Title: Broken Dolls
Author: Tyrolin Puxty
Publisher: Curiosity Quills
Publication Date: December 14th 2015
Genre: YA, Thriller, Fantasy , Sci-Fi
My Rating: 5/5
Links : Goodreads . Amazon
Ella doesn't remember what it's like to be human; after all, she's lived as a doll for thirty years. She forgets what it's like to taste, to breathe...to love.
She watches the professor create other dolls, but they don't seem to hang around for long. His most recent creation is Lisa, a sly goth. Ella doesn't like Lisa. How could she, when Lisa keeps trying to destroy her?
Ella likes the professor's granddaughter though, even if she is dying. It's too bad the professor wants to turn Gabby into a doll, depriving her of an education...depriving her of life.
With time running out and mad dolls on the rampage, Ella questions her very existence as she unearths the secrets buried in her past; secrets that will decide whether Gabby will befall the same fate..
I received a review copy from Curiosity Quills , in exchange with an honest review.
Broken Dolls is not only a book with an intruging plot that urges many readers to pick up the book, but also a story that will keep you questioning the main characters' motives with every page flipped.
If you enjoyed Coraline, then you are probably going to end up Head over Heels for this book!
If I can review this book with only one sentence, then this would be it .
"This book is weird in the best way ever !!"
After finishing this book, all that I wanted to do is send an email to Tim Burton to tell him about this incredible story !! I can see this adapted into a successful,dark stop motion animation .
This book helped me survive my migraine that lasted for more than 12 hours ! When my eyes were closed to escape the dreadful fatigue , I had such a luscious, vivid tale to entertain me.
Some people weren't pleased with how the book ended, but I simply believe that it was perfect.
I absolutely loved Broken Dolls, and I can't wait to read more books by this awesome author.
I give it 5/5 stars.
About the Author:
I'm a Jack, or more accurately, a Tyrolin of all trades.
Broken Dolls, the first in the trilogy, is an international #1 bestseller and appeared on Buzzfeed's Top 24 Best SciFi/Fantasy Books of 2015.
I have been in the Top 25 of the Australian Songwriters Association and Top 25 of the Australian Independent Music Awards, was awarded an Australia Day Award for Music in 2014 and for Arts in 2015. I own a performing arts school, teach creative writing and host a podcast called HooPod, which is part of Felicia Day's Hooman community.
Chocolate, cats and writing take up the majority of my time. Can you blame me?
Title: The Jump
Author: Doug Johnstone
Publication Date: August 9th, 2016
Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Fiction
My Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Links: Amazon . Goodreads
Struggling to come to terms with the suicide of her teenage son, Ellie lives in the shadows of the Forth Road Bridge, lingering on its footpaths and swimming in the waters below. One day she talks down another suicidal teenager, Sam, and sees for herself a shot at redemption, the chance to atone for her son's death. But even with the best intentions, she can't foresee the situation she's falling headlong into — a troubled family, with some very dark secrets of their own.
The Jump is a hugely moving contemporary thriller, and a stunning portrait of an unlikely heroine.
I received an eARC of The Jump from Faber&Faber in exchange with an honest review.
This book was released last year in th e UK, but this blog tour is for the US rerelease of the book.
This is my very first Doug Johnstone book, and honestly I am very impressed with The Jump.
This is a book that will give you something to think about with every chapter you finish ! I was hooked right after finishing the first chapter.
The writing style is one of those things that matter to me the most, and I enjoyed the one in this book. It wasn't what I usually loved, which is "Pretty & Metaphoric", but rather " Smooth & Fast Flowing" . This suits the storyline perfectly.
There is nothing better than an intriguing plot, and fast flowing writing style.
Smooth & Fast flowing writing, doesn't mean that the description was plain and boring. This is a story that needed so much emotional description, and it doesn't lack that.
I really enjoyed reading The Jump.
I give it 4.5/5 stars.
Doug's writing process
Every book comes to life in the same way (at least they have so far, and I’m halfway through a first draft of my ninth novel and I don’t see any sign of the pattern ending). Before I begin a first draft, I spend a couple of months planning, plotting and making notes.
I say “making notes,” but the process is a lot more haphazard than that suggests. To begin with, it’s really just scribbling stream of consciousness guff — ideas about themes, characters, settings and so on. Usually all of this is swirling around a central “inciting incident” — a hit and run, a missing person, a suicide. Gradually over the weeks, things begin to coalesce into something more tangible, and at the same time, stuff starts to appear on the walls above my desk.
For a start there are pictures. Photographs of locations along with images of people who fit the physical characteristics of my characters. There is always an Ordnance Survey map of the area where the action takes place. So for my latest book, The Jump, I had a huge map of the river Forth, stretching from Fife over to Edinburgh, with all the little islands scattered about, and of course the bridges that span the water, the structures that are such an integral part of the story.
Also, at some point, a writing schedule makes its way onto the wall. How many words need to be written by which dates. I rarely stick to it, but it’s motivation enough to keep going. I also have a list of major plot points, and on my desk I have a more detailed scene-by-scene list. Some of these scenes are very fleshed out — typically the beginning and final scenes — but some of them have very little detail, leaving room for whatever pops into my brain at the time of writing.
And still more stuff winds up on the wall. There’s usually a ‘Don’t Forget’ list — a compilation of themes, subplots, character relationships and so on that I want to keep in the loop. Writing a novel feels a lot like keeping all these plates spinning in the air, and this list is my reminder to give each particular plate a little spin every now and then.
And then finally, just before I launch into the first draft, a single sheet of A4 goes up with motivational crap on it. This has grown over the years, each new book seemingly inspiring a new piece of advice for myself. And seeing as how I’m revealing all my writing method secrets here, I’ll end here with what was on my wall when I wrote The Jump. Whether it will mean anything to anyone else is open to debate, but I leave you with it anyway. Enjoy!
LESS IS MORE
SHOW, DON’T TELL
NEVER APOLOGIZE, NEVER EXPLAIN
INCREASE THE CONFLICT
AS EXTREME AS POSSIBLE
EVERY WORD MUST JUSTIFY ITS EXISTENCE
About the Author:
Doug Johnstone is a writer, musician and journalist based in Edinburgh. His fourth novel, Hit & Run, is published by Faber and Faber on March 15th 2012. His previous novel, Smokeheads, was published in March 2011, also by Faber. before that he published two novels with Penguin, Tombstoning (2006) and The Ossians (2008), which received praise from the likes of Irvine Welsh, Ian Rankin and Christopher Brookmyre.Doug is currently writer in residence at the University of Strathclyde. Hes had short stories appear in various publications, and since 1999 he has worked as a freelance arts journalist, primarily covering music and literature.He grew up in Arbroath and lives in Portobello, Edinburgh with his wife and two children. He loves drinking malt whisky and playing football, not necessarily at the same time.
Title: The Memory Game
Author: Sharon Sant
Publisher: Lightfoot Press
Publication Date: April 8th, 2015
Genre: YA, Thriller, Paranormal, Ghosts
My Rating: 4/5 stars
Links: Goodreads . Amazon .
'If there is a hell, I think maybe this is it.'
Weeks after fifteen-year-old David is killed by a speeding driver, he’s still hanging around and he doesn’t know why. The only person who can see and hear him is the girl he spent his schooldays bullying.
Bethany is the most hated girl at school. She hides away, alone with her secrets until, one day, the ghost of a boy killed in a hit-and-run starts to haunt her.
Together, they find that the end is only the beginning…
I received an e Arc copy of The Memory Game from LightFoot Press via Net Galley in exchange with an honest review.
Although the plot sounds a lot of things that have I watched and read before, the author found a way to take an (over said and done tale) , and make it unique.
I would have to say that voicing the main characters' emotions is an important thing to display in this story, and I wasn't disappointed !
The ending left shocked and amazed ! I never saw that coming.
I would definitely be interested in reading more of her novels.
I give it 4/5 stars.
About the Author :
Sharon Sant was born in Dorset but now lives in Stoke-on-Trent. She graduated from Staffordshire University in 2009 with a degree in English and creative writing. She currently works part time as a freelance editor and continues to write her own stories.
An avid reader with eclectic tastes across many genres, when not busy trying in vain to be a domestic goddess, she can often be found lurking in local coffee shops with her head in a book. Sometimes she pretends to be clever but really loves nothing more than watching geeky TV and eating Pringles.
She is the author of a string of YA novels including Runners and the Sky Song trilogy.
Title: The Henderson Harbor Killings: Summer Shack 2
Author: Kelli Landon
Publication Date: August 21, 2014
My Rating:4/5 stars ( B)
Revenge doesn’t come with an expiration date.
Before Summer Shack (A Killer Vacation), Cynthia Barnett was a classmate and neighbor of Burt Whitehead’s.
Graduating from Birchville High in 2000, she was known as the girl who got away. She was frowned upon for hanging with Burt’s bullies, but she held her own against the ridicule they put him through. The story leading up to high school graduation is told through Cynthia’s eyes.
The Whiteheads lead a very different lifestyle. Burt tries to live his own life while dealing with his dominating mother, Vera. Rumors of Vera’s missing husband as well as the child abuse afflicted upon Burt, don’t make life easy for him. While working up at the Henderson Harbor lighthouse, Burt practices his revenge in ways he learned from his mother and another relative. His crimes rock Door County as he takes to the Internet to lure in his victims. Burt Whitehead’s story makes up Part Two of The Henderson Harbor Killings.
I received Summer Shack Prequel from the author Kelli Landon in exchange with an honest review.
You don't have to read Summer Shack: Book 1 to enjoy this. This is a Prequel, not a sequel.
Revenge does not come with an expiration Date.......Intriguing right??
I absolutely loved this; the way the author build up the case of Burt, who was a normal kid and turned into a psychopath is literally amazing.
During this huge transformation, you get to sympathize with Burt and get creeped by him at the same time.
You get to observe his swinging emotions until they are completely destroyed.
So there was a lot of character Building in this book.
However,I kind of did not buy his final switch into a complete killer.There was just too much killing going on.
This is just a minor thing that I did not like; other than that, I really enjoyed Summer Shack 2 with the mystery and the thrilling, and sometimes kind of terrifying, cold events.
I give it 4/5 stars and a B according to my own rating scale.
Title: Tin Lily
Author: Joann Swanson
Publisher: Cranky Owl Books
Publication Date: July 6th 2014
Genre: YA, Psychological,Thriller
My Rating : 2/5 stars ( D+)
Just because you survive doesn’t mean you’re alive.
One moment fifteen-year-old Lily Berkenshire is sitting in her bedroom, favorite song blaring through her earbuds, history book open on her lap. The next, her alcoholic father is shooting and killing her mother. Then he’s pointing the gun at Lily and pulling the trigger. Click. He’s out of bullets.
A story packed with emotions , psychological events, and lots of fine description that; however, was not able to influence me or touch me deep inside.
I think that author is really good with describing and painting a beautiful portrait of events. However, our main character, Lily was supposed to be hollow in the beginning, just like a tin. She is a person who has no room for fear or love, so how can such a person notice and embrace such descriptions.
The thing that I really liked in this book was lily's cat, Binka. The way the author gave her human traits was interesting and surprisingly true. Cats actually do that in reality .
I think the concept of this story is really good, but for some reason I was not able to connect with it. I think it was a bit bland for such a topic and I was definitely expecting it to affect me deeply.
There was a bit of humor every here now and then, which helped me get through the book.
I really loved this quote though :
"If we forget, we might do the same thing. If we remember, we can work hard to be something different." _Lily
I liked how the book recommend other book titles, I love it when authors do that.
I give this book 2/5 stars and a D+ according to my own rating scale.
Title: The Panopticon
Author: Jenni Fagan
Publication date: April 22 2014
Genre: Adult Fiction, Mystery, Thriller
My Rating : 1/5 stars ( D- )
Anais Hendricks, fifteen, is in the back of a police car. She is headed for the Panopticon, a home for chronic young offenders. She can't remember what’s happened, but across town a policewoman lies in a coma and Anais is covered in blood. Raised in foster care from birth and moved through twenty-three placements before she even turned seven, Anais has been let down by just about every adult she has ever met. Now a counterculture outlaw, she knows that she can only rely on herself. And yet despite the parade of horrors visited upon her early life, she greets the world with the witty, fierce insight of a survivor.
Anais finds a sense of belonging among the residents of the Panopticon—they form intense bonds, and she soon becomes part of an ad-hoc family. Together, they struggle against the adults that keep them confined. But when she looks up at the watchtower that looms over the residents, Anais realizes her fate: She is an anonymous part of an experiment, and she always was. Now it seems that the experiment is closing in.
My Review :
The plot of this story is definitely intriguing as it focuses the lens on events that could surprisingly be a true reflection on what happens in reality. It discusses issues that one would not easily find in other books.
I thought that this was going to be a YA read, but i came to realize that not every book with a teenage protagonist is going to be a YA book. However, this is not the reason I disliked the novel as I read books from almost every genre.
The writing was what pushed me away. This is the very first book that I could not finish reading it. I would understand if there are 3 or 4 characters who talk in slang due too poor education, low livings standards and so on, but not every single character in the book. The words couldnea and shouldnea got on my nerves , but still weren't the reason why I did not finish reading the book. Oh, by the way, those are slang Scottish words.
Transition was the reason; the way the author moved from one scene to another did not work for me. I would get lost on how the character reached that place and lose the connection of what happens in the events.
Did I mention that the word FUCKING is repeated at least twice per page? Like fucking brush, fucking couch,etc.. Overall I think the story has a strong plot with non appealing writing.
I gave this book 1 /5 stars and D- according to my own rating scale.
Title: The Wire in the Blood ( Tony Hill and Carol Jordan #2)
Author: Val McDermid
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Murder , Adult
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date : 1997
My Rating: 4.5/5
Young girls are disappearing around the country, and there is nothing to connect them to one another, let alone the killer whose charming manner hides a warped and sick mind.
Nobody gets inside the messy heads of serial killers like Dr Tony Hill. Now heading up a National Profiling Task Force, he sets his team air exercise: they are given the details of missing teenagers and asked to discover whether there is a sinister link between any of the cases.
" It is better to start reading knowing only the above. The original summary contains a few spoilers. I only read the first sentence before reading and really enjoyed it"
My Review :
First of all, I would like to say that this book has been sitting on my shelf for about 4 years. I finally decided to take the challenge of reading an adult mystery book. To my surprise, after marching half way through, I realized that this book is the second one in the Tony Hill and Carol Jordan Series. Thankfully, it is almost not related to the previous book.
The first 40 pages were kind of slow and a bit boring, but I had to keep on reading , and I am glad that I did so. I was hooked my the mystery and fell in love with the characters . I loved how the writers switched the scenery from the cops and investigators to the the criminal. And how I loved the criminal's parts in the stories. Although short and brief, yet totally terrifying.
The only reason I did not give it 5/5 is perhaps the way the writer showed who is the murderer and killed one of my favorite characters in the first half of a 533 book. The rest was about capturing the killer. The thing is, I scanned about 20-30 books in the second part, scanning is not a good thing.
However, the book is worth reading. I loved everything in this book and I can't wait to read the FIRST book and the third. Because that ending was shocking and although I hope that the events will be discussed in the the third book, I fear that it might be an open ending.