Monday 30 January 2023

Nothing Can Hurt You Now by Simone Campos | Blog Tour Book Review

[ad/gifted - I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.]

Nothing Can Hurt You Now by Simone Campos
My rating: 4/5
Publisher: Pushkin Vertigo
Publication date: 2nd February 2023

Lucinda has lived her whole life in the shadow of her glamorous and outgoing high-end model sister Viviana. But when Viviana suddenly disappears on a trip to São Paulo, Lucinda drops everything to track her down. 

Met with indifference from the police, Lucinda joins forces with Viviana's girlfriend Graziane to launch her own investigation. When she discovers that her sister had a thriving career as a sex worker, the list of possible suspects widens. Then a cryptic text suggests that Viviana is still alive but being held hostage. With the minutes ticking by, Lucinda and Graziane must track down the men from Viviana's past to discover who might want to do her harm. 

A furiously contemporary and vibrant thriller that crackles with danger.

I loved this!

The story follows sisters Lucinda and Viviana. Viviana, a model, is away for work and Lucinda is looking after her house. When she gets a message from Graziane, a lady who Viviana was supposed to be meeting up with, saying that Viviana has gone missing, panic ensues.

The Brazilian police aren't helpful at all so the women take matters into their own hands. Lucinda searches through her sister's personal items, trying to find out what could have happened. She discovers the truth about Viviana's relationship with Graziane and learns that her sister was actually a sex worker. This then makes their list of potential suspects that much more difficult.

After receiving a text which suggests that Viviana has been kidnapped, the chase to get to her before anything happens begins.

I really like the juxtaposition between the sisters in this novel. Lucinda is very 'by the book' and judges Viviana a little for what she does. I really loved Viviana's point of view and how she describes what a woman's place in society should be and how she challenges that. Really enjoyable!


Thank you so much to Pushkin for having me on the blog tour. You can find information about the other bloggers taking part in the tour in the graphic below. 

Tuesday 17 January 2023

The Perfect Match by Dandy Smith | Blog Tour Book Review

[AD/Gifted - I received an ebook copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.]

The Perfect Match by Dandy Smith
My rating: 4/5
Publisher: Embla Books
Publication date: 19th January 2023

Best friend or boyfriend, who would you believe?

Zara has always felt a little ordinary next to her spirited best friend Ivy. Even her dreams seem mundane: a boyfriend, marriage, children... Besides, who would pick her when they could choose Ivy?

So when Zara meets Henry and there's an instant spark, she can't believe her luck. A wealthy CEO who wants to settle down? He's perfect... until Ivy insists he's too good to be true.

As Henry and Ivy repeatedly clash, doubts creep into Zara's mind. Could it be that Ivy just doesn't want to share her best friend with anyone else? Or does Henry have a hidden agenda? Zara is caught in the middle, constantly trying to prove who she loves more.

Then someone winds up dead, and Zara realises there's more to this than jealousy...

This book! My head is spinning.

Twenty-eight year old Zara dreams of being married, having children and having a perfect family, in spite of her upbringing which was quite the opposite. Her best friend Ivy is happy to flit around, never settling down and thinks Zara's idea of being settled is pathetic.

When Zara meets Henry and begins a whirlwind romance, Ivy is less than pleased. Zara and Ivy's relationship is extremely close and made me feel a bit uncomfortable at times if I'm honest. Ivy is telling Zara things to turn her against Henry and Henry is doing the same about Ivy. Zara is stuck in the middle but who can she trust?

I absolutely loved how this was written and I think I went from about 17% to 75% in one sitting because I just wanted to see what was going to happen next. It is very dark at some points and had me guessing throughout. I really enjoyed the end scene where Zara relays the story from two different perspectives. Very well done!


Thanks to Compulsive Readers & Embla Books for having me on the blog tour. You can find out more about the bloggers taking part in the tour in the graphic below.

Monday 16 January 2023

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides | Book Review

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
My rating: 4/5
Publisher: Orion 
Publication date: 12th December 2019

Alicia Berenson lived a seemingly perfect life until one day six years ago.

When she shot her husband in the head five times.

Since then she hasn't spoken a single word.

It's time to find out why.

Alicia Berenson is a famous artist. One night six years ago, she shot her husband in the head five times and hasn't spoken since.

Psychologist Theo Faber is convinced that he is the one who will be able to communicate with her and get her to speak after all this time. He gets a job at The Grove, the secure unit where Alicia is, and sets upon creating a bond with her.

He looks into her relationships, her paintings, her past, all to build a picture. But what will be revealed?

This book is so cleverly written. It is the perfect pace and I felt a real chase whilst reading. I was desperate to know the truth. The psychology and Greek aspects were very interesting to me. I did however start to guess the outcome towards the end - maybe I've read too many thrillers! But it was very enjoyable with a lot of red herrings.

Thursday 12 January 2023

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover | Book Review

[This post contains affiliate links.]

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
My rating: 3/5
Publisher: Simon & Schuster 
Publication date: 2nd August 2016

Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town where she grew up—she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. And when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life seems too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head. But Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan—her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

I jumped on the bandwagon with this book because I had a touch of FOMO. I thought it was a standard romance novel but, massive trigger warning for domestic abuse.

It Ends With Us tells the story of Lily who moves from Maine to Boston and sets up her own flower shop. She meets neurosurgeon Ryle on the rooftop of an apartment building following her father's funeral. Six months later, their paths cross again as Ryle is the brother of Alyssa, the flower shop's newest member of staff. Even though Ryle has issues from his past, he and Lily embark on a relationship.

Whilst their story develops, we hear about Lily's first love when she was a teenager, Atlas, through journal entries. 

It took until about two-thirds into this book before I really started to enjoy it. I found it hard to like the characters. I know we were meant to like Ryle at the beginning until...we weren't, but I also didn't care too much for Atlas either. I did find the journal entries being written to Ellen DeGeneres a bit strange too! 

The saving grace for this book was the wonderful job it did on the subject of domestic abuse. It was so well-explored and really pointed out why it's not so easy for women to leave but the cycle must be broken somewhere. Great character development for Lily.

Friday 6 January 2023

Blood Moon by Lucy Cuthew | Book Review

[This post contains affiliate links.]

Blood Moon by Lucy Cuthew
My rating: 4/5
Publisher: Walker Books 
Publication date: 2nd July 2020

During Frankie’s first sexual experience, she gets her period. It’s only blood, they agree. No shame.

Then a graphic meme goes viral, turning a fun, intimate afternoon into something mortifying and damaging. And Frankie begins to wonder: is she disgusting?

As the online shaming takes on a horrifying life of its own, Frankie's universe implodes. But can laughter, bravery and the fiercest of friendships help Frankie find her way out of the darkness?

I don't tend to read lot of YA because at thirty years old I feel like I am a bit too old but I heard a lot about Blood Moon and wanted to give it a go. I thought a YA would be an easier read in between heavier books.

Blood Moon follows teenage astronomy lover Frankie. When she has her first sexual encounter with Benjamin, a boy she likes from school, she gets her period. Word spreads around the school, she becomes an internet meme, other schools hear about it and it even infiltrates her personal life.

It doesn't help that she has fallen out with best friend Harriet and Frankie believes she has been betrayed by her.

This story really brings you back into high school and just how cruel and starved for gossip teenagers can be. Cuthew writes so well and really helps to shut down period taboo, tackles toxic masculinity and goes on to show empowerment and standing together. I really enjoyed this!

Tuesday 3 January 2023

Bad Fruit by Ella King | Book Review

[This post contains affiliate links.]

Bad Fruit by Ella King
Star rating: 4/5
Publisher: HarperCollins 
Publication date: 18th August 2022


Every evening she pours Mama a glass of perfectly spoilt orange juice. She arranges the teddy bears on Mama’s quilt, she puts on her matching pink clothes. Anything to help put out the fire of Mama’s rage.


But Mama is becoming unpredictable, dangerous. And as she starts to unravel, so do the memories that Lily has kept locked away for so long.
She only wanted to be good, to help piece Mama back together. But as home truths creep out of the shadows, Lily must recast everything: what if her house isn’t a home – but a prison? What if Mama isn’t a protector – but a monster...

This is probably one of the toughest books I've read yet. 

Bad Fruit is the story of Lily, daughter to a Singaporean mother and English father, and the abuse she and her siblings suffer at the hands of their parents. 

Lily thinks of herself as the favourite child. She knows how to placate her mother. She serves her, and pre-tastes, the slightly spoiled juice that her mother loves, dyes her hair, wears contacts and the wrong shade of foundation to be more like her mother. But when she starts having flashbacks and hallucinations the summer before she is due to study law at Oxford, more about her mother's life and her own life are revealed. How the trauma spans generations and how her siblings tried to save her from remembering.

This is written beautifully. It is so dark and disturbing that I did have trouble reading it because I felt so sad. I don't want to go into too much detail about the actual story but it is a mix of domestic thriller and psychological thriller. Very well done.