Skip to content

Posts by Book Worm

Non 1001 Book Review: Crazy House James Patterson

34102633

Book Worm and I are hosting a reading challenge to read across the USA in books. You are welcome to join in that challenge at any time before the end. You can read more about the challenge here. Book Worm selected this book as her choice for New York. Keep reading to see what she thought about it. Read more

Non 1001 Book Review: Last Seen Alive Claire Douglas

 

34204310

Last Seen Alive by Claire Douglas
Published in: 2017
Reviewed by: Book Worm
Rating: ★★★
Find it here: Last Seen Alive

This ARC was provided by Penguin UK (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis from Goodreads:
The Hero

Libby Hall never really wanted to be noticed. But after she saves the children in her care from a fire, she finds herself headline news. And horrified by the attention. It all reminds her of what happened nine years ago. The last time she saw her best friend alive.

The Swap

Which is why the house swap is such a godsend. Libby and her husband Jamie exchange their flat in Bath for a beautiful, secluded house in Cornwall. It’s a chance to heal their marriage – to stop its secrets tearing them apart.

The Hideaway

But this stylish Cornish home isn’t the getaway they’d hoped for. They make odd, even disturbing, discoveries in the house. It’s so isolated-yet Libby doesn’t feel entirely alone. As if she’s being watched.

Is Libby being paranoid? What is her husband hiding? And. As the secrets and lies come tumbling out, is the past about to catch up with them?

Book Worm’s Thoughts: This was a solid 3 star thriller where nothing is what it seems and the line between guilty and innocent is blurred.

I always find it hard to review thrillers, as you don’t want to give away the twists and turns in the book that take the reader to the final conclusion. The fun of reading a thriller is seeing what you can guess for yourself (well at least it is for me).

What I can say is that Douglas does a good job in building up an oppressive atmosphere, in describing paranoia, and showing how even the people we love most in the world are not always truthful. I also loved the descriptions of a marriage in trouble and how much compromise is needed to keep things on an even keel.

Who would like this? I would recommend this to anyone who needs a break from heavy reading and who enjoys twisty books. I hate to say it but, if you liked Gone Girl you will probably enjoy this. Great literature it is not but it is great fun to read.

Want to try it for yourself? You can find a copy here: Last Seen Alive

We want to hear from you! Have you read this book? What did you think? 

Man Booker International 2017 Book Worm’s Predictions

Tomorrow is the day that they announce the winner of the 2017 International Man Booker Prize. I have managed to read all 6 books and wanted to sneak in my predictions before they announce the prize tomorrow (thus the reason why we are posting twice today). I had some help from our guest reviewer, Tracy in reading and ranking the books. Here are our ratings:  Read more

Man Booker International Short List 2017: Compass by Mathias Enard

30347698

With just hours to go (well maybe a whole day) I have finished the last book on the Man Booker International Short List 2017. This one was a struggle, not least because it is the longest book on the short list. Read on to find out more. Read more

Man Booker International Shortlist 2017: Judas by Amos Oz

30290553

Next up in the review of shortlist books is Judas by Amos Oz. Both Book Worm and guest reviewer, Tracy, reviewed this book. I personally love Amos Oz but haven’t read this particular book yet (although I own a copy). Read the reviews below and make sure to check out the winner of the Bailey’s prize which will be announced later today. Read more

Man Booker International Short List 2017: The Unseen by Roy Jacobsen

31936168

Next up on my Man Booker International journey is The Unseen, a book about which I have mixed feelings. Keep reading to find out why. Read more

Man Booker International Short List: A Horse Walks Into a Bar by David Grossman

30408033

Next up on my Man Booker International challenge is A Horse Walks Into a Bar by David Grossman. Check out my review and see where it ranks in my personal list of Man Booker nominees. Read more

Man Booker International Short List 2017: Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin

30763882

Next up in Book Worm’s journey through the International Man Booker 2017 shortlist is Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin. Book  Worm and guest reviewer Tracy both read and reviewed this book. Check out what they thought. Read more

Man Booker International Short List 2017: Mirror, Shoulder, Signal by Dorthe Nors

34457985

Although we’re not doing a formal panel for the International Man Booker, Book Worm is reading the shortlist and reviewing each of the books. She’ll make her prediction right before the winner is announced. Keep reading to find out what she thought of the first book on her list: Mirror, Shoulder, Signal by Dorthe Nors. Read more

Non 1001 Book Review: One of us is Lying Karen M McManus

32571395

One of us is Lying by Karen M McManus
Published in: 2017
Reviewed by: Book Worm
Rating: ★★★
Find it here: One of us is Lying

This ARC was provided by Penguin Random House UK (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis from Goodreads: One of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.

Pay close attention and you might solve this.

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.

Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.

Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.

Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.

Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.

And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?

Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.

Book Worm’s Thoughts: Firstly, I would like to correct one thing in the Goodreads synopsis. The 5 people who go into detention are not strangers, they all know each other, or at the very least know of each other. I don’t think there is actually such a thing as a stranger in a closed environment like a school.

This is a YA thriller and, as such, it is light on the gory stuff. While there is tension in the narrative, I never felt that anyone was in real danger. For me, it was more a closed room mystery and with that premise in mind it worked really well.

There were 2 big reveals in the narrative and if you were paying attention they were both obvious. This is a good thing and a bad thing. Good because I hate books where the reader couldn’t possibly solve the crime and bad because I do like to be kept guessing slightly longer than the book allowed.

The narrative switches between the 4 characters who “survive” detention and as the book went on I became more and more invested in them, as they shared their faults and flaws and began to develop beyond the stereotypes with which we are first presented. There is also one brilliant scene in the school canteen that I can’t share for fear of spoilers, but all I will say is bad boy Nate is my hero in that scene.

This is a solid 3 star read with interesting characters and a touch of teen romance thrown in for good measure.

Who would like this book? If you like murder mysteries that won’t give you nightmares, this would be a good choice for you. I would also recommend this to a teenaged audience as it deals with issues that many teenagers face at school.

Want to try it for yourself? You can find a copy here: One of us is Lying

We want to hear from you! Have you read this book? What did you think?