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Showing posts from 2017

Review: We Come Apart

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I read three books over Easter weekend. Three. I cannot remember the last time I read three books in one weekend and actually I’m not entirely sure how I managed it this particular weekend because man, I did a lot of things over Easter. So many of the things, roadtrips and walks and food and drink and family visits and fun on the park and somehow in amongst all of that I still squeezed in three whole books.
Clearly reading is my superpower and WHY DO I NOT HAVE THAT ON A TSHIRT ALREADY? Next stop: Redbubble.
Soooooooooo. This post was going to be a bookish catch up post because that seemed to make the most sense to me right now except that when I sat down and started talking about We Come Apart I realised I had quite a bit to say and that if I had the same amount to say about the other two than this post would be wordy. So I’m not going to talk about them all right nowother than to say that all three of these books were good books and I have things to say about them all.
I started m…

Review: The Trouble With Goats and Sheep

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Ah, The Trouble With Goats and Sheep. Question: have you ever wanted to hug a book? Like, to wrap it up in your arms and just squeeze it, in the way those slightly over zealous relatives would hug you when you were a child, so that you screwed up your face and were sure you’d cracked a rib or three? I want to hug this book. I want to hug it, and then like Cyrus Rose in Gossip Girl I want to say ‘not enough, not enough’ and hug it some more. I loved it.


It’s set in the great English heatwave of 1976, which, well it actually for reals was hot that summer, just ask any English person who was around then. Not me. I wasn’t born but that summer was hot enough that I’ve heard about it. We’ve not had a summer like that since. So I’m told. Anyhow, it’s set that summer when Grace (aged 10) and her pal Tilly decide to search the avenue for Mrs Creasy who has gone missing, and also for God. I love that, there’s something just so endearingly innocent about it you know, about these two children who…

Review(ish): Not A Book. A Show

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Things I review: books.
Things I don’t review: everything else. Like theatre shows.
That’s just a thing, I just don’t ever. Mostly because I can talk about books and what I like and don’t like and not look like a dick, or if I do look like a dick (which I might) then I don’t really care that much because I’m confident enough about what I do and don’t like and what I do and don’t know to throw my opinions out there in the general direction of The Internets and not be all that bothered whether anyone else agrees.
When it comes to anything else though I’m not sure I can get beyond ‘yes nice I like it’ and ‘yak 0/10 do not recommend’ and so I just…don’t. Hush. I see you there, reading this at your computer screen eyebrows raised quizzically and wondering what, actually, I am talking about because all of these words, do they even have a point?
No, actually not so much, except that last night I went to the theatre with my Mum and my general response was ‘yes nice I like it’ and here I am, …

Review: Paper Butterflies

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This book made me cry. For real. Actual tears people, actual tears. I read it on holiday, alone in my hotel room after a day skiing. Or rather, I started it on the plane and then finished it in my hotel room and I had to text My Best Guy and tell him I needed rescuing because I had a massive sad. When he rang me to ask what on earth I was talking about I burst into tears, which, well way to go Jo, way to go.
‘What’s it about,’ he asked me when he came to save me and take me for vin chaud, and then ‘Jesus Christ’ when I told him. ‘What happens in the end?’ I don’t know,’ I told him, ‘I’ve got a few percent left to go.’ Then a pause….’is it not a true story?’ ‘No.’
And then he laughed, because (and this is not the first time this has happened) it's apparently hilarious that I can get so emotionally attached to things and people that aren’t even real, except of course they totally are real in my head and I kind of feel like it’s a testament to how good a book is, if it can move me li…

Blog Tour: The Method

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Ooooh! Another blog tour!!


Imagine a helpless, pregnant 16-year-old who’s just been yanked from the serenity of her home and shoved into a dirty van. Kidnapped Alone Terrified.Now forget herPicture instead a pregnant, 16-year-old, manipulative prodigy. She is shoved into a dirty van and, from the first moment of her kidnapping, feels a calm desire for two things: to save her unborn son and to exact merciless revenge.She is methodical calculating scientific in her plotting. A clinical sociopath? Leaving nothing to chance, secure in her timing and practice, she waits for the perfect moment to strike.
The Method is what happens when the victim is just as cold as the captors. I know, right?! Sounds excellent. And it was really really good, I liked it a whole lot. I couldn’t wait to start it and then I couldn’t wait to finish it….and that sounds bad, like I didn’t like it. I did like it. What I mean I think is that I couldn’t put it down. I was so hooked, because this is such a unique take o…

Review: Behind Her Eyes

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Don’t Trust This Book
Don’t Trust These People
Don’t Trust Yourself
And whatever you do, DON’T give away that ending…

I like Sarah Pinborough. I like her Twitter account, which makes me feel like we should be pals, and (more importantly) I also like her writing. I read The Death House in 2015  and Thirteen Minutes last year and I loved them both so I was ridiculously excited about Behind Her Eyes as soon as I heard it was going to be a thing, and then there was the whole hashtag thing going on – and whoever does Sarah’s publicity deserves a high five because this book has been all over my twitter for the longest time and the buzz generated by #wtfthatending has been pretty remarkable. It was like a secret gang and I totes wanted in.
I finally got round to reading it last week, and it’s the worst isn’t it when it takes you so long to read a book you really want to read; when it’s always there at the back of your mind and you just. can’t. get. to. it. Anyway, I started it one night about …

If We Were Having Coffee

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So I saw an excellent blog post recently, and I feel like a terrible person because I can’t remember where and I wanted to link back to it so as not to just be an idea stealer. Although, I’m pretty sure they’d seen the idea someplace else anyhow so perhaps it’s ok, and it’s not like I’m taking credit for it anyway, just sort of saying ‘kudos, that’s awesome, I’m going to have a go at that….’
The feature was called If We Were Having Coffee and it’s pretty much just a chance for me to talk at you about things that are on my mind that may not always be book related because sometimes I like to try and shake things up a bit. Who knows, if I like it I might make it a semi regular thing. I say semi regular because hello look at my blog please, there’s nothing regular about it: I am shamefully sporadic at best.
Anyhow, I'm not in the office today (hurrah for having Friday off) so it seemed like as good a time as any see how it goes. Grab a coffee – tea, hot chocolate, whatever -  and a c…

A Quick(ish) Catch Up

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I’m pretty grumpy today, mostly because it’s freezing cold and I’m not caffeinated enough and also because I got up late and didn’t have time to straighten my hair (think Hermione circa CoE) – or I guess I could have straightened my hair but then I would have had to drive to work and I’m trying not to drive to work because I keep eating Crème Eggs and large(r) lunches and If I’m going to do that I need to do walking and so I’m sat in the office in a hoody with mahoosive hair and that’s fine, normally but today I got an unexpected visit from a supplier I am in a battle with and not only did I not know they were coming, the girl was also all high heels and smart suit and perfect hair and makeup and I’m looking the most unprofessional ever and felt totally wrong footed. I’m grumpy about it. Glamourous people scare me. & holy run on sentence, batman. & I have one of those hurty pieces of skin sticking out of my nail bed, you know the ones? OUCH. Ill probably rip it off later and …

Blog Tour: Burned and Broken

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I’ve always liked a good detective novel. I used to power through the Dalziel and Pascoe books like nobody’s business when I was a teenager and OK, maybe I don’t read as much crime fiction these days as I used to, but I still like to get all engrossed in one every now and then. That’s why I jumped at the chance to get involved in this blog tour, actually: Burned and Broken looked like being A Good Read. It was nice to go back to a police procedural, in this world of the psychological thriller.
You’ve got a good detective duo which is always a winner with me. Pearson and Russell are no Dalziel and Pascoe, but I liked them both. There’s two stories running side by side, which I enjoyed – a young and messed up girl just out of care and wanting answers about the death of her best friend, and a detective, currently under investigation himself, found burned to death in his car. You can see where this is going, right? What’s the connection between the two – if indeed there is one.
It’s a …

Blog Tour: A Boy Made of Blocks

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I don’t mind telling you that I liked this book a whole lot.
I also don’t mind telling you that actually I was a tiny bit unsure that I would, at first. I don’t really know why that is, because let’s be real here: look at the blurb. It isentirely upmy street. But I was dubious. I think perhaps it was the title? I don’t know. And it doesn’t matter really because I read it and I liked it a whole lot and that’s the best ever isn’t it? When you love something that you kind of really didn’t think you would?
‘Daddy, what are you doing?’‘What do you mean?’‘Sometimes I am stuck on a thought and I can’t get off it, not for a long time. It stays and stays. Are you stuck on a thought?’I stop walking.
It’s OK, don’t mind me, there’s just a branch in my eye. Keep on doing your thing.
It’s just…it’s so damn lovely OK? It’s really kind of special. And it’s a bit of a thing isn’t it, Autism. There’s a lot of people writing a lot of books with a protagonist the places somewhere on the spectrum and it’…

Blog Tour: Relativity Review

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Things I know, both about myself and about book blogging: I should probably never say no to a book.
Which makes it sound like I said no to this book. 
I didn’t. 
When the email landed in my inbox very nicely asking if I was interested in taking part in the blog tour for Antonia Hayes' novel Relativity, I absolutely said yes. That's kind of my (long and convoluted) point: that I should always says yes to all the books even if I know little about them because there's always a chance that doing just exactly that will make me vair happy. This book made me happy. It made me laugh and it made me a tiny bit teary sometimes and it made me angry and sympathetic and all kinds of conflicted and pretty much just a whole spectrum of unexpected emotions. I thing that’s A Good Thing though. I like books that do that to me: feelings.
So. Relativity. Lemme talk at you about it for a little minute.
S’about a boy called Ethan. I love Ethan. I want to put him in my pocket and protect him f…

Book Review: Sirens

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Let us talk for a moment about a book that’s released this week and that really, actually, I think everybody should probably be reading.
Joseph Knox’s debut Sirens is a book  I think everybody should be reading. Unless you are a person who values sleep above all else. If you’re that person then maybe this book isn’t for you because I am telling you now: you will not be able to put it down. You won’t. Actually, even if you are that person, read this book. You’ll be immersed but just trust me on this: sleep is so totally overrated anyhow. I was hooked, and not just because it’s set in Manchester and so has that air of familiarity about it. I do so like a book that’s set in my sort-of neck of the woods. I like when I recognise places and names and landmarks.
I do not like when I am driving through Manchester late at night, with this book not quite finished and as such at the forefront of my mind and the road is closed and I am sent on a diversion through dark and dingy back streets tha…