July Rewind

 

MY JULY READS

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Ah…this one…this was my lowest rated read of the month, it had a nice idea just not my style.

 

 

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Total Tally: 33 Books Read this Month

 

 

Favorite Posts from around the book blogger-verse

 

There was so much to pick from and I really enjoyed a lot of the reviews I read this month more than anything else but I’ve limited myself to the posts above!

 

What I’ve Posted

 

 

I had a lot of fun attending an author talk at my local Waterstones with William McIntyre, I’ve booked my tickets for the Edinburgh Book Festival, as well as a ticket to go here a certain Jay Kristoff talk in Glasgow in September.

I was also so honored to be nominated and in the running for best new book blogger for the awesome bba [book blogger awards] and just being on the list has meant so much to me! ❤

We are still waiting to hear when we can move into our house, which is driving me nuts, and I actually got rid of more books finally. I’ve got a few more blog posts in August but you’ll notice the number is not nearly as much as June and July as summer starts to wind down. I hope everyone’s had a great July!

Descended Review

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GoodReads:

Anxiety. Frustration. Fear. Trust-Issues. All Socorro wanted in life was to exist without interruption. She had no plans for the present, nor the future. At 2:15pm on her 18th birthday, the past decided it had plans for her instead. Suddenly under the guidance of Merlin and hundreds of years of history, Socorro clashes with the weight of tradition and the expectations of her new life as a descendant of King Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table. As the descendants prepare for the second round of the battle between good and evil against the sorceress Morgan le Fay, Socorro struggles with the idea of accepting this new life, particularly all the people that are now thrust into it.

Book Information:
Title: Descended
By: Amanda Lynn Almaraz
Publisher: Amanda Lynn Almaraz
Format: Paperback, Kindle, B&N eBook

 

My Review

I did not receive this book for free, but I am best friends with the Author, just to say if you think I may be a bit biased, maybe. But, I loved this book so, just accept I’m going to fangirl over this. I already have accepted. But on a more ‘professional’ note, I’ll give you my truly honest review and hope that you decide to give this wonderful book a read.

Almaraz dips us into a YA fantasy where the characters are so realistic, that the MC Socorro and her peers are actually a breath of fresh air.

Socorro is a teenager in every sense of the word, she comes from not the easiest background but there’s love there and it’s so important that there’s a good and supportive parental figure in a YA book. Her mom is an undocumented immigrant and there are struggles because of it, and though Socorro has a father, it’s the love between her mother and her that resonates strongly with me in the story. I’ll let you figure out about her Father.

As someone who has grown up reading things by Almaraz, I can honestly say this one really is a shining example of her talent.

There’s magic, there’s foul-mouthed MCs, there’s a pretty humorous Merlin, and the best part, there’s a story that is a fun take on King Arthur.

These are the descendants of the Knights of the Round Table, of Arthur himself, but they’re not sure what any of that truly means other than they’re to finish the fight that started long before they were born.

Are they vessels, are they just heirs, are they even their own people or forced to be in the shadows of the knights they descend from?

The teenagers have tried to accept what’s been thrown at them, and they’ve done it a lot more willingly than say, Socorro, who doesn’t have time for any of the bullshit people are hefting at her. They’ve grown up with the tales, the understanding of who they are expected to be, but Socorro has never had those expectations thrust at her, so she’s not accepting anything blindly and she asks questions and puts up countermeasures wherever she cans. And I love it.

This is the start of a new fantasy series, so we’re introduced to everything from Socorro’s perspective, and as a newcomer into this magical world, she’s the perfect narrator. This also means that if Socorro doesn’t notice something, we don’t either, and if she doesn’t see something, we don’t either. Almaraz does a great job of remembering that and not making Socorro an overpowered narrator, and I’m not going to lie, Socorro made me chuckle a few times at least.

Overall, the novel is really well-paced, and though I wanted to jump right into the next book I thought it ended perfectly and will not wait impatiently to read book 2. I can’t wait to find out more about the world, the magic, and the characters.

Five cups of coffee, and if you find it sounds interesting, I’ve included the GoodReads link in the blurb section.

Miracle Creek – Blog Tour


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Blurb:
My husband asked me to lie.
Not a big lie. He probably didn’t even consider it a lie, and neither did I, at first…
Miracle Creek is a gripping debut for fans of Celeste Ng, Liane Moriarty and Jodi Picoult, and about how far we’ll go to protect our families… and our deepest secrets.
In rural Virginia, Korean immigrants Young and Pak Yoo run an experimental medical treatment device known as the Miracle Submarine: a hyperbaric oxygen chamber that patients enter for ‘dives’, used as an alternative therapy for conditions including autism and infertility. But when the Miracle Submarine mysteriously explodes, killing two people, a dramatic murder trial upends the Yoos’ small community.
Who or what caused the explosion? Was it the mother of one of the patients, who claimed to be sick that day but was seen smoking down by the creek? Was it a group of protestors agaist HBOT therapy, who were at the site that morning? Or was it Young and Pak themselves, hoping to cash in on the generous insurance payment and send their daughter to college? The ensuing trial uncovers unimaginable secrets in Miracle Creek – trysts in the woods, mysterious notes, child abuse charges – as well as tense rivalries and alliances among a group of people drive to extraordinary degrees of desperation and sacrifice.

Book Information:
Title: Miracle Creek
By: Anige Kim
Publication Date: July 25, 2019
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Format: Hardback
Price: £16.99

 

My Review

This book was unlike any other I’ve read. I’m a huge mystery/thriller fan but I’d yet to read a courtroom drama and this sets the bar exceptionally high now for the genre. Angie Kim throws a story at you where you’re forced to look at the darker side of people, but, not because they’re evil but because they are simply human. There are tough decisions to face, and even tougher consequences as ever action echoes a ‘what could have been’ had the person not made that choice. And that’s the best part, each character is held accountable to their thoughts and actions. You also face a harsher reality of what families/people face when they choose to try and better their families lives by moving to America.

There is the story of a Korean family and its choice to move to the USA and how it affects them, there are the choices of a husband and wife pushed to the point of breaking over cultural (in-laws) and lifestyle differences and what they do to ease the tension, for better or extremely worse, and there are the choices of women with children all different in their own way, and the difficulties that come from their parenting choices, their children and their needs, and outside pressure. Honestly, this book was superb in every way. I would recommend this book in a heartbeat to anyone wanting to read a gripping and dramatic contemporary work of fiction.

^^^ This was my original review on GoodReads, and you know what, reading it again in its beautiful hardcover format simply solidified just how much I LOVE this book.

Even the way it’s divided, by what day of the trial and the flashes of the past are tastefully done.

Angie Kim is not afraid to show the utter darkness that we all are capable of carrying, and how sometimes not even good intentions are enough to justify acts. There’s so much love, and heartache, and all in different ways, romantic, friendship, familial, and it’s important to recognize all of these in the larger scheme of this book.

This really has set such a high bar not just for courtroom thrillers, or even thrillers in general, but for all books that come out this year. It’s so far managed to stay at the top of my list for best reads of 2019.

Angie Kim has used her own experiences and her own education to craft a contemporary masterpiece. I know I’m gushing but I can’t help it.

The first time I read this, my notes said ‘gripping from the first page’ and it was still just as intense the second time.

Don’t believe me on how much I straight up adore this book? I also bought a copy for my sister for her birthday. This book impacted me, and all my casual lingo aside, it is a true work of art as far as novels go, like I said, a masterpiece in its own right. Why? Because it’s so honest in the way Angie Kim wrote it, it’s a true thriller and in-depth look at the flaws of humanity.

If you’ve never read a courtroom thriller or don’t typically read thrillers but find the blurb fascinating, please, please give it a read.

I expect Angie Kim to go far in her writing.

Content warning: Sexual assault, death, death of children, abuse, suicide

Thanks to Kate and Hodder Books for a chance to be part of this tour and a chance to gush about this book again. [My review has been given honestly and was given before taking part in the tour]

 

That was the thing about lies: they demanded commitment. Once you lied, you had to stick to your story.

About the Author

Angie Kim credit Tim Coburn

Angie Kim moved as a preteen from Seoul, South Korea, to the subrubs of Baltimore. She attended Stanford University and Harvard Law School, where she was an editor of the Harvard Law Review, then parcticed as a trial lawyer at Williams & Connolly.

Her stories have won the Glamour Essay Contest and the Wabash Prize in Fiction, and appeared in numberous publications including the New York Times, Salon, Slate, the Souther Review, Sycamore Review, the Asian American Literary Review, and PANK.

She lives in northern Virginia with her husband and three sons. Miracle Creek is her first novel, inspired by her own experiences as a Korean immigrat, a trial lawyer, and mother of a HBOT patient. 

 

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Life Ruins – Blog Tour

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Blurb:

A body, briefly glimpsed at the bottom of an abandoned mineshaft, vanishes when the police investigate. Jared, recovering from an almost fatal injury and addicted to painkillers, knows he saw something terrible in that mine… but he has no evidence, and fears he’s losing his grip on reality.

A girl is attacked so savagely she can’t be identified, and dumped late at night in an isolate campgroud. She’s alive, but only just. Becca, tossed out of university and just let go from her dead-end job, is certain she knows who the victim is. But no one will believe her, and she can hardly even trust herself.

Kay, recently widowed and coming to terms with life on her own, suddenly finds herself forced to get involved. For years she and her husband fostered diccicult children – including Becca, whom trouble follows like a stray puppy. Now Becca seems to be in the worst trouble of her life.

And then Jared and Becca meet. Becca, strong-minded and fiercely independent, is confident they can figure out what’s going on. She pulls Kay into the mix, knowing they’ll need all the help they can get… because the police don’t believe them. And more girls are vanishing.

Book Information:
Publishing Date: July 25, 2019
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781471175930
Price: £8.99

 

My Review

A lot of times a thriller needs to be shorter on the page count for me, there are exceptions of course and Life Ruins is one of them because it’s not just a thriller, it’s about the three characters, their lives, the towns, the corruption flowing underneath everything. So, Danuta Kot has successfully written a slow burning thriller which I particularly enjoyed.

It’s a great variety when it comes to the three MCs, we have Becca the girl who had been fostered by Kay and her now-deceased husband. She appears to be a success story until things start to unravel for her and it harkens back to her troubled youth but is she still troubled or is it more than that?

Then you have Jared who has been through his own rough times but as a young adult instead. And after a terrible accident, his way of life just can’t continue but he struggles to and the painkillers help. In a way. He’s not beholden to anyone but he after the strange happenings lately he finds himself entangled in something greater than himself and there are lives at stake.

Lastly, we have Kay, she’s the widowed ex-foster mum who always worked alongside her husband to help the children. They had to ‘retire’ and now she’s left in the house they bought while Matt, her husband, is no longer there to fill in the silence of the countryside.

They were all unique in personalities and quirks, I have to say, I loved how patient Jared was and how caring and protective Kay was while not being overbearing to Becca. Then there is Becca and she is the most unique of the three in my opinion. She’s just gone through so much and there’s a reason for her temper, for her ‘troubles.’ Becca is just a young girl who has gone through too much and did what all of us do, she made a mistake.

The corruption of the crimes and assaults were fascinating to unearth and I didn’t want to put the book down after about page 230. I thought it really was unique with its use of the abandoned mining shaft, Jared and Becca’s pasts and the way things were connected. Still, though there was so much in the book that spoke of the truth about the situation for fostered kids, or kids who hare underprivileged in general and you can tell that Kot knows what she’s talking about and it’s appreciated in this day and age. So while the book was great and fun, it also made you remember how things still need improving in society.

As far as issues go, I think I was only bothered by what I perceived to be loose threads at the end, I wanted a couple of things to be tied up, it almost felt anticlimactic.

However, there were other aspects of the ending I really appreciated, such as Becca’s life where it stands at the end of the book, and obviously I can’t go into more because you know, spoilers, but suffice to say I thought a lot of things were realistic instead of being magically fixed and I really liked and appreciated that.

Overall 3.5 huge cups of coffee from me, I plan on lending this one out to all my friends. Definitely a great summer thriller read.

Thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours and Simon & Schuster for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author

Danuta Kot Author Picture

Danuta Kot grew up with stories. For many years, she worked with young people in Yorkshire who were growing up in the aftermath of sudden industrial decline. She uses this background in her books to explore some of the issues that confront moder, urban society: poverty, alienation and social break down, using the contexts of the modern crime novel. She had previously written under the names, Danuta Reah and Carla Banks. Danute was also a former char of the Crimer Writers’ Association.

 

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Mini-Review Day!

Hey guys!

Haha, I did more donating than shopping this weekend, but I’ll have our charity shop finds up next Sunday.

Today I felt like doing some mini-reviews with a few of the books I’ve read this month, and expect my wrap up post on the 31 to have a very long list of books.

 


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GoodReads:

“The Wind Softly Murmurs” is for anyone who has ever grieved over the passing of a loved one. These poems arose from the poet’s efforts to resolve the grief that followed the death of her parents. This book reflects her transformative journey that began while she was immersed in her parent’s love. Her progress was suspended at their deaths, but she ultimately recovered through the process of writing. These profound, lyrical poems ask us to contemplate our own lives and perceptions in order to move towards healing and a deeper spirituality. They urge us to meditate on death, loss, family, love, eternal life, and renewal. They encourage us to embrace change, as it ultimately leads to evolution and new life. The poet hopes this uplifting message of eternal life and renewal will bring solace to the readers, nurturing their souls in their bereavement. Throughout our lives, there is loss. As we age, the losses seem to come more frequently. It always hurts, but there is value in the pain. With every loss that is handled in the right spirit, we find ourselves a little stronger.

My Review

**I received a copy of this from the author in exchange for my honest review.**

One doesn’t expect such prose in this day and age on the manner of grief in poetry but Sharon Arthur achieves a mythical and spiritual journey for the grieving in her poetry. The poems are divided into sections, and she shares with the reader words that have come to her from the loss of her own parents. One doesn’t need to lose a parent though to identify with Arthur, simply know the feeling of grief.

The poems are beautiful and haunting and the call to the age of mythology in them makes for a powerful read and I haven’t seen such talent in a ‘new’ poet in quite a long time. -My GoodReads Review

And just to expand on that, this was poetry that I could really identify with, it wasn’t just pretty and lyrical, it was emotional -and without being overwhelming for me-. I felt a connection to Arthur’s words and I know this will be a poetry book I will revisit, she hit the nail on the head with keeping the length just perfect, you can read it in a sitting or pick one a day and it will still be impactful. I was very happy to read a poetry book and if you’re looking for some poetry to read, I’d recommend this book.

 


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GoodReads:
The Girl Who Became a Goddess is a tribute to the childhood stories of Theresa Fuller who has experienced multiple cultures and learned to love them all. These are tales passed on from generation to generation, some to delight, some to terrify, all to enlighten. 

A FOOLISH ANIMAL DISCOVERS THAT THE RAINFOREST IS A DANGEROUS PLACE. 

As a girl, a mother, and a teacher, Theresa retells her favorite folktales through the lens of her own life experiences in Singapore, Malaysia and Australia, putting a unique spin on ageless classics. 

A YOUNG BOY IS WILLING TO SACRIFICE EVERYTHING FOR HIS FAMILY. 

The Girl Who Became a Goddess is a love letter to a young girl from the adult she has become. 

My Review

-Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for a copy to read in exchange for my honest review-

This was a lovely collection of fanciful folklore tales, some with the old ‘Aesop’s fables’ morals at the end [though this is not inspired by Aesop or related, just an example to help]. Fuller gives us a great introduction into folklore that is outside of the usual tales we grow up hearing of or knowing about in the Western World, such as Aesop’s Fables. Fuller also makes this quite personal, giving her version of stories that she grew up with and as folklore is steeped in such an oral tradition, many people can know the same story in many different ways. I really enjoyed each little story and the glimpses into these other worlds of Folklore, my only complaint is that I wish there would have been more. I loved this collection and hope Fuller decides to do something like this again.

I rounded this up to four because I truly loved reading it, it just would have been great if there had been more. These were gorgeous tales told in such a great way, but it ran out all too quickly for me while reading it. </3

 


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GoodReads:
The Second World War is drawing to a close, but the world is far from safe. Left to fend for themselves, women and children are forced out of their homes in East Prussia to make way for the advancing victors. As the Russian soldiers arrive, the women know that they are still very much in danger, and that for them, the fight for survival is only just beginning.

Facing critical food shortages and the onset of a bitter cold winter without heat, the women send their children into the nearby forests where they secretly cross the border into Lithuania, begging the local farmers for work or food to take back home to their waiting families. Along the way the children find cruelty, hardship and violence, but also kindness, hope, and the promise of a new and better future.

Based on meticulous research, this stunning and powerful debut novel by Alvydas Šlepikas tells for the first time the story of the ‘wolf children’ and the measures many families were forced to take in order to survive.

My Review

The subject matter alone proves the book is worth a read, especially today after so much time has passed and history becomes clouded.

How quick we are to forget the true scope of just how many victims war can leave, especially in one such as WWII. Though a hard read, due to the events described and based on true stories, it was a well thought out, meaningful and sadly brilliant novel.

Anyone deeply interested in history/WWII and not adverse to reading about the horrors and hardships of the children left behind from war should give this book a chance.

Honestly, this was a hard read but again because of the subject matter. I have no regrets reading this but it does just grip your heart and try to rip it in two. These stories are based on true accounts of the ‘wolf kinder’ and I appreciate what the author did in bringing those stories into the spotlight. It’s all too easy to forget the unseen victims of war, and then again we tend to forget the ones right in front of us anyway but I felt this was an important book to read and review.

-The formatting did not properly divide chapters in the eARC which could cause some confusion when reading as it seems to jump about, but I’m unsure if the problem is fixed on the final copy. Thank you to OneWorld Publications and NetGalley for the eARC in exchange for my honest opinion.-

 


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GoodReads:
In a most improbable friendship, she found love. In a world where women were silenced, she found her voice.

From New York Times bestselling author Patti Callahan comes an exquisite novel of Joy Davidman, the woman C. S. Lewis called “my whole world.” When poet and writer Joy Davidman began writing letters to C. S. Lewis—known as Jack—she was looking for spiritual answers, not love. Love, after all, wasn’t holding together her crumbling marriage. Everything about New Yorker Joy seemed ill-matched for an Oxford don and the beloved writer of Narnia, yet their minds bonded over their letters. Embarking on the adventure of her life, Joy traveled from America to England and back again, facing heartbreak and poverty, discovering friendship and faith, and against all odds, finding a love that even the threat of death couldn’t destroy.

In this masterful exploration of one of the greatest love stories of modern times, we meet a brilliant writer, a fiercely independent mother, and a passionate woman who changed the life of this respected author and inspired books that still enchant us and change us. Joy lived at a time when women weren’t meant to have a voice—and yet her love for Jack gave them both voices they didn’t know they had.

At once a fascinating historical novel and a glimpse into a writer’s life, Becoming Mrs. Lewis is above all a love story—a love of literature and ideas and a love between a husband and wife that, in the end, was not impossible at all.

My Review

I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

An endearing novel that captures the heart from Callahan. This book was everything I wanted and more, it was what I needed. She delves into the very heart of Joy, exposing her in a way that you forget she’s writing fiction. The spirit and character of Joy is complex and wonderful just as is her counterpart, C.S. Lewis himself (or Jack as he is known).

Joy has a journey that takes us through most of her adult life, the pain she goes through, the poverty and spiritual healing and love, all of it is tantamount to, well, becoming Mrs. Lewis. This was the definition of a spiritual journey and for those who forget C.S. Lewis was quite a spiritual man himself, he helped Joy through her journey and in return realized that there was love for him yet.

Honestly, I love Callahan’s style, I love her works, and this is no exception. Once more she’s knocked it out of the park with capturing the essence of the author and most importantly, the woman in his life, who was an author herself, successful in her own right. This was like chicken soup for the soul, where it’s more love and philosophy and the thought of what’s out there than an in your face Christian novel. If you’re feeling you need a bit of an inspiration read and don’t mind the religious philosophy of it all, well, I recommend this one.

 

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GoodReads:
Her tribe is shattered. Her parents are gone.

When eight-year-old Samara faces the capture of her tribe, an unimaginable power awakens within her. Even as this magic threatens to consume her, a disembodied voice intervenes, offering guidance and helping her control these newfound abilities.

Meanwhile, Samara’s father chases his wife’s captors across an unfamiliar terrain. But can Orin find his wife in time to save her? Will Samara learn to control her power and reunite with her family? And who is the mysterious entity traveling with her?

Find out in . . .

The Unfettered Child

My Review

The author gave me an eBook of this in exchange for my honest review.

This had a bit of essence of Dune to it as far as writing style went and I loved that. Sahd gives us an intriguing world, and he casually gives us world-building without going too deeply and this works for the purpose of this story which at its heart is about a few characters and the connections they have, with each other and with magic in some way.

Young Samara was a good protagonist, I wish I would have connected more to her, I did feel there was a lack of connection between myself as the reader and the characters, which was unfortunate as the rest of the novel is really great.

The elves are super intriguing and I feel like it was nice to have them shown in a different light. (Not that I don’t love my LotR elves, but it doesn’t hurt to have some variety!)

Orin was the one I felt most sympathetic toward but at times I felt it was perhaps him who had magic considering how he survived compared to others who seemed to fall down dead from a 1/3 of the things he did. Still, he was a good character and I enjoyed reading about him almost more than I did Samara.

Overall there’s some fantastic ideas and some great talent peeking through this novel, it’s going to be exciting to see his novels grow because I have no doubt he’ll grow in his writing and would definitely read more of his books.

 

There we have it! My mini-reviews for the day! Toodles!

 

Just a sidenote eARCs I’ve read this month that are getting their own review will be:
– The Phantom Forest
– Spin the Dawn
– Slumber

She Lies In The Vines – Blog Tour

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Blurb:
Four years ago Eliza Dacey was brutally murdered.
Within hours, her killer was caught.
Wasn’t he?

So read the opening titles of Jack Quick’s new true-crime documentary. 

A skilled producer, Jack knows that the bigger the conspiracy, the higher the ratings. Curtis Wade, convicted of Eliza’s murder on circumstantial evidence and victim of a biased police force, is the perfect subject. Millions of viewers agree.

Just before the finale, Jack uncovers a minor detail that may prove Curtis guilty after all. Convinced it will ruin his show, Jack disposes of the evidence and delivers the finale unedited: proposing Curtis is innocent.

But when Curtis is released, and a new victim is found bearing horrifying similarities to the original murder, Jack realizes that he may have helped a guilty man out of jail. And, as the only one who knows the real evidence of the case, he is the only one who can send him back…

Book Information:
Title: She Lies In The Vines
By: Benjamin Stevenson
Published by: Hodder & Stoughton
Format: Paperback original, £8.99
Publication Date: September 5, 2019

 

My Review

Jack Quick had a podcast and then he was given a chance to turn that into a true-crime tv documentary and he decided to reveal the injustices of the justice system. Police bias, shoddy investigating and circumstantial evidence led to Curtis Wade being convicted of murdering Eliza Dacey.

This equates to Curtis Wade being innocent…doesn’t it?

Jack Quick is certainly a different sort of MC, I really was impressed that Stevenson gave us a male MC with bulimia, something we so often forget can affect everyone. Another thing that was well written was the fact that there was no magic cure for it, that it stays with him and is something he constantly struggles with. Too easily do we write away difficult things with a wave of a ‘wand’ but Stevenson doesn’t do this and so I respect that.

Another thing about Jack Quick is that he makes decision after decision and he never knows how it will play out, this leads to many consequences (for better or worse you decide) and that’s something I always feel is important, especially in a thriller.

The book is divided into sections and to divide them, it’s set up like a TV episode script and that was actually a lot of fun to read, I found myself really happy to get to a new section just to read those bits alone.

There’s a lot going on in this book, just when you think you’ve figured it out, or rather Jack has it figured out, you’re left with more questions and more explanations. Now this was something that as we got toward the end that I wasn’t sure worked in its favour, but I tell you what, I did enjoy the ending tremendously.

I think that how it ended was extremely fitting and I applaud Stevenson for leaving it that way.

Obviously I’m not going to put spoilers so you’ll have to read to find out what I mean.

The crime takes place in a small town where everything is dependent on wine, wineries, and vineyards, one person’s in particular and because of this we get to see how that can be a bad thing but we also do see some redeemable characters as well and I think the absolute best part of all of this was the angle of the true-crime documentary.

This is a huge reminder that TV is still just that, TV. Interviews, evidence, towns, they can all be edited to appear how someone wants you to view it. Jack seems to forget that he has, whether he truly meant to or not, manipulated an audience into seeing things the way he wants them to and this is part of the consequences I was talking about, because what happens when he wants to try and attempt to dig for the real truth? Would anyone believe him, and how could he convince those who were convinced by him before that he may have been wrong?

A great thriller, perfect for this summer set in Australia in some ‘wine country’ and giving us twists and turns to no ends. Three and a half cups of coffee from this caffeinated reader!

**I want to thank Hodder & Stoughton for a chance to be on this blog tour and for a proof copy, which in exchange for, I have given my honest review.**

 

About the Author

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https://www.penguin.com.au/authors/benjamin-stevenson
Benjamin Stevenson is an award-winning stand-up comedian and author. He has sold out shows from the Melbourne International Comedy Festival all the way to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Off-stage, Benjamin has worked for publishing houses and literary agencies in Australia and the USA. He currently works with some of the world’s best-loved authors at Curtis Brown Australia.

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The Little Snake Review

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GoodReads:
This is the story of Mary, a young girl born in a beautiful city full of rose gardens and fluttering kites. When she is still very small, Mary meets Lanmo, a shining golden snake, who becomes her very best friend.

The snake visits Mary many times, he sees her city change, become sadder as bombs drop and war creeps in. He sees Mary and her family leave their home, he sees her grow up and he sees her fall in love. But Lanmo knows that the day will come when he can no longer visit Mary, when his destiny will break them apart, and he wonders whether having a friend can possibly be worth the pain of knowing you will lose them.

From one of Britain’s most gifted and celebrated writers, The Little Snake is a magical and deeply moving fable about the journey we all take through life, about love and family, about war and resilience, about how we live in this world, and how we leave it.

My Review

If you’ve ever read ‘The Little Prince’ then you may recall that in this child’s story there is a rose, a fox, a pilot, and yes, even a snake.

The Little Prince is a favoured book in our home, the three of us all have our own copies. It’s a story that has stayed with me since reading it my senior year of high school in our English class. It’s a children’s book by most definitions but there is wisdom in children’s stories, and that is what Kennedy similarly provides in ‘The Little Snake.’

This was a novella much like some of the source of its inspiration [‘The Little Prince’] and it was written to just simply be enjoyed.

Lanmo the snake has a heavy task, it is his job to bring those to death whose time has come, of course, he’s noticed a lot of times humans do his job for him. This is not always appreciated but it is at least quietly observed by the clever golden snake.

One day though he crosses paths with Mary and for the first time he is intrigued by a human and finds himself daring to indulge in a friendship. Mary’s friendship with him colors in his world in a way, he’s no longer just a silent observer who works through the night, he has feelings and opinions on the people he meets and he carries the knowledge that someday when he sees Mary it will be for the last time, and it will be his job.

Still, Mary shows him the wonderful side of humans, curiosity, kindness, and love.

There are vast breaks between when Lanmo and Mary see each other and she grows up more every time he’s away and her city morphs and changes as well.

Your City is too sad now. Your kites hardly fly. Can’t you see everything has changed?”

Poignant, beautiful, and it had much the same effect that ‘The Little Prince’ had on me all those years ago. This is a book for those who won’t mind a journey that shows friendship and love and loss.

If you enjoyed ‘The Little Prince’ or others like it then you’ll really enjoy ‘The Little Snake’ as well. It is a beautiful tale written with an equally beautiful writing style. I would say Kennedy is set to be one of our more prominent literary fiction voices when people look back upon us in history. That being said, this book is great all on its own without being compared to ‘The Little Prince.’ Kennedy has taken an idea and made it all her own, and when reading it the only reason I drew parallels between the two at all was simply for the whimsical and flowing feel of both stories.

‘The Little Snake’ is a treasure on its own, no comparisons needed.

It’s not a long book but it’s a journey written to make you think and to make you feel. I adored Lanmo and Mary and their story, definitely five cups of coffee from me.

**Thanks to Katie from Canongate Books for sending me this copy, I’ve given an honest review in exchange**

And what happened next I cannot tell you. No one can make me.”