All the Rivers by Dorit Rabinyan

34063737

Kindle Edition, 288 pages

Published March 2nd 2017 by Serpent’s Tail (first published May 2014)

Original Title גדר חיה
ASIN B01KAEKJ1K
THE BLURB:

A chance encounter in New York brings two strangers together: Liat is an idealistic translation student, Hilmi a talented young painter. Together they explore the city, share fantasies, jokes and homemade meals, and fall in love. There is only one problem: Liat is from Israel, Hilmi from Palestine.
Keeping their deepening relationship secret, the two lovers build an intimate universe for two in this city far from home. But outside reality can only be kept at bay for so long. After a tempestuous visit from Hilmi’s brother, cracks begin to form in the relationship, and their points of difference – Liat’s military service, Hilmi’s hopes for Palestine’s future – threaten to overwhelm their shared present. When they return separately to their divided countries, Liat and Hilmi must decide whether to keep going, or let go.
A prizewinning bestseller, but banned in Israeli schools for its frank and tender depiction of a taboo relationship, this is the deeply affecting story of two people trying to bridge one of the most deeply riven borders in the world.

MY REVIEW:

Thank you Netgalley , Serpents Tail and Dorit Rabinyan for sending me an ARC for my honest and unbiased review.

Set in New York it tells the tale of Liat and Himli. There is however a problen, she is an Isreali and he a Palestinian.
Liat is a translation student and Himlil a painter and also an Arabic teacher. Liat is supposed to meet her friend Andrew for coffee, but as he cannot make it or conatct Liat he sends his Arabic tutor Hilmi instead.There is an attraction between Liat and Hilmi and they begin a secret relationship. Parents and friends would not approve because of the differnces and prujudice between the two cultures. Politics is a subject that causes several arguments between the two of them as well as between a couple of family members that are aware of this liaison.
This is a good book, but at times the romantic aspect felt a little flat, this could be down to the translation. I really enjoyed seeing the relationship between Liat and Hilmi. The way that two different cultures see each other to the point where their relationship is kept a secret, and how political and relogious differences are discussed was very good.

The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

30095464

Original Title The Bone Witch
ISBN 1492635820 (ISBN13: 9781492635826)
Edition Language English
THE BLURB

The beast raged; it punctured the air with its spite. But the girl was fiercer.

Tea is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy makes her a bone witch, who are feared and ostracized in the kingdom. For theirs is a powerful, elemental magic that can reach beyond the boundaries of the living—and of the human.

Great power comes at a price, forcing Tea to leave her homeland to train under the guidance of an older, wiser bone witch. There, Tea puts all of her energy into becoming an asha, learning to control her elemental magic and those beasts who will submit by no other force. And Tea must be strong—stronger than she even believes possible. Because war is brewing in the eight kingdoms, war that will threaten the sovereignty of her homeland…and threaten the very survival of those she loves.

MY REVIEW
I would like to thank Netgalley, Rin Chupeco and Source Books for giving me an ARC for my honest and unbiased review.

I really enjoyed the blurb on the back of the book, it sounded great. I did enjoy the the story but at places it did slow and i felt more details could be added. I also appreciate thhat this is aimed more at YA readers not a forty plus reader.
It has a present story line with a small future story line running through it.
The main story relates the life of Tea as a witch, after raising her brother back from the dead on the day of his funeral, she is taken to the Willows to learn how to use her craft. She eventually stats her apprentiship and rises quickly through the tiers of training.
The plot of this story is basic but good enough, but i felt it didn’t quite live up to the blurb.

I do want to know more about the Oracle, Daeva and the darak and Faceless, so so in this respect it makes a good story as it piqued my interest to want to know more.

The Escape by C.L.Taylor

32790943

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: March 23rd 2017 by Avon
ASIN B01M4KB9E5
Edition Language English
THE BLURB:

The Sunday Times bestseller and No.1 Kindle bestseller returns…

‘Absorbing and disturbing…CL Taylor always keeps me guessing’
Alex Marwood (The Wicked Girls, The Darkest Secret)

“Look after your daughter’s things. And your daughter…”

When a stranger asks Jo Blackmore for a lift she says yes, then swiftly wishes she hadn’t.

The stranger knows Jo’s name, she knows her husband Max and she’s got a glove belonging to Jo’s two year old daughter Elise.

What begins with a subtle threat swiftly turns into a nightmare as the police, social services and even Jo’s own husband turn against her.

No one believes that Elise is in danger. But Jo knows there’s only one way to keep her child safe – RUN.

MY REVIEW:

I would like to thank Netgalley, C.L. Tayor and Avon books for my copy of this ARC book for my honest and unbiased review.

This is a pychological thriller with a fantastic main plot line, brilliantly interwoven with even more plots. Stories within a story that lead to a very dramatic conclusion. Once you start Escape, you will not want to put it down, it capture you until you have finished the books, even then it leaves you thinking about what has just occured.

This story begins with Jo being approached by a strange woman, Paula, she then manipulates Jo into giving her a lift. It isn’t until Paula is in the car that Jo realises her mistake. Paula knows about Jo, about her daughter Elise and her husband Max. Him, she actually does know, and wants Max to return what he had taken from her.
Jo is just coping in her life, she has a history of agoraphobia and panic attacks . She is a vulnerable woman, just keeping things together. Paula has rocked the balance of Jo’s world. Finding herself unable to sleep properly, being more paranoid than normal, more anxious and stressed, on full alert at all times, she finds herself starting to unravel to the notice of those around her. Little comments made in jest are thrown back in her face, her forgetfulness becomes more that what it should be for the little things that she had forgotten. She gradually starts to see people ganging up on her and needlessly judging her. Eventually takeing its toll on her marriage.

This story tells how through mentally manipulating someone can lead them to do extreme things. How your past will catch up with you no matter how careful and clever you think you have been or how far away you have moved, to leave your life behind you. That a mothers’ love and the protection she will give her daughter will make evn the weakest person become strong and resiliant.

It is told at a fast pace, with great depth to the story and plot. The characters are well explained and you soon feel a connection with them, sympathising with some and hating others. A great book i will be recommending to others.

Dark Trade by Helen H. Durrant

34504691

Available Editions
EDITION Paperback
ISBN 9781912106615
Links Joffe Books

I would like to thank Netgalley, Helen H. Durrant and Joffe Books for my ARC of this book for an unbiased review.

THE BLURB
A teenage boy is found murdered. He has been stabbed through the heart by a professional killer.Detective Stephen Greco and his new team discover that the boy is an illegal immigrant. Then another youth from the same background is killed. The murder leads DCI Greco on a trail of people smuggling and exploitation.

DCI Greco must quickly get his new team to gel, but he is still recovering from a terrible personal tragedy, and his relationship with DS Grace Harper threatens to turn very unprofessional.

And why is arch-villain and drugs baron Vinny Costello involved? And what is the connection to a private clinic specialising in plastic surgery.

If you like Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott, Mel Sherratt, Ruth Rendell, or Mark Billingham you will be gripped by this exciting new crime fiction writer.

THE DETECTIVES
DCI Stephen Greco is a meticulous policeman with a touch of O.C.D. Easy to admire, but difficult to like. He has created a new team after a personal tragedy threatened to end his career, and is struggling to care for his daughter.

DS Grace Harper is an ambitious young policewoman with excellent people skills. Like Greco, she is a single parent and struggles to balance work and childcare.

THE SETTING
The Northern city of Manchester is a place of great diversity, from high-end restaurants and clubs for the moneyed classes to grim housing estates riven by crime and drugs.

MY REVIEW
This is a good all round read. It is the 3rd in a series of DCI Greco books. This i read as a stand alone having not previously read any other books by this author. I will however be keeping an eye out for more of these books by her. As a stand alone it works well, there is mention of relationships and characters from previous books but nothing that detracts from this story.
The story is set in Manchester. The book gets straight into a murder, no hanging around and no nonsense. The story progresses quickly and several characters are introduced, some new to the murder team and some hand picked for the case. As one murder is being investigated, another has occured with the same characteristics as the first, then a third murder seemingly unrelated and so it continues. A newspaper reporter Tony Rouse is caught up in the investigation, and after being asked questions he disappears. The Rashid Clinic is a reputable cosmetic surgery centre has ties to the local mob gang, through one of its gambling addicted doctors. A Romanian lorry driver with a really bad attitude and an illegal sweat shop are also thrown into the mix.
What begins as a drug and gang related issue soon turns into something much more deadlier and darker. Things start to fall into to place. The detectives have to travel to Brighton from Manchester, have boarder control and Illegal Immigration Officers involved. There are so many things going on this book, but not once did i feel i was getting lost in the details or the plots. It is very well laid out and explained right through, the characters are memorable and each has their own unique aspect to them such as nickname.

I would recommend this book to other readers for the fast paced plots, the ease of reading, the great characters and the well written story.

Homegrown Pantry by Barbara Pleasant

33508802

Expected publication: April 1st 2017 by Storey Publishing
ISBN 1612125794 (ISBN13: 9781612125794)
THE BLURB: Now that you ve mastered gardening basics, you want to enjoy your bounty year-round, right? “Homegrown Pantry” picks up where beginning gardening books leave off, with in-depth profiles of the 55 most popular crops including beans, beets, squash, tomatoes, and much more to keep your pantry stocked throughout the year. In-depth profiles highlight how many plants to grow of each crop for a year s worth of eating, and which storage methods work best for specific varieties. Author Barbara Pleasant culls tips from decades of her own gardening experience and from growers across North America to offer planting, care, and harvesting refreshers for every region and each vegetable.”

MY REVIEW: I would like to thank Netgalley, Storey Publishing and Barbara Pleasant for allowing me an ARC of this book for an unbiased review.

This is a georgeous book, the photos and articles within it are laid out superbly. It is simple to follow and not over cluttered or complicated. Each section is concise and to the point, with loads of tips and advice. It is a must have for any gardener, either those with previous knowledge or a beginner there will be things in this book that you will learn. The recipes sound divine and i cannot wait to try them.
I have quite a few gardening, preserving books, turns out i really didn’t need that many. I just needed this one. Barbara Pleasant has not missed a thing with this book. It has everything you need and then some things you didn’t realise you needed. It has topics that cover growing, pests and diseases, storing, recipes for a whole range of preservation methods. It covers vegetables, fruits, and herbs. Jams, chutneys, dried foods, and if that wasn’t enough a whole section on teas as well. This is something i have never come across in any of my gardening/ preserving books. It is an inspiration to read. I understand that it is aimed at US readers, but it works well for a UK gardener as well. If i ever come across it for sale over here i will definitley be buying it.

Thoughts on my reading year so far.

I have so many books this month that i would like to read.  I have had quite a productive year, 30 books read.  I have set up a Twitter account, a WordPress blog, joined Netgalley, been more proactive with Goodreads, and planning on being more so with Amazon.  I have read old classics, new thrillers, apocalyptic zombie thrillers, fantasy, non-fiction, modern fiction, just released books,yet to be released books, been around for hundreds of years books.

I have reviewed with honesty and have enjoyed pretty much all of them.  When i review with Goodreads i have a pretty high star rating.  I have been lucky to find the books i read are books that really interest me.  Either through the blurb or more often from other reviewers listing their reviews. Also you cannot ignore some amazing covers ob books.

For me a good book is like buying a pair of shoes or a new outfit.  You have to like them, they have to fit, but sometimes it’s good to try something a little bit different.

TheDamsel Fly by S.J.I Holliday

32927491

Paperback, 256 pages
Published February 2nd 2017 by Black and White Publishing
ISBN 1785300873 (ISBN13: 9781785300875)
Edition Language English

The Blurb:

Katie Taylor is the perfect student. She’s bright and funny, she has a boyfriend who adores her and there are only a few months left of school before she can swap Banktoun for the bright lights of London. Life gets even better when she has an unexpected win on a scratch card. But then Katie’s luck runs out.

Her tragic death instead becomes the latest in a series of dark mysteries blighting the small town. The new school counsellor Polly McAllister, who has recently returned to Banktoun to make amends in her own personal life, is thrown in at the deep end as the pupils and staff come to terms with Katie’s death. And it’s not long before she uncovers a multitude of murky secrets. Did Katie have enemies? Is her boyfriend really so squeaky clean? And who is her brother’s mysterious friend?

With Banktoun’s insular community inflamed by gossip and a baying mob stirring itself into a frenzy on social media, DS Davie Gray and DC Louise Jennings must work out who really murdered Katie before someone takes matters into their own hands . . .

My Review:

Well this book is brilliant, intriguing, gripping and intense.
The characters are so well written, the plot has so many twists and turns it keeps you guessing right to the end, then just when you think its over there is another twist.
This is a thriller and a half, each chapter is from the perspective of one of the main chacters, it gradually leads you up to and through a murder investigation, as well as telling underlying past events of the characters involved.
You get characters who have lived in the area all their lives, characters that work in the area, and those that are returning back to the area after a few years of abscence. This gives a great connection between the characters, and i think is key to what makes this story work so well.
This is the third part of a trilogy, i have read it as a stand alone. Apart from a few references to events from previous books, it can be read as a stand alone. I now really do need to go and get the other two books.
Would definitely recommend this book.

 

The Radium Girls by Kate Moore

31409135
Hardcover, 480 pages
Expected publication: May 2nd 2017 by Sourcebooks
ISBN
149264935X (ISBN13: 9781492649359)
Edition Language English

I would like to thank Netgalley Kate Moore and Source Books for allowing me an advanced copy of this book for my unbiased review. I saw this and thought “this looks a bit different” . The blurb sounded intriguing. I did not realise what i was letting myself in for. That greed and power comes before health and safety. Thousands of women with radium, this book relates to just 34 of them.

Marie and Pierre Curie discovered Radium in 1898. A new element.
1917 Katherine Schaub went to work in the watch dial factory “Radium Luminous Materials Corporation” in Newark, New Jersey. The substance was used to paint onto watch dials so they glowed in the dark. The girls were using brushes thet they made onto a point by placing them in their mouths, then dipping into the radium paint and then painted the dials. A process known as Lip, Dip, Paint.
At this point any danger from radium was unknown, in fact it was heralded as “the greatest find in history” and was marketed as a cure all from pills and powders to drinks, though most of these didn’t contain radium. It was a household name and nobody thought there was a risk. The girls working at the factory glowed in the dark as the powdery substance was ever present in the air, it was on their clothes, in their hair, they even painted on their nails and used it as make up so that they glowed in the dark. They would eat their luch at the table they worked at, they could never wash the powder from their bodies completely. It bcame part of them, Young girls wanted to work at the factory, it was “the” job to be in as it paid well.
Gradually the some of the girls started to get aches and pains, they had problems with their teeth and gums. When a tooth was removed because of pain, the resulting hole didn’t heal, and in fact got worse and travelled through the mouth, more teeth were becoming loose. It got so bad that in some cases the girls actually lost some of ther jaw bones as they crumbled or came out in pieces while they ate. Dentists were at a loss and no connections were made. Doctors became confused when girls came in complaining of painful backs, hips knees or ankles. Girls had to deal with sarcomas, amputations, miscarriages and all were in horrific pain. They all had this in common, radium had settled in their bones and weakening them, but again no connections were made. Things then started to get more severe as some of the girls became immobile and immaciated, they couldn’t walk without pain or eat without pain. Death occured and the cause of death was attributed to other causes, it couldn’t possibly be radium. In fact it was, but because this was a new element there was no documented evidence to show any side effects. New intruments and ways of thinking had to come into to play before people began to realise that it was radium that was poisoning and killing the girls.

This book has brought me to tears so many times while reading it. This is one of the most emotional and humbling books i have come across. The author mentions that (she) “simply hope(s) that (she) has done them justice. In my opinion she has certainly done this and surpassed it. It is a story that has shocked me, and even now i am struggling to put into words the impact it has had on me. I got caught up immediatley in it. Kate Moore has told the stories of those involved in a very simple but articulate way. I couldn’t stop reading, i had to discover the truth and the outcome.

Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens

29939148

I would like to thank Netgalley and Chevy Stevens for allowing me an ARC in return for my unbiased review.
5*
WOW !
This book is intense. It is the first book i have read by this author, i now need more of her books if this is anything to go by.

It starts with Lindsay Nash, her husband Andrew and their daughter Sophie while they are on a family holiday. Lindsay is on guard as she can feel her husband building up to have a go at her or maybe worse. It could be down to the way she said “thank you” to a waiter, or that the fact the waiter briefing touched her finger when they exchanged a glass.. The fact that Andrew can notice something as subtle and innocent as this shows the intense scrutiny he has his wife under.

Andrew is possesive, jealous, controlling and has a drink problem, this cocktail of issues is not going to make for a happy holiday, marriage or family life. He watches and checks his wifes every movenment, comment and glance. He will accuse her of flirting, when in fact she is just being polite and friendly. He has cameras fitted around their home in case of burglary, but in fact she knows he is checking on her. This is only a small scale example of what he does there is so much more.

Eventually Lindsay summons the courage to take their daughter Sophie and leave the family home while Andrew is asleep, she cannot take the mental or physical abuse, his drinking has escalted and she fears for her life. On the night of the escape Andrew becomes involved in a car crash is arrested and imprisoned for 10 years.

Lindsay and Sophie begin a life without Andrew and things are going well until they hear that he has been released. Lindsay has a support group, friends and her own business. Sophie has school friends as well as school to attend before she goes off to university. Will this mean they move or stay? Will Andrew make an appearance in their lives? What will happen ?

This book moves through the lives of the main characters, it shows their angle on what their family life is like. How the abusive husband changes Lindsays whole character, how Sophie is aware of some of what is happening. It also shows how an abusive partner can be manipulative in such subtle ways that other observers don’t understand the danger that Lindsay is in. It explores the depths that a jealous human being can go to when he has to be in control of another persons every movement. It also explores the way the abuse victim becomes obsessed with every little detail in her life that she misses key observations with thinhgs going on around her. She becomes blinkered, trapped and paranoid.

If you think this story is going to be predictable, then you are very much mistaken. There are little twists throughout. The way Chevy Stevens deals with this subject is outstanding. I was hooked from the first few paragraphs right through to 1:30am finishing it. Once started I had to know what happened, I couldn’t put it down.

Would I recommend? Absolutley
Will I mention it to other people? Most definitley.

BLURB AND DETAILS:

Eleven years ago, Lindsey Nash escaped into the night with her young daughter and left an abusive relationship. Her ex-husband was sent to jail and she started over with a new life. Now, Lindsey is older and wiser, with a teenage daughter who needs her more than ever. When her ex-husband is finally released, Lindsey believes she’s cut all ties. But she gets the sense that someone is watching her. Her new boyfriend is threatened. Her home is invaded, and her daughter is shadowed. Lindsey is convinced it’s her ex-husband, even though he claims he’s a different person. But can he really change? Is the one who wants her dead closer to home than she thought?
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published March 14th 2017 by St. Martin’s Press
ISBN 1250034566 (ISBN13: 9781250034564)
Edition Language English