Book Review: Pleasure Island by Anna-Lou Weatherley

Book: Pleasure Island by Anna-Lou Weatherley – published by Bookouture, netgalley kindle edition, 392 pages.

Synopsis: Secrets. Scandal. Betrayal.

In Paradise, pleasure comes at a dangerously high price…

Three couples each receive an exclusive invitation to the fantasy holiday destination of a lifetime… The host: Martin McKenzie, global billionaire and media mogul. Charismatic, powerful and always gets what he wants. The location: A breathtakingly beautiful undiscovered island, nestled in the Aegean Sea. Private, secluded and not quite as it seems. The details: Seven days of pure hedonism, five-star luxury tailored to every desire, also includes… secrets, lies, and infidelity.

As the guests begin to enjoy everything the luxury island has to offer, cracks begin to surface between the three couples. But that is not all. Someone is watching them. When they discover the truth – it will be explosive in more ways than they can ever imagine.

Let’s judge a book by it’s cover: To be honest, I was drawn to this book because of the cover. So it has that going for it. I think it’s pretty much a perfect cover for a fun little beach read – colourful, sexy, and features a setting that I think any of us would love to be whisked away to.

My thoughts: This is not the kind of book I reach for usually, so it was a bit of a mystery for me as to what it would be like. I actually ended up loving this book, I thought it was so much fun. There is a whole cast of colourful characters (most of whom I loved to hate), an amazing tropical setting (which had me wishing I was reading this poolside in Bali), and an intriguing storyline that hooked me in from the start. It was funny, dramatic, sexy, thrilling, and at times a little bit romantic.

Rating: 7/10

Would be a good read for: Someone looking for a poolside read that they won’t want to put down long enough to go into the water. Also, the book contains some graphic sex scenes – so obviously people who are old enough to be reading about that sort of frisky business.

Book Review: The Girl With A Clock For A Heart by Peter Swanson

Book: The Girl With A Clock For A Heart by Peter Swanson – published by William Morrow & Company, hardcover edition, 292 pages.

Synopsis: George Foss never thought he’d see her again, but on a late-August night in Boston, there she is, in his local bar, Jack’s Tavern. When George first met her, she was an eighteen-year-old college freshman from Sweetgum, Florida.

She and George became inseparable in their first fall semester, so George was devastated when he got the news that she had committed suicide over Christmas break. But, as he stood in the living room of the girl’s grieving parents, he realized the girl in the photo on their mantelpiece – the one who had committed suicide – was not his girlfriend.

Later, he discovered the true identity of the girl he had loved – and of the things she may have done to escape her past. Now, twenty years later, she’s back, and she’s telling George that he’s the only one who can help her…

Let’s judge a book by it’s cover: This cover really has nothing to do with the story at all, at least not in any way that I can discern. I can’t look at it for too long because the more I look at that woman’s neck, the more mine hurts.

My thoughts: I was really excited to pick this book up, after being such a huge fan of The Kind Worth Killing. Sadly, this was a bit of a letdown in comparison. It turned out to be one of “those” books that I have to force myself to finish, which is never a good thing. I think what was lacking for me was a connection to the characters, I couldn’t see what the big deal was about “the girl”, which meant every decision George made regarding her seemed incredibly stupid in my eyes. I’ve always struggled with books where I don’t like any of the characters (this is something most people can get past), and because I felt pretty much nothing, it was difficult to push on.

Rating: 4/10

Would be a good read for: Fans of psychological thrillers, and probably people who are going into it without any expectations based on their thoughts of ‘The Kind Worth Killing‘. I honestly think that was the start of this books downfall for me.

Book Haul (feat. library books)

I was out shopping with my mum recently, and couldn’t resist picking up two new books. So ‘The World Without Us’ and ‘ The Natural Way Of Things’ will be added to my ever-increasing TBR pile. On top of that I had a whole bunch of books to take into the book exchange, and although I picked up some kids books and something for my mum I still had some credit left over, so I grabbed ‘No Other Darkness’, which seemed interesting enough. The other two books are my library reads for this month. Time to get reading!

Book Review: Say Her Name by James Dawson

Book: Say Her Name by James Dawson – published by Hot Key Books, kindle edition, 240 pages.

Synopsis: Drip…drip…drip… In five days, she will come…

Roberta ‘Bobbie’ Rowe is not the kind of person who believes in ghosts. A Halloween dare at her ridiculously spooky boarding school is no big deal, especially when her best friend Naya and cute local boy Caine agree to join in too. They are ordered to summon the legendary ghost of Bloody Mary: say her name five times in front of a candlelit mirror, and she shall appear… But, surprise surprise, nothing happens. Or does it?

Next morning, Bobbie finds a message on her bathroom mirror – five days – but what does it mean? And who left it there? Things get increasingly weird and more terrifying for Bobbie and Naya, until it becomes all too clear that Bloody Mary was indeed called from the afterlife that night, and she is definitely not a friendly ghost. Bobbie, Naya and Caine are now in a race against time before their five days are up and Mary comes for them, as she has come for countless others before…

Let’s judge a book by it’s cover: I think this is a truly awesome cover, that suits the vibe of the story perfectly. It’s perfectly creepy, and I think it would also make for a great movie poster. Cover art done well.

My thoughts: I have to say I find it amazing that although they’re facing imminent death, the teenagers in this book can still get caught up in a new romance and general teen horniness. But to be honest, I wouldn’t have it any other way. This was a really fun read, and the author did a great job of working the old Bloody Mary tale into a modern day setting.

Rating: 5/10

Would be a good read for: Fans of the fun and less gory ‘horror’ genre, or someone looking for a fun “spooky” read in the lead up to Halloween.

Book Review: Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberley McCreight

Book: Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberley McCreight – published by Simon & Schuster, paperback edition, 380 pages.

Synopsis: Single mother and lawyer Kate Baron is in the meeting of her career when she is interrupted by a telephone call. Her daughter Amelia has just been suspended from her exclusive prep school. When Kate eventually arrives at Grace Hall an hour later, she is greeted by the news that no mother ever wants to hear.

A grieving Kate can’t accept that her daughter would kill herself. But she soon discovers she didn’t know Amelia quite as well as she thought. Who are the friends she kept, what are the secrets she hid?

And so begins an investigation which takes her deep into Amelia’s private world – and into the mind of a troubled young girl. Then Kate receives an anonymous text: AMELIA DIDN’T JUMP.

Is someone toying with her or has she been right all along? To find the truth about her daughter, Kate must now face a darker reality than she could ever have imagined.

Let’s judge a book by it’s cover: I think the cover suits the story and the theme of the book quite well. It was intriguing enough to drive me to pick it up, if that says anything.

My thoughts: I found this book really interesting. On the one hand, I really enjoyed the mystery element of the story, and all of the twists and turns along the way. On the other hand, having a general idea of the ending as I made my way through the book did make for quite a depressing read. This is not a fun or happy book, but I think it is an important book that deals (realistically) with a lot of current issues, and does it well.

Characters: I think teenage girls would be some of the hardest characters to write, but Kimberley McCreight did a really good job of balancing all the different elements of girls of that age.

Quote: “Kate should run. She felt sure of it. She needed to go somewhere far away where no one could tell her anything. But instead, she was sinking, sliding down to the cold, hard sidewalk. There she sat, balled up against her knees, mouth pressed hard against them as if she were bracing herself for a crash landing. Run, she told herself, run. But it was too late.”

Rating: 8/10

Would be a good read for: Someone who is strong enough to resist turning to the final page to figure out what happens at the end.