Happy New Year!
I love Christmas but I love the time between Christmas and the New Year even more. I like how the typical breakneck speed of our everyday existence slows down to a snail's pace in the period between Christmas and the New Year. It's somewhat of a welcome anticlimax to the hectic weeks and build up of excitement before Christmas, where so much energy and emotions are invested in the plans and preparations for the big day, but nonetheless the last week of December offers a brief respite from the unrelenting pressures of the everyday grind.
The post-Christmas lull is one of the few times all year when it is possible to truly relax, without having anything to arrange or organise. All the wonderful madness and mayhem of Christmas is well and truly over for another year. The one important thing that these few days brings is that most precious of commodities; time. Time for our friends, time for our families and time most of all, for ourselves.
Now is the time to indulge yourself and do whatever you feel like doing. Go for a long walk, snuggled up in your warm winter woolies, with the thoughts of a hot chocolate and cosy fire when you arrive home. Read the book that you've been meaning to read for so long, but never seem to have the time. Take some time to get in touch with friends, old and new. Reflect on the year that's just been and look forward to the year that lies ahead, bringing with it all of life's glorious possibilities.
Thursday, 29 December 2011
Thursday, 15 December 2011
Publisher: Lynn Boston Books (July 31, 2011)
Word count: 106,753
Source: Free copy from author in exchange for an honest review.
, Barnes & Noble
In this fast-moving thriller, Clay Barton and Shali Faisal are seeking ancient documents hidden since the beginning of recorded time–documents that could forever change the course of human history. They use secret, archived CIA parapsychology techniques for past life regression that Clay discovered while working at the Stanford Research Institute. Together, they must make contact with present-day people whose historically famous past-lives are tied to the writings.
They finally locate their treasure trove of ancient knowledge, but not before a harrowing journey that takes them around the world. Along the way, their one-time affair of the past pokes into their professional treasure hunting relationship. But eventually they come to understand the reason these writings have been hidden and protected for millennia: the knowledge contained within could change the world as we know it.
They realize that now is the time in history to reveal the secrets, but a dangerous and unknown force is trying to stop their efforts. This thought-provoking thriller will challenge many accepted paradigms and will make the reader rethink the world around us.
The first thing that struck me about Through the Third Eye was the front cover. It's quite startling and compelled me to read the synopsis, from which point I was immediately hooked on the story. I've always been fascinated by the concept of past lives and this book certainly gave me plenty of food for thought. Through the Third Eye is a fast-paced, action packed but also a very intelligent story. I enjoyed the characters of Clay and Shalli. I thought that the book was very well-written and well-researched. I think it would make an excellent movie and I could definitely imagine it on the big screen. I didn't want the book to end, which is always a sign of a good story. I was delighted to know that Through the Third Eye is the first in a trilogy and I can say that I will be first in line to buy the next installment.
Sunday, 11 December 2011
Publisher: Notting Hill Press (5 Nov 2011)
Word count: 85,300 approx
Source: Purchased ebook
Ambitious tabloid reporter Serenity Holland goes undercover to build the nation’s perfect man. When her quest goes disastrously wrong, she must choose between following her heart or grabbing the chance for her dream job.
Slave to the rich, rude and deluded, cosmetic surgery receptionist Serenity Holland longs for the day she's a high-flying tabloid reporter. Unfortunately, every pitch she sends out disappears like her clients' liposuctioned fat, never to be seen again. Then she meets Jeremy Ritchie -- the hang-dog man determined to be Britain's Most Eligible Bachelor by making himself over from head to toe and everything in between -- giving Serenity a story no editor could resist.
With London's biggest tabloid on board and her very own column tracking Jeremy's progress from dud to dude, Serenity is determined to be a success, even going undercover to gain intimate access to Jeremy's life. But when Jeremy's surgery goes drastically wrong and Serenity is ordered to cover all the car-crash goriness, she must decide how far she really will go for her dream job.
I abolutely loved Build a Man by Talli Roland! It was a funny, uplifting read from which I found it difficult to resist turning the pages to find out what would happen next. I felt a connection with the main character, Serenity Holland, and her quest to find herself and her true role in life. Who hasn't experienced a romantic relationship which on paper seems to tick all the boxes but in reality leaves a lot to be desired?
I liked the way the author gave the reader an insight into the character of Peter, Serenity's doctor boyfriend. She wrote about the things he didn't do rather than the things he did, which slowly built my sympathy for Serenity at being stuck in such a one-way, barren relationship with a man who is more involved with himself and his precious business than his girlfriend.
I was so happy at the building relationship between Jeremy and Serenity and then the twist towards the end left me desperate to find out the ending.
Apart from the engaging characters, I found the plot very entertaining too. I was quite mesmerised by the lifestyles and cosmetic "needs" of the rich and the lack of morals in the tabloid industry. I also appreciated the author's underlying message of following your dreams to the very end.
Build a Man is a wonderfully uplifting read and I would highly recommend it to everyone. I can't wait to read more of Talli Roland's books and will be downloading The Hating Game and Watching Willow Watts to my Kindle this week.
Saturday, 10 December 2011
Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (4 Aug 2011)
They say that the cure for love will make me happy and safe forever. And I've always believed them.
Now everything has changed. Now, I'd rather be infected with love for the tiniest sliver of a second than live a hundred years suffocated by a lie.
There was a time when love was the most important thing in the world. People would go to the end of the earth to find it. They would tell lies for it. Even kill for it.
Then, at last, they found the cure.
I was first attracted to Delirium by the title and was compelled to buy it when I read the blurb. I was instantly struck by the concept of love being a disease, and even more so that it was a curable disease. There have certainly been times in my life when I wished that there was a cure for love sickness, but to live in a world which is completely devoid of any love is a very alien concept to me. The book is divided between those people who live in a loveless world and those who refuse to accept a life without love and choose instead to live in The Wild.
I absolutely loved Delirium. I was swept along by the fast-paced plot and complex characters. Lena is the main character in Delirium. She has accepted that when she turns eighteen years of age that she will be injected against love and will marry a man who has been chosen for her as a suitable match based on academic, social and psychological tests. Lena is almost looking forward to the safe, predictable world that lies ahead of her, until she meets Alex, a boy from the wilderness. They fall madly in love and their love story is very believable and touching.
Delirium is a beautifully written and evocative book. The cliffhanger at the end left me wanting more. I didn’t want the story to end and I was thrilled to discover that it is the first book in a trilogy. I look forward to reading more works by Lauren Oliver.
Sunday, 4 December 2011
Publisher: The Pantheon Collective (TPC). November 1, 2010
Word count: 74,192
Source: Gift from author in exchange for an honest review
Samantha’s second year of college started with heartbreak and betrayal. Lost, lonely, and robbed of all joy, she’d completely given up on ever finding love again when a chance encounter put her in contact with the man who would change her life.
Tony never believed in love at first sight – until he laid eyes on Samantha. But within moments of meeting her, he knew without a doubt that she was the woman he was put on this earth to love. There was only one problem – Angela, his girlfriend of five years.
Tony doesn’t want to hurt Angela, with whom he shares a rich history, but his connection to Samantha is undeniable. Angela, however, is not about to let the love of her life go without a fight.
When desperation takes a tragic turn, a chain of events unfolds that changes the course of all three of their lives forever. It is a heartbreaking tale of true love, terrible timing, impossible choices, and how you find the strength to go on when you discover that, sometimes, love just isn’t enough…
I was very moved by Stephanie Casher's book, When Love isn't Enough. It's a story of love, loss, longing and a fight between the head ruling the heart. The love story of Samantha and Tony is very poignant. They have found with each other the kind of love that we all hope to find one day with another person. The characters are real and I found them easy to relate to. I was swept along with the storyline and before I knew it the book was finished. Stephanie Casher is a very talented storyteller and I look forward to reading more of her books.
Saturday, 3 December 2011
Published: June 7, 2010
Word count: 71,089
Source: Gift from author in exchange for an honest review
Available in ebook & paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Sellout-James-W-Lewis/dp/0982719302/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1322928526&sr=1-1
SELLOUT follows three individuals from different backgrounds--a black woman, black man and white woman--and the consequences of interracial dating. In their quest to find what they think is missing in their lives, they encounter guilt, fear, and struggles they never anticipated … including murder.
I very much enjoyed Sellout. It is a very engaging story which explores interracial dating in a thoughtful manner. Sellout is centred around five characters; Penelope, Tammy, Terrell, Sheryl and Dedrick. Each character is dealing with relationships and their subsequent breakup and the road to healing their hurt hearts.
The book examines the consequences of interracial dating from both sides. I always thought that it didn't matter what race two people were as long as they loved each other, but I've discovered that my view was rather naiive and simplistic. Friends and family of mine have been involved in interracial dating and I've seen what can happen, both good and bad. The book was very honest in the way that it deals with stereotypes and race issues. I particularly enjoyed the way that the author got inside each character's head. I could almost hear their individual voices as I read.
This is my first time reading a book about interracial issues. I'm very glad that I read Sellout and I look forward to reading more of James Lewis' books.