Fiction Friday: Book Review: The Three by Sarah Lotz

“They’re here. I’m … don’t let Snookie eat chocolate, it’s poison for dogs, she’ll beg you, the boy. The boy watch the boy watch the dead people oh Lordy there’s so many … They’re coming for me now. We’re all going soon. All of us. Bye Joanie I love the bag bye Joanie, Pastor Len warn them that the boy he’s not to­­-“



Pam, whose husbands name was Jim (The Office, anyone?), gets in a plane crash and leaves that message. Around the world three other planes crash. Pam only survives long enough to leave that message but there are three other survivors, all children, all fine. Or are they? The Three* is a book that explores the reaction of the world after this happens.


On with the review! In short, The Three is one of the best books I’ve read this year/ ever. Sarah Lotz has managed to write something about plane crashes that is better than Lost, which is not something I say lightly. The story was insane, every twist was like a smack in the face and even though I had no idea what was going on, it didn’t annoy me like it normally would.

The characters all felt very convincing and real, and even though it was constantly moving from person to person it was easy to keep up and get to know them. I was rooting for people, had my heart broken as the narrative progressed and just wanted to climb into the story and try to sort things out. We see the British media frenzy- there’s even a reference to Princess Diana in there, the Bible Belt of America’s religious reaction, and Japans slightly better way of dealing with everything. Lotz manages to stay pretty accurate to what I think would probably happen if this freak tragedy happens, and it’s a scary story in itself.

I’ve seen people compare it to World War Z which is one of my favourite books ever and I can see slightly how that might seem but for me, World War Z is more historical whereas this is more a media spin on a story. I really enjoyed the way this book was set out with prose then a book within a book, then more prose. It was a little Hamlet, a play within a play. I used to love reading these true crime books when I was a kid and that choice of formatting really made this book ‘pop’. I don’t think it would’ve been as good if it was just straight storytelling.

I was totally hooked, unlike Bird Box, I could not put this book down. I stayed up late into the night hunched over this book when I got to the last 50 pages and immediately took to twitter to vent my pent up feelings.


And that ending- the ending. Oh. 

I had no hesitation when rating this. I don’t hand out five stars that easily but this is one of the best books I’ve read this year. Hands down.

If you want to buy this book and you should it is on Amazon here! Luckily I’ve been given the opportunity to give a copy away and all you have to do is enter the Rafflecopter below! Which ends Friday the 13th of June because I thought it was fitting!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Do you think you’ll pick The Three up?

*I was sent this book to review by the publisher. This is completely my honest opinion. The book being given away is being provided by the publisher for one of my readers. I am not responsible for delivery. This giveaway is UK only. If you’re under 18 please ask a parent or guardian for permission to enter. 

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Book Review and Giveaway: Bird Box by Josh Malerman!

Warning: Do not read this book before bed if you’re a scaredy cat like me!



Before the review I just have to show you the trailer. Book trailers are a thing! And boy is it a hair raiser.


So! Let me start this by saying that I, a grownish woman, am actually avoiding looking out of the window as I type this. I am sat by a window, the birds are chirping and someone is mowing their lawn, but I am not looking and have found myself doing this for the past hour after reading this book.

Bird Box* is a stand-alone thriller and the first novel of Josh Malerman. We follow the story of Malorie and two children as they leave their house for the first time in years, completely blindfolded, in a world where people see ‘something’- go mad- and kill others then themselves. As they travel down the river, Malorie thinks back to how they got into such a terrifying and dangerous situation.

Let’s start with the positives; I was a huge fan of the protagonist, Malorie, a grippingly real character and I felt really close to her as the story went on. Her development and motherly instincts just had me rooting for her the whole way through. I wanted her to be okay, I wanted the kids to be okay, I cared what happened.
In general the story had me guessing throughout, I watch and read a lot of horror but this was impossible to guess where it was going. Every time I thought I was understanding how this dystopian type world was, Malerman threw in a curve ball.
Another thing this book did really well was the pacing, when stories do flashbacks it can be done really well (Lost/ Fringe) or really badly (True Blood) and this book did it engagingly well. The going back and forth felt like Malorie was reliving those memories, and best of all, it was a natural process.

However, I didn’t ‘feel’ the rare and elusive hook. I kept reading and it was interesting but I missed out on the pull. I did put it down a couple of times even though it was relatively short but it was easy to pick up again so I can’t fault it too much. I would definitely be interested in a sequel!

In conclusion, I really recommend this book for fans of the horror genre or if you liked Cell by Stephen King! If you want to be blindsided by a brilliant storyline, this is for you. If you were unlucky enough to watch The Happening, this will cleanse the taste from your mouth.


Bird Box was released today and can be bought on Amazon here! Or you can enter my giveaway to win a copy in the rafflecoper below. Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway
Do you like scary books?  


*I was sent this book to review by the publisher. This is completely my honest opinion. The book being given away is being provided by the publisher for one of my readers. I am not responsible for delivery. This giveaway is UK only. If you’re under 18 please ask a parent or guardian for permission to enter. 

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Fiction Friday: Books I Read in April!

April was a slow month. Not helped by my 30th of April deadline and my discovery of Sons of Anarchy (Bikers though) So I only finished 2 books. The shame! In my defence I did start Game of Thrones and that book is a beast. And for those wondering about my Buddy Read, I’ve still not finished it and Lianne couldn’t finish it! Post will be up about that sometime this month! Anyway


Lexicon by Max Barry*
This may possibly be one of the best books I’ve ever read. Honestly I struggle to even put it into words. It’s basically a thriller where certain words have the power to pull down peoples defences and make them do things, kind of like the imperius curse in Harry Potter. But so much more. The characterisation was flawless, as was the development of the story. The two sides of the tale run together in a way I was not expecting and when I finally figured it out I think I actually put my head in my hands for about five minutes because of how beautifully crafted this novel is. I’ve already bought a copy to give to a friend of mine.
Enough gushing? In short, read it. Dear god, read it.
I definitely need more of Max Barry’s writing.



The Undertaking by Audrey Magee*
It took me a while to read this book because my dad nicked it the day it came in the mail and read it in a day. So I was excited to finally get to read it even though I’m not a big history fan, at least not the wars. I like happy endings more than anything but this book intrigued me. Told from the point of the view of a German soldier and the woman he married without ever meeting, you’re brought through the war over around 10 years in quite a short book. I did find myself cringing at certain parts, I would beware this book if you have triggers because Magee doesn’t shy away from the brutalities of war. An easy read, but difficult subject matter.
I found it hard to rate this one, it’s a good book but I just felt there was something missing for me personally. I have a sticky note system when I read a book and this barely had any stuck in. Not a good sign.

Have read any of these books? What did you read this month?


*I won these from Goodreads giveaways, I’m not obligated to talk about them on my blog, I just read them this month.
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Guest Post: Fiction Friday: Top Five Books of 2014 (So Far!)

Today I have another guest post for you from the lovely Siobhan who I’ve met in person and is absolutely as wonderful as she appears. She is sharing with you her top five books of 2014 so far, all of which I haven’t read and now need too! So without further ado…

Hello friends!

My name is Siobhan and I write over at Siobhan Emma, which I started in December 2013, originally as a food blog, but over the past couple of months it has slowly started to morph into a lifestyle blog where I review my recent reads, write about the clothes and beauty essentials I love, as well as days out and everything in between…and of course I still write about food too.  I love it too much to not write about it!
As a fellow book worm, I will be taking over Fiction Friday this week for the lovely Imogen whilst she’s on her jolly’s, and today I would like to share with you my top five reads of 2014 (so far!).
My one and only Kindle read of the year so far, and which technically I started at the end of 2013, but I didn’t finish it until 2014 so I’m classing this one as counting…I love it too much not to include it.  Personally I would save this read for the festive season, as this book consists of three love stories over Christmas time; Christmas Eve to be exact.  The stories are are written by three different authors, two of which are two of my favourite teen fiction authors, Maureen Johnson, and the King of teen fiction, Mr John Green.
I’m not usually one for love stories, but these ones are more heart warming than mushy, gushy, and I love that they’re set on Christmas Eve, my favourite day over the festive season (Yes, even more so than Christmas Day…even if I do have to work!).  There are no twists or turns in this book, just three lovely stories to get you into the spirit of things and feel all fuzzy inside during the most wonderful time of year.
This was my first official book of 2014.  This book was recommended to me as a great read for feeling inspired during the new year, so as soon as I finished reading ‘Let It Snow’, I got my nose stuck straight into this.  Although I really struggled through the beginning of the book, it was so worth the struggle of that first part to get to the truly inspiring parts for me.  Elizabeth’s memoirs of her time in India and Indonesia are so beautifully written.  She has really inspired me to see more of the World and experience life more.
Again this isn’t a book with twists and turns, as these are the memoirs of Elizabeth’s journey through life after her divorce, and I really felt like I went on the journey with her.  At the beginning of the book you really feel for her as she describes the pain she is going through with her extremely rocky divorce, then as you get towards the end of the book, you can practically feel the happiness beaming out of the book.  This is a really great read if you’re feeling a little lost in life and need a little inspiration.
I had never heard of Ruth Ozeki until I came across this book in a blogger book club I am a part of.  A tale for the Time Being is read from two perspectives. There is the main character Nao, where it is as if you are reading her memoirs that have washed up on a beach and are found by Ruth, who is the other characters perspective you read from.
I’m not actually a huge fan of Ruth’s character, as I found her to be quite mean to her poor partner Oliver quite a lot of the time, but luckily for me, as the book was written as if Ruth was also reading Nao’s memoirs as well as you, the focus was mainly on Nao’s character, who I just found enchanting, and at times tragic.  Some of the stories she tells you are heart breaking, and at times cover pretty heavy subjects, but to balance these out are the stories of her and her grandmother, and I couldn’t help but smile at these stories.  There is a slight hint of fantasy in this book as well, which always gets a big thumbs up from me!
What I love most is the message in this book, which I can’t really tell you without pretty much telling you the entire story, but it definitely put things into perspective for me.
Ahhhh ‘Wonder’…what a wonderful read.  This is such a feel good story, reminding you that us humans aren’t all bad.  August was born with a severe facial defect, and the book takes you on his journey from being home schooled to being a student in a public school, and how he copes with being thrown into all of these new situations that he has never had to deal with before.
This is another book based on a number of people’s perspectives; August, his sister, his friends, and even his sister’s boyfriend, which actually opened my eyes.  You got to see how August’s condition not only affected him, but those close to him as well.  Sometimes we can forget that although conditions as severe as August’s will obviously affect the person who has to live with the condition, but it will affect those around that person and care for them as well, just in different ways, and it’s good to be reminded of these things sometimes.
I won’t give the ending away, but I’m not going to lie, the ending brought a little happy tear to my eye.
Oh Lord…it’s THE book.  The book that has broken hearts all around the World!  And come June we have to sit through a whole film of it!
I put off reading this book for so long because I knew it would make me cry, but with the film release looming ever closer, it had to be done…and what a wonderful, heart breaking story it is!
Hazel Grace Lancaster is terminally ill due to cancer, and whilst attending one of her support groups, she meets Augustus Waters, who completely turns her World upside down, thus starts the amazing love story that is Hazel and Gus, which ends far too soon for my liking, however, completely not in the way that I expected, and if anything, broke my heart more than I was anticipating!
This book is an emotional roller coaster, so if you are yet to read it…prepare yourself!

So there you have my top five reads of 2014 so far.  I hope they’ve given you some ideas of what you can read next, and if you have any recommendations for me, then please throw them my way!
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Fiction Friday: Books I Read in March!

It was not a good month! Call it a slump, a wall, a plateau, whatever, I just wasn’t reading much this month and every time I picked up a book I would read maybe five pages and put it down again. I even gave up on a book. But I have two  books and one  book so at least it wasn’t a complete disaster!



I have a thing for late night radio/ radio talk shows. I think it comes from loving the TV show Frasier as a kid. But when I was googling around for something radio show based, I found the Kitty Norville series which you will have seen me haul here! The main difference being that Kitty is a werewolf and the radio show is a talk show for the supernatural- werewolves and vampires basically. I wasn’t expecting a huge amount from these books though. I was kind of expecting the same kind of thing as the True Blood books- especially with a Charlaine Harris quote on the front. I was guessing it was going to be a fun, supernatural, trashy kinda read. But I was pleasantly surprised. Any book that manages to reference Paradise Lost on the 7th page is not to be treated like a trashy novel because damn. I was taught the first two books at school and that is not a book I would manage to reference easily.

It was fun while managing to deal with some pretty dark stuff with pack dynamics and growing up as a werewolf, and kept me reading long into the night.


Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison

Yes, I am twenty. I’m an adult. I can read what I want! You may remember me kinda hauling these books and I decided to relive my childhood while reading something easy and enjoyable. And it was, it didn’t suffer from the Princess Diaries problem of no time passing as this book covers a year and is much more like a diary. It was funny and reminded my a lot of my school experiences at that age, horrifying as they were, with boys and my ugly school uniform and friends.
My only issue with the book is the rather problematic references to LBGT people which reflects the time is was written (1999) and unfortunately now. I’m not sure I’d let my future kids read it just because I don’t think I’d want them thinking like that. But as an adult I can see the problem and know better.


Unravelling Oliver by Liz Nugent*
This book was original, and what I mean by that is that I have never read a book quite like this. Written from several peoples perspective, I read this book in one day and had a constant sense of unease as the story unravelled. It’s hard to explain this book, I would recommend this to someone looking for a bit of a psychological creepy read but beware if you’re someone sensitive to issues such as domestic abuse because that is the overlaying storyline.
“Oliver Ryan is a monster.”


A book I gave up on was Insurgent by Veronica Roth, the sequel to Divergent that I reviewed here. I got 256 pages in before I put it on my Paused shelf on Goodreads so I gave it a good try and maybe I’ll pick it up later but I just couldn’t read it any longer, it was making me sad to see it on my Currently Reading. It’s such a hyped up book and so many people love it but I just couldn’t. 

Have you read any of these books? What did you think?


*I won this from a Goodreads giveaway, I’m not obligated to talk about it on my blog, I just read it this month.

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Fiction Friday: Books I Read in February!

February was a month of reading things which as a whole cannot be categorised together. I didn’t want anything too tough as I’m still easing myself into reading more, I just wanted to re-read some of the books I read as a teen to see if I wanted to keep them for the future and some light comedy but then I took a break and came back to read a completely new- and disappointing YA book and a set of short stories that I won off Goodreads. Yeah, no sense can be made of it.

The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
The movie is great, I could watch that movie a thousand times and probably have. The book- is interesting. It’s in a diary format which is rarely used in prose but also comes with problems. The main problem being the lack of time passing. This book only covers about a month, a dramatic month, but a month none the less and I missed the wide arc of character development within the everyday occurrences. But I did like these books a lot when I was younger so maybe I’m just getting too old for them!


The Princess Diaries: Take Two/ Princess in the Spotlight by Meg Cabot
This is more of the same from the first book, plus the inclusion of a pregnancy and a secret admirer. It’s pretty dramatic stuff and it is fun to read but I can’t think of anything that stuck. And there was the small matter of Mia’s feelings for Michael from book one of liking his abs turning into omgIlovehim but hey, still better continuity then The Walking Dead. It also suffered from lack-of-time-passing but it was a dramatic month.


Confessions of a GP by Dr. Benjamin Daniels
My dad is a GP so this was a pretty funny read that was close to my heart. However, there were some bits- and a lot of people on Goodreads seem to agree where the writer was a bit callous about certain diagnoses and about female nurses and doctors. It kind of ruined the read for me a little bit because the rest of it was really funny and I guess if you’re less sensitive about certain issues then this book could be four stars but it was a bit hit and miss for me.


I was really excited about this book after reading and watching so many rave reviews. When I finished The Hunger Games which I adored, I googled around looking for something to fill the gap and this was widely seen as similar but different. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t the same. I see the appeal- but I didn’t enjoy it as much and I think it’s because there wasn’t as much world-building. I couldn’t ‘see’ it as much as I could ‘see’ The Hunger Games world. However, I did read it in a day. So I’m confused at what my head and heart are telling me!


The Decapaphiliac: Or Love in the Time of Cappuccinos by Alex Weinle*
All in all, I would say this is a good book for people who don’t have a huge amount of time to read, or have a short commute, and don’t mind the more mature subject matter in some of the stories but it wasn’t something I would read cover-to-cover again. I might dip in and out. 


Have you ever read any of these books? What did you think? And what did you read this month?

*I won this from a Goodreads giveaway, I’m not obligated to talk about it on my blog, I just read it this month.
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Fiction Friday: Books I Read in January

Hey! So since part of my 30 Before 30 is to review about 200 books in my Book Journal (post about this coming soon) I thought I would throw a couple thoughts up on the blog too. I read four books this month, and this is what I thought of them..

Heat Wave by ‘Richard Castle’ 
 I liked it! It had a lot of things in common with the show that it’s based on, ‘Castle’- some scenes were taken straight off of the screen and put on the page but it was nice, as a fan of the show, to be able to recognise certain parts. It was your typical detective novel but with a twist of the reporter Rook getting under everyone’s feet and trying to help out. It was basically the show in book form. The writing was good and I was not expecting who turned out to be the murderer! And even though it wasn’t as gripping as the other books I read this month, I definitely want to read the next one; Naked Heat. I’m dying to know who the writer is though as, obviously, Richard Castle is a fictional character. They said it was someone on the show but many authors have appeared in the 6 seasons so far- I hope they reveal it by the time the show ends!


The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Genius. Pure genius. I love these books. I wish I had written them. I hauled them on my old blog literally two years ago, read a couple pages on Christmas day and forgot about them. What an idiot. After watching the first movie on Netflix I dug these books out and devoured all three of them in under a week. I love a good strong female lead character which is annoyingly rare and I thought that having both the brutal games and the romance aspect was awesome. It doesn’t have to be one or the other and this book is proof of that in a nutshell. Urg. I just want to re-read them knowing what I know now but I’m going to hold off- still a lot more to read on my shelves!


The Hunger Games: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
The second in the trilogy took me a little longer to get into. I started reading straight after I finished the first and found it a little slow at the beginning after the action of the first. But it came into its own and introduced new characters to love/hate/whatever. The more political side of the story was developed from the first book and had me pulling a face at the injustice. I didn’t watch the movie till I finished the book on this one and was pleased that I waited, the books have a heck of a lot more detail. 


The Hunger Games: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Oh it hurts! I’m a broken record by this point but these books are really good and the ending had me clutching the book and texting my friend in agony. But the good kind of agony that only really great fiction can do. I was actually a fan of the ending unlike the ending of Harry Potter- which I’m allowed to say because even JKR isn’t happy with the ending of Harry Potter- and the development from a girl surrendering herself to almost certain death to where this book ended up was serious literary genius.


You can friend me on Goodreads here if you want to see what I’m reading as I read it!
What did you read in January? Have you ever read any of these books?
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