Wednesday 14 June 2023

Book Review | The Book Club by C. J. Cooper | prettylittlewriter

‘The book club was her idea, of course. Alice's.
It was her way into our group. A chance to get close.
I knew from the day she arrived that she couldn't be trusted.

And I was right.
Because Alice didn't come to the village for peace and quiet.
She came for revenge.’

Our MC Lucy has only been in her little village for around 3 months, but she’s already made some great friends who are all incredibly close, and love going to the pub together and getting jolly.

Suddenly she gets a new next door neighbour, Alice, who seems to be acting strange around her, and is inserting herself into her friendship group quite easily, even managing to organise a book club.


Lucy just thinks she’s very friendly to start, and desperate to make friends, but it starts to become clear quite quickly that she is actually there to cause problems.


Lucy left London due to having an affair with her boss and it ending badly, and we know early on that Alice knows about this, and for some reason is seeking revenge.


Each character within the story gets their own voice for some chapters, and we start to see the cracks within their friendships, as they are all keeping secrets from each other, some worse than others.


Alice isn’t just trying to fuck up Lucy’s life, she’s also determined to ruin the lives of the others.


There were some parts of the story that I found far-fetched, including a murder and attempted murder from Alice, as I just don’t think it would happen like that in real life. I also was a little bit disappointed with the outcome of the story, Alice’s reason for going after Lucy seemed a bit of a reach (although you can tell she’s a psychopath, so she probably thought it made sense) and also the way things get left with Lucy at the end of the story just seemed very anti-climactic.


However, overall I really did enjoy the story and the build up to the ending.


3/5 stars

Wednesday 24 May 2023

Book Review | Year of the Reaper by Makiia Lucier | prettylittlewriter

Before an ambush by enemy soldiers, Lord Cassia was an engineer's apprentice on a mission entrusted by the king. But when plague sweeps over the land, leaving countless dead and devastating the kingdom, even Cas’ title cannot save him from a rotting prison cell and a merciless sickness.

Three years later, Cas wants only to return to his home in the mountains and forget past horrors. But home is not what he remembers. His castle has become a refuge for the royal court. And they have brought their enemies with them.

When an assassin targets those closest to the queen, Cas is drawn into a search for a killer…one that leads him to form an unexpected bond with a brilliant young historian named Lena. Cas and Lena soon realize that who is behind the attacks is far less important than why. They must look to the past, following the trail of a terrible secret—one that could threaten the kingdom’s newfound peace and plunge it back into war.’

This is a book that I would never have purchased from a bookshop as I’m quite fussy with my fantasy novels. However, as I received it in my fairyloot YA sub, I thought I’d give it a try.

I was pleasantly surprised.

Cas is a great MC, you really empathise with him after the trauma of his entrapment and torture, and I found myself really hoping he’d get a happy ending—of sorts.

This is the first novel I’ve read about a disease that wipes out many people (minus those I’ve read with mentions of covid), and although the novel is fantasy, as the disease is the plague it becomes relatable to the past of the real world.

There were some quite harrowing moments throughout, especially when Cas stumbles upon a character that has died or is in a bad way.

It was interesting to have the element of ghosts throughout, with Cas being able to see them and speak to them, however, it didn’t really play a big part in the story. It did however have its moments, when he was able to get extra information from a ghost to help in the living world.

The relationships that played out within the story were done well, I enjoyed Cas & Lena’s story, and Cas’ friendships when he returned to his kingdom. I would have liked to see more from the romance between Cas and Lena, but that’s just me being a sucker for romance.

The main mystery involved within—who tried to assassinate the Queen’s maid and child—was drip fed to us which kept you guessing until the big reveal at the end, and I thought it was very cleverly done.

Overall, I would say it’s a very well developed world and a clever story that kept me interested the whole way through, so I would definitely recommend it to anyone that enjoys a historical fiction fantasy novel.

4/5 stars

Friday 19 May 2023

Book Review | Falling by T. J. Newman | prettylittlewriter

You just boarded a flight to New York.

There are one hundred and forty-three other passengers onboard.

What you don't know is that thirty minutes before the flight your pilot's family was kidnapped.

For his family to live, everyone on your plane must die.

The only way the family will survive is if the pilot follows his orders and crashes the plane.

Enjoy the flight.’

This was a thrilling ride from start to finish!


We start with our MC Captain Bill, who boards the flight to JFK after being called in especially by one of his senior bosses to pilot the flight. Once he boards the plane and takes flight, he receives a message, and then a video call, to show that his family are being held hostage, and the kidnapper has a simple request, crash the plane, or your family dies.


Bill was a good character (I wouldn’t say great as I feel one of the cabin crew members were actually stronger than him) but still interesting and the way he dealt with the situation was very impressive (calm and collected). Bill is told he cannot tell anyone else about the situation, but he does warn one of the cabin crew, Jo, who is also a close friend of Bill’s, and thank god he does as her nephew just so happens to be an FBI agent.


So we now have Bill in the cockpit trying to liaise with the kidnapper, being very firm that he will not crash the plane, and they will not kill his family. His conviction here was very strong, as I’m sure a lot of people would be a lot more pessimistic about the situation! We then have Jo, trying to figure out how best to deal with the situation amongst the rest of the crew and with the passengers, and then we have FBI agent Theo on the ground, enlisting his team’s help to locate the family before the worst happens.


Jo was definitely my favourite character within the story, she was incredibly strong throughout, and she took matters into her own hands by informing the rest of the cabin crew and between them, the way they manage the passengers was pretty impressive. There’s one moment where they tell a white lie to the passengers and it backfires due to them having a social media star on board, and it just shows how these days it’s hard to lie even to protect people, because of the internet.


Theo was an FBI agent who didn’t have much sway in his team due to a previous mission, but he manages to persuade his boss that the threat was real and they were tasked with locating the family. First stop was the family home, and let’s just say things did not go to plan!


I won’t go into any more detail with the actual storyline, but I will say that it was completely action-packed, I was so hooked it only took me few hours to read it, the writing was fast-paced which meant it was completely un-putdownable!


The only reason I’m not giving it a 5 star review is because I’m not entirely sure how believable the story is (there were a few holes in the plot, and I think the bad guys in reality would have reacted differently to certain things Bill did).


I would however, highly recommend it to thriller fans, you really will be on the edge of your seat reading it!


4/5 stars

Tuesday 16 May 2023

Book Review | The Road Trip by Beth O’Leary | prettylittlewriter

‘Addie and her sister are about to embark on an epic road trip to a friend's wedding in the north of Scotland. The playlist is all planned and the snacks are packed.

But, not long after setting off, a car slams into the back of theirs. The driver is none other than Addie's ex, Dylan, who she's avoided since their traumatic break-up two years earlier.

Dylan and his best mate are heading to the wedding too, and they've totalled their car, so Addie has no choice but to offer them a ride. The car is soon jam-packed full of luggage and secrets, and with three hundred miles ahead of them, Dylan and Addie can't avoid confronting the very messy history of their relationship...

Will they make it to the wedding on time? And, more importantly... is this really the end of the road for Addie and Dylan?’

This was a great read! 

My first Beth O’Leary novel, I was hooked instantly and was desperate to find out why Addie and Dylan had broken up, and why they seemed to hate each other but also still be completely in love with each other!


We dive straight into the drama with the car accident happening almost instantly in the first chapter, so I knew we were in for an interesting read from the get go!


Addie is a great character, I really liked her personality, bubbly and kind, but also incredibly strong-willed and determined. Her bond with her sister Deb was lovely, and I really enjoyed seeing them together and how protective they both were of each other.


I was unsure of Dylan at first, sure he’d done something terrible to split them up, but then we get snippets of information (mainly via his friend Marcus) that is may have even been Addie that caused the split). I also thought Dylan was a bit pompous at first too, with his poetry writing and the fact he was unsure what to do with his life and just living off of Daddy’s money.


Marcus, Dylan’s best friend, was an arsehole. Entitled and a bit of a letch, he was absolutely awful towards Addie and so manipulative with Dylan. I saw the reason for his dislike of Addie coming from the offset; it was the only ‘reasonable’ explanation, although it was still pathetic of him.


My favourite character was actually Rodney for a while, a random guy they’d picked up from the Wedding Group chat to drive up to the wedding with them. I thought he was absolutely hilarious and I really did laugh out loud at some of the things he said (my favourite part was when he thought Deb had drowned!).


I liked that Beth switched from the past to the present throughout, letting us see what happened in the past to get Addie and Dylan to where they were in the present. They had an awful lot of communication issues, and most of it I would put down to how much control Dylan allows Marcus to have on him, everything he seems to do is with Marcus in mind.


The main issue that attributed to their split was infuriating, a massive misunderstanding again orchestrated by Marcus, that if he wasn’t involved, would have been a tender moment between Dylan and Addie as I’m sure he would have comforted her. It was just incredibly heart-breaking for Addie, and it infuriated me how easily led Dylan was.


I was pleased with the outcome of the story, and really enjoyed the wedding scenes, especially the parts that involved Rodney (they were hilarious!).  


I’m now ready to go away and read the rest of Beth’s novels, as I really thoroughly enjoyed this one!


4/5 stars

Friday 28 April 2023

Book Review | It Starts With Us by Colleen Hoover | prettylittlewriter

Lily and her ex-husband, Ryle, have just settled into a civil coparenting rhythm when she suddenly bumps into her first love, Atlas, again. After nearly two years separated, she is elated that for once, time is on their side, and she immediately says yes when Atlas asks her on a date.

But her excitement is quickly hampered by the knowledge that, though they are no longer married, Ryle is still very much a part of her life—and Atlas Corrigan is the one man he will hate being in his ex-wife and daughter’s life.’

Yet another novel by Colleen that had me hooked from the start.


This was a brilliant sequel to It Ends With Us, I loved seeing Lily and Atlas’ relationship blossom, and for them to finally have a normal dating life (in a way).


It wasn’t quite as emotional as the first book, but I don’t think Colleen meant for it to be. Sure, it had some bumpy parts (mainly when dickhead Ryle was around, and Atlas’ Mom) but for the most part, this was a more lovely and romantic story.


Lily was still the most amazingly strong character, and it was amazing to see her bond with Alyssa going from strength to strength, even in the face of Ryle’s wrath. There’s a particular scene where both Alyssa and Marshall get involved with Ryle (if you’ve read it you’ll know what I mean) and this scene almost made me cry happy tears for the support that they were giving to Lily.


It was also brilliant having Atlas’ POV. Finally knowing what went through his mind throughout his time homeless and having met Lily, and also getting a glimpse into his childhood trauma caused by his Mom and stepdad. There’s also a lovely surprise within Atlas’ life that although starts of Rocky, becomes something that is really sweet to read about, and I love that he got the chance to prove that sometimes blood isn’t thicker than water.


I won’t go into any more details as we’re at risk of spoilers, but this is definitely the perfect follow up to IEWU and if you’ve read that and enjoyed Lily and Atlas’ story, then you’ll definitely enjoy this.


4/5 stars

Monday 17 April 2023

Book Review | It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover | prettylittlewriter

Sometimes it is the one who loves you who hurts you the most.

Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up — she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head. But Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan — her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.’

This book took me on an emotional rollercoaster!


Lily is a wonderful main character, full of heart, determination and spirit. I was rooting for her to have the best life throughout, and when she was thrown a few curve balls, I was sad for her each time.

Her relationship with Ryle at the beginning was lovely, I was so happy for them and really wanted them to work, until he started doing things that are completely unacceptable, and then I wanted him gone.

The best part of this story is actually Lily’s relationship with Alyssa, Ryle’s sister. When Lily buys a property to open up a flower shop, Alyssa asserts herself into Lily’s life by taking a job she doesn’t actually need, and inadvertently becoming Lily’s best friend. They were bestie goals, and the support Alyssa gave Lily through the issues with Ryle, I was tearing up whilst reading (if you’ve read the book, you’ll know the scene I mean).

I loved reading Lily’s journals, to see her relationship with Atlas develop throughout was incredibly sweet, they were each other’s saviours, which I loved. The final journal entry surprised me quite a lot however, as there’s the mention of something that happens with Atlas and Lily’s Father, which was completely unexpected and personally, I don’t think it was needed (it’s never mentioned again!). It was cute having the moments with Ellen Degeneres as her journal too, and there’s a gift from Atlas to Lily that is just the sweetest thing that relates to her.

I’m also super happy that Lily’s relationship with her mum is still good, after all that she went through as a child, having to ignore her Mother being beaten by her Father and her Mother acting like it was nothing must have been incredibly hard, so it was nice to see them still having a relationship after everything.


I can’t really say any more about it as it would give the story away, but if you love a dramatic romance novel, Colleen certainly delivers with this one. I absolutely loved it.


5/5 stars