Category Archives: All Book Reviews

With dreams of working as a writer, proofreader or editor, I have ensured that I put my spare time to good use by reading as many books as possible. I then decided to start reviewing books in the same way I review movies and music. During 2017 and 2018, I believe I have read 22 novels. Which, I think is a pretty good achievement. Find my reading list here: https://nzfilmfreak.wordpress.com/jodies-reading-list/

The MacGregor Brides – Nora Roberts

This gallery contains 1 photo.

A wealthy old man wants great grandchildren, so he devises a plan to set up all three of his granddaughters with eligible bachelors.

Creepy? Maybe. But you can’t deny the perfection of this story. The characters are perfect, their lives are perfect. And everything works out perfectly. Sometimes you need one of these easy books to read without having to think – it’s not a crime, ladies! Feminism may be in full swing, but reading a book about falling in love and marriage is not yet illegal, and shouldn’t be discouraged… Continue reading

Rate this:

Gallery | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Racehorse Who Wouldn’t Gallop – Clare Baldwin

This gallery contains 1 photo.

Since I’m co-writing a children’s pony book series… Called The Tales of Pete & Podge… Which you can purchase on Amazon… For only $12.95 or on Kindle for $3.92… (Please judge this book by its cover – a new one is being illustrated as we speak!) I decided to do some research, so I borrowed The Racehorse Who Wouldn’t Gallop from the library.

There’s absolutely nothing to dislike about this book… Continue reading

Rate this:

Gallery | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Mystery in White – J. Jefferson Farjeon

This gallery contains 1 photo.

Writer: J. Jefferson Farjeon Genre: Murder mystery/crime thriller Released: 1937 Blurb: On Christmas Eve, heavy snowfall brings a train to a halt near the village of Hemmersby. Several passengers take shelter in a deserted country house, where the fire has been … Continue reading

Rate this:

Gallery | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Top 5 Ways to Read More Often in 2019

This gallery contains 6 photos.

While most people intend to read more or vow to finish the novel that’s in their bedside draw, very few people do. Reading a bit of fiction should be relaxing, enjoyable and hopefully educational too. So if you’re wanting to get reading again… Please read on… Continue reading

Rate this:

Gallery | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Radio Girls – Sarah-Jane Stratford

This gallery contains 1 photo.

I really felt like buying a brand new book one day. So I walked into W.H. Smith and picked one up that took my fancy.

Radio Girls sparked my interest because it was based in the twenties and was about radio. I studied radio at uni and loved it, but never had the confidence to pursue it (instead, I turned to voiceovers, which is more up my street).

I could easily identify with the protagonist who was a young woman starting her first proper job. She is immediately intimidated by the bosses, but she soon gets the hang of her job as the secretary and begins to get involved with the Talks radio programme… Continue reading

Rate this:

Gallery | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Devil’s Staircase – Helen Fitzgerald

This gallery contains 2 photos.

This book does so well reading as though it’s a movie. I loved how easy it was to read with all the twists and turns and surprises that you didn’t see coming, while never leaving you behind.

It’s about a girl called Bronny who hops on a plane from Australia to London without a second thought. No bag or preparation whatsoever. This is what captured my interest, because isn’t this what we all dream of doing sometimes? Just getting away spontaneously?

Upon arriving in the UK, she quickly makes friends at a backpackers where she stays before they all become squatters together in an abandoned townhouse.

But this story quickly becomes a cautionary tale for any young, solo traveller… Continue reading

Rate this:

Gallery | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Forget My Name – J.S. Monroe

This gallery contains 1 photo.

This was one of those books that I just took a punt on: I plucked it off the shelf and bought it without any research at all.

I read the synopsis and was captivated enough to read the first page of it in the shop. Then the second. Then the third… So I bought it. (As Tim Weaver mentioned in an interview once, it’s important to find an author who writes how you like to read, and this author certainly does!)

What a find!

It’s another one to add to the Girl on the Train/The Couple Next Door/Gone Girl band wagon to be honest. It’s a psychological thriller with a twist (or two)! Continue reading

Rate this:

Gallery | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

One Hot Summer – Kat French

This gallery contains 1 photo.

I’m no longer ashamed! I will read the books I enjoy, and I enjoy a cheesey romance.

I haven’t heard of Kat French before, but the gist of the theme sort of reminded me of Nora Roberts’ books (of which I’ve read one: The MacGregor Brides – review coming soon!).

I love how this book is set in an old English village. Alice lives in a manor and her best friends live in the smaller dwellings that she owns next door. It’s the perfect life… Continue reading

Rate this:

Gallery | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

The Couple Next Door – Shari Lapena

This gallery contains 1 photo.

I’ve heard this book is considered to be the next best thriller since The Girl on the Train. While it is most certainly a page-turner (I don’t think I’ve ever read a novel this quickly before), I don’t think the storyline or mystery is on par with The Girl on the Train.

Of course, the money’s in the bag within the first couple of chapters. Playing on everyone’s worst fear of having their child go missing is a gripping basis for a novel. But there were a few major flaws to this story that meant that what began as a brilliantly horrifying story soon turns into an un-mysterious tale… Continue reading

Rate this:

Gallery | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Sharp Objects – Gillian Flynn

This gallery contains 1 photo.

Gillian Flynn’s first novel, Sharp Objects, is a medley of haunting and distressing themes, which frequently give-way to Flynn’s budding talent for telling crime stories.

Not going to lie, for the most part, Sharp Objects is sadistically dark for no good reason. It’s more of a scary horror story about mentally-ill characters rather than a cleverly-told mystery… Continue reading

Rate this:

Gallery | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dark Places – Gillian Flynn

This gallery contains 1 photo.

After finishing Murder on the Orient Express on holiday, I moved on to Dark Places; a natural choice as I loved Gone Girl so much.

This was certainly a very dark story. More horror than thriller in parts, particularly due to the satanic themes. So it’s not really a novel I would whole-heartedly recommend to everyone.

I certainly don’t think Dark Places should have a ‘if you liked Gone Girl, you’ll love this’ kind of review. Because they’re both rather different.

However, it still has Gillian Flynn’s genius way of writing… Continue reading

Rate this:

Gallery | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Murder on the Orient Express

This gallery contains 6 photos.

‘Um. No.’ – My review in brief of both the film and book.

I read the book then immediately watched the film, but ultimately they were both disappointing. (The film, more so.)

I am a huge Agatha Christie fan and have read a fair few of her books, but despite its fame, Murder on the Orient Express is by far the biggest disappointment – mostly due to the ending… Continue reading

Rate this:

Gallery | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Into the Water – Paula Hawkins

This gallery contains 1 photo.

Firstly, I will save the suspense and answer your call; ‘no’, it’s not as good as Girl on the Train. Nevertheless, it is a fantastic book in its own right. Keeping Paula Hawkins’s style of short chapters from different characters’ points of view, you’ll find your self on the final chapter without even realising it… Continue reading

Rate this:

Gallery | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

I Am Missing – Tim Weaver

This gallery contains 1 photo.

Within five days of reading it whenever I could steal an hour or two, I finished I Am Missing. I breathed a massive sigh of relief; I had been carrying a heavy burden over the last five days. I lived and breathed this story, and I felt as though I had experienced this mystery first-hand. Needless to say, I’m feeling emotionally exhausted now.

As the story is written in first-person (rather effectively too), I felt like I was walking in the protagonist David Raker’s shoes. After Raker meets the man without any memory, ‘Richard Kite’, I felt like I had reached a dead-end along with Raker – despite only being five chapters in. It’s a missing person’s case where the missing person is standing right in front of him… Where on earth do you start to figure out who he is and where he’s come from? … Continue reading

Rate this:

Gallery | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments