Book Review: Aunt Dimity and the Wishing Well

image– Nancy Atherton

Upon receiving this book, and looking at it on goodreads, I realised that it was sort of part of a big series. Number 19, in fact, of the ‘Aunt Dimity’ series. I was a little worried about whether I would be lost in all the characters, but I think I managed quite well as the story got going! When given a sequel to review I would usually read the earlier books, but with 18 before this one, I figured that would take too long… This series seems to be the sort of one where each storyline is completely different, with just small points that may be mentioned from a previous one. It doesn’t seem that important to have read them all!

When a strapping young Australian named Jack MacBride arrives in Finch to wrap up his late uncle’s affairs, heads turn in the sleepy English village. But when Lori volunteers to help Jack clear out his uncle’s overgrown garden, they discover something even more shocking than a stranger turning up in Finch.

After Lori laughingly tosses a coin into the garden’s old well and makes a wish, she is baffled to find that the wish seems to have come true. Word spreads, and the villagers turn out in droves to make wishes of their own. But as they soon learn, one person’s wish is another person’s worst nightmare and the village is thrown into chaos.

As more and more wishes come true, Lori resolves to find out what’s really going on. Is handsome Jack somehow tricking his neighbors? Or are they fooling themselves? With Aunt Dimity’s otherworldly help, Lori discovers that the truth is even more marvelous than a magical wishing well.

When I realised who Aunt Dimity was, it did make me a bit wary. I thought the whole story was just going to be a bit daft to be honest! If, like me, you hadn’t delved into this series before, all you need to know is that Aunt Dimity was a friend of Lori’s mother. Her ghost lives on through a journal, and this is how Lori communicates with her. However, it wasn’t actually that crazy – I was surprised!

This book has a good mystery – though not the kind I’m used to reading – as well as a view into the lovely English village life. Instead of hunting for a killer, Lori is trying to figure out why wishes are coming true. It can’t be magic, right?

Everyone knows everything about each other in Finch, you can’t keep anything a secret, so when Jack turns up, the villagers don’t know what to think.

I for one enjoyed reading about the characters. They all had their own little story, and although we only get glimpses the majority in this book, I imagine each book in the series will delve into each person at one point! They all seemed pretty likeable.

This mystery won’t appeal to all, and if you’re looking for something juicy then keep looking! Aunt Dimity and the Wishing Well is an easy read, with a small mystery going on. Maybe not as action-packed as the mystery books I would usually read, but enjoyable nevertheless! I may have to read through some more in the Aunt Dimity series!


Summer Book Swap

Everyone loves a new book, right? That book doesn’t even have to be brand new. Going into charity shops just to browse the bookshelves, and find cheap books, is my favourite part of the shopping trip! If my boyfriend and I are in town, we will most definitely end up in Waterstones for a good half hour, just browsing the shelves and looking around. What can I say, I like books!

There’s nothing better than being able to sit down and immerse yourself completely into another world. A world in which is sort of unique to you as everyone will imagine characters or worlds a little differently. You just cannot beat a good book and a quiet place!

Now, the actual point of this post… I’m taking part in a Summer Book Swap hosted by Hayley and Beth. Each person taking part will be given a person to send a book to. Simple, right?

Book swaps, in my opinion, are just really great to take part in. I’ve only actually done one before (and loved it!), but it’s interesting to see the results. You may receive a book that you’ve never heard of, or one that you just hadn’t taken a second look at. This book swap isn’t asking you to go out and buy a brand new book. You could give one of your own, or check out charity shops. The main idea is just to make someone else happy with a good book in the post!

The closing date for this book swap is June 28th, so click on the links to either Hayley’s or Beth’s blogs and join! You really won’t regret it…

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 Geography of You and Me*

image– Jennifer E. Smith

Lucy and Owen meet somewhere between the tenth and eleventh floors of a New York City apartment building, on an elevator rendered useless by a citywide blackout. After they’re rescued, they spend a single night together, wandering the darkened streets and marveling at the rare appearance of stars above Manhattan. But once the power is restored, so is reality. Lucy soon moves to Edinburgh with her parents, while Owen heads out west with his father.

Now when I spotted this one on Bookbridgr, I just had to get it! I haven’t read a good young adult book in a while, and I figured this would hit the spot. I wasn’t disappointed. I’ve never read any of Smith’s books previously, but I may just have to check them out now!

Lucy and Owen are both likeable in my opinion. They meet in New York, but soon enough they’re both travelling in different parts of the world, hundreds of miles away from each other. The story is told from both perspectives, and I feel like I’ve been saying this a lot recently, but I usually dislike this. Here, it definitely worked. I wanted to see how each person was getting on, so the dual perspective was a plus. I also enjoyed the writing. It felt sort of young and free, and definitely easy to read.

Lucy is finally getting to explore Europe, as her parents have done throughout her childhood. She’s trying to deal with moving to a new country, fitting in at school and getting used to the new cultures that she’s just been thrown into. Owen and his father are trying to move on from his mother’s death. Travelling the US, they try to find a place to settle. With two different past stories, the book has a little more depth than just the usual teenage romance. As well as dealing with their own troubles, Lucy and Owen are attempting to stay in contact. Long distance relationships aren’t always easy (I should know, being in one!) but this shows that if you care, you can make it work.

I finished the book whilst on my train back up to Carlisle (university) and I was struggling towards the end. I just got all emotional! This book reminds me of John Green, though 10x better. I enjoyed his books, but I don’t believe they are worth the hype. This book would be worth the hype.

*Thank you to Bookbridgr and Headline for the chance to review this book!

Book Review: The Forbidden Tomb

image– Chris Kuzneski

The Hunters are an elite team, made up of an ex-soldier, historian, computer whiz, weapons expert and a thief. Bringing their skills together, they set out to find history’s lost treasures. The Forbidden Tomb follows their journey as they try to find the tomb of Alexander the Great.

I am still reeling from the ending of this book. Yep.

After reading The Hunters, I just knew that I had to read the second book. Now I just feel the need to read all of Kuzneski’s books! The team is the same as those in the first one and they’re back on a new mission, aiming to find the tomb of Alexander the Great. This elite team of five bring together their own special expertise, each one determined to uncover the great mystery of Alexander the Great’s tomb. An ancient map helps to guide them along the way and throughout the mission they do whatever it takes to get the result wanted.

With a skilled team, finding the tomb can’t be that difficult… right? Of course, the team hits some trouble and all is not as it first seems. Someone is protecting the whereabouts of the tomb, but why?

I’ve surprised myself by really enjoying these books, because they do actually have a fair bit of history in them. I feel like I’m learning just like the team are when Jasmine is talking about the finds. The book contains intelligence, and it isn’t just an action-packed thriller/mystery. There’s so much more in the story. I would say that the characters don’t have a lot of depth to them, but we know just enough to know what each person is like and what they’re thinking. Furthermore, the depth of the storyline vastly makes up for that! The different characters in the team all balance each other out and you can really imagine it working in real life.

At one point I was actually in shock. I did not expect it at all, and that’s all I can say! I had to put the book down after that chapter just to regain my composure! Oh and the epilogue, well, I just need to get the rest of this story! With twists and turns throughout, you will struggle to put this book down! It isn’t often that I give a book 5 stars on Goodreads, but this one earned them!

Also, I’ve just seen that Chris Kuzneski has signed a movie deal for The Hunters! That’s awesome news!

Book Review: The Shock of The Fall

image– Nathan Filer

‘I’ll tell you what happened because it will be a good way to introduce my brother. His name’s Simon. I think you’re going to like him. I really do. But in a couple of pages he’ll be dead. And he was never the same after that.’

The Shock of the Fall is an extraordinary portrait of one man’s descent into mental illness.

Matthew is a 19 year old with a mental illness. He lost his younger brother when they were both children, and Simon lives on in Matthew’s head. Matthew’s voice in the book is quite hard to get to grips with at first in my opinion. His thoughts are confusing, and you’re never really sure whether he’s talking the truth. It had me reading on because I wanted to make sense of it. As a result, the writing itself was very disjointed, and whilst I occasionally found it difficult to read, I felt like it really fit in with the story, and with Matthew having schizophrenia. Everything pulled together to make the story flow.

This book was a weird one for me. I was expecting quite an easy read, but I clearly hadn’t looked at the descriptions/reviews in enough depth! I feel like this review is terrible, but this book just wasn’t what I was expecting at all! I enjoyed it, I didn’t love it as much as I expected to considering all the rave reviews it had!

Book Review: A Girl By Any Other Name

image– M.K. Schiller

Everyone tells him he needs to move on, but how can a man function without his heart?

Caleb is 10 years old when he first meets Sylvie, and doesn’t want anything to do with her. She’s weird, and gets him into trouble. At 12 years old they become friends, and by 14 he’s in love. At 16 years old, she dies. However, Caleb doesn’t believe it, thus story focuses on his struggle to find information on her disappearance.

In the present, it has been 9 years since Sylvie’s disappearance and Caleb is a college instructor. The story is told from his perspective, and the time shifts between the past and the present. I thought this worked really well, and I really enjoyed getting glimpses of Caleb and Sylvia’s childhood and seeing their relationship evolve.

Now I really enjoyed this book at the beginning – it had me hooked almost immediately. In the present, I actually found Caleb to be quite annoying, and far too clingy! That really did put me off. He was fine in the first half, but I definitely felt like I could connect more with the young Caleb. Sylvie was more of a mystery – something was strange about her as a child, but Caleb never found out what. This all becomes clear in the second half of the book.

Overall, I did enjoy this book. The characters did annoy me a little towards the end, but it didn’t ruin the story for me.

Book Review: That Dark Remembered Day*

image– Tom Vowler

This book has had some good reviews, but I’m quite sad to say that I just couldn’t really get into it!

A son returns to the small town where he grew up, where his mother still lives and where a terrible event in his childhood changed the lives of almost every person living there. As the story unfolds through the eyes of the son, the mother and finally, the father, the reader experiences the taut build up to one day’s tragic unravelling, and the shock waves that echoed through a once happy family and close-knit community. Will they ever be able to exorcise the damage of that day or do some wounds run too deep?

So the book is split into four parts. We first meet Stephen in the present day. Then we get sent into the Summer of 1982, told by his mother. Part three still brings us the memories of 1982, but this time told by his father. Part four then goes back to Stephen and the present day. Now this effect is one that I only really appreciated when I’d finished the entire book.

Throughout, I couldn’t really connect with any of the characters and I think that’s why I struggled to get through the story. The descriptions were brilliant, but it was just all descriptive… It wasn’t until the last quarter of the book that we actually got an idea of what happened that summer. In fact, it was in the last 60 or so pages, and my paperback copy had 305 pages altogether.

For me, this book didn’t have enough action. It’s described as a crime book, and of course it tells us about a crime and the effects that it had, but yeah… Just a little too slowly paced for me!

I hate it when I don’t enjoy a book but I guess this one just wasn’t one for me. As I said in the beginning, there are quite a few reviews from people who really enjoyed it.

*This book was sent to me to review, thanks to Headline and BookBridgr.

Book Review: A Heart Bent Out of Shape*

image– Emylia Hall

I have been putting off writing this review because honestly I just do not know where to start! I’m going to do my best, without spoiling anything!

A Heart Bent Out of Shape follows Hadley Dunn, and so far her life has been quite normal. She has a nice family, friends, and loves her study subject of choice – literature. Her decision to spend a year studying in Lausanne, a beautiful Swiss city, changes everything. Once living in the city, she falls in love with everything about it, and the place just seems magical. The descriptions of everything make you want to visit – you wish you could experience all these new things, just like Hadley. It does help that the writing is great, and you really can envisage the city, the shops that are described and the university. The idea of studying a year abroad is a fascinating one to me, that’s for sure!

Anyway, Hadley lives in a student flat, and here she meets Kristina. A Danish girl, Kristina is so different to Hadley and the two of them form a strong bond, becoming close friends instantly. Of course, sometimes things don’t go to plan… When a tragedy strikes, Hadley’s life is turned upside down. Everything changes, and you can sense it in the writing. You can feel the despair and the sadness coming from Hadley, and even though that sounds incredibly depressing, it made for a really good read in my opinion! I felt like I went through the emotions that she did. (Though maybe not AS much hahah!)

Struggling, Hadley turns to the one person she can trust, and lines begin to blur. She starts to put pieces of the puzzle together and the answers don’t match up – can she ever trust anyone again? The story follows her as she begins her journey in a new city with new friends and the dangers of falling in love.

All in all, I loved this book. It made me laugh, cry and I almost throw it across the room in anger… Always a good sign if you ask me! One twist in the book – I loved it. I didn’t know whether my guess would be right or wrong and it didn’t disappoint. Would definitely recommend this book if you love a good (sort of chick-lit) mystery with a bit of romance!

*I received this book in exchange for a review on Bookbridgr, thanks to Headline.

Books in March

Well, this ‘Books in’ post is a little different – I actually reviewed every book this month! I’ll do a little summary and the links will link to the review! It feels a little pointless to post a second review, so I’m going to show what I rated them and you can just click on the links to view my review.

image# The Double Life of Cassiel Roadnight – Jenny Valentine

“Chap is a 16 year old runaway, and when he is mistaken for a missing boy he takes on the identity, hoping to gain the family and friends that he’d never had. He discovers that everything is not as it seems, and someone has a dark secret.”

This book was quite an easy read, but it still had some twists to make your mind think!

My rating: 3/5 stars.


image# Further Confessions of a GP – Benjamin Daniels

“It is what it says… Basically the diary of a GP and each chapter is a short anecdote.”

Definitely a book to read when you’re busy – short chapters mean that you can take advantage of those few free minutes during the day! Always funny reading about silly stories and the strange encounters that GPs have!

My rating: 3/5 stars.


image# Precious Thing – Colette McBeth

“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.”

I really enjoyed the way this was written, and I think the mystery worked.

My rating: 4/5 stars.


image# The Hunters – Chris Kuzneski

I’ve realised that I haven’t actually reviewed this one!

“The Hunters: a team of renegades – an ex-military leader, a historian, a computer whiz, a weapons expert and a thief – financed by a billionaire philanthropist are tasked with finding the world’s most legendary treasures.”

Admittedly, it took me a little to get into this book. Once I was a quarter in though, I really enjoyed it. Each character was different and brought a different feel to the team. The book includes some good action, a bit of mystery and some history. Not knowing a lot about this time, I’m not sure if that’s why I didn’t get into straight away. I was hooked for most of the story though and I’m really looking forward to the next book!

My rating: 4/5 stars.


image# Spree – Michael Morley

“There’s a murderer about, and Jake Mottram, head of the FBI Spree Killer Unit is trying to find him. Angie Holmes is a psychological profiler, primarily focusing on serial killers. This latest attack on the city is sending everyone crazy, and Jake and Angie are struggling to see eye to eye.”

This one had to be my favourite of the month. There was always something happening, and I really did feel like I was in there with the characters. I like this type of book because you form ideas when the characters do, and you’re also trying to solve it as you read.

My rating: 4/5 stars.


image# The Baby’s Coming – Virginia Howes

“Virginia Howes became a midwife quite late really, compared to the usual. After working with the NHS for a few years, she decided that she wanted to go independent. This book tells us about Virginia’s life, her journey to becoming a midwife and working independently.”

I love a good book about babies! I enjoy reading about real life, and what happens.

My rating: 4/5 stars.


image# A Heart Bent Out of Shape – Emylia Hall

“All in all, I loved this book. It made me laugh, cry and I almost throw it across the room in anger… Always a good sign if you ask me! One twist in the book – I loved it. I didn’t know whether my guess would be right or wrong and it didn’t disappoint. Would definitely recommend this book if you love a good (sort of chick-lit) mystery with a bit of romance!”

My rating: 3/5 stars.

  • 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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