Top Ten Best Books of 2017 So Far

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week, as the year is half way through, we’re looking at the Top Ten Best Books read this year. So I went on Goodreads and found  ten books that I’ve rated 5 or 4 stars.

5 STARS

  1. A Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart
  2. Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
  3. Doctor Who: The Deviant Strain by Justin Richards
  4. Watson and Holmes: A Study in Black by Karl Bollers
  5. Inferno by Catherine Doyle
  6. Mafiosa by Catherine Doyle
  7. A Meditation on Murder by Robert Thorogood.

4 STARS

  1. Timebomb by Scott. K. Andrews
  2. Vendetta by Catherine Doyle
  3. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo.

So those are a few of my favourite books.

Thanks for reading!
~Katie

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Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone: 20th Anniversary.

Today is the 20th Anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling, published on the 26th June 1997- I was three.

However, the Harry Potter series has become one of the most important series I’ve read, and it all started with Philosopher’s Stone. Now, I didn’t read it when it first came out obviously- but after the release of the first film in 2001- I became hooked on the franchise.

My mum originally read them too me, and when I became a confident reader- I read them myself.

I was lucky enough to pick up a special edition copy of Harry Potter and the Philospher’s Stone, and have started reading it again today to kick start the anniversary- but there’s so much more to it than just the story!

I’m a Hufflepuff, so I got the paperback edition in the Hufflepuff colours.

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It’s very yellow! But that’s not all! It also has some wonderful illustrations!

Look how regal Helga Hufflepuff looks!

I can’t wait to re-live the adventure again. Who else is celebrating Harry Potter’s anniversary today?

Thanks for reading!
~ Katie
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Book Review: Blood of the Rose by Kevin Murray

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Read between: 9th- 22nd June
Published: 9th June 2014
Publisher: Urbane Publications
Number of pages: 380
Format: Paperback
Synopsis: London, 1986. A newspaper editor is horrifically murdered, his death quickly followed by a series of more brutal, and often bizarre, slayings. The police are baffled, the only clear link between the murders being a single blood red rose left at the scene of every killing. Why? What does the rose mean? What connects the killer to each bloody corpse? Scotland Yard detective Alan Winters leads a hunt for the elusive prey. As the body count rises, Jennifer Chapman, renowned investigative journalist and daughter of the murdered newspaper editor, sets out on a personal quest for revenge. Drawn together in their pursuit of a deadly quarry, Winters and Jennifer unwittingly face a fatal surprise, for the killer is closer than they think. As they close in on the truth of the blood red rose, their unseen foe plots a shattering end to his reign of terror, and death awaits them all..

Rating: 3-5-stars

Review: I admit I would have given this book a higher rating if I had been able to get into it straight away- but for me, it started off slow – I think that was because it took me awhile to work out that the focus wasn’t on one character- but many!

Once I got over that I began to follow it better and the story started to flow.

It’s set in 1986- a year I’m not over familiar with being born in the 90s- and Detective Alan Winters is the main protagonist (although another detective is introduced first but that was just something the author did) and he is on the hunt for a serial killer known only as ‘The Rose’ who kills with a crossbow!

Then Alan meets Jennifer, the daughter of the first victim, a journalist who wants to avenge her father. Alan finds his loyalty slipping away from the police investigation and towards Jennifer and their could-be relationship…

A wrong decision.

The Rose is a very well written antagonist. He’s a psychopath- but I did work out who he was, although not until nearer the end. His diary entries are integrated throughout the novel, giving us an insight into his mind, and his life- past and present. This then allowed me to work out who it was.

It still came as a shock though!

There is plenty going on, which keeps the reader hooked. From the range of police officers, to the murders, to the victims, their families, and the aftermath. Everyone is important.

There is a slightly happy ending, in the sense that the killer is locked up and Jennifer and Alan end up happy together. They deserve it after all they’ve been through. However, who is the mystery woman with the gun in her handbag at the end? Jennifer’s mother? Who knows? But ending the book on a question leaves it open- and leaves the suspense.

A good read!

Thanks for reading!
~Katie

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June Book Haul! (aka, my book buying ban has gone out the window. Woops)

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So it’s only the fourteenth of June but after this month I am definitely putting myself back ON a book buying ban because I have no room on my bookshelves :/

Anyway, I’ve bought five books this month. The first four I found in my local garden centre- they were 2 for £5, so I couldn’t pass up that deal and bought four….

The first three books I bought are books 1, 2 and 4 in the Poldark series by Winston Graham. I love the TV series so I had to pick them up. I’ll need to get book 3 eventually but I hope I can enjoy them!

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The next book I got in the deal was The White Princess by Philippa Gregory- the last book I needed in The Cousin’s War series. Now I can binge read the series 😀

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The final book is my favourite buy.
I popped into Waterstone’s today and couldn’t pass up buying the 20th Anniversary edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in the Hufflepuff colours!

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And that’s all the books!
Thanks for reading!

~Katie

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Top Ten Father’s in the Harry Potter series.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week was a freebie to celebrate Father’s Day on Sunday.  I decided to look at the father’s of some of our favourite Harry Potter characters.

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  1. James Potter.
    Obviously I had to start with the patriarch of the Potter clan- I know he’s dead by the time we meet Harry but he’s still a large part of Harry being who he is.
  2. Arthur Weasley.
    My FAVOURITE Dad in the Harry Potter series. I just love Arthur Weasley- his love for muggle things, his love for his wife and kids- a truly magnificent father!
  3. Lucius Malfoy
    Okay, so this one isn’t one of the nicer fathers, but I think we can all agree that Draco wanted to impress his father. I mean, Lucius being a Death Eater probably didn’t help how his son turned out.
  4. Remus Lupin
    These are in no particular order or Remus would be higher, but again, he becomes a father- to Teddy Lupin- but unfortunately, like his friend James, doesn’t live long enough to see his son grow up :c
  5. Xenophilius Lovegood
    Luna is just as sane as her father- and he clearly cares for her, and I love this characterisation of the Lovegood’s because it goes to show that after her mother died, she and her father formed a really close bond!
  6. Vernon Dursley
    I mean, he had to be on here at some point right? Technically he acts as Harry’s father during his guardianship…..it’s not his fault he was a grumpy old Muggle.
  7. Sirius Black
    Okay- not an ACTUAL father, but he was Harry’s GodFATHER and FATHER figure- so I think I’ve made my point clear.
  8. Harry Potter
    Our beloved hero grows up to have children of his own! Albus, James and Lily.
  9. Ron Weasley
    Ron ends up marrying Hermione, and having two children. Rose and Hugo.
  10. Draco Malfoy
    Draco has a son, Scorpius, with Astoria Greengrass. Although not technically canon, Scorpius, Albus and Rose all have their own adventures at Hogwarts in The Cursed Child so I felt I had to include their fathers on the list.

And that’s my list!
I’m sure there were plenty more fathers I could have included, but I chose the most memorable. Hope you enjoyed my Top Ten Tuesday!

Thanks for reading
~Katie

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Book Review: The Two O’Clock Boy by Mark Hill

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Read between: 2nd- 9th June
Format: ebook
Genre: Crime
Published: 6th April, 2017
Synopsis: TWO CHILDHOOD FRIENDS…ONE BECAME A DETECTIVE…ONE BECAME A KILLER…

One night changed their lives
Thirty years ago, the Longacre Children’s Home stood on a London street where once-grand Victorian homes lay derelict. There its children lived in terror of Gordon Tallis, the home’s manager.

Cries in the fire and smoke
Then Connor Laird arrived: a frighteningly intense boy who quickly became Tallis’ favourite criminal helper. Soon after, destruction befell the Longacre, and the facts of that night have lain buried …until today.

A truth both must hide
Now, a mysterious figure, the Two O’Clock Boy, is killing all who grew up there, one by one. DI Ray Drake will do whatever it take to stop the murders – but he will go even further to cover up the truth.

Discover the gripping, twist-filled start to a fantastic new London-set crime thriller series starring morally corrupt DI Ray Drake – the perfect new addiction for fans of Luther.

Rating: 5521e-4stars

Review:

Firstly, thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for letting me read this book for free in exchange for a review (two months late but here it is!)

From page one you are thrown into a murder (it’s not the main murder but it becomes relevant later) and I was hooked from the instant.

The story flicks between 1984 and the present day, after Kenny Overton and his family are brutally murdered. I liked this, it added context behind the killings, and also gave us an insight into the background of the detective- DI Ray Drake, which really helped to bring the story together once we got to the conclusion.

It’s all relevant in the end.

Newly promoted DI Drake and DS Flick Crowley are chosen to work together on the case- well, Drake puts himself onto the case. Could there be a reason behind it? Or is he just there for DS Crowley to lean on if it gets too much? It turns out to be the former, and it’s all fine to start with until Flick discovers the link between the victims.

Longacre Children’s Home.

It’s a link that could uncover dark secrets that DI Drake has kept hidden away, regarding his past, and regarding Longacre. Secrets he doesn’t really want to come to light. It could put him in danger.

What I liked about this novel is the range of characters involved in the story- each one was so different and I wanted a back story for each of them- which the author provided in some cases- and they were so well developed I felt like I knew them.

Then Hill drops some bombshells into the mix which caused me to doubt if I even knew them at all. I was shocked, I started to doubt myself because usually I try and work out where the story is going to go.

I always find it difficult with crime novels.

Just goes to show that’s good writing!

I really enjoyed this book- the only reason I gave it four stars is because sometimes it was slow in places or predictable, however its a gripping novel because there was something always happening.

I’d love to read more – it ended very suddenly. Not that it was a bad thing, it could have ended on a cliffhanger! It’s a fantastic, well thought out, well written read and I’d highly recommend it.

4/5 stars.

Brilliant!

Thanks for reading
~Katie

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May Wrap Up

Considering I read 7 books in both March and April, May now seems to be a disappointing reading month but to be honest, this is my usual speed and one of the books put me in a bit of a slump (as you’ll see later).

So without further ado- here’s the books!

The first book I read this month was Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis- the fourth book in the Chronicles of Narnia and I loved being back in that world. I’m aiming to actually complete the series. You can find my review here: Book Review: Prince Caspian by C.S Lewis

The second book I read in May was Mafiosa by Catherine Doyle and I think this might be my favourite read of the month. It is the concluding book of the Blood for Blood series and if you want to know more of my thoughts on it- my review is here: Book Review: Mafiosa by Catherine Doyle.

The third book I read in the month of May was The Gift if Charms by Julia Suzuki. This book was hard to get through but I pushed through it and ended up in a reading slump- which I’m finding it hard to get out of. I explain why I took a mild disliking of this book in my review. Book Review: The Gift of Charms

And finally, I read Timebomb by Scott.K. Andrews- it’s a sci fi book with an interesting premise and I was hooked from the very first page. My review is here Book Review: Timebomb by Scott. K. Andrews if you want to find out more about how I felt about it.

And that’s everything I read this month!
Thanks for reading!

~Katie

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