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Posts by Book Worm

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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? 

 The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda

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The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda
Published in: 2017
Reviewed by: Book Worm
Rating: ★★★
Find it here: Perfect Stranger

This ARC was provided by Simon & Schuster (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis from Goodreads: In the masterful follow-up to the runaway hit All the Missing Girls, a journalist sets out to find a missing friend, a friend who may never have existed at all.

Confronted by a restraining order and the threat of a lawsuit, failed journalist Leah Stevens needs to get out of Boston when she runs into an old friend, Emmy Grey, who has just left a troubled relationship. Emmy proposes they move to rural Pennsylvania, where Leah can get a teaching position and both women can start again. But their new start is threatened when a woman with an eerie resemblance to Leah is assaulted by the lake, and Emmy disappears days later.

Determined to find Emmy, Leah cooperates with Kyle Donovan, a handsome young police officer on the case. As they investigate her friend’s life for clues, Leah begins to wonder: did she ever really know Emmy at all? With no friends, family, or a digital footprint, the police begin to suspect that there is no Emmy Grey. Soon Leah’s credibility is at stake, and she is forced to revisit her past: the article that ruined her career. To save herself, Leah must uncover the truth about Emmy Grey—and along the way, confront her old demons, find out who she can really trust, and clear her own name.

Everyone in this rural Pennsylvanian town has something to hide—including Leah herself. How do you uncover the truth when you are busy hiding your own?

Book Worm’s Thoughts: Last year I read and loved Megan Miranda’s All the Missing Girls (a thriller told entirely in reverse) so I was excited to read her latest book.

Like a lot of other reviewers, the first thing I have to say is that this is nothing like All the Missing Girls. This is a straightforward, chronological thriller and any time we visit the past, it is in the form of a memory. For me, this was a solid 3 star thriller. It proceeds at a fast pace, there are plenty of twists and turns, and I was up until midnight finishing it (bear in mind I am usually in bed by 10:00 at the latest and normally asleep by 10:30). So I was definitely hooked by the storyline.

I liked the characters although I did feel some of their actions were unrealistic, or would have raised several eyebrows if they had behaved that way in the real world. I had to accept that this was fiction and not real life in order to be able to gloss over the fact that Leah was able to become a teacher with no background check. I mean really?? does this happen in the USA??

The background characters are interesting and I think there is the potential for another book based around the secondary characters. I am sure Megan Miranda could still create a book full of suspense and unexpected turns.

Overall, this provided some light-hearted escapism from my more intense reading.

Who would like this? I would recommend this to anyone who likes a good thriller, anyone who likes a book where you don’t know who you can trust, and anyone who is able to suspend belief and just go with the flow no matter where the narrative takes you.

Want to try it for yourself? You can find a copy here: Perfect Stranger

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

Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout

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Elizabeth Strout is out with a new book that is a companion work to her Booker Nominated novel, My Name is Lucy Barton. Keep reading to see what I thought of this book. Read more