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5 Muffins Book Reviews

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

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Hello fellow bookworms! I’ve really been slacking on reviews lately (and blog posts in general!) and I feel like I say this at the beginning of every post I’ve written recently… However, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to tell you my feelings towards the critically acclaimed Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. It’s a book that is everywhere at the moment, and probably hasn’t escaped the grasp of many book lovers across the globe, and after reading, I can absolutely understand why this book has been so incredibly successful! Below is my review, plus a sneaky peak at the front cover and description and places to buy:

About The Book

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Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant has learned how to survive – but not how to live. Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend. Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything. One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Now she must learn how to navigate the world that everyone else seems to take for granted – while searching for the courage to face the dark corners she’s avoided all her life. Change can be good. Change can be bad. But surely any change is better than . . . fine?

My Review

Genre? Literary Fiction

Setting? Scotland, UK

Predictable? From the very beginning, Honeyman starts to set up for a twist in the plot line, but what I predicted wasn’t even close to what actually happened! While some smaller points were more predictable, Eleanor as a character is used to such a rigid daily routine that anything she does which is out of the ordinary for her is unpredictable.

Plot Pace? Due to the writing style, the pace was both steady and fast at the same time. It mirrored Eleanor’s feelings and emotions towards her day, being a bit more pedestrian when her life was normal, but speeding up when things started to get exciting, especially when Honeyman slipped something interesting into a seemingly normal scene.  

Favourite Character and why? This is a complex book with very well developed and complex characters. Eleanor was quite relatable in many ways, and I think a lot of people who read this book will think that, because there are so many pieces to her personality. I adored Raymond as a character who developed slowly over the course of the book as Eleanor accepted him into her life more and more.

Least Favourite Character and why? While the main characters were intensely recognised in the story, there were only a few of them, and the majority of them were extremely likeable. I have to make a point that Mummy’s character shocked me, and I was deeply horrified at some of the things she says and the way she says them. There’s a lot of history with her character and the relationship she has with Eleanor as well which made me dislike her even more.

Did you guess the story? Absolutely not! There were so many small parts that were obvious when it came to reading them, but if I was asked what I thought would happen when I started reading, it wouldn’t have been that! Honeyman managed to draw the story out right until the very end of the book which was very skilfully done.

Favourite part of the book? When Eleanor and Raymond visit Sammy, I had no idea what his reaction would be, so it was such a warming and happy scene the way it turned out. There were some hilarious scenes, in particular when Eleanor goes shopping, gets her make up and nails done, etc. which were quite uplifting.

Least favourite part of the book? Moving into the Bad Days section of the book, without giving too much away, was written so well I felt I was in Eleanor’s character, which was quite depressing and disheartening, especially when we had such a great first part during Good Days.

Well written? Absolutely! I can’t remember the last time I read a book with such depth in the story line and characterisation. The writing itself wasn’t complex in terms of vocabulary, but the way the sentences, paragraphs, and chapters were formed made the book move easily yet slightly uncomfortably, reflecting the nature of Eleanor’s character.

Emotional? Yes! I experienced I every emotion possibly reading this book, through awkwardness, embarrassment, happiness, sadness, and hysterics on both ends of the spectrum!

I will happily sing this books praises everywhere I go, and highly recommend to all for true insight into loneliness and the heartfelt meaning of friendship and kindness. A raw, emotional, and heartbreaking read.

My Rating: 5 Muffins out of 5

Where To Buy

If you like the sound of the book, here is where you can buy the book (including, but not limited to):

> Amazon

> The Book Depository

Cover photo and description taken from Goodreads (view book profile here)

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5 Muffins Book Reviews

Turtles All The Way Down by John Green

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This was my most anticipated read of the year, and I have to say it did not disappoint! John Green is one of my favourite authors, and his books give you so much to think about, and this one was no different.

Below is my review, plus a sneaky peak at the front cover and description and places to buy:

About The Book

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Turtles All The Way Down by John Green

It all begins with a fugitive billionaire and the promise of a cash reward. Turtles All the Way Down is about lifelong friendship, the intimacy of an unexpected reunion, Star Wars fan fiction, and tuatara. But at its heart is Aza Holmes, a young woman navigating daily existence within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

My Review

Turtles All The Way Down is the long awaited YA novel from John Green since the release of The Fault In Our Stars. We follow a young girl named Aza, her best friend Daisy, and son of millionaire, Davis Pickett. Set in Green’s home city, Indianapolis, the story follows these characters through life, loss, and friendship. For me, the characters made the story, and while the plot was important, and very well developed, the characters, particularly Aza, were the stars of the book. Green’s writing always tackles issues in life in very particular but extraordinary ways, and Turtles even more so than others, in my opinion. His mind works in complex but incredible ways that forms characters and stories that make you think about the book days after finishing. His way with words is highly commendable, and an absolute joy (sometimes, they can also destroy your life) to read. The underlying plot that runs alongside main issues tackled through character relationships was interesting, adding a mysterious vibe to the novel, and while it wasn’t the central point of the novel, it drove the narrative well, and everything was tied up at the end.

It’s so difficult to not fall in love with all of the characters that John Green writes into existence. And it really does feel like they are in the room with you! Aza’s charcater was incredibly well developed and made the book such a powerful novel. The way Green has written about mental health in such a sensitive and important way really translates what he has experienced in his own life, and helps any reader understand what it’s like to live with OCD and anxiety. This was the most powerful, creative, and informative book tackling mental health I’ve read to date.

I could not put it down, and there was always this nagging sensation that kept me guessing where Pickett Sr was, even with everything else going on around it. My favourite part of the book was all of it. No seriously I can’t choose! It was all written so well, and I did find that times when Aza was arguing with her conscience were particularly powerful, as it put OCD compulsions in perspective for someone who may not suffer from it.

There were several humorous points throughout the novel, little tidbits that Green added that just made me giggle, but overall, the book stirred a lot of different emotions. The power behind the writing made me feel sad and anxious and worried, but also made me feel happy and warm on the inside. John Green books have a way of making you feel like you are on a literal emotional rollercoaster!

I learnt a lot reading this book, not just about mental illness, but also about life in general. As with many of his other books, Green has laden Turtles with quotes that will soon become some of the most important quotes in YA literature. As I said earlier, John Green’s mind and way of thinking is so vast and extraordinary, I swear there is not a lot this man doesn’t know, therefore it is such an experience reading his books. I can highly recommend Turtles All The Way Down to anyone who is a fan of Green’s writing, or of YA and books that tackle mental health issues in general. Go out and buy this book now, because I believe everyone should read it!

My Rating: 5 Muffins out of 5

Where To Buy

If you like the sound of the book, here is where you can buy the book (including, but not limited to):

Amazon

The Book Depository

Cover photo and description taken from Goodreads (view book profile here)

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5 Muffins Book Reviews

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

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What a well known book, and I've only just got round to reading it! I can tell you, I'm so glad I picked it up! Miss Peregrine's was a story I knew I always wanted to read, and it had been there on my shelf for a while, along with it's sequel, Hollow City, but it always seemed to get overlooked when I was choosing what to read next… not this time!

Below is my review, plus a sneaky peak at the front cover and description and places to buy:

About The Book

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Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that Miss Peregrine's children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

My Review

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is a Young Adult novel, but first and foremost follows the fantastical paranormal genre. Set partly in America, but mostly in Welsh territory, we follow Jacob on his journey as he discovers that the stories his grandfather, Abe, told him as a child, were true. Unbelievably so! In and out of another time, Jacob learns more about the children labelled 'peculiar' and also learns they are in great danger. As Jacob delves deeper into the world of peculiar, and into himself, he understands this is just the beginning for his relationship with the peculiar children that take shelter with Miss Peregrine.

The events throughout this book have been so carefully thought out, introducing the reader to a new realm of magical happenings. It is incredibly unpredictable, possibly because we are so unfamiliar with this new world Riggs has created, and finishes with a climactic ending to lead perfectly on to Hollow City. There is never a dull moment in this book; every part is as thrilling as the last, making it a fast paced, compelling story line. The addition of photographs throughout the book also drives the story and makes it a faster read. Despite being a newly formed world, everything is logical and, although threads are left untied at the end, we know there will be questions answered in the following books.

We are introduced to so many characters throughout the book, mainly the family of peculiar children. I loved Millard, I thought his character was so quirky, and him lacking any physical form made his actions even more hilarious at times. Emma and Jacob's relationship grew on me, and was such a delight to read when it was fully developed. It wasn't the kind of relationship that was all 'in your face' like some books, but very subtle among the other events, that just adds a bit of light-heartedness to the story. Despite the paranormal traits of the peculiar children, Riggs has done a great job of merging fantasy and realism, making it seem more realistic. The blend of present and past, and making the reader understand that the peculiars live in the past, makes it feel like it's real, rather that placing them in another world that is less realistic.

From the moment the monsters were mentioned, and when Abe speaks to Jacob in the beginning about them, I was constantly trying to guess what they were and why they were so frightening. There was plenty more to keep me on the edge of my seat as well, trying to figure out what would become of the peculiar children. My favourite part of the book was when Jacob travels through the loop for the first time, and meets the peculiar children. Emma and Millard are amazing at this point, already so well characterised for people we've just met. The end was also extremely thrilling and spiked my excitement for the next book! The action scenes were really well written, describing everything that was going on and striking fear through me as if I was there! The entire book contains extremely good writing, especially with the incorporation of photos to bring the writing to life even more. I found myself laughing at several parts of the book; there were some pretty humorous parts in the story, particularly, as I mentioned earlier, Millard and his invisibility!

There were times when I could not put this book down! I found it so captivating and unlike anything I've read before. I cannot wait to finish the trilogy and find out how it ends (here's hoping that I don't use any of these beloved peculiars on the way, because I fear for their lives now I know what they're facing!)

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fantasy or paranormal writing, or even just a fast paced book with eccentric, peculiar characters, because you will find all of that in Miss Peregrine's!

My Rating: 5 Muffins out of 5

Where To Buy

If you like the sound of the book, here is where you can buy the book (including, but not limited to):

Amazon

The Book Depository

  Cover photo and description taken from Goodreads (view book profile here)

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5 Muffins Book Reviews

Review of ‘Lord of Shadows’ by Cassandra Clare

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At last, the wait is over, and Cassandra Clare’s second book in The Dark Artifices trilogy is out in the world! I have only been a fan of Clare’s books since the beginning of this year when I started The Mortal Instruments series, but it didn’t take me long to fall in love with the Shadow World. And here I am, caught up with the crowd and reviewing the latest book from the ‘queen of fantasy’! Just a quick word of warning: it’s a long one (the book, and this review!)!

Below is my review, plus a sneaky peak at the front cover and description and places to buy:

Please do not read any further if you have not read Lord of Shadows, or any of the other Shadowhunter Chronicle books! This review contains spoilers!

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5 Muffins Book Reviews

Review of ‘Lady Midnight’ by Cassandra Clare

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As you may have seen in my post, My Shadowhunter Journey, I have been absorbed into this incredible new world that I have to share with you all! Lady Midnight is the first book in The Dark Artifices trilogy, which is Cassandra Clare’s 3rd Shadowhunter series.

Below is my review, plus a sneaky peak at the front cover and description and places to buy:

About The Book


Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

In a kingdom by the sea…

In a secret world where half-angel warriors are sworn to fight demons, parabatai is a sacred word.
A parabatai is your partner in battle. A parabatai is your best friend. Parabatai can be everything to each other—but they can never fall in love.
Emma Carstairs is a warrior, a Shadowhunter, and the best in her generation. She lives for battle. Shoulder to shoulder with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, she patrols the streets of Los Angeles, where vampires party on the Sunset Strip, and faeries—the most powerful of supernatural creatures—teeter on the edge of open war with Shadowhunters. When the bodies of humans and faeries turn up murdered in the same way Emma’s parents were when she was a child, an uneasy alliance is formed. This is Emma’s chance for revenge—and Julian’s chance to get back his brother Mark, who is being held prisoner by the faerie Courts. All Emma, Mark, and Julian have to do is solve the murders within two weeks…and before the murderer targets them.
Their search takes Emma from sea caves full of sorcery to a dark lottery where death is dispensed. And each clue she unravels uncovers more secrets. What has Julian been hiding from her all these years? Why does Shadowhunter Law forbid parabatai to fall in love? Who really killed her parents—and can she bear to know the truth?

My Review

From one of the most highly regarded young adult fiction writers, Cassandra Clare, Lady Midnight is Book 1 in The Dark Artifices trilogy. As well as continuing on in the Shadowhunter world, the story also bleeds into the genre of mystery, with the characters faced with a series of murders they have to solve.

Years after the Dark War, Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn are bound as parabatai, and live in the Los Angeles Institute with the rest of the Blackthorn family. After losing her parents, Emma wants to know exactly how they died all those years ago. The Clave insists Sebastian Morgenstern was behind it, but Emma has other ideas. She is determined to figure out what really happened. With the help of her parabatai and his siblings, an investigation gets underway, after some testing cicumstances for the Blackthorns and the Institute. The romance weaving into a dramatic storyline builds the character development to higher heights than previous Shadowhunter books, and also allows the reader to engage more with how this fantastical world works.

Everything that happens in Lady Midnight has been carefully structured, showing the reader what is happening, and allowing them to try and work out what is happening before the characters reach their final conclusion, like any great crime novel would. With so many different relationships and events happening throughout the plot line, the story is by no means predictable! As the characters discover more about the investigation, and about themselves, the pace continues to speed up, resulting in the climactic ending that all readers desire.

As with the majority of stories, some slower moments were to be expected, particularly when Clare briefly recaps previous stories, or more ‘mundane’ activity at the Institute, but this definitely does not take away from the excitement in the res t of the book. Everything was clearly planned and logical, with the perfect amount of threads adding up at the end, and leaving enough questions, to have readers satisfied but wanting more. Thankfully, Book 2 is here!

I absolutely loved Emma and Julian, and how their characters had developed from the 12 yr-olds we saw in parts of City of Heavenly Fire (if you haven’t read The Mortal Instruments, then you should go and do that… right now!) The way everything carried over from the first to the third series, such as the parabatai bond, the friendship, and the romance, and seeing how it has grown in the depth and detail, has really made these character realistic in a fantasy world. I also loved how members of the New York Institute, featured in series 1, made an appearance, which allowed readers loyal to the Shadowhunter Chronicles to see how they have grown and changed as well.

Despite Clare writing in the fantasy genre, she does it in a way for the stories to also stay connected to the real world, such as setting the characters in real places. The reality does not change with the characters. Yes, they are Shadowhunters and Downworlders, but the environment that surrounds them makes them seem a lot more realistic. A particular scene comes to mind, when Julian is making pancakes, which is such a normal thing to be doing, and allows the reader to be reminded that while these characters are different, they can still be relatable.

I was definitely hooked by the storyline, and the way it was written revealed just enough to raise questions to keep the reader guessing as the story progressed. My favourite part of the book was Jem revealed to Emma the secrets behind the parabatai bond, and why it is forbidden to fall in love with each other. This scene was proof that Clare is ever expanding the Shadow World and allowing us to learn new things about the intricate world she has woven. Emma’s reaction was completely appropriate, in my opinion, and sets up more to come with her relationship with Julian, mark and Cristina. Also, questions were raised at the end with Kit, and how he will fit into Lord of Shadows, which is quite an exciting prospect. The scenes written particularly well were the ones that went into specific details about the Shadow World, just because it shows how much thought has gone into Clare’s creation, and also raises ‘what if’ questions that can be developed and discovered as more Shadowhunter books are written.

There were definitely comical moments in the book, particularly those that were more mundane and seeing the characters engage in matters that they are not necessarily used to dealing with (the scene with Mark and the children in the kitchen springs to mind). There were some emotional scenes as well, but these were more heart-breaking in terms of romantic feelings, as opposed to sad, ‘characters dying’ emotion.

Reading Lady Midnight opened my eyes to the Shadow World a lot further than I thought possible, and the fantasy fiction I am living in at the moment is coming very close to the detail we see in Harry Potter. I think it is so important that we learn about fictional worlds like these, because it allows an escape from reality, and the more believable it is, the more we, as readers, are allowed to escape.

 

I would definitely recommend reading Lady Midnight, but not until you have read the 9 books that come before. Despite it being a separate series, background knowledge is a must to fully understand and appreciate the writing. Fans of fantasy will be sucked in to this one! By far the most enjoyable Shadowhunter book I have read so far!

My Rating: 5 Muffins out of 5

Where To Buy

If you like the sound of the book, here is where you can buy the book (including, but not limited to):

Amazon

The Book Depository

  Cover photo and description taken from Goodreads (view book profile here)

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5 Muffins Book Reviews

Review of ‘Sister’ by Rosamund Lupton

I think I picked up Sister second hand (like quite a few of my books!) and it’s another one I’ve been putting off reading for quite a while. After reading it, however, I don’t know why that was the case!

Below is my review, plus a sneaky peak at the front cover and description and places to buy:

About The Book

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‘Sister’ by Rosamund Lupton

Nothing can break the bond between sisters …When Beatrice gets a frantic call in the middle of Sunday lunch to say that her younger sister, Tess, is missing, she boards the first flight home to London. But as she learns about the circumstances surrounding her sister’s disappearance, she is stunned to discover how little she actually knows of her sister’s life – and unprepared for the terrifying truths she must now face.The police, Beatrice’s fiance and even their mother accept they have lost Tess but Beatrice refuses to give up on her. So she embarks on a dangerous journey to discover the truth, no matter the cost.

My Review

Sister is a crime thriller that follows Beatrice on her journey to find out what happened to her sister, Tess. Set in Britain (yay!), the novel explores how Beatrice goes about defying everything that is said to her to uncover the truth, because she knew her sister better than anyone, and understands that something is not quite right. Everything that happens is told through Beatrice’s narrative, which gives a proper emotional connection to her as the main character, which is very important in novels like this. The story was by no means predictable, the description definitely doesn’t give anything away whatsoever! The ending was so climactic that it continued until the very end, finishing on that high feeling of shock and wonder. The plot was fast paced and, as with all good thrillers, everything added up at the end to contribute to that shocking feeling when everything is finally revealed.

As well as having an emotional connection with Beatrice through her strong narrative, I also felt quite close with Tess, even though she doesn’t feature as a proper character in the book, more of an ‘illusion’ I guess. Even her character was richly developed enough for me to know about her life and personality. The characters definitely had a life like quality to them, bringing each character alive when they were mentioned with another new thing to add to their list of traits that make them seem like a real person.

The story definitely kept me guessing! While you could have a punt at ‘who dunnit?’ throughout the book, nothing is truly revealed until the last few chapters. My favourite part of the book was when I thought I had found out who had committed the crime, and having that realisation that it may not quite be how it is on the paper, and of course it never is! I love that feeling of knowing something isn’t quite right! The whole narrative was so carefully formed and it was written so well that nothing was every given away, but subtle hints were always dropped! The scenes towards the end when things started to become clear where particularly well written, as everything slowly comes to light, one by one, the foreshadows are revealed. I was hooked on this book into the late hours of the night, and binge read the last 100 or so pages in one sitting!

I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is a fan of thrillers or mystery books, and also anyone interested in more scientific crime novels (trying not to spoil any plot points!) It is such an intriguing, well written package tied up in a neat bow that is waiting to be unravelled!

My Rating: 5 Muffins out of 5

Where To Buy

If you like the sound of the book, here is where you can buy the book (including, but not limited to):

Amazon

The Book Depository

  Cover photo and description taken from Goodreads (view book profile here)

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5 Muffins Book Reviews

Review of ‘The Rosie Project’ by Graeme Simsion

I picked up The Rosie Project awhile ago, but I wanted a quick read before Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was released, and could think of nothing more perfect to lighten the mood after quite a few crime thriller novels!

Below is my review, plus a sneaky peak at the front cover and description and places to buy:

About The Book



‘The Rosie Project’ by Graeme Simsion

Meet Don Tillman. Don is getting married. He just doesn’t know who to yet. But he has designed a very detailed questionnaire to help him find the perfect woman. One thing he already knows, though, is that it’s not Rosie. Absolutely, completely, definitely not.

My Review

The Rosie Project is a light-hearted, humorous novel following Don Tillman on his search for the most compatible woman, aka ‘The Wife Project’. With the aid of a scientifically justified questionnaire and his good friend Gene, he finds a few women who would be suitable sufficient for him, but none of them turned out quite to plan. Then Gene introduces Don to Rosie, who is quite possibly the most incompatible woman for him, but he drawn to her and her ‘father problems’. As their relationship develops and Don helps Rosie find her biological father, Don starts to wonder what love really feels like and how incompatible Rosie might actually turn out to be. The events throughout the book are told as any upside down love story is, slighly predictable with an exciting and beautiful ending. The book was fairly fast paced, with quite a simple but face splitting love story that will melt everyone’s heart who reads it.

Don was by far my favourite character because of his nerdy, awkward personality (he reminded my of Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory!) , but Gene was also very funny with his sexual conquests, if you will. The best part of the book was by far the ending, with the scene in the University Club with Rosie (no spoilers!) and the final chapter with life after. The whole book was written very well, with humour in all the right places, and heart melting moments too.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a good laugh and an adorable love story. Anyone who is a fan of romance or rom com will fall for Don and The Rosie Project.

My Rating: 5 Muffins out of 5

Where To Buy

If you like the sound of the book, here is where you can buy the book (including, but not limited to):

Amazon

The Book Depository

  Cover photo and description taken from Goodreads (view book profile here)

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5 Muffins Book Reviews

Review of ‘After You’ by Jojo Moyes

I have been so desperate to read this book since it’s release back in September, after falling in love with Me Before You, and I was not disappointed! I loved bringing Lou back to life and exploring her life after Will, and how she is coping with everything.

Below is my review, plus a sneaky peak at the front cover and description and places to buy:

About The Book

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‘After You’ by Jojo Moyes

Lou Clark has lots of questions.

Like how it is she’s ended up working in an airport bar, spending every shift watching other people jet off to new places.

Or why the flat she’s owned for a year still doesn’t feel like home.

Whether her close-knit family can forgive her for what she did eighteen months ago.

And will she ever get over the love of her life.

What Lou does know for certain is that something has to change.

Then, one night, it does.

But does the stranger on her doorstep hold the answers Lou is searching for – or just more questions?

Close the door and life continues: simple, ordered, safe.

Open it and she risks everything.

But Lou once made a promise to live. And if she’s going to keep it, she has to invite them in . . .

My Review

After You is a contemporary novel, following the bestselling novel ‘Me Before You’. Set mainly in London, the novel follows Lou after the loss of Will at the end of the first book, and how she is coping, and how she has decided to use her ‘inheritance’ from him. She gets an unexpected visitor at her door who changes everything she ever knew about Will and his family, and also her present life and plans for the future. Everything that happens in the novel is shown to us from Lou’s perspective, which helps us further connect with her as a character. Due to the genre of the book, the ending was fairly predictable once all of the threads were added up, it was easy to guess what Lou would chose to do, but there were some parts that were unpredictable, which was a nice shock. In many ways, however, it was great to be able to read something contemporary and predictable because I have read a lot of thriller’s recently, so it was adequately light enough to break it up for me.

Of course Lou was a key character, and, having met her and become emotionally connected to her in the previous book, it was easy to fall back into loving her character. It was great to be able to reconnect with her, and see her personality further develop, especially how she has grown with the loss of Will. I did also like Lily, because I felt that her character also grew and developed a lot throughout the book, and her relationships with other people as well bloomed a lot as the novel went on. The story helps the characters feel more real, because, as well as being well written characters, the plot line was fairly realistic, which helps with their situational reactions especially.

My favourite part of the book was a few chapters from the end, when the Moving On Circle have their final meeting on Lou’s rooftop, and everyone speaks an ode to their lost loved ones. It was particularly moving and sensitively written (and I did shed a tear or two, but that was certainly expected!) The whole novel, in fact, was well written in keeping with the contemporary genre. The story was gripping, much like the first (although the first is undoubtedly the best!), even though the events were predictable, the characters just kept me entranced and connected to the book and I wanted to stay in their lives just a bit longer!

I would definitely recommend this book to any contemporary lover, especially if you’ve read the first book and enjoyed it so much you can’t resist but revisit the characters again!

My Rating: 5 Muffins out of 5

Where To Buy

If you like the sound of the book, here is where you can buy the book (including, but not limited to):

Amazon

The Book Depository

  Cover photo and description taken from Goodreads (view book profile here)

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5 Muffins Book Reviews

Review of ‘The Girl on the Train’ by Paula Hawkins

I’d heard a lot of good and bad things about this book, more of the former, but known to be a bit like Marmite; you either love it or you hate it… I loved it!

Below is my review, plus a sneaky peak at the front cover and description and places to buy:

About The Book

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‘The Girl on the Train’ by Paula Hawkins

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

My Review

The Girl on the Train is a suspenseful thriller novel set near London that follows 3 main characters through a crime investigation. Rachel, aka ‘the girl on the train’ looks over at ‘Jess and Jason’s’ house every day on her way to work. She wonders about their lives together. She sees something not quite right. Rachel used to be married to Tom, divorced, then he remarried with Anna. They live in the house a few doors down from Megan and Scott. We later find out Jess and Jason are called Megan and Scott, and Megan is missing. The story slowly unravels, revealing evidence and memories piece by piece from Rachel, Megan and Anna, and what happened on the night that Megan went missing. The whole thing was so unpredictable with a massive climax at the end, finally finding out what happened to Megan that evening. The plot was fast paced, which made the novel such a page turner, and everything added up to make a complex and exciting storyline.

The more I read, the more I found out about the characters, and the more I realised how well developed they really were. My favourite character was Anna, maybe because she seemed the nicest. Rachel was such a detailed and deep character, but she wasn’t very easy to connect with because of her general demeanour and approach to life, but that didn’t make her unlikeable as such. The story felt as if I was watching it from the sidelines, which made everything and everyone in the story seem so real, even though the story was on the slightly more obscure side.

I was constantly kept guessing throughout the whole thing as more suspects were revealed in connection with Megan’s disappearance, and it could have been any one of them. My favourite part o the book was when Rachel first realised that something wasn’t right from the train, because that’s when everything really kicked off and made me want to read on and on and on. The tense scenes were written particularly well, and placed at the end of chapters which was another reason why I was kept reading into the early hours of the morning with this book! I was constantly shocked and excitement levels were raised throughout the book, but I didn’t cry or laugh hysterically at any point. This was definitely a book that I will not be forgetting any time soon!

I would definitely recommend this book to any thriller lover, or any general book lover, really! It’s a very quick read, but just be prepared to stay up late reading it!! Lovers of Gillian Flynn will fall for this book!

My Rating: 5 Muffins out of 5

Where To Buy

If you like the sound of the book, here is where you can buy the book (including, but not limited to):

Amazon

The Book Depository

  Cover photo and description taken from Goodreads (view book profile here)

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5 Muffins Book Reviews

Review of ‘Soul Reapers’ by Shay West

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review, after having read the first in the series of Eli and Ava adventures. Like the first book, I sunk deep into the story of this one and absolutely loved it, maybe even more so than the one before!

Below is my review, plus a sneaky peak at the front cover and description and places to buy:

About The Book

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‘Soul Reapers’ by Shay West

Detectives Elliot “Eli” Robbins and Ava Aguilar are stumped by a series of seemingly unrelated kidnappings. Utilizing all possible resources, Eli and Ava struggle to find answers despite little physical evidence and few witnesses. When a strange piece of paper is found at one of the crime scenes, it sends Eli and Ava on a chase for a killer who isn’t what he seems.

My Review

 

Soul Reapers is a thriller/mystery/sci-fi book which explores the realms of how far you can take a book beyond reality to make it completely science fiction. For me, West gets a perfect balance between the reality of real murder cases with the science fictional aspect o having the killer stealing children’s souls. Set in Colorado, Eli and Ava are detective partners in crime who are set toward on the numerous kidnappings around the area. Little do they know until they get deeper and deeper into the investigation that it’s not as simple as they originally thought.

The goings on throughout the book are strategically planned a logically laid out for the reader to follow. They are shown to us, and not fed to us, giving that amazing suspense feature that so many thrillers I have read are lacking. The events become less and less predictable the more you read and find more evidence that could contradict your original thoughts, and the ending was as climactic as the first book. While we’re on that note, just a quick one, WHAT WAS GOING ON WITH THAT LAST SENTENCE, WEST? DO YOU WANT TO LEAVE THE READER HANGING ON FOR ANOTHER YEAR WONDERING WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT? (probably because you’re an author and that’s what you do but even so I had to work after reading that last sentence and all I could think about was what was going to happen next!!!) Anyway, moving swiftly on, the plot line was fast paced, and, as I mentioned earlier, it was logical and thoughtful with every small point of evidence adding up by the end of the last page.

I find myself thinking that both Eli and Ava have such developed personalities, it’s almost like they arena character, so I’m going to say my favourite character is them as a pair, a partnership. I found that the characters were a lot more developed in this story compared to Organ Reapers, maybe because it was an improvement/development onwards to this book. I was constantly kept on edge thought the book, always trying to figure out what was going on like a true detective! My favourite part of the book was when their was the prison break-out (trying to keep spoilers to a minimum!) and from their, the case just exploded and I didn’t want to put the book down! The tenser scenes were written particularly well, keeping me reading to find out what was going to happen, especially at the end of chapters. It all went so fast for me, but I think I did cry towards the end when ‘the case was solved’ as it were (again, no spoilers!) because of what had to happen to resolve everything.

Overall, the whole story took me on another journey with Eli and Ava, and made me want to read on more than ever, especially that ending! I would definitely recommend this book to anyone (not for kids though, some very graphic images set up throughout!) even if you aren’t a great lover of sic-fi, like me, but like yourself a bit of crime, this could honestly be up there with the best thrillers on the market if it just managed to get enough publicity (which is what I’m trying my best to do because it deserves it!) Eli and Ava and their adventures will always have a special place in my bookish heart!

My Rating: 5 Muffins out of 5

Where To Buy

If you like the sound of the book, here is where you can buy the book (including, but not limited to):

Amazon

Cover photo and description taken from Goodreads (view book profile here)