nice to have a reminder that, just like real people, characters aren't always that simple. 

I haven't read a book with a fantasy aspect to it in what feels like absolutely forever, so this was really quite refreshing. The main character, Bryn, has an incurable disease called Klein-Levin Syndrome (or KLS for short). This means that sometimes when she falls asleep she doesn't wake up for days, or occasionally even weeks. Normally people who suffer from KLS experience a dreamless sleep, but every time Bryn has an episode she wakes up in an almost new world. This world is filled with all of her memories, and the details are so intense in it that she can even see the words of books she read years ago and the weather on certain days that she spent with family or friends.

Bryn is fairly used to this dream world, but what she doesn't expect is to find a boy washed up on the shore there one day. She knows she hasn't met him before, so what is he doing in her memory bank world? The boy can't give her any answers either: he has no idea who he is, where he came from or what he's doing stuck there. Is he just a figment of Bryn's imagination, or is there something more serious going on here?

This was another free kindle read that had a MASSIVE cliffhanger at the end, and next time pay day rolls around, the second book in the series is going to be at the top of my to-buy list. 

Have you read it? What did you think?

Steph x

Monday, 2 May 2016

Review of 'Once Gone' by Blake Pierce

Title: Once Gone
Author: Blake Pierce
Publisher: Unknown
Available here for free on your kindle

We all know that I'm a bit of a crime fiction-aholic, and I love a gory tale full of twists and turns that begs me to find out 'whodunnit'. Now, I'm always more of a fan of modern crime thrillers, where forensics and the law play a much bigger part in the plot than (sorry Agatha Christie fans), for example, the Poirot series. 

Once Gone had me hooked from the very first page. We start with a prologue written from the point of view of a captive woman, terrified about the return of her torturous captor. This was incredibly well written, and I was able to picture clearly the frightened state she was in as well as her gloomy surroundings. From here the book honestly went from strength to strength. I was expecting a pretty poor quality novel, as often the books you can get for free on your kindle are a bunch of mass produced drivel (sorry not sorry), but here is a shining light bursting through all of the garbage. The end was totally cliffhangered and I almost screamed in frustration I wanted to find out what was going on so badly. All I can say is I NEED to get my hands on the next book in the series!


When girls start turning up dead in the outskirts of Virginia, the FBI are called out to catch the creep that's leaving them this way. These murders are WAY over the heads of the 'normal' county cops due to the strange ritualistic style of the murders. Each girl is posed, covered in vaseline and has her eyes stitched open. If that's not terrifying enough, the only agent that is capable of solving such a case is still struggling with her PTSD after being captured by another creep wanting to torture women. Riley has been struck off the force temporarily, with a requirement of her improving her mental health before returning back to work, but when her ex-partner Bill gets to the first crime scene he knows there's only one person who can solve the case. Will Riley be able to conquer her trauma and help stop this guy before another girl winds up dead, or will it all be too much for her?

Have you read Once Gone? What did you think?

Steph x