Book Review: Grimm Tales: For Young and Old by Philip Pullman

41rp8tlB11L._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_Edition: Paperback, 444 pages
Published By: Penguin Classics
Genre: Adult, Fairytales, Retellings, Horror
Rating: 3 stars
Completed: 27th February 2017

In this beautiful book of classic fairy tales, award-winning author Philip Pullman has chosen his fifty favourite stories from the Brothers Grimm and presents them in a’clear as water’ retelling, in his unique and brilliant voice.

From the quests and romance of classics such as ‘Rapunzel’, ‘Snow White’ and ‘Cinderella’ to the danger and wit of such lesser-known tales as ‘The Three Snake Leaves’, ‘Hans-my-Hedgehog’ and ‘Godfather Death’, Pullman brings the heart of each timeless tale to the fore, following with a brief but fascinating commentary on the story’s background and history. In his introduction, he discusses how these stories have lasted so long, and become part of our collective storytelling imagination.

These new versions show the adventures at their most lucid and engaging yet. Pullman’s Grimm Tales of wicked wives, brave children and villainous kings will have you reading, reading aloud and rereading them for many years to come.

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When I think about it, I didn’t actually read that many fairy tales because I watched a lot of the Disney classic films but the first one I watched was Snow White. It’s not my favourite now as I love Beauty & The Beast but Snow White was definitely my favourite as a young girl.

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Book Review: The Girl with a Clock for a Heart by Peter Swanson

30366941Edition: Paperback, 333 pages
Published by: Faber & Faber
Genre: Crime, Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
Rating: 3 stars
Completed: 8th August 2016

George Foss never thought he’d see her again, but on a late-August night in Boston, there she is, in his local bar, Jack’s Tavern.

When George first met her, she was an eighteen-year-old college freshman from Sweetgum, Florida. She and George became inseparable in their first fall semester, so George was devastated when he got the news that she had committed suicide over Christmas break. But, as he stood in the living room of the girl’s grieving parents, he realized the girl in the photo on their mantelpiece – the one who had committed suicide – was not his girlfriend. Later, he discovered the true identity of the girl he had loved – and of the things she may have done to escape her past.

Now, twenty years later, she’s back, and she’s telling George that he’s the only one who can help her…

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Many thanks to Faber & Faber publishing for kindly sending me a copy of the book!

Following the success of The Kind Worth Killing, Peter Swanson’s debut novel The Girl With A Clock For A Heart has been reissued with a new cover.

This story follows George Foss, who works at a literary magazine, lives with his cat called Nora and has a sort of girlfriend, Irene. He lives an ordinary life and nothing interesting happens, until his college one-time mysterious girlfriend appears out of the blue at a bar asking for help. Does he help her? Of course he does. He doesn’t even have to think about it.

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Book Review: All Is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker

29635704Edition: eARC
Published by: Harlequin UK
Release date: 14th July 2016
Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
Rating: 3.5 stars
Completed: 13th July 2016

You can erase the memory. But you cannot erase the crime.

Jenny’s wounds have healed.
An experimental treatment has removed the memory of a horrific and degrading attack.
She is moving on with her life.

That was the plan. Except it’s not working out.
Something has gone. The light in the eyes. And something was left behind. A scar. On her lower back. Which she can’t stop touching.
And she’s getting worse.
Not to mention the fact that her father is obsessed with finding her attacker and her mother is in toxic denial.

It may be that the only way to uncover what’s wrong is to help Jenny recover her memory. But even if it can be done, pulling at the threads of her suppressed experience will unravel much more than the truth about her attack.

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Many thanks to Harlequin UK, via Netgalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.

Spoiler free review:

Just to warn you, this book also contains graphic content.

All Is Not Forgotten tells the story of sixteen-year-old Jenny Kramer who was brutally raped in the woods whilst at a party. She was given PTSD as a treatment to erase the memory, in order for her to be able to move on with her life. However it means that she cannot give any new information about her rapist but it doesn’t change the fact that it still happened and that she remains haunted by the constant memory of not knowing.

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Jenny’s father Tom Kramer is obsessed with finding his daughter’s rapist. He will not stop until the man who raped his daughter is caught and behind bars. Whilst Jenny’s mother, Charlotte Kramer, on the other hand just wants to forget it ever happened, is having an affair with Tom’s boss and has demons of her own past. Continue reading “Book Review: All Is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker”

Book Review: The Shining by Stephen King

897708Edition: Paperback, 497 pages
Published by: Hodder, Mass Market Paperback
Genre: Adult, Classics, Horror, Fantasy, Fiction, Supernatural, Suspense, Thriller
Rating: 4 stars

Danny was only five years old but in the words of old Mr Halloran he was a ‘shiner’, aglow with psychic voltage. When his father became caretaker of the Overlook Hotel his visions grew frighteningly out of control.

As winter closed in and blizzards cut them off, the hotel seemed to develop a life of its own. It was meant to be empty, but who was the lady in Room 217, and who were the masked guests going up and down in the elevator? And why did the hedges shaped like animals seem so alive?

Somewhere, somehow there was an evil force in the hotel – and that too had begun to shine…

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I’ve finally gotten around to reading my second Stephen King novel! And it had to be the Shining because its probably King’s most famous and best work. I prepared myself for a creepy and scary read.

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The Shining follows Jack Torrance who gets a new job as the caretaker of the Overlook hotel in Colorado Rockies and brings along his wife Wendy and five year old son Danny, who has the ‘shine,’ meaning he knows what people are thinking and can experience visions of what is going to happen. When a snowstorm hits the hotel, things start to go horribly wrong, as the hotel develops a mind of its own and Danny’s visions spiral out of control. Continue reading “Book Review: The Shining by Stephen King”

Book Review: In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

25406946Edition: Paperback, 352 pages
Published by: Vintage, 31st December 2015
Genre: Adult, Crime, Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
Rating: 4 stars
Completed: 13th February 2016

Nora hasn’t seen Clare for ten years. Not since the day Nora walked out of her old life and never looked back.

Until, out of the blue, an invitation to Clare’s hen party arrives. A weekend in a remote cottage – the perfect opportunity for Nora to reconnect with her best friend, to put the past behind her.

But something goes wrong.

Very wrong.

And as secrets and lies unravel, out in the dark, dark wood the past will finally catch up with Nora.


In a dark, dark wood there was a dark, dark house;

And in the dark, dark house there was a dark, dark room;
And in the dark, dark room there was a dark, dark cupboard;
And in the dark, dark box there was a….skeleton!

The got the impression I got from this epigraph is I may be in for a creepy read but it’s not as creepy as it sounds.

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In A Dark, Dark Wood is about our main character called Nora, aka Leonora who is a crime fiction writer, likes to go running and lives in Hackney. Then out of the blue, she gets an email – an invitation to Clare’s Hen Party. Nora hasn’t spoken to her former best friend in the last decade. Why now? Curiosity gets the better of her and so she agrees to attend.

Continue reading “Book Review: In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware”

Book Review: The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson

25820446Edition: eBook
Published by: Faber & Faber, 3rd February 2015
Genre: Adult, Crime, Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
Rating: 4 stars
Completed: 31st January 2016

A devious tale of psychological suspense involving sex, deception, and an accidental encounter that leads to murder. This is a modern re-imagining of Patricia Highsmith’s classicStrangers on a Train from the author of the acclaimed The Girl with a Clock for a Heart.

On a night flight from London to Boston, Ted Severson meets the mysterious Lily Kintner. Sharing one too many martinis, the strangers begin to play a game of truth, revealing intimate details about themselves. Ted talks about his marriage and his wife Miranda, who he’s sure is cheating on him. But their game turns dark when Ted jokes that he could kill Miranda for what she’s done. Lily, without missing a beat, says calmly, “I’d like to help.”

From there, Ted and Lily’s twisted bond grows stronger as they plot Miranda’s demise, but soon these co-conspirators are embroiled in a game of cat-and-mouse–one they both cannot survive–with a shrewd and very determined detective on their tail.


This book was insane, in a good way. Not as insane as Gone Girl (that’s on a whole different level) but still bloody insane!

It starts off with millionaire Ted who is at Heathrow airport waiting to board a flight back to Boston, in the Business Lounge drinking a martini and that’s where he meets a mysterious and gorgeous redhead called Lily. They get talking and Ted reveals jokingly that he’d like to kill his wife and to his surprise, Lily says she wants to help.

“Truthfully, I don’t think murder is necessarily as bad as people make it out to be. Everyone dies. What difference does it make if a few bad apples get pushed along a little sooner than God intended? And your wife, for example, seems like the kind worth killing.”

Continue reading “Book Review: The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson”

Review: The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

17465450Edition: Paperback, 406 pages
Published by: Penguin Books, 29th August 2013
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Drama, Fiction, Mystery
Rating: 3 stars
Completed: 19th December 2015

My Darling Cecilia
If you’re reading this, then I’ve died . . .

Imagine your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret – something so terrible it would destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others too. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive . . .

Cecilia Fitzpatrick achieved it all – she’s an incredibly successful business woman, a pillar of her small community and a devoted wife and mother. Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But that letter is about to change everything, and not just for her: Rachel and Tess barely know Cecilia – or each other – but they too are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband’s devastating secret.


I was given The Husband’s Secret as a birthday gift from my two friends (thank you!) which gave me the opportunity to read it. I probably wouldn’t have picked it up otherwise.

This book is set in Australia and it centres on three main characters Cecilia, Rachel and Tessa. All three women don’t really know each other but they are all connected.

Cecilia is a successful businesswoman of Tupperware, loyal wife and devoted mother. She thinks she knows her husband inside and out, or does she? One day whilst in the attic, she finds a letter from her husband that could destroy their perfect life. Tessa is shocked to hear that she was betrayed by two people she loved the most and Rachel is still dealing with the death of her daughter many years ago.

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“None of us ever know all the possible courses our lives could have and maybe should have taken. It’s probably just as well. Some secrets are meant to stay secret forever. Just ask Pandora.” Continue reading “Review: The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty”