A World Without Color – Bernard Jan

Synopsis

One story. Two endings. Genuine and fictional. Which ending is yours?

What do you say to someone who is dying? And what do you say when that someone A World Without Color: A True Story Of the Last Three Days With My Catcan’t understand a word you are saying? How do you comfort each other throughout… and beyond?

My love, if you go away in a few days, the world will lose its colors and darken like the land of Mordor. If you go away and leave me to wander aimlessly, alone in this sea become wild, like a ship with a broken rudder and drowned sailors, and if I don’t find comfort in the warmth of your body, clutched in my embrace at the end of the day, I’m afraid I won’t survive.

“I don’t regret anything. Marcel was not only my cat, he was my everything. My brother, my friend, my world shrank in a soft gray-striped furry ball.”—Bernard Jan

Powerful. Emotional. Honest.

A heartfelt and moving novella.

Review

Image result for four out of five stars text

Thank you to the author for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

Now this is a book I had no expectations going into, what had initially interested me in the memoir, was finding out how the author was able to share the highly intimate journey of a family pet passing away into a story.

What I found immediately was the raw emotion that the author is feeling is perfectly described on the page, they hold nothing back as they describe not only the situation, but the importance of Marcel to them. You really do feel as if your right alongside them as they go through their final three days.

Now this is probably not a novel to start reading if you are already feeling a tad down that down, when reading it’s so hard no not get caught up in emotion and at times it did feel quite a struggle to get through, not due to bad writing or anything like that but because it puts into sharp focus whats important and that you should really be hugging your pets right now!

At the same time it probably would provide some comfort to those that may of experienced a loss like this, their is a definite feeling that your not alone, as well as perhaps sharing some of your grief. The author does make the story deeply personal and perhaps just that little bit too emotional if anything. However it is a beautiful touching read.

Rating: 4/5

Would I read again: No

Would I Recommend: Yes

Would I read another book from this author: Yes

 

Advertisements

First Line Fridays #7

flf

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

‘It was 7 minutes after midnight. The dog was lying on the grass in the middle of the lawn in front of Mrs Shears’ house. It’s eyes were closed. It looked as if it was running on his side, the way dogs run when they think they are chasing a cat in a dream.”

arrow

arrow

arrow

And it is of course…….

‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.’ by Mark Haddon

The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-time

I read this first many years ago as a recommended reading in English and it quickly became something that intrigued me, mainly because the main character has autism and I really enjoyed reading a story from a point of view that I didn’t really understand. It was a great way to get a better understanding of not only the world around me but the many different people that inhabit it.

Synopsis:

‘Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow.

Although gifted with a superbly logical brain, for fifteen-year-old Christopher everyday interactions and admonishments have little meaning. He lives on patterns, rules, and a diagram kept in his pocket. Then one day, a neighbor’s dog, Wellington, is killed and his carefully constructive universe is threatened. Christopher sets out to solve the murder in the style of his favourite (logical) detective, Sherlock Holmes. What follows makes for a novel that is funny, poignant and fascinating in its portrayal of a person whose curse and blessing are a mind that perceives the world entirely literally.’

Have you read it? What did you think?

Book Review: The Perfectly Imperfect Women by Milly Johnson

Synopsis

Marnie Salt has made so many mistakes in her life that she fears she will never get on 36351949the right track. But when she ‘meets’ an old lady on a baking chatroom and begins confiding in her, little does she know how her life will change.

Arranging to see each other for lunch, Marnie finds discovers that Lilian is every bit as mad and delightful as she’d hoped – and that she owns a whole village in the Yorkshire Dales, which has been passed down through generations. And when Marnie needs a refuge after a crisis, she ups sticks and heads for Wychwell – a temporary measure, so she thinks.

But soon Marnie finds that Wychwell has claimed her as its own and she is duty bound not to leave. Even if what she has to do makes her as unpopular as a force 12 gale in a confetti factory! But everyone has imperfections, as Marnie comes to realise, and that is not such a bad thing – after all, your flaws are perfect for the heart that is meant to love you.

The Perfectly Imperfect Woman is the heart-warming and hilarious new novel from the queen of feel-good fiction – a novel of family, secrets, love and redemption … and broken hearts mended and made all the stronger for it.

Review

Image result for four out of five stars

Thank You to NetGalley and the publishers for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

I was more than a little bit excited going into this book, the last book I had read from 20171228_145957.jpgMilly Johnson I had continued reading until the early hours of the morning just to find out what happened so when I saw this on NetGalley I couldn’t help but request it!

So did I spend the rest of the night reading after I downloaded it? No I didn’t, but I still had a great time reading it over a few days! The story follow Marnie as she tries to navigate through her life while admittedly making more than one mistake. One of the things that first struck me about this book was the fact that although I didn’t have what I would call an instant connection to Marnie, the mistakes while obvious and avoidable didn’t annoy me as much as they usually do. I do tend to rage a lot at characters thought processes and decisions so it was nice to just lose myself in the story.

The story itself was nothing how I imagined it to be, the first few chapters sort of trundled a long how you would imagine and then suddenly it twists the entire story into a whole other direction, which was great, I love surprises. While the story is fast paced there is definitely enough going on to keep you sucked in. What was the most surprising about the story however was the amount of mystery and the little bit of supernatural that was involved. To be honest going into the book I had just sort of assumed it was going to all be mostly romance but I think the slight branching out into different genres gave it that little bit of an edge.

In regards to the characters Marnie definitely grew on me and I absolutely adored Lilian and a few other members of the village. I also like that there were a variety of different characters within the village just to make it all the more interesting. The character development was really well written and it was great to see Marnie except the good with the bad. I probably would of liked it better if a few ‘events’ or ‘issues’ had been completely resolved e.g. with her sister but let’s be fair there was probably no saving that ever. The ending was both a surprise and satisfying which is always hard to do and something that really topped of the book for me. If you are looking for a feel good summer read, full of intrigue, romance and a little bit of mystery then this is the book for you!

Rating: 4/5

Would I read again: Yes

Would I Recommend: Yes

Would I read another book from this author: Yes

Author Showcase – Brysen Mann – The Xeno Manifesto

Hi Everyone, today I will be showcasing debut author Brysen Mann and his newly published novel ‘The Xeno Manifesto’.

Brysen has been kind enough to provide not only an excerpt from his book but an interview as well. ‘The Xeno Manifesto’ is also looking for reviewers at the moment so if you would like a chance to review it make sure you get in contact with Brysen at brysenmann@gmail.com.

You can also find him:

https://www.instagram.com/brysenmann/

https://twitter.com/brysen_mann

Synopsis:

Deputy Frank Smirnov wants a peaceful life but fate has chosen a different path. He could never have imagined a course that not only gives him insight to his past but to the true origins of the human race. NSA Agent Zachariah Allmass’ job is to eliminate those who know too much, and those “Beings” with powers untold that have elected to remain hidden for all these millenniums, now possess evidence he needs for his true employer, the Committee. But Allmass has an agenda of his own.
Meanwhile, Roman Petrov is a violent man who puts his retirement on temporary hiatus after being left with collateral damage that leaves him no choice but to eliminate the “thorn in his side”.

When these men’s worlds collide, secrets that were never meant to be exposed will shake the very foundation of mankind’s existence

EXCERPT:

They weave their way through the trees for a half hour when they notice the woods have gone silent. They stop…there’s not a sound…it’s getting creepy. Then…the snap of branches echo in the eerie silence of the night and suddenly…the sounds of stones falling near them. Something is tossing rocks in their direction. More branches breaking and Bo is barking and going crazy. They turn on their flashlights illuminating the trees and bushes…the sounds of snapping wood continue and they can now see small rocks being thrown in their direction.

“Hey…who’s out there?” Frank yells wishing he had his weapon.

Then…quiet.

“Maybe we should head back to camp?” Adam asks nervously.

“Good idea.”

The noise of another branch breaks, a rock falls close to their feet, and Bo yelps at something out in the dark.

“Let’s get out of here.” Frank pushes Adam in the direction of their tent.

They run, almost stumbling along the way; they both lose their flashlights, knocked out of their grasps as they try to dodge trees and small branches whip their faces as they try to find the light of their camp fire. They are closer than they thought and must have been wandering in a circle.

They’re both panting for air when they get there. They look at one another and start laughing.

“Holy cow, that scared the crap out of me,” Adam says between breaths.

Frank hates to admit it, but he’s feeling the same way.

Bo starts barking again and the loud snap of a branch breaking can be heard…the sound is close. A larger stone hits the ground and rolls toward the fire pit. Bo is going nuts, sounds of twigs crunching under footsteps…nearer now.

Then…a figure emerges from the black of the night into the light of their fire.

If your would like to read more make sure to visit the website http://www.brysenmann.com/

Author Interview:

What inspired you to write your book?

I had a story tell, one that I felt was important to get out there. I have never written before or felt the need, until now. It was time to share my narrative.

What was the hardest part of writing your book? 

 The toughest part was making sure everything tied in. The Xeno Manifesto has a lot of twists and turns and my tale does not end with this first book.

Are you a full-time or part-time writer? How does that affect your writing?

 I am shooting for full-time. This story is already in my head, like a memory you could say. 🙂 It’s just a matter of putting it on paper in a manner that the reader will find interesting and be drawn into the story and hopefully give them reason to pause, reflect and discuss.

 How do you feel about ebooks vs. print books and alternative vs. conventional publishing? 

 I believe if there is a demand for either versions of a book (ebook or print), then fill that demand but I do believe the printed word is coming back strong. There is something to be said about physically handling a book, the smell of the paper and ink and the feel as you turn a page. For me, I would have looked at a publishing house as an option but with a story such as mine, it is impossible to get a feel of the book in the first 4 or 5 chapters which is all any agent or publishing house requests. Therfore, for me, self-publishing was the only route to go.

What did you enjoy most about writing your book? 

There is a lot of me in the main characters of The Xeno Manifesto and that being said, there was a lot of soul searching in the process. I most enjoyed developing  these characters and re-creating the dialogue.

 

Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?

 

Anything is possible…

Any advice for others who have started on their own book writing journey?

 

 I believe you have to write a good story, accept criticism and push to have the book reviewed by as many individuals as possible and let it be judged for what it’s worth, good or bad…hopefully mine will be received with great enthusiasm.

Book Review: The Single Girls Calendar by Erin Green

The Single Girls Calendar

Synopsis

 

A task a day to cure a broken heart.The Single Girl's Calendar

Esmé Peel is approaching thirty with some trepidation, but hope in her heart. If she can just get her long-term boyfriend Andrew to propose, she will have ticked everything off her ‘things to do by the time you’re 30’ list. She didn’t reckon on finding another woman’s earring in her bed however, and soon she finds herself single, homeless and in need of a new plan. Her best friend Carys gives her the perfect present – The Single Girl’s Calendar – which has a different cure for heartbreak every day:

Day 1: Look and feel fabulous with a new hair style.

Day 2: Step out of your comfort zone and try something new.

Day 3: Reconnect with friends and enjoy!

Despite thinking it’s a bit of a gimmick, Esmé hasn’t got any better ideas, so she puts the plan into action. By the end of week one she has four new male housemates, and despite a broken heart she is determined to show Andrew she can do more than survive, she can thrive.

Review

Image result for three out of five stars

Okay so I finished this books a couple of days ago and I have really struggled to force myself to sit down and write this review. Usually there are many reasons as to why this might be, I generally don’t have the time, I’m procrastinating, I’m to busy reading my next book, but for this one it’s because I generally have had a hard time deciding how I feel about the book.

20171228_145831.jpgIt starts of exactly how the blurb promises, Esme full of hope that her long time partner would propose is instead met with the stark reality of a cheating not even finance to be. This being one hell of a deal breaker she leaves and desperately tries to scramble to sort out her life. With a calendar giving her a task a day she is well on her way to finding some sort of order in the chaos.

So I will start with everything that I liked about the book, it was a great little beach and wine kind of read, the nice easy relaxing sort of read which is great for holidays and relaxing. There wasn’t to much indecision with the character as she knew she had to make a change and she went ahead, took the opportunities that were presented to her and just really went for it. The book took a few unexpected turns which to be honest I wasn’t really expecting and there was a few side stories going on to break up the book a little bit. All was going well till about half way through.

The second half of the book I lost it a little bit with Esme, the decisions become a tad more erratic, character development seems to slow and I just couldn’t get behind everything that was going on, but I was definitely still invested and I really wanted to see her get her happy ending. The ending I did not like. At all. It felt like it was going backwards, some of the ‘twists’ genuinely annoyed me and it really tainted how I felt about the entire book. I can see why the author chose to take the story in that particular direction, I just didn’t like it. It took a bit of debate for me to decide how I wanted to rate it at all but overall I think it does deserve a solid 3/5 despite the ending. Saying that I did enjoy the writing style and at points it did surpass much of my expectations. Not one I will read again but it hasn’t put be of trying more of the authors work.

Thank You to NetGalley and the publishers for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 3/5

Would I read again: No

Would I Recommend: If you like chick lit, probably other then that no.

Would I read another book from this author: Yes

Book Review: Almost Forever by Laura Danks

Almost Forever

Synopsis

Can love truly conquer all?

When a vicious attack leaves Paul in a coma on his wedding day, the doctors fear he will never wake up. But his fiancée Fran will never give up hope.

Fran has always known Paul is the only man for her, from the first moment they locked eyes as children to the day he finally told her he loved her. Paul can’t leave her, not now their lives are just about to begin.

Love will always find a way… won’t it?

 

Review

Image result for four out of five stars

Going into this I was not to sure what to expect, given the blurb I really wasn’t sure 20171228_150133.jpgwhich direction the story would take and by that I mean would it be a focus on the accident, the aftermath, the recovery, how individuals deal with tragedy, I really wasn’t sure, turns out more then anything this book is a love story. A really gooey romantic coming of age kinda love story.

Now the story itself is really well written as I got to know both Paul and Fran and how their lives entwined. Definitely a romance novel the type of love and connection that the author was describing was one that seemed to literally come straight off the page and hit you in the face. However it still managed to remain for the most part believable with the actions, choices and emotions from both of the characters. I also really enjoyed the depth of the story and the characters and hadn’t really been expecting it when I started the book.

The book is relatively fast paced, though given the nature of the story-line it is one that focuses heavily on emotion so if that isn’t really your thing I wouldn’t recommend, however if your one that really relishes exploring romance, emotion and most things gushy I’m sure this is one you will enjoy. I will admit that it definitely had me crying at points and I did think that it did have a fairly satisfying if not a bit predictable ending.

Thank You to NetGalley and the publishers for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 4/5

Would I read again: Probably not. 

Would I Recommend: Yes

Would I read another book from this author: Yes

Book Review: Unbalanced by Courtney Shepard

Unbalanced

Synopsis

Asha is fire.Unbalanced

Every generation four sisters with power over earth, air, fire, and water are born to fight against a fanatical, secret faith. The Order exists only to sacrifice the sisters for their power. With each success their strength and control grows. They have never failed, for their rule depends on it.

The sisters, separated at birth, are unaware of what hunts them…but they are coming.
A handsome stranger discovers Asha in hiding, and swears allegiance to her cause. She falls for him; though he is not who he says he is. Betrayed and imprisoned inside the Order, Asha is without her power for the first time in her life.

As the war heats up haunting secrets and true motivations are revealed, but the sisters must unite and override their instincts and trust the untrustworthy if they are to fight their terrifying destiny.

Review

99c71-3-5-star

 

20171228_145618.jpg‘Unbalanced’ is a fast paced urban fantasy novel, which includes a whole lot of action, magical powers and a bit of romance thrown in just for fun. If follows the story of four sisters as they begin to discover who they really are and there place in this world.The book itself included everything I expected too, with multiple characters, a couple of bad sort of good guys and the real bad guys.

Not going to lie the first thing I thought of when I read the blurb was Avatar: The Last Air-bender, the book itself definitely holds up in it’s own right though with no pesky thought intrusion of the fire nation!

I loved the idea of this book and how it was able to suck me in straight away, although it did drip feed most of the information pertaining to the girls at no point was I confused as to what was happening. I will admit to being confused at points as to who the POV was for the chapter, especially when the boys started getting involved. Character development wasn’t as much as I would of liked, but as this is the first book in the series and with being a lot of different characters it was to be expected. The book did contain a fair amount of action, none of which was overly surprising. I will definitely be checking out the next book as I feel this is one that could be full of potential.

Thank You to NetGalley and the publishers for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 3.5/5

Would I read again: No

Would I Recommend: Yes

Would I read another book from this author: Yes