Confessions of a Reader

'Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.' – Mason Cooley

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Juvie – Steve Watkins


Format: Hardcover (Borrowed from Library)
Published: 8th October 2013
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Pages: 320
Series/Standalone?: Standalone
Score: 3 out of 5

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository

 Synopsis taken from Amazon:

Heart-wrenching and real, Juvie tells the story of two sisters grappling with accountability, sacrifice — and who will be there to help you after you take the fall.

Sadie Windas has always been the responsible one — she’s the star player on her AAU basketball team, she gets good grades, she dates a cute soccer player, and she tries to help out at home. Not like her older sister, Carla, who leaves her three-year-old daughter, Lulu, with Aunt Sadie while she parties and gets high. But when both sisters are caught up in a drug deal — wrong place, wrong time — it falls to Sadie to confess to a crime she didn’t commit to keep Carla out of jail and Lulu out of foster care. Sadie is supposed to get off with a slap on the wrist, but somehow, impossibly, gets sentenced to six months in juvie. As life as Sadie knew it disappears beyond the stark bars of her cell, her anger — at her ex-boyfriend, at Carla, and at herself — fills the empty space left behind. Can Sadie forgive Carla for getting her mixed up in this mess? Can Carla straighten herself out to make a better life for Lulu, and for all of them? Can Sadie survive her time in juvie with her spirit intact?

My Thoughts:

So, I was excited to read this novel after stumbling across it in the library. Overall, it was an okay read – easy and quick, with glimpses of promise.

I enjoyed the first half of the novel more than the second. I felt like the ending was rushed and unfinished, lots of questions were left unanswered. Maybe that was the authors intention?

I liked Sadie, our main protagonist – she was gutsy and real, opinionated and independent. I didn’t agree with her decisions at times, although these were justified. Her time in Juvie was documented well, there were dramas galore. It was a great insight, even if it was somewhat too fabricated.  I enjoyed the combination of different characters and their individual backgrounds, motives and quirks – this added depth to the story.

Sadie’s sister was a very frustrating character. I found her very irritating – whiny and selfish. A complete drip. I wanted her to wake up and sort herself out, maybe another of the author’s intentions?

Overall, Juvie had a good premise – I was just a little disappointed with the overall execution.

A quick, easy read with some interesting characters. A good insight into the life of a teenage criminal, even if her decisions were somewhat questionable.



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Eeny Meeny – M.J. Arlidge


Format: Paperback
Published: 8th May 2014
Publisher: Penguin UK
Pages: 364
Series/Standalone?: Series
Score: 5 out of 5

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository

 Synopsis taken from Amazon:

Eeny Meeny is the rocket-paced serial-killer thriller debut from M. J. Arlidge.

The girl emerged from the woods, barely alive. Her story was beyond belief. But it was true. Every dreadful word of it.

Days later, another desperate escapee is found – and a pattern is emerging. Pairs of victims are being abducted, imprisoned then faced with a terrible choice: kill or be killed.

Would you rather lose your life or lose your mind?

Detective Inspector Helen Grace has faced down her own demons on her rise to the top. As she leads the investigation to hunt down this unseen monster, she learns that it may be the survivors – living calling cards – who hold the key to the case.

And unless she succeeds, more innocents will die . . .

My Thoughts:

I loved this novel! I was craving a crime novel, packed full of action and suspense – this one did not disappoint! I am so glad that the second instalment is due to be published in September, I have already pre-ordered.

This book was a good, strong thriller novel. I powered through this in two days, whilst working full time and putting on a summer production – I just couldn’t put it down. I read it every spare minute I had.

The plot kept me guessing throughout the whole novel, I didn’t know who the true murderer was until all was revealed. The storyline incorporates an element of the ‘Saw’ movies, the idea of victims making the ultimate decisions on who dies and who survives. Some of the circumstances were truly horrific, I loved the detail of some of the gory scenes.

There were a lot of characters to follow. Some likeable, some not so much – just how I like it. Each character was so well developed and thought out that I had no problems at all following who was who and their back story. The plot all tied together perfectly, with bits of the ‘jigsaw’ matching up logically. Character motives were always thought through and believable. The novel is split into short chapters, usually switching between multiple POV’s – easy to follow, I didn’t find any flaws or issues with this.

Like I said I have already pre-ordered the next one. If you love crime/thriller novels, this one is definitely for you!

A fantastic, keep-you-on-the-edge-of-your-seat, thriller novel, packed full of suspense, action and mystery. A fast paced, unputdownable read that I didn’t want to end! Cannot wait for the next instalment.


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A Monster Calls – Patrick Ness


Format: Paperback (Borrowed from Library)
Published: 2nd February 2012
Publisher: Walker Books
Pages: 215
Series/Standalone?: Standalone
Score: 5 out of 5

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository

 Synopsis taken from Goodreads:

The monster showed up after midnight. As they do.

But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting. He’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming…

This monster is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.

It wants the truth.

My Thoughts:

“You do not write your life with words…You write it with actions. What you think is not important. It is only important what you do.”

I really loved this book, especially the beautifully illustrated version. I went through so many emotions and feelings whilst reading, I’m so glad I read it!

This book is a heartfelt and sad read, which still manages to be uplifting and truly insightful. It deals with a particularly tough subject for children, young adults and adults alike –  a loved one dealing with a terminal illness. I felt like I knew the protagonist extremely well – the characterisation and development is so thorough, Patrick Ness really takes you along on Conor’s journey, it sure is an emotional ride. The story held my interest the whole way through, whilst being completely real and believable.

The ending of this book was so powerful – wow, what an ending! I feel like the ending was justified and it felt right for the book to end in this way. You follow Conor’s struggle with himself and I was happy for him at the end, even considering the difficult circumstances. The illustrations are also fantastic, truly original and powerful – the accompany the story perfectly.

One thing that truly stood out for me was the use of a male protagonist and POV. I thought it was a really interesting way to deal with such a difficult issue, through the eyes and mind of a young male as opposed to the usual female. An added bonus.


A powerful novel dealing with a particularly tragic issue with honesty, integrity and pride. Told through the eyes of a young male, dealing with his own personal struggles and challenges. A wonderful read that I would recommend again and again.

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#Sunathon Update 1


So I have been taking part in the #Sunathon challenge this week, hosted here. I have been doing pretty well, considering I worked Monday and half a day on Tuesday.


I managed to finish The Book Thief – wow, what an amazing read. Cannot wait to watch the film, although I think many tears may be shed. I will post a full review soon.


I am now about 70 pages into Heroic by Phil Earle. I purchased this from The Book People one afternoon whilst browsing their website (which is amazing by the way if you live in the UK!). I hadn’t heard anything about this novel, so decided to pick it up as the synopsis sounded interesting.

Synopsis taken from Amazon:

‘For the past five weeks I’d prayed that I’d never see my brother’s name spelt out in poppies. In the weeks that followed I often wished I had.’

Jammy and Sonny McGann are brothers, but that’s where the similarities end. One is calm when the other is angry; one has a plan while the other lives purely in the moment.

When Jammy returns from Afghanistan a very different man to the one who left, it’s Sonny who is left to hold things together. But just how far will he go to save the brother who always put him first?

Inspired by S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders and by the battles facing young soldiers all over the world, this is a devastating novel about brotherhood and sacrifice, from the award-winning author of Being Billy and Saving Daisy.

The story is very current and after reading Looking at the Stars earlier in the year I knew that I would like the subject matter. I am really enjoying it so far, looking to finish it today.

How have you been doing with your #sunathon reading?

Happy Reading!




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I have decided to participate in the #Sunathon held over at Emma Louise’s Blog. The readathon will run from Monday 21st July until Sunday 27th July 2014. It doesn’t matter how much you read, as long as you just put aside some time for reading. Use #Sunathon to follow other bloggers/readers who are participating on Twitter.

COMPETITION: Every day during #sunathon – someone will win a book. It’s a simple follow Emma Louise on Twitter (@EmmaIsWriting) and RT the picture of the book. Use #sunathoncomp to follow them all. UK residents only!

I am really looking forward to this readathon – I actually finish work for the Summer on Tuesday 22nd July, so I should be able to read more than usual this week.

Here is my TBR – I may not get through all of these books, but one or two would still be fantastic!

    HowILiveNow  TheRagingQuiet  TheShockOfTheFall

Heroic  CoM

I’m also 367 pages into The Book Thief so I’m aiming to finish this one up first.


Are you going to be participating? If so, what are you planning to read?

Happy Reading,