The Guilty Wife by Elle Croft

With a clever plot and a few strong characters this makes for a great page turner, easy to read psychological thriller. I must admit I had higher expectatins from the style though, which is why the downgrade for me.

The writing style is a mix of reporting and constant obsessive self-questioning grom the main character Bethany. For me she was the paradox between wannabe good wife vs. egocentrical liar and mistress. I did not like her at all, shallow and deceptive, full of herself yet constantly nagging and analysing her actions. She got on my nerves big time.

Psychologically interesting, the plot has huge potential. Though, in my opinion, the writing style could definitely be improved. It has been simply too “talkative”, a very tiring “chatting” style, unadorned in any way, without any literary pretense whatsoever. I assume the reason for this is to appeal more to the general public.

All in all, this is a gripping novel, full of intensity and suspense, with a twisted conclusion and a colourful bunch of characters. Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this arc.

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Lovability: How to Build a Business That People Love and Be Happy Doing It by Brian de Haaff

The lovability concept is one that should be applied by all companies, by all means. A complete product experience is what really makes the customer come back and at the same time develops a business based on trust and happiness for all parties involved. The book itself may seem a bit repetitive at times, nevertheless the basic concepts and framework should be considered and applied nowadays.

Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

A Tale of Two Mommies by Vanita Oelschlager

This little book is a superbly illustrated one for kids, with lots of learning opportunities and lots of questions to answer. To me it seems it is about a two moms couple taking care of a little boy who clearly knows his moms’ duties, is aware of his expectations and knows he is loved and taken care of. It speaks tons about gender differences at a subtle level, through the pov of the little one who undestands his world pretty well. I warmly recommend it and considering purchasing it for my kids for when they grow up a bit more. Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this arc.

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Onwards Flows the River by Caroline Windsor

A beautifully written account of friendship and love, among the life’s hardships, set in the dreamy countryside of Devon vs. the serious real life London. I had a pleasant experience with this book, which is very calming, yet poignant with details and soothing descriptions of nature and young love. It is like a pumpkin spiced latte on an autumn evening, delightful to sip on and strong enough to get one focused on the important things.

The characters are well portrayed and each and every one of them is distinctly rounded up, a well accomplished feat for a seemingly easy to read young adult novel. It seems like a ya, though it touches some serious topics as well, like family poverty, difficult childhood, unrequited love, etc. Plus the whole thing is spiced up with Anglican vs Quaker references, which I must say, I found a bit odd in the beginning. Though religion plays a major role in the characters’ development throughout the book, so one should not be harsh about it.

All in all, I enjoyed this novel and warmly recommend it as a weekend read. It requires patience and/or a calm mood and the expectation that the action is slowly unfolding, with the speed of an old mobile, yet like a sunny breeze while watching the river unfolding its currents and waves.

Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book.

The Last Day of Emily Lindsey by Nic Joseph

The Last Day of Emily Lindsey is not your usual suspense novel. The writing style is what keeps the reader on the edge, in a particular way. It puzzles and drops hints here and there, with a parallel timeline of paat vs. present, with bits of psychological mystery and disturbed characters.

Oh the characters are deranged on many ways, though they all finally get their closure and they manage to undestand their psychotic natures by the end of the book.

Steven is hurting deeply ever since his childhood and no one knows why. Hence he keeps hiding his blackouts and visions by hurting himself in other ways, at the same time trying to keep up with life and his passion of solving crimes as a detective.

I was surprised by Lill’s character and her actions in the present, while at the same time it somehow made sense based on her past decision to save the other children. Yet how can it all make sense from so many different perspectives? A very controversial way of life, damaged souls and messed up futures. About Emily herself I could not say much without divulging the key actions. She was just a very determined person, likely the most determined of them all to discover and expose the truth by any means.

At least there are some normal relationship resolutions by the end of the book. Steven/Lara/Kit is one of them, also incredible due to lack of communication issues based on Steven’s emotional problems. His work relationship with Gayle is strengthening throughout the novel, despite the necessary lies about his condition. At times I felt Steven’s suffering to be exaggerated on purpose, yet I have never encoutered such in real life, so I could not clearly judge his actions.

This is a gripping novel for sure, pickled with disturbia, engaging plot and a good writing style for suspense and crime. All in all, you’ve got a great mix of everything, with a higher dose of psychological suspense at a slightly gory level, smartly packed up as a complete unit which will keep you guessing, tossing and turning until the end.

Many thanks to Netgalley and Sourcebooks for the opportunity to read and review this arc. It is a must read for fans of psychological suspense and crime.IMG_20171012_091336_966.jpg

The End We Start From by Megan Hunter

A poetical dystopian novel, short in explanations, confusingly adorable at times because of the mother and child relationship. Tough to chew when thinking of the father/ husband who left them alone in crisis – and why did he?

Ambiguously tense because what happened was a flood, or maybe worse, could have been also a big fire or destruction for or without any reason. Post-apocalyptic happenings without much detail.

Yet the world is as usual, people helping each other, going back to basics, surviving, struggling, hoping to be reunited with the loved ones. And the end is the new beginning, relearning to be together, finding love in memories and present details of a big hand or a faithful smell of grainy skin.

I was thoroughly impressed and confused at the same time, still this short novel has something special to it beyond the usual dystopia. Must be the poetical style interspersed with references of things and events that could have happened before, with some clue to what will come next.

Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this arc.

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The Copengagen Affair by Amulya Malladi

IMG_20170927_072701_454I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, definitely one of the best among Womens’ fiction and Romance. Copenhagen is one of my favorite capitals too, so I was marveled and overjoyed to be traveling back to beautiful places I’ve been to in real life.

The novel itself is a colorful mix of relationship dramas, coping with depression, gossipy friends, lovely complex characters that turned out to be less shallow than it appeared in the beginning. A lot of infidelities, yet each story telling more about the real reasons behind the cheating eg. being belittled by the family, wanting to seem stronger than in reality, big egos and playful nature.

The flow of the novel kept me alert and addicted to the plot and the easy yet literary style. The characters are from all sorts of backgrounds, most of them already become part of the rich class with all its perks. There is also a lot of humour, deliciously entwined to wittiness and sexual apropos. Despite all there is vagueness as to what is going on behind the scenes sometimes, which just spices up the imaginary element.

I’ll definitely read Malladi’s other novels, her witty literary style is such a breath of fresh air among Women fiction! Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this arc.

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Unstoppable: My Life So Far by Maria Sharapova

A well-written biography of Maria Sharapova, full of emotion and truth about her life and career evolution. I didn’t know much about her, nor the particularities of tennis as a professional sport. She has honestly wrote down a detailed account of her most important challenges, matches, hopes and fears. I learned a lot about her style and determination to win it all, about this strong mentality of a champion. It’s amazing how many hours and years it takes to become the dream.

Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this arc.

Sing, unburied, sing by Jesmyn Ward

Beautifully written to the core, exquisite understanding of the human nature, a book set up to become one of the best of 2017.

I was amazed by the writing style, this being my first Jesmyn Ward book. There is a melodious ache in her words, deeply resounding and immediately compelling, comforting yet fantastic in a way. I would most likely buy the hardcopy and reread entire passages. I made so many notes on my kindle, so many beautiful phrases to treasure.

The characters​ in this book are going through complex struggles, psychologically and physically too. Jojo is my favorite and I felt so deeply with this boy, too mature for his years. I could not imagine being in his shoes, seeing and going through so much hardships and yet shouldering huge responsibility towards his toddler sister. His savior and role model is his grandpa, Pop. This just goes to show how important having a firm role model is to young kids.

Leonie is a wreck of a mother, I was engrossed by all her actions and way of thinking. I could not fathom her becoming who she was in the book. Her character is nevertheless well rounded descriptively and realistic.

I highly recommend this book to everyone who likes sublime writing about real life hardships. The message I manage to feel is that there is a glimmer of hope usually between the darkness of what life can be.

Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Make space by Regina Wong

A necessary manifesto for a simpler and more fulfilling life, without clutter and going against consumerism! I have been trying and slowly succeeding to declutter, it is difficult and overwhelming. The good news is that it is possible. This little book introduces the basics of minimalism with inspiring quotes that reawoke in myself the desire to simplify more, hence to live more.

“When we crave simplicity, we are not after an easier life. We are after life”. —Dave Bruno

I recommend this for those who are toying with the idea of finding a way to simplify their lives, this books is a great start!

Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.