2015 Reading Book 6 – The Legacy by Katharine Webb
Synopsis:

Following the death of their grandmother, Erica Calcott & her sister Beth return to Storton Manor, where they spent their summer holidays as children. When Erica begins to sort through the house, she relives memories of her childhood – & of her cousin, Henry, whose disappearance from the manor tore the family apart.

Quick Thoughts
This is the second book I have now completed off my Mount Blanc 2015 Reading Challenge! I am really pleased to be on target with that challenge.
I didn’t enjoy this Mount TBR Book as much as I enjoyed Jane Green’s The Patchwork Marriage. That said, this book wasn’t a complete disappointment. I enjoy books which run through two time periods, which this one did. I found however, I preferred the modern day story to the Victorian era story. I did enjoy this book, but it felt like a slow read and I felt a bit flat once I had finished book. I also surprised myself by working out the Henry story line too – I hardly ever work out the mystery so I was quite pleased with myself! This isn’t a bad book, I just didn’t find it as good as novels by someone like Rachel Hore.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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2015 Reading: Book 3 – Esio Trot by Roald Dahl

Synopsis:

Mr. Hoppy is in love with Mrs. Silver, but her heart belongs to Alfie, her pet tortoise. Mr. Hoppy is too shy to approach Mrs. Silver, until one day he comes up with a brilliant idea to win her heart. If Mr. Hoppy’s plan works, Mrs. Silver will certainly fall in love with him. But it’s going to take one hundred and forty tortoises, an ancient spell, and a little bit of magic.

Quick Thoughts:
This is the first book from my Roald Dahl challenge.

I love Roald Dahl books! This book has just been adapted by the BBC for some Christmas viewing, so I decided I needed to read the book before I watched it. It is 50 pages long, but an enjoyable 50 pages. Easy to read, lovely story and I loved the illustrations by Quentin Blake. This is a children’s book, but one I thoroughly enjoyed!

Rating: 3 out of 5

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Addition: Netgalley review e-book
Genre: Fantasy, young adult
Rating: 3 out of 5
Synopsis:

Alice always thought fairy tales had happy endings. That–along with everything else–changed the day she met her first fairy

When Alice’s father goes down in a shipwreck, she is sent to live with her uncle Geryon–an uncle she’s never heard of and knows nothing about. He lives in an enormous manor with a massive library that is off-limits to Alice. But then she meets a talking cat. And even for a rule-follower, when a talking cat sneaks you into a forbidden library and introduces you to an arrogant boy who dares you to open a book, it’s hard to resist. Especially if you’re a reader to begin with. Soon Alice finds herself INSIDE the book, and the only way out is to defeat the creature imprisoned within.

It seems her uncle is more than he says he is. But then so is Alice.

I received this book from Netgalley to give an honest review.

This is the first book by Django Wexley I have read, and it is the first in The Forbidden Library series. In this novel we meet Alice, a girl recently orphaned, who has been sent to live with her mysterious Uncle. But things are not as they seem. She quickly learns that magic is everywhere and her Uncle is some sort of wizard. She is drawn into this world when she follows Ashes, a talking cat, into the library she has been forbidden from. She is on a hunt to find out what has happened to her father, but she is about to enter a whole new world and start leading a life she wouldn’t have believed possible just a few months ago.

This book falls into the scope of fantasy for young adults. But it is more than just that. This book has adventure and suspense. There are unanswered questions – mystery follows through the book – and there is fighting and the need to survive throughout the book.

As a character, I quite liked Alice. She was hard working, compassionate and fearless. She is however, only 12 and I think that when you read through the book you forget that. She seems to be a very mature 12 year old. I felt like I was reading the adventures of a late teen, not a girl. I did find it convenient and a bit far-fetched the number of times she suddenly had a plan that would save her life. My favourite character was Ashes – who doesn’t love a grumpy cat! He reminded me a lot of Grimalken the cait sith from the Iron Fey series. As a rule, I don’t like cats, however Ashes was exactly how I imagined a cat who could speak would be. He was definitely a highlight in the book for me.

I think my biggest complaint with this book is simple: it dragged a bit. I know I have said that there is action and adventure, but it was a bit slow. I did find myself checking to see how long I had left in the book. There is a lot that happens in the book – we are taken into three different worlds, there are the encounters with the evil fairies, plus we watch Alice fight for her life on more than one occasion – yet there were moments when I wondered if I would finish the book.

Overall, I am rating this book 3 out of 5. There are elements of this book which I really enjoyed. There is action, a sense of mystery and I did wonder what was going to happen. However, I won’t be rushing to read the next book in this series.

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2015 Reading: Book 1 – The Forbidden Library by Django Wexler

Synopsis:

Alice always thought fairy tales had happy endings. That–along with everything else–changed the day she met her first fairy

When Alice’s father goes down in a shipwreck, she is sent to live with her uncle Geryon–an uncle she’s never heard of and knows nothing about. He lives in an enormous manor with a massive library that is off-limits to Alice. But then she meets a talking cat. And even for a rule-follower, when a talking cat sneaks you into a forbidden library and introduces you to an arrogant boy who dares you to open a book, it’s hard to resist. Especially if you’re a reader to begin with. Soon Alice finds herself INSIDE the book, and the only way out is to defeat the creature imprisoned within.

It seems her uncle is more than he says he is. But then so is Alice.

Quick thoughts:

I received this book from Netgalley to give an honest review.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book – I have never read a novel by Django Wexley before. This is fantasy and action, with a hint of thriller in one book. We follow Alice into a mysterious world – one with talking cats and fairies. My initial thoughts are this: I did enjoy the book however I did find it a little slow. There is quite a lot in the book and a fair amount happens, yet I did catch myself checking to see how many pages were left. I am currently writing a full review of this book, but I would say this was an OK book – lots of adventure and fantasy, but I did think it dragged sometimes.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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Book number 50 (who thought I would hit that milestone this year?!) was a short story from Debbie Macomber. When They First Met is an introduction to the Rose Harbour series, set in Cedar Cove.

I really enjoy Debbie Macomber novels! As I have mentioned, this novel is a short story. I found it as a free download on Amazon and read it in bed. It was great bedtime reading, exactly the right length and with the right level of enjoyment! This was a lovely introduction to Macomber’s new series, which I will of course be reading! If you want a short but satisfying easy read, this is the book for you.

Addition: E-book
Genre: Chick-lit, short story
Published: 2012
Rating: 3 out of 5

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Book number 49 was off the Mount TBR Pile. I am pleased to say I have now read Crazy as Chocolate by Elisabeth Hyde, which has been sitting on my shelf for a while now…

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started this. I haven’t enjoyed all the books on my Mount TBR Challenge so I was nervous about reading this one. I found myself thinking, why haven’t I read this book yet?! However, I am pleased to report that I did enjoy this book. It isn’t a very long book but I was drawn into the story. This is quite a sad read actually, yet one I did enjoy. This book takes quite a stark look at mental illness and not all of this book is easy reading but I am pleased I picked it up. This wasn’t a tear-jerker but it did make me think about how depression can affect families, in particular children. Well worth reading.

Addition: Paperback
Genre: Fiction
Published: 2002
Rating: 3 out of 5

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Book number 48 was borrowed from a friend and an incredibly helpful read. Lysa TerKeurst is the President of the Proverbs 31 Ministries and has written many books. This is the first of her’s I have read, but I already have more to read!

This book focusses on how we change our food cravings to God cravings. It points us back to God. This book is full of Scripture and honesty. It challenges us and builds us up. I found it a really helpful book. My friend is re-reading it to help her refocus on God. It is easy to eat away our feelings but what we should be doing is looking to God. This book isn’t a diet plan and I don’t think that once you have read it all food problems will go away, but it is a gentle reminder that we need to turn to God not food and it is a helpful tool, pointing us to the Bible and what God has to say about food. This was such a good read.

Addition: Paperback, borrowed
Genre: Christian, non-fiction
Published: 2010
Rating: 3 out of 5

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The 45th book in 2014 was another from my Mount TBR Challenge – John Grisham’s Playing For Pizza. This is the second Grisham novel I have read this year, and it was very different to The Racketeer! Grisham has stepped away from his law thrillers, and taken us into the world of American Football – albeit in Italy! I wasn’t sure what to expect from this novel, but I actually really enjoyed it. I do watch NFL with my husband – we are Chicago Bears fans – so I understood some of the football, but a lot of it was a bit beyond me! However, that didn’t spoil this book. It was a good read, I read most of the book in one sitting. I loved the setting, the characters and the passion. This is a worthwhile read, even if you don’t understand American Football.

Addition: Paperback
Genre: Fiction
Published: 2007
Rating: 3 out of 5

In case you are interested, back in 2012 we were lucky enough to have a holiday in America – we spent a week in Chicago with my husband’s family, and here we are outside Soldier Field before our tour. We didn’t get to see them play, although we did see the Bears play at Wembley a few years ago, but we did see some college football. We saw the Northwestern Wildcats play Boston College. It was a great holiday!

outside Soldier Field

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Bill Bryson’s Notes From a Small Island was book number 42 in 2014. This book has been on our bookcase for a while so I put it down as part of my Mount TBR challenge. I have now read 9 books in that challenge!

I didn’t know what to expect with this book. I was worried I would find it boring as I do prefer fiction novels, however, I was pleasantly surprised. I found myself enjoying this book – even chuckling in places! It took a while to read, I found that more than one chapter at a time made the book drag a bit but overall this was a good read. I laughed in some places and found the discovery of areas of Britain I knew nothing about fascinating. I would definitely recommend this book.

Addition: Paperback
Genre: Non-fiction
Published: 1995
Rating: 3 out of 5

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I HAVE FINISHED MY READING CHALLENGE!!!! But more on that another time!

Number 40 was Debbie Macomber’s 74 Seaside Avenue, a Cedar Cove novel. I haven’t read a Cedar Cove novel in a long time. I read a load of them together and got a bit fed up with them, however, I have been enjoying the series on TV and thought I would have another go. I am pleased to say I did enjoy this read. It was nice to spend time with old friends! I found some storylines a bit predictable, others a but unbelievable, but I still enjoyed the book. It didn’t take long to read it and I am considering reserving the next one at the library.

Addition: Paperback, library book
Genre: Chick-lit
Published: 2005
Rating: 3 out of 5

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