Monthly Round-Up: June 2019

June is over, and we are officially half way throughout the year. I can’t believe we’re already in July, in my head it still feels like March.

I read 11 books in June, but I’ve only published five reviews. I’m planning to post reviews this week for a few of them, and then hopefully stay on top of July’s books.

What I Read

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A Face in the Crowd – This was my first approval on NetGalley. This was a really interesting story that made me think about the situation Lucy was in, and how I’d react in a similar situation.

The Honeymoon – This was a book that I wanted to like, but couldn’t get past my issues with the characters to connect with the story properly. I have seen reviews from other bloggers who enjoyed it, and I think I would have without my general dislike for romance.

Dead Inside – I bought this after seeing all of the reviews. I really liked the story, and have already pre-ordered the next book in the series.

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Degrees of Guilt – I absolutely loved this book. I was hooked and read the entire book in one sitting. Watch this space for my full revew.

55 – I enjoyed this, but I felt as though it didn’t live up to it’s full potential. It was a really interesting idea that I thought could have been explored more.

Ten Little Astronauts – I really liked the idea of this book, a classic Agatha Christie-esque murder story, but set in space. Sadly this didn’t live up to my expectations. It was shorter than expected (the end was about 60% through the book) and didn’t really explore the story or build up tension.

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The Sunday Girl – This was my first blog tour, and a really intense read. I’m already waiting for the next book by Pip Drysdale.

The Perfect Betrayal – I adored this book. The ending blew me away, and I’m recommending this to anyone who will listen to me.

Find Me – I didn’t connect with this story. I’m not a fan of stories, in any form, that flick between two time periods, and this didn’t engage me enough to make up for that.

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The Closer I Get – I bought this after seeing a lot of reviews on the blog tour. I’m not quite sure what I think about this, and it will definitely be something I’ll re-read to look for anything that I missed.

Nightflyers – This was a short story that I thought could have easily been a full length novel to develop the characters more, and build up more suspense, but was still an enjoyable read.

Plans for July

I’m feeling pretty ambitious for July, I already have a list of ten books that I want to read in the next fortnight.

Work is promising to get more busy this month, rather than less, but that’s made me more determined to set aside time for reading. I’ve signed up 24 in 48 later this month so I’m hoping that will give a nice boost to my reading goals (mostly it’s an excuse to spend the entire weekend reading).

How are your reading goals going so far? Do you have any exciting plans for July?

Stacking the Shelves: 30 June 2019

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosten by Tynga’s Reviews and Reading Reality, all about sharing the books you have aquired in the last week.

Kindle

I have been extremely restrained for the last week and only bought three kindle books!! These are all books that I’ve seen great reviews for and blog tours recently and I had to get them.

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The Closer I Get – I’ve seen so many great reviews for this recently, and once I saw that it had and LGBT character I was sold. It seems like a pretty intenste psychological thriller, and I hope I’ll enjoy it as much as everyone else has.

The Dream House – I already have every book by Jess Ryder in my TBR, but I’ve yet to read any of them. It does mean that if I like this I can dive straight into the back catalogue.

Don’t Ever Tell– This is another psychological thriller (seemingly my favourite genre recently). The plot for this immediately intrigued me, and the reviews meant that I had to get it.  

NetGalley

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The End of the Line – This sounds like a really interesting horror/fantasy novel. This is the author’s first novel so I have no clue what to expect, but it’s been a while since I read anything from this genre so I’m quite excited.

We Were Sisters – I’m extremely grateful to Bookouture for approving my requests even though I’m still a tiny blog. We Were Sisters sounds like an amzing thriller which I’m really looking forward to reading.

Hardback

I didn’t plan on buying these, but I was shopping and they were on offer. I have no self-control when it comes to books.

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The Whisper Man – This is another book that I’ve seen great reviews for recently. This sounds like an eerie mystery that promises to keep my on the edge of my seat.

Keep You Close – The blurb for this is excellent. I enjoy books that explore the relationship between the parent and child when the child is accused/guilty of something.

Everything I’ve bought this week is because I’ve seen other bloggers reviewing, so I’m blaming all of you.

Tickets for Edinburgh Book Festival went on sale this week, and I have tickets for eight events. I own a couple of the books, but most I borrowed from the library, or have on my kindle so I need to start buying / saving up for physical copies of books so I can get them signed.

What have you added to your shelves this week? Have you read any of these books? Which should I read first?

Blog Tour: The Perfect Betrayal ★★★★★

A huge thanks to Emma for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour. The Perfect Betrayal is out in paperback today, so you should definitely go out to buy a copy if you haven’t already.

About the Book

After the sudden death of her husband, Tess is drowning in grief. All she has left is her son, Jamie, and she’ll do anything to protect him – but she’s struggling to cope.

When grief counsellor Shelley knocks on their door, everything changes. Shelley is understanding and kind, and promises she can help Tess through the hardest time of her life.

But when a string of unsettling events happens and questions arise over her husband’s death, Tess starts to suspect that Shelley may have an ulterior motive. Tess knows she must do everything she can to keep Jamie safe – but she’s at her most vulnerable, and that’s a dangerous place to be.

My Review

This book was astounding. The Perfect Betrayal starts with Tess in hospital, and her son, Jamie, missing. The story then jumps back to 55 days earlier. Tess is struggling to cope after the death of her husband, Mark, in a plane crash. Jamie’s mood reflects her own and she doesn’t know how to help him. On top of everything else, her brother in law is demanding money that Mark borrowed before his death. When Tess isn’t sure what to do next Shelley arrives on her doorstep to help. While Tess isn’t sure at first she quickly comes to rely on Shelly, who is also a huge help with Jamie.

There are chapters of Tess in the hospital being interviewed throughout the book, and she starts to question Shelley’s motives as she begs the police to find her son.

As you read this book you get a true sense of the grief that Tess is experiencing. The author does a wonderful job of giving us a real insight into her emotions and grieving.

The suspense and unease is built up throughout the book, in a very clever way. We read the events as Tess first experienced them, and then these events are given a different light when Tess talks about them in her interviews with the police. The reader is left not knowing who to trust, as even the kindest are seen as untrustworthy and manipulative as Tess tries to piece together what happened.

The ending of this book blew me away. The moment I realised what was going on I was completely gobsmacked and raced through the rest of the book. Looking back I could see the clues woven throughout the book, but they’re subtle enough that it doesn’t take away from the suspense by giving away the reveal too early.

I feel like I can’t say too much about this book as I don’t want to give anything away and spoil the book, but it is a stunning read. This is definitely something I’ll be recommending to anyone who’ll listen to me. I’m also eagerly anticipating the next release from Lauren North.

About the Author

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Lauren North writes psychological suspense novels that delve into the darker side of relationships and families. She has a lifelong passion for writing, reading, and all things books. Lauren’s love of psychological suspense has grown since childhood and her dark imagination of always wondering what’s the worst thing that could happen in every situation.

Lauren studied psychology before moving to London where she lived and worked for many years. She now lives with her family in the Suffolk countryside.

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lauren_C_North

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LaurenNorthAuthor/

Mid Year Freakout Book Tag

I’ve seen a quite a few blogs doing the mid year freakout in the last week or so. It’s hard to believe we’re already half way through the year (and halfway to Christmas for anyone counting). I’m not sure who created this tag, but it’s been great fun so thank you.

Best Book of the Year so Far

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Twisted – I loved this book. This is what immediately came to mind as my favourite book of 2019. It was a wonderful book that kepy me on the edge of my seat, and up late so I could finish it. You can check out my full five-star review.

Best Sequel of the Year so Far

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For We Are Many – I loved We Are Legion (We Are Bob) and For We Are Many was just as good. These are wonderfully fun books that move slowly through the story and is full of sci-fi pop culture references. It’s an amazing series for fans of sci-fi.

A New Release You Haven’t Read Yet but Want to

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Red, White & Royal Blue – This probably isn’t my usual type of book but I’ve seen so many reviews raving about it that I’m really intrigued and quite looking forward to reading it.

I want to read more fiction with LGBT characters, but I’m also not a huge fan of romance in general. Although I’m usually more a fan of romance when it doesn’t involve straight couples, and there are a couple of LGBT romance films that I watch to cheer myself up so I’m hoping this book will have a similar effect.

Most Anticipated Release for the Second Half of the Year

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The Turn of the Key – I’m not great at keeping up with new releases, but I recently discovered that Ruth Ware has a new book due out later this year and I’m incredibly excited. I’ve ready all of her books, and she gets better with each release. I’ve applied for The Turn of the Key on NetGalley and The Pigeonhole so I’m hoping I’ll be loucky enough to get an early copy of this.

Biggest Disappointment of the Year so Far

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Space Opera – I really wanted to like this book. Eurovision set in space sounded absolutely perfect. Sadly this book didn’t live up to my expectations and seemed to try too hard. I was disappointed by this because I had been so excited to read it.

Biggest Surprise of the Year so Far

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The Perfect Betrayal – This is a recent read and was absolutely amazing. The ending blew me away and left me speechless. My full review will be published tomorrow on the blog tour.

Your New Favourite Author

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John Marrs – I’ve read four John Marrs books this year and loved all of them. I have two books left to read before I’m all caught up and I’m hopeful that these will be just as good.

Your New Favourite Character

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DI Jackman – I started listening to this series on audible at the beginning of the year and fell in love with DI Jackman. I’m eagerly anticipating the next book in the series.

Your Newest Fictional Crush

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DI Jackman – This might be cheating but DI Jackman is also my fictional cruch as well as my favourite character. Part of this may be due to the fact that Richard Armitage does the Audible reading.

A Book That Made You Cry

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Lost Daughter – This was a beautiful story. This is a character driven story that tells the story of three mothers. It’s a haunting story that made me incredibly emotional. You can see my full review.

A Book That Made You Happy

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The Lights – This was such a fun read. It was a wonderful sci-fi with a definite feel of The War of the Worlds in regards to the Britishness of the book. This was a review copy so I had no expectations, but it was an excellent story. It manages to be fun while still telling the story well. You can read my full review where I go into the reasons of why I enjoyed this in more detail.

Favourite Book to Film Adaptation

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Good Omens – I’ve talked about Good Omens on here more than once. It is one of my all time favourite books, so I was excited and nervous about the TV show. Thankfully it was absolutely perfect, and completely blew me away. I still haven’t manged to fully vocalise how I fell about the TV show into a blog post but it will be coming.

The Most Beautiful Book of 2019 so far

The Surface Breaks

The Surface Breaks – I read this back in January, and it was actually published in 2018, but I adore the cover. The cover is stunning, and the story is just as wonderful. Louise O’Neill writes beautifully moving stories, and you should definitely start these if you haven’t read any yet.

Book You Need to Read Before 2019 Ends

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Old Man’s War – I read Old Man’s War back in January and planned to read the rest of the series. However the library copies of books 2 & 3 have been misplaced, with no luck tracking them down. I’m planning to get copies of these to read before the end of the year (the later books in the series the library still has).

This is my year so far. I’ve already read more books in 2019 than I did in all of 2018, and I’m hoping to finish my Goodreads Reading Challenge by the end of the month. How has your reading been going?

Review: The Sunday Girl Blog Tour

The Girl on the Train meets Before I Go to Sleep in this chilling tale of love gone horribly wrong …

“Some love affairs change you forever. Someone comes into your orbit and swivels you on your axis, like the wind working on a rooftop weather vane. And when they leave, as the wind always does, you are different; you have a new direction. And it’s not always north.”

Any woman who’s ever been involved with a bad, bad man and been dumped will understand what it feels like to be broken, broken-hearted and bent on revenge. Taylor Bishop is hurt, angry and wants to destroy Angus Hollingsworth in the way he destroyed her: ‘Insidiously. Irreparably. Like a puzzle he’d slowly dissembled … stolen a couple of pieces from, and then discarded, knowing that nobody would ever be able to put it back together ever again.’

So Taylor consults The Art of War and makes a plan. Then she takes the next irrevocable step – one that will change her life forever.

Things start to spiral out of her control – and The Sunday Girl becomes impossible to put down.

 My Review

This is my first blog tour, so I’m incredibly excited to be sharing my review of The Sunday Girl. Thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour

Taylor is hurt by Angus, and she’s determined to ruin him, they way he ruined her. But when he wants her back, has he really changed, or is it part of a larger plan.

The book starts with Taylor being hurt and humiliated by her boyfriend Angus after he puts a sex tape of her online. So Taylor starts to come up with a plan to get her revenge. She doesn’t want petty revenge, she wants to destroy his life.

There are references throughout this book to something that Taylor has done, but we’re not sure what. Tension builds up throughout as Taylor and Angus both become more determined to ‘win’, and their actions become more dark and twisted.

Neither of the characters are particularly likeable, but this doesn’t take away from the enjoyment. I was still fascinated througout the book as I wanted to know what happened, and I couldn’t help but root for Taylor.

I finished this book in one day, and had to take some time when I’d finished to process what I had just read, rather than starting something else straight away. I’ll be keeping a look out for future releases by this author.

About The Author

Pip Drysdale is a writer, actor and musician who grew up in Africa and Australia. At 20 she moved to New York to study acting, worked in indie films and off-off Broadway theatre, started writing songs and made four records. After graduating with a BA in English, Pip moved to London where she dated some interesting men and played shows across Europe. The Sunday Girl is her first novel and she is working on a second. She currently lives in Australia.

Review: Dead Inside ★★★★

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When three domestic abuse offenders are found beaten to death, DC Maggie Jamieson knows she is facing her toughest case yet.

The police suspect that Probation Officer Lucy Sherwood – who is connected to all three victims – is hiding a dark secret. Then a fourth domestic abuser is brutally murdered. And he is Lucy’s husband.

Now the finger of suspicion points at Lucy and the police are running out of time. Can Maggie and her team solve the murders before another person dies? And is Lucy really a cold-blooded killer?


I bought this after seeing dozens of reviews praising this book and it did not disappoint. This is a suspenseful book that kept me hooked throughout.

Dead Inside focuses on the story of Lucy, a probation worker abused by her husband, and DC Maggie Jamieson, who has just started work at a new team. You get to know these characters, and understand their thoughts and motivations, with chapters from other characters woven in beautifully.

This book gives a wonderful insight into abusive relationships. We get a real understanding of Lucy’s thought processes. She knows that she should leave her husband, but she can’t bring herself to do it. This doesn’t trivialise the abuse and instead demonstrates the struggle that domestic abuse victims go through. It also has some chapters from her husband’s point of view which gives more of an understanding of his character, rather than completely demonising him. It doesn’t excuse his behaviour, or make us like him anymore, but it does show the man behind the abuse, something not often seen.

Suspense and tension is built up throughout the book but a lot of this involves making us care about the characters. Even my cold, cynical heart started to care about Lucy and Mark.

My only complaint is I thought the blurb for this book gave too much away. Lucy’s husband isn’t murdered until 3/4 of the way through the book. I think I would have liked it more if this was a surprise, rather than waiting for it to happen.

I really enjoyed this book, and I’ve already ordered the next one.

Stacking the Shelves: 16 June 2019

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosten by Tynga’s Reviews and Reading Reality, all about sharing the books you have aquired in the last week. As this is my first week, I’m going to do the books I’ve bought in the last fortnight, and then continue weekly.

Most of these are books that I’ve bought after seeing reviews on different blogs

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I’ve seen a lot of reviews for Tick Tock in the last few weeks, so I have this and Hush Hush, the first in the series. I read a few books by Mel Sherratt earlier in the year

Her Sister’s Lie – This is another book that I’ve seen a few reviews for. This promises to be full of suspense and mystery.

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The First Mistake – I’ve seen a lot of reviews promising that this book is full of suspense and twists so I’m really looking forward to this.

Mine – I’d been in two minds about whether to buy this for a while, and I finally gave into the urge.

The Last Stage – A dark psychological thriller with great reviews, added to my TBR straight away.

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Have You Seen Her? – There have been a lot of reviews praising this. The missing child storyline is a standard crime storyline but one I usually find engrossing.

Someone is Lying – Another book with a lot of great reviews recently. I’ve read a few books by Jenny Blackhurst now, and this one looks to be an interesting twist on the classic whodunnit.

Unfollow Me – This sounds really interesting and the blurb doesn’t give too much away so I’m quite excited about this.

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Riverflow – This arrived in the post for a book tour next month. I’ve never read anything from this author so I don’t have any expectations going in and I’m really excited.

What have you added to your shelves this week? Are there any of these books that I should move to the top of my TBR?