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I read a lot of books and I write about them on here. Mummy Geek is sometimes a guest blogger....people seem to love her.....Oh and you can find me on Twitter.....@book_geek_says. Shortlisted for Blog of the Year by the 2015 Love Stories Awards...THANK YOU!!

Friday, 31 October 2014

Bogging off for a week

Hey all

I'm sodding off again sorry!!!

I'm going to a lovely conference allllll about sulfur in Paris...good and bad, I know.

Anyway, I'll read books as usual and construct some lovely reviews for you all when I return!

Enjoy the week!!!


Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Review: Skylight

Publisher: Random House

Picture this....you are on holiday....you ran out of paper books 2 days ago so have been merrily reading your kindle. Then The Boy runs out of paper books too and doesn't have his own kindle!!! What do you do? You go to a book shop god damn it and get books!! This is the book I got.

This book was a 'lost' manuscript from JS. It was written when he was rather young and before he came to prominence and won all his prises. That was pretty much what drew me to it. And here is my review.

This is a collection of short snapshots in to the lives of many different people who live in one apartment block. How their lives mingle, what they get up to and what they feel. It is, to be honest, surprisingly entertaining. I know I use the phrase 'character studies' all the bloody time, but this is essentially what this book is, a collection of character studies. 

There are some cracking lines of humour in this book and the translator did an excellent job on them...along with the rest of the book. It is, I hope at least and am lead to believe, perfectly translated. There were no awkward phrases or things I didn't really get.

When it comes to the characters, some were hateful, some were desperate, some were sad, some were lovely, some had no idea what was happening to them and their lives but in all their own special ways, I fell for them all. The language and the people and their development is very delicate and rather beautiful.

The only criticism of this book I have is that some things got a bit too 'literary' for me at times and I'm not very good with all the highfalutin literary concepts that can be bandied about. But I do forgive JS for them.

Defo a book that took me by surprise and that I would suggest people read if they come across it. A very different read for me but one I did indeed enjoy!

Happy Reading


Monday, 27 October 2014

Review: Deja Vu

Publisher: Unsung Stories

It's always nice to be approached by a publisher, especially an Indie one and asked to review a book! THANK YOU!!!

We have David in the UK whose past is catching up with him and we have Saskia in Berlin who is where she is because of a past she can't remember. A lot is about to kick off.

There is one thing I'd like to say first...before I comment on the content. The actual physical paper the book was printed on was lovely to touch, excellent stock there!

From the off, the book really didn't take the paths I expected at any one point. I was intrigued from the word go. I will say however, that you really really do have to concentrate on this book. Don't read it unless your mind can be 100% engaged as the plot can be a tad confusing in places.

I completely fell in love with David and Saskia. Two fantastic characters with many many deep and complex layers!! They were excellent. Their interactions were also top notch, despite where, when and why!

This is a scifi book but it, tbh, isn't totally off the wall, it is really within the realms of possibility, well to me and my mind anyway. That was really cool, we weren't in your usual place of aliens or other life forms or completely mental tech. It was almost 100% normal and that is what I really enjoyed. The questions of time travel and what will be one day possible, or not, were VERY present.

My final note is that I don't think the blurb for the book and the strap line do it any justice at all. I don't really think they are at all right for the plot. They make it seem flighty and trivial rather than intense and compelling!

Anyway, one for the scifi people and one for those who want something a little different from what I hope is going to turn in to an AWESOME indie publisher.

Happy Reading


Thursday, 23 October 2014

Review: Noughts and Crosses: 1

Price: £ 1.99 ebook
Publisher: RHCP Digital

I've always been aware of MB, especially when she was made Children's Laureate and when she appeared in a Tinie Tempah song....so I've always been keen to get on this series...here it goes.

Callum and Sephy are friends but they are from two very different back grounds, upbringings and circumstances for them suck in general. We are looking at how their lives and friendship develops as they live in the segregated world of noughts and crosses, black and white.

I was really interested in reading the foreword so I did so, and I very rarely do that. It was really interesting to see what spurred MB to write this book and start the series so I thoroughly recommend reading this before you start on the novel.

At the beginning it's not 100% clear who is black and who is white. I of course made the wrong assumption, but I'm sure that that is the point of this series as a whole, if not this book alone. It spins perceptions and 'norms' on their heads and that is a fantastically strong comment to make and one that I think should be put forward to everyone. YAs should have this challenge presented to them as people are still far too racist around the world as a whole!

It was really nice to read a YA novel that was set in the UK and that wasn't necessarily set in a dystopian landscape of dismay and destitution. It reminded me a bit of WOC's book in many respects. I know MB probs wrote hers first but I read WOC's first, so sorry about that. 

I did not at all expect the story to be so brutal. It really did get to me quite dramatically and I do challenge anyone of any age or gender not to feel the same.

This book really does stir some very strong feelings. I believe it is because the characters are so powerful along with their beliefs and emotions. It really is an excellent read and one I think As should read as well as YAs. I'm most intrigued to read the next full length novel. Especially as I've read the short story Callum, which I will of course review in due course.

Happy Reading


Monday, 20 October 2014

Review: 3 Short Stories from Quercus

First Watch
This is a very short story about Madison. I really liked the fact that its alllll in retrospect of the event. It is a recall of a night when another officer's behaviour and actions are in question. I like that kind of thing. I also liked that police corruption was looked at briefly in this. It's a case of people being out to get someone so pushing the boundaries to do it!

Blood On The Water
This is the narrative of Poor Mr D. and also the narrative of a murderer! The story made Venice sound horrible. I've only been there for one day and that was for work during November a few years ago and it was pretty empty and creepy, as I imagine it in the story. Also, it makes it sound like a really dangerous place for tourists to go!

This is the prequel to a book apparently that is coming out. Apparently the book is about murders in Venice in the days of Titan.

Unearthing The Bones
Right then, I started reading this as it was advertised as a short story. I was gutted to discover that it is not one, it is actually the start of a novel! THE BASTARDS!!!

Anyway, its the common thug versus the common illegal dealer in fine things. Mamma G seems terrifying and I bet she continues to be so and the cockney guy is horribly grotesque.

I'm not 100% sure I'm actually going to bother with the rest of this story as it's alllll a tad Dan Brown seeming.

Anyway, there you have them in a nutshell.

Happy Reading


Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Review: Weirdos v Quimboids

Publisher: Catnip Publishing
Price: £ 6.99

This is the diary of Blossom, a self titled Weirdo, as she battles life in school and at home and well, in general. 

Initially I thought that any book endorsed by Greg James and Chris Smith of Radio 1 fame (yes I am fans of theirs, and yes you can judge me if you want...I'm used to it), I thought that it must be worth a read...contrary to what boy geek said. Sadly, I think boy geek was proved correct on this occasion.

About 50 pages in and I knew for sure that I was far too old for the book. I found it too try hard and I did wonder if ND wrote it to cash in on her celeb status, and got Greg James, fellow BBC DJ to endorse it as he couldn't not really if he didn't want to be snubbed in the BBC R1 offices.

Anyway, the book was home to the odd interesting and intelligent quip and comment on occasion and I did indeed like the moon illustrations with Chased moon being a particular favourite. However, they were the only parts of this book I enjoyed.

The whole thing is a big moralistic, but maybe, if I was younger this would be just want I needed as it does tell people that they just have to be themselves and not be anyone else in order to be cool and happy.

I think I'm wrong age group for this book, I actually think I have grown up too much for it...well at 28 you would hope that I've done some growing up.

Anyway, Happy Reading to you youngsters.



P.S. The publisher's logo is AMAZING!!!!

Monday, 13 October 2014

Review: Manic Mondays

Publisher: Candy Jar Books

We are seeing Caz's life as she branches out on her own, through a series of days....mainly Mondays but annoyingly not always. The idea, for me was a tad tooooo similar to One Day so I had high expectations from the start.

It's a very light and easy read despite all the personal turmoil of the characters involved, be it the next door neighbour who is far too young to be a mum to Mike the hottie cyclist. And of course Caz is having a rough time for a nice middle class woman. With her it's a case of Middle Class Woe and the type of thing you'd find on overheard in Waitrose. 

This is in the Bridget Jones school of books tbh and it fits well in to the holiday read category, but it was a bit too far on to the chick lit side for me to enjoy it fully. There wasn't the wit and scathing comments etc of Bridget Jones for me to embrace it fully.

Anyway, if you like this type of book, go for it, I'm sure you will enjoy.

Happy Reading


Friday, 10 October 2014

Review: Allegiant

Price: £ 7.99
Publisher: Harper Collins

















So, we are pretty much where things were left off. 

I liked the flipping between Tobias and Tris between chapters. It was good to get a totally different perspective on things, especially after all that has been and will be discovered as the final book of the trilogy goes on.

It was however super annoying that what was going on with the factions in Chicago was not really looked at. We spent the entire book with Tobias and Tris outside and all their dithering and fannying. I would have preferred to know more about inside the city as there was surely a lot going on that would have been interesting to know about! They all just seemed to be forgotten on the whole.

The ending was satisfactory to me. As we all know I don't like neat little tied up with a bow parcels of joy. However, god it was drawn out for a bloody long time. I mean seriously?!?!? Did it HAVE TO BE THAT LONG and moralistic? I found it a bit self indulgent in places if I am honest.

I'd defo say that this is the weakest of the three books, but it's still a trilogy that's worth a read. Wedding Obsessed Colleague thought the whole thing was a bit of a cop out and really didn't like the ending. 

Happy Reading


Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Review: The Killing of Olga Klimt

Price: £ 8.99
Publisher: The Mystery/History Press

Olga is Charlie's love but the situation has all got a bit out of hand. This leads to many people ending up in a big ring of deceit and part of a classic whodunnit?

When I looked at this book I imagined it would be in the era of Sherlock Holmes so I was really surprised (in a good way) when I started reading and discovered it was set in the modern day!

When it came to the writing style, I was a super big fan. It's really quirky and unique. There is also a great self awareness not only to the writing but the story as a whole. There is a very droll kind of parody to the whole thing which I loved. It made me chuckle inside and out on many occasions. The whole thing is very fab and funny but terribly, terribly dark.

The characters were spiffing. From Olga to Charlie to the Man Servant who is so twiddly moustache I just couldn't get enough! The way the characters were all linked in crazy ways was great too. 

The whole book was like a whodunnit of the days of yore, but with a comedy edge and a self consciousness that I adored. Not a book I probably would have read off my own back but certainly one I am delighted to have read and one I will recommend to crime reader fans and those who fancy a change in reading!

Happy Reading


Monday, 6 October 2014

Review: One Step Too Far

Price: £ 2.99 ebook
Publisher: Kirk Parolles

The next load of reviews are all being written from notes I made through my reading foray in September. So, please do forgive them if they aren't the usual! THANK YOU!

Emily is running away from her family and seeking a new life. We get to experience that with her and also learn about what her life was like before.

I throughly enjoyed the different voices, person focuses and eras that flip flopped throughout the book. It was pretty darn awesome. I also loved the fact that the plot was leading you completely and you had no idea what was going on or what triggered Emily's departure from her life! AWESOME. 

The characters were fab. I really didn't know for a long time how I felt about Emily. I didn't know if I loved or hated her or felt sorry for her. It was how she treated Ben when we didn't really know what he'd done that made me feel like that. Caroline was a pretty awesome character too, completely mental and so contrasting to Emily!

I really enjoyed the fact that this book was all about relationships. Between family, friends, colleagues and the relationships people have with themselves and with their pasts, presents and futures. I also loved how mental lives and people can become just because of one trigger, one nudge that forced them down a path. 

There is one thing negative about this book though. I don't know how satisfied I was with the ending. I think, to be honest that it let me down somewhat. 1 or 2 of the twists were very very good, don't get me wrong there. However, I felt that the ending was all too easy and wrapped up with a bow. The turmoil and stress of the rest of the book, I felt, needed more angst and grit in the conclusion.

Anyway, I did enjoy this book, and it wasn't at all what I expected, as I was thinking it would fall in to the realms of chick lit.

Happy Reading


Friday, 3 October 2014

Holmes Challenge: The last 4 adventures

So, I'm back! You've all been keeping up with my self inflicted Holmes Challenge I hope...so here, to kick off my return the the blog are my thoughts on the last 4 adventures.

9 - The Adventure of the Engineers Thumb
It was alright. I would have preferred there to have been more made of the forgery part of the tale and Sherlock's all encompassing knowledge of the events surrounding the syndicate. It didn't really blow my mind and I have one BIG question...why they hell would you travel ALLLLLL the way to London for a doctor???

10 - The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor
Awwwwwww what a sweet one, it was allllll about love!!! I would have liked more to have been made of the challenge/rivalry between Sherlock and Lestrade. Oh and, why bloody AMERICANS AGAIN???

11 - The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet
This was so tedious and boring and run of the mill I was ready for it to be over as soon as it started. That is all I have to say.

12 - The Adventure of the Copper Beeches
This one was actually rather enjoyable as it was so farcical and pretty funny to an extent. I think I enjoyed it the most out of this batch of four. I also liked the follow up at the end with the 'what they are all doing now kind of bit'.

So, now on to the next instalments!

Happy Reading

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