Hello Book Bloglets,

How are we all? I hope this last week has been splendiferous. I had a rather wonderful week. I was approached by an author about reviewing his book (Peter Jones, for all those asking) and because I already had the book and planned to review it anyway he sent me a copy of his previous release as a thank you. I love it when authors get in touch so any of you lovely writers out there please do not hesitate to email me.

Other than that I was sent a copy of The Life I Left Behind by Colette McBeth from BookBridgr (thank you very much) and it came with a delightful birdcage charm. It really made my Thursday because as we all know I am a sucker for book post. It makes me happy.

Besides that, I befriended an author whose book I recently reviewed. It turns out we live not five minutes from each other. What a small world.

Anyway, on to the important stuff – what I read this week.

The Shape of Shit to Come by Steve Lowe

It Happened on Broadway: An Oral History of the Great White Way (review to be posted 09.12.14)

Half Bad by Sally Green (review to be posted 10.12.14)

Half Lies by Sally Green (review to be posted 13.12.14)

Melt by Selene Castrovilla (review to be posted 12.12.14)

So I think I have done quite well. A lot of blog posts lined up. I am feeling the reading groove people. I am currently reading two books. The first is Hazel by Julie Hearn. I love Julie Hearn’s books. She wrote a book called Rowan the Strange which I read with a few students a few years back and they were fascinated by it. So far, Hazel is pretty damn good.

I am also reading Christmas at Thornton Hall by Lynn Marie Hulsmann. I’ve only just started it but I hope to have it read and reviewed for Thursday.

I’ve been rather ambitious with the books that I plan to read this week in that a) there are a lot of them and b) I have decided to make a start on my books due for review in January. I have never been this organised but hey ho, I’m gonna give it a go. The books on my TBR pile this week include:

This is Your Afterlife by Vanessa Barneveld

Ticker by Lisa Mantchev

The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant

The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes by Anna McPartlin

Love Gently Falling by Melody Carlson

I am also doing a paired reading with Clare over at A Book and Tea. We are both planning on reading Girl Online by Zoe Sugg this week. Is it strange that I am now intimidated by my own list?

In other great book news I have to let you all know that I have done it. Yes, it took weeks of effort and hard work but I have finally broken the barrier. My NetGalley percentage rate currently stands at 30.2% – whoop whoop.

My next goal is 33% – Let’s hope that with all of this week’s reading I can achieve it.

Happy reading folks

L x

Title: Losing Heart

Author: Donna Brown

Pages: 83 pages

Synopsis

Helen is waiting for her pager to buzz. With every hour that passes she loses a little bit more faith; the buzz that she is waiting for will save her life. When her pager finally beeps it is to let her know that there has been a matching donor found to give her a new heart.

However, with this new heart comes dissatisfaction. Helen feels like the life that she is living isn’t doing justice to the gift that she has been given. She decides to live life to the fullest.

There is only one problem with this plan and that is Marian. Marian is the mother of the heart donor and she seems intent on forcing herself into Helen’s family. And there is damn little that Helen can do to stop her.

Review

Ok, I know I have moaned about my dislike for the short story but after reading Losing Heart you could have knocked me over with a feather. It was damn good. It felt like a much longer story. Every detail was so concise and believable. The character of Marian was truly terrifying in her subtle intensity, her deviousness and her furtive and underhand actions.

The really clever thing about Losing Heart and indeed Brown’s writing is that she made the character of Helen so reprehensible at the beginning, her attitude and animosity and sheer nastiness made her very unlikable but you couldn’t help but feel sorry for her. Helen’s whole life was controlled by this conniving woman and Helen became trapped in her own life. This is pretty powerful stuff!

So far, Losing Heart has been one of the best short stories that I have read this year and is going into the ranks of books that have helped change my mind on this form of writing. Well done Donna Brown.

Losing Heart by Donna Brown is available now.

You can follow Donna Brown (@_mrs_b) on Twitter.

Losing Heart

Synopsis

A satirical (if not frighteningly accurate) look at the scientific developments that have the potential to shape our future.

Review

I will never claim to be one of life’s great thinkers. I hold a fair level of intelligence and I can hold my own in topical debate. However, the dirge of my academic life has always been science (closely followed by maths). I just never took to it as a subject. In actual fact I failed my GCSE exam in it but shrugged it off in a “That’s life” sort of way.

As I have gotten older I admit my curiosity has peaked (not enough to re-sit my science GCSE – this was recently offered to me by my former science teacher who is now my colleague in my place of employment) and I take a more active interest in how science shapes our lives.

This inquisitiveness led me to The Shape of Shit to Come. I must say that this is a brilliant book – not just because of the fascinating topics that it covers (robotics, space travel and jellyfish to name but a few) but also because it is damn hilarious. The chapters are peppered with funny little intrusions from the authors and quite frankly their ludicrous interludes provide comic relief to, what comes across as, some seriously scary science.

I still wouldn’t say that I am totally clued up about all the recent advances in science but I know I won’t be put off by books about these contentious issues either. If science is your passion then this is definitely a book for you. If, like me, you have a growing scientific curiosity then give this a try. What you may lack in smarts when it comes to understanding the technical stuff you can more than find amusement in the writing style.

The Shape of Shit to Come by Alan McArthur and Steve Lowe is available now.

The Shape of Shit to Come

Synopsis

When Leah Harvey catches her fiancé Doug having sex with her bridesmaid the day before the wedding she flees in anger. Things continue to go pear shaped when the car she steals (from her now ex-fiancé) breaks down. In the middle of rural Scotland. During a freak blizzard. Whilst she is still wearing her wedding dress and heels. Deciding that there is no other option but to walk to the light flickering in the distance, Leah braves the storm and heads towards a lonely cottage in the middle of a field.

In said cottage is Rob, American but from Italian descent, he has come to Scotland for the chance to be alone. To wallow in self pity. To drink himself silly on whisky and hide away from all the Christmas cheer. That is until a half frozen bride turns up on his doorstep, passes out and ultimately turns his world upside down.

Review

Cold Feet at Christmas by Debbie Johnson has to be classed as one of the better Christmas based novels that I have read as part of my #Festive Feature. This is not to say that the others were not good, some of them were brilliant but Cold Feet at Christmas just had so much warmth and heart to its story.

I couldn’t help but fall in love with Rob and Leah. However, as much as I loved them I wanted to bang their heads together for both being so similar, so stubborn and so damn argumentative. Yet this is what is great about this romance novel. The build up to their union was so delicious. We can see how much they are meant to be together; their sexual trysts provided the proof of that but like all good writers Debbie Johnson left us wanting more with each chapter until the tension reached its sparkling crescendo.

This book did truly leave me satisfied as a reader of the romance genre. I finished reading it feeling the frisson of magic, the warm and fuzzies through the love and with a smile on my face that comes with the comforting knowledge that the writer hasn’t left you with anything ambiguous to darken your day.

Cold Feet at Christmas by Debbie Johnson is available now.

You can follow Debbie Johnson (@debbiemjohnson) on Twitter.

Cold Feet at Christmas