Alice Reviews: Girl Out of Water

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4 out of 5 stars!

I would like to thank Maximum Pop Books, Walker Books and the author Nat Luurtsema for sending me a copy of Girl Out Of Water in exchange for an honest review.

For any fans of Louise Rennison, this book is perfect for you! It’s heartwarming humor makes for a great teen read full of mishaps and mischief. Lou is a fifteen year old trying out for Team GB and the national swimming camp but when she fails to qualify and her best friend Hannah makes it, she finds herself friendless and coachless all in one go. She tries to make friends but on making friends with three handsome boys (Pete, Roman, Gabe), trying to coach them in synchro swimming turns into a disaster-filled roller-coaster of a ride.

I really like Nat’s writing style and how the story wrapped up towards the end, I was giggling at the thought of synchro swimming going wrong throughout. This story definitely made me smile and I would recommend to girls age 12+. I had no major issues with the story and felt that Lou was a quirky but caring character.

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Book Review Round-Up

Please friend me on Goodreads if you read and enjoy my reviews: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/45911840-alice-marriedtobooks

I’ve been busy reading and reviewing a ton of books recently so here is one big post with all of the books that I’ve reviewed!

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This was a nice sweet read, I really like Rainbow Rowell’s writing style and since Kindred Spirits is the first story that I’ve read by her, the plot premise was really well executed and was perfect to break me out of my reading slump.

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This has got to be one of my favourite reads so far this year. I was also very close to meeting the author Tracy Chevalier at a local literature festival close to where I live here in England but sadly missed her by a couple of hours.

I’ve always been fascinated by the portrait of the Girl With A Pearl Earring and to hear that a novel of the same portrait name was published, I leapt at the chance to read it. The story is told through the eyes of Griet who becomes a maid to a famous painter, Johannes Vermeer. The writing has everything: scandal, excitement, romance, the importance of staying true to yourself. I thought that the scenes describing how Griet and Johannes was an interesting look into art in the 1600s. This was a nice, easy read and was left satisfied with the ending. Couldn’t fault it. Would recommend to others.

BIG NEWS: I had no idea there was a film of this too! Until my mum came in and asked me what I was reading, I can’t contain my excitement! 🙂

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3 stars out of 5 stars!

Lolita is not a novel for the fainthearted, with it’s controversial plotline involving a middle aged man running away across America with a twelve year old girl. I had been keen to read it because of how widely the novel is mentioned in other people’s autobiographies as well as in the study of English Literature. The writing was difficult to follow at times and I struggled to visualise the settings of where both Lolita and Humbert were during important scenes throughout. But the topics written and portrayed are quite graphic. Not a novel for children. It was a change from reading and reviewing YA fiction.

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4 stars out of 5 stars!

I can’t believe there are no other reviews on Goodreads of this book! I’m shocked because I found the plotline and writing style to be captivating. The blurb itself was a total mystery, somehow, my local College managed to acquire a copy of Follow Me and I was the first to borrow it. But for anyone interested, here is some more info about the book.

Follow Me is not your typical YA/NA book. I say NA because the characters by the end are 19 but start at 17. The main character Tasmin has a pretty house in California, loving parents and a sweet boyfriend but all that is about to change when the killings start. Secretly, she’s not a human. She takes to the oceans and kills Mavericks, their worst enemies. Rescued from a near-death situation, she ends up on an island where she experiences desire to return to the California coast and be reunited with her loved ones.

The chapter lengths were long in places but it was a really refreshing read. The cover is quite pretty too as that was what appealed to me to pick the book up in the first place. There are a few scenes of violence and death so I would advise younger readers to read Follow Me with an older reader. But I was left wanting more. I eagerly await for a new book by the author.

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3.5 out of 5 stars!

Nights of Rain and Stars was a nice read, it follows the story of four different people who all come to be into contact with each other on a Greek island. I picked this book up at my local College library where I am a student at a while ago. The characters themselves (David, Fiona, Elsa and Thomas) all had their own various issues and were trying to find the solution to them. There’s also the mystery of the Irish woman Vonni who came to live on the Island but you find out why and her story in the book.

I read the book quickly and liked how each character found their solutions to their troubled issues. The setting was nice throughout. I liked Maeve’s writing style, this was the first book by her that I’ve read. Good for anyone wanting a reading escape!

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4 stars out of 5!

The two reasons why this novel doesn’t get the full 5 stars is 1, the ending wasn’t all that brilliant and 2, the story did drag on in places and was hard to follow. But I couldn’t fault the amount of thrills, spills and adventure that took place throughout. I have to admit, a lot of my friends had warned me against reading The Da Vinci Code because it wasn’t for them but the story played out like a James Bond movie. I love James Bond, I love James Bond movies. I’m excited to read more of Dan Brown’s books. Some of the scenes in the novel are quite violent but also cunning. My favourite was towards the first 1/3 of the novel when Robert and Sophie gave the French authorities the slip. A total action-packed read!

AND FROM A WHILE BACK THAT I FORGOT TO REVIEW:

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I won a copy of Demon Road via a Maximum Pop Books twitter giveaway. I realised this morning that I had forgotten to mark down on Goodreads that I had read the book several months ago. This was the local YA Book Club that I go to every month pick for June.

There’s only one word to describe this novel: Epic.

If you are looking for a story with brutal supernatural scenes, haunting atmospheres and thrilling chases, this is the story to go to. At times, Amber wasn’t the cleverest of thinkers, making some brash decisions in a bid to escape. Some of the story was a bit violent in places but nothing could take away the fact that the world building and thrills that came throughout with all of the various happenings was outstanding. A brilliant first book in a series and the second Desolation is fixed on my TBR list. For my first book I’ve read by the author Derek Landy, it was a rollercoaster ride. Not for the fainthearted! But for anyone into exciting, dangerous YA novels and/or like Supernatural or anything to do with encounters between different groups of characters, pick this one up!

Thanks so much for reading!

Alice x

 

 

 

 

 

Blog Tour: Following Evan by Elida May

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Following Evan by Elida May

Following Evan

Summary:

Three years on from the sudden death of her husband Matt and a subsequent miscarriage, interior designer Laura is still lost in grief, hiding out in the smart London townhouse that was going to be her family home. On the encouragement of her best friend Carla, she signs up to a dating website and receives a message from a mysterious stranger, imploring her to visit him in New York because he has seen her face in his dreams.  Meanwhile, Laura visits an art gallery and is captivated by a painting of a beautiful woman in a flowing dress. It seems to be speaking directly to her, beckoning her to take a leap of faith.  These seemingly disparate events lead Laura on an epic journey to the bustling streets of the Big Apple and the desert landscape of Wyoming, where the clues to her future happiness are waiting to be discovered…

My Review of Following Evan:

Following Evan takes us on a journey as we witness and get to know Laura trying to solve the mystery of the stranger on the dating website. Having lost both Matt and her unborn child, Laura does struggle mentally and physically at times to cope whilst working as an interior designer. Taking place in London, New York and the US state of Wyoming, Following Evan is a story of mystery, love and passion. For anyone wanting a story with an escape, this is the one.

I loved how the author Elida May was able to connect Laura as a character emotionally. I could feel her struggles as if I was there experiencing them with her. The settings particularly while Laura was in New York made me want to go and visit the city more. A story full of emotions as well as what really happened to Evan and the mysterious stranger made Following Evan a real page turner. Final star rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

More information about the book and where to purchase it:

Release Date: 16th June 2016

Genre: Romance

Publisher: Self-Published

Format: Ebook

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30508231-following-evan

Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Following-Evan-Danielle-Wrate-ebook/dp/B01GTUI2D6

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About The Author: Elida May was born in Albania in 1972. Growing up in a Communist country, where access to books was severely restricted, helped to nurture her love of the written word, and she avidly read whatever genre she could get hold of, including a lot of European literature. Today Elida lives in London with her son Elidon. Following Evan is her first novel, and she is currently working on her second, Diary of Michael Vica.

You can find Elida across Social Media via these links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ElidaJamesAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/elidamay5

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/elidamay

This is just one stop in a number of other stops on the Following Evan Blog Tour. Down below is the image to all of the blog tour stops. Stop by and show the blogs participating in the tour some love!

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Thanks to Faye and the author Elida for giving me the opportunity to participate in this blog tour, my very first one as a blogger!

Alice x

Married To Books Reviews and Blog

 

 

Alice Reviews: The Sun In Her Eyes

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4 stars!

Another ChickLit novel that I picked up on a impulse buy without quite knowing what the story was all about. This is my first novel that I’ve read by Paige Toon but not the first novel that I’ve purchased that is written by her.

The Sun In Her Eyes divides time between Adelaide, South Australia and London, UK. For Amber, she is happily married to Ned but after being made redundant from her job and receiving a telephone call from Liz, a woman she has grown up with as Amber’s dad’s partner calls to deliver the news that he has suffered from a stroke, Amber flies there to be with him. Back in Australia, she helps Liz to nurse her sick father as well as meet up with old childhood friends and visiting her mother’s grave. Amber’s mum was killed in a accident with Amber was just three.

One person that Amber rekindles her contact with is old school student Ethan who she used to have a crush on. A man with two daughters and going through divorce procedures, Amber battles her old romantic thoughts for him as well as her love for husband Ned who is away on business.

A lot of things do take place within the novel. But one thing that does linger throughout is how one decision can change the lives of the people surrounding you. Amber has to face some tough decisions in order to move forward with her life either back in London or staying in Australia.

In the meantime, someone from Amber’s past, tries to make contact with her because she has something to tell Amber.

It was an emotional and thought-provoking read. I did enjoy reading it and would read more novels by Paige Toon. I had no problems with the storyline but I wouldn’t recommend the story for younger readers.

Alice Reviews: My Map Of You

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5 stars to another gorgeous Greek ChickLit read!

I would like to thank the publishers Penguin Random House and the author Isabelle Broom for sending me a copy of My Map Of You in exchange for an honest review. I would also like to apologise for the late review, I’m sorry!

The story takes place both in London and on the Greek island of Zakynthos. From reading and exploring the settings of Zakynthos within the story, it looks and feels like the dream place not just to stay on a short break but to live there altogether. The descriptions made me feel like I was a tourist there spending time in the bars and chatting with the locals.

The main character Holly receives a letter stating that her aunt has passed away and in her legacy has left her house on the Greek island to Holly. Bewildered and confused, Holly leaves her boyfriend Robert and her domineering work boss behind to clean up her aunt’s Greek home in preparation for selling it on. But what looked like an easy task turns quickly into discovering more about her aunt’s past. Throughout My Map Of You, we uncover secrets that Holly learns that have been buried away from her for many years.

Without her boyfriend Robert, Holly meets the next-door neighbour to her aunt’s house Aidan who shows her around Zakynthos and teaches her some Greek. But Holly isn’t sure what she wants and on exploring through the novel, her decision whether to stay on the island or to sell and move on whatever happens will change her world forever.

There are plenty of laughs, joy and emotion to discover within My Map Of You. My recommendation for any readers interested in reading this novel would be to travel somewhere warm and read it. Perhaps on a beach or maybe in Greece itself?

I look forward to reading Isabelle’s next novel A Year and a Day being released this coming November 2016.

I Won #ChatClassics!

My winning artwork. Let’s just say that I am not an artist in any way but oh well, I fancied a challenge at 10 o’clock at night!

I took part in a live twitter discussion about classic books, both children’s and adult classics. A lot of really good books were mentioned and we all spent around an hour answering various questions about our favourite book characters from classic books and what the first classic book that we had ever read and so on. A lot of users, book lovers, bloggers, authors all turned out and I ended up meeting a whole ton of people from that experience. Twitter chats like that I take part in because it’s a lot of fun and you can have the opportunity to meet other likeminded people who are interested in the same thing as you. I was not judged in any way because I’m a huge Jane Austen fan and around my friendship circle away from the internet, no-one likes her books so I felt kind of left out.

I spotted a contest right at the end. It was to select a quote from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and write/draw the quote out and post a photo to social media (either Twitter or Instagram). I was the first person to submit an entry in so imagine the shock just 3 weeks later when I saw a new message for me saying that I was one of the winners of the #ChatClassics Colouring Classics giveaway! My first reaction was one of shock, never in a million years did I expect my artwork to win something! I will leave a photo down of my prize plus some colouring pencils which I got as a Christmas present and a hot drink because I don’t know about you but I love having a hot drink while doing some colouring in.

Alice x

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May Wrap-Up, June TBR List Sample

I’m doing pretty well with my Goodreads reading challenge. My goal currently stands at 50 books for this year but if I reach that within the next few months, I will be bumping up that goal tally to 100 books. The month of May saw my reading habits change, I moved away from reading long Fantasy books and into ChickLit. I read 9 books in total which are all reviewed and listed on my Goodreads profile and reading challenge for 2016 and am feeling confident about this month’s reading list. My favourite books I read in May were:

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For those of you who don’t know what genres these books are. I will let you all know now so that if any of these books catch your eye, you can see if they are right for you!

All The Bright Places: YA Contemporary with a dash of feels from The Fault In Our Stars.

The Outliers: YA Adventure Thriller with some explosive elements.

You’re The One That I Want: Adult Contemporary ChickLit.

And now, because my June TBR list is HUGE, I will only mention five books that I am planning to read this month. They are the following:

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High Fantasy, first book in a trilogy which looks super exciting! Can’t wait to start it!

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This is an adult Psychological Thriller that I won in a Twitter giveaway from Transworld Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House!

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Tried to win a copy of this but sadly didn’t however my local library had it in, so I borrowed it before anyone else could! I’m thrilled because I am so so interested in the whole landscape of Broken Sky, a distorted 1940s America. How futuristically refreshing!

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You may have seen this book promoted on my blog in the past but I am delighted to let you all know that I will be participating in my first ever buddy read on Goodreads! One of my friends that I friended on Goodreads TJ asked if I would be interested in buddy reading this novel with her and being one of the most excited booknerds in England, I said a huge resounding yes. The date for this is set for June 19th.

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This isn’t out until June 21st, Zenith is something I’ve been looking forward to reading since the news first broke out that one of my favourite booktubers was writing a novel with Lindsay Cummings and can we just talk about how gorgeous the cover is? It’s so stunning. ❤

That’s a wrap for this blog post. Let me know in the comments section what books you are currently reading or planning to read in the month of June.

Alice x