My review: The Water Cure, by Sophie Mackintosh

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About the book:

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.

Hypnotic and compulsive, The Water Cure is a fever dream, a blazing vision of suffering, sisterhood and transformation.

My review:

I found this book had so much potential as it pictures an interesting version of dystopia. As a fan of dystopian books, I was hoping the idea will develop further, but unfortunately there are too many questions and not many answers. I suppose the author wanted to give a reader an open space for imagination and to be able to come to our own conclusions.

I was struggling for a good half of the book but kept pursuing. When the men arrived to the island, things started to progress but it came to a disappointing end. I can’t call it an end as well and don’t really see a reason to leave the story at that point. Is it going to be the second book after this?

As I mentioned, the concept of the story is quite interesting and at some places thought-provoking, but the plot hasn’t progressed to anything and really hasn’t given any reasons, answers or meanings.

My score is 2* out of 5*.

My review: The Spaces In Between, by Collin Van Reenan

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About the book:

One of the most disturbing true stories you will ever read…

Paris, 1968. Nicholas finds himself broke, without papers and on the verge of being deported back to England. Seeking to stay in France, Nicholas takes a three-month contract as an English tutor to the 17-year-old Imperial Highness Natalya. It is the perfect solution; free room and board, his wages saved, and a place to hide from police raids. All that is asked of Nicholas is to obey the lifestyle of the household and not to leave the grounds.

It should have solved all his problems…

The Spaces In Between details the experience of Nicholas as he finds himself an unwitting prisoner within an aristocratic household, apparently frozen in time, and surrounded by macabre and eccentric personalities who seem determined to drag him to the point of insanity. Much deeper runs a question every reader is left to ponder – if this tale is fact and not fiction, then what motivation could have driven his tormenters?

My review:

Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.

‘The Spaces In Between’ has one of the most interesting stories I have ever read. It has everything – the biggest mystery, love story, some Russian history and cultural features, a little bit of Paris, psychological thriller, a bit of drama and lots, lots, lots of secrets. 

The ending of the book can be disappointing for some readers, but I just liked it the way it was. Was it all fiction or not? Was it just a game of imagination? Was it a very vicious plan? And why…

Without giving anything away, I just say that I liked absolutely everything about this book. It kept my attention so much that I couldn’t wait to get on the bus on the way home or to work to start reading again chapter after chapter. The story is truly captivating. The possible truths are very interesting as well. And in my opinion, quite possible.

The cover designed by Patrick Knowles is an absolute masterpiece itself and illustrates the book so well.

My score is 5* out of 5*.

My review: The Girlfriend, by Sarah Naughton

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About the book:

Mags doesn’t believe her brother’s fall was an accident. In that forty-foot stairwell, he didn’t just slip over the edge.

But there is only one witness, Jody, the girlfriend grieving at his bedside.

Which is another story Mags doesn’t believe.

Because Jody likes telling stories, and this may be her most twisted one yet.

As Mags begins to unearth the secrets hidden in her brother’s wake, she finds she isn’t just looking for the truth. For Mags, this is more than a simple tragedy. This is an opportunity for revenge.

My review:

I must say that I enjoyed this book which will sound horrible because it is about some shocking life stories. Every character in this book has a hell of a childhood, upbringing and life in general.

The storyline is absolutely captivating. I had my suspicions but didn’t guess the truth.

Despite being at times annoying, Mags’ character is very likeable. She is very smart, confident and straightforward, and these qualities deserve some respect. She is also kind and caring, but somewhere deep inside. It is physically hard for her to express her feelings. But that’s the price you pay trying to be strong.

The author did a great job researching so difficult topics. Not everyone can write about these things, particularly in good depth and decency. Rape culture, mental illness, child abuse, depression, other crimes…and how all this affects a person who went through it. What protective mechanisms can be built to stay alive. 

The only trouble I had with the book is the title. In the book, it is clearly stated that Jodie was Abe’s fiancee, not a girlfriend. Maybe it wasn’t edited in my version.

I recommend this book to everyone who enjoys a good psychological thriller.

My score is 4* out of 5*.

My review: The Murder of Magpies, by Mark Edwards

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About the book:

The terrifying sequel to the #1 bestseller The Magpies.

Five years ago Jamie Knight lost everything: his home, his wife and their unborn child. But at least the woman responsible, ‘Dark Angel’ Lucy Newton, was in prison, and slowly Jamie was able to rebuild his life.

But now Lucy has been freed on appeal, and before long Jamie receives a message from a desperate stranger. Lucy is up to her old tricks—ruining lives for fun.

Jamie agrees to help. But once again, he has no idea what he is getting himself into…

My review:

Mark Edwards is one of my favourite authors, and of course, ‘The Magpies’ is one of my favourite thrillers. With no doubt I couldn’t miss a little sequel to ‘The Magpies’. So, before reading it, take a look at the first book first.

I would call this novella ‘short and sweet’. It doesn’t take long to read it, but it has everything for a successful thriller: suspense, drama and a cliffhanger.

I think ‘The Murder of Magpies’ is about many things: it’s about revenge and desire to make everything right, it’s about love and what you can do for it and it’s about letting go. Probably the last was impossible for Jamie. But can you blame him after what he and Kirsty have been through?

The story is absolutely crazy which makes it even more interesting. I actually was craving for more, so it was almost a torture to finish the book so quickly.

There definitely should be the third book that I am looking forward to already, as I enjoyed the first novel and a sequel novella.

My score is 4* out of 5*, just because I would’ve really loved this book to be longer.

 

 

 

 

My review: The Rules of Magic, by Alice Hoffman

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About the book:

Find your magic

For the Owens family, love is a curse that began in 1620, when Maria Owens was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man.

Hundreds of years later, in New York City at the cusp of the sixties, when the whole world is about to change, Susanna Owens knows that her three children are dangerously unique. Difficult Franny, with skin as pale as milk and blood red hair, shy and beautiful Jet, who can read other people’s thoughts, and charismatic Vincent, who began looking for trouble on the day he could walk.

From the start Susanna sets down rules for her children: No walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. And most importantly, never, ever, fall in love. But when her children visit their Aunt Isabelle, in the small Massachusetts town where the Owens family has been blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong, they uncover family secrets and begin to understand the truth of who they are. Back in New York City each begins a risky journey as they try to escape the family curse.

The Owens children cannot escape love even if they try, just as they cannot escape the pains of the human heart. The two beautiful sisters will grow up to be the revered, and sometimes feared, aunts in Practical Magic, while Vincent, their beloved brother, will leave an unexpected legacy.

My review:

This book is just magical. I felt so much interested in the lives of Franny, Jet and Vincent that was extremely sad when the book came to an end.

‘The Rules of Magic’ is a fairytale for adults who still want to believe in magic, curses, destinies and that love can conquer all. Set in the 1960s really gives a special charisma to everything that was happening in the book. The free spirit of that time, fashionable and modern New York and the opposite of it all where it all started – in Massachusetts, in the old house full of secrets and exotic plants. 

‘The Rules of Magic’ will give you so many rules that will help to define your own destiny. It teaches you kindness, love and that you always have to be yourself.

The world of ‘The Rules of Magic’ is full of wonder, wisdom and stories that will make you laugh, cry, think, love, hate, exhale and inhale again. It’s been a few days since I finished the book and I miss it all so much.You don’t need to believe in magic and witchery to like this book. It tells stories that will make you care about the Owens and what will happen to them.

Despite it being the second book in a series, it can be a stand-alone novel. I haven’t read the first book – ‘The Practical Magic’ but definitely will.

My score is 5* out of 5*.

 

 

My review: The Perfect Girlfriend, by Karen Hamilton

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About the book:

Juliette loves Nate. She will follow him anywhere. She’s even become a flight attendant for his airline, so she can keep a closer eye on him.

They are meant to be.

The fact that Nate broke up with her six months ago means nothing. Because Juliette has a plan to win him back. She is the perfect girlfriend. And she’ll make sure no one stops her from getting exactly what she wants.

True love hurts, but Juliette knows it’s worth all the pain…

My review:

I’d like to thank NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book.

Unfortunately, my review won’t be positive but I believe honest reviews are welcome as well. Also my opinion is just mine, and someone else will find this book more interesting than me.

I must say that some parts of the book had a good initial idea, but at some point it all becomes over the top….

For me ‘The Perfect Girlfriend’ lacks sanity, realism, and any meaning. It doesn’t feel like a thriller or a mystery either.

At first, I was feeling sorry for Elizabeth/Juliette but it turned into huge annoyance. You need to be a masochist to finish this book and it doesn’t really lead to any quality ending. The only question I was repeating over and over again while reading was ‘why’.

I think ‘The Perfect Girlfriend’ can be a good self-help guide for needy, unconfident girls with a touch of mental illness.  Although, people with mental illnesses have more sense than Elizabeth/ Juliette.

This book is all about what to do to become unhappy and completely ruin yours and other people’s lives.

I really wanted to like ‘The Perfect Girlfriend” but unfortunately it’s getting 1* out of 5* for me.

My review: The light we lost, by Jill Santopolo

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About the book:

He was the first person to inspire her, to move her, to truly understand her. Was he meant to be the last?

Lucy is faced with a life-altering choice. But before she can make her decision, she must start her story—their story—at the very beginning.

Lucy and Gabe meet as seniors at Columbia University on a day that changes both of their lives forever. Together, they decide they want their lives to mean something, to matter. When they meet again a year later, it seems fated—perhaps they’ll find life’s meaning in each other. But then Gabe becomes a photojournalist assigned to the Middle East and Lucy pursues a career in New York. What follows is a thirteen-year journey of dreams, desires, jealousies, betrayals, and, ultimately, of love. Was it fate that brought them together? Is it choice that has kept them away? Their journey takes Lucy and Gabe continents apart, but never out of each other’s hearts.

My review:

As much as I loved the writing and the beginning of this novel, I disliked the main characters and their ‘love’ story. I very much enjoyed the structure of the novel, the story-telling side and the language.

It was one of the fastest reads – in three days and inbetween work, home responsibilities and fitness. To be honest, I don’t know what I expected from this story. The interesting thing is that the selfish behaviour that both Lucy and Gabe had is quite realistic. So many people do exactly what they did – taking people who love them for granted, betray trust, waste other people’s time… These are the things that I absolutely despise in a relationship, in love. To me it’s not love. 

Unfortunately, the author and I have different views on what true love is. And it’s ok. For this same reason I couldn’t sympatise selfish and self-centred Lucy. I didn’t believe in her love for Darren, I didn’t believe in her poor attempts to show it was also love. To me it looked like she was doing him a favour staying in the relationship, just because she was scared she would have stayed alone if she chose Gabe at any point of those 13 years. And everything what she could give to this amazing man Darren who loved her with all his heart, was patient, caring, kind and forever understanding was that ‘half-arsed’ happiness she gave him. I honestly feel sorry for the guy.

At some stage the ending became quite predictable. On the other hand, I would love to know what will happen after all these events. That’s where the real story can actually start. 

Sometimes I think I disliked the story because it is so real and parts of it happened in every woman’s life. The scary thing what this book made me do was to check out on my ex-boyfriend who I had similar obsession with. I recognised this behavior in Lucy’s regular ‘scanning’ of Gabe’s life through social media. I think she was lying to herself saying that she didn’t care or wasn’t interested.

It all makes you think only about emotional side of the relationship, about some memories that at this current moment don’t have any value. Time that makes you forget all bad things and forgive mixes up to this dangerous cocktail. I am not saying people shouldn’t forgive, I am saying people probably shouldn’t forget. What is worth of your love and attention. What you can give and give to a person who really loves you, not out of boredom or some illusions. Sometimes you just need to make the right decision – follow your heart no matter what, but not at the expense of other people’s feelings and time.

My score is 3* out of 5*.