Review: The House by Simon Lelic (Blog Tour)

This review is part of the #TheHouse blog tour.

The House by Simon Lelic

Title: The House
Author: Simon Lelic
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Source: The publisher
Publisher: Penguin (3rd November 2017, 17th August 2017 in ebook)
Blurb:

The heart-stopping thriller about a husband and wife who are hiding something from each other, and from you…This book won’t let you go until you’ve found out the truth. Perfect for fans of Erin Kelly, Gillian Flynn and Fiona Barton.

Whose story do YOU believe?

Londoners Jack and Syd moved into the house a year ago. It seemed like their dream home: tons of space, the perfect location, and a friendly owner who wanted a young couple to have it.

So when they made a grisly discovery in the attic, Jack and Syd chose to ignore it. That was a mistake.

Because someone has just been murdered outside their back door.

AND NOW THE POLICE ARE WATCHING THEM.

(Blurb taken from Penguin.co.uk)

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

THE HOUSE is Simon Lelic’s first venture into the psychological thriller genre. The book is narrated by Londoners Jack and Sydney; a happy couple who, after years of scrimping and saving, managed to buy their first house together. The house seems perfect; everything they wanted to continue their lives properly together for the first time. The only slight downside to their purchase is that the house comes with contents from the previous owner and they have to decide what to do with it. Then Jack discovers something gruesome in the attic, but they decide to ignore it until someone is murdered right outside their back door.

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Review: My Gym Teacher is an Alien Overlord by David Solomons

My Gym Teacher Is An Alien Overlord by David Solomons (ARC edition)

Title: My Gym Teacher Is an Alien Overlord (My Brother is a Superhero, 2)
Author: David Solomons
Illustrator: Laura Ellen Anderson
Genre: Humour, Middle Grade
Publisher: Nosy Crow (7th July 2016)
Blurb:

Zack and Lara have superpowers. Luke has new school shoes and a burning sense of resentment. He KNOWS that aliens disguised as gym teachers are about to attack Earth but will anyone listen? No. So one dodgy pact with a self-styled supervillain later, and Luke is ready to save the world. He just needs to find his trainers.

‘My Gym Teacher Is an Alien Overlord’ is the action-packed sequel to the bestselling ‘My Brother Is a Superhero’, winner of the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize and the British Book Industry Awards Children’s Book of the Year.

(Blurb taken from Nosycrow.com)

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3 stars)
Review:

MY GYM TEACHER IS AN ALIEN OVERLORD is the second book in David Solomons’s My Brother is a Superhero series. The book follows the story of Luke whose elder brother Zack is a superhero. One of Luke’s best friends Lara is also a superhero. Luke is frustrated that his brother has gained superpowers, whilst he lover of comics has not. When he discovers that his gym teacher is an alien set to attack the Earth, he tries telling his brother and Lara but they dismiss him. Frustrated, Luke finds himself allied with a self-styled supervillain on a quest to save the world.

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Bout of Books 20

Today marks the start of the twentieth Bout of Books.  I decided I wanted to take part a while ago, but somehow I never actually got round to signing up. I don’t think this will be a particularly brilliant Bout of Books for me in terms of amount of reading I’ll get done, but as Amanda and Kelly often point out Bout of Books is not about the amount you read but the fun you have. After the last several months I definitely need some fun! Bout of Books 20 came at the perfect time.

If you’re new to Bout of Books then here you go:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 21st and runs through Sunday, August 27th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 20 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

As I did with Bout of Books 19, I’ve decided to combine my sign up post with my progress post – so don’t forget to check back here to see my progress as the week progresses.

The books I intend to read during Bout of Books 20 (+ a snack and a drink).

For Bout of Books 20 my goals are simple. I want to read as much as I can. I want to complete at least one challenge, and I want to take part in a Twitter chat if possible.

Good luck and happy reading to everyone else taking part.

My Progress…

Monday August 21st
Book(s) I’m Reading: –
Number of Pages Read Today: –
Number of Pages Read Total: –
Book(s) I’ve Completed: –
Challenge I’ve Participated In: Describe yourself #insixwords

Tuesday August 22nd
Book(s) I’m Reading: –
Number of Pages Read Today: –
Number of Pages Read Total: –
Book(s) I’ve Completed: –
Challenge I’ve Participated In: –

Wednesday August 23rd
Book(s) I’m Reading: –
Number of Pages Read Today: –
Number of Pages Read Total: –
Book(s) I’ve Completed: –
Challenge I’ve Participated In: –

Thursday August 24th
Book(s) I’m Reading: A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
Number of Pages Read Today: 22
Number of Pages Read Total: 22
Book(s) I’ve Completed: –
Challenge I’ve Participated In: –

Friday August 26th
Book(s) I’m Reading: –
Number of Pages Read Today: –
Number of Pages Read Total: 22
Book(s) I’ve Completed: –
Challenge I’ve Participated In: –

Saturday August 27th
Book(s) I’m Reading: –
Number of Pages Read Today: –
Number of Pages Read Total: 22
Book(s) I’ve Completed: –
Challenge I’ve Participated In: –

Sunday August 28th
Book(s) I’m Reading: –
Number of Pages Read Today: –
Number of Pages Read Total: 22
Book(s) I’ve Completed: –
Challenge I’ve Participated In: –

Bout of Books 20 Wrap-up

I’m sitting here writing this late on the 10th of September. You could say Bout of Books 20 was a bit of a disaster for me in terms of page count, and that is totally true. I read nowhere near the amount I wanted to, nor did I get any motivation to read. I did manage to take part in the Twitter chat on the Sunday, and I did complete one challenge – I also read something, which is a LOT better than nothing. August was not a good month for me, here’s hoping that September will be better.

Review: The Diabolic by S. J. Kincaid

The Diabolic by S. J. Kincaid

Title: The Diabolic (The Diabolic, 1)
Author: S. J. Kincaid
Genre: Dystopian, Science Fantasy, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (1st November 2016)
Blurb:

Nemesis is a Diabolic. Created to protect a galactic Senator’s daughter, Sidonia. The girl who has grown up by her side and who is as much a sister as a master. There’s no one Nemesis wouldn’t kill to keep her safe. But when the power-mad Emperor summons Sidonia to the galactic court as a hostage, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia.

She must become her.

Now one of the galaxy’s most dangerous weapons is masquerading in a world of corruption and Nemesis has to hide her true abilities or risk everything. As the Empire begins to fracture and rebellion looms closer, Nemesis learns that there is something stronger than her deadly force: the one thing she’s been told she doesn’t have – humanity. And, amidst all the danger, action and intrigue, her humanity might be the only thing that can save her, Sidonia and the Empire . . .

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3 stars)
Review:

THE DIABOLIC is the first book in a new series by S. J. Kincaid. Diabolics are genetically engineered to protect an individual at all cost, and are considered too savage to be human. THE DIABOLIC follows the story of Nemesis, a Diabolic, as she tries to protect her charge Sidonia, the daughter of a galactic Senator. When the Emperor demands that Sidonia graces his court, Nemesis reluctantly takes the place of her master so that Sidonia does not become a hostage in galactic politics. The Emperor’s court is a deadly place, even for a Diabolic, and Nemesis must learn to navigate is quickly.

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Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas (UK edition).

Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, 1)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Sword and Sorcery, Young Adult
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (5th May 2015)
Blurb:

FEYRE IS A HUNTRESS.

She thinks nothing of slaughtering a wolf to capture its prey. But, like all mortals, she fears what lingers mercilessly beyond the forest. And she will learn that taking the life of a magical creature comes at a high price . . .

Imprisoned in an enchanted court in her enemy’s kingdom, Feyre is free to roam but forbidden to escape. Her captor’s body bears the scars of fighting, and his face is always masked – but his piercing stare draws her ever closer. As Feyre’s feelings for Tamlin begin to burn through every warning she’s been hold about his kind, an ancient, wicked shadow grows.

FEYRE MUST FIND A WAY TO BREAK THE SPELL, OR LOSE HER HEART FOREVER.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES by Sarah J. Maas is the first book in the series of the same name. The book follows Feyre; she is the youngest of three daughters, and her family has fallen on hard times. With her father injured and neither of her elder sisters willing to, Feyre is forced to hunt to bring in a supply of food and coin for her family. Whilst out hunting for food desperate Feyre slaughters a wolf to gain its prey, so she can feed her family. But it is not just a wolf she kills, and taking the life of a magical creature comes with a hefty price.

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Review: I Know A Secret by Tess Gerritsen

I Know A Secret by Tess Gerritsen (UK edition)

Title: I Know A Secret (Rizzoli & Isles, 12)
Author: Tess Gerritsen
Genre: Crime, Detective Novel, Mystery, Thriller
Source: The publisher
Publisher: Bantam Press (10th August 2017)
Blurb:

I have a secret.
And someone wants to make sure I never tell . . .

In a house decorated with horror movie posters, a young woman’s body is found. She lies on her bed, two bloodied objects clutched in her palm. Detective Jane Rizzoli and Forensic Pathologist Maura Isles are called to the murder scene, but even faced with this gruesome sight they are unable to identify the immediate cause of death.

Their investigation leads them to a high-profile murder case that was seemingly solved years before. But when another body is found in horrific circumstances, the link between the two victims is clear. Was the wrong person sent to prison? Is the real killer out there right now, picking off new targets?

One woman knows the killer is coming for her next. She’s the only one who can help Rizzoli and Isles catch him.

But she has a secret that she has to keep . . .

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 stars)
Review:

I KNOW A SECRET by Tess Gerritsen is the twelfth instalment of her fantastic Rizzoli & Isles series. Detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles are on the case of a murderer who killed a horror film producer and gruesomely staged it. Maura cannot identify the cause of death; the woman seems perfectly healthy and yet she is dead. With no clues about the how or the why, Rizzoli and Isles are perplexed by the case. Things get even weirder when there appears to be a link to a high-profile murder case that was seemingly solved years ago. And a woman with a secret to keep knows the killer is coming for her.

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Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (UK edition)

Title: The Hate U Give
Author: Angie Thomas
Genre: Contemporary, Social Realism, Young Adult
Publisher: Walker Books (6th April 2017)
Blurb:

“What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?”

Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and the posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 stars)
Review:

THE HATE U GIVE is Angie Thomas’s debut novel. It tells the story of sixteen-year-old Starr who lives with her family in a place called Garden Heights; it’s a poor neighbourhood with a strong community. Starr and her brothers don’t attend the local school; instead they travel to a posh high school in the suburbs. This means that Starr lives something of a double life, so she can fit into both worlds. The balance is destroyed when Starr is coming home from a party with her best friend Khalil and they are pulled over by a police officer, and she witnesses him shoot and kill her unarmed best friend.

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Review: Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton

Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton (UK edition)

Title: Traitor to the Throne (Rebel of the Sands, 2)
Author: Alwyn Hamilton
Genre: Fantasy, Sword and Sorcery, Young Adult
Publisher: Faber and Faber (2nd February 2017)
Blurb:

This is not about blood, or love. This is about treason.

Amani has always been more gunpowder than girl. But as the Blue-Eyed Bandit her powers have gone from strength to strength – as has the rebellion she risks her life for.

Then a brutal kidnapping leads her straight to the Sultan’s palace, and she is forced to return to her desert-girl’s instincts for survival. Betrayal, cunning and espionage are a way of life here – and Amani finds she fits right in.

But with the ghosts of her past swirling all around her, Amani’d greatest fight may be to keep her own secret heart and desires under control . . .

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 stars)
Review:

TRAITOR TO THE THRONE is Alwyn Hamilton’s stunning sequel to REBEL OF THE SANDS, and the second instalment of the trilogy. Amani escaped Dustwalk and found the rebellion in the first book. Known as the Blue-Eyed Bandit to some, she helps the rebellion rescue those persecuted under Sultan Oman’s rule. Then she is brutally kidnapped and ends up in the Sultan’s palace, where she gains not only his attention but also that of his heir. Betrayal, cunning and espionage are the only way to survive, so Amani finds herself returning to her roots – the desert-girl’s instincts of survival that she honed growing up may just serve her well.

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Review: Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman (UK edition)

Title: Norse Mythology
Author: Neil Gaiman
Genre: Mythology, Non-Fiction
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (7th February 2017)
Blurb:

The Norse myths are woven into the fabric of our storytelling – from the novels of Tolkien to the worlds of comics and superheroes. They are also the inspiration for Neil Gaiman’s own award-winning, bestselling fiction.

Now Gaiman reaches back through time to the original source stories in an epic and electrifying retelling of the great Norse myths – thriling tales of dwarfs and frost giants, of treasures and magic, and of Asgard, home of the Gods: Odin the all-father, highest and oldest of the gods; his mighty son Thor, whose hammer, Mjollnir, was forged by dwarfs and makes the mountain giants tremble; Loki, wily and handsome, reliably unreliable in his lusts; and Freya, more beautiful than the sun or the moon, who gives short shrift to the gods, giants and ogres who seek to control her.

Gaiman’s gods are thoroughly alive on the page – irascible, visceral, playful, passionate – as he leads us from the beginning of everything to Ragnarok, the inescapable final downfall of the gods . . .

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3 stars)
Review:

NORSE MYTHOLOGY by Neil Gaiman is, I think, more non-fiction than it is fiction. It is a collection of surviving Norse myths retold to us by the charming Gaiman. This collection contains an introduction, outlining why Gaiman chose to write this book, a glossary and tells sixteen Norse myths. These myths begin with the Norse creation story, and conclude with the Norse take on the end of the world. The fourteen stories in between paint a picture of the Norse gods; of Odin and his son Thor, and of Loki Lie-Smith who in this version of the stories is Odin’s blood brother and Thor’s friend.

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Review: Doing It! Let’s Talk About Sex by Hannah Witton

Doing It! Let’s Talk About Sex by Hannah Witton

Title: Doing It! Let’s Talk About Sex
Author: Hannah Witton
Genre: Identity, Non-Fiction, Sex Education
Publisher: Wren & Rook (6th April 2017)
Blurb:

Sexting. Virginity. Consent. The Big O . . .

Let’s face it, doing it can be tricksy. I don’t know anyone (including myself) who has sex all figured out. So I’ve written a book full of honest, hilarious (and sometimes awkward) anecdontes, confessions and revelations. And because none of us have all the answers, I’ve invited some friends to talk about their sexuality, too.

We talk about doing it safely. Doing it joyfully. Doing it when you’re ready. Not going it. Basically, doing it the way you want, when you want. So. Let’s do this . . .

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

DOING IT! LET’S TALK ABOUT SEX by Hannah Witton is a book I have been curious about since I first heard Witton mention it on her YouTube channel. I’m in the same boat as Witton (and a lot of other people) in that I don’t think sex/sexuality/relationships/sexual health is talked about enough whether that’s at a school level or between friends/family members/partners. DOING IT! covers a wide variety of topics within this spectrum, though most are only briefly touched on, and serves as something of a handbook to point people in the right direction as well as expand (a bit) on SRE/PSHE lessons.

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