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» Listings for June 2013

  1. My Rating: 4/5

    I received a copy of this book from the publishers some time ago. I actually took it on holiday as I thought it sounded a little bit different. The synopsis is probably most parents’ nightmares come true. Imagine leaving your child in a friends care, and then your child disappears? Who would you blame? Well this is exactly what happens to Lisa Kallisto the lead character in this book. As a debut novel from Paula Daly, I went in with an open mind, and by the time I had finished I was certain that I will read her future work!

    Lisa Kallisto is an easy character to empathise with. She is a normal working mother with kids that have constant demands, a job that needs her attention and a husband to try and keep happy. When her daughter’s best friend Lucinda wants to stay the night she see’s no problems. The next morning when she goes off to work leaving the girls to their own devices, she has no idea that in a few short hours Lucinda will have vanished.

    I really liked Lisa and her husband and from the very beginning could see that she was just an overworked Mum like thousands of other parents across the world. This book was set in Cumbria, which makes it all the more disturbing to read, as history has shown us what child abductors will do in the UK. We also meet the Detective on the case Joanna Aspinall who is a key character in the story. I think my main opinion of this story is that it is unsettling from start to finish. The thought drifts through your mind frequently that this could happen to you, or somebody you know.

    The story is revealed in layers and we see Lisa start to unfold as the panic for Lucinda intensifies. I was really caught up in the story and loved the way it played out gradually. By the time I had got to the last quarter of the book I finished it in one sitting. This was an incredible book for a debut and I will certainly be keeping my eyes peeled for her next book. 

  2. Paige Toon The Longest HolidayMy Rating: 5/5

    Synopsis: 'Don't wait for the storm to pass; learn to dance in the rain…' Laura has been married to the man of her dreams for seven months. But a week before the wedding, Matthew made a terrible mistake. Escaping the humiliation that is now her marriage, Laura is whisked off to Florida's Key West by her best friend Marty. A carefree holiday full of cocktails and fun, surrounded by gorgeous, tanned men, is exactly what the doctor ordered. Distraction comes in the form of sexy Cuban scuba diver Leo. Laura's instant attraction to him knocks her flying, and she falls hard. As the end of the holiday approaches, Laura doesn't want to go home. Is it time to face the music? Or is there more to Key West than a holiday romance?

    My Review: Laura and Matthew have been happily married for 7 months until Laura learns that Matthew made a terrible mistake a week before the wedding. To help Laura deal with her marriage crisis her friend Marty takes her along on her holiday to Miami. I am actually travelling to Miami later in the year and am very excited, so figured what better way to prepare myself than by reading Paige Toon's new release. Ever since reading Jonny Be Good by Toon I have read quite a few more of hers and was really looking forward to this one.

    As soon as I started reading and realised just what Laura was escaping from I couldn't help but feel for her. A trip to Miami seems like a good idea and as soon as Laura, Marty and another friend Bridget start their journey it seems like Matthew is out of the picture. Paige Toon does a smashing job in describing the Miami Keys and I found myself wishing my holiday would come sooner. Distraction for Laura comes in the form of Leo who helps the scuba diving courses in the Keys. Laura's instantly attracted to him but is in complete turmoil as she is there to give herself space, not to fall for another man!

    What I liked about this story from start to finish was that it really wasn't very clear what Laura was going to do. It didn't feel so cut and dried as some books do and you really feel for Laura as she struggles to make the right decision for both her and her marriage. It was very easy to get completely wrapped up in this book and if it's one you plan to take on holiday, don't plan to move from your sun lounger for too long. There wasn't any part of the book that I didn't enjoy with one small exception. Towards the end when I was still reeling from Laura's initial decision, another major event takes place. What niggled me was that this happened literally a few chapters from the end and before I knew it I was reading the epilogue. Don't get me wrong it certainly didn't spoil the book but I couldn't help feeling it was a bit rushed.

    I know that there were some small references to characters from other books, but I have yet to read some of her older work so wouldn't have noticed the link as I'm reading her books out of sequence. Overall, I think this was an absolutely brilliant book and would really recommend it to people. When you are making your holiday packing list, don't forget to include The Longest Holiday at the end!

  3. Paige Toon One Perfect SummerMy Rating: 4/5

    I only discovered Paige Toon a few months ago and read Johnny Be Good and Baby be mine within a matter of weeks. Following on from that I made sure I had a few more of her back catalogue to read in the future. Her new release One Perfect Summer was released on the 10th May 2012 and I was looking forward to reading it.

    Alice is 18 and takes a summer trip with her parents down to Dorset. She happens to meet a young man Joe who steals her heart. However, after reading the first few chapters it becomes clear that Joe's life is not that idyllic and Alice realises that although she has fallen for him, things will not be easy. Joe is an absolute sweetheart of a character and I adored him and him and Alice's relationship. However, before long things go wrong and Alice ends up leaving Dorset to make her way to Cambridge to start University. The one thing that is different is the fact that she leaves broken hearted and without Joe.

    We see her life move on to the next phase and although I was disappointed that we do not see Joe Alice grows on me and we see her settle into University life with her friends. Some of the other characters we meet are fun and very readable such as Jessie. Before long Alice meets Lukas a German student who is studying at a nearby university. Lukas is a rich boy who sweeps Alice off her feet to a certain degree.

    The second half of the book is spent watching Alice move on with her life and what happens to her next. Lukas is not a nice character and I spent half of the time asking myself what Alice was playing at. But as the story continues you can see the predicament she has got herself into and things start to become if not clearer certainly a lot more understandable. As usual with a Paige Toon book she draws you in with her easy writing style and knack of telling a story that is sometimes bittersweet.

    The best part of the book for me was without a doubt the ending. Paige Toon has done once again what she managed to do with the book Johnny Be Good, which is leave the reader on a slight cliff-hanger with a big question mark. I can only hope that there is a follow up to this, otherwise it's an unnecessarily cruel ending for us fans. This book will certainly keep you reading, and at the end you will certainly be left wanting more.

  4. Karin Slaughter UnseenMy Rating: 3/5

    Kat's Review: Okay first off I need to point out that I am a HUGE Karin Slaughter fan and have been since the beginning. That’s not to say that every book has left me thinking it was a 5 star read, but the vast majority have been. Her last book Criminal was an absolute corker of a book so I was eager to get going with this latest offering. Not only do we see both Will and Sara, but also the return of Lena Adams. For those that haven’t followed the series in order, it may be worth going back to the beginning and not reading this review (as inevitably there will be spoilers if you haven’t read the others!) 

    Will Trent is back and is working undercover and is trying to break down a drug trafficking operation. Although this was the main focus of the story, it was weaved in with events involving Lena Adams. Sara and Lena have a continuous feud going on following the death of Sara’s husband, which she blames Lena for. At the beginning of the book I felt the tension ramp up and prepared myself for another corker of a book. Sadly, every time we see Lena’s story unfolding from a few days previously you kind of lost the momentum.

    We certainly see a different side to Lena in this story though as her, and her husband Jared, try to work through some difficulties. That said, I still felt that every time we revisited the few days previously it felt like a chore. I almost felt like the main story which involved Will, was very much playing second fiddle to Sara and Lena’s history with each other. As soon as I got the chance to delve back into the main story, I did with relish. Sadly this time around, I just felt like this book wasn’t the typical Slaughter book I would normally read.

    Towards the end when both stories seemed to merge, it improved greatly but by the time I had come to the end I couldn’t help feeling a little bit disappointed. Although this wasn’t one of Karin Slaughters best, it is still a good read. In my eyes it just wasn’t as good as her books usually are. I will as always eagerly await the next instalment and hope that the next one is just as brilliant as Criminal was.

  5. Neil White Fallen IdolsMy Rating: 3/5

    My sister has been working through the Jack Garrett series of books; and with each one exclaims that I am missing out. After her last time of telling me I caved and pushed Neil White up to the top of the pile. Jack Garrett is a journalist who although originally from Lancashire is now living in the heart of London. The book starts out with a bang when a Premiership footballer gets shot dead in the street. DC Laura McGanty is put on the case and immediately knows that the murder is more than it first appears.

    It was easy to fall into both characters lives and I immediately liked both Jack and Laura. Laura is a single mum and we see her try to juggle both her career and home life. Jack is also an easy guy to read and like as he is pretty laid back apart from when it comes to a story. It’s clear from the outset that both Jack and Laura have feelings for each other but this is put on the back burner in favour of a very fast paced read.

    Before I knew it I was over halfway with the book and there was all sorts of mayhem going on. Jack is convinced that the murder is nothing to do with the fact that the victim is a celebrity. While Laura investigates, Jack decides to go back to his hometown of Turners Fold which is where the victim grew up. We get to meet Jack’s dad who I immediately liked. As Jack delves into the goings-on in Turners Fold, he gets dragged right into the middle of it. I found myself reading larger and larger chunks each time I picked it up, and in the end resigned myself to finishing it in one sitting.

    I wouldn’t say this was the best book I have read recently but is certainly one that hooks you on to the series. I found myself getting nearer and nearer to the end and wondering if I should just go straight onto book 2. Sadly my to read list is huge, so book 2 will have to wait. It was a solid debut novel and am really looking forward to getting stuck into the next book.