Friday, 30 August 2013

Them Or Us (Hater #3) by David Moody

Them Or Us (Hater, #3)

The war that has torn the human race apart is nearing its end. With the country in the grip of a nuclear winter, both Hater and Unchanged struggle to survive. Hinchcliffe, leader of an army of Haters, will stop at nothing to be at the top of the new world order.

 


Them or Us picks up the story a short while on from where Dog Blood finished. Following the nuclear bomb Danny McCoyne is now in Lowestoft and as he can control his hate he's being used by Hinchcliffe to infiltrate the Unchanged before handing them over to be killed.
The Unchanged are becoming harder to find and are almost extinct. The Haters, unable to control their killer instinct, start turning on each other. Danny is getting fed up of the fighting, starting to reflect and wonder what the point of all this is and misses his life from before.
This is a more depressing, reflective story than the previous two, I didn't find it as gripping as either of those and the writing style has certainly changed as the series has progressed. I still enjoyed it though and it's worth reading to find out how everything concludes.
Parts of this novel are set in the Suffolk coastal town of Southwold (35 miles from where I live) and I read some of it on the beach there. Thankfully it was a lovely sunny day with no sign of McCoyne's apocalyptic world in sight.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

WWW Wednesdays (28th August)

WWW_Wednesdays4

This is a weekly meme by Should Be Reading To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

 

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

 

 

Currently Reading:


Them or Us by David Moody - this is the final book in the Hater trilogy.


Finished Reading:

Bellman and Black by Diane Setterfield - I was disappointed with this.


Next Read:

The Returned by Jason Mott - I requested this one from the library and it should be in soon.

 Them or Us (Hater, #3) Bellman & Black The Returned




 




 

 

Waiting On Wednesday (28th August)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we can't wait to be published.

 

 

This week mine is: The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg

Fried Green Tomatoes is one of my favourite books, I've read it twice and this one also sounds good.

 

 

 

Mrs. Sookie Poole of Point Clear, Alabama, has just married off the last of her daughters and is looking forward to relaxing and perhaps traveling with her husband, Earle. The only thing left to contend with is her mother, the formidable Lenore Simmons Krackenberry. Lenore may be a lot of fun for other people, but is, for the most part, an overbearing presence for her daughter. Then one day, quite by accident, Sookie discovers a secret about her mother’s past that knocks her for a loop and suddenly calls into question everything she ever thought she knew about herself, her family, and her future.

Sookie begins a search for answers that takes her to California, the Midwest, and back in time, to the 1940s, when an irrepressible woman named Fritzi takes on the job of running her family’s filling station. Soon truck drivers are changing their routes to fill up at the All-Girl Filling Station. Then, Fritzi sees an opportunity for an even more groundbreaking adventure. As Sookie learns about the adventures of the girls at the All-Girl Filling Station, she finds herself with new inspiration for her own life.

Fabulous, fun-filled, spanning decades and generations, and centered on a little-known aspect of America’s twentieth-century story,
The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion is Fannie Flagg at her irresistible best.

Publication date: 5th November 2013


Monday, 26 August 2013

Bellman and Black by Diane Setterfield

Bellman and Black

Book Blurb:

 

As a boy, William Bellman commits one small, cruel act: killing a bird with his slingshot. Little does he know the unforeseen and terrible consequences of the deed, which is soon forgotten amidst the riot of boyhood games. By the time he is grown, with a wife and children of his own, William seems to be a man blessed by fortune—until tragedy strikes and the stranger in black comes. Then he starts to wonder if all his happiness is about to be eclipsed. Desperate to save the one precious thing he has left, William enters into a rather strange bargain, with an even stranger partner, to found a decidedly macabre business.

And Bellman & Black is born

 

 

I received a copy of this from NetGalley in return for a review:

 
I was disappointed with Bellman and Black, maybe because I read The Thirteenth Tale seven years ago, loved it and so had high hopes for the author's second novel. Or maybe because it has been described as a ghost story, it isn't really and it meant I was expecting a very different type of story.

It's set in Victorian England and starts when William Bellman is a boy, and one day, while out with his cousin and some friends, he kills a rook with his catapult. Then it jumps forward in time and he gets a job working at his Uncle's Mill. I felt there was too much written about the workings of the mill, the dye and the fabrics. Yes, this may have needed touching on but not paragraph after paragraph. 

I thought the story was slow to start with, then it improved a lot only to go flat again. In fact I found this throughout the book, every time I thought the story was gaining pace and going somewhere it was a false alarm.

This review may seem overly negative for a 3 star rating but it was very well written and good in parts, it's just that I was expecting so much more. I think this one may have benefited from being a novella rather than a full size novel. I'm not sure this will be as successful as her first book, but perhaps I'm wrong and it's just not for me.

Rating: 3 out of 5


It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (26th August)

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It's Monday! What Are You Reading is a weekly meme run by Book Journey and you can mention books you've just finished, are currently reading and any you plan to read this week. You can leave a link to your blog and read other bloggers posts.

 

 

I haven't done as much reading as normal this week, my Mum came to stay for a few days, we've been enjoying time with my daughters while they are still on their summer holidays, and we all had a great day at the beach on Friday. The two books I did get finished I loved though.


This week I finished reading:

The Wicked Girls by Alex Marwood
Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman

The Wicked Girls   Saving Ceecee Honeycutt


Currently reading:

Bellman and Back by Diane Setterfield - An ARC copy from NetGalley

Bellman and Black




Saturday, 24 August 2013

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman


Saving Ceecee Honeycutt



CeeCee is only twelve years old when her mother, who has suffered with mental illness, dies. Her father sends her to live in the south with an unknown relative of her mothers, Aunt Tootie.
This book sounds like it could be quite dark but it is far from depressing and is an uplifting story full of hope. There are plenty of eccentric and funny characters and I defy anyone to read about Miz Hobbs's travelling brassiere and not laugh.
I have now read both of Beth Hoffman's novels and she's a good writer and storyteller. Hopefully I won't have to wait too long for her third. 

Rating: 4 out of 5



 Some of the book blurb:

Twelve-year-old CeeCee is in trouble. For years she’s been the caretaker of her psychotic mother, Camille— the crown-wearing, lipstick-smeared laughingstock of an entire town. Though it’s 1967 and they live in Ohio, Camille believes it’s 1951 and she’s just been crowned the Vidalia Onion Queen of Georgia.

The day CeeCee discovers Camille in the front yard wearing a tattered prom dress and tiara as she blows kisses to passing motorists, she knows her mother has completely flipped. When tragedy strikes, Tootie Caldwell, a previously unknown great-aunt comes to CeeCee’s rescue and whisks her away to Savannah. Within hours of her arrival, CeeCee is catapulted into a perfumed world of prosperity and Southern eccentricities—a world that appears to be run entirely by women.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Book Blogger Hop (23rd-29th August)

 

The Book Blogger Hop is hosted at Ramblings Of A Coffee Addicted Writer and this week's question is:



Book blogging is more than just reading. Who helped you set up or run your blog? Or did you do it all yourself?

 

 

My Answer:

 

I'd been reviewing on Goodreads for a little while when I decided I'd like to have a book blog. I set it up myself but did look at other blogs first to get an idea of what would work for me. I thought I'd be using it to just post my reviews online but soon found plenty of enjoyable memes to take part in (including this one).

Book Beginnings On Fridays (Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman)

Book Beginnings on Fridays is hosted by Rose City Reader and as she says the idea of this meme is for you to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author's name. There's a linky list on the website and you can use #BookBeginnings on Twitter.

 

 

My book beginning: Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman

Saving Ceecee Honeycutt

Momma left her red satin shoes in the middle of the road. That's what three eyewitnesses told the police. The first time I remember my mother wearing red shoes was on a snowy morning in December 1962, the year I was seven years old. I walked into the kitchen and found her sitting at the table. No lights were on, but in the thin haze of dawn that pushed through the frostbitten window, I could see red high-heeled shoes peeking out from beneath the hem of her robe. There was no breakfast waiting, and no freshly ironed school dress hanging on the basement door knob. Momma just sat and stared out the window with empty eyes, her hands limp in her lap, her coffee cold and untouched.


I read Beth Hoffman's second novel  Looking for Me earlier this year, absolutely loved it and bought this one straight away, Hoffman is a very good storyteller.


The book blurb:

When Camille Sugarbaker Honeycutt, the pretty but crazy 1951 Vidalia Onion Queen, dies suddenly, her twelve year old daughter CeeCee is whisked off by her Great Aunt Tootie to the fable city of Savannah in the most magnificent car CeeCee has ever seen.
Soon among the sweet scent of magnolias and the loving warmth of her aunt and her colourful friends, it looks as though CeeCee has arrived in paradise. But when a darker side of the Southern dream threatens this delicate, newfound happiness, Aunt Tootie and her friends must rally to CeeCee's aid.

Friday Finds (23rd August)

FF2_MdFriday Finds is run by Should Be Reading and is a chance to share the books you've heard about this week and have added to your TBR or wishlist.

 

 

Here are mine for this week:

 

 

Is This Tomorrow? by Caroline Leavitt
Trust by David Moody
Nearest Thing To Crazy by Elizabeth Forbes


  Is This Tomorrow Trust Nearest Thing to Crazy



Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Waiting On Wednesday (21st August)

 

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we can't wait to be published.

 

 

This week mine is: The World Is A Wedding by Wendy Jones - this is the follow up to The Thoughts & Happenings of Wilfred Price, Purveyor of Superior Funerals, a book I loved and which took me by surprise.


http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51sfwnYRYrL.jpgIt's 1926 and Wilfred Price, purveyor of superior funerals, is newly married to the beautiful Flora Myfanwy. His brief and painful marriage to Grace is in the past. He's busy with funerals - and preparing for fatherhood by reading a philosophy book and opening a paint and wallpaper business. As much as he loves Flora, he senses her distance from him - are marriage and fatherhood going to be very different from how Wilfred imagined?Grace has fled to from Narberth to London, where she is working as a chambermaid at the luxurious Ritz Hotel. But Grace has a secret, one that can't be hidden forever, and binds her to her old life in west Wales.Despite Wilfred's earnest effort to embrace the future, he is beginning to wonder if the past has too powerful a hold on him.

Publication date: 5th September 2013


Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Teaser Tuesdays (20th August)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


My Teaser: 

 

Saving Ceecee HoneycuttIt struck me as odd how my dad and the policeman were talking as if they were friends. I wondered if maybe death does that - turns strangers into friends for a few minutes, or an hour, or maybe even a whole day.

Page 29 of Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman

Top Ten Tuesday - Things That Make Your Life As A Reader/Book Blogger Easier


http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Qhvjlr1CbeE/UclmxfbZLLI/AAAAAAAAANE/9od-V-aMUic/s200/toptentuesday2.jpgTop Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme by The Broke and the Bookish and each week there's a different topic. As always, even if you can't think of 10, do as many as you can. This week the topic is things that make your life as a reader/book blogger easier.


Here are mine:


Kindle - Perfect for travelling and holidays, I can have lots of books with me that take up hardly any space. Also I can read books from NetGalley on it.

Goodreads - Great for book recommendations as well as being able to rate and review books etc. Also the app on my phone is very useful when in bookshops and I can't remember everything on my wishlist, can look it up quickly.

My Book Journal - As well as the main section for my thought on books it also has sections I use for my TBR/Wishlist. Can look through it quickly when deciding what to read next.

Local Library - I can suggest and reserve books for free as well as borrow them, saves me a lot of money

Amazon - I have discovered books with "customers who bought this item also bought" and also like looking through the future releases section.

eReaderIQ - A great site that emails you when kindle ebooks you've added drop in price, means you don't have to keep checking your wishlist on Amazon.

Fantastic Fiction  - Can look up authors books and when they were published, very handy if I want to read a series in the correct order or see other books by an author I've just discovered.

NetGalley - Only joined earlier this year but been lucky to get review copies of some interesting books and because of this I started my blog.

Tablet - Bought this last month and it meant I could post reviews on my blog while on holiday instead of waiting until I returned home.

Memes - There are some great memes I participate in on my blog, as well as Top Ten Tuesday others I like include Book Blogger Hop, Waiting On Wednesday and Friday Finds.






Monday, 19 August 2013

The Wicked Girls by Alex Marwood

The Wicked Girls

 

In 1986 two eleven year old girls, Bel and Jade, meet for the first time. This leads to the death of a child, they are convicted of her murder, sent to young offenders institutions and when released given new identities.

In the present day, Amber is a cleaning supervisor at Funnland, she finds the murdered body of a young woman in the hall of mirrors and as this is the third victim of the Seaside Strangler in the town of Whitmouth, following two the previous year, the press are getting interested. One of the journalists sent to cover the story is Kirsty, a married mother of two children.

I thought this crime book was a little different in that although there are murders to be solved the main story surrounds what has happened and is happening to Bel/Amber and Jade/Kirsty and how different their lives have turned out. It was fast paced particularly the last third and the story is very character driven, although mainly set in the present it also has flashbacks to what happened on that fateful day in 1986. I was surprised with whom my sympathies lay and how that changed as the story progressed, this books gives you a lot to think about and it was interesting to read of the role the media play in these situations.

 

 

I received this from NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Rating: 4 out of 5

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (19th August)

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It's Monday! What Are You Reading is a weekly meme run by Book Journey and you can mention books you've just finished, are currently reading and any you plan to read this week. You can leave a link to your blog and read other bloggers posts.

 

 

This week I finished reading:


The Funeral Dress by Susan Gregg Gilmore
Dog Blood (Hater #2) by David Moody

 The Funeral Dress: A Novel  Dog Blood (Hater, #2)



Book I'm currently reading:

 

The Wicked Girls by Alex Marwood - I got this crime novel from NetGalley and I'm really enjoying it

The Wicked Girls

 





Saturday, 17 August 2013

Dog Blood (Hater #2) by David Moody

Please note: This is the second book in a trilogy and this review will give away spoilers from the first book Hater, my review for that is here

 

Dog Blood (Hater, #2)

 

Dog Blood again follows Danny McCoyne, this time in the search for his young daughter Ellis. He hasn't seen her since his partner Lizzie escaped from him along with their other two children, but Danny isn't looking for them because they are Unchanged, unlike Ellis who is a Hater like her Dad.

What I like about this book is that the story is told through the eyes of the bad guys, The Haters. Of course as far as they are concerned the Unchanged are in the wrong and they must be killed, we are also introduced to Brutes, super strong human killing machines. Other characters include Mark, he's unchanged and is stuck in a city hotel room with his pregnant girlfriend and her parents among others. 

Dog Blood isn't quite as good as the first in the trilogy but is still a worthy follow up and once the story gets going is as much of a page turner, it won't be long until I read Them or Us (Hater #3) to find out how the story concludes.

 

Rating: 4 out of 5


Friday, 16 August 2013

Book Beginnings On Fridays (Dog Blood by David Moody)

 


Book Beginnings on Fridays is hosted by Rose City Reader and as she says the idea of this meme is for you to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author's name. There's a linky list on the website and you can use #BookBeginnings on Twitter.

 

My Book Beginning: Dog Blood (Hater #2) by David Moody

 


Dog Blood (Hater, #2)

 

 

 

The cause of the Hate (as it had come to be known on both sides of the uneven divide) was irrelevant. At the very beginning, when the doubters had been forced to accept that something was really happening and that the troubles weren't just the result of media-fuelled, copycat mob violence, the usual raft of baseless explanations were proposed; scientists had screwed up in a lab somewhere, it was an evolutionary quirk, it was a virus, a terrorist attack, aliens or worse... 

 

 

I read Hater, the first in the trilogy, earlier this month and couldn't wait to get hold of Dog Blood from the library to find out what happened next. It isn't often I read the next book in a series so quickly as normally I prefer to read lots of different types of books in between. I'm currently on page 209 and if it continues to be as good until the end I may even read the third book next.


Some of the blurb from Goodreads:

The world has suffered a catastrophe of unknown cause, dividing humankind into two: the Haters and the Unchanged. Each group believes the other to be the enemy; each group is fighting for survival. Only by working together can the enemy – whoever that enemy is – be defeated. There are no other choices.

 


Friday Finds (16th August)

FF2_Md

 

Friday Finds is run by Should Be Reading and is a chance to share the books you've heard about this week and have added to your TBR or wishlist.

 

 

This week I've added these books to my ever growing wishlist:

 


Crazy Ladies by Michael Lee West
Memoirs Of An Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dicks
The Deep End Of The Ocean by Jacquelyn Mitchard
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein



Crazy Ladies Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend The Deep End of the Ocean  Code Name Verity

Book Blogger Hop (16th-22nd August)




The Book Blogger Hop is hosted at Ramblings Of A Coffee Addicted Writer and gives bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to your own blog. All you need to do is answer this weeks question on your blog, enter the link to your post here then visit other blogs on the list and comment on their posts. This weeks question is:

Were you a born bookworm or somebody got you into the habit of reading? 

My Answer:

I've always enjoyed books and reading but whether I was born a bookworm or if it was because my Mum loves books and read them to me I don't know. I used to think it was because of her influence, but now I have two daughters, one who loves reading and one who doesn't. This is despite the fact that I read and look at books with them both. This may change and I don't want to force her and put her off reading for life. My brother was never as into books as me when younger but now reads a lot and has a Kindle.

 

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

The Funeral Dress by Susan Gregg Gilmore

The Funeral Dress


The story is set in the Appalachian Mountains and starts in 1974 when sixteen year old Emmalee gets a job making collars at The Tennewa Shirt Factory, it's here she meets Leona Lane. We jump forward a few years later and Emmalee is now an unmarried mother with a young baby daughter, her own mother died when she was a child, her father drinks too much and he has never been much of a parent. Leona offers Emmalee and the baby a place to stay with her and her husband in their trailer, it isn't much but it's clean and tidy and she'll be safe and well looked after. However, then tragedy strikes, Leona and her husband both die in an accident, a grief stricken Emmalee decides to make Leona's burying dress but not everyone in the small southern community is happy that an unmarried mother is allowed to do this for a christian woman, and others don't think she's capable of bringing up her child properly on her own.

At first I found The Funeral Dress slow and I wasn't sure where it was going but it's worth sticking with, it's a touching story and I was rooting for Emmalee all the way through the book, there are also chapters telling us about Leona's past, some of which is heartbreaking. Worth a read if you enjoy southern fiction.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Top Ten Tuesday - Top 10 Books Set During World War II

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme by The Broke and the Bookish and each  week there's a different topic. As always, even if you can't think of 10, do as many as you can. This weeks the topic is Top Ten Favourite Books With X Setting (ie: futuristic world, set mostly in schools, during World War II, books set in California  etc. etc. So many possibilities!)



I've chosen books set during World War II (9 fiction and 1 non fiction):








The Boy in the Striped Pajamas Under An English Heaven A Town Like Alice The Night Watch

Little Boy Lost The Book Thief Lights Out Liverpool The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society The Diary of a Young Girl Pied Piper

The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne - I cried my heart out when I got to the end.

Under An English Heaven by Robert Radcliffe - Was leant a bag of books and this was among them, had no idea what to read next but because it's set in Suffolk decided to give it a go, I loved it and now I really enjoy fiction set during this period in time.

A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute - I'd heard good things about this book and it lived up to the hype, I now have lots of Nevil Shute books including The Pied Piper which I've also included in this list.

The Night Watch by Sarah Waters - This book is unusual because it starts in 1947 and then the story works backwards until it gets to 1941. It's set in London and follows the lives of four people.

Little Boy Lost by Marghanita Laski - The fictional story of an English soldier, his wife was killed by the Gestapo and he returns to France to search for his missing young son.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - An unsual book that has Death as the narrator of the story, one I want to read again at some point.

Lights Out Liverpool by Maureen Lee - The first book in the Pearl Street Trilogy, a very good family saga and an insight into what it was like to live during the war.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Schaffer - Although I'd heard good things about this book I wasn't sure it was my sort of read, glad I managed to get a copy from the library though because I enjoyed it a lot.

The Diary of Anne Frank - Everyone should read this book, I will make sure my daughters do as soon as they're old enough.