#2018RoundUp: Worst Books

Sunday, 30 December 2018


Even a bad book is better than no book, right? Uh, no. Not at all.

REVIEW: A Well-Behaved Woman, Therese Anne Fowler

Friday, 28 December 2018


In 1883, the New York Times prints a lengthy rave of Alva Vanderbilt's Fifth Ave. costume ball--a coup for the former Alva Smith, who not long before was destitute, her family's good name useless on its own. Marrying into the newly rich but socially scorned Vanderbilt clan, a union contrived by Alva's bestfriend and now-Duchess of Manchester, saved the Smiths--and elevated the Vanderbilts. From outside, Alva seems to have it all and want more. She does have a knack for getting all she tries for: the costume ball--no mere amusement--wrests acceptance from doyenne Caroline Astor. Denied abox at the Academy of Music, Alva founds The Met. No obstacle puts her off for long. But how much of ambition arises from insecurity? From despair? From refusal to play insipid games by absurd rules? --There are, however, consequences to breaking those rules. One must tread carefully. And what of her maddening sister-in-law, Alice? Her husband William, who's hiding a terrible betrayal? The not-entirely-unwelcome attentions of his friend Oliver Belmont, who is everything William is not? What of her own best friend, whose troubles cast a wide net? Alva will build mansions, push boundaries, test friendships, and marry her daughter to England's most eligible duke or die trying. She means to do right by all, but good behavior will only get a woman so far. What is the price of going further? What might be the rewards? There's only one way to know for certain... 

REVIEW: Pulp, Robin Talley

Wednesday, 26 December 2018


In 1955, eighteen-year-old Janet Jones keeps the love she shares with her best friend Marie a secret. It’s not easy being gay in Washington, DC, in the age of McCarthyism, but when she discovers a series of books about women falling in love with other women, it awakens something in Janet. As she juggles a romance she must keep hidden and a newfound ambition to write and publish her own story, she risks exposing herself—and Marie—to a danger all too real. Sixty-two years later, Abby Zimet can’t stop thinking about her senior project and its subject—classic 1950s lesbian pulp fiction. Between the pages of her favorite book, the stresses of Abby’s own life are lost to the fictional hopes, desires and tragedies of the characters she’s reading about. She feels especially connected to one author, a woman who wrote under the pseudonym “Marian Love,” and becomes determined to track her down and discover her true identity. In this novel told in dual narratives, New York Times bestselling author Robin Talley weaves together the lives of two young women connected across generations through the power of words.

REVIEW: Hardly Children, Laura Adamczyk

Monday, 24 December 2018


An eerie debut collection featuring missing parents, unrequited love, and other uncomfortable moments. A man hangs from the ceiling of an art gallery. A woman spells out messages to her sister using her own hair. Children deemed "bad" are stolen from their homes. In Hardly Children, Laura Adamczyk's rich and eccentric debut collection, familiar worlds--bars, hotel rooms, cities that could very well be our own--hum with uncanny dread. The characters in Hardly Children are keyed up, on the verge, full of desire. They're lost, they're in love with someone they shouldn't be, they're denying uncomfortable truths using sex or humor. They are children waking up to the threats of adulthood, and adults living with childlike abandon. With command, caution, and subtle terror, Adamczyk shapes a world where death and the possibility of loss always emerge. Yet the shape of this loss is never fully revealed. Instead, it looms in the periphery of these stories, like an uncomfortable scene viewed out of the corner of one's eye.

#2018RoundUp: Best Books

Saturday, 22 December 2018


Ta-DA! Here's what reading all year was all about - the creme de la creme, the diamonds in the rough, etc etc etc. If I am being honest, I read some pretty terrible books in 2018, but was it a bad reading year? No. Because I got to experience all of these and let me tell you, they're pretty bloody amazing.

REVIEW: Unquiet Women, Max Adams

Thursday, 20 December 2018


Wynflæd was an Anglo-Saxon noblewoman who owned male slaves and badger-skin gowns; Egeria a Gaulish nun who toured the Holy Land as the Roman Empire was collapsing; Gudfrid an Icelandic explorer and the first woman to give birth to a European child on American soil; Mary Astell a philosopher who out-thought John Locke. In this exploration of some remarkable – but little-known – women living between between the last days of Rome and the Enlightenment, Max Adams overturns the idea that women of this period were either queens, nuns or invisible. In a sequence of chronological chapters, a centrepiece biographical sketch is complemented by thematically linked stories of other women of the time. A multi-faceted and beautifully illustrated study of women's intellect, influence and creativity, Unquiet Women brings to life the experiences of women whose voices are barely heard and whose stories are rarely told.

REVIEW: Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts), L.C. Rosen

Tuesday, 18 December 2018


Meet Jack Rothman. He's seventeen and loves partying, makeup and boys - sometimes all at the same time. His sex life makes him the hot topic for the high school gossip machine. But who cares? Like Jack always says, 'it could be worse'. He doesn't actually expect that to come true. But after Jack starts writing an online sex advice column, the mysterious love letters he's been getting take a turn for the creepy. Jack's secret admirer knows everything: where he's hanging out, who he's sleeping with, who his mum is dating. They claim they love Jack, but not his unashamedly queer lifestyle. They need him to curb his sexuality, or they'll force him. As the pressure mounts, Jack must unmask his stalker before their obsession becomes genuinely dangerous...

#2018RoundUp: End of the Year Reading Survey

Sunday, 16 December 2018


2018. Holy Christ, it has been... a year.

REVIEW: Still Lives, Maria Hummel

Friday, 14 December 2018


A young editor at a Los Angeles art museum finds herself pulled into the disturbing and dangerous world of a famous artist who goes missing on the opening night of her exhibition. Kim Lord is an avant garde figure, feminist icon, and agent provocateur in the L.A. art scene. Her groundbreaking new exhibition Still Lives is comprised of self-portraits depicting herself as famous, murdered women—the Black Dahlia, Chandra Levy, Nicole Brown Simpson, among many others—and the works are as compelling as they are disturbing, implicating a culture that is too accustomed to violence against women. As the city’s richest art patrons pour into the Rocque Museum’s opening night, all of the staff, including editor Maggie Richter, hope the event will be enough to save the historic institution’s flailing finances. Except Kim Lord never shows up to her own gala. Fear mounts as the hours and days drag on and Lord remains missing. Suspicion falls upon the up-and-coming gallerist Greg Shaw Ferguson, who happens to be Maggie’s ex. A rogue’s gallery of eccentric art world figures could also have motive for the act, and as Maggie gets drawn into her own investigation of Lord’s disappearance, she’ll come to suspect all of those closest to her. Set against a culture that too often fetishizes violence against women, Still Lives is a page-turning exodus into the art world’s hall of mirrors, and one woman’s journey into the belly of an industry flooded with money and secrets.

REVIEW: Talking Pictures, Ann Hornaday

Wednesday, 12 December 2018


Whether we are trying to impress a date after an art-house film screening or discussing Oscar nominations with friends, we all need ways to watch and talk about movies. But with so much variety between an Alfred Hitchcock thriller and a Nora Ephron romantic comedy, how can everyday viewers determine what makes a good movie? In Talking Pictures, veteran film critic Ann Hornaday walks us through the production of a typical movie—from writing the script and casting to the final sound edit—and explains how to evaluate each piece of the process. How do we know if a film is well-written, above and beyond snappy dialogue? What constitutes a great screen performance? What goes into praiseworthy cinematography, editing, and sound design? And what does a director really do? Full of engaging anecdotes and interviews with actors and filmmakers, Talking Pictures will help us see movies in a whole new light—not just as fans, but as film critics in our own right.

REVIEW: The Birthday, Carol Wyer

Monday, 10 December 2018


One hot summer's afternoon, five-year-old Ava Sawyer went to a party. She never came home... When five-year-old Ava Sawyer goes missing from a birthday party at a local garden centre, the police are bewildered by the lack of leads. That is until two years later, when Ava's body is found and another little girl, Audrey Briggs, goes missing. Audrey also attended that party... Leading the investigation is Detective Natalie Ward. A mother of two teenagers, this case chills her to the bone, and is a disturbing reminder of the last job she worked on. One that ended very badly. Natalie soon discovers that Ava's mother has some worrying gaps in her alibi and as she digs deeper, she's sure Ava's father is not telling the full story. And what did the owner of the garden centre Elsa see that day? Something that she's not telling Natalie... Just as Natalie is facing up to the grim possibility that Ava and Audrey were killed by someone close to home, another little girl from the party doesn't come home from her ballet lesson. Can Natalie find a way to stop this killer before more innocent lives are taken?

REVIEW: The Death of Mrs Westaway, Ruth Ware

Thursday, 6 December 2018


On a day that begins like any other, Hal receives a mysterious letter bequeathing her a substantial inheritance. She realizes very quickly that the letter was sent to the wrong person—but also that the cold-reading skills she’s honed as a tarot card reader might help her claim the money. Soon, Hal finds herself at the funeral of the deceased…where it dawns on her that there is something very, very wrong about this strange situation and the inheritance at the centre of it.

REVIEW: Magic Hours: Essays on Creators and Creation, Tom Bissell

Wednesday, 28 November 2018


In Magic Hours, award-winning essayist Tom Bissell explores the highs and lows of the creative process. He takes us from the set of The Big Bang Theory to the first novel of Ernest Hemingway to the final work of David Foster Wallace; from the films of Werner Herzog to the film of Tommy Wiseau to the editorial meeting in which Paula Fox's work was relaunched into the world. Originally published in magazines such as The Believer, The New Yorker, and Harper's, these essays represent ten years of Bissell's best writing on every aspect of creation—be it Iraq War documentaries or video-game character voices—and will provoke as much thought as they do laughter. What are sitcoms for exactly? Can art be both bad and genius? Why do some books survive and others vanish?

REVIEW: One More Chance, Lucy Ayrton

Monday, 26 November 2018

Dani hasn't had an easy life. She's made some bad choices and now she's paying the ultimate price; prison. With her young daughter Bethany, growing up in foster care, Dani is determined to be free and reunited with her. There's only one problem; Dani can't stay out of trouble. Dani's new cellmate Martha is quiet and unassuming. There's something about her that doesn't add up. When Martha offers Dani one last chance at freedom, she doesn't hesitate. Everything she wants is on the outside, but Dani is stuck on the inside. Is it possible to break out when everyone is trying to keep you in...

REVIEW: The Girl From Blind River, Gale Massey

Thursday, 22 November 2018


Everyone says the Elders family are nothing but cheats, thieves, and convicts—a fact nineteen-year old Jamie Elders has been trying desperately to escape. She may have the natural talent of a poker savant, but her dreams of going pro and getting the hell out of the tiny town of Parsons, New York are going nowhere fast. Especially once she lands in a huge pile of debt to her uncle Loyal. At Loyal’s beck and call until her debt is repaid, Jamie can’t easily walk away—not with her younger brother Toby left at his mercy. So when Loyal demands Jamie’s help cleaning up a mess late one night, she has no choice but to agree. But disposing of a dead man and covering up his connection to the town’s most powerful judge goes beyond family duty. When it comes out that the victim was a beloved athlete and Loyal pins the murder on Toby, only Jamie can save him. But with a dogged detective on her trail and her own future at stake, she’ll have to decide: embrace her inner criminal, or defy it—and face the consequences. 

REVIEW: The Fact of a Body, Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich

Tuesday, 20 November 2018


Before Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich begins a summer job at a law firm in Louisiana, working to help defend men accused of murder, she thinks her position is clear. The child of two lawyers, she is staunchly anti-death penalty. But the moment convicted murderer Ricky Langley’s face flashes on the screen as she reviews old tapes―the moment she hears him speak of his crimes―she is overcome with the feeling of wanting him to die. Shocked by her reaction, she digs deeper and deeper into the case. Despite their vastly different circumstances, something in his story is unsettlingly, uncannily familiar. Crime, even the darkest and most unsayable acts, can happen to any one of us. As Alexandria pores over the facts of the murder, she finds herself thrust into the complicated narrative of Ricky’s childhood. And by examining the details of Ricky’s case, she is forced to face her own story, to unearth long-buried family secrets, and reckon with a past that colors her view of Ricky's crime. But another surprise awaits: She wasn’t the only one who saw her life in Ricky’s.

Try a Chapter: Mystery/Thrillers #2

Sunday, 18 November 2018


It's my birthday and I can... read the first chapters of mystery/thrillers if I want to.

REVIEW: Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture, Roxane Gay

Friday, 16 November 2018


In this valuable and revealing anthology, cultural critic and bestselling author Roxane Gay collects original and previously published pieces that address what it means to live in a world where women have to measure the harassment, violence, and aggression they face, and where they are “routinely second-guessed, blown off, discredited, denigrated, besmirched, belittled, patronized, mocked, shamed, gaslit, insulted, bullied” for speaking out. Contributions include essays from established and up-and-coming writers, performers, and critics, including actors Ally Sheedy and Gabrielle Union and writers Amy Jo Burns, Lyz Lenz, Claire Schwartz, and Bob Shacochis. Covering a wide range of topics and experiences, from an exploration of the rape epidemic embedded in the refugee crisis to first-person accounts of child molestation, this collection is often deeply personal and is always unflinchingly honest. Like Rebecca Solnit’s Men Explain Things to Me, Not That Bad will resonate with every reader, saying “something in totality that we cannot say alone.” Searing and heartbreakingly candid, this provocative collection both reflects the world we live in and offers a call to arms insisting that “not that bad” must no longer be good enough.

REVIEW: Painter to the King, Amy Sackville

Wednesday, 14 November 2018


This is a portrait of Diego Velazquez, from his arrival at the court of King Philip IV of Spain, to his death 38 years and scores of paintings later. It is a portrait of a relationship that is not quite a friendship, between an artist and his subject. It is a portrait of a ruler, always on duty, and increasingly burdened by a life of public expectation and repeated private grief. And it is a portrait of a court collapsing under the weight of its own excess. Unfolding through series of masterly set-pieces and glancing sketches, this is a novel of brilliance, imagination and sheer style -- about what is shown and what is seen, about art and life.

REVIEW: The Classroom, A.L. Bird

Monday, 12 November 2018


Letting go of your daughter for the first time isn’t easy. After years of IVF, Kirsten White is a devoted mum to Harriet and she can’t believe the time has come to send her little girl off to school. But Harriet has now turned five, and she can’t stay Kirsten’s baby forever. It might be hard, but it’s time to entrust her daughter’s care to her new teacher. The classroom is the one place she should be safe. Miriam Robertson has been waiting for the perfect little girl to walk into her class. She’s very picky but when Harriet walks in, Miriam knows: this is the child she’s been waiting for. Harriet knows not to speak to strangers. But her lovely new teacher isn’t a stranger at all. In fact, she’s her new best friend. And you can always trust your friends can’t you? 

End of the Year Book Tag

Saturday, 10 November 2018


Coming in more than a little late, but this tag is absolutely everywhere right now so I thought I would put my penny's worth in. I do not think there has ever been a point in the last five years or so, when I have sat back and not loudly and obnoxiously shared my opinion, so I see no reason to start now.

REVIEW: Genuine Fraud, E. Lockhart

Thursday, 8 November 2018


Imogen is a runaway heiress, an orphan, a cook, and a cheat. Jule is a fighter, a social chameleon, and an athlete. An intense friendship. A disappearance. A murder, or maybe two. A bad romance, or maybe three. Blunt objects, disguises, blood, and chocolate. The American dream, superheroes, spies, and villains. A girl who refuses to give people what they want from her. A girl who refuses to be the person she once was.

REVIEW: Ayiti, Roxane Gay

Tuesday, 6 November 2018


In Ayiti, a married couple seeking boat passage to America prepares to leave their homeland. A young woman procures a voodoo love potion to ensnare a childhood classmate. A mother takes a foreign soldier into her home as a boarder, and into her bed. And a woman conceives a daughter on the bank of a river while fleeing a horrific massacre, a daughter who later moves to America for a new life but is perpetually haunted by the mysterious scent of blood. 

REVIEW: The Good Daughter, Karin Slaughter

Monday, 29 October 2018


Twenty-eight years ago, Charlotte and Samantha Quinn's happy smalltown family life was torn apart by a terrifying attack on their family home. It left their mother dead. It left their father - Pikeville's notorious defence attorney - devastated. And it left the family fractured beyond repair, consumed by secrets from that terrible night. Twenty-eight years later, and Charlie has followed in her father's footsteps to become a lawyer herself - the archetypal good daughter. But when violence comes to Pikeville again - and a shocking tragedy leaves the whole town traumatised - Charlie is plunged into a nightmare. Not only is she the first witness on the scene, but it's a case which can't help triggering the terrible memories she's spent so long trying to suppress. Because the shocking truth about the crime which destroyed her family nearly thirty years ago won't stay buried for ever...

REVIEW: Ghost Wall, Sarah Moss

Thursday, 25 October 2018


Teenage Silvie is living in a remote Northumberland camp as an exercise in experimental archaeology. Her father is an abusive man, obsessed with recreating the discomfort, brutality and harshness of Iron Age life. Behind and ahead of Silvie's narrative is the story of a bog girl, a sacrifice, a woman killed by those closest to her, and as the hot summer builds to a terrifying climax, Silvie and the Bog girl are in ever more terrifying proximity. 

REVIEW: The Reckoning, Clár Ni Chonghaile #BLOGTOUR

Tuesday, 23 October 2018


I have a story to tell you, Diane. It is my story and your story and the story of a century that remade the world. When we reach the end, you will be the ultimate arbiter of whether it was worth your time. You will also sit in judgment on me.In a cottage in Normandy, Lina Rose is writing to the daughter she abandoned as a baby. Now a successful if enigmatic author, she is determined to trace her family’s history through the two world wars that shaped her life. But Lina can no longer bear to carry her secrets alone, and once the truth is out, can she ever be forgiven?

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon (Autumn 2018) - Progress Report

Sunday, 21 October 2018


Here we go, here we go, here we go.

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon (Autumn 2018) – TBR

Friday, 19 October 2018


I am an adult now. Which means that, alongside the people with buttons for eyes and pet cats rising from the dead, other (far more real) things scare the shit out of me too. Like racism, and rape culture, and police brutality, and whatever is being said when I turn on the news. This Halloween, the first in which I won't be donning devil horns and partying up a storm, I thought I'd get a bit more serious and use my reading material to truly examine all of the horrors that make up our culture. 
After-all, Donald Trump and Brexit and the realities of climate change, plague my nightmares more than anything that could reside in the shadows.

REVIEW: The Water Cure, Sophie Mackintosh

Wednesday, 17 October 2018


Imagine a world very close to our own: where women are not safe in their bodies, where desperate measures are required to raise a daughter. This is the story of Grace, Lia and Sky, kept apart from the world for their own good and taught the terrible things that every woman must learn about love. And it is the story of the men who come to find them - three strangers washed up by the sea, their gazes hungry and insistent, trailing desire and destruction in their wake. The Water Cure is a fever dream, a blazing vision of suffering, sisterhood and transformation.

REVIEW: Simone de Beauvoir (Little People, Big Dreams), Mª Isabel Sánchez Vegara

Monday, 15 October 2018


New in the Little People, Big Dreams series, discover the incredible life of Simone de Beauvoir, the great French philosopher, in this true story of her life. With stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, this empowering series celebrates the important life stories of wonderful women of the world. From designers and artists to scientists, all of them went on to achieve incredible things, yet all of them began life as a little child with a dream. These books make the lives of these role models accessible for children, providing a powerful message to inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world!

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon (Autumn 2018) – Book Bingo (Week 3)

Saturday, 13 October 2018

The creator of this book bingo said this week would be the most difficult and holy shit, she wasn't joking.

REVIEW: That Old Black Magic, Cathi Unsworth

Thursday, 11 October 2018


April 1943: four boys playing in Hagley Woods, Essex make a gruesome discovery. Inside an enormous elm tree, there is the body of a woman, her mouth stuffed with a length of cloth. As the case goes cold, mysterious graffiti starts going up across the Midlands: 'Who put Bella in the Wych Elm?' To Ross Spooner, a police officer working undercover for spiritualist magazine Two Worlds, the messages hold a sinister meaning. He's been on the track of a German spy ring who have left a trail of black magic and mayhem across England, and this latest murder bears all the hallmarks of an ancient ritual. At the same time, Spooner is investigating the case of Helen Duncan, a medium whose messages from the spirit world contain highly classified information. As the establishment joins ranks against Duncan, Spooner must face demons from his own past, uncover the spies hiding beneath the fabric of wartime society - and confront those who suspect that he, too, may not be all he seems...

REVIEW: The Killed Conscience, Jordan Antonacci

Tuesday, 9 October 2018


Still at the beginning of her career, investigative journalist Emilee Weathers is desperate for the perfect story and doesn’t care how she has to get it. When she’s asked to assist in a convicted serial killer’s appeal, it almost seems the perfect story has come banging at her door. But not long after arriving to the mountain town of Pigeon Forge, Emilee discovers the body of another, more recent victim. With the body showing signatures of the already-convicted murderer, Emilee sets out to discover if she’s happened upon the work of a copycat, or if the real killer was ever even caught. The more she looks though, the murkier everything becomes. Police begin withholding information and the killer seems capable of going any length to protect his identity. On top of it all, when her investigations uncover the buried secrets of those closest to her, Emilee questions who it is she can and can’t trust in those mountains, if anyone at all. 

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon (Autumn 2018) – Book Bingo (Week 2)

Friday, 5 October 2018


Week 2! Do you know what? I'm actually starting to get rather good at this. Expect me to be smug about it at least for another few weeks.

September Book Haul

Saturday, 29 September 2018


Another month over which means it is time for another post that illustrates how I am trying to singlehandedly fuel the bookish economy.

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon (Autumn 2018) – Book Bingo (Week 1)

Thursday, 27 September 2018


How is it almost time for the Dewey's 24-Hour Readathon again? I suppose that time flies when you spend your entire year procrastinating. I wasn't that up on the game last year, but this time around, I'm already counting down the days and I am getting pretty serious about it. Because, thanks to the wonderful Gabby (GabsAboutBooks) over on Goodreads, I am putting my extremely annoying, frankly ridiculous competitive spirit to the test to complete three rounds of book bingo in preparation for the readathon at the end of the month.
So let's get all-Monica-Geller-level competitive up in here and get started.

Review Round-Up - September

Tuesday, 25 September 2018


In August, I referred to myself as the Simon Cowell of the book-reviewing world and that seems more true than ever this month. It just seems as though the universe is employing some sort of shit book quota in my life, either for its own personal amusement, entertainment value, or just to torture me. Because, in a month that started and ended so damn well, the middle did its damned-well best to make me never want to pick up another book.

REVIEW: A Little Bird Told Me, Marianne Holmes #BLOGTOUR

Friday, 21 September 2018


Besides, if you were one half evil, wouldn’t you want to know about the other half? In the scorching summer of 1976, Robyn spends her days swimming at the Lido and tagging after her brother. It’s the perfect holiday – except for the crying women her mum keeps bringing home. As the heatwave boils on, tensions in the town begin to simmer. Everyone is gossiping about her mum, a strange man is following her around, and worst of all, no one will tell Robyn the truth. But this town isn’t good at keeping secrets… Twelve years later Robyn returns home, to a house that has stood empty for years and a town that hasn’t moved on, forced to confront the mystery that haunted her that summer. And atone for the part she played in it. 

REVIEW: Titans of History, Simon Sebag Montefiore

Wednesday, 19 September 2018


Simon Sebag Montefiore presents the lives of the giants who have made our world. The cast varies from conquerors, poets, kings, empresses and whores to psychopaths, prophets, composers and explorers. Informative, entertaining, inspiring and sometimes horrifying, this is a history of the world that contains the characters everyone should know and the stories no one should forget.

REVIEW: Jealousy, Nancy Bush

Monday, 17 September 2018


HATRED LEADS TO OBSESSION
It's taken time for the plan to unfold, years spent waiting, watching, hating. . . . And after the first victim, the killing gets easier and easier.
OBSESSION LEADS TO JEALOUSY
The Crissmans, owners of Crissman & Wolfe department store, were once one of Portland's most powerful families. There's still enough fortune left to sow mistrust between Lucy, her bohemian sister Layla, their brother Lyle, and his grasping wife Kate. When a charity event at the Crissman Lodge ends in a fatal poisoning, Lucy becomes a prime suspect. But the truth is even more twisted, and Lucy can't be sure which of her family is being targeted... or who to fear.
AND JEALOUSY LEADS TO MURDER
Renowned defense attorney Dallas Denton has been hired to clear Lucy's name, unaware of the secret that ties them together or of the deep cracks in the Crissman legacy. Someone is ready to eliminate every obstacle to get what they most covet, and prove that envy runs deeper than blood... 

Best Dressed at the 2018 Emmy Awards

Saturday, 15 September 2018

God, I love the Emmys. 
The shows, the clothes... absolutely everything is perfection.
With the growing popularity of Netflix, other streaming services and the reigning Queen of entertainment, HBO, claiming dominance over people's viewing habits; over the last few years, television has been the place to be. Year upon year, the content, the ideas, the acting have been constantly pushing boundaries and reaching new heights. And, I am certain that I am one amongst millions who would testify to the fact that I have neglected the cinema for the glow of the silver screen. 
I mean, at least 80% of television programming isn't dedicated to superheroes, am I right?

Sarah Paulson and Connie Britton 

REVIEW: School Tales, Sharon Myrick

Thursday, 13 September 2018


Contemporary legend says the business of high school is boring and must forever be that way―that its sole purpose is to deposit tidbits of knowledge into young minds and standardize the way each attacks the world. School Tales begs to differ. As is made clear by its five spunky student narrators, high school, the home-base social institution for teenagers, exerts powerful agency over answers to fundamental questions―Who am I? What do I want to learn? Am I able to direct my life? Can I trust friends to be there for me? How do I find a sense of purpose in contributing to our world?―and is a time of struggle with life’s questions amidst intense pressure to make decisions by graduation and launch into adulthood. Students in School Tales, living in a small town of the southern Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, encounter a number of personal and public issues including racism, anxiety, shame, a cross-country move, gender identity, immigration, family instability, depression, lack of self-direction, abuse, and law enforcement. The lessons they learn in school include the meanings of freedom, success, friendship, exploration, inquiry, confidence, false either/or choices, and dreaming. As these students take charge of their learning, the true goal of high school emerges―and the result is a truly heart-warming view of students building what they would call “a life worth living.”

REVIEW: The Promise, Katerina Diamond

Tuesday, 11 September 2018


When troubled teen Connor moves to Exeter from the US to escape his past, he finds himself embroiled in a world of popular kids and easy girls. Everyone wants to be his friend, but they don’t know about what he did…and they don’t know about his father. As Connor’s life in England begins to unravel, DS Adrian Miles and his partner Imogen Grey are working up against the clock to catch a serial killer who dates his victims before he kills them. Determined to uncover the truth, Imogen is forced to act as bait – but will she take it too far and risk her own life?

Try a Chapter: Mystery/Thrillers #1

Sunday, 9 September 2018


My name is Cass and I have a Netgalley addiction. Like, a really, really bad one.
I just can't help myself. I will have six-hundred books that I already need to read, both arcs and physical books I have bought myself and yet, I just can't stop clicking. That is especially true when it comes to mystery/thrillers - if the cover, or the synopsis, or even the typeface of the title intrigues me, I am probably going to press that big, green request button.
That means I have a huge backlog of mystery/thrillers arcs from Netgalley that I have not yet read and I thought, what better way of siphoning out the diamonds from the rough than by challenge myself to a Try a Chapter post. Whereby I can get a kickstart on some amazing new finds, and work out which of the ones sitting on my to-be-read list need to be deleted immediately.
Here's to hoping those are few and far between but, with my knowledge of the genre, I can't help but worry that they will appear in abundance over the next few posts in this series.
Prepare for the worse, hope for the best, right?

REVIEW: In Intimate Detail: How to Choose, Wear, and Love Lingerie, Cora Harrington

Friday, 7 September 2018


A comprehensive and accessible illustrated guide to lingerie from intimates expert Cora Harrington, founder of The Lingerie Addict , the internet's top intimate apparel blog. While many love the idea of wearing special underthings, lingerie can be intimidating. How is it supposed to fit? How do you take care of it all? Is lingerie really for me? In this beautiful and empowering guide, lingerie expert Cora Harrington demystifies intimate apparel, making it accessible to all sizes, ages, and budgets. Covering everything from basic bras and panties to special occasion wear, shapewear, hosiery, corsets, and more, this no-nonsense handbook empowers you to confidently buy, wear, and care for the underpinnings of your dreams.

REVIEW: The Incendiaries, R.O. Kwon #BLOGTOUR

Wednesday, 5 September 2018


Phoebe Lin and Will Kendall meet their first month at prestigious Edwards University. Phoebe is a glamorous girl who doesn't tell anyone she blames herself for her mother's recent death. Will is a misfit scholarship boy who transfers to Edwards from Bible college, waiting tables to get by. What he knows for sure is that he loves Phoebe. Grieving and guilt-ridden, Phoebe is increasingly drawn into a religious group—a secretive extremist cult—founded by a charismatic former student, John Leal. He has an enigmatic past that involves North Korea and Phoebe's Korean American family. Meanwhile, Will struggles to confront the fundamentalism he's tried to escape, and the obsession consuming the one he loves. When the group bombs several buildings in the name of faith, killing five people, Phoebe disappears. Will devotes himself to finding her, tilting into obsession himself, seeking answers to what happened to Phoebe and if she could have been responsible for this violent act. The Incendiaries is a fractured love story and a brilliant examination of the minds of extremist terrorists, and of what can happen to people who lose what they love most.

Most Anticipated Book Releases - September 2018

Saturday, 1 September 2018


It's September. Which means it's the month in television finally goes back to its usual broadcasting schedule (hoorah for the return of EVERYTHING I have been desperately missing this summer - The Deuce, American Horror Story, The Good Doctor, Bob's Burgers, The Resident, the list goes on and on...) and it's when my cousins' kids go back to school and finally stop bugging me to let them play The Sims on my laptop. But just because it's a good month for my life in general (because clearly the most important thing in it is watching tv on my laptop in peace), does that necessarily mean that it's a good month in terms of book releases? Honestly, the jury is still out on that one.

Review Round-Up - August

Thursday, 30 August 2018


Another month, another bunch of scathing reviews. At this point, I am like the Simon Cowell of book reviewing.

August Book Haul

Sunday, 26 August 2018


What can I say? I'm insatiable.

REVIEW: Jane Goodall (Little People, Big Dreams), Mª Isabel Sánchez Vegara

Friday, 24 August 2018


New in the Little People, Big Dreams series, discover the amazing life of Jane Goodall, the world expert on chimpanzees, in this true story of her life. When Jane was little, her father gave her a toy chimpanzee called "Jubilee" which sparked her early love of animals. As an adult, Jane traveled to Tanzania to study chimpanzees in a new way – by living with them in their habitat. This is how Jane made many discoveries that people had missed. With stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, this empowering series celebrates the important life stories of wonderful women of the world. From designers and artists to scientists, all of them went on to achieve incredible things, yet all of them began life as a little child with a dream. These books make the lives of these role models accessible for children, providing a powerful message to inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world!