The Existence of Amy By Lana Grace Riva

The Existence of Amy By Lana Grace Riva

Amy has a normal life. That is, if you were to go by a definition of ‘no obvious indicators of peculiarity’, and you didn’t know her very well. She has good friends, a good job, a nice enough home. This normality, however, is precariously plastered on top of a different life. A life that is Amy’s real life. The only one her brain will let her lead. A fictional story that depicts the reality of mental illness behind a perception of normality.

My Thoughts:

This is such a powerful story that I just had to read. I haven’t read a book about mental health like this before. Amy is the main character and she has OCD, seeing how it affects her day to day was really hard but Lana has done a brilliant job surrounding mental health and has done it sensitively. It is a useful insight into OCD and how it affects that person and also people around them. I knew that they try and keep it hidden by certain people which shows in this book about how Amy is around her work colleagues at least some of them understand, it was nice to see her relationship with Ed. I felt as though I understand a little bit more about OCD and if I were to know anyone that has I could try and help them. Overall a very interesting and thought provoking read.

I received an ARC copy of this book for an honest review. Thank you to Lana who kindly sent me a copy of her book.

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The Connection By David Billingsley

The Connection By David Billingsley

A drifter appears…this town will never be the same. Again…

Not much happens in the small West Texas town of Dinley, and radio DJ Sandy McAllister is fine with that. Following the tragic loss of her husband and son, she’s carved out a steady, solitary existence. No more deep friendships, no more love, no more loss.

But a loud boom on the outskirts of town followed by the sudden appearance of a drifter is about to upset Sandy’s carefully scripted life. His mysterious arrival on a warm summer evening coincides with the eruption of addictive and powerful feelings she cannot control or deny. And she’s not the only one.

The bond, the connection, with this stranger threatens to turn her life inside out and polarize her town.

And it’s not the first time this has happened in Dinley.

My Thoughts:

I love finding a new author whose book I really like and then finding out this author has written previous books makes me very happy. I will certainly be reading David’s other books. I don’t normally read books with sci fi in them but the sci-fi part was very small and did not put me of the book which for me was great. After reading one chapter I wanted to keep reading and I knew the housework would just have to wait another day. It pulled me in, the writing is descriptive and every time I thought I knew what was going to happen, something else happened. It is a really good mystery story, one that I would recommend.

I received an ARC copy of this book for an honest review.

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Old and Ugly By C L Moir

Old and Ugly By C L Moir

Ange has been invited to a reunion… Old and Ugly is the story of that reunion – and the story of Ange’s life. Hilarious and laughable, conceited and fearful, feisty and (some might say) a fool for the admiration of men, Ange must finally confront the truth about her fantastical life of glamour and good fortune to be freed from its secrets – and freed from the man who made her, then broke her. Irreverent and moving, disturbing and joyful, you’ve probably never read anything quite like it…

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this delightful read, I love receiving books that are slightly different to the norm and this certainly was, the binding is special and it has a lovely feel to it making it feel special, it is a hardback but it is smaller than a usual hardback which I would say fits better in your hand, the design on the cover is simple but when you have read the book take another look at it, a picture tells a thousand stories. What a pleasant surprise to read though, this story will certainly make you chuckle as it did with me, I love the added drawings through out the story it made it feel more personalised and some of them made me laugh. I fell in love with Ange she says it like it is, she use to be a beauty queen but over the years her weight has crept up on her, when being invited over to an old friends house for a reunion, her and her friend Elizabeth it was great to see their relationship and how each of them still says it like it is. They do not hold back on each other. At times I felt it was a little dark, I felt for Ange as I could see she is a little depressed. It is a very amusing book, would be nice to continue with Ange’s story in another book.

I received an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Behind The Press for sending me this copy.

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Happy Birthday to Me!!

Happy Birthday to Me!!

So, it is my birthday and I am up at the crack of dawn, that is me never miss an opportunity to get some reading in before the day starts. I haven’t got much planned for today but I will sit and enjoy a book or two. There are some fantastic books out today including ones that I have read and reviewed for my lovely readers. Thanks by the way for reading my reviews, it makes my job more worthwhile. Books that are out today include The Storm By Amanda Jennings, The Weekend Away By Sarah Alderson, Kate and Clara’s Curious Cornish Craft Shop By Ali McNamara and Sisters By Michelle Frances. Check out my reviews for these fantastic books.

Another book that is out today is called Taken and it is by Lisa Stone, I hope I get it for my birthday as I am a big fan of Lisa’s who is also Cathy Glass. I love her books alot, will post pictures below of the books that I get today, hopefully I will get lots. We will see.

Anyways, enough of me waffling on, let the celebrations begin……..

Business cards my wonderful husband made for me
The Weekend Away By Sarah Alderson

The Weekend Away By Sarah Alderson

Two friends go on holiday. Only one comes back.

If you loved The Holiday, get ready for your new obsession…

Orla and Kate have been best friends forever. Together they’ve faced it all – be it Orla’s struggles as a new mother or Kate’s messy divorce. And whatever else happens in their lives, they can always look forward to their annual weekend away.

This year, they’re off to Lisbon: the perfect flat, the perfect view, the perfect itinerary. And what better way to kick things off in style than with the perfect night out?

But when Orla wakes up the next morning, Kate is gone. Brushed off by the police and with only a fuzzy memory of the night’s events, Orla is her friend’s only hope. As she frantically retraces their steps, Orla makes a series of shattering discoveries that threaten everything she holds dear. Because while Lisbon holds the secret of what happened that night, the truth may lie closer to home…

My Thoughts:

I think this is going to be a big hit for the Summer. If you want a crime thriller that leads you up the garden path and then takes you off course like you would never believe, then this is the book for you. It had everything I like in a thriller plus a lot more than I could ever imagine. It is about two friends who go away for the weekend, they are complete opposites Kate likes to drink, Orla not so much but the morning after the night before, Orla finds herself alone and cannot find Kate anywhere, where is she? Orla sets out to find out what happened to her friend but discovers so much more than she could ever imagine. This book deserves a 10/10. It was absolutely brilliant.

I received an ARC copy of this book for an honest review. Thank you Netgalley.

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Sisters By Michelle Frances

Sisters By Michelle Frances

Abby and Ellie were never close as children. Now in their thirties, they each harbour deep-rooted resentment for the other – Abby for her sister’s looks and her status as their mother’s favourite. Ellie meanwhile is envious of Abby’s perfect husband and picturesque home, a villa on the sun-soaked Italian island of Elba.

When Abby invites Ellie to stay, both sisters see the break as a chance to relax and put aside their differences. But with their mother Susanna there too, all the simmering tensions of the past quickly rise to the surface. And Ellie suspects that Abby and their mother are keeping a dangerous secret . . .

But after a shocking act, the sisters have only each other to rely on. Vulnerable and scared, trusting each other will be the biggest risk of all . . .

My Thoughts:

This is one of those books that keep you hooked until the end. I liked the plot line and the characters. Two sisters each with completely different lives decide to see each other again after not seeing each other for a while. Their mother comes too, will Ellie find out why she was so ill as a child or will there be a more shocking revelation to uncover? The storyline is cleverly written to keep you guessing, until quite near the end. The ending is dramatic but wraps the story up well.

I received an ARC copy of this book for an honest review.

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The Storm By Amanda Jennings

The Storm By Amanda Jennings

To the outside world Hannah married the perfect man. Behind the closed doors of their imposing home it’s a very different story. Nathan controls everything Hannah does. He chooses her clothes, checks her receipts, and keeps her passport locked away.

But why does she let him? Years before, in the midst of a relentless storm, the tragic events of one night changed everything. And Hannah has been living with the consequences ever since. Keeping Nathan happy. Doing as she’s told.

But the past is about to catch up with them.

My Thoughts:

You never know what goes on behind closed doors is what I was thinking reading this book. There is a lot more to this family than meets the eye, Hannah is in a toxic relationship with Nathan they also have a soon Alex who heard and sees everything that goes on in his parents marriage. The story flits back to the past when tragic circumstances happen. Is there a way forward or will Hannah be trapped forever and with a secret so big it could ruin all of their lives? I liked how Amanda has described her characters and how to the outside world  Hannah and Nathan’s relationship is a perfect. This book is beautifully compelling.

I received an ARC copy of this book for an honest review.

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Kate and Clara’s Curious Cornish Craft Shop By Ali McNamara

Kate and Clara’s Curious Cornish Craft Shop By Ali McNamara

Kate thinks all her wishes have come true when she opens her little craft shop down on the harbour in the pretty Cornish seaside town of St Felix.

It’s been her life-long dream to open her own shop, and now she’s finally got the chance, she’s loving selling her own quirky handmade textile designs to the many holidaymakers that flock into St Felix every year.

But there’s a mystery about Kate’s shop – one that Jack, the owner of a new art store in town, wants to help Kate solve. A series of mysterious paintings and beautiful embroidered pictures hint at a love story over sixty years old, but Kate needs to know how the story ends!

As Kate and Jack delve deeper into the vintage romance, they find that not only do their own lives share uncanny similarities with their 1950s counterparts, but also the two of them are becoming closer.

But as the two couples’ stories unfold over six decades apart, can Kate and Jack put right a wrong that’s remained a secret since the 1950s, and will both couples end up with the happy ending they truly deserve?

My Thoughts:

I loved returning to the beautiful Cornish town of St Felix, in this story we meet Kate who runs a craft shop, when a newcomer by the name of Jack decides to open a arts shop down the road, they both find mysterious things happening in their shops. After piecing together what happened back in the past they find some uncanny similarities and end up getting close to each other at the same time. It’s a lovely story, especially to see how Kate and Jacks relationship grow and the ending simply made me want to read more about their lives. It was nice to go back to this little town, I hope we can revisit it in time.

I received a ARC copy of this book for an honest review.

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Memoir: The Cathartic Night Contemplating Temporality to Inevitability By Aman Tiwari

Memoir: The Cathartic Night Contemplating Temporality to Inevitability By Aman Tiwari

 The story encompasses an existentialist’s perspective with the protagonist exploring various elements of existentialism including alienation, freedom, death, hope and despair. The protagonist, Murk Zilch, living an isolated life amongst the mountains undergoes a metamorphosis after the ‘tragic’ death of his little brother. Through the impactful events of the past and his understanding of life, he discovers the essence by deriving meaning in the nothingness of the world.

It acknowledges the absurdity that lay within the foundation of our existence and aims to form out its own subjective essence, thereby defining its individuality. It attempts to provide its readers with an optimistic perspective towards life by shedding materialism and their preconceptions of reality in order to elevate them from the mode of denial to accept the absurdity of our existence while forming their own essence.
The quintessential aspect of the story is that in its entirety it provokes readers to contemplate along with the protagonist over the temporality of existence and the inevitability of death. The book is a perfect starting point for anyone who is interested in existentialism as it encourages the readers into a habit of questioning which is incidentally the point of inception of existentialism. It incorporates Socrates’ method of dialectics as a mode of self-interrogation through monologues, allowing readers to question the genesis of the subject itself. 

Fewer amongst a few out there. A contrast to a simple and daily read. A companion for life. Thought-provoking. Attempts to elevating the readers from the grasp of despair towards a path of enlightenment. Provide a different and yet intriguing way of living.

My Thoughts:

I wasn’t too sure what to expect from this book, it is not necessarily a book I would of chosen myself but wanted to read something a bit different. For me there were lots of words I couldn’t pronounce let alone heard of before The author Aman is a very clever guy who is a final year graduate, and is planning to study psychology. I did have to keep looking up what some of the words meant but I felt as though I learnt a great deal from this book and it was once I definitely will read again. After his brother’s death Murk decides to go on a journey to understand what life is really like, alone in the mountains Mark contemplates what life is like and the meaning of life. The book asks lots of questions but it is a very knowledgeable and interesting story that makes you think. I will be interested to read Aman’s next book.

I received an ARC copy of this book for an honest review.

There is going to be a kindle Countdown deal from midnight 15 th August to 17th, whereby the price of the book will be 99p. So grab it whilst you can

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The Back Up Plan By Elsie McArthur

The Back Up Plan By Elsie McArthur

That’s the question for thirty-something Marsaili McKenzie. Ten years after fleeing her tiny coastal village for dreams of fame and fortune in the big city, she finds herself on the brink of an existential crisis. Far from being the star actress she once imagined, she’s still working as a barmaid in a Glasgow theatre while all around her, her friends and family are getting engaged, pregnant or promoted.

It’s all she can do to keep her head above water. But as a new year approaches, she resolves to give her acting dreams one last shot. That is, until a couple of unexpected distractions arrive on the scene.

Will Hunter is undeniably handsome, as well as being aloof, socially awkward, posh and in the middle of a nasty divorce. And to make things even more complicated, he’s also her new boss.

Local boy made good, soap star Euan Campbell, is the epitome of a charismatic leading man. His easy-going charm soon sweeps Marsaili off her feet, but is there more to him than meets the eye?

To top it all off, Marsaili finds herself inexplicably drawn back to the simple, rural life she used to loathe. Can she finally figure out which dreams are worth pursuing, and would it really be so bad to resort to her back up career after all?

My Thoughts:

This was a really good debut novel, about a girl called Marsaili who is a struggling actress. We see behind the scenes of the acting world and how it can change a person. I love that this book is set in Scotland as I have always wanted to go there. Elsie is very descriptive with her writing and makes you feel like you are there. I love all the names of people too, it is more interesting hearing more unique names than just the usual names. All Marsaili wants to do is become an actress, on the way she finds love, romance and a great bunch of characters. I look forward to the next book.

I received an ARC copy of this book for an honest review.

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