WWW Wednesday: 12th December 2018

The WWW Wednesday meme is currently hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words and is a great way to do a weekly update on what you’ve been reading and what you have planned.

WWW Wednesday

To take part all you have to do is answer the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently ReadingThe Devil Aspect

So I’ve wandered a little off my reading plan this week and picked up The Devil Aspect by Craig Russell. I received this a few weeks ago from the publisher via NetGalley and started it on Monday. It’s a horror/mystery set in Czechoslovakia in the 1935s and has a real gothic feel to it. I’m only around a quarter of the way through but so far I’m really enjoying it (if you can enjoy a gory horror story set in an asylum – I can).


Recently Finished

The Lost Man

Two books finished this week, the first of which was The Lost Man by Jane Harper. Harper is quickly becoming one of my favourite authors and I very much enjoyed this new standalone set in the Australian Outback. It’s a combination of family drama and mystery, with main character Nathan trying to figure out how his brother ended up dead in the middle of nowhere. It’s not a particularly fast paced plot but the author does a great job in setting the scene and there are some very intriguing characters. I found it very difficult to put down.

Second book finished was Hotshot Doc by R.S. Grey. I spied this was available on Kindle Unlimited and couldn’t really resist as I almost always enjoy Grey’s books. This is an enjoyable enough read but while I pretty much read the whole thing in one sitting I’m not sure it’ll be a particularly memorable one.


Reading Next

This has been on my reading next list for the last few weeks but hopefully this week I will finally pick up The Christmas Sisters by Sarah Morgan. I love Sarah Morgan books so I’m really looking forward to this one, I just haven’t been in a very Christmassy mood so far. I also want to knock another book off my NetGalley shelf so think I’ll probably pick up The Beauty of the Wolf (it fits a challenge). I also discovered CoHo’s latest Verity was available on Kindle Unlimited so I have that lurking on my kindle too. It sounds so good I doubt I’ll be able to resist for long.

The Christmas Sisters: The perfect feel-good and romantic read to curl up with this winter!The Beauty of the WolfVerity

Have you read any of the books on my list this week? Any others you’d recommend? As always please feel free to leave comments and links below.

Happy Reading ❤

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Teaser Tuesday: The Lost Man by Jane Harper

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by The Purple Booker. If you want to join in grab your current read, flick to a random page, select two sentences (without spoilers) and share them in a blog post or in the comments of The Purple Booker.


This week my teaser comes from The Lost Man by Jane Harper, a book I’d received from the publisher via NetGalley. I actually finished this book on Sunday but wanted to post a teaser from it as I really like the author’s writing style. She has a knack for creating an atmospheric and tense story that really draws you in.


My Teaser

He had felt himself, for the first time, simply giving up. Not all at once, and not entirely willingly, but a little at a time, slipping away, day after day.

74% The Lost Man by Jane Harper


BlurbThe Lost Man

He had started to remove his clothes as logic had deserted him and his skin was cracked. Whatever had been going through Cameron’s mind when he was alive, he didn’t look peaceful in death.

Two brothers meet at the remote fence line separating their cattle farms under the relenting sun of the remote outback. In an isolated part of Western Australia, they are each other’s nearest neighbour, their homes three hours’ drive apart.

They are at the stockman’s grave, a landmark so old that no one can remember who is buried there. But today, the scant shadow it casts was the last hope for their middle brother, Cameron, who lies dead at their feet.

Something had been on Cam’s mind. Did he choose to walk to his death? Because if he didn’t, the isolation of the outback leaves few suspects…

The Lost Man is the highly anticipated new book from the bestselling and award-winning Jane Harper, author of The Dry and Force of Nature.

Review: The Lost Man by Jane Harper

The Lost Man

 


THE BLURB

He had started to remove his clothes as logic had deserted him and his skin was cracked. Whatever had been going through Cameron’s mind when he was alive, he didn’t look peaceful in death.

Two brothers meet at the remote fence line separating their cattle farms under the relenting sun of the remote outback. In an isolated part of Western Australia, they are each other’s nearest neighbour, their homes three hours’ drive apart.

They are at the stockman’s grave, a landmark so old that no one can remember who is buried there. But today, the scant shadow it casts was the last hope for their middle brother, Cameron, who lies dead at their feet.

Something had been on Cam’s mind. Did he choose to walk to his death? Because if he didn’t, the isolation of the outback leaves few suspects…

The Lost Man is the highly anticipated new book from the bestselling and award-winning Jane Harper, author of The Dryand Force of Nature.


MY REVIEW

Jane Harper author of two of my favourite books of this year The Dry and Force of Nature is back with a new standalone thriller set in the Australian Outback. It’s a tense and atmospheric read with the wonderful descriptions and characterization we’ve come to expect from Harper. The setting of the story is once again the highlight with the writing so brilliant that it’s all too easy to imagine yourself in this hostile and unforgiving place. The intense heat, barren flat ground with nothing for miles creates a real sense of isolation that make this a gripping read despite a relatively slow paced story.

There are very few characters in this story with the focus very much on Nathan as he comes to terms with, and tries to solve, the mystery of his brother’s death which it soon becomes clear was not an easy one. How did he end up miles from his car (which was fully loaded with supplies and running perfectly) in blistering heat when he knew better? Did he deliberately head out there knowing it would mean his death or did something (or someone) happen to him? And why is it these brothers haven’t really spoken in years?

I thought Nathan was a very likeable character, there was something about him and his history that reminded me of Aaron Falk the lead in the author’s other series. He’s an outcast in town due to something that happened in the past, he had a difficult relationship with his father but generally seems like a decent bloke. I found myself very intrigued by him and loved the way his backstory was gradually revealed over the course of the book. It was difficult to imagine just what he could have done that would be so terrible the whole town would turn against him.

There are very few other characters and those there are are predominantly Nathan’s family. Each and every one however is well developed and complex. The relationships between them are similarly complicated. They have a shared history that goes back a long time and know each other incredibly well, or at least think that they do. I loved the way that the dynamic between them shifted and developed over the course of the story and I was particularly fascinated by Nathan’s relationship with his son Xander.

This isn’t an action packed story but with such a tense atmosphere and the hostile environment in which it takes place it still makes for a gripping read. The little reveals and twists are spaced out perfectly, making it difficult to put down. There are also more than a few red herrings thrown in to keep you guessing until the very end, and when the ending does come it’s absolutely perfect.

Overall this is a great read and one I’d recommend to anyone who loves a good mystery with a setting that’s just as compelling as the story.

Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book. As always all views are my own.

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Review: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
by Taylor Jenkins Reid

 

I hate Evelyn, but I think I like her very much

Wow, I’ve literally just finished this book but I can already tell that it’s one that’s going to stay with me for a while. It doesn’t make for the most comfortable of reads. Much like main protagonist Evelyn Hugo it’s brutally honest, unapologetic and morally grey but it’s also incredibly powerful, moving and compelling. It may have started out a little slow and I wasn’t sure it would live up to expectations but by the end I was an emotional wreck.


THE BLURB

Reclusive Hollywood icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant to write her story, no one is more astounded than Monique herself.

Determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career, Monique listens in fascination. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ‘80s – and, of course, the seven husbands along the way – Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. But as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

Written with Reid’s signature talent for creating “complex, likeable characters” (Real Simple), this is a mesmerizing journey through the splendour of Old Hollywood into the sobering realities of the present day as two women struggle with what it means – and what it costs – to face the truth.


MY REVIEW

It’s always been fascinating to me how things can be simultaneously true and false, how people can be good and bad all in one, how someone can love you in a way that is beautifully selfless while serving themselves ruthlessly

This is the story of a life, Hollywood screen legend Evelyn Hugo’s life (and loves) to be exact. She may be getting older and has been out of the public eye for some time but she has that special something that draws everyone to her. When Monique Grant, a relatively unknown magazine reporter, is invited to interview the elusive star no one knows why but it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity for her to find out the truth behind the scandals and the press stories, to discover the reasons why her marriages didn’t last and who the real love of Evelyn’s life was.

As Evelyn tells her story to Monique it becomes clear that she has picked Monique for a reason, that there is some connection between them. As Monique hears Evelyn’s story and discovers a shocking truth it makes her reevaluate her own life and beliefs.

I have to admit I found Evelyn’s story fascinating. It begins in the 1950’s when she’s in her teens, living in Hells Kitchen and follows her to the glamour of early Hollywood where, through sheer force of will and perseverance, she gets her big break in the movies. She trades on her looks and transforms herself into the person she needs to be to become someone in a world that doesn’t want her. She learns to play the game, she falls in love, discovers others aren’t always who they seem, has her heart broken, loses everything that matters and wins it back. It’s a truly compelling story of a wonderfully complex character.

From reading other reviews it does seem like a lot of people really don’t like Evelyn but I have to confess I admired her. Yes, she’s selfish and ruthless and does the wrong thing a lot of the time but she owns her actions which is something I love. She doesn’t apologize for them and she doesn’t regret them. She knows exactly who she is and what she’s willing to do.

So if we’re going by the metric that all’s well that end’s well, then I guess it’s safe to say that I’m not sorry.

When I was starting this book I did wonder if seven husbands was a bit much, if it would be too many characters and relationships for me to become invested in any particular one, or if I would even remember each husband but they’re so well crafted that they can’t help but be memorable and every one of them brought something to the story.

I will say that Harry Cameron, husband five and Evelyn’s best friend, was far and away my favourite. He’s not without his own demons but the relationship between them is truly something to be envied even if it isn’t necessarily romantic love. The others are a bit of a mixed bag. A couple seem like they could be the real thing, some of which become disappointments, there are marriages of convenience (usually Evelyn’s convenience) and there are unexpected true partnerships which redefine what love and family really means.

Interspersed among these stories of Evelyn is Monique in the present day. She isn’t necessarily the strongest character, she’s trying to get over the break up of her own marriage and lacking confidence, but she really grows throughout the story as she learns from Evelyn. So much so that by the end I was cheering her on and completely heartbroken when she finds out the truth about why Evelyn picked her to write her story.

I am so glad that I picked up this book. It isn’t my usual type of read but the writing is truly wonderful (I’ve highlighted a lot) and it has some very powerful messages throughout while remaining a compelling story. This was my first book by Reid but it definitely won’t be my last.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book. This has in no way influenced my review.

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

WWW Wednesday: 5th December 2018

The WWW Wednesday meme is currently hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words and is a great way to do a weekly update on what you’ve been reading and what you have planned.

WWW Wednesday

To take part all you have to do is answer the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently ReadingThe Lost Man

Another week and another new book started on a Monday 🙂 This week I’m reading The Lost Man by Jane Harper, a copy of which I received from the publisher via NetGalley. I’m getting the bathroom in my house replaced this week so I haven’t had a huge amount of reading time but so far so good. I’m a big fan of Jane Harper, I loved The Dry and Force of Nature, so I’m really looking forward to seeing what she does with a different cast of characters.


Recently Finished

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Despite the fact that I really should be unpacking some more boxes and wotnot I have to confess I went on a bit of a reading binge over the weekend and consequently finished three books. The first of these was The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and seriously, this book blew me away. I did find it a little bit slow in the beginning but by the end I was a big blubbering wreck. I suspect a lot of people probably won’t like Evelyn as a character much, she’s pretty selfish, ruthless and willing to do whatever, but I liked her a lot. Yes she does some not very nice things but she stands by her actions and refuses to regret them.

Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet (Charley Davidson, #4)After such an emotional rollercoaster I needed something much lighter and funnier so switched back to the the Charley Davidson series and the fourth book Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet which I’d grabbed from the library. I am absolutely loving this series about a private investigator/police consultant/grim reaper. It’s a little bit silly but it’s fun and I love how the characters do develop over the course of it. I loved it so much that I also ended up reading book five, Fifth Grave Past the Light on Sunday. Thankfully I haven’t as yet managed to get my hands on books six and seven or I wouldn’t have been able to stop. It’s possible I may have an addiction.


Reading Next

Next up I think I’m going to finally pick up The Christmas Sisters by Sarah Morgan. Other than singing along with some of the songs on the radio I have been really struggling to get into the festive spirit so hopefully this will give me the kick I need. I’d also really like to pick up either The Beauty of the Wolf (a Beauty and the Beast retelling) or The Enchanted Sonata (a Nutcracker retelling). Both seem like they’d be perfect for the season – and they’re sitting on my NetGalley shelf.

The Christmas Sisters: The perfect feel-good and romantic read to curl up with this winter!The Enchanted SonataThe Beauty of the Wolf

Have you read any of the books on my list this week? Any others you’d recommend? As always please feel free to leave comments and links below.

Happy Reading ❤

Teaser Tuesday: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (yep again)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by The Purple Booker. If you want to join in grab your current read, flick to a random page, select two sentences (without spoilers) and share them in a blog post or in the comments of The Purple Booker.


This week my teaser comes from The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, which I’d received from the publisher via NetGalley. I know I totally used this for my teaser last week but there are just so many great quotes I couldn’t resist picking something from it again.


My Teaser

Some marriages aren’t really that great. Some loves aren’t all encompassing. Sometimes you separate because you weren’t that good together to begin with. Sometimes divorce isn’t an earth shattering loss. Sometimes it’s just two people waking up out of a fog.

74% The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid


BlurbThe Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Reclusive Hollywood icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant to write her story, no one is more astounded than Monique herself.

Determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career, Monique listens in fascination. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ‘80s – and, of course, the seven husbands along the way – Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. But as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

Written with Reid’s signature talent for creating “complex, likeable characters” (Real Simple), this is a mesmerizing journey through the splendour of Old Hollywood into the sobering realities of the present day as two women struggle with what it means – and what it costs – to face the truth.

WWW Wednesday: 28th November 2018

The WWW Wednesday meme is currently hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words and is a great way to do a weekly update on what you’ve been reading and what you have planned.

WWW Wednesday

To take part all you have to do is answer the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

I always seem to be starting new books on a Monday and this week is no exception as I finally picked up The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. It’s not a book I immediately thought I’d want to read but I’ve heard so many fantastic things about it from pretty much everyone I had to read it. I’m not that far through but so far so good. The story is intriguing and I am loving the writing which is a good thing as I also have an ARC of Daisy Jones and the Six on my reading soon list.

So I lost my hold on  The Diviners by Libba Bray and had to return it with 9 hours remaining so not really listening to anything at the moment. I should probably get back into Clockwork Princess but I’m getting a little grumpy with all of the stopping and starting on audios. I might just take a break for a bit.


Recently Finished

Girls of Paper and Fire

I’m still reading at a reduced pace at the moment so only two books finished this week the first of which was Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan. I was lucky enough to get a copy of this from NetGalley but had been wary to read as I’ve been a little down on YA fantasy and there was a lot of hype around this one (something that always puts me off). I did however dive in and initially I really loved it. There are some wonderful descriptions, great world building and a romance that was different from what I expected. However around the middle I found my attention starting to wander and I felt the ending was a little bit of a let down.

The Truth Pixie

The second book finished this week was The Truth Pixie by Matt Haig. I’m not sure I can necessarily count it as it’s very much a children’s book and I read the whole thing in about 20 mins but I absolutely loved it. I do love Matt Haig’s writing and how he can turn his hand to just about any kind of book but this is one is really special and made me so happy.


Reading Next

My library reservation for Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet, the fourth book in the Charley Davidson series, came in so I can pretty much guarantee I’ll be picking it up next. I am completely addicted to this series, in much the same way I was with the Sookie Stackhouse books. I also want to read The Christmas Sisters by Sarah Morgan, it’s something of a miracle I haven’t read it yet as I usually can’t resist a Morgan Christmas story.

Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet (Charley Davidson, #4)The Christmas Sisters: The perfect feel-good and romantic read to curl up with this winter!

Have you read any of the books on my list this week? Any others you’d recommend? As always please feel free to leave comments and links below.

Happy Reading ❤