Book Review – Shiny Broken Pieces

27617333Title- Shiny Broken Pieces
Author- Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton
Published-  July 2016
Genre- YA
Length- 384 pages
Rating- 3.25/5
Synopsis (Goodreads)- June, Bette, and Gigi have given their all to dance at Manhattan’s most elite ballet school. Now they are competing one final time for a spot at the prestigious American Ballet Company. With the stakes higher than ever, these girls have everything to lose…and no one is playing nice.

June is starting to finally see herself as a prima ballerina. However, getting what she wants might cost her everything—including the only boy she’s ever loved. Legacy dancer Bette is determined to clear her name after she was suspended and accused of hurting her rival, Gigi. Even if she returns, though, will she ever regain the spotlight she craves? And Gigi is not going to let Bette—or the other dancers who bullied her—go unpunished. But as revenge consumes her, Gigi may be the one who pays the price.

After years of grueling auditions, torn ribbons, and broken hearts, it all comes down to this last dance. Who will make the cut? And who will lose her dream forever?

Review – So for those that don’t know, this is the second book in this series. I read the first one earlier in the year and quite liked it so thought I would pick this up. The first one, oddly enough (you will understand if you have read it), actually inspired me to take up adult ballet! I am, as it turns out, terrible at ballet, but I still enjoy it! I reviewed the first book here  for those that are interested.Read More »

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Book Review- All the Good Things

32792758Title- All the Good Things
Author- Clare Fisher
Published-  June 1st 2017
Genre- Contemporary, literary fiction
Length- 240 pages
Rating- 4/5
Synopsis (Goodreads)- Twenty-one year old Beth is in prison. The thing she did is so bad she doesn’t deserve to ever feel good again.

But her counsellor, Erika, won’t give up on her. She asks Beth to make a list of all the good things in her life. So Beth starts to write down her story, from sharing silences with Foster Dad No. 1, to flirting in the Odeon on Orange Wednesdays, to the very first time she sniffed her baby’s head.

But at the end of her story, Beth must confront the bad thing. What is the truth hiding behind her crime? And does anyone-even a 100% bad person-deserve a chance to be good?

Review- I received an ARC of this from the publisher so thank you to them.

This story is told from Beth’s perspective, mostly as if she is talking to her child. The majority of it is told in the past tense but that is interspersed with present day therapy sessions and time in prison. It is well done and easy to follow.Read More »

Book Review- The Leavers

30753987Title- The Leavers
Author- Lisa Ko
Published-  May 2nd 2017
Genre- Contemporary, literary fiction
Length- 352 pages
Rating- 3.75/5
Synopsis (Goodreads)- One morning, Deming Guo’s mother, an undocumented Chinese immigrant named Polly, goes to her job at the nail salon and never comes home. No one can find any trace of her.

With his mother gone, eleven-year-old Deming is left with no one to care for him. He is eventually adopted by two white college professors who move him from the Bronx to a small town upstate. They rename him Daniel Wilkinson in their efforts to make him over into their version of an “all-American boy.” But far away from all he’s ever known, Daniel struggles to reconcile his new life with his mother’s disappearance and the memories of the family and community he left behind.

Set in New York and China, The Leavers is a vivid and moving examination of borders and belonging. It’s the story of how one boy comes into his own when everything he’s loved has been taken away–and how a mother learns to live with the mistakes of her past.

Review- I received an ARC of this from the publisher so thank you to them.

Overall I did enjoy this book but it felt long and the end dragged a bit.

This isn’t an action packed book by any means, instead it focuses on description. It is told from two view points, that of Deming/Daniel, and his mother. It covers both past and present in the US and China. Mostly the switch between characters and times was well done but there was one chapter where for a few (kindle) pages I didn’t know who the narrator was supposed to be. The language however was always easy to understand and there was never too much information given at once, characters were introduced gradually etc so there was never any confusion about who was who.Read More »

Book Review- All Our Wrong Todays

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Title- All Our Wrong Todays
Author- Elan Mastai
Published-  February 2017
Genre- Science fiction, time travel
Length- 393 pages
Rating- 5/5
Synopsis (Amazon)-  When Tom loses the love of his life, time travel seems like the only answer. . . what could possibly go wrong?

So, the thing is, I come from the world we were supposed to have. That means nothing to you, obviously, because you live here, in the crappy world we do have. But it never should’ve turned out like this. And it’s all my fault – well, me and to a lesser extent my father. And, yeah, I guess a little bit Penelope. In both worlds, she’s the love of my life. But only a single version of her can exist. I have one impossible chance to fix history’s greatest mistake and save this broken world. Except it means saving one Penelope and losing the other forever – and I have absolutely no idea which to choose . . .

Review- I received an ARC of this from the publisher so thank you to them.

This isn’t the type of book I normally read but that didn’t stop me from loving it! I don’t know if it not being my usual genre makes my rating more or less valid? Maybe those that read a lot of science-fiction wouldn’t like it, I don’t know, or maybe the fact that I loved it despite not normally liking science fiction shows just how amazing it is?Read More »

Book Review- He said, she said

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Title- He said, she said
Author- Erin Kelly
Published-  April 20th 2017
Genre- Thriller, crime, mystery, psychological
Length- 416 pages
Rating- 3.25/5
Synopsis (Goodreads)- In the hushed aftermath of a total eclipse, Laura witnesses a brutal attack.

She and her boyfriend Kit call the police, and in that moment, it is not only the victim’s life that is changed forever.

Fifteen years on, Laura and Kit live in fear.

And while Laura knows she was right to speak out, the events that follow have taught her that you can never see the whole picture: something – and someone – is always in the dark…

Review- I received an ARC of this from the publisher so thank you to them.

Overall this book was a disappointment. I read a lot of thrillers and this was just average, at least for me. This is very much a “slow burn”, some people love that, I don’t, I prefer more action, so that is part of why I didn’t love it the way some people seem to.Read More »

Book Review- The Book of You

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Title- The Book of You
Author- Claire Kendal
Published-  2014
Genre- Thriller/crime
Length- 385 pages
Rating- 3.25/5
Synopsis (Goodreads)- A terrifying psychological thriller about obsession and power, perfect for fans of Gone Girl and Before I Go to Sleep.

Clarissa is becoming more and more frightened of her colleague, Rafe. He won’t leave her alone, and he refuses to take no for an answer. He is always there.

Being selected for jury service is a relief. The courtroom is a safe haven, a place where Rafe can’t be. But as a violent tale of kidnap and abuse unfolds, Clarissa begins to see parallels between her own situation and that of the young woman on the witness stand.

Realizing that she bears the burden of proof, Clarissa unravels the twisted, macabre fairytale that Rafe has spun around them – and discovers that the ending he envisions is more terrifying than she could have imagined.

Review- For a thriller this is nothing special.

The narrative switches between a weird version of second person, and third person, it takes a bit of getting used to and I think a different style would have made the book better. Read More »

Book Review- Everything I Never Told You

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Title- Everything I Never Told You
Author- Celeste Ng
Published-  2014
Genre- Contemporary, literary fiction
Length- 305 pages
Rating- 5/5
Synopsis (Goodreads)- Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet . . . So begins this debut novel about a mixed-race family living in 1970s Ohio and the tragedy that will either be their undoing or their salvation. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee; their middle daughter, a girl who inherited her mother’s bright blue eyes and her father’s jet-black hair. Her parents are determined that Lydia will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue—in Marilyn’s case that her daughter become a doctor rather than a homemaker, in James’s case that Lydia be popular at school, a girl with a busy social life and the center of every party.

When Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together tumbles into chaos, forcing them to confront the long-kept secrets that have been slowly pulling them apart.

Review- It is difficult to know what to say about this book. When a book is this good it’s hard to find any faults with it, meaning that other than gushing praise, there isn’t much to say.Read More »

Book Review- The End of the Day

31408829Title- The End of the Day
Author- Claire North
Published-  April 6th 2017
Genre- Contemporary, literary fiction
Length- 416 pages
Rating- 1.5/5
Synopsis (Goodreads)- Charlie has a new job. He gets to travel, and he meets interesting people, some of whom are actually pleased to see him. It’s good to have a friendly face, you see. At the end. But the end of all things is coming. Charlie’s boss and his three associates are riding out, and it’s Charlie’s job to go before. Sometimes he is sent as a courtesy, sometimes as a warning. He never knows which.

Review- I received an ARC of this from the publisher so thank you to them.

I have read The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August and really enjoyed it so was excited to read this. I have been hugely disappointed. Reading this was a waste of my life. It was a huge struggle to get through and I nearly DNF-ed it so many times. In fact I wrote an entire post about DNF-ing books, and it was inspired by this book.Read More »

March Reading Wrap-Up

So, there is still another day of March but I am not going to finish my current book in that time so I thought I would do my wrap-up today.

I feel like it hasn’t been the best month for reading. Some of the books were pretty good, but none were amazing. I feel like most of the books have dragged a lot and I haven’t enjoyed reading as much this month. I still managed six books but that’s not as much as previous months.

I have been very good about writing reviews this month however, and have already reviewed all of the books!Read More »

Book Review- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

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Title- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Author- Maya Angelou
Published-  1969
Genre- Biography
Length- 317 pages
Rating- 4/5
Synopsis (Goodreads)- Sent by their mother to live with their devout, self-sufficient grandmother in a small Southern town, Maya and her brother, Bailey, endure the ache of abandonment and the prejudice of the local “powhitetrash.” At eight years old and back at her mother’s side in St. Louis, Maya is attacked by a man many times her age—and has to live with the consequences for a lifetime. Years later, in San Francisco, Maya learns that love for herself, the kindness of others, her own strong spirit, and the ideas of great authors (“I met and fell in love with William Shakespeare”) will allow her to be free instead of imprisoned.

Review- This is one of seven books that make up Maya Angelou’s biography, but it is not a typical biography. If you weren’t told that it was a biography you could believe that it was a work of fiction given the writing style. Read More »