The Other Half of Happiness by Ayisha Malik

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  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Zaffre (6 April 2017)

Sofia Khan is just married. But no-one told her life was going to be this way . . .

Her living situation is in dire straits, her husband Conall is distant, and his annoyingly attractive colleague is ringing all sorts of alarm bells.

When her mother forces them into a belated wedding ceremony (elopement: you can run, but you can’t hide), Sofia wonders if it might be a chance to bring them together. But when it forces Conall to confess his darkest secret, it might just tear them apart.

My Review:

This book focuses on Sofia Khan and her new husband Conall, having married in secret and her Husband has converted they are facing prejudice that by both family and society as they start their journey in married life in Karachi, however all is not as it seems.

Sofia realises that Conall is becoming distant and feels that it is down to his work colleague, however Sofia is not prepared for what Conall is about to reveal to her, and they need to work together to make things work between them but not everything goes right and they will need to work together to keep their marriage going.

I don’t want to say much more about the novel as I don’t want to spoil anything, but I would definitely recommend this novel.

I loved the funny moments with certain comments from characters but also I really liked Sofia’s humour and I think it made the book that much greater.

I have never read any books by this Author however I would invite everyone to check out the book.

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In Deep Water by Sam Blake

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Cat Connolly is back at work. Struggling to adjust to the physical and mental scars, her workload once again becomes personal when her best friend Sarah Jane, daughter of a Pulitzer-winning American journalist, goes missing.

Her father is un-contactable, but her mother reports that he’d believed Sarah Jane was investigating something dangerous – yet the only records Cathy can find suggest that Sarah Jane was just involved in a seemingly innocent children’s project.

Sarah Jane was last seen leaving her workplace – a popular Dublin restaurant – but seems not to have made it home.

And then a body turns up, and Cathy fears they have failed to save her friend. But when it transpires that the dead woman is not Sarah Jane, she realises that this case is only just getting started . . .

In the world of missing persons every second counts, but with the clock ticking, can Cathy find Sarah Jane before it’s too late?

My Review:

This is the first novel of Sam Blake’s that I have had the pleasure of reading, however I will be going back to read the previous book.

We join main character Cat Connolly as she returns to work after an explosion that nearly took her life, whilst back at work she is also back at the gym aiming to regain her position as kick boxing champion.

Getting back into the swing of work Cat’s life takes a turn when her closest friend Sarah Jane has gone missing, fearing the worst Cat confides in one of the only people she trusts and also knew Sarah, her boss DI Dawson O’Rourke.

However O’Rourke is unsure as Sarah Jane is an adult and its quite normal for people to disappear for a few days, however Cat is still concerned as Sarah is the daughter of a CNN journalist who has traveled to some dangerous locations across the world and Cat thinks that she may have followed in her dads footsteps.

The book provides plenty of twists and turns that will keep you gripped and guessing till the very end. Sam Black takes you on a trip around Dublin including some of the dark parts that exists.

It is definitely a must read for any crime/thriller love and I will most certainly be picking up the first in the series.

 

 

Hope to Die by David Jackson

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On a bitterly cold winter’s night, Liverpool is left stunned by a brutal murder in the grounds of the city’s Anglican Cathedral. A killer is on the loose, driven by a chilling rage.

Put on the case, DS Nathan Cody is quickly stumped. Wherever he digs, the victim seems to be almost angelic – no-one has a bad word to say, let alone a motive for such a violent murder.

And Cody has other things on his mind too. The ghosts of his past are coming ever closer, and – still bearing the physical and mental scars – it’s all he can do to hold onto his sanity.

And then the killer strikes again….

My Review

Hope to Die is the second novel in the Nathan Cody series, however this is the first book I have read by David Jackson. What I will say is I haven’t read the first book in the series (I normally read all my books in their correct order) however David Jackson’s writing style allows you to read it out of order but gives you enough information without spoiling the first story.

The novel is set in Liverpool and starts with the murder outside a cathedral, as time goes on bodies are piling up including a school teacher who was well liked and respected but all is not what it seems and the worst thing of all is they are struggling to find a motive for the murder.

Alongside the investigation is the continued problems between Cody and Webley as their relationship has never been the same since their previous case nearly cost one of them their life. Not only this but Cody is still suffering the emotional effects of an earlier case when Cody was tortured by men in clown masks, since this event he has been receiving anonymous phone calls and whoever is at the end of the phone is sending Cody chilling messages including playing back tapes of when Cody was being tortured.

People continue to be murdered and the case seems to be moving nowhere fast, however the newest member of the team Grace is making an impact and piece by piece starts fitting the puzzle together.

David Jackson throws many twists and turns you will be second guessing everything you read…I did not see the ending coming!!

I loved this book and especially the developing relationship between characters old and new. I enjoyed the second story line focusing on Cody and the emotional journey he is on.

If you enjoy books by the fabulous Harlan Coben and Michael Connelly then this is defiantly the book for you.

Lost for words by Stephanie Butland

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About the book

Loveday Cardew prefers books to people. If you look closely, you might glimpse the first lines of the novels she loves most tattooed on her skin. But there are things she’ll never show you.
Fifteen years ago Loveday lost all she knew and loved in one unspeakable night. Now, she finds refuge in the unique little York bookshop where she works.
Everything is about to change for Loveday. Someone knows about her past. Someone is trying to send her a message. And she can’t hide any longer.

My Review

In Lost for words we meet quirky, tattooed bookworm called Loveday who works in a bookshop alongside its wonderful owner Archie who you can’t help but love.

Loveday narrates the book and gives you an insight into her past at the same time as learning about her present. We learn about her childhood but also about her sinister ex-boyfriend, all of which explains a little bit about why Loveday is how she is.

Loveday enjoys spending time with books more than she does people and is somewhat scared of a relationship with anyone due to her past.

Then in walks Nathan a poet and just the one that may finally understand Loveday, but she continues to push him away if only she would let him into her world just a tiny bit.

I loved the character development throughout the book and you can’t help but fall in love with certain characters but also dislike others just as easy. I found that I really related to Loveday as I am a tattooed booklover who at times can be a bit quirky and loves books more than people.

I would definitely recommend this to all book lovers.

My Husbands Son by Deborah O’Connor

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About the book

Heidi and Jason aren’t like other couples.
Six years ago, Heidi’s daughter was murdered. A year later, Jason’s son Barney disappeared. Their shared loss brought them together.
By chance, Heidi meets a boy she’s certain is Barney.
But Jason is equally convinced it’s not him.
Is Heidi mad? Or is Jason hiding something? And can their fragile marriage survive Heidi’s newfound quest for the truth

My Thoughts

Just when you think you had seen it all from psychological thrillers and the Deborah O’Connor presents you with this outstanding novel which has you questioning everything you knew about this genre.

This novel follows Heidi and Jason a couple unlike other couples. Six years ago Heidi’s daughter was murdered and a year later Jason’s son Barney disappears, their shared loss bringing them together.

Although they have still gone through horrible situations Heidi and Jason try to have as much as a normal life as possible, however all is not what it seems. Jason seems distance and Heidi knows his hiding something but Jason does not feel like sharing. Heidi however has other matters to contend with, whilst on her break at work Heidi pops into a shop and is 100% convinced that the boy behind the counter is none other than Jason’s missing son Barney. Heidi takes Jason to the shop, but he is adamant that it is not Barney, however Heidi thinks otherwise and plans to prove it is Barney by any means necessary including lying to both Jason and her boss but whilst putting herself into dangerous situations.

I cannot mention much more without giving it away but I cannot recommend this book enough. It had me gripped from the first page to the very last page, the ending was jaw dropping and something that I definitely did not see coming.

If you are a fan of jaw dropping, page turners, edge of your seat psychological thrillers then book should go to the top of your pile and is the book for you.

One thing I can say is, although it is only March this book is making it onto my Top 10 books of the year.

Why Readers First, really does put Readers First!!

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Check out Readers First here!!

If you are a book lover and love writing reviews no matter how big or small then Readers First is the site for you.

Readers First is a new but fantastic reviewing community for those in the UK and the Republic of Ireland, however it differs to other reviewing communities and this is why I love it.

Readers First allows you to read and review books before they are published and by doing so you earn points, and you know what they say points mean prizes and in this case they definitely do. You get 500 points just for joining (which is also free and easy to do), on top of this, 24 hours after joining you get invited to select a book for free which they will send straight to your door. For each review/first impression you write it is another 100 points and once you have collected 2000 points you get to select another free book (they will even e-mail you when you have 2000 points so you don’t miss out).

There are also weekly prize draws, each week they present a book/s and all you have to do is read the extract (called ‘first look’) and after reading the extract if you leave a few lines (called ‘first impression’) you can then select whether you want to be entered into the draw to win the actual book, this also gives you points when you write your ‘first impression’.

I have to say I have tried other reviewing communities, but this is the one I have continued with after the first day. It is such a lovely community both on their website but also on social media especially Twitter, they are quick to respond to any queries but also love getting involved with their community. Twitter is a good place to follow them as it enables you to keep up to date with new books that are about to become available and also competitions.

Readers first really do care about their community and their thoughts on the books they offer. I cannot recommend this community enough and I encourage you to check it out because they really do put the Readers First!!

 

Miss Mary’s Book of Dreams by Sophie Nicholls

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Amazon

Follow the Author

Ella runs Happily Ever After, a bookshop nestled in the cobbled streets of York.

She’s a wife, a mother and a successful novelist. But something is missing . . .

One day a strange girl comes into Ella’s shop. Bryony is shy and unsure, and Ella feels a strange connection to her.

With the help of one very special book – and a little touch of magic – can these women help each other find the fairy tale endings they’ve been searching for?

My Thoughts:

This novel follows Ella a published Author, owner of a bookshop which is thriving and she’s now started a family with the love of her life. In spite of this Ella feels that she is struggling as she realises that motherhood isn’t everything she thought it would be and worse of all she thinks her husband is cheating on her. Then we are introduced to Bryony, as she arrives at Ellas bookshop looking for a magical book and as we soon find out not everything in Bryonys life is perfect either.

I have to say I liked how Sophie Nicholls covered the topic of Mental Health as it’s not something you see alot in books at the moment and she covers the topic in such an understanding way.

The Characters were brilliant and not like other characters which you see in alot of books, these were eccentric and magical and were described perfectly including troublesome Selena.

At first when I started reading the novel it took a few pages/chapters to get my head around  all the characters, however once you know who is who then you are on your way to reading a great novel.