Category Archives: louise Beech

The book review café Book Of The month **February 2019**

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Whohoo It’s the 1st March, hopefully spring is just around the corner, I’m really not a winter person, bring on the lighter nights and lots of sunny days 😎.  Now we’ve got the weather out the way it’s time to choose my book of the month for February 2019, my god this was a hard one I could have chosen at least FOUR books this month but then I remembered the promise  I made last month on my blog, see below ⬇️

As only one who follows my blog will know I’m rubbish at narrowing it down to one book and more often than not I’ve chosen two or in some months three! I have had a srtrict word with myself, and this year I’m going to try and keep to just the one book of the month as the title suggests, let’s see how that goes 😂

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So after a couple of sleepless nights, and much toing and froing I came to my final decision, are you ready? I read some fabulous books in Febuary, but there is one book that really stood out. It’s a book that covers every aspect of what I look for in a read, an original  plot, great characters and a storyline that draws me in from the first page and keeps me in its grips until I reach the very last page. It’s also one that rekindled my 🖤 Of horror. So without further ado here is my ONE book of the month…….

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Turn The Other Way by Stuart James

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I read so many books that promise that “big twist” and I’m sorry to say but many of them fail to deliver, but not Stuart James, there’s twist upon twist, each one darker and more twisted than the last. It takes a lot to shock or surprise me but OMFG Turn The Other Way surpassed anything I was expecting. You know the saying “revenge is sweet”? This book is more a case of “revenge is dark, disturbing, and extremely painful”. Would I recommend this book? “It’s a hell yes” especially to those who love a horror thriller. See my full review here……..Turn The Other Way by Stuart James @StuartJames73 #MustReads #Horror #Thriller #Crime #MustRead

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After more thought and deliberation there was no way I could much choose one book

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So here is my joint winner for the book of the month

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

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The author sure knows how to weave a tangled web, and then keep the reader in his clutches with a well- plotted story. It’s one that pulls you in from the shocking opening chapter and keeps you captivated all the way to it’s explosive conclusion. I literally read this book in a day, the tension mounted as each chapter ended making this an impossible book to put down. Mark my words this book is going to be a HUGE hit.

You can read my full review here…….

#TheSilentPatient by Alex Michaelides (@AlexMichaelides @OrionBooks) #2019MustReads @BenWillisUK #BookHangoverAward

Highly recommended

Full reviews can be found in the links below……..

Call Me Star Girl by Louise Beech @LouiseWriter @OrendaBooks #MustReads

The Girl Next Door by Phoebe Morgan @Phoebe_A_Morgan @HQstories #MustReads

#DeadMemories by Angela Marsons #MustReads @WriteAngie @Bookouture #BookHangoverAward

You Belong To Me by Mark Tilbury **BlogBlitz** #BookReview @#MTilburyAuthor @Bloodhoundbook

The Nowhere Child by Christian White #BookReview @CWhiteAuthor @MinotaurBooks

Books I’m hoping to read in March

 

 

 

Call Me Star Girl by Louise Beech @LouiseWriter @OrendaBooks #MustReads

Today I’m thrilled to be able to share my review for Call Me Star Girl by Louise Beech. This book is a ‘MUST’ read for those readers who love a character led psychology thriller with a dark 🖤

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Tonight is the night for secrets…

Pregnant Victoria Valbon was brutally murdered in an alley three weeks ago – and her killer hasn’t been caught.

Tonight is Stella McKeever’s final radio show. The theme is secrets. You tell her yours, and she’ll share some of hers.

Stella might tell you about Tom, a boyfriend who likes to play games, about the mother who abandoned her, now back after twelve years. She might tell you about the perfume bottle with the star-shaped stopper, or about her father …

What Stella really wants to know is more about the mysterious man calling the station … who says he knows who killed Victoria, and has proof.

Tonight is the night for secrets, and Stella wants to know everything…

With echoes of the chilling Play Misty for Me, Call Me Star Girl is a taut, emotive and all-consuming psychological thriller that plays on our deepest fears, providing a stark reminder that stirring up dark secrets from the past can be deadly… 

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Louise Beech is such a versatile author, each of her books has made for an original read, each one has been different in tone, characters and plot, which for me means the author’s books are a “MUST” read. This is the author’s first foray into the psychological genre, but never fear yet again the author has written a book that has all her trademarks, a compelling plot, steeped in emotion, beautifully written, and yet within its covers lie a dark and disquieting read. Call Me Star Girl is a book that is guaranteed to haunt you long after you reach the last page of this all-consuming dark psychological thriller.

It’s Stella McKeever’s last ever radio show, and she wants to make sure it’s her best one yet, so decides to ask her listeners to share their secrets and in return she will share hers, which immediately gave me a sense of foreboding, we all know what happens when secrets are shared, right? Emotions are stirred, long buried memories are disturbed, a baring of the soul rarely ends in a ‘happy ever after’ for anyone.  Throw into the mix the fact a local girl has been found murdered in an alley, and the scene is set. Louise Beech weaves a complex tale featuring flawed characters, layered in oodles of tension that made this novel such an unsettling but fabulous read.

I must congratulate the author on creating the perfect setting for this novel, As the reader it takes little imagination to summon up the radio station at night,  a place where every shadow, and every noise adds a sense of trepidation to to the read, is someone hiding in the shadows? Or is Louise Beech toying with the reader?  The authors characters have the ability to consume your every waking moment, they may be flawed, they may not be likeable, they may even be untrustworthy but I can guarantee their story will enthral you, you will eagerly turn the pages, looking to find how the pieces of this finely tuned puzzle fit together.

Told from the POV of Stella and Elizabeth the mother who abandoned her, you will experience feelings and emotions you never thought possible, their stories will pull at your heartstrings when you least expect it. The author explores themes of abandonment, sacrifice and love, and in doing so has written a tense and atmospheric read. In my humble opinion this is the author’s best book yet and a must read for those who love a riveting psychological thriller that’s very much character led but with a dark heart. It’s  definitely a book that will be on my top reads of 2019 at the end of the year, and that’s a fact!

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Orenda Books in paperback  (18 April 2019) available on kindle NOW

Buying links:    Amazon UK 🇬🇧   Amazon US 🇺🇸

My thanks to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books for an ARC in exchange for an unbiased review.

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My #TopReads of 2018 by the book review café #MustReads

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I know some people think it’s too early to be sharing a top reads post before the end of 2018, but I’m taking some time off from my blog until the new year so it’s now or never.

I have been blogging for just over three years now and yet I’ve never done a top reads post and now I know why😂  I have read some fabulous books this year and trying to narrow it down is nigh on impossible. If you read my book of the months post you will know I can’t even manage to choose ONE book of the month! So I set myself an impossible challenge or so I thought, but then I had a brainwave “why not share all the books I gave a gold star too” simple eh?

So my top read list consists of all the books I gave this award to, It’s given to a book I feel is particularly outstanding, a book that covers every aspect of what I look for in a read, an original  plot, great characters and a storyline that drew me in from the first page and kept me in its grips until I reached the very last page. So here are those books in no particular order.

Links to my reviews can be found under each set of books I’ve included

 

 

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2018/02/02/unsub-by-meg-gardiner-bookreview-duttonbooks-meggardiner1-mustreads/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2018/01/06/blog-tour-hydra-by-matt-wesolowski-orendabooks-concretekraken/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2018/02/27/thehunger-by-alma-katsu-mustreads-almakatsu-poppystimpson-transworldbooks/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2018/04/09/blog-tour-keeper-by-johana-gustawsson-bookreview-

 

 

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2018/04/23/the-key-to-deaths-door-by-mark-tilbury-bloodhoundbook-mtilburyauthor-mustreads/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2018/05/11/dying-truth-by-angela-marsons-bookreview-writeangie-bookouture-mustreads/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2018/05/25/dont-make-a-sound-by-david-jackson-bookreview-mustreads-author_dave-bonnierzaffre/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2018/05/30/thepuppetshow-by-m-w-craven-mwcravenuk-littlebrownuk-mustreads/

 

 

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2018/05/15/cross-her-heart-by-sarah-pinborough-sarahpinborough-harpercollinsuk-mustreads-donttrustherbooks/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2018/06/07/blog-tour-th1rt3en-by-steve-cavanagh-sscav-orion_crime-lauren_bookspr-tr4cyf3nt0n-thatbookthathook/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2018/06/19/thislittlepiggy-by-rob-ashman-blogblitz-robashmanauthor-bloodhoundbook-mustreads/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2018/06/22/the-old-you-by-louise-voss-bookreview-mustreads-louisevoss1-     

 

 

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2018/07/06/the-lion-tamer-who-lost-by-louise-beech-summermustreads-louisewriter-orendabooks/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2018/07/16/in-the-dark-by-cara-hunter-mustreads-carahunterbooks-penguinrandom-penguinukbooks/?preview=true&iframe=true

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2018/08/21/blog-tour-beforehereyes-by-jack-jordan-jackjordanbooks-corvusbooks-must-reads2018/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2018/09/10/blog-tour-the-hangmans-hold-by-michael-wood-michaelhwood-killerreads-harpercollinsuk-

 

 

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2018/08/23/truthandlies-by-caroline-mitchell-caroline_writes-mustreads-newcrimeseries/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2018/10/04/blog-tour-the-murder-of-harriet-monckton-by-elizabeth-haynes-elizjhaynes-myriadeditions-harrietmonckton-

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2018/11/27/the-liars-wife-by-samantha-hayes-samhayes-bookouture-blogblitz-

And finally just when I thought I had completed my top reads  post I read Skin Deep by Liz Nugent which blew me away, and now it’s firmly one of my top reads of 2018. 

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#SkinDeep by Liz Nugent #BookReview #MustReads @lizzienugent #IrishBookAwards @PenguinBooks

And there you go my 19 top reads of 2018, are any of my choices included in your top reads of 2018? Do you want to share your top reads of 2018?  I would to love to know so please feel free to leave a comment in the post.

I’m ashamed to admit I only read 104 books in 2018 not as many as I hoped (Holds head in shame) but hey ho hopefully next year will be better, here are the books I read……..

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Some of the books I’m looking forward to reading in 2019….

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To all the fabulous publishers and authors who have sent me ARC’s, it’s an honour to get so many awesome books, but it’s not something I’ve come to expect or take for granted so a huge thank you to each and everyone of you x x 

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Finally I would like to wish my followers, those who constantly share my posts, book bloggers,  publishers, authors and readers a very merry Christmas and a very happy new year,  And thank you for all your support 😘

 

The Lion Tamer Who Lost by Louise Beech #SummerMustReads @LouiseWriter @OrendaBooks

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I’m thrilled to be sharing my review of The Lion Tamer Who Lost by Louise Beech. I’m not normally one of those readers who takes much notice of the cover of a book, but I love this cover. Read on for my thoughts about this fabulous book, but first the book description……

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Long ago, Andrew made a childhood wish, and kept it in a silver box. When it finally comes true, he wishes it hadn’t…

Long ago, Ben made a promise and he had a dream: to travel to Africa to volunteer at a lion reserve. When he finally makes it, it isn’t for the reasons he imagined…

Ben and Andrew keep meeting in unexpected places, and the intense relationship that develops seems to be guided by fate. Or is it? 

What if the very thing that draws them together is tainted by past secrets that threaten everything?

A dark, consuming drama that shifts from Zimbabwe to England, and then back into the past, The Lion Tamer Who Lost is also a devastatingly beautiful love story … with a tragic heart. 

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Sometimes as a reader a book comes along that blows me away, it doesn’t happen very often I must say. There are books I love and books I will treasure forever and The Lion Tamer Who Lost by the superbly talented Louise Beech falls into the latter.  As far as I’m concerned Louise Beech is the “queen” of story telling, this novel was such a compelling and emotive read, and so beautifully written I’m not convinced anything I write will convey how truly wonderful this book was. When Andrew and Ben meet by chance little do they realise their meeting will irrevocably change their destinies forever.

Louise Beech has written one of the most powerful love stories I have read in a very long time, The Lion Tamer Who Lost is a story of love, secrets and coincidences, but at the same time it’s also an emotive and beautifully told love story, that will break the most hardened heart into a million pieces. I’m not going to waste words on regurgitating the plot, read the book description if you want, but this is a novel that no book description can do justice to the captivating and bittersweet story that lies within its pages. 

The Lion Tamer Who Lost is a story that is superbly told, interspersed with extracts from Andrew’s book, and chapters set in the UK and on a Zimbabwe lion reserve. The author writes in such a descriptive way I could feel the heat, the smells, and the sounds of the Lion reserve, bringing scenes I could only dream about to life. For me personally it was the characters that made this such a fabulous read I’m sure Andrew and Ben will be in my thoughts for a long time to come, never have characters had such a profound effect on me, I laughed, I cried and then cried some more. Even Ben’s dad grew on me as the novel progressed despite his bigotry comments and his constant womanising. 

This is a modern day tale that tackles subjects that  many may consider to be taboo, but the author has an incredible way of writing, one that includes sensitivity and beautiful poetic prose that even the most narrow minded readers will find it difficult not to fall in love with this book and it’s characters. The Lion Tamer Who Lost made for an intense, all consuming read, and one I simply adored. 

This is going to come as no surprise but I’m giving The Lion Tamer Who Lost the very prestigious Gold Star Award Rating. It’s given to a book I feel is particularly outstanding, a book that covers every aspect of what I look for in a read, an original  plot, great characters and a storyline that draws me in from the first page and keeps me in its grips until I reached the very last page.

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  • Print Length: 300 pages
  • Publisher: ORENDA BOOKS (15 July 2018)

Pre-Buying Links :   Amazon UK 🇬🇧         Amazon US 🇺🇸

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**Blog Tour** Maria In The Moon by Louise Beech @OrendaBooks @LouiseWriter

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Today I’m absolutely thrilled to be one of the stops on the Maria In The Moon by Louise Beech blog tour. This really is a fabulous book and if you haven’t read it yet, it’s definitely one I would highly recommend, and it’s made it’s way to my top reads of 2017 list, yes it’s really that good.

Maria In The Moon is published by the simply awesome Orenda Books and you can buy a kindle copy right now, but this one has such a beautiful cover, it’s a book you will want to keep you can buy a physical copy on publication day the 30th September 2017

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Book description

‘Long ago my beloved Nanny Eve chose my name. Then one day she stopped calling me it. I try now to remember why, but I just can’t.’

Thirty-two-year-old Catherine Hope has a great memory. But she can’t remember everything. She can’t remember her ninth year. She can’t remember when her insomnia started. And she can’t remember why everyone stopped calling her Catherine-Maria. With a promiscuous past, and licking her wounds after a painful breakup, Catherine wonders why she resists anything approaching real love.

But when she loses her home to the devastating deluge of 2007 and volunteers at Flood Crisis, a devastating memory emerges … and changes everything. Dark, poignant and deeply moving, Maria in the Moon is an examination of the nature of memory and truth, and the defences we build to protect ourselves, when we can no longer hide…

My review

Every once in a blue moon (excuse the pun) a book comes along that blows me away, Marie In The Moon has left me with a serious book hangover not a common occurrence might I add. Marie In The Moon is without doubt Louise Beech best book yet I never thought I would say that, as I adored The Mountain In My Shoe, but oh my Maria In The Moon is something else, beautifully written, it’s a powerful and a emotive novel that will pull at the most hardened heartstrings. I seen a book quote which pretty much sums up my feelings for this novel ” some books you read. Some books you enjoy. But some books just swallow you up heart and soul”. 

Set in Hull, just after the floods of 2007, the book focuses on Catherine Hope, who had no memories of her ninth year. All she can remember is that this was when her beloved father died. She’s a volunteer at Flood Crisis, happy to help other people if it means she doesn’t have to deal with her own problems. When a long buried memories begin to surface, Catherine tries to ignore them, but as they become more vivid Catherine has to face her past and deal with the devastating events that she choose to forget, for it’s only then she will be free. Although this novel draws on some  difficult subjects Louise Beech deals with them with great sensitivity and empathy.

What a complicated but throughly intriguing character Catherine turned out to be, Louise Beech has an incredible talent that enables her to create such complex and flawed characters, she manages to get into the heads of ordinary people and makes them extraordinary, making the reader care about the characters she’s created. When the reader first meets Catherine she seems surly, antagonistic and defensive, she also appears to be in self destruct mode, but it’s not long before you become enchanted by this unbelievable character, she’s sensitive, passionate and caring and her story will break your heart.

Marie In The Moon is one of the most haunting and compelling books I’ve read in a long time, it’s full of dark humour but also filled with warmth, this novel evoked so many emotion I laughed, I cried and then I cried some more, this is a huge testament to the author’s powerful writing. Dark and deeply moving this novel is one book that’s going to stay with me for a long time, and I’m sure I will often think of Catherine’s journey and the horrors she endured.

I’m sure it will come as no surprise to hear I’m giving Marie In The Moon the very prestigious Gold Star Award Rating. It’s given to a book I feel is particularly outstanding, a book that covers every aspect of what I look for in a fabulous read, fantastic plot, great characters and a storyline that draws me in from the first page and keeps me in its grips until I reach the very last page.

imagePrint Length: 276 pages

Publisher: ORENDA BOOKS (15 Aug. 2017)

Buying links:   Amazon UK 🇬🇧     Amazon US 🇺🇸

IMG_2187Louise Beech remembers sitting in her father’s cross-legged lap while he tried to show her his guitar’s chords. He’s a musician. Her small fingers stumbled and gave up. She was three. His music sheets fascinated her – such strange language that translated into music. Her mother teaches languages, French and English, so her fluency with words fired Louise’s interest. She knew from being small that she wanted to write, to create, to make magic.

She loves all forms of writing. Her short stories have won the Glass Woman Prize, the Eric Hoffer Award for Prose, and the Aesthetica Creative Works competition, as well as shortlisting twice for the Bridport Prize and being published in a variety of UK magazines. Her first play, Afloat, was performed at Hull Truck Theatre in 2012. She also wrote a ten-year newspaper column for the Hull Daily Mail about being a parent, garnering love/hate criticism. Her debut novel was a Guardian Readers’ pick for 2015.

She is inspired by life, history, survival and love, and always has a story in her head. Her debut novel, How to be Brave, came from truth – when Louise’s daughter got Type 1 Diabetes she helped her cope by sharing her grandad’s real life sea survival story. Her second novel, The Mountain in my Shoe, was released in September 2016 and was inspired by her time working with children in the care system.

When she was fifteen Louise bet her mother ten pounds she’d be published by the time she was thirty. She missed this self-set deadline by two months. Her mother is still waiting for the money.

Link to website – http://louisebeech.co.uk/

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My thanks to Karen over at Orenda Books and Anne Cater for my ARC of this simply fabulous book, and also for allowing me to be part of the Maria In The Moon blog tour it’s been an honour to take part. 

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**Top Five Friday** with the book review café #TheWOWFactor

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Today on top five Friday I’m going to share with you the top five books that in my opinion have the WOW factor and left me speechless (no easy feat I can tell you). These are books that I’ve read this year and despite only being three months in to the new year there were plenty of books I could have choosen for this category, but for me these books are extra special and left me stunned by their sheer brilliance.

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The One by John Marrs

I just loved The One by John Marrs, he’s already gone on my list of “must read authors” after reading this awesome novel. With a highly original theme and one which intrigued me from the very first page, a cliche I know but I really struggled to put this book down.

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The Mountain In My Shoe by Louise Beech

I have to say it is the most exquisite and emotive book I have read in a very long while, and in a way it may sound strange but I’m glad I left it so long to read it as I savoured every page of this haunting and beautifully told story.

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Frailty by Betsy Reavley

Frailty by Betsy Reavley not only left me speechless (a very rare thing indeed, as Mr book review café will tell you) but it also reduced me to a blubbering wreck, it’s very rare that a book leaves me emotionally drained, especially a psychological thriller, but my god this book certainly did! From the disturbing prologue to the very last shocking page I struggled to put this book down.

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Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski

Six Stories is like no other book I have ever read it’s highly original and superbly executed, for me Matt Wesolowski is a refreshing and powerful new voice in crime fiction and certainly one to watch out for. You can read my review for this awesome book on Saturday 18th March as I’m part of the blog tour.

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The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel

The Roanoke Girls is well worth a read, despite its subject matter this book has a hidden depth, it explores the complexity of love and relationships, and dysfunctional families with sensitivity. Although it feels wrong to say I enjoyed this book, it was a hard one to put down and I read it in one sitting.

You can read my reviews here

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/01/17/the-one-by-john-marrs-bookreview-johnmarrs1-eburypublishing/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/01/13/the-mountain-in-my-shoe-by-louise-beech-orendabooks-louisewriter-bookreview/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2016/11/09/frailty-by-betsy-reavley-review-betsyreavley-bloodhoundbook/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/02/28/the-roanoke-girls-by-amy-engel-bookreview-emilykitchin/

 

**My Book Of The Month** January 2017

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Well we’ve reached the end of January 2017 which can only mean one thing, it’s time to choose my Book Of The Month for January 2017.

The Book Of The Month is chosen by myself at the beginning of every month, for the previous month. It goes to the author/book that I found outstanding for that month, and I may have given a higher rating than a 5 star review. I’m also hoping if a do this monthly come December it will make it easier to do a best reads of 2017 post or that’s my plan.

I have read some outstanding books in January, but here is where I fell at the first hurdle as I really couldn’t choose between two books this month, I’m not know for being decisive at the best of times! The two books I have chosen are polar opposites, but both books stood our for me because I still thought about them long after I finished them. Although very different in every way possible, they both had one thing in common they kept me glued to my kindle!

These fantastic books had all the elements I look for when reading books, well developed characters, a strong plot and bucketfuls of suspense, so without further ado the books I have given the Gold Star Award are……….

The Mountain In My Shoe by Louise Beech

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You can read my review here:
https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/01/13/the-mountain-in-my-shoe-by-louise-beech-orendabooks-louisewriter-bookreview/

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

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You can read my review here: https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/01/29/blog-tour-behind-her-eyes-by-sarah-pinborough-authorinterview-review-sarahpinborough-wtfthatending/

As I mentioned earlier two very different books but they are two that I would highly recommend to everyone and anyone.

what do you think of my books of the month? Did I choose well? What books would you choose? Please feel free to leave a comment