Book review: The Date by Louise Jensen

As soon as I spied the latest Louise Jensen’s novel on the screen I knew I needed to read it.  I know from experience from reading her previous books The Gift and The Surrogate once opened I was in for a thrilling, high tension ride.

The Date by Louise Jensen

 

The Date Louise Jensen
The Date by Louise Jensen

Title: The Date

Author: Louise Jensen

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Publisher: Bookouture

Release Date: 21st June 2018

Blurb:

One night can change everything. 

‘I know it as soon as I wake up and open my eyes… Something is wrong.’

Her Saturday night started normally. Recently separated from her husband, Ali has been persuaded by her friends to go on a date with a new man. She is ready, she is nervous, she is excited. She is about to take a step into her new future. By Sunday morning, Ali’s life is unrecognisable. She wakes, and she knows that something is wrong. She is home, she is alone, she is hurt and she has no memory of what happened to her. 

Worse still, when she looks in the mirror, Ali doesn’t recognise the face staring back at her. She can’t recognise her friends and family. And she can’t recognise the person who is trying to destroy her… 

From the no. 1 bestselling author of The Sister, The Gift, and The Surrogate, The Date is a gripping page-turner that will keep you awake until the early hours. Perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train and Before I Go To Sleep. 

My Thoughts

I made the mistake of thinking I could read just one chapter before I started the day I was wrong. Never has a tagline of “An unputdownable psychological thriller with a breathtaking twist” been so appropriate. The Date captivated me from the first page until the last. Louise Jensen’s use of language and pace threw me straight into the story as Ali wakes up from her date the night before. My heart raced along with hers as the tension deepened and the implications of her acquired prosopagnosia or “face blindness” became apparent. It causes everyday problems but when you are under threat anyone could be an attacker or the date.  The use of this condition adds more fear into this plot and works well.  The novel begins with the nonsensical and now eerie poem The Owl and The Pussycat by Edward Lear and it set the tone for the book. I did not know where this story was going and the twists took me to unimaginable places.

Louise Jensen is the queen of twists and tension. She does not let you go until the final word has been read but even then you are left reeling by revelations the book has revealed. She is on psychological thriller writer I can read again because the second time despite knowing the upcoming twists she manages to place you into the character’s mind again who is oblivious to the trauma ahead.

Would I recommend?

Oh yes. Don’t dilly dally if you love psychological thrillers, put it in your basket now! Her books are on my forever shelf when they are not on loan to book trustworthy friends.

More information on Louise Jensen and her books can be found here

She also has a blog here

Thank you @Bookouture, NetGalley and @Fab_Fiction for letting me read an advanced copy.

 

Calling all book lovers #SaveQuickReads needs your help

#SaveQuickReads needs your help

I was shocked and saddened to hear via Twitter the announcement that the Quick Reads initiative will end because of the inability to find a sponsor for 2019. They require £120,000 to fund the scheme for another year.

This year’s authors include Mark Billingham, Dorothy Koomson and Fern Britton.  The difference these books make can be seen in the heartfelt tweets by one of the Quick Reads best selling authors, Rowan Coleman over the weekend when the news broke.

 

I am lucky, I discovered the joy of reading very young. Once I could read Meg and Mog by myself I was off and haven’t stopped since. Reading has got me through illness and hard times when I needed to escape from reality,  helped mould me by taking me to different places, experience different lives and show me different points of view.  I have travelled around the world and been on adventures when I could not leave the house; laughed, cried and seen how people have overcome hardships which has also encouraged me not to give up hope when my own life became difficult. It has given me access to knowledge but above all the love of reading has provided me with friends and community through book clubs. It is a skill that should be accessible to all and it is never too late to learn as shown by Ursula in this clip – warning: tissues needed.

 

 

Austerity has already caused libraries to close, job losses for dedicated and experienced library staff and hours to access the library service cut, the demise of Quick Reads would be a further blow to adult literacy. Now is the time to show your support by sharing and retweeting #SaveQuickReads to see if a new sponsor or several can be found.

If not, maybe it is time for the book community to come together and fund it ourselves. Imagine how much could be raised if instead of purchasing that 99p book for our ever growing TBR pile or a takeaway coffee,  book lovers everywhere donated it to a #SaveQuickReads fund. Miracles could happen if book lovers, fairies, worms and dragons and bloggers unite.

Let’s share the joy of reading!

Book dragon ready to fight for #SaveQuickReads

 

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Book review: Letters to the Pianist by S.D Mayes

Book review for Letters to the Pianist

It is ages since I delved into some historical fiction so I was looking forward to reading Letters to the Pianist by S.D Mayes.  It has been on my radar for a while with its intriguing blurb and atmospheric cover.

Book review for Letters to the Pianist
Letters to the Pianist by S.D Mayes

Title: Letters to a Pianist

Author: S.D Mayes

Publisher: BHC Press/Gelan

Release date: 19th September 2017

Available from Amazonhttps://amzn.to/2Hn5OkX

Connect with Author: Author Page http://authormayes.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/authorMayes

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorMayes/

Blurb

 

 A FAMILY TORN APART … A PAST THEY CAN’T ESCAPE 


In war-torn London, 1941, fourteen-year-old Ruth Goldberg and her two younger siblings, Gabi and Hannah, survive the terrifying bombing of their family home. They believe their parents are dead, their bodies buried underneath the burnt remains – but unbeknownst to them, their father, Joe, survives and is taken to hospital with amnesia.

Four years on, Ruth stumbles across a newspaper photo of a celebrated pianist and is struck by the resemblance to her father. Desperate for evidence she sends him a letter, and as the pianist’s dormant memories emerge, his past unravels, revealing his true identity – as her beloved father, Joe. Ruth sets out to meet him, only to find herself plunged into an aristocratic world of sinister dark secrets.

Can she help him escape and find a way to stay alive?


My Thoughts

 

This debut instantly transported me back in time to the Second World War and I remained there until I reached the end. I loved the premise of a missing father and how the characters came to life on the page. It is about the love of family,  the bond they share and survival in the dark times of war. The plot took me on a journey to places I wasn’t expecting to go with emotional,  heart-stopping moments making me want to share this book among friends so can be discussed more.  I can not wait to read more from this author. 

I am now off to have some fish and chips by the sea because this is another book that made my taste buds tingle.

Would I recommend?

I love this book and would recommend it if you enjoy historical fiction and family sagas. It is worthy to be on my bookshelf to be reread and would be wonderful as a book club read.

Have you read it? Let me know what you think below.

Happy reading!

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Book review: Letters to Iris by Elizabeth Noble

Book cover for Letters to Iris

 

Taking a break from writing, I have had the pleasure to read Elizabeth Noble’s new release Letters to Iris

Book cover for Letters to Iris
Letters to Iris by Elizabeth Noble

 

Title: Letters to Iris

Author: Elizabeth Noble

Genre: Women’s fiction

Publisher: Penguin UK Michael Joseph

Release date: 5th April 2018

Blurb

A gloriously uplifting story about love in all its forms from the Number One Sunday Times bestselling author of The Reading Group and Things I Want My Daughters to Know Tess has a secret – one which is going to turn her life upside down in just nine months’ time. The only person she can confide in is her beloved grandmother. But Iris is slipping further away each day. Then chance brings a stranger into Tess’s life. Gigi’s heart goes out to Tess, knowing what it’s like to feel alone. She’s determined to show her that there’s a silver lining to every cloud. As their unlikely friendship blossoms, Tess feels inspired to open up. But something still holds her back – until she discovers Iris has a secret of her own. A suitcase of letters from another time, the missing pieces of a life she never shared. Could the letters hold the answers that Tess thought lost for ever? An uplifting, unforgettable story about keeping secrets, taking chances and finding happiness where you least expect it. Praise for Elizabeth Noble ‘A great writer. You’ll be rooting for Noble’s protagonists as soon as you meet them’ Daily Mail ‘Noble is the mistress of the tearjerking message of love’ Express ‘Deliciously readable’ Times

My thoughts

I loved the depth and soul of this book as it delves into the complex bond of grandmothers, mothers and daughters. Iris is the connecting thread between all of the female characters who are all facing challenges related to their time of life whether it is becoming a mother, facing an empty nest or dementia and end of life. It is emotional on all levels but left me feeling uplifted by the strength these women showed.

I instantly felt a bond with all the main characters especially Gigi and this made me read into the night because I needed to know a little bit more as the story developed and Iris’ history was uncovered.

Would I recommend?

Yes, if you love women’s fiction with believable characters. It is an exploration of the strength of women wherever they are on their life journey.

Thank you NetGalley and Michael Joseph for allowing me to read an advanced copy in return for an honest review.

Happy reading!

It is all about Soulmates Part 2: Book Review for The One by John Marrs

This is the second book I have read recently about finding a soulmate. Whereas The Soulweaver had a traditional spiritual take on the idea, John Marrs has taken a scientific approach.

The One by John Marrs

This book had been on my TBR for a while but I was on a long reservation list at the library. Finally, I received a copy but then I was reluctant to open it. I had heard the good reviews and did not want to be disappointed if I felt it did not deserve the hype surrounding it.  I have been bitten a few times like that. The first time I heard about The One was an interview with John Marrs on Simon Mayo’ s Book Club . The idea of finding your soulmate via genetics was fascinating and tantalising close to reality. I love psychological thrillers as a genre so it needed to be read.

 

The One cover
The One by John Marrs

 

Blurb

How far would you go to find THE ONE?

One simple mouth swab is all it takes. A quick DNA test to find your perfect partner – the one you’re genetically made for.

A decade after scientists discover everyone has a gene they share with just one other person, millions have taken the test, desperate to find true love. Now, five more people meet their Match. But even soul mates have secrets. And some are more shocking – and deadlier – than others…

My thoughts

My concern about this book not deserving the buzz surrounding it was unfounded. The One is a stunning, fast-paced thriller following five people as they meet the person their DNA dictates is the person they belong with. Each person has taken the test for different reasons, are in different circumstances and the results lead them to deal with different consequences. It is well written and leaves you asking the question “Would you take the test?”. It is a warning of what our future may hold with the rising trend for online dating and genetic discoveries.

Would I recommend?

Definitely. Buy, beg or borrow a copy and book a day off to curl up in a comfy chair to enjoy.

Have you read it?Let me know what you thought below.

Happy reading!