Book Review: The Girl Who Came Back by Susan Lewis

the girl

Title: The Girl Who Came Back
Author: Susan Lewis
Publisher: Penguin Random House UK, Arrow
Date: February 25th, 2016
Pages: 409
Format: Hardback
Source: from Publisher, for a review

 

Synopsis (from Goodreads): When Jules Bright hears a knock on the door, the last person she expects to find a detective bringing her the news she’s feared for the last three years.

Amelia Quentin is being released from prison.

Jules’s life is very different now to the one she’d known before Amelia shattered it completely. Knowing the girl is coming back she needs to decide what to do. Friends and family gather round, fearing for Jules’s safety. They know that justice was never served; every one of them wants to make the Quentin girl pay.

The question is, what will Jules do; and which of them – her or Amelia – has the most to fear?

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Review:

„In her heart she knew what Aileen was thinking, it was what she was thinking too, but neither of them was prepared to speak the words aloud in case fate overheard and turned them into an unthinkable reality.“

 

This is the story about family tragedy.
This is the story about shattered lives.
This is the story about injustice.
This is the story about the girl who came back
.

 

Starting this novel with a prologue, Susan Lewis introduces Amelia to us as a nine year old girl, but even from those few pages we can see what kind of person she will be in her future (and what kind of peronality she already has).

This story follows a woman named Jules. The first chapter opens with her finding out about Amelia being released from the prison, in that she was sent after commiting a crame that shattered Jules’ family apart.

As the story progress we follow two different times: present and the past (the past starting over 20 years ago, coming closer to the present with every chapter).

While doing my research for  this review, I found out that the character called Aileen Lawrence also appears in another Susan Lewis’ novel, Behind Closed Doors.
However, two novels are both standalons.

Going into this book, I expected for it to be a quick read.
Nevertheless, as I was reading, I noticed that wasn’t the case.
The story demends you to take your time with it, to observe and take everything that it gives to you.

It took me over 50 pages to get used to Susan Lewis’ writing style and over 100 pages to finally keep up with all the characters.
While reading, you can see that the author really knows her characters. She gives you the whole family tree, friends and friends’ family, and it does take some time to place everyone in your head, as a reader (if I was smarter, I would place characters on paper to follow them better, but I managed to place everyone after some time).
I even bet that if you asked Lewis what were her characters’ hobbies, favorite food and all those little things that weren’t actually in the book, she would still have answers because she knew them that well.

She also did a lot of research for this book, and you can tell it.
At some parts, I tought about calling her out because I was sure something wouldn’t go that way because of law, but few pages after she wrote exactly what I was thinking of.
The same case happened when I was thinking about one particular situation, how it would be illogical to develop in the way it did, but I was running before herd again – few pages after, the author explained perfectly why and how.

Although this is a story in which the story as itself is important, what has a bigger role in this piece are inner struggels and how one can deal with an injustice that’s been done to him, how to deal with the tragedy that can make you lose yourself, to find the strenght when there’s no hope and to overcome the demons that call you for revenge.

As you probably figured out by now, this isn’t an easy read.

Anyway, it is still an enjoyable read.
There was only one time while reading that I felt like it was dragging, and it was closer to the end of the book.

There were three things I wasn’t a fan of:

  1. Magic realism element (if we can call it that (but there’s a big chance that I just couldn’t understand it)).
  2. Towards the end one particular situation that will be discussed in my spoilers section
  3. I still can’t, and never will understand Daisy‘s parents when it comes to Dean (my reason will be in the spoiler section).

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Spoiler Alert!!!

I didn’t like how those three men took Amelia, captured her and wanted her to confess she’s the one who did it all.
In my mind, at that point, I was screaming at them AND at Lewis how that confession will mean nothing, if taken in those circumstances. The good thing is that the usthor did her research and wrote the same thing few pages after.

I can’t understand how Daisy’s parents were on Dean’s side. Yes, they knew him from his young age, yes, they are friends with his parents, but still: HE RAPED THEIR DAUGHTER! Nothing can change that!
He can say he felt forced, he was afraid Amelia would kill Daisy, but he still got hard and was able to rape.
And even if that all was true (it’s just his words against Amelia’s) he still didn’t try to use his force and actually stop Amelia, but like a weak boy he was, he submited.
He deserved to be in prison, along with Amelia.
And how could Daisy’s parents just forgive him like that???

spoiler vrpca

Overall, this is a good read that will leave you with a feeling like you know more then you did before. It is a story that focusses more on the feelings then on the pace, although the pace is what activates those feelings.
If you decide to give this book a try, I suggest you to give yourself some time with it.
Also, it may take a while for you to get used to the writing style and to get to know the characters, but after you do it will be worth it.

3,75

LEAP into BOOKS Giveaway Hop

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Welcome to the LEAP into BOOKS Giveaway Hop, hosted by BookHounds.

In this giveaway I am giving you a chance to win a  book of choice, up to 17 dollars.

The giveaway is international as long as TBD ships to your country.

After you enter this giveaway, don’t forget to visit other blogs for more giveaways.

 

You can enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

DISCLAIMER:

  • This giveaway is international as long as The Book Depository ships to your country.
  • You must be 18+ old to enter or have your parent’s permission to enter (because I’ll need to ask you to give me your adress so I could send the book to you).
  • I am not responsible for the shipment, but am responsible to order a book on time (The Book Depository is responsible to deliver you a book on time and in a good condition).
  • Once chosen, winner will be emailed and will have 48 hours to reply, otherwise another person will be chosen as a winner
  • NO CHEATING! Cheaters will be disqualified

 

Good Luck! 🙂

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Click here to hop around…


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Bullet Short Stoy Review: The Summer I Met You by Victoria Walters

the summer

Title: The Summer I Met You
Author: Victoria Walters
Publisher: Headline Review
Date: February 11th, 2016
Pages: 65
Format: ebook
Source: Purchased

Synopsis (from Goodreads): Escape to Cornwall and meet the characters of Talting in this wonderful digital short story and prequel to Victoria Walters’ captivating debut novel, THE SECOND LOVE OF MY LIFE.

This is a summer romance that will last a lifetime…

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Review:

„In that moment he made me as if we had lifted off from the ground and were dancing amongst the stars.“

What you need to know about this short story:

  • It is a prequel to Victoria Walter’s debut novel The Second Love of My Life, that comes out this April.
  • It is written in first person, from the perspective of a young girl called Emma.
  • Emma is telling the story in two different time periods: now and then, which are separated by the three months period.
  • The Summer I Met You is a story of falling in love.
  • Although Emma and her love interest, John, are main characters in this story, they are not main characters in the full-leight novel that follows this story.
  • Main character in The Secon Love of My Life is Rose, Emma’s best friend, and we get to meet her in this prequel.

What you should be warned about:the second love

  • It contains insta-love (which is not a bad thing, from my perspective).
  • Not all 65 pages of this ebook are an actual story, some of them are a part of an exclusive extract from The Second Love of My Life.

What I liked about this book:

  • The writing style is worth to be commended
  • The way the writer describes places is just so realistic and beautiful at the same time. I could’t help but imagine Emma’s room, the view to the sea and the smell of pigs and cows in the air, it was like being there partly.
  • Both setting were just amazing.
  • Characters were likeable, especially Rose and her husband Lucas.

What I’d like to change in this piece of work:

  • I only wish it was a bit longer so we could watch how Emma and John’s love was developing and how they spent time that Summer.

Overall, the purpose of this short story is to introduce us to characters from The Second Love of my Life. In that purpose, it succeeded.
When I say I can’t wait to read Walter’s debut novel, I mean it wholeheartedly. I really enjoyed this story and find the writing style so beautiful and appealing that I just can’t wait to see what the writer is going to present us in her full-leight book.

Even though this is a prequel, it can be read on it’s own and I think if you decide to give it a try, you will probably enjoy it. I know I did.

4

Waiting on Wendesday (# Lucky 7): Who’s That Girl by Mhairi McFarlane

wow

Waiting on Wendesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It spotlights upcoming releases we can’t wait to read.

This week I am eagerly anticipating:

who's that girl

Who’s That Girl by Mhairi McFarlane

Publisher: HarperCollins

Publication Date: April 7th, 2016

Summary (from Goodreads):

An achingly funny story from the author of the bestselling YOU HAD ME AT HELLO

What’s the one thing you DON’T do at a wedding?

When Edie is caught in a compromising position at her colleagues’ wedding, all the blame falls on her – turns out that personal popularity in the office is not that different from your schooldays. Shamed online and ostracised by everyone she knows, her boss suggests an extended sabbatical – ghostwriting an autobiography for hot new acting talent, Elliot Owen. Easy, right?

Wrong. Banished back to her home town of Nottingham, Edie is not only dealing with a man who probably hasn’t heard the word ‘no’ in a decade, but also suffering an excruciating regression to her teenage years as she moves back in with her widowed father and judgey, layabout sister.

When the world is asking who you are, it’s hard not to question yourself. Who’s that girl? Edie is ready to find out.

Why am I waiting?

When I saw one of my favorite authors, Lindsey Kelk, talk about this book and say she feels an “author jaleousy” when it comes to McFarlane’s writing, I knew I had to check it out. I mean, when an amazing author says she wishes she could write like that, that has to be something, right?

The premise of this book sounds really interesting and the sentence “Will make you laugh out loud.” makes me want to read it even more.

This chick-lit should be over 500 pages long, which means I’ll probalby spend a lot of time having fun while reading it.
I just can’t wait to finally read it!

Author Website * Amazon UK * Amazon US * Goodreads * The Book Depository

Book Review: The Uninvited by J.A. Templeton

the uninvited

Title: The Uninvited
Author: J.A. Templeton
Series: The MacKinnon Legacy #1
Publisher: Self-published
Date: March 17, 2015
Pages: 200
Format: ebook
Source: from Author for review

 

Synopsis (from Goodreads): For readers who loved the international best-selling YA paranormal romance series, The MacKinnon Curse, here is a new spin-off series!
Madison Sinclair has a secret. She can see, hear and feel the dead.
At seventeen, Madison travels to Edinburgh to study and discovers that university is not the only adventure to be found there. The historic Scots city is a hotbed of paranormal activity and Madison’s talents and empathy are tested when she meets the spirit of a missing teen, Jaime.
Madison befriends Shane, a fellow student and very human charmer from her home town, who also knows a thing or two about ghosts and their ways.
Madison’s spirit friend, Jaime, has a flesh-and-blood brother. Haven is a sexy, tattooed bad boy with a dangerous reputation, but is drawn to Madison because of the enticing truth she could give him about his little sister.
Shane and Haven help Madison use her gifts to uncover the secrets surrounding Jaime’s disappearance, which puts Madison in danger from more than wayward spirits. The psychopath that killed Jaime now has Madison in his cross-hairs, and he has no intention of letting her reveal the truth.
THE UNINVITED is book one in The MacKinnon Legacy series and is intended for readers over 17+ due to language, sexual situations, and violence.

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Review:

J.A. Templeton is one of my favorite authors for years now. I have read five of her novels before this one, and loved every-single one of them.

This one was no exception. I really, really liked it!

This story takes place five years after The Departed.

Although this is a spin-off, it is not fully tied to it’s predecessor. What I’m trying to say is that you are not obligated to read The MacKinnon Curse series in order to read this one.
Yeah, most of the characters are in both series, and stories are connected but are two separated pieces.

Regardless, if you still haven’t, I suggest you to read The MacKinnon Curse because it is an enjoyable read.

Our main character Madison is all grown up and she started college in Edingburgh. I enjoyed reading her story and getting to know the person she became. She is one interesting girl who’s still not fully independent but is on a good way to be.

It was so nice to see Shane again. I was always fond of him and I haven’t change my mind. I am really looking forward to read more about him.

Actually, it was nice to see everyone once again and to find out how Riley and Kade are doing. I only wish we got to know more about Cait‘s life.

I think J.A. Templeton is really good in creating likeable characters. There is really not one character that I didn’t like and although it could sometimes be a flaw, I don’t think it was in this case.
However, I am curious how the story will develop from this book on because what seems flawless now could easely became drawback later if not shaped right.

Do I think we should have more character development trough the series? I do.
But I have no doubt Templeton will do a good job, as she always does.

We do have a glimpse of a love triangle but I didn’t pay too much attention to it because to me, it was clear who should win in this love game. Still, I want to know if I was right and where the author will take us with it.

While reading this book I had a vibe I had way back when I was watching “Ghost Whisperer” TV show.
If you liked watching that show, I think you would like this book.

The novel ends with something I like to call The perfect cliff-hanger.
It makes you wonder what is going to happen’ next but doesn’t leave you desperate for the sequel. You don’t feel like you have to have it in your hands right away, but it does announce to you that the sequel will be soooo good and you are looking forward to read it because you know you’ll enjoy it more then this book you just finished.

4

Movie Monday: House of Versace

Movie Monday is a weekly feature here on my blog, in which I’m rambling about movies I’ve watched lately.

This week, I want to talk about:

House of Versace

versace

This TV Movie, based on the book House of Versace: The Untold Story of Genius, Murder, and Survival by Deborah Ball, follows the life of Donatella Versace and the destiny of House of Versace.

The story begins with the time period when Gianni Versace was still alive, the business was successful and Versace was a premium house.

We can follow Donatella and her brother leading this brand, see their family dinners and watch how their brother/sister relationship was.

Since this movie captures time period from that glowing era until now, we also see Donatella’s reaction to her brother’s murder, the fall of the Versace house, the fail of Donatella as a mother and wife, her problems with drugs and alcohol, her cleaning at rehab and how House of Versace rised from ashes.

This movie was suprisingly good, especially when you know that it is a TV movie.
I enjoyed every minute while watching it and it felt like the end came too soon.

Gina Gershon, who played Donatella was really good and, to be honest, I didn’t even recognize it was her who played the part.

Fashion, parties, greeding, family drama… you say it, this movie probably has it.

If you wonder where can you watch this, right now it is avalible on HBO OnDemand.

 

Note: Picture in this post is not my property but taken from IMDb site and is property of Lifetime.

Welcome to my Tea Party (aka An Invitation to Tea – Love-a-Thon challenge)

loveathon

As you, and all the birds on the branch already know, this weekend is a Love-a-Thon weekend.
This event is hosted by these wonderful bloggers:  Alexa from Alexa Loves Books, Cee from The Novel Hermit, Hazel from Stay Bookish and Mel from The Daily Prophecy.

I wasn’t going to to participate in this challenge, but an inspiration hit me, and I wanted to share my silliness and creepiness with you.

I admit: I had so much fun writing this and there’s a chance some of you (or many of you) won’t like it, but it doesn’t matter. What matters in the end is that we all have fun during this Love-A-Thon.

 

Welcome To My Tea Party!

tea party

Welcome to my Tea Party! Don’t be shy!
Have a cup, or two, we could dance,
but be careful, ’cause there’s a chance;
After that, you’d want to die!
                                                                              (Now imagine a wicked grin)…

We are here, in NeverNever;
A perfect place, full of fairies;
trolls and witches, can’t be better;
but be careful, don’t eat berries.

If you do so, we’ll never let you
to go back home, leave this place.
Food from here is magical, ties you here,
to be our slave!

Now when I’m done with this silly poem (what can I say, seeing all those poems in challenge number three, I felt inspired for some silliness), let me tell you about my tea party.

I decided to organize my fictional tea party in the faery world, in the land called NeverNever.
That is my favorite fictional world, and you can read about it, as well as about my guests in these books, written by Julie Kagawa:

6644117 7747064 8685612 9659607 12614410 15811405 the iron warrior

My guest here are all faeries:  Megan Chase, Prince Ash, Robin Goodfellow (aka Puck, and you might know him from Shakespeare’s play).
That grey cute cat you see is also a fairy. His name is Grimmalkin and trust me when I say this: HE KNOWS EVERYTHING.
That good looking guy with white hair is Keirran. Be careful with him. You never know when he might stab your back!
They never lie, they aren’t able to. But they twist the truth, so you have to pay attention.
They also like to bargain, but don’t fall for that, because you might regret it.
They are good fairies, but you never know for sure if they’ll need a slave for „the better cause“.

If you wonder where is their creator, Julie Kagawa, let me tell you: We didn’t invite her. We wanted to leave her in the human’s world, where she’ll write other stories, so humans would enjoyed them. We care about her too much to tie her to this place forever.

Wait! Can you hear that? A male voice, so soft, beautiful, keeping rythm with acoustic music.
That is James Bay on his guitar, playing „Need The Sun To Break“ at the moment. We kidnapped him, took him with us to be our slave. Someone has to keep us entertained, after all!

I bet you wonder what am I doing here, in this creepy world free willingly. Am I right?
Let’s just say I always wanted to be a fairy. And I found the way to be a new queen of winter.
Ash forgave me. At least I think he has.

 
Food vector designed by Freepik