Overall Impression: An odd little book about adolescence and first loves with a few gangsters thrown in.
Well, this book was an experience, I can definitely say that. It had such an odd jumble of ideas within it that somehow didn’t quite work in cohesion with each other. I was a huge fan of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, but it hadn’t occurred to me that he may have written other books until I stumbled across The Butterfly Tattoo (also known as The White Mercedes) in a charity shop. I took a punt considering it was cheap and only 200 odd pages, but I must admit I was doubtful. The bizarre cover made me cautious and I figured that if the book was any good I probably would have heard of it since Pullman’s booming success.
All in all this novel turned out to be about what I expecting, a curious mish mosh of a tale with the occasional insightful paragraph. My memory is a little rusty as I finished this book in November, but I will do my best to review it!
Chris Marshall met the girl he was going to kill on a warm Oxford night in early June…
He loved her the moment he first set eyes on her – beautiful, secretive Jenny who rushed headlong into life. Fate brought her to him, and fate would mercilessly come between them to drive their innocent love affair down a dark road of danger and betrayal. And make Chris discover that truth and trust are not the simple ideals he once believed…
Chris Marshall is a innocent seventeen year old in a state of transition, after the recent meltdown of his parents marriage and having to suffer their new significant others all he wants is some time to himself. Continue reading
Overall Impression: A slow burning, gritty crime novel with an ultimately satisfying ending.
(To read my review of the previous book from Millennium trilogy, The Girl Who Played With Fire click here.)
I’ve been having a face off with this novel from its position on my bookshelf for over a year. Most of you will know that I don’t have a particularly good relationship with thriller/crime novels, yet something about this series did keep me hanging on. Having said that, it has taken me over a year each time to bolter myself up enough to pick up the subsequent books. Once I got into this novel though, I did enjoy it! The Millennium Trilogy was originally planned as a ten book escapade, but since the author died while writing the fourth and before any of them were published, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest is the final installment in this famous series. While a bit shaky in places, overall I though it provided a fitting end to the trilogy.
Please note: For those of you that haven’t read the previous books in the Millennium Trilogy skip the blurb as it contains spoilers about previous plots and characters from that book. The rest of the review will contain no major spoiler about The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest. Continue reading
Holy moley, day thirty! I MADE IT. I thought it would never come, it seemed so far away. But before I get too celebratory, lets get this post on the proverbial road. 🙂
There were so many books I could have chosen for this day of the challenge, so I tried to think of which I would like to spotlight that others may not have heard of or could have forgotten about. I also wanted to pick something that I had never mentioned on my blog before. With this train of thought, I decided upon Continue reading
I am sad to say that there are some books I have had on my shelf for the longest time and completely neglected. I have mentioned before now that I am almost unable to bypass a good book deal, and my literature related whims can be impossible to control. It’s the one area of my life I allow myself to splurge on, everyone needs an outlet and reading is mine! But the problem with books is you have to invest the time, something which can be tough to do in 2013, a world of endless information, social networking, TV channels and music. Not to mention all our responsibilities, from family and friends to education and work.
Possibly my worst bookworm trait is that I get distracted by my current book purchases and so some of my older ones occasionally slip through the cracks and get left on my shelf to collect dust for years! So, allow me to direct you to the realm of my forgotten books. 🙂 Continue reading
Yay, I love this question! There are so many great underrated books out there that aren’t as well known simply because they didn’t get the major advertising behind them. Your book can be the best thing since the invention of the printing press, but unless people know it exists, it’s not going to do well. There are a few specific books that spring to mind for this post that I haven’t assigned for other days of the 30 Day Book Challenge, so once more unto the breach dear friends…!
The first novel that popped into my head and knew I had to mention was Continue reading
Overall Impression: A creepy and action packed escapade with an elusive mystery that will keep you turning the pages!
I was really excited to read Eight Mile Island; the premise sounded intriguing and I don’t read YA novels from a male protagonists point of view as much as I probably should. Well, I’m glad to say that I wasn’t disappointed, this book sure packs a punch with pretty much constant action from start to finish. If you’re looking for a quick read that will immediately grab your attention then this is the book for you!
Eight Mile Island was offered to me in exchange for an author interview, book giveaway and an honest review.
Dylan James is used to boarding schools. He’s been thrown out of so many in the past two years, he’s lost count. So when an elite academy in Oregon offers him a place, he doesn’t think he’ll be there more than a week.
But Eight Mile Island isn’t like anywhere Dylan has been before. In the dense forests around the school, there are things that look human but aren’t.
Things that are hungry, and waiting…
But that’s the start of the mysteries, mysteries that mean Dylan may never escape.
Even if he wants to…
Welcome to Eight Mile Island.
Only two kinds of people go to Eight Mile Island, the privileged and the intelligent. Enter Dylan, a teen with an attitude problem, a reasonable amount of baggage and an IQ of 150. His mother thinks the island will be a solution to all his problems, but from the moment Dylan arrives he is already planning his escape.
There’s just one problem; Eight Mile Island is not like the other schools, Continue reading
I’m sure everyone is almost sick of hearing about this already, Twitter has been in a storm, Goodreads close behind and the book in question has zoomed straight to the number one spot on the Amazon bestsellers list.
So what does one more little blogger’s opinion matter? Not that much, but this is a book blog after all and like many I am a childhood J.K Rowling fan, so it would be criminal not to even mention it, right?!
~ * ~
The Cuckoo’s Calling was originally published in April with the author name Robert Galbraith. Masquerading as a debut novel the story was said to follow a war veteran turned investigator who looked into the death of a famous model.
It wasn’t long though before people became a little suspicious, Continue reading
Overall Impression: Gripping, hilarious, disturbing. The story of a psychologically unstable individual.
This was a thrilling and extremely entertaining book. I have been looking forward to reading Underneath for some time. Michael Cargill was the first indie author I ever read, his short story collection Shades of Grey was intriguing and had a very distinctive narrative voice so I was looking forward to seeing what he would come up with next! Underneath not only met my expectations but exceeded them, the author’s writing has improved dramatically since his last book and it is so great to see the evolution of someone’s skill in motion. 🙂
Underneath was offered to me in exchange for an author interview, book giveaway and an honest review.
Look at the person sitting just across from you. It doesn’t matter whether they’re a loved one, a friend, or a complete stranger.
Now look at their face. Are they happy? Are they sad? Or are they angry? Can you even tell?
How well do you actually know the people closest to you?
Have you ever seen the real person that lies just underneath what you see…?
The story Underneath follows a disturbed man named Hugh with a love for squirrels and garlic flavouring. He is antisocial, violent and a complete and utter sociopath with no regard for those around him. In the past he has made attempts to take part in society with regular office jobs and participating in clubs, but it is never long before the cracks in his mask begin to show and those around him see the terrifying truth of what lies underneath. So when he sets his eyes on a beautiful girl on the train, who knows what disaster could ensue?
Meanwhile Continue reading
Overall Impression: A disorganised and confused narrative that was unfortunately impossible for me to follow.
I was intrigued by the idea of My Trickster, I had never read anything with a Russian setting before and the blurb seemed mysterious. I wasn’t sure which genre the book was going to be, romance, thriller or adventure so I was interested to get started. Unfortunately my hopeful interest for the book soon faded and by the end of the third chapter I was wincing.
Ohh dear, ohh dear… this is the first one star review I have done on my blog and I do not do it lightly. I tried so hard to get into this book, I kept waiting for it to get better but it just didn’t and I struggled to finish it.
My Trickster was kindly offered to me in exchange for an author interview, book giveaway and an honest review.
When enigmatic Angela Moreaux, a woman he thought he had exorcised from his brain, calls and asks for his help, reluctant, but unable to resist, a hedge fund owner and an expert in stock market manipulation, Juan MacBride flies out to Moscow. On his arrival a bitter disappointment awaits him as he finds out that Angela fails to show up for their meeting in the Ritz. Instead, Juan is greeted by an elderly Swiss gentleman, who passes a mysterious note to him embarking Juan on a journey of discoveries that he wishes he never made…
My main problem with this novel is that I was utterly confused from start to finish and I have never really encountered this before. I couldn’t expand on the blurb because I have mostly no clue what went on in any detail, which probably sounds weird. Continue reading
I would like to welcome back, Michael Cargill! I first interviewed this guy way back in April when he was promoting his book Shades of Grey – Three short stories surrounding different people and their battle to survive.
Since he was such a joy to interview the first time, I thought I would invite him back again! 🙂 Michael is offering up FIVE FREE copies of his latest book, Underneath, so don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a chance to win!
So it’s nice to have you back again Michael, and with a full length published novel this time! How did you find the process of writing a novel, different to writing a short story? Was it harder?
It was only harder in the sense that it took longer to do, and the editing process made me feel twice as suicidal as it usually does. Each time I’ve started writing something, it’s ended up longer than the one that came before it. The one I’m working on now is longer than Underneath, and it aint even finished yet.
The thought of doing the editing for it is making me feel really suicidal. Continue reading
I would like to welcome Tony Talbot to Blogs-Of-A-Bookaholic! He is not only an author, but also a fellow blogger! 🙂 He is here to promote his book Eight Mile Island, based around a mysterious elite academy with unusual happenings. He is also offering up ONE FREE copy of his book, so don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a chance to win!
Tell us a little bit about yourself? Have you always wanted to write?
I work in an 11-14 school in Leicestershire, UK as an ICT technician…luckily it gives me a lot of time to write when I come home!
I always fiddled with writing when I was teenager – making fake characters for the people I knew, for instance, little things like ‘He was voted best person in the world ever in 1988..’. But I had a dream about a faked Apollo landing in 2008, and my wife said I should write it down or stop bugging her with it. I’d dipped into Stephen King’s ON WRITING a few times before that, but that dream really got me going. Four years later, and I can’t imagine doing anything else with my time anymore. Continue reading
Overall Impression: Finally a thriller I enjoyed! Smart, sophisticated and classy.
I’ve had this novel on my bookshelf for a long time. At school I went through a phase of researching books when I was bored in ICT class, and I found The Brutal Art mentioned a lot with rave reviews. So, I eventually purchased a second hand copy from ebay. After one failed attempt to read it while waiting in a Thorpe Park queue with friends (too full of nervous anticipation) it made it’s way back to my shelf soon forgotten. Until now.
I am also using this book as part of the Eclectic Reader Challenge for the Crime/Mystery category. 🙂
In a New York slum, a tenant has mysteriously disappeared – leaving behind a huge collection of sick but brilliant paintings.
For art dealer Ethan Muller, this is the discovery of a lifetime. He displays the pictures in his gallery and watches as they rocket up in value.
But suddenly the police want to talk to him. It seems that the missing artist had a deadly past. Sucked into an investigation four decades cold, Ethan will uncover a secret legacy of shame and death, one that will touch horrifyingly close to home – and leave him fearing for his own life.
Ethan Muller is a hot shot living in New York. He has money to burn, a no strings attached relationship and a successful art gallery. He has everything he could ever need. Or at least he thinks so, until he comes across Victor Cracke’s paintings. Disturbed and intoxicated by the work he sets up an exhibit which is an instant success. Desperate to know more he searches for the missing painter; interrogating neighbours, shuffling through boxes and reading the mans diary, but gets nowhere. So when Continue reading
Overall Impression: A disturbing insight into the deranged mind of a sociopath.
Ok, so I didn’t pick this book out of choice. It was set as required reading for my first module on my Creative and Professional Writing course. Previous to this I knew nothing about the book or the writer, so I went in blind! We haven’t actually started discussing it yet so my thoughts on it may change in the next few weeks. But for now, on with the review! 🙂
Withdrawn, uneducated and unloved, Frederick collects butterflies and takes photographs. He is obsessed with a beautiful stranger, the art student Miranda. When he wins the pools he buys a remote Sussex house and calmly abducts Miranda, believing she will grow to love him in time. Alone and desperate, Miranda must struggle to overcome her own prejudices and contempt if she is to understand her captor, and so gain her freedom.
I think that’s all the plot explanation you need; the premise is quite simple as the books emphasis is heavily character driven and busting with social commentary rather than plot points.
John Fowles writing is a hard one to critique in this case because I didn’t like it. In fact, I think the point is that you are not supposed to like it. There are no elaborate descriptions to paint a bright picture of the settings, places or people. The writing feels clinical and very matter of fact, and I think this is supposed to reflect the way that Frederick views the world; his detachment and his negative outlook on society. Continue reading
First off, how awesome is that title? I’m quite proud that my little brain came up with that, and it totally fits as well! 😛 Much more interesting than just book haul don’t ya think?
Ok, so the book ban is well and truly desecrated. How long did I last? *checks blog* Well I announced it May 19th 2012 so that’s *counts on fingers* not even three months!!!! *hangs head in shame*. And since the ban I’ve only gotten three books off my TBR pile so ummm…..yeah, the Maths doesn’t add up, I’m actually worse off than when I started. But you know what? I’ve never been all that fond of Maths.
So errr, ignoring my pathetic failure, lets move on to the books, because we all love the books! That’s why we’re here right?
I went into town with a bookish friend of mine and we spent about two hours just looking around Waterstones. After a thorough rummage (in which I found a beautiful hardback copy of The Complete Sherlock Holmes but made myself put it back because of the price) he told me about these two second hand book shops a short walk away. So of course, I had to go and investigate! Continue reading
Overall Impression: A solid book, better than its predecessor.
(To read my review of the first book from the Jack Reacher series, Killing Floor click here)
Jack Reacher, alone, strolling nowhere.
A Chicago street in bright sunshine.
A young woman on crutches.
He offers her a steadying arm.
And turns to see a handgun aimed at his stomach.
Chained in a dark van racing across America, Reacher doesn’t know why he’s been kidnapped. The woman claims to be FBI. She’s certainly tough enough. But at their remote destination, will raw courage be enough to overcome the hopeless odds?
Again I won’t bother expanding on the plot with this book, it’s thriller genre means it’s best not to know more than the blurb.
I approached this book feeling positive, but also wary. Those of you that have been following my blog for any length of time will probably have noticed my qualms with the thriller genre, as well as the author’s previous book. So after reading the first 100 pages or so I was very pleased to see that Lee Child had already fixed several of the complaints I had about the first. For starters, his writing style is far more readable. Previously he used an endless array of short sentences with little variance in an attempt to create tension and a military precision feel, that linked back to his lead character. While it made sense in theory, I found it somewhat irritating. (Probably because as Nisha suggested: Repetitions of any nature will become exhausting.) His sentences in Die Trying however, are far more varied, and although he still has a preference for short sentences it is no longer detracting from the story he is trying to tell. However, that being said, his writing style still doesn’t really do anything for me, and I am not that keen on it. He tends to go more for precision and math’s in his description whereas I tend to prefer the inventive and creative ones, but that is just my personal preference.