ARC Review, Book Blog, Penguin U.K. Books

ARC Review : The Break

Book Title : The Break
Book Author : Marian Keyes
My Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
Publication Date : September 7th 2017


You know you’ve come across a good book when you don’t really want it to end, even though it’s almost about 600 pages. 

Reading The Break have left me with all different kind of emotions, some relatable and some not. It was super easy to fall in love with it as it had the most realistic prose, plot line and characters.

A heart warming tale, set in Dublin, our Protagonist, Amy, receives one of the worst news of her life. Her husband, Hugh, who fell into a deep depression after the loss of his father and best friend, decided to take a “break” and leave for six month backpacking in Asia.

The first part of the book was ok for me. I used to force myself to pick it up as I believe the whole process of Hugh leaving and Amy dealing with it was a bit prolonged. It was also a bit whiney for my taste.

But as soon as things picked up and we got into the plot, it got interestingly hilarious! I wasn’t able to put it down. I was so keen in finding out what will happen.

Will Amy take Hugh back after six month?

Will their relationship change? Mind you, Hugh was on a mission to sleep with other women as well. (I know, right! *rolls eyes)

Will Amy herself change?

What will happen to the rest of the family? 

Their girls? 

Three daughters left behind and a husband gone is a lot to deal with. Amy finds herself struggling between her emotions, what’s right and making sure her daughters are not affected.

Overall, I would totally recommend The Break whether you are a women’s fiction fan or not. It’s definitely worth the read. You’d find yourself so into the story and rooting for choices of your own.

What would you do if you were Amy?

Thanks to @penguinUkbooks for this book, which was given in an exchange for an honest review.
 

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Book Review : Ugly Love

Book Title : Ugly Love
Book Author : Collen Hoover
My Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
Publication Date : August 5th 2014


This was an OK plot line with OK characters and which made it an OK read!

My fourth #coho book and as much I enjoy a light read between my somewhat heavy readings, there are far better ones to pick from.

There wasn’t much of a plot line. Two who just met with mutual attraction decided their relationship is going to be all physical. No emotions whatsoever. The story just focused on that.

It was a fun, enjoyable read. I found I have laughed a lot. I just did wish it was a teeny bit deeper than it is with more character depth like her other books. .

All in all. As I said, an ‘OK’ read.

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Book Review : Maybe Someday

Book Title : Maybe Someday
Book Author : Colleen Hoover
My Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
Publication Date : March 18th 2014


“People don’t get to choose who they fall in love with. They only get to choose who they stay in love with.”

This was a really enjoyable read. It was one of those books where all you could think of when you are at work is to return home, cozy up in bed and read.

This was my Third CoHo book (having read November 9 and Confess) and I think I liked it the best from all three. It wasn’t over dramatic, it didn’t have that mushy-mushy dialogue and it was more to the realistic side.

I kind of also related a lot to the book having gone through something similar. I was reading and paying attention to every word, every detail to grasp what was going on and to check if it did make sense.

I didn’t agree with a lot of choices, was frustrated by the characters in some situations and I wanted  different reactions most of the time.

I think I lived the book more that read it. 😀 It made me think, it got me depressed, it gave me hope but all in all, I am completely glad that I have come across it and read it.

I would recommend the book to YA readers who are looking for a great drama/romance/friendship kind of stories.

Book Blog, Penguin U.K. Books

ARC Review : Fierce Kingdom

Book Title : Fierce Kingdom
Book Author : Gin Phillips
My Rating : ⭐️⭐️/5
Publication Date : June 15th 2017


Do you know that feeling when you pick up a less than 300 pages book, and say “Hey! That’s a breeze, I’ll finish this quick!” and then it feels like you are forever reading it!

Yes! That’s the case with this one.

A fast read. It’s a thriller. It should get you all gripped up, all tensed and on the edge of your seat. Sadly, this book was none of those.

It talks about Joan who after a normal visit to a zoo, finds herself locked up in there with her son while there were some shootings going on. She sees dead bodies all around and glimpses a man with a gun. This is when she realizes that she needs to hide till she finds a way to make it out of there alive along with her son.

I was very interested in this book when I read the synopsis, and immediately asked for a copy to read and review. It started out real well. The situation was very well described. It’s not every day you get locked up in somewhere with your son while some psycho is out there with a gun shooing off just about everyone.

I was actually very impressed with the writing, the descriptions, the plot and the psychological side of the story. I think it would have made the perfect thriller but it lacked that intense whodunit and why vibe.

I found myself yawning a couple of times, forcing myself to pick it up and if it wasn’t for the three hour bus ride, I don’t think I  would have bothered finish reading it or maybe I would have skimmed right through it to reach the end.

And ah Yes, The end! I wasn’t at all a fan of how it was all wrapped up – which wasn’t really. The story already had many loop holes, so I didn’t appreciate the ambiguous ending where we need to draw our own conclusions. I usually love endings like that but it just didn’t work with this one. This one needed a confirmed conclusion from the author herself.

Overall, I wouldn’t be rushing to recommend this one and I’d ask Thrillers fan, or anyone really, to read it at their own risk.

Thanks to @penguinUkbooks for this book, which was given in an exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review : The Muse

Book Title: The Muse

Book Author: Jessie Burton

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Publication Date: July 26th  2016

“I’m doing the absolute opposite of giving myself away. As far as I’m concerned, I’ll be completely visible. If the painting sells, I’ll be in Paris, hanging on a wall. If anything, I’m being selfish. It’s perfect; all the freedom of creation, with none of the fuss.” ― Jessie Burton, The Muse

I was a bit reluctant to pick this one up as I have read Jessie Burton’s previous book “The Miniaturist” and was quite disappointed with how the whole story was wrapped up after having such a great plot.

If not for a book club I’m part of, I don’t think I would have picked it up soon, though I did promise myself that I would give the author a second chance. And that I did.

A painting was found and the mystery that lies behind it came to life. I truly loved the interlocking stories that was set in the 1930’s and the 1960’s concerning this painting. We come across different characters and personalities which was the perfect ingredient to add to an engaging plot line.

I would totally recommend this book if you are a fan of historical fiction, mystery and art. I would also advise not to judge this book by The Miniaturist especially if you weren’t so keen on it.

 

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Book Review : The Devotion of Suspect X

Book Title : The Devotion of Suspect X
Book Author : Keigo Higashino, Alexander O. Smith (Translator)
My Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
Publication Date : February 1st 2011


I’m a very big fan of fast paced book, thrillers and plots with twists. So it’s no wonder I was hooked up real fast with The Devotion of Suspect X.

It was super easy to get into the story, not the names though! (I literally had to note down who is who and what they are doing at the beginning of the book.) Having got through that, it was an extremely enjoyable read and a hard to put down book.

We get introduced to Yasuko, her daughter, her simple quiet life and a neighbor whom she had only shared a few moments with. When her ex-husband appears at her door without warning one day, all peace she has known is gone.

Enter the Tokyo police and detectives trying to make sense, put together the events of that particular day and solve one of the biggest crimes out there.

This was a standalone read. You do not need to read the past ones as they are not part of a series. There is also no reference or mention to the previous books.

Having praised the book and giving it a four stars, I have to mention my “but” about it. I’ve never been a fan of translated books, and though this book is brilliantly genius, it did feel a bit dry sometimes and I’m blaming it on translation.

Overall, I would totally recommend this book, have you pick it up right now and go on endless discussions about it.

 

Book Blog, Penguin U.K. Books

ARC Review : The Wardrobe Mistress

Book Title : The Wardrobe Mistress
Book Author : Patrick McGrath
My Rating : ⭐️⭐️/5
Expected Publication Date : September 7th, 2017


My first book by this author, Patrick McGrath.

A historical set in London and its theater, during the 1940’s, we follow our protagonist, Joan whose husband, Gricey, just died and she was over-engulfed in grief. After certain events, she discovered a secret and realized her husband is not the person who she thought he was.

With such a beautiful cover, I really wanted to love this book. Badly!

I found the first chapters as readable as could be. I was interested in Joan, her relationships with her daughter plus the husband, and quite a few characters being introduced in the book.

I kept on reading on the hope that things will eventually make sense, but Alas! I was almost halfway through the book till new things started to happen and it wasn’t as interesting as I thought it would be. The author have prolonged the grief part a bit too much and everything else was just vaguely described.

For a historical, there wasn’t much talk about the war or the events. For a theater-based book, there wasn’t much description about it either.

I believe those who are passionate about the theater might (I still say might!) find it more interesting than those who don’t. I personally have never been to a theater before and wasn’t able to imagine or connect to it throughout the book and actually found it a bit dull.

I wouldn’t really recommend the book as I didn’t really get anything out of it.

 

Thanks to @penguinUkbooks for this book, which was given in an exchange for an honest review.

 

 

Book Title : The Wardrobe Mistress
Book Author : Patrick McGrath
My Rating : ⭐️⭐️/5
Expected Publication Date : September 7th, 2017


My first book by this author, Patrick McGrath.

A historical set in London and its theater, during the 1940’s, we follow our protagonist, Joan whose husband, Gricey, just died and she was over-engulfed in grief. After certain events, she discovered a secret and realized her husband is not the person who she thought he was.

With such a beautiful cover, I really wanted to love this book. Badly!

I found the first chapters as readable as could be. I was interested in Joan, her relationships with her daughter plus the husband, and quite a few characters being introduced in the book.

I kept on reading on the hope that things will eventually make sense, but Alas! I was almost halfway through the book till new things started to happen and it wasn’t as interesting as I thought it would be. The author have prolonged the grief part a bit too much and everything else was just vaguely described.

For a historical, there wasn’t much talk about the war or the events. For a theater-based book, there wasn’t much description about it either.

I believe those who are passionate about the theater might (I still say might!) find it more interesting than those who don’t. I personally have never been to a theater before and wasn’t able to imagine or connect to it throughout the book and actually found it a bit dull.

I wouldn’t really recommend the book as I didn’t really get anything out of it.

 

Thanks to @penguinUkbooks for this book, which was given in an exchange for an honest review.

 

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Book Review : Half of A Yellow Sun

Book Title : Half of A Yellow Sun
Book Author : Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
My Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
Publication Date : September 12th 2006


 

There’s no argument that Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is one of the best authors out there, in my opinion, with her exceptionally flawless writing and narrative style. Having loved and praised Americanah, I had to check out her other books and somehow I found myself group reading Half of a Yellow Sun.

A Historical fiction that is recounted with the point of view of three people, each chapter by one of them. Ugwu, the houseboy who works for a university Professor. Olanna, The professor’s mistress and Richard, and Englishman who’s in love with Olanna’s twin sister. We follow those three and other characters, back and forth, between the early 60’s and late 60’s, with events leading up to the Nigeria-Biafra war.

I can’t help but give a standing ovation to how the book, chapter and parts where structured. It was absolutely clever and I believe no one, but Adichie, can pull it off that easily and effortlessly. I was able to follow the plotline without any difficulty and was immensely enjoying it.

Another standing ovation for how brilliantly, a subject that may be kind of a bore to me, was expertly relayed thus had me hanging and interested in every word. I’m not a big fan of political or war related books but Adichie’s style makes it hard not to get absorbed in it.

But…

It’s quite a shame that for some reason, I cannot connect or fall in love with any of Adichie’s characters. I haven’t liked any in Americanaah and the same with Half of a Yellow Sun. They sounded flat and devoid of any characteristic-ish flavor. I wasn’t able to sympathize or root for any of them. I especially hated Olanna as it was confusing on how Adichie wanted to portray her. She wasn’t weak but she wasn’t strong either. Maybe, just maybe I could have liked her twin sister whom I felt was the most real of any of the characters.

As real as the writing is, and as the events, her characters are not. That was why I could not have given this a full five stars.

I would recommend the book though. It was worth the read but not worth the hype.

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Book Review : The Kind Worth Killing

Book Title: The Kind Worth Killing

Book Author: Peter Swanson

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Publication Date:  February 3rd 2015

This book is for sure The Kind Worth Reading. A psychological thriller that will keep you on the edge of whatever it is you are currently sitting on!

Two strangers meet at the airport and decided to play a truth-telling game. After a few drinks, it becomes a plot of a murder which is a necessary one since its decided that the world needs less of such people – which people? You need to pick it up and read it to find out!

This is a highly addictive read and truly a page turner. I enjoyed it immensely and was actually rooting for the killers to get away with it. It was also so full of twists and suspense that I was just taken away with and not able to put down.

I gave this a four stars because as much as amazing it was (it really was!), it did have a minor “but” which I think most could overlook. There were some repeated narrations/chapters which I thought was unnecessary and just added pages to the book. Again, four stars because there are also some elements in the book which I didn’t really like and hoped it was different.

Overall, I would totally recommend this book without hesitation, and I’m just about dying to discuss it with someone right now!

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Book Review : The Upside of Unrequited

Book Title: The Upside of Unrequited

Book Author: Becky Albertalli

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️/5

The good news is that this book is readable. I was able to tolerate it till the end. Well, just about!

The bad news is that this book is all hyped up.

Or maybe, just maybe its targeted towards a really younger generation, though I have a feeling my eight year old niece would drop it after the first few pages.

It’s about Seventeen year old Molly who is unlucky in love or its more like she’s afraid to take that leap and act on the zillion crushes she seems to be having. She’s afraid of rejection and has this idea that fat girls have to be careful. Unlike her twin sister who is somewhat the total opposite of her. In a turn of events, Molly finds herself at the attention of not only one, but two “cute” boys that got her living in an emotional turmoil.

I really should have paid more attention to the synopsis. Now that I have written it down, it makes me wonder why I have even bothered to pick this one up. I’m blaming it on the cover. This is a truly “don’t judge a book by its cover” kind of situation.

Cover aside, I have read quite a number of YA book which I thought really did a good job of delivering important messages with a good plot line and impeccable writing styles.

There wasn’t much of a writing style on this one. No character progression. No storyline basis as well. If it was a TV show, it would be one of those shows that you put on just for the sake of some noise in the room while you are doing something else. Or watching ‘keeping up with the Kardashians’

Honestly, I wouldn’t bother with it. Just move on.