Books in May.

The monthly ‘series’ is staying, but I’m changing the layout of the post again… I also want to add that I am not affiliated with Goodreads in any way – I use their links because I find it a very useful resource for reviews/ratings/recommendations! Anyway, there’s a little extra at the end of the post!

Books that I’ve read this month:

My reviews:
The Lost & The Dead Ground – Claire McGowan
The Georgraphy of You and Me – Jennifer E. Smith

I didn’t read much this month – most of the time felt like it was taken up reading the Animal Behaviour book! In reality, that was only up until the 6th May as that was when the exam was. I did however have two more assignments to complete before the 16th May and so reading wasn’t really possible! My favourite book from this month was The Dead Ground. I love a good young adult book, but I love crime/thriller/mystery even more.

Favourite book related things from the internet:

# You know you’re a book nerd if…
# Cassandra Clare talks to Glamour about City of Heavenly Fire (I need to buy this book!)
# I definitely need this bookmark – guilty as charged! ‘Fell Asleep Here’
# You need to read Becca’s post about the dreaded words…“Books are boring”.
# Can mind maps improve your writing? – Maybe I should try mind maps to get blog posts out!


# 28 Relatable Book Quotes

I’m liking this layout, and I am going to stick to this form of post for my ‘Books in…’ series. What do you think?

Book Review: The Paula Maguire Series.*

– Claire McGowan

I’m reviewing these together because I read them both in quick succession, and it just makes sense to put them together. Now I was given the opportunity to receive and review The Dead Ground* by Headline and Bookbridgr. When I discovered that it was a sequel to The Lost, I just had to buy it and read them in order of course! I have to say, I am glad that I did buy The Lost!

The series follows Paula Maguire, a forensic psychologist, who has been living and working in London, helping the police with missing persons cases. In this series, we see her return to Northern Ireland, her homeland, to help the team of police and detectives from both sides of Ireland.

image– The Lost

When two teenage girls go missing along the Irish border, forensic psychologist Paula Maguire has to return to the hometown she left years before. Swirling with rumour and secrets, the town is gripped by fear of a serial killer. But the truth could be even darker.

Two girls have gone missing in Ballyterrin, and Paula is drafted in to help uncover the mystery. Her job is to find out about the girls, and figure out any connections between the two disappearances. Paula has avoided her hometown for years, not wanting to bring up her dark past. She has her own reasons to be working with the missing persons unit. The main reason for coming back was to help her father out. Once back in town, people from Paula’s past start to appear, and although unwelcome at first, they soon become a great deal of help to her. I found Paula to be a very strong character, and definitely likeable. She knows what she’s talking about it this kind of situation, having worked on many teenage missing persons cases. If Paula has a hunch, she will work with that, even if it is against orders and means a little sneaking around! Sometimes, finding the lost is more important than anything else.

The story very much shows the tensions between the police and detectives from across the border, being set after the troubles in Northern Ireland. With the team being made up of mixed religions due to the cases occurring around the border, it wasn’t always easy and friendly. I thought this added even more realism to the story because it shows people with differences coming together and, despite tensions still rising, they get the jobs done.

Paula as a character has tons of depth. As you’re reading, you can feel the emotions that she’s feeling, and the struggles between certain decisions. The Lost was a brilliant first look into the life of Paula Maguire.

image– The Dead Ground

A stolen baby. A murdered woman. A decades-old atrocity. Something connects them all.

Now, The Dead Ground, where do I start? The Lost was good… The Dead Ground was brilliant. Paula is still in Ballyterrin, despite not originally planning on staying for long. This book focuses on pregnancy, babies and abortions. The disagreements between catholic and protestant about abortions plays a big part in the story, and though disturbing at times, I thought the book was great. Babies are going missing, and Paula needs to find out just who is taking them.

Crime books are popular, and it’s hard to find a completely unique story line. The stories in this series have probably been done countless times before, but Claire McGowan writes with such detail, insight and depth that, throughout the books, I never felt like I had read something similar before. Almost every chapter provided some form of suspense or mystery – I was hooked all the way through.

One thing that I really liked about these books is that it felt real. No investigation was perfect. I can’t say I know what it is like in real life, but seeing the process build up and break down again and again, from bad leads or hunches that turned out to be wrong, just felt so much more realistic than the cases being solved quickly.

Definitely the best crime/mystery that I have read in a while, and I wholeheartedly recommend! Now, when’s the third coming out? 😉

Book Review: Precious Thing*

image– Colette McBeth

I don’t know whether it shows in the books I read, as I do read a mixture, but I really love a good crime story! Precious Thing tells us the story of Rachel and Clara, best friends who do everything together as young girls. They’re 14/15 when they first meet and become inseparable until Clara is hospitalised in a psychiatric institution.

Seven years later, Rachel is a successful tv reporter and is working when she discovers that Clara has gone missing.
Despite previously going their separate ways, the friendship was still there – a close bond like theirs couldn’t just disappear.

It is written as though Rachel is writing to Clara – almost like a diary. Throughout the narrative, she slowly reveals what happened during their friendship. I think this book was very clever in that I never really could get a grip on what actually was happening. I sort of figured out one thing, but I did have some crazy scenario in my head which wasn’t actually right… And I thought it could be a big possibility. All the way through I was trying to figure out whether everything Rachel was remembering was the truth, or whether she had sort of remembered Clara in a really bad light to make her feel better. I’m trying not to spoil it for you, so I can’t go into too much detail!

I will say though that the end confused me when I had finished, but I’ve also just realised that the very beginning showed that Rachel was beginning a letter to Clara in the present, before it jumping into the actual story. If I had been less dim and put that together, it would have been okay! Oh and another thing – the character, Jake, wasn’t really developed enough for me personally, but then it doesn’t really hinder the storyline. I’m just one of those who likes to know a person’s backstory!

This story is definitely suspenseful and a mystery, you will be guessing right up to the end.

This book will be published on April 10th!
* I received this book from BookBridgr in exchange for a review.

Books in October

Horns – Joe Hill
Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour – Morgan Matson
Bridget Jone’s Diary – Helen Fielding

Horns was really weird. I wouldn’t really say I enjoyed it, I just needed to carry on reading to try to understand what the hell was happening! It’s probably not something I would ever recommend… Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour was good, but I was a little disappointed after seeing all the hype about it. That said, I’m the same with John Green’s books – I just really don’t understand the hype. They’re good, but not amazing and something I would read over and over again!

The Edge of Reason – Helen Fielding
The Rules of Survival – Nancy Werlin

Bridget Jones was good, but again, I thought it would be better seeing as so many people really love it! I read them in anticipation of the new book that has come out, but I haven’t gotten around to that one yet! The Rules of Survival is a good read… Really liked this one!

The Book of Souls – James Oswald
Natural Causes – James Oswald

Yep, that is right… I read the second book in the Inspector McLean before the first… I was gutted when I realised – I had started The Book of Souls on my way back from London. When I got home and was half way through the book, I couldn’t start on the first one! Luckily, the second didn’t ruin the first at all as it was a completely different storyline.

Currently reading I Remember You – Yrsa Sigurðardóttir. Really liking it so far, but as I’m halfway I’m going to include it in next months!


  • I am 21 years old, currently studying Wildlife and Media at University and blogging about life, stationery, Filofax, fitness and more.

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