Confessions of a Reader

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

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Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted buy The Broke and The Bookish. Each week they post a new topic and invite everyone to share their lists.


Top Ten All Time Favourite Authors

I actually found this weeks TTT really difficult. I am a mood reader, so only pick up books when I fancy reading them. This means that although I may have really enjoyed a book by an author, I may not read another one by them for a few months, or even sometimes a year!

When the following authors release books, or I see one in a bookstore, charity shop or at the library I know that I am going to enjoy it. Although I may not have read all of their works – the ones that I have read I loved!

  1. Sophie Kinsella – my go-to chick lit author. I have such good memories of reading I’ve Got your Number whilst sipping a cocktail in Mexico. All of her books are fun and make perfect beach/holiday reads!
  2. Sarah J Maas – only discovered in the last year or so. I love the Throne of Glass series, it really got me back into fantasy. I need to get on to Heir of Fire now.
  3. M J Arlidge – also writes Silent Witness (a UK crime drama). His books are just so easy to read, gripping from the first page. I have The Doll’s House on my kindle waiting for me to read it.
  4. J K Rowling – do I need to explain?! I am ashamed to say that I haven’t read The Casual Vacancy or The Robert Galbraith books.
  5. Louise O’Neill – a relatively new addition. I read Only Ever Yours this year and loved it, seriously loved it. Even though this was a debut novel I’m really excited to see what Asking for It is like, due to be published in September 2015.
  6. Roald Dahl – a childhood favourite. I still love all of his books now, I hope Parker will one day too.
  7. Sara Gruen – I have only read Water for Elephants but it has stuck with me since I read it a few years back. I am desperate to read some more of her work as I am sure I will love it.
  8. Lucy Diamond – I picked up one of Lucy’s books in January this year. Again, the perfect chick lit author and perfect for reading at the beach. I am so pleased that there are so many more books to read.
  9. Neil Gaiman – Now, I have only read three books by Neil Gaiman. Two children’s books and a YA/Adult Novel. I enjoyed all three of them, and I’m sure that when I manage to pick up some more I will feel the same.
  10. Brandon Sanderson – I read Steelheart last year and really, really loved it! A fantastic fantasy book that I read in a few sittings. I have Book 1 in the Mistborn Trilogy on my kindle and am yet to read it, but I am sure that I will love it.

Happy Reading!

Stacie 🙂



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Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted buy The Broke and The Bookish. Each week they post a new topic and invite everyone to share their lists.


Top Ten Books that I’ve added to my TBR recently

Again, this Top Ten Tuesday has been a little rushed this week. I’ve been so busy that I actually forgot all about it. I’ve simply picked the last ten books that I’ve added to my TBR pile via Goodreads.

Half a King by Joe Abercrombie
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
The Neverending Story by Michael Ende
The Cage by Megan Shepherd
Liar Liar by M J Arlidge
The Doll’s House by M J Arlidge
The Asylum for Fairytale Creatures by Sebastian Gregory
The Boy in the Cemetery by Sebastian Gregory
This Book is Gay by James Dawson
Say Her Name by James Dawson

Sorry for the short and sweet post, but it has been a manic few days!

Happy Reading!


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Book Review // Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas


Format: eBook
Published: 18th July 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s UK
Pages: 401


This is a non-spoiler review.

My Thoughts:

I read this book whilst in a massive reading slump, so it took me forever. I don’t think I enjoyed it as much as I normally would have for this reason.

Dangerous Girls is a YA Thriller that tells the story of a group of friends on vacation in Aruba. A tragedy happens – one of the group is murdered – and we are consequently led through Anna’s trial as she is the main suspect. I really liked the style of writing and the little ‘extras’ that the author gave us – a 911 transcript, TV interview etc. It made me feel like I was truly part of the plot, always guessing what was going to happen next. I never knew who to trust!

I loved the intensity and mystery throughout this book. I was constantly judging people, forming my own opinions of what could have happened. It was fast-paced, with lots of twists and turns. I was completely gripped!

The ending confused the hell out of me. I mean, what just happened? I still don’t really get it, if I’m honest. It shocked me, I was so sure of the outcome – so it threw me completely. As a reader, we don’t actually get to ‘see’ the murder scene, we never know the full details of that night. Although this was an unusual decisions, I liked this– it added to the mystery.

There wasn’t one character I trusted in this book. Tate frustrated me so much, I thought he was sly and conniving – I think this was intended. His relationship with Anna raised so many questions for me from the start, there were so many little hints that it wasn’t all what it seemed. I still felt that he was completely besotted with Anna, again raising so many questions.

Anna and Elise’s relationship was a little uncomfortable for me at times, again I think this was intended. I never really knew what their true ‘status’ was, but I could feel the intensity the whole time – it was compelling to read.

I felt sorry for Anna, her friends seemed to totally abandon her. Although, as the story is told from her POV I do think that I ‘bonded’ with her differently. There were lots of ‘red herrings’ in the book, that kept steering me in completely different directions.

Overall, a fast-paced enjoyable read. I think I will aim to re-read this at some point, as I feel like my head wasn’t really in it. A great YA thriller, with lots of twists and turns to keep you guessing again and again.

Dangerous Girls is currently only 99p in the kindle store, click here (price correct at time of posting).

StarRating4 out of 5 stars

Abigail Haas is a pseudonym for Abby McDonald.

Twitter: @abbymcdonald




Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted buy The Broke and The Bookish. Each week they post a new topic and invite everyone to share their lists.


Top Ten Books on my Spring TBR List

This isn’t based on spring or 2015 releases, but it is a list of books I really want to get to within the next few months.


The Death House – Sarah Pinborough // A Court of Thorns and Roses – Sarah J Maas // The Doll’s House by M J Arlidge // Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier // All The Bright Places – Jennifer Niven


I Capture the Castle – Dodie Smith // Heir of Fire – Sarah J Maas // Final Empire – Brandon Sanderson // Stolen – Lucy Christopher // Half a King – Joe Abercrombie

Have you read any of these? Are there any that you think I need to read immediately?

Thanks for stopping by, Happy Reading!

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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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Night Film – Marisha Pessl

“Mortal fear is as crucial a thing to our lives as love.  It cuts to the core of our being and shows us what we are.  Will you step back and cover your eyes?  Or will you have the strength to walk to the precipice and look out?”  


    Format: Paperback (Bought)

    Published: 30th January 2014

    Publisher: Windmill Books

    Pages: 656

    Score: 4 out of 5

    Amazon | The Book Depository


Synopsis taken from Goodreads:

A page-turning thriller for readers of Stephen King, Gillian Flynn, and Stieg Larsson, Night Film tells the haunting story of a journalist who becomes obsessed with the mysterious death of a troubled prodigy—the daughter of an iconic, reclusive filmmaker.

On a damp October night, beautiful young Ashley Cordova is found dead in an abandoned warehouse in lower Manhattan. Though her death is ruled a suicide, veteran investigative journalist Scott McGrath suspects otherwise. As he probes the strange circumstances surrounding Ashley’s life and death, McGrath comes face-to-face with the legacy of her father: the legendary, reclusive cult-horror-film director Stanislas Cordova—a man who hasn’t been seen in public for more than thirty years.

For McGrath, another death connected to this seemingly cursed family dynasty seems more than just a coincidence. Though much has been written about Cordova’s dark and unsettling films, very little is known about the man himself.

Driven by revenge, curiosity, and a need for the truth, McGrath, with the aid of two strangers, is drawn deeper and deeper into Cordova’s eerie, hypnotic world.

The last time he got close to exposing the director, McGrath lost his marriage and his career. This time he might lose even more.

Night Film, the gorgeously written, spellbinding new novel by the dazzlingly inventive Marisha Pessl, will hold you in suspense until you turn the final page.

My Thoughts:

Wow – what a well written, intense and immersive read. I am not going to say too much about the plot, keeping an open mind about this novel and what it entails is the best way to read it.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, there were a few grey areas which I will briefly mention, hence the reason for my rating being a four instead of five star.

Firstly, the description. Oh my goodness, the attention to detail in this novel is perfect. You genuinely feel like you are in their world, seeing what they see. There is one particular section in the novel which was so vivid it was actually terrifying – I will let you see for yourselves! It has a very fast paced narrative in which the action proceeds to build and develop throughout.

The novel mixes reality with supernatural elements, completely engaging human psychology. It has this odd effect on you as a reader, you begin to question your own judgements. Perfectly creepy and totally chilling, with an unpredictable storyline. Pessl also incorporates newspaper cuttings, website and Facebook pages, case study notes, photographs and medical reports into the novel. This is a superb touch and makes the reading that little bit more real. I really enjoyed this element – I hope other authors catch on to this new, modernised, literary technique. You can also download an app which allows you to access more content, something I chose not to do this time around.

Scott McGrath is our main protagonist, a detective looking into the death of Ashley Cordova, daughter of a popular, albeit twisted, film director. He is helped by two accomplices, not your likely characters. The  book does lack character development. I felt that the characters all had a similar voice, I couldn’t find any distinctive traits in any of them. The intense description seems to take precedence over character development.

It also had a particularly odd ending – one that I am still not completely sure of. It also left a few questions unanswered. The pieces of the mystery do seem to add up like a jigsaw puzzle about hallway through the narrative. Moving towards the end though there was an element that seemed to have been skirted over and missed out – I cannot say much more without spoiling the plot. I just got a little frustrated with this.

Overall, a fantastic read – intense, creepy, chilling and immersive. One that I am glad I picked up and would recommend to those who love a good psychological thriller.

‘A fantastically creepy read that will leave you on the edge of your seat. A perfect novel for lovers of psychological thrillers, Night Film certainly keeps you guessing all the way through.’