Tuesday, 4 September 2012

#9 Cut.

Title: Cut.
Author: Cathy Glass.
Published: 2009
Genre: Real life/ Crime/ Family.
Synopsis:  In her latest paperback, the no.1 bestselling author of Damaged tells the story of the Dawn, a sweet and seemingly well-balanced girl whose outward appearance masks a traumatic childhood of suffering at the hands of the very people who should have cared for her.
Dawn was the first girl Cathy Glass ever fostered. Sweet and seemingly well balanced girl, Dawn’s outward appearance masked a traumatic childhood so awful, that even she could not remember it.
During the first night, Cathy awoke to see Dawn looming above Cathy’s baby’s cot, her eyes staring and blank. She sleepwalks – which Cathy learns is often a manifestation in disturbed children. It becomes a regular and frightening occurrence, and Cathy is horrified to find Dawn lighting a match whilst mumbling it’s not my fault in her sleep one night.
Cathy discovers Dawn is playing truant from school, and struggling to make friends. More worryingly she finds her room empty one night, and her pillow covered in blood. Dawn has been self-harming in order to release the pain of her past.
When Dawn attempts suicide, Cathy realises that she needs more help than she can give. Dawn’s mother eventually confides in her that Dawn was sent away to live with relatives in Ireland between the ages of 5 and 9, and Cathy soon realises that the horrors Dawn was exposed to during this time have left her a very disturbed little girl.

My Thoughts:

Cut is another book which I have struggled to rate, therefore this books rating will reflect on my feelings towards the authors honesty and ability to tell a real life story which must have needed a lot of bravery and patience. I did enjoy this book but not in a way I would enjoy a book of a different genre. 'Cut' is a heart-wrenching story with much insight into the life of a very troubled young girl and it opens your eyes to the world we live in and to the people who are not as lucky as most. This book is another page turner, with the hope of a happing ending in mind, well worth a read.


#8 Right Name Wrong Man.

Title: Right Name Wrong Man.
Author: Mona Risk.
Published: Kindle Edition 2011.
Genre: Romantic Comedy.
Synopsis: What's a girl to do when she whispers another man's name in her fiancé's arms? 

When forbidden dreams about the sexy French Dr. Yves Malroux assail her at every turn, Mary-Beth puts her wedding plans on hold. The man would probably not even remember the plump nerd she was three years ago, before she lost her illusions faster than her pounds. Regardless, to be able to marry her fiancé without any reservations, Mary-Beth needs to confront her past, and flies to France for a summer training program in surgery with Yves.

But Yves never forgets an organ he removed from a patient or a woman he dated. And he never forgot the pretty student of Harvard Medical School who has turned into a stunning beauty, and now seems in serious need of coaching about spicing her serious life with some fun and passion. 

While too many questions still swirled in her mind, her jealous fiancé summons her back home. Will Mary-Beth let her heart decide who's her right man? Will Yves break his no-strings-attached rule to offer love and commitment?

My Thoughts:

This is another kindle purchase that I have really enjoyed. The descriptions made by Risk of the French locations are absolutely mesmerising and the characters are fantastic. The character of Mary Beth resonates with many readers as the chubby young girl who has grown up into a beautiful, slim woman, she remains the likeable character despite her feelings for another man when she is with Steve, the man who is hard-working and loving. When we meeting the gorgeous character - who happens to be a rather sexy French doctor -Yves Malroux we understand the attraction for Mary Beth, Yves is charming, thoughtful, inspiring and undoubtedly the man for Mary Beth!! A real page turner, easy read and enjoyable book! Recommended read!

#7 Captivated.

Title: Captivated
Author: Deb Apodaca
Published: Eminent Books 2011
Genre: Fantasy/ Mystery/ Romance
Synopsis: After Mindy's childhood best friend, Dean Aiken, shuts her and everyone else out of his life, she learns to move on. Years pass and she gets used to the fact that he's no longer a part of her life, but things begin to change…

Mindy's new best friend, Markus Medina, witnesses Dean kill two people behind a club. Mindy has a hard time believing him, especially when he mentions that the bodies disappear. Poof! Into thin air. Markus decides he has to follow Dean around in order to get evidence that he's been killing people, so he doesn't sound like a nut to the police. 

Despite Marcus’ crazy theories about the possibility of Dean not being human. And not to mention the fact that he's dangerous. Mindy can't help that she may be falling in love with him. Even after hiding their feelings for each other from the world. Dean and Mindy being together stirs up dangers that neither of them could ever imagine. When she finds out about what Dean really is and the world he tried to keep her away from...it's already too late.

My Thoughts:

This book is absolutely amazing, when I first downloaded it onto my kindle I was unsure as to whether I'd enjoy it, however the story is engaging from the first page.  After becoming a fan of vampire and fantasy fiction this was one of the first books I had purchased from the genre on my kindle and I'm looking forward to downloading and reading more. The story of Mindy is one everyone can relate to, we all have had that one person who you cannot get out of your head and the person who captures your attention over and over. The final few scenes are especially gripping, I couldn't read and turn the page fast enough, the next book in the series has been released and I intend on downloading I as soon as I possibly can! A very much recommended read!!!


Monday, 3 September 2012

Another for the bookshelf...

Went to ASDA tonight for the weekly shop with my dad, ended up buying another new book. 'The Book Of Tomorrow' by Cecelia Ahern, but it's going to have to wait until I catch up with my reviews and I finish my current kindle read!

#6 The Gift.

Title: The Gift
Author: Cecelia Ahern
Published: Harperluxe 2011
Genre: Chick- Lit
Synopsis: Thirty-something, highly ambitious and with a colleague's job to chase, Lou's multi-tasking is compulsive. Over breakfast, Lou digests the news; even while showering he checks his BlackBerry. In fact, there simply aren't enough hours in the day for Lou - as his wife and family are bitterly aware.

But then Lou meets Gabriel (yes, the names are clues): a homeless man with an uncanny resemblance to Lou himself. Intrigued, Lou finds Gabe a job in the postroom, but the latter's reputation soon spreads. As a worker, Gabe is not just efficient: it's as though he can be in two places at once. When Gabe reveals his secret, it seems that Lou really can have it all. Unbeknown to him, though, the clock is ticking down.

My Thoughts:

Another enjoyable book by Ahern, her ability to create intriguing characters is exceptional and seems all to easy. This is one of those books that opens your eyes to the way some of us spend too much time focused on the wrong things, Lou ignores his family and puts them behind his highly demanding job.  This is an easy read with elements of mystery which can leave the reader confused, however, the confusion is not a negative experience, it's intriguing and engaging, making us want to read more and find out what is going on. I would happily and easily read this book again.


#5 Holes.

Title: Holes.
Author: Louis Sacher.
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC  2000
Genre: Mystery/ Crime/ Romance.
Synopsis: Stanley Yelnats' family has a history of bad luck going back generations, so he is not too surprised when a miscarriage of justice sends him to Camp Green Lake Juvenile Detention Centre. Nor is he very surprised when he is told that his daily labour at the camp is to dig a hole, five foot wide by five foot deep, and report anything that he finds in that hole. The warden claims that it is character building, but this is a lie and Stanley must dig up the truth. In this wonderfully inventive, compelling novel that is both serious and funny, Louis Sachar has created a masterpiece that will leave all readers amazed and delighted by the author's narrative flair and brilliantly handled plot.

My Thoughts:

I first came across this book whilst at school and fell in love with it instantly. The characters are all brilliant, some bring humour to the story and others are very mysterious. Stanley Yelnats the protagonist is an extremely unlucky person, who blames his constant bad luck on his 'no good, dirty rotten, pig stealing great great grandfather.' - Fantasic! Whilst the story focuses on the life of Stanley and his time at Camp Green Lake the reader is also told about the troubled life of Zero, later known as Hector Zeroni and his life growing up homeless and without any parents. The mystery and historical aspects of the story such as the time of Sam the onion man and Kate the school teacher introduce issues to young readers without appearing to be overbearing, the racial issues are mentioned but not developed allowing the light heartedness of the story to continue through to the end. Another very good read.


#4 About A Boy.

Title: About A Boy.
Author: Nick Hornby
Published: Penguin; New Ed edition (4 April 2002)
Genre: Humour/ Family Life.
Synopsis: Will is a rich, child-free and irresponsible Londoner in his thirties who, in his search for available women, invents an imaginary son and starts attending single parent meetings. As a result of one of his liaisons he meets Marcus, a strange 12-year-old boy with problems at school. Gradually, Will and Marcus become friends and, as Will teaches Marcus how to be a cool kid, Marcus helps Will to finally grow up.

My Thoughts:

My first experience of the story of 'About A Boy' is from the film adaptation featuring Hugh Grant and Nicholas Hoult in 2002, it wasn't until 2008 that I read this book during a module in my second year of university. Humour features heavily throughout the book whilst occasionally sensitive and upsetting topics are introduced such as depression and suicide, however these are handled with sensitivity and care and allow the book to be viewed more seriously. The character of Will is both brilliant but annoying, he does not live his life in the usual way, living off royalties from a song made my his father, he finds little things to fill in his days such as getting  haircut and watching countdown, it is interesting to watch his character develop throughout the novel and experience new things. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, well worth a read!


#3 I Chose To Live.


Title: I Chose To Live.
Author: Sabine Dardenne
Published: Virago UK 2006
Genre: Real Life/ Crime/ 
Synopsis: I lived through the Dutroux affair from the inside, and all these years I have kept silent about it - about my 'personal' Dutroux Affair, my time in the company of the most hated psychopath in Belgium. I need to write this book for three reasons: so that people stop giving me strange looks and treating me like a curiosity; so that no one ever asks me any more questions ever again; and so that the judicial system never again frees a paedophile for 'good behaviour'.' 'The Dutroux Affair' shook the whole of Europe. In the middle of the immense machinery of investigation and justice there was Sabine Dardenne herself, Dutroux's last victim. She was held captive for eighty days - and survived. Far from sensationalising the horror, her story, dignified and restrained, is ultimately uplifting. Says Sabine Dardenne,'I choose to live.

My Thoughts:

I have read this book numerous times, it's story is horrific, yet very well written, written by the victim herself she allows the reader to experience what she herself had, the honest and heart wrenching story of Sabine Dardenne is inspirational, she fought to survive and get back home to her family. I find it difficult to review this book due to it's nature and content, the rating of this book reflects my feelings towards Sabine who I find amazing and also on the bravery of a young woman who did not give up.


Sunday, 2 September 2012

#2 The Stolen Child.


Title: The Stolen Child.
Author: Brian McGilloway.
PublishedPan Books (6 May 2011) - Kindle Edition
Genre: Crime-Story
Synopsis: An exclusive free edition of Brian McGilloway's acclaimed short crime-story, featuring Garda Inspector Benedict Devlin.

My Thoughts:

Well what can I say, the title says it all, the story is about a child who is stolen, but it isn't the child of the main character, which when first read caught me a bit off guard. This short story - and it really is a very short story is, however despite it's length, is gripping. The character of Karen broke my heart, I felt so sorry for the woman who couldn't do anything and who felt so helpless. This short story has the beginnings of a full length book, the story could be easily continued and developed and I'm sure it would be a very emotional and engaging read. A good story despite it's extremely small size, which distracted me for a few minutes whilst at work.


#1 Monday to Friday Man.


Title: Monday to Friday Man.
Author:  Alice Peterson.
Publisher: Quercus (21 July 2011) - Kindle Edition
Genre: Romance/ChickLit.
Synopsis: What do you do if you're 34, single and recovering from being jilted two weeks before your wedding day? This is the dilemma Gilly Brown finds herself in. While friends are marrying, having children and moving into the depths of the countryside, Gilly finds herself alone in London and holding on to her fractured family with their tragic past. It's time to meet new people. 

So, she decides to get a Monday to Friday lodger, and after a succession of alarming interviews finally finds the perfect one in the shape of handsome reality television producer Jack Baker. Gilly falls for Jack's charm and is transported into an exciting social whirlwind of parties, dining out and glamour. When Jack is introduced to Gilly's family and friends, it's only the attractive and eccentric Guy, the newest recruit to her dog-walking group, who isn't quite so convinced about Jack's intentions. As Guy watches them grow closer, his suspicions of Jack and his feelings for Gilly deepen. Is Jack so perfect after all... and what exactly does he get up to at the weekends?

My Thoughts: 
The book instantly engages the reader from the first page,  through the use of short punchy sentences we are instantly feeling uneasy, like we're missing something and we must find out what, we already are hooked, but who is this man? What has he done to her that she cannot bear to see him? And why can't he look her in the eye? Already I wanted to know more. Monday to Friday Man has funny periods throughout, some of the situations that different characters find themselves in are laugh out loud funny, some are cringeworty and some can rbing a tear to your eye, I found myself relating to some of her experiences myself, another way in which the book has engaged me. The characters are good, with  many different kinds of people being being introduced, some are developed more than others and these characters are fantastic. The story is good and easy to follow and didn't take a long time to read which sometimes I find is a good thing. As well as humour and romance the book also held a back story which tugged at my heartstrings, and I found myself shedding a tear or two, this delicate subject was written so well and so carefully.

Overall I found this book engaging, entertaining and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I will look out for this author in the future as I hope to read more of her work.   


How this will work..

Right, this is partly for my benefit as well as yours, each post will feature a book or text that I have read.

Each post will include:

  • Book Title.
  • Author.
  • Date of Publication.
  • Genre.
  • Synopsis/Blurb - (from book itself).
  • My Review.
  • Rating out of five, one being the lowest and five the highest.

- please feel free to comment on any of my posts with your own opinions even if they conflict with my own.

- I do not own any of the pictures and synopses that will appear in this blog, unless stated.

Happy Reading!!

Greetings and Introductions

“The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you. And now, here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out, and taken yours” 
― Alan Bennett, The History Boys: The Film

Reading has always been a huge passion of mine. As a small child I was encouraged to read and to write my own short stories and this has left me with the desire to read and create more.

     I studied English Literature at Teesside University in Middlesbrough, England. Whilst at uni I found it extremely difficult to keep up with my non course related reading. However this break I had from my usual Chick- Lit and easy reads allowed me to fall even more in love with Shakespeare, poetry and other aspects of literature that were deemed 'high culture'.

      When I finished my degree in May of this year, now allowing me to call myself Samantha Slack  BA. - (eek!) I found myself at the mercy of all the books I had longed to read but had been able to. Since May I have read over forty books, eighteen of which were read within twenty-four days.

     It is now that I have decided to begin this blog, another thing that I have always dreamed of creating. This blog will consist of book, poetry and character reviews as I begin my adventures into the many many worlds created by authors of all genre types.

       Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy this blog and find it useful in choosing your next read.
Happy Reading!
KG A Thousand Years