Friday, 24 May 2019

Review: I Heart Hawaii by Lindsey Kelk

Join Angela and Jenny in the series finale of the bestselling I Heart books, on the balmy beaches of Hawaii

When you’re running away from real life, there’s only one place to go…
When Angela Clark’s best friend Jenny invites her to join a press trip to Hawaii, three days of sun, sea and sleep sounds like the perfect antidote to her crazed life.

At work in New York, she’s supposed to be the face of Having It All. But the only thing Angela feels she excels at is hiding in the printer cupboard, eating Mini Cheddars and watching Netflix on her phone and if this is living the dream, she's more than ready to wake up.
A few days away with Jenny sounds like exactly what she needs but Angela’s talent for getting into a scrape guarantees nothing goes to plan – and not even the most beautiful beaches, blue skies and daiquiris will get her off the hook…

Review: I was so excited to read this book and let me tell you, it did not let me down! This book was very much bittersweet because I knew it was going to be the last in the series but it was just full of cheerfully nostalgic moments as well as classic Jenny and Angela japes and it was just everything I wanted it to be and more!

Angela is very far removed from the person that we met in I heart New York. She is a married woman now with a daughter and a very different career plan from dating around New York and blogging about it. But we still love her just as much as we did back then. The way she has grown and evolved over the years, because she has been written so well, she is just as easy to identify with and relate to as she was when she was having her first adventures in The Union. I love that we see her dropping her phone in the loo almost as soon as we open the book as well, it wouldn't be an I heart book without a phone falling into a body of water. 

The wonderful thing about this book is that even though I am a die hard fan of the whole series (and re-read the books again before picking up this one) the beginning of the book as well as all the memories we see throughout the book are all written in such a way that if you are new to the books or if you have forgotten what Angela and Alex have been up to, you're all caught up. I don't know how she does it but Lindsey Kelk has written this book with everybody in mind. 

You all know by now that I am a massive fan of Jenny and wish that she was my best friend and she has a great part to play in this, being a little older than Angela and all. Their friendship has just been so wonderful to watch and read about over the years and reading about them makes me miss my bestie and makes me text her just because I love and relate to their friendship so much. 

The joys of mother hood are of course explored in the most comical way in the novel and certainly ring true with the stories that friends have told me about having a baby and then a toddler and what being with them and then subsequently away from them can be like. I love the fact that Angela now has a daughter that Alex has to come and bail out just as much as he has had to bail Angela out over the years. 

We get to catch up with the whole gang in this book and there is just the perfect balance of new experiences and nostalgia to keep the new and the uber i heart fans alike happy and turning the pages. I read this book in one big wonderful gulp and I just loved every single chapter. I really hope you add this to your reading list whether you are meeting Angela for the first time or saying goodbye to her after 10 years I know you're going to love I Heart Hawaii!

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Review: If You Could Go Anywhere by Paige Toon


Angie has always wanted to travel. But at twenty-seven, she has barely stepped outside the small mining town where she was born. Instead, she discovers the world through stories told to her by passing travellers, dreaming that one day she'll see it all for herself.

When her grandmother passes away, leaving Angie with no remaining family, she is ready to start her own adventures. Then she finds a letter revealing the address of the father she never knew, and realises instantly where her journey must begin: Italy.
As Angie sets out to find the truth – about her family, her past and who she really is – will mysterious and reckless Italian Alessandro help guide the way?

Review: As always this novel from Paige Toon has some of my favourite elements that I love to read about. It has travel, it has romance and it has our main character finding a sense of independence-definitely the kind of things I like to read about. If you're thinking of picking up this novel looking for the usual kind of escapism that you normally find in a Paige Toon novel then you are definitely in the right place. This book has awesome scenes of Italy., the food the fun and the awesome scenery. I loved being in Denver and being transported from the snow away and into the warm sunshine of Ital. 

Angie is an interesting character and it took me a while to work her out. I couldn't decide whether she was independent or not. I think she has been the big fish in her little world and now she has been thrown into the big bad world in another country for that matter, she does seem to flounder a little initially. I like the premise behind the fact that she hasn't really travelled and hasn't really left her comfort zone and now she REALLY has. I loved her sense of adventure and also her fearlessness. She chases what she wants even if that means facing her fears. 

The two male characters in this novel were definitely less easy to warm to. I initially got them confused with each other I think this might have been because I was listening on audiobook and I would have been better acquainted with them had I seen them written down.  Alessandro seems like a bad boy and don't get me wrong I love to read about a rebel without a cause but I sometimes felt like he might be just a bit too much of a risk for our Angie. 

There are plenty of moments in this book that will give you that same adventurous thrill that Angie is feeling, there are also romantic moments and a little bit of heartbreak. I loved escaping to Italy with Angie and I liked the personal journey that she went on as the novel progressed. Another wonderful dose of escapism from Paige Toon!

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Guest Review: Heavenfield: A DCI Ryan Mystery by L J Ross

The hunter becomes the hunted…

When a man is found dead at the remote church of Heavenfield, DCI Ryan is the only other person for miles around. The police have no weapon, no motive and no other suspects.

Already suspended from Northumbria CID, Ryan must fight to clear his name. But soon, more than his career is at stake when prominent members of the mysterious ‘Circle’ begin to die. Somebody wants Ryan’s name to be next on the coroner’s list and to survive he must unmask the devil who walks among them – before it is too late. 

Unfortunately for Ryan, the devil looks just like everybody else…

Murder and mystery are peppered with romance and humour in this fast-paced crime whodunnit from LJ Ross, set amidst the spectacular Northumbrian landscape. 

This is the third book in the DCI Ryan mysteries series from this author. Having read the first two books in the series, I was keen to find out what was happening to DCI Ryan and his colleagues following the dramatic events at the end of the previous story, Sycamore Gap. Once again, I would not recommend this as a stand-alone novel; it very much carries on from the first two in the series and frequent mention is made of characters and incidents in these books. As I found with the previous books, I was completely hooked by this story from the very first page and was eager to return to it at each sitting.

This story finds DCI Ryan in deep trouble when a man is found murdered in the ancient and remote Heavenfield church deep in the Northumbrian countryside. Suspicion immediately falls on him as he is the only person in the vicinity at the time; his superior officer sees this as an ideal opportunity to get rid of him. The ensuing investigation soon becomes complicated by several other murders involving suspected members of the mysterious ‘circle’ of Satan worshippers that Ryan and his team have been looking into since the initial events on Holy Island. As one death follows another, the reader wonders who will be next and, indeed,  who can be trusted.

I thoroughly enjoyed this third book in the series. It is always good to meet up with familiar faces and learn a little more about them. DCI Ryan is an interesting character with his gruff exterior and soft centre; you really wouldn’t want to be on the wrong side of the law in one of his investigations. In this particular story, I once again found myself worrying for all of his loyal team, and also his girlfriend Anna, as someone was methodically disposing of members of the murderous ‘circle’ and anyone else who got in their way. Ryan knows that he must find the leader of the group but this is complicated by the fact that that person could be just about anyone; their evil seems to have penetrated the whole police force. The book has been skilfully written, with clues leading the reader as well as the investigators down many dead ends in an attempt to identify the guilty parties, danger lurking round every corner. As light relief from the tense investigation, there are also moments of humour and romance within the story. I highly recommend this book as a fast moving murder mystery, but definitely suggest reading the first two books in the series first.

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Books that I Refuse to Let Anyone Touch 21/5/19

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Now I'm not normally the kind of person that won't lend their books out. There have only been a couple of occasions where a book has come back damaged or hasn't come back at all (and I just don't speak to those people anymore) so this list doesn't really have anything on it... BUT I do have some books that are very very special to me because the author who signed it is no longer with us, they are annotated by the author or they are a special edition of some kind so here are some books that are special to me...

This one has a cool dedication in and I loved the event where I got it signed!

My copy of this one has a really cool dedication in...

This was my first signed copy of a Lindsey Kelk book (I think)

I was just so so excited to meet these authors finally!

Laura Dockrill annotated the first couple of pages of this one!

I have a numbered proof of this one

I am in this one

I am also in this one

 I have a couple of special edition of this one!

Monday, 20 May 2019

Bout of Books Wrap Up & Day 7 Update

Day 7 was a great day for reading because I basically just sat down and dived into a book I received in the mail and is one of my most anticipated books so that's all good. I also got some gym time in so I started a new audiobook. I knew I was going to be able to finish this one but I was really wanting to start it either way and it meant I could carry on reading-yey! I also did today's instagram challenge and my vlog of the week will be up on my booktube channel next week!

I read all of this book (and loved it) it was 400 pages. 

This is the audiobook I started. I read 119 pages and I will continue it today.

Books I Read this Week

This week has been a blast. I did all the challenges except the emoji challenge, remembered to link up all but one of my blog updates. Did an update every day and joined in both Twitter chats. As a bout of books expert I also hosted some twitter reading sprints on Friday/Saturday/Sunday and those helped me get a sprint on in my own reading. 

Here are the books i read this week with their page count....

Audiobook: 400 pages

Audiobook: 369 pages

Ebook: 144 pages

Audiobook: 384 pages

Hardcover: 32 pages

Hardcover: 32 Pages

Audiobook: 400 pages

Paperback: 400 pages

Audiobook: 400 pages

Hardcover: 384 pages

Paperback: 400 pages

Part Books

Ebook: 118 pages

Pages Read Today: 518

Pages Read This Week: 3463

Complete Books Finished: 11

Part Books Finished: 1

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Bout of Books Day 6 Update & Day 7 Challenge

Today was always going to be a good reading day because I had nothing else to do but read. I took a break in the evening for dinner and to watch Saturday Night Live so missed out on about 3 hours of reading time then but I got straight back into it again once we had eaten. I had to get up by 9am because that's when the bout of books chat was happening over on Twitter so I knew I would get a good start on reading for the day, listening to my audiobook whilst joining in the chat. I drank plenty of coffee and water, had snacks to hand and just had a great reading day. I also ran some sprints over on Twitter so that definitely helped keep me on track although I was so absorbed in my book I missed the end of one of them!

Today's Challenge

Today's challenge is to stretch your goals. Now I have already kind of met and surpassed my goals. I always have books on my TBR that seem unattainable because I like to have a bank of reading to choose from but I really feel like I've got another book in me today, I feel like i can start and finish Messy Wonderful Us because I am so excited to read it. I also might be able to start a new audiobook whilst I go for a walk and get my steps in but I'm not going to push myself to finish it because I really want to read Messy Wonderful Us and it is 400 pages so... let me know in the comments what your reading goals are today!

Reading Update

Yep I just spent the day with Lindsey Kelk today. I listened to the audiobook of I Heart Forever which was 400 pages before moving on to...

I Heart Hawaii which was also 400 pages and was just so good. It was emotional because there was lots of nostalgia in it and it was the last in the series but it had all the classic I heart Features, my review will be up very very soon!

Pages Read Today: 800

Pages Read This Week: 2923

Complete Books Finished: 10

Movie Reviews: May 12th-18th 2019

Another Sunday, another lot of movie reviews. As always, I go into more detailed thoughts on my movie reviews video over on my BookTube channel which I will leave at the bottom of this post once it is live so if you want a little more detail, give that a watch please and thank you!

This one I liked but didn't love. It provided some laughs but not loads of them and so I would wait and watch this one when it comes to streaming or rental if I were you. 

Oh my goodness I loved this. This is the filming of the recording of Aretha Franklin's album Amazing Grace and the footage has been locked away since 1972 basically because the original director did such a bad job of it it couldn't be used. It felt like you were witnessing something really privileged and was just great to to watch. 

Not my usual kind of film but it was playing in Dolby and you know I love that format. I had also seen some good reviews from other people who had been to see it despite it not being their usual kind of film. I laughed more at this one than I did at the first film and I really and truly believed the peril these characters were facing. I definitely recommend!

Unfortunately I was really disappointed in this one. I made a book vs movie video about it will which will be up on my channel on Tuesday 21st May 2019 so you can see my thoughts on how it compares to the book that I loved. It felt like really lazy film making, cut out some of my favourite bits of the film and was really oddly shot. Things would often be out of focus and there was an overuse of cutting away to scenes of New York which would slowly slant while music played and just made me feel a bit sick. It would have been better without those weird musical interludes and would also have saved the film about 20 minutes making it a much shorter and more watchable movie!

As always, leave me a comment if there is anything in particular you would like me to go and watch in the cinema and share my thoughts on here with you-always happy to go and watch on demand!