In A Dark Dark Wood

 

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‘In a dark dark wood’ by Ruth Ware. I picked this book up over a year ago but only got round to reading it last month.

‘Nora hasn’t seen Clare for ten years. Not since the day Nora walked out of her old life and never looked back. Until, out of the blue, an invitation to Clare’s hen party arrives. A weekend in a remote cottage – the perfect opportunity for Nora to reconnect with her best friend, to put the past behind her. 

But something goes wrong.

Very wrong.

And secrets and lies unravel, out in the dark, dark wood the past will finally catch up with Nora.’

I have very mixed emotions towards this book. I couldn’t put the thing down from start to end, but I was continuously complaining about it!. It starts off quite slow, and then BANG!, WOLLOP! everything is suddenly turned upside down. It was an entertaining read, but if you are going to pick this one up, please be aware that you will become rather upset and angry by the end.

This book had me ranting to my partner about how upset it made me. I felt so sorry for certain characters! I don’t believe anyone would do such things unless they were mentally unstable. I don’t like including spoilers so I won’t drag on about it but the conclusion to the events in this book were a little bit over the top and just plain annoying. (The ending sentence didn’t really make sense to me too, I felt like it was a bit random and un-needed.) Some of the characters are seriously messed up! but I did really like Nina. She was the only character that didn’t annoy me..

Why? Why is this book so cruel?!

Basically, I felt a bit wounded after reading this one, but I will give it a good rating as I did find it to be quite a page turner.

3/5 stars ***

(Note to self: Start reading happier books)

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Black Eyed Susans

“That was my grandfather’s one survival tip if I ever found myself trapped in a fairy tale. Keep your promises. Bad things happen if you don’t.”

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‘Black Eyed Susans’ by Julia Heaberlin.

‘I am the star of screaming headlines and campfire ghost stories.
I am one of the four Black-Eyed Susans.
The lucky one.’

This was such a page turner for me. The more you read, the harder it is to put it down! I don’t usually read Mystery – Thriller genres, but the cover of this one sold it to me. I ended up loving it! I would now consider reading more from this genre as I found it so exciting.

‘Left with three other girls in a grave shrouded by Black-eyed Susans, Tessa alone survived, her testimony helping to put a killer behind bars. Now, Sixteen years later, he is about to be executed, but Tessa feels no relief. Because someone is planting black-eyed Susans outside her window. Someone is sending her daughter sinister messages. And there’s a lawyer telling her the man about to be put to death is innocent.’

When I first started reading this, I couldn’t get used to the way in which it was written. Each chapter shifts backwards and forwards in time. But after a while I found this to be extremely well thought out. It helps to explain why some things happen and gives a better understanding of the characters. By the end, I was jumping up and down on my sofa as the secrets were unveiled.

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a good story. It was not predictable (at least not to me) and has a great amount of suspense to keep you guessing!

4/5 stars!

Hope you pick this book up if you get the chance.

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The Light Between Oceans

“Putting down the burden of the lie has meant giving up the freedom of the dream.”

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‘The Light Between Oceans’ by M.L. Stedman. An emotional rollercoaster. This story had me on the edge of the seat, screaming at the pages. It’s been a long time since a book got me so worked up. I shouted, I cried.. I cannot recommend it enough.

The story is about a man named Tom Sherbourne, who returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock. An isolated island, where he lives with his loving wife, Isabel. Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby.

A seriously moving tale which will make you laugh, cry, and burrow your head under the bed sheets because you can’t take the tension. Or is that just me? Whilst reading this, I did start to question myself. Some things seem so right but, can be so wrong. I can’t seem to talk about this book without having a mini breakdown. (Just deleted a whole line of emotional babble. Need to get a grip.) Basically, Everyone should read this book. I think it’s marvellous.

“You only have to forgive once. To resent, you have to do it all day, every day.”

5/5 Stars (Wow, calm down, girl.)

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The Lovely Bones

“Sometimes the dreams that come true are the dreams you never even knew you had.”

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The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. The story of a gruesome murder and a family’s need for peace and closure. This may sound unsettling but I somehow found this book to be quite calming at times. The book is written from Susie’s vantage point, which gives a rather unique perspective to the story.

The story is set in the 1970’s and begins with the murder of Susie Salmon, a teenage girl, then follows her to heaven. “Heaven is comfort, but it’s still not living.” Susie can’t break away from her family. She spends her days in heaven watching over her loved ones as they struggle to cope with a life that she is no longer a part of. This story really does play with a readers emotions. I kept finding myself smiling and celebrating along with Susie, and other times, Crying with her. This book was definitely a page turner for me. I couldn’t put the thing down.

I remember seeing the film ‘The Lovely Bones’ in the cinema back in 2009. I loved the story back then, but it’s nothing compared to the book. I decided to watch the film again straight after I had finished reading it. Disappointment.. The film is now a bore and a blunder. The book is far greater in comparison.

A character that has stuck with me since reading this book is the father, Jack Salmon. He is probably one of the most loving fathers in history. He never failed to stir my emotions and never wanted to give up on Susie. Another character which lingers in my mind is Ruth Connors, a quiet, misunderstood girl who accidentally touches Susie soul as she is leaving earth.

I don’t want to give too much away so I hope that you will pick this book up if you get the chance. I will definitely read this again in a couple of years. I Hope you enjoyed my tiny review.

“You look invincible,’ my mother said one night.
I loved these times, when we seemed to feel the same thing. I turned to her, wrapped in my thin gown, and said:
I am.”

5/5 Stars (I really liked this book!).

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The Chamber of Secrets

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“The chamber of secrets has been opened. Enemies of the heir, beware.”

So, I have finally read the second book in the Harry Potter series! Obviously I know the entire story start to finish already, but reading the books only makes it better. The character’s qualities are a lot more understandable on paper and lets me get to know them a whole lot better. Gilderoy Lockhart, the new defence against the dark arts teacher, really is a funny fellow. His character was absolutely ridiculous (In a good way)! I could understand his character’s traits far better in the book than watching the film! The story wouldn’t be quite the same without him.

There were a few points in the book that I felt were not as good as the way the film portrayed them but this was obviously down to the amount of description needed to make up the film time. Basically, I would have liked more detail in certain scenario’s. Overall though, the book really does give you more of an insight into the plot line and the characters lives which the film could not possibly capture.

This is an extremely short review, but most people already know the story therefore I don’t feel the need to explain it. I would seriously recommend reading the books if you have not! as it really intensifies the overall story.

5/5 stars (Because I love Harry Potter)

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Mince Pies and Mistletoe at the Christmas Market

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‘Mince Pies and Mistletoe at the Christmas Market’. The third novel by Heidi Swain, but the first I have read. I wanted something christmassy to read so tracked this one down in Tesco and it only cost £2! It is a newly released title and was a joy to read.

The story follows Ruby, who has finished with University and is heading home to the small town of Wynbridge for Christmas to run a market stall for the cherry tree cafe. With the market under threat she devises plans to bring back joy to the town as well as having to work opposite her ex-boyfriend, Steve which is more complicated then she had expected. Especially when she still has feelings for him.

The cover of this book really did sell it too me as I don’t usually read books of this genre, but I am extremely glad that I did pick it up as I really enjoyed it! The story is very relaxing, easy to read and the characters really do come to life. There was a point where I got a bit restless as I felt that nothing exciting was happening, but that didn’t last long as I pushed on through the book and ended up not being able to put the thing down!

The ending. I didn’t feel that the ending was quite right.. It was okay, but I would have written the ending completely different as it seemed a bit rushed and unrealistic for the characters that were involved. The characters personalities seemed to have been chucked out of the nearest window just to create a last page.. I feel awful saying so but overall, I did really enjoy the book and might even pick up the other titles by this author in the future.

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The Trees

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“…it’s survival of the fittest, not the strongest or the biggest.”

There is no warning. No chance to prepare. The trees arrive in the night: thundering up through the ground, transforming streets and towns into shadowy forest.

The Trees by Ali Shaw. The book itself was 488 pages and contained a font so small that when I first turned the pages I died a little on the inside.. The fact I challenged myself to look past the dreaded size of the book must prove something about the story, right? I am so glad I have read this book as it has truly opened my eyes to a world that seems almost realistic but with differences that we can only imagine in our nightmares.

The story begins in England, on the night when the trees came. Adrian sleeps alone whilst his wife is in Ireland on a business trip. Without any contact or any knowledge to how far the forest has spread, Adrian embarks on a journey to reach his wife with the help of unforgettable friends that he meets along the way.

I absolutely loved the main characters. A girl named Hiroko became my favourite, I am going to miss her! She was such a strong-minded character who saw the world in a different light. At first, some of the characters annoyed me slightly but by the end I began to see them as a team and wouldn’t change any of them one bit. Some parts of this book are unsettling, don’t get me wrong. At times I winced away from the pages wishing that I could un-read what I had just read, but this became easier as the pages went on as I started to understand that this is the world we live in..kind of.

I truly enjoyed this story and would highly recommend it to anyone out there who thinks that they can look past the gruesome parts. (Animal violence is included which did make me cry, so be warned). The ending was a little bit strange to me, I liked it better as it came to a close but then hit another ending which I disliked. It made me sad and angry at certain characters, but if you want to know what I am talking about then you will have to read the book as I don’t do spoilers here. Overall it was a dark and beautiful book which I will never forget.

4/5 stars.

 

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