Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Day of Reckoning (Dawn of Rebellion Series Book 2) by Michelle Lynn

Its been a while since I read the first in the series; Dawn of Rebellion, but it was one I was keen to get back to. I didn't enjoy it as much as the first book as it was much darker and violent. As it was well written, quick paced and exciting I still gave it a 5 star. One of the better YA series out there for it's original vision of the future.
Day of Reckoning (Dawn of Rebellion Series Book 2) by Michelle Lynn on Amazon.com

I really enjoyed the first book in the series; Dawn of Rebellion, so I was keen to find out what happened to our two plucky sisters from the East end. I wasn’t disappointed. Dawn and Gabby now find themselves in Texas and the fate of their friends unclear. Texas seems on the face of it a clean and civilised state, but they soon discover that they are held prisoner by an oppressive and cruel regime. Even though the sisters have similar experiences they deal with them in different ways; Gabby becomes hardened and vengeful as Dawn still believes in the protection of the innocents. It tests the sister’s relationship to the limit. The book is much darker as it deals with themes like torture and murder, but it stays firmly in YA territory. The story is like the first book narrated in the first person and each chapter is told from a different character’s perspective. The pace is again quick and there is no shortage of action. I do like the way the girls speak, using typical London slang, but I missed some of the humour of the first book. The author provides us with many surprises and covers a lot of story in this book, but it is still not entirely clear who is fighting on the side of good. I’m looking forwards to the last instalment of the series to find out if the girls will find a safe and happy place to put their feet up. Judging by this book they still have a few trials to face in Eve of Tomorrow.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Just Pretending (Hearts to Follow Book 1) by Dana Burkey

While I'm waiting to get my copy of 'Conversations with Tom' back with no doubt some red corrections; I'm getting a lot of reading done. This time a sweet but short YA story. I gave this four stars.
Just pretending by Dana Burkey on Amazon.com

This is a sweet YA love story: Cammy fell in love with Nick the summer before. They were both new to town; Nick holidaying with his father and Cam just moved there. Neither knew anyone and they bonded. Apart from him putting an arm around her; nothing else happened. She was heartbroken however when on going back to school he announced on social media he was now in a relationship. A year later, Cam has made many friends at her new school, amongst them Josh. When the summer holidays start Nick rolls back into town with new girlfriend Gina on his arm. Cam confided in Josh about her heartbreak and the two devise a plan to make Nick jealous.
The book is an easy and quick read and doesn’t hold any nasty surprises. It is a lovely coming of age story with a very likeable main character. I think many young girls will identify with Cam and the pitfalls of first love. Good YA read that would suit an early teen.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

The Lafayette Campaign by Andrew Updegrove

I do like a good conspiracy thriller now and then, and this one has a good dose of humour and satire to make it an entertaining read. I gave this 5 stars.
The Lafayette Campaign by Andrew Updegrove on Amazon.com

This is a tense political thriller with a healthy dose of satire, also a very entertaining read. Frank Adversego is a computer expert that is called upon by an un-named US government agency when they have a suspicion that someone has hacked the electronic voting system. Some unexpected results in the republican preliminaries have set alarm bells ringing in Washington. Frank sets to work figuring out how the hackers got in, but gets distracted by a young French student that keeps crossing his path. He soon finds out that he can trust no one and that he is alone in stopping the presidential election from being rigged. The Lafayette campaign is full of surprising plot twists and turns, but at all times disturbingly believable. This is a clever piece of storytelling that combines politics, technology and human emotion.
Frank Adversego is an interesting character with a fascinating job. He is also very human. We get to see his more vulnerable side; he is middle aged, lonely and wants to get in better shape physically. Frank is not one of these uber geeky smart tech wiz- kids that annoyingly spot straight away how a cyber-hack was done. Frank like most of us stumbles about in the dark for a while and is at times too trusting. But he is also diligent and committed and with hard work he solves the case.
I read this book during the 2016 primaries and caucuses which fitted perfectly with the story; I even started wondering if Mr Updegrove was clairvoyant so closely matched his story with all the shenanigans in the republican primaries and the unexpected rise of DT. This is book 2 in the series and I haven’t read book 1 (not yet but hope to soon), but it stands on its own and can be read out of order. Frank Adversego is certainly a character I want to revisit.

Monday, 4 April 2016

Eye of the Storm: The Silent grief of Miscarriage by Rachel McGrath

If there is one good thing about travelling it is that I can read in planes and trains, hence 2 reviews in short succession. This is not the sort of book I usually read, but I never mind reading a book that is well written and heartfelt. Very brave of this writer to put her painful experiences into words. I gave this 5 stars.
Eye of the Storm:The Silent Grief of Miscarriage by Rachel McGrath on Amazon.com

Kudos to Rachel McGrath for writing such a heartfelt and honest novella about a difficult subject; miscarriage. I was not aware that as many as 1 in 4 pregnancies fail. This book is well written and expresses eloquently some of the feelings many women feel. I’m sure it will bring solace to someone who has been through the same ordeal. The ending of the book is open as some things are not easily explained or solved, but I do hope in time to come there might be a happy ending or follow up.

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Dangerous Liaisons (Royal Command Book 1) by Sarah Stuart

Part two of this book was quite a shocker and kudos to the writer for taking a taboo subject and writing about it. I found some bits harder to believe, so that is why it got a four star. Well written in a fast paced and original style.
Dangerous Liaisons by Sarah Stuart on Amazon.com

If there was one word to describe this book it would be a roller coaster. The pace is fast and furious as it flicks from Lizzie; an heiress trying to find her place in the world, to Margaret; Henry the VIII sister; whose writings in the book of hours Lizzie is trying to decipher, and Michael; the man Lizzie has fallen in love with. The book is written in two parts and they couldn’t be more different in storyline. Part one is a sweet love story between two young people. Michael has ambitions as an actor and Lizzie wants to become a nanny. She has gone against her parent’s wishes to study management and take over the families hunting estate. After meeting Michael she puts all her efforts into furthering his career. Part two is about love too, but it’s rather twisted side and be prepared for a few shocks. Lisette; Lizzie’s daughter has now inherited the book of hours and is deciphering Margaret’s granddaughters writings. Lizzie and Lisette are descended from this queen and the thoughts in the book of hours have influenced the descendants. For Lisette this leads to rather reckless behaviour. There is a lot to like about this book and the characters are complex and not straight forward. It is a story with some unusual and original plot twists. The writer keeps the reader on their toes by a fast if at times confusing style. In part two especially as the mother’s and daughter’s names are so similar, but I understand why they had to be. One question mark remained for me; if a director cast a father and daughter as a pair of lovers in a musical that featured a nude scene too, would the audience not be gasping a collective breath of horror and disgust?