Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris (Book Review #124)

I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 24/07/17

My 17th book this year)

Grace and Jack, the perfect couple, a picture of wealth, intelligence, wit and many talents. Along comes the friends who are envious of their blissful romance and devotion to one another. Hosting dinner parties, home catered by the wonderful Grace, going on amazing holidays abroad. Is there really such thing as such perfection in any relationship? 

There’s a whole other story once the doors are closed and the rest of the world can no longer see. Grace’s life isn’t so picture perfect after all…
***SPOILER ALERT***

I found this book gripped me from about midway. I stayed up until 2.30am just to find out how it ends. The ending felt justified and acceptable and somehow made the story great. 

I would definitely recommend this book to others. Different scenes from the story kept popping into my mind and I felt some of Grace’s anxiety, fear and despair. 

It’s best not to read much into the reviews for this one and just dive right in to the book. It is so much more thrilling to have absolutely no idea what to expect. I love Jack’s intuitive mind and absolute mad obsession and enjoyment of fear. 

It’s strange how much a person can cope with in order to protect a loved one. Poor Grace, it was thrilling at every turn and every attempt at escape.

Written by Ling Lee (24/07/17).

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Venom by Fiona Paul (Book Review #123)

I rate this book 3.5 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 20/07/17

My 16th book this year)

Cassandra, one of the lucky elite young women, already engaged to marry a wealthy young gentleman, Lucas. Showered with luxuries, jewellery, maids and much more, everything except the freedom to follow her heart.

The streets and waters of Venice are full of beauty and mystery. Night brings secrecy, a world of courtesans, young women are found missing, some are waiting to be found.

Cassandra finds herself drawn into Falco’s world. A common artist full of secrets of his own. Appearing in the most unexpected places and capturing Cassandra’s heart. She finds herself torn between following her heart, or following the rules set out for their society, and being true to her fiancĂ©, Lucas.

***SPOILER ALERT***

This is the 1st book of the “Secrets of the Eternal Rose” series. Cassandra has always bent the rules and has been “different” to the other young women of Venice. She is a strong and curious character, full of fire and fight in her, she is determined to do the right thing when she discovers a dead body. But then Falco appears and turns her world upside down, showing her excitement and giving her the feel for freedom, all at the pretense of helping to discover who the murderer is.

I love the relationship between Falco and Cassandra, the pull of attraction but the uncertainties of how they feel for one another and what is expected of them from society.

Luca, Cassandra’s fiancĂ© is a whole different story. Bland and boring but then he makes an appearance in the book and turns out to be completely different to what we as the reader have been led to believe.

I love the descriptions of the landscape, the luxuries of their world and the mysterious nature of the book.

Something didn’t feel right when Lucas suddenly appears and the book just takes a tumble, it felt like a whole different story and a forced end to this wonderful 1st book of the series. I am very much intending to read book 2 yet I’m not bursting with excitement to recommend this book to other readers.

Written by Ling Lee (20/07/17).

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Heartless by Marissa Meyer (Book Review #122)

I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 04/07/17

My 15th book this year.)
Cath lives in the world that we know as Wonderland. She is known for her delicious baked treats and also for being the daughter of the Marchioness of Rock Turtle Cove. Having captured the interest of the King of Hearts she must choose between her dream of owning a bakery or to become the Queen of Hearts (every girls dream except her own). 

The King wants his Queen, but Cath’s eyes have wandered onto a very unlikely character, Jest the Joker. She battles her emotions and doesn’t know if she should follow her head or her heart. She wants the opposite of what everyone expects from her and life just keeps getting more complicated.

With magnificent characters brought to life, full of attitude, emotion, unexpected turns, malice, dishonesty, beauty and wonder, this book is a glimpse into “Alice’s Wonderland”. 
***SPOILER ALERT***

I absolutely loved this plot. Quite the unexpected ending which left much disappointment, but putting the ending aside, this book was full of life. 

Heartless made “Alice in Wonderland” all that much better. We get to know many characters such as the Mad Hatter, Jest the Joker, the Raven and many more. The first half of the book was magical and wonderful as we are pulled through wonderland, but then things began to change. The ending was too abrupt but it made sense as to the title of the book. 

I wish for the perfect fairytale ending and I kept believing it was going to happen. Even with what i saw as flaws, this book is well worth reading. I wish there was a follow on for this book. 

Written by Ling Lee (04/07/17).

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The Book of You by Claire Kendal (Book Review #121)

I rate this book 3 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 06/06/17

My 14th book this year.)

Clarissa has been chosen for Jury service. It comes as a great relief as she needs a break from the trouble in her life. 

The case takes hold of her and she soon realises there are too many similarities between her real life and the story being told by Laura, the victim. 

Clarissa writes in her journal on a regular basis. The book is about you, Rafe. You have somehow wedged yourself into every aspect of Clarissa’s daily routines. You are here, there, everywhere at every turn both expected and unexpected. 

Clarissa knows how Laura feels. She knows the mistakes Laura has made so she knows the right kind of evidence she needs before she can get the help that she needs to escape this creep of a man. 

***SPOILER ALERT***

This book began with much suspense and I could feel the tension build as the journal was written. Then all of a sudden it felt to much, that not enough was done by Clarissa to prevent what was waiting to happen. 

I absolutely hated the abrupt “big moment” and the eay the story ended. It’s a shame when potentially amazing books are ruined by the ending. It just didn’t fit well enough with  the rest of the story. It just happened all of a sudden then we are not told how. 

I enjoyed the court case. I loved how there were similarities that helped fuel Clarissa’s fear of what would happen if she were to go the police. Having only just ventured into this genre, I am enjoying the new events and turns. I am enjoying “learning” new fears, how people might react and how some people are just completely unpredictable no matter how nice they might appear to the outside world.

Written by Ling Lee (06/06/17)

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Sever by Lauren DeStefano (Book Review #120)

I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 26/05/17

My 13th book this year)

Rhine has ended up staying with her husband’s uncle. Uncle Reed is an eccentric inventor with many crazy ideas and midway constructed items strewn throughout his rundown house. Whilst Rhine recovers from her last bought of forced experiments, all she can think about is how much her twin brother, Rowan, has changed. Nothing like the Rowan she knows from the year before when she was unwillingly taken to become Linden’s bride. The new generation males live to 25 years and the females live to 20 years and society knows the importance of finding the cure. But the experiments for the cure are based on mostly unwilling participants. 

Somehow Rhine has been granted some sort of freedom but it isn’t necessarily a better life. Together with her sister wife and Linden, their complicated and confusing relationship will bring them on a rollercoaster of a ride through too much sadness, loss and damage but  there is hope… hope for a cure.
***SPOILER ALERT***

The 3rd book of the Chemical Garden Series. I very much enjoyed the idea of this story. I am very open to dystopia and all the possible outcomes of our world over the generations to come. I try to live in the society that has been created as I read through the words of the authors. 

Linden is too soft, controlled and kept out of the dark making him ignorant to what was really happening in his household. 

Cecily is a feisty young teen who was previously an orphan. She takes to her new chance at life exceedingly well and wants to be the best of her sister wives. 

Rhine just never wants to follow the rules, yet she is kind hearted and very much family oriented. She likes to help everyonewho crosses her path and feels guilt at every bad turn.

If you don’t stop to analyse errors and just read the way the author intends, this series has an unusual storyline yet at the end of the day, it’s all about sacrifices and survival in this world.

I would recommend this book to other readers and find it strange that there were so many negative reviews for these books. 

Written by Ling Lee (26/05/17)

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Fever by Lauren DeStefano (Book Review #119)

I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 14/05/17

My 12th book this year)

Rhine has escaped her “husband” who has been holding her captive. All females will only live to the age of 20 and males to the age of 25, unless a cure can be found. Rhine needs to find her twin brother who has no idea what has happened to her and whether or not she is still alive. 

One of the house attendants have escaped with her. Now Gabriel and Rhine have escaped to freedom only to be caught in a whole different society where they once again become prisoners. 

Her previous Housemaster Vaughn is never going to let her truly be free. He is on the hunt for her and he wont give up until he finds her and brings her back to the house once again.

***SPOILER ALERT***

I really enjoyed most of this 2nd book of the Chemical Garden Series. Although some parts became annoying when incidentally the characters looking like long lost children of their captors, hence saving them from being instantly killed or buying them time to make an escape plan. 

I didn’t like the setting of this book but the story itself worked for me. I found myself drawn in and really wanted to find out what happens next. 

It became much more interesting once the group end up at the Lottner residence. The ending was very unexpected but if you can ignore the way she is found, you will still be held in suspense as to what becomes of Rhine.

I would recommend this series if you enjoy dystopian socities and are open minded to the world drastically changing. I rarely consecutively read nooks in a series but after book 1 & 2, I think this may be a first for me and I might just pick up book 3 next.

Written by Ling Lee (15/05/17)

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Wither by Lauren DeStefano (Book Review #118)

I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 09/05/17

My 11th book this year)

In the new generation females die at the age of 20 and males die at 25. The older generation with normal lifespans are trying to find a cure. The new generation have become test subjects and the females are all being used as baby carrying machines. 

Rowan has spent all his life protecting his twin sister Rhine. They are now 16. Living in poor conditions but being alive and having freedom is what they aim for.

The day finally comes when tragedy strikes and Rhine is taken. Brought to another country, far away from the place she calls home, she is set to be forcefully married to Linden. To live as a “wife” (prisoner) and to serve her duty in securing a baby for her new husband. Her father-in-law is a scientist who is frantically in search for a cure. There are no limits to what he will try in order to achieve the cure.

***SPOILER ALERT***

Looking past the immediate “flaws”, I really enjoyed the storyline. I have a weakness for dystopia. I love to see different views and possible outcomes of our future. Many other readers have given this book quite low ratings but if you are trying to think outside the box and accept that the future will probably be a lot different from life as it is today, this book becomes quite enjoyable to read.

I like how the 3 wives have different lives prior to being held captive. Then how each of them react to their new lives. With such short lifespans they each want something different from life. One embraces the luxurious life, one just wants a place to die in peace and one wants freedom. 

Written by Ling Lee (10/05/17)

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The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (Book Review 117)

I rate this book 3 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 6/05/17

My 10th book this year)

Rachel travels on the same train every morning and evening. She likes to escape into the made up life for a couple she has named Jason and Jess. She watches them through the window almost everyday. What a perfect relationship she wished she had. Then one day she sees one of them do something to destroy her perfect world and she wants to help. She wants to find out the truth so now she finds a way into Jason’s life and caused much trouble along the way.

***SPOILER ALERT***

What a crazy end to the story. I didn’t feel the suspense, the story didn’t pull me in but it was good enough to want to continue reading. The further I got into the book, the more the characters seemed to blend together. Scott and Tom having so many similarities. Then Rachel, Anna and Megan having too many issues that correlate with one another. I began to suspect whether this book was about a schizophrenic living in and out of character.

I didn’t feel the rush at every turn. In fact I felt more disbelief as to how the story ended. So disappointing when the ending doesn’t turn out to be epic. With so much hype about this book I have finally finished it. Apologies for not agreeing with the majority of readers. I would not recommend this book but would find it interesting to discuss the issues with anyone who has.

Written by Ling Lee (06/05/17).

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Behind Closed Doors by Susan Lewis (Book Review #116)

I rate this book 3 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 29/04/17

My 9th book this year)

Sophie Monroe has reached her troublesome years of being a teenager. Arguing with her step mother, exploring her flirting abilities, meeting new people and letting her heart fall possibly for the wrong man.

After yet another argument everyone believes she has run away, but then her disappearance and lack of communication brings many concerns for her parents and the whole community.

As discoveries are made, the possibilities open up. Now people are unsure if Sophie has been taken and no one knows if she will ever return.
***SPOILER ALERT***

How did I manage to pick this one up? I was actually meaning to read “Behind Closed Doors” by a different author and only realised the plot was totally different to the blurb after getting 10% into the book. 

About 75% of the book was captivating, interesting and suspense building. The ending completely threw me but unfortunately I absolutely hated it. 

I believed what the author wanted us to believe for most of the story. But then without warning, without hints, there is a whole new spin then a rush to finish the book. 

The agent responsible for leading the case has to relive the past as the same story seems to pan out right before her eyes with Sophie being missing and the agent’s sister is still missing since many years ago. 

I wouldn’t recommend this book but I would definitely be annoying and tell people the ending is totally wrong and doesn’t fit with the rest of the plot. It was like picking up a whole new book and readingthe end from that. 

Written by Ling Lee (30/04/17).

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The Girl with All the Gifts by M. R. Carey (Book Review #115)

I rate this book 3.5 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 19/04/17

My 8th book this year)

Melanie is Dr Caldwells’ “little genius”. She lives in a cell and everyday she has lessons in the classroom. When she transfers between rooms, a gun is pointed at her head whilst another guard straps her into a wheelchair. Arms, legs, body and even her neck, making movement absolutely minimal. She jokes she wont bite, but nobody finds her funny.

She is test subject number one. Melanie’s favourite teacher is Miss Justineu. Miss Justineu’s favoured student happens to be Melanie, even though she knows better than to get attached to any of the test subjects. One day Melanie tells Miss Justineu what she wants to do when she gets older and grows up. Her teacher is very sad and Melanie just wants to see her happy smile for always.

***SPOILER ALERT***

I accidentally picked up this book thinking it was something totally different to what it turned out to be. My first Zombie book and I was actually quite intrigued and compelled by the story. However, I absolutely hated the unexpected ending which left my rating at 3.5 stars.

I enjoyed how Melanie was oppressed yet she managed to break free and eplore her own thoughts. I enjoyed sharing her experience of the world.

I wouldn’t recommend this book to apocolypse and zombie lovers as I’m pretty sure this was an extremely tame version of the possibilities for this genre. For a younger audience and maybe first time zombie experience readers.

Written by Ling Lee (19/04/17).

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