History of a Drowning Boy – Dennis Nilsen

Genre: Non-fiction | Autobiography

Pages: 336

My rating: ☆☆☆☆/5

I’d like to thank the team at Literally PR for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for a review on its publication day!

Content warning: This book is a first person retelling of what it’s like to be a serial killer. If you struggle with themes including murder, sexual violence, sex, child abuse, paedophillia, homophobia and alcoholism then this book definitely isn’t for you. These themes are very strong throughout the first few chapters of the book and are completely unavoidable.

Dennis Nilsen was one of Britain’s most notorious serial killers, jailed for life in 1983 after the murders of 12 men and the attempted murders of many more.

Seven years after his conviction, Nilsen began to write his autobiography and over a period of 18 years he typed 6,000 pages of introspection, reflection, comment and explanation.

History of a Drowning Boy – taken exclusively from these astonishing writings – uncovers, for the first time, the motives behind the murders, and delivers a clear understanding of how such horrific events could have happened, tracing the origins back to early childhood. In another first, it provides an insight into his 35 years inside the maximum-security prison system including his everyday life on the wings; his interactions with the authorities and other notorious prisoners; and his artistic endeavours of music, writing and drama. It also reveals the truth behind many of the myths surrounding Dennis Nilsen, as reported in the media.

Nilsen was determined to have his memoir published but to his frustration, the Home Office blocked publication during his lifetime. He died in 2018, entrusting the manuscript to his closest friend and it is now being published with the latter’s permission.

Any autobiography presents the writer’s story from just one perspective – his own, and as such this record should be treated with some caution. An excellent foreword by criminologist Dr Mark Pettigrew offers some context to Nilsen’s words, and this important work provides an extraordinary journey through the life of a remarkable and inadequate man.

I’ve never read a book told from the perspective of a murderer before, and quite frankly it was enthralling. Dennis had a very, very challenging upbringing and being a gay man during the 50s/60s/70s definitely made things worse for him. I know that there’s absolutely no justification for murdering someone, but you can tell from the horrendous challenges he faced during his upbringing that they were piecing together all of the pieces that led to him being the way he was.

The first few chapters of the book I thought were the most interesting. He tells of his life right from the day he was born, through his childhood and into adulthood. As a child he was regularly sexually assaulted by his grandfather, which led to a whole host of issues for him mentally. He also knew he was gay, but at the time it wasn’t seen as being ok to be gay and so it was a big secret he had to keep to himself which I think really ate away at him.

He retells the way in which he murdered each of his victims, which is something really quite disturbing to read. The only other non-fiction true crime book I’ve read was about Ted Bundy, and that was third person so I feel you don’t get that same emotional connection whilst reading. Having Dennis Nilsen tell the reader exactly what he did to murder the men he lured back to his house is emotionally challenging to say the least.

The majority of the book is whilst he was in various prisons up and down England as that’s where he spent 35 years of his life. I definitely found the chapters that run up to his arrest the most interesting, but the prison chapters were still fascinating to read and provided a real insight into what life is really like when you’re in prison – it definitely isn’t all sunshine and rainbows like what’s portrayed in some TV shows and films!

I think that anyone who is a fan of true crime would enjoy this book. It is so different to anything I’ve ever read and will definitely be sticking around in my mind for a long, long time!

*BLOG TOUR* The Nucleus of Reality – L.A. Davenport

Thomas P— is exhausted.

He’s been travelling for work so much he barely knows where
he is. And then, while waiting for a table at a restaurant, he sees someone from his past.
Exactly as she was twenty years ago, when they first knew each other. Deeply shaken,
he tries to carry on as if nothing happened.


But when it happens again, in a different restaurant, in a different city, Thomas’s world
begins to unravel. Haunted by a magnificent black parrot and a past he wants to forget,
he becomes paranoid, unsure whether he can trust himself and the world around him.
After he sees another friend he thought he had forgotten, he realises he is lost and
alone, and afraid of his own mind. Then an enigmatic woman tells him he is not seeing
things but rather his memory has been mined to create life-like androids that are
replacing the human race one by one.


And then he is arrested.

Will Thomas resist the mysterious woman and get his life back? Or will he join her cult
and take up arms in the fight to save us all?


The Nucleus of Reality, or the Recollections of Thomas P—, is the story of a man trying
to remember why he ended up losing everything but himself.

AUTHOR BIO:

L. A. Davenport is an Anglo-Irish author and journalist.
Sometimes he lives in the countryside, far away from urban distraction, but mostly he lives in the
city. He enjoys long walks, typewriters and strong black coffee.

The genesis of The Nucleus Reality, or The Recollections of Thomas P—, began in the queue for
Wagamama in Liverpool. I was in that great city for a conference, and I was exhausted and
somewhat disorientated. Really, I just wanted to go to bed, but I needed to eat more, and so there
I was, standing in the queue, my mind racing but latching onto nothing.
Then, while I was waiting my turn, I saw the most extraordinary thing: A friend of mine, right there
in front of me, exactly as she was twenty years ago. I was stunned. For a second I wondered
whether it actually was her. But of course it wasn’t. Was it? And if it wasn’t her, how could
someone look so much like her? And why now, why here, in a place with which neither of us had
a connection?
It took an instant for me to realise that there was a story in this, and I began to construct the
opening scenes while I waited to be seated. Realising that a) I would forget the details if I didn’t
write them down and b) the whole story was crystallising in my mind in one go, I pulled out my
notebook and started writing. For the rest of my meal, and under the puzzled gaze of the man
sitting opposite me, I sketched out the plot from start to finish, writing in a blur, trying to pull down
onto the page all the people, scenes and many, many ideas that filled my mind.
When the waitress, who with patience and kindness had indulged my distractedness, finally
brought me the bill, I sat back and flicked through my notes. Here was a book, I realised, not just
a set of ideas; moreover, a book that was ready to be written.
But it didn’t turn out like that. I had that experience in the restaurant towards the end of 2019, and
we all know how things turned out the following spring. Still, the idea wound’t go away. Indeed, as
I adapted and moulded it over the coming months, it grew, becoming ever more complex and so
much more than a book about the consequences of someone realising they can no longer trust
what they see.
It began to encompass ideas about the nature of memory and recall, our sense of identity, what it
means to be disassociated from ourselves, how the cruel exploit the vulnerable and care nothing
for the consequences, and the impact of severe mental illness on both the individual and those
around them.
Then in August 2020, I finally had the chance to start writing again. I thought it would be difficult
to write this book, especially as I knew I wanted it to be in the first person, but it was strangely

easy to find a voice and let it flow. I realised I’d been wanting to write something touching these
topics for a very long time.

L. A. Davenport is author of the novel Escape and the short story collections No Way Home and
Dear Lucifer and Other Stories, as well as the memoir My Life as a Dog.

LINKS:
The Nucleus Reality, or The Recollections of Thomas P—: https://pushingthewave.co.uk/books/
the-nucleus-of-reality/


My Life as a Dog: https://pushingthewave.co.uk/books/my-life-as-a-dog/


Escape: https://pushingthewave.co.uk/books/escape/


No Way Home: https://pushingthewave.co.uk/books/no-way-home/

Dear Lucifer and Other Stories: https://pushingthewave.co.uk/books/dear-lucifer-and-other-
stories/

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Author Interview – Kirsten Mbawa

Kirsten Mbawa is a 13 year old author from Northampton in England. She published her debut novel in 2020 when she was just 12 years old. Sagas of Anya is a historical fiction novel set in the Victorian era. I reviewed her book on my blog last year. If you’d like to read it then click here.

If you’d like to purchase her book, head to the Mbawa Books website. *Please note: This is an affiliate link. I earn a small amount of commission from each sale made through this link*

As well as writing books and going to school, Kirsten, alongside her sister Aiyven, are the creators of middle grade subscription box Happier Every Chapter. I’ve also written a blog post about that, which you can read by clicking here.

Here’s my author interview with Kirsten:

What made you decide to create a story based in the Victorian era?

At the time of writing Sagas of Anya, I was reading and watching a lot of the well-known series: Hetty Feather by Jacqueline Wilson. It was about a girl who had not lost her mum but was taken away from her and she battles life in a cruel foundling hospital. Hetty faced an incredibly brutal journey and so did Anya. However, I made sure to make my book as incomparable to Hetty Feather as possible!

How much research did it take to write your book?

Gosh, I had to do SO much research for my book because, as it’s set in the Victorian era, I had to make sure every fact was correct. Also, Sagas of Anya is set in Cardiff so I had to search and add in the odd bit of Welsh!

Would you switch lives with Anya for a day and work as a maid to a mansion?

I don’t think I’d switch lives with Anya in the later part of the book when she moves to London but maybe nearing the start when she visits the beautiful Mircove Beach and meets friends like Daisy and Frank!

Was there one book / film in particular that helped to provide inspiration for Sagas of Anya?

Hetty Feather and other books like Below the Stairs helped a ton. Admittedly, I don’t really I watch historical fiction films/series apart from a few documentaries about life as maids.

Can you share any spoilers about your next book?

It’s going to be published in October, fingers crossed, and is going to be about this young boy called Malachi (or Mike) and his new next door neighbour…It’s either going to be called, as of now, “My next door neighbour”, or “Gretel” which I think are both very scary names however, I may think of something more compelling later!

How have you found balancing school, being authors and being the owners of a Happier Every Chapter, your subscription box business?

Right now in lockdown, it isn’t really that bad! Since everything’s online and we get no homework, I find I have more time to focus an hour or more a day on our business! Especially with Happier Every Chapter added, physical school and Mbawa Books was getting increasingly harder to balance.

At what point did you decide to be an author / publish books?

Soon after we’d entered the BBC 500 word competition, which we unfortunately didn’t win, we decided to use our entries and make them into books!

How do you overcome writer’s block?

Writer’s block is inevitable for all writers as much as we try to deny or ignore it but there are ways of getting over it and here are two of mine! First of all, I read. Authors will read anyway but I try to read more than usual to collect new ideas from different books and their genres. The second thing I do, if option one fails, is take a break from writing. Writer’s block will most likely come from having new interests, writing too much etc. Taking a break and focusing on some other fun activities and hobbies can relieve my brain of the stress of having to think of constant new ideas.

Was there anything you edited out of a book / short story that you later wished you kept in?

There has been many scenes as a writer that have been removed from my stories and I regret some of them. One was in one of my recent short story which was in Happier Every Chapter (our subscription box) about a young girl called Melody and her family’s dark secret. The short story already had a small amount of gore and pleasing displeasure moments but I was advised to remove an especially gory scene as our subscription box is for the ages of 8-14 and I had to write a short story that would accommodate everybody’s gore tolerance level! Watch out though, my next novel is going to be creepy and gory!

How do you find the inspiration for new novels and storylines?

The obvious answer is by reading! I try (although have failed multiple times and retreated back to my historical fiction roots) to read several genres and several authors. By doing this, I can pick and choose bits of different books I liked and add aspects of them to my book. This way, nobody can claim you are copying a certain author when writing. Also, I just look! People say an artist’s eye is sharp, but I think a writer’s eye is just as observant. As we go on walks, we don’t just go to have a good time (which is very important to do) we also go knowing to be aware of everything. Some of my best ideas have come to me while being outside and observing. The human world is full of secrets, mysteries and stories to be told so just look at it!

If you were to give one tip to someone wanting to get into writing, what would it be?

Can you guess what I’m going to say? Read! Yes, read, though I’m sure it wasn’t that obvious. Reading enriches your mind. It also enhances your vocabulary! As mentioned previously, different books will give you different ideas. Writing a fantasy novel? Look up fantasy authors or fantasy books and buy about 2,3 or even 4 of them! Trust me, the inspiration you get will be worth the money!

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*BLOG TOUR* The Death of Honor – Lyra Thorsson

Genre: Science fiction | Space opera

Pages: 252

Published: 12th January 2021

My Rating: ☆☆☆/5

Firstly, I want to thank Heather at Overview Media for organising this blog tour and gifting me a copy of the book in exchange for this review and my spot on the tour.

All Rebecca wants in life is to sail through space in her ship—is that too much to ask? The moment she lays eyes on her old military buddy Jonathan, Rebecca knew there was no running away from her duties. With her best friend, sometimes with benefits, Nik, she desired to return home to the Nreff Nation, one of the four government powers of the systems, to serve on one last mission.

However, the problem with returning is that they all are wanted for treason. It wasn’t their fault, however, as they had been framed by their old admiral, Sebastien Wilde. Fortunately, succeeding in this mission might give them a clean slate, as they are to find evidence of Wilde’s involvement in the illegal human experimentation ring that goes against the Treaty Of World Equality and Rights (T.O.W.E.R.).

Rebecca and Nik agree to the mission, hoping to earn a more peaceful life, however Rebecca hides a dark secret: she was once closer to Sebastien than any of them ever realized, and the evidence incriminating him might also implicate her.

Now Rebecca has a choice: turn her back on her comrades and run for her life, or face her sins in order to prevent an all-out war.

CONTENT WARNING!

This book contains sexual content, violence, drug abuse, and physical, sexual, and mental abuse. If any of these themes are challenging for you, I would recommend not reading this book.

I’ll be honest, this is the first sci-fi book I’ve EVER read and I did go into it thinking ‘oh god, I hate sci-fi’. I always have an immediate preconceived idea that sci-fi instantly means aliens. I forget that films like Star Wars contain humans (and I like Star Wars!!).

What I liked

This book has an alternating first person perspective between Rebecca and Nik. If you’ve been around here for a while or follow my Instagram, you will know how much I love an alternating POV – I think you can find out so much more about the characters and their thoughts and feelings, which I really enjoy.

The characters are really well written. I developed the strongest disliking towards Sebastien. Horrible, horrible human. I’m also really appreciative that Lyra included content warnings on the blurb of the book. We need more of this!!! Rebecca and Nik are great main characters and I loved the relationship the pair had. At one point they separated from one another, which is another reason why I love multiple POV books – you could continue to see both of their lives, what they were doing and how they were coping. It always annoys me when books are single perspectives and one of the characters goes elsewhere and is essentially forgotten about. I think Rebecca was a particularly well developed character. She seemed to have more secrets and mystery about her compared to Nik – for example, her addiction to the drug Morphine-B, which she hid from those around her.

It took me a little while to get into the book as I said I’ve never read a sci-fi book and it took me some time to figure out the general plot and atmosphere of the book. But I read the second half of the book in one sitting and I was completely gripped. It really ramped up the pace during the second half of the book.

What I didn’t like

This might be really petty, but throughout the book there were certain words and sentences that were written in other languages. Most curse words were in German, and then there were also some phrases in French and Italian (I think) and to be honest, I didn’t think they were necessary. I have a GCSE in French (most of which I’ve forgotten), very very basic understanding of German and not a clue with Italian, and found myself quite often spending more time on Google Translate than I did reading the book. I felt quite lucky to be reading a Kindle copy as I could just highlight the text and it would translate, but if you were reading a physical copy of the book, it would be much more difficult.

I also struggled with the general context / world building of the story. Sometimes it seemed like they were in space, and other times they could have just been on Earth somewhere. I was a tad confused whether the book was set within our universe or another. For the most part it seemed like they were in another universe and then there were mentions of Scotland..? I think that the random interjections of other languages also made it seem more like they were on Earth. There was very little context at the start of the book, you’re almost thrown in at the deep end. There’s little explanation about where Nik and Rebecca are and what they’re doing. The book starts with them in space on a ship that’s having technical issues.

Overall

I actually enjoyed this book once I overcame my preconceived ideas about aliens and figured out some of the context for the book. The book really picks up the pace in the final 20(ish)% and the storyline becomes much darker, dramatic and gripping. The story is left on not so much a cliffhanger, but with lots of loose ends that still need to be tidied up in the next book.

About the Author

Lyra Thorsson is the sci-fi pen name for Dani Hoots. She is a science fiction, fantasy, romance, and young adult author who loves anything with a story. She has a B.S. in Anthropology, a Masters of Urban and Environmental Planning, a Certificate in Novel Writing from Arizona State University, and a BS in Herbal Science from Bastyr University.

Her hobbies include reading, watching anime, cooking, studying different languages, wire walking, hula hoop, and working with plants. She is also an herbalist and sells her concoctions on FoxCraft Apothecary. She lives in Phoenix with her husband and visits Seattle often.

Feel free to email her with any questions you might have!

danihootsauthor@gmail.com

Check out the other blog posts for this tour!

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44 Tiny Acrobats – Sylvia Bishop

I firstly want to thank the people at Little Tiger for gifting me a copy of this book to review.

Reader Age – 6 to 9 years

Pages – 192

When Fry’s Circus of Wonders pitches its tent opposite Betsy’s house, Betsy feels a strange sense of longing. But Grandad can’t even bear to look at it – it stirs up too many painful memories of Grandma’s days as a circus performer.

As her parents rally round Grandad, Betsy slips away to see the show. But Betsy isn’t the only one enjoying the spectacle – her forty-four mice have escaped and seem intent on joining in! As the mice gatecrash the magic act, disaster strikes and Betsy finds herself facing up to the odious ringmaster with a lot of explaining to do…

This is the second book in the 44 Tiny Secrets series. However, I managed to read and enjoy the entire book without having read the first. From what I can understand, the first book provides the insight as to how and why Betsy acquired 44 mice, but the second book is perfectly fine to read as a standalone novel. One of the details I really loved was how there are 44 mice, so that each have 2 keys each on a piano. The mice are all named after the keys they are allocated to, for example ‘F-to-F Sharp’. Unfortunately, the book doesn’t mention too much about the mice and their piano key names – I think to understand that, it would be a case of reading book one first.

Betsy’s mice are super well trained. They can do handstands and somersaults – something you wouldn’t expect from your average mouse! When the circus came to town, Betsy was really intrigued about it and wanted to go and watch the performance for herself, but that wasn’t as easy as it looked. Betsy lives with her parents and grandad, and her grandma actually left to join that exact circus. Her family don’t really talk about her grandma, but her grandad became instantly quite upset when he saw them setting the circus tents up on the common by their house. An opportunity arises for Betsy to slip into the circus one night when her dad is visiting his aunt and his mum and grandad have gone to watch a show and she takes her 44 tiny mice with her. As she’s watching the circus show, she doesn’t realise that her mice escape and join in with the performance.

The ringmaster is really impressed with what the mice are capable of and asks Betsy if she can return the next day for her and her 44 mice to do a performance. Betsy agrees, but knows that this will cause huge issues with her family as she can’t tell them where she’s going. She managed to conjure up some excuses and went and performed. However, from here everything goes a little bit pear-shaped and Betsy finds herself locking horns with the ringmaster.

One thing I really loved about this book is the illustrations throughout which are drawn by Ashley King. They are beautiful. I think the illustrations would really help younger readers imagine the story in their minds.

I think that children, even those older than the 6-9 year old target age range would really like this book. It was a book that I enjoyed and I’m not a child! 

Follow me!

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January Reading Wrap Up

I’m going to start this post with a disclaimer.. If you’re new around here and this is the first wrap up of mine you’ve read, please understand that this amount of books is not normal for me. Usually I manage 3 or 4 books in a month. Don’t get too excited.. It probably won’t last.

This month I’ve read 11 books! I must admit that half of them were children’s / middle grade books, but at the end of the day a book is a book. I’ve also really got back into audiobooks… but only middle grade ones. I find audiobooks of adult fiction can get a bit confusing sometimes as too much is going on and I’ll switch off once I’ve lost the idea of what’s going on. Middle grade books, however, are great. Underrated and great. I’m working a few mornings a week for some extra pennies alongside my degree and I’m finding that audiobooks whilst working are actually helping me to be more productive and it definitely makes the time go quicker.

This month was the first month of using the CAWPILE system to review books. If you don’t know what that is then you can check out my blog post on that here. But it really has revolutionised the way in which I’m thinking about books. I mentioned in that blog that before starting using CAWPILE that I basically plucked a number out of thin air to rate the book, and my rating was mostly based on two things: 1. The ending of the book 2. The mood I was in when I finished the book. 2020 saw me giving out a lot of 5 stars and looking back, the vast majority of those books didn’t deserve such a high rating. But anyway, you can check out my blog about that!

3 STAR

Before talking about my three star reads, I firstly just want to reiterate that 3 stars IS NOT A BAD REVIEW!!! To me, three stars means that the book was good, but it didn’t blow my mind.. But it is by no means bad!!

East Side Hustler – Leopold Borstinski (Alex Cohen #2) – This is the second book of the Alex Cohen series that I read right at the start of January. I gave books 1 and 3 a four star review, but I found this book to be slightly less entertaining. The Alex Cohen series is a historical fiction crime series based in New York. East Side Hustler follows Alex’s life throughout the 1920s. The writing throughout all 3 books is phenomenal; it keeps you immersed and I don’t think I’ve ever read three books as quickly in my life. In this book, however, I really grew quite a disliking for Alex, which made it more difficult for me to enjoy.. I did warm to him in the third book though!

If you want to read my blog tour review of the first three books of the Alex Cohen series then click here!

The Switch – Beth O’Leary – I enjoyed reading The Flatshare last year so had reasonably high expectations for The Switch. The whole premise of the book is that Leena is told to take 2 months away from her job due to her mental health and in those two months she switches lives with her grandmother, Eileen. The book switches POV each chapter between LEena and her grandma. Eileen is an absolute gem and I adored that woman and wish she was real. Leena.. Meh. I found her a bit annoying. It took me around 100 pages to actually get into the book and I did debate a few times giving up on it, but Momma (and Poppa) didn’t raise a quitter and so I persevered and I thought by the end of it that it was a good book, just not the best I’ve ever read.

Emerald Star – Jacqueline Wilson – This is the third book in the Hetty Feather series. I’ve really enjoyed listening to this series whilst I’ve been working over the past few weeks – it’s definitely made my mornings go quicker. This one, however, I didn’t think was as logical as the other two and to me seemed a bit far fetched. I know this is a book aimed at younger readers, but if this book was to be ‘realistic’ then I just can’t see how a lot of it happened. To summarise, hopefully without spoiling too much.. This series is historical fiction. Hetty is a foundling. She had a foster family until she was 5 and then had to be returned to the foundling hospital (book 1). Whilst with her foster family, a travelling circus comes to their village and Hetty sneaks in and from that point on is obsessed with the idea of circuses. I’m not going to say too much more because I’ll ruin the entire thing, but put it this way the circus theme continues. I also don’t quite believe that everything that happened would have happened in a real life scenario.. I know it’s a work of fiction, but like I said, it became a bit illogical and farfetched.

4 STAR

Poppy Flowers at the Front – Jon Wilkins – I did a blog tour review for this book. You can check it out by clicking here. This book has been on my mind a lot since I read it right at the start of the month. It’s a historical fiction novel… 8 of the 11 books I’ve read have been historical fiction. Can you guess what my favourite genre is?!

This book is set during WW2 and is the story of how Poppy Loveday, an underaged ambulance driver, falls in love with fellow nurse Elodie. Throughout this book my heart continually ached for the pair as I can’t imagine how hard it must be to not be allowed to show affection towards the person you love. Jon wrote about the pair so beautifully and the book has really found a place inside my heart. It’s a short book but took me a while to read because I found myself really wanting to enjoy each and every page.

The Bowery Slugger – Leopold Borstinski (Alex Cohen #1) – The first book in the Alex Cohen series. This book takes place in New York throughout the 1910s. This is the first introduction to Alex, who’s moved to America from Europe for a better life. At the start of the book he’s around 15 years old, but already finds himself getting into the wrong hands when he tries to find a job. As mentioned in my East Side Hustler summary, the writing in the books is phenomenal and you can so clearly imagine Alex and the situations he gets himself into inside your head.

Midtown Huckster – Leopold Borstinski (Alex Cohen #3) – After deciding whilst reading the second book that I’d fallen out with Alex due to some of the silly mistakes he made, he did redeem himself in the third book. The third book is based throughout the 1930s – so Alex is now in his 30s. In the second book he’s very much focused on progressing up the ranks of the crime world and it makes him extremely selfish. In this book he’s reminded that he does actually have a family he should be taking care of (not that he sees them very often) and there are moments where the selfishness does dissolve a little bit. Though there are still times where he’s extremely selfish. This book ended on a bit of a cliffhanger, and I’m excited to see where book 4 takes the story!

Dancing The Charleston – Jacqueline Wilson – This was my first audiobook of the year and the one that got me back into listening to audiobooks. As its name suggests, this is also a historical fiction set in the 1920s. Mona is an orphan living with her aunt in a little cottage of the grand Somerset estate. Her aunt works as a dressmaker and makes dresses for Lady Somerset. When Lady Somerset passes away there becomes quite a lot of uncertainty about where the pair would live due to some not so nice members of Lady Somerset’s family. This was an audiobook I really enjoyed. It was easy to follow and understand what was going on. And there was even a cameo appearance from (now grown up) Hetty Feather which I thought was a really nice touch.

Hetty Feather – Jacqueline Wilson – Speaking of Hetty Feather, here’s another 4 star book! As mentioned in my Emerald Star review, Hetty Feather is the first in the series and book one follows the life of foundling, Hetty throughout the first 10 or so years of her life. Like the other Jacqueline Wilson books I’ve listened to audiobooks of, they’re really easy to follow and understand. They’re also books that if you stop listening for a moment, you can easily pick back up on the plot and continue to follow the story.

Sapphire Battersea – Jacqueline Wilson – This is Hetty Feather book #2. I’d say out of the three books I listened to as part of the Hetty Feather series, this one is definitely the most emotional. After the first book, it becomes quite hard to gauge how old Hetty is and everything seems to happen pretty quickly. This doesn’t distract from the fact it’s a good book!

44 Tiny Acrobats – Sylvia Bishop – This book will be published on 4th February 2021 and I have a full review of this book coming on its release date. I was very kindly gifted this book by Little Tiger and this book is aimed at 6-9 year olds. I won’t say anything else about it.. You will have to read my review when it comes out!

5 STAR

Like I mentioned at the start of this blog, I’m trying to keep my 5 stars for books that I feel are truly exceptional. I only read one 5 star book this month.

The Midnight Library – Matt Haig – Click here to read my full review of this book. Like I mentioned in my review, it took me days after finishing the book to finish writing the review. I felt that whatever I wrote wouldn’t do the book the justice it deserves. The book focuses around mental health which is a topic that is especially important for us to be considering at the moment seeing as we have been battling with the coronavirus for almost a year now. Although the first few chapters might be a bit challenging, once you’re through them, the book has the most wonderful storyline and the last few chapters of the book are incredible. They’re empowering, uplifting, and make you realise that life can be good, even when you think that is impossible.

And that is that! I won’t lie, it feels like I started writing this blog about 3 hours ago… But I got there in the end. If you’re reading this then congrats for making it this far. I have quite a few audiobooks and 4 blog tours / reviews already lined up for February, which means that my reading count is probably going to be quite high again. You can probably tell by the way that my summaries got shorter and shorter as the blog post went on, that I’m a bit tired.

I hope February is a great month of reading for everyone. Keep your eyes peeled for my reviews of some amazing books throughout the month/ I will also hopefully (fingers and toes crossed), be starting my author interview series.. I just need to get around to actually thinking up some questions!

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The Midnight Library – Matt Haig

Genre: Contemporary fiction / fantasy

Pages: 288

My Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ / 5

CW: This book and my review talk about death, suicide, depression etc. Although it turns out to be a very empowering book, the first few chapters might be a tough read if you’re struggling with mental health challenges of your own.

HELLO AND WELCOME TO MY FIRST 5 STAR BOOK REVIEW OF THE YEAR!

Blurb: Between life and death there is a library.

When Nora Seed finds herself in the Midnight Library, she has a chance to make things right. Up until now, her life has been full of misery and regret. She feels she has let everyone down, including herself. But things are about to change.

The books in the Midnight Library enable Nora to live as if she had done things differently. With the help of an old friend, she can now undo every one of her regrets as she tries to work out her perfect life. But things aren’t always what she imagined they’d be, and soon her choices place the library and herself in extreme danger. Before time runs out, she must answer the ultimate question: what is the best way to live?

The content of the book is a little bit deep. I’ve followed Matt Haig for some time on Twitter, but this is the first book of his that I’ve read. Having followed him online for so long, I’m aware of his struggles with mental health throughout his life, and I think it’s really great that he’s creating works of fiction to help empower and uplift other people in the same position he was in. I was a little worried going into this book that it would make me feel worse, rather than better, but after the first few chapters that are a bit difficult to read, it really did become a fantastic book.

This is one of those books that when you finish it you feel a bit emotional. I was a bit weary going into this book because it is SO hyped about, and I’ve found in the past that I’ve not always enjoyed the really hyped up books and found them to be a bit lacking (*cough*Eleanor Oliphant*cough*). This book, however, delivered.

Nora Seed struggles with her mental health, so much so that one night when a whole host of things have gone wrong for her, she decides that it is best to take her own life. Upon doing so, she finds herself in The Midnight Library – the place between life and death. There are an infinite number of books in the library, and they are all different scenarios for Nora to try out in life to see if she can enjoy them more. If it’s a life she enjoys, she will stay in it forever until she dies a natural death… If she doesn’t enjoy the new life, she will be sucked out of the life, returned to the library,  and the book will disappear from the shelves forever.

Nora is presented with a book of regrets – everything in her life that she did and regretted – and starts to work through the book doing things differently to see if on that occasion things turned out any better for her.

What I liked:

The whole idea behind this book is completely magical. The book is beautifully written throughout, however the final 30 or so pages really tugged on all of my heart strings. I think if the last 30 pages were any different that the book would have been a 4 star, these last few chapters made the entire book.

The book has such a deep meaning and it is teaching you throughout that there’s so much more to life than the depression you face, learning to drop your regrets and realising that life has many possibilities, even when you think there’s no other path than the one you’re on.

When I’d finished reading the book, I felt very emotional, but not bad emotional (if that makes any sense at all?!). The book is seriously empowering and uplifting, and feels like a 288 page therapy session.

Nora is a character I really warmed to. In her root (real) life, she was a completely broken soul. Both her parents had passed away, her brother was slowly becoming estranged from her, her cat died, her best friend moved to Australia, and she felt really alone. Her cat dying was the tip of the iceberg for her.

I liked that in the new lives she entered that not everything was sunshine and happiness. It goes to show that what might seem like the ‘perfect’ life on paper, might not transpire to be so perfect. People always try to compare their lives to other people’s thinking that someone else’s life looks better than their own, when they don’t know the fine details about the other person’s life.

What I didn’t like:

There were some parts in the middle of the book where I felt like it was dragging slightly. However, this didn’t deter me from giving the book a 5 star rating.

Editing Leah here: It’s been a few days since I started writing this blog post and I know it isn’t the best post I’ve ever written, but I’m really not sure what else I can say without getting all emotional. If mental health is something you struggle with, then I’d 100% recommend that you read this book. The topic might seem deep and dark, but the book has such a lovely meaning and ending and it’ll no doubt leave you feeling so much better about your existence.

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Books to Read This Lockdown

For many, the first lockdown was a time of forging new habits and picking up new hobbies. We saw everything from baking banana bread to jogging around the local streets. For me, reading was one of the key things that helped me get through lockdown. I basically hadn’t read at all throughout secondary school and only started at the beginning of my third year at university. In the few short months from me picking up this new hobby to the start of lockdown, I’d managed to get together quite a collection of books (all £1 or less from the charity shops!) and they were my saviour throughout the entire of 2020 – it’s almost like I somehow knew 2020 was going to be an awful year when I started collecting a huge stack of books at the end of 2019!

I ended up reading over 50 books in 2020, which for someone who hadn’t read for ‘fun’ for at least 10 years prior to this point, I’d say is quite the achievement.

Here’s a list of some of the best books I read during lockdown, and then some books I’m most excited to read!

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1) – George R.R. Martin

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 780

“Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall. At the centre of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens.

Here an enigmatic band of warriors bear swords of no human metal; a tribe of fierce wildlings carry men off into madness; a cruel young dragon prince barters his sister to win back his throne; and a determined woman undertakes the most treacherous of journeys. Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.”

The hit TV show was originally a series of books by author George R.R. Martin. I won’t lie, this book is quite chunky and will take a bit of time to read (well it did for me anyway). However, the fantasy element of the book really does take you away from all the troubles of the real world for a little while. The length of the book means that you can be absorbed in a fictional universe and away from the real world for a bit longer too! I actually watched the series for the first time at the start of lockdown and enjoyed it that much that I went straight on to reading the books just so I could re-live the GoT universe and escape from

reality. The books are quite similar to the storyline in the show, but there are some subtle differences which keep it exciting.

Daisy Jones and the Six – Taylor Jenkins Reid

Genre: Historical Fiction

Pages: 355

“Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go-Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock and roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things.

Another band getting noticed is The Six, led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road.

Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realises the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.”

I actually listened to this as an audiobook and thought it was phenomenal. It’s the story of a 1970s rock group and their lead singer, Daisy Jones. I had to Google multiple times throughout this book whether they were actually a real band – the writing is so convincing. The book is written in an interview-style format, with each member of the band talking through their experiences – it’s like one big conversation. There is a full cast for the audiobook, meaning that each character is read out by a different person. It is hands down the best audiobook I’ve ever listened to, and I know people have really enjoyed reading the book too!

The Family Upstairs – Lisa Jewell

Genre: Mystery / Thriller

Pages: 340

“Soon after her twenty-fifth birthday, Libby Jones returns home from work to find the letter she’s been waiting for her entire life. She rips it open with one driving thought: I am finally going to know who I am.

She soon learns not only the identity of her birth parents, but also that she is the sole inheritor of their abandoned mansion on the banks of the Thames in London’s fashionable Chelsea neighbourhood, worth millions. Everything in Libby’s life is about to change. But

what she can’t possibly know is that others have been waiting for this day as well—and she is on a collision course to meet them.

Twenty-five years ago, police were called to 16 Cheyne Walk with reports of a baby crying. When they arrived, they found a healthy ten-month-old happily cooing in her crib in the bedroom. Downstairs in the kitchen lay three dead bodies, all dressed in black, next to a hastily scrawled note. And the four other children reported to live at Cheyne Walk were gone.

The can’t-look-away story of three entangled families living in a house with the darkest of secrets.”

This book gripped me from the first page to the last. There are so many twists and turns in the plot. It’s a little bit creepy and dark at points, but fascinating nonetheless. The book is told from 3 different perspectives: Libby, Henry and Lucy, and there’s nothing more satisfying than when the pieces of their puzzle starts to fit together in your brain as you read it. I won’t say anymore – it will spoil it!

Something I realised as lockdown progressed was that some books I was picking up were a little bit dark and sinister for the situation we were in, so I picked up some middle grade and young adult books instead – they generally contain less death, disaster and despair! Here were some of my favourite feel good books. I also found that audiobooks were a great companion throughout lockdown. You can listen to them whilst out walking or running, doing uni work or just whilst doing other things around the house!

Sagas of Anya – Kirsten Mbawa

Genre: Middle Grade | Historical Fiction

Pages: 208

“Life for a young Victorian girl living in a working-class family was often harsh, and no less so in South Wales. Despite daily drudgery and many challenges, for eleven-year-old Anya, life also had its joyful moments — the stuff of memories. Soon after her twelfth birthday, the sudden death of her mam as a result of a long-term health condition marks the beginning of a downward spiral for her family. Grieving her loss, Anya has to look on as her remaining parent – her tad – slowly becomes a shadow of the loving and supportive father that he was. When their fortunes reach an all-time low, Anya is packed off to London to become a maid at Tippets House, under the watchful eye and the often cruel controlling hand of Mrs Axton, who is in charge of the ‘downstairs’ staff.”

I love historical fiction. Anything to do with the Victorian era in particular and I’m hooked. Kirsten Mbawa is an extremely talented young writer and this was her debut novel. I’m not going to spoil the ending of the book, but it was an ending I didn’t expect. I really did enjoy this book and I was a little bit sad when I got to the end of it. I loved Anya and just wanted

to keep reading about her and her life. I also find it so interesting how it’s a first person perspective – so the story is told through the eyes of Anya. With historical fiction books I’ve read, the protagonists have always been adults and so seeing the Victorian world through the eyes of a young girl completely fascinated me. Anya is such a brave character considering everything she went through. I know in the grand scheme of things, Anya didn’t have it too badly when comparing her life to the lives of some other Victorian children. Any time I read anything to do with the Victorians, I always count myself very lucky that I was born in the 1990s rather than the 1890s!!

Land of the Nurogons – Aiyven Mbawa (this is Kirsten’s younger sister!)

Genre: Middle Grade | Fantasy / Adventure

Pages: 332

“Hi, — I’m Hayden Smith. I’ve always considered myself to be an average high school kid. There’s nothing special about me — or so I thought! But what do I know? Well, I had no idea that I’d been marked out as ‘the Chosen One’. You see, I fell into a hole and ended up in a parallel dimension — the world of Nurogonia. How would you explain to your school that you’ve been missing for days because you’d been with a load of Nurogons? Now some bloke called Sosiri wants to rule Nurogonia and turn it into something awful! If I don’t thwart his plans many will die. No pressure then.”

Everything gets turned upside down when Hayden gets pulled down a black hole and ends up in the parallel universe Nurogonia, a land run by the Nurogons – four-fingered, two-toed, freckled muddy green creatures about the size of a toddler. The concept of a parallel universe reminded me a lot of Stranger Things and the Upside Down, however Nurogonia seemed more like a place I’d be happier to visit, rather than something from my nightmares. I don’t want to spoil too much of the story, but one thing I will say is that I assumed once he first went down the black hole to Nurogonia, that that’s where he’d stay for the remainder of the story. I was quite surprised when he was allowed to leave and return to the real world, but told he must return at some point to complete a quest. Whilst he was in Nurogonia, the real world carried on as normal – so for this time Hayden was missing. Aiyven Mbawa is the sister of Kirsten who wrote Land of the Nurogons, and the pair are the most fantastically talented young authors who deserve far more recognition than they’ve had.

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli

Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary Fiction

Pages: 303

“Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for

class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.”

This is such a lovely, easy breezy, light-hearted read. It’s one of those books perfect for when you want to escape from reality but don’t want to read anything too challenging or dramatic. It’s based in a high school and it’s basically just full of high school dramas. Simon is emailing someone called ‘Blue’ and the chain of emails are great. There’s a character in the book called Leah, and Becky Albertalli went onto write a book about her ‘Leah on the Offbeat’ which is another great, light-hearted read!

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8 Ways to Organise Your Bookshelf

With my desk, where I spent at least 12hrs a day, being right next to my bookshelf, I spend a fair amount of time staring at it whilst procrastinating. Pretty much every time I look at it I think about how I don’t like the way it looks – although the organisation of my shelf makes the most sense for me… Turns out I just own lots of books that aren’t pretty colours and I’m a sucker for bright colours like pink. I thought I’d make this blog to suggest a few different ways that you can rearrange your bookshelf. Some of these I’ve done myself, others I haven’t. I’ll let you know which I’ve done and what I thought about them!

1 . Rainbow Bookshelf

Now the rainbow bookshelf is the ultimate dream for most bookworms, me included. I think everything in life looks so much better when it’s colour co-ordinated. I had my bookshelves rainbow for a good few months during 2020 (lockdown boredom got to me and I decided I NEEEEEEDED to rearrange to rainbow). The pros of a rainbow shelf are it looks so good!! The cons, however, are it can be pretty hard to find the book you’re looking for, unless you know what colour it is. This will obviously be easier for someone like me, who only has one shelf. But much, much more difficult to find your book if you own multiple shelves.

I’m just going to interject here to say that all of the shelving arrangements I suggest from this point on are far less beautiful, but far more practical.

2 . Alphabetical by Title

This was the first way I ever arranged my bookshelf and it worked quite well, until the rainbow urges came along. I don’t seem to recall having much of a problem with this method of organisation as you can easily find your book (as long as you know the name of it, of course). The main issue I had, which is quite a petty one, was that it separated my series up when I like them to sit beside one another. My bookshelf was actually arranged like this until a few weeks ago.

3 . Alphabetical by Authors Surname

This is the way I currently organise my bookshelf. The pros of this method are that I can have my series put together. I actually cheat a little bit and arrange my series in order within this organisation method.. It just saves me from having to Google the book order whenever I want to read one. For me, the cons of this arrangement method (again, petty), are that all the dull colours are put together (I’m aiming this at A Song of Ice and Fire.. Sorry George R.R. Martin, but what were you thinking with that awful colour scheme?!). 

4 . Separating Hardback and Paperback

I also do this. My hardbacks currently take up the top of my bookshelf, and paperbacks fill the rest.. By the rest I mean the 3 shelves beneath that. I’m not even a proper book blogger that owns a full shelf of books. One shelf is dedicated to the printer and paper shredder – how glamorous. I prefer having my hardbacks all in one place as some are massive, and some are tiny and I don’t like having different shaped and sized books in my ‘main’ area of the shelf (the paperback bit).. This leads me nicely onto my next point..

5 . Height order

Writing this blog has made me realise how much of a hybrid organisation I’ve got going on. I thought I was quite simple with the alphabetical by author’s surname, but didn’t once consider my top shelf of hardbacks. I organise my hardbacks in size order, with the tallest on the left hand side, working down to the smallest on the right. In amongst this shelf I also have a few paperbacks that are strange sizes, like the Penguin classics and one random book from the A Song of Ice and Fire series that’s weirdly little compared to the rest (it drove me MAD, that’s why it was banished to the top shelf).

6 . Genre Order

Now, here’s one method of organisation I haven’t done… I came quite close to doing it, but chickened out because it required too much effort. I think I can understand why people do this with a massive TBR and book collection – you can create your own mini library which is SO cool. But for me I am just too lazy to search up each book to find what genre they are. I also feel like I’d have a hard time when books were multiple genres like historical fiction AND fantasy.. Which category do they go in?!

7 . Books Read vs Books Unread

I’ve seen a few people organise their books like this on Bookstagram and suggest it to me when I’ve asked for ways to rearrange my bookshelf. I haven’t done this, and that’s simply because I tend to pass on books once I’ve read them. Unless they’re really special to me, I choose to donate them as I’m unlikely to re-read (there’s too many books in the world to re-read an average book) and I like to constantly make way for new books. The only books I’ve read and held on to are special hardbacks, classics, and series.

8 . Just Put Them Anywhere!!

There’s no set rule to say that your bookshelf must be organised in a certain way, I feel that Bookstagram puts pressure on people to have their bookshelves super neat, tidy and organised. Some people find it easier to just put them anywhere on the shelf and that is absolutely ok! I’ve sort of memorised where all of the books are and I’m sure I’m not the only one. I’ve seen photos on Instagram of people’s books stacked vertically, as well as just wedged in. You do you!

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*BLOG TOUR* The Alex Cohen Series Books 1-3 by Leopold Borstinski

Alex Cohen Series Books 1-3

Thank you to Emma at DampPebbles for allowing me to join this blog tour! I’ve been sent these three books in exchange for an honest review.

I’m going to keep this review spoiler free so it can be enjoyed by everybody!!

Genre: Historical Fiction, Crime

Pages: Book 1 – 357

    Book 2 – 263

    Book 3 – 232

My Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆/5

The Bowery Slugger: When Alex Cohen arrives in 1915 America, he seizes the land of opportunity with both hands and grabs it by the throat. But success breeds distrust and Alex must choose between controlling his gang and keeping his friend alive. What would you do if the person you trusted most is setting you up to die at your enemies’ hands?

East Side Hustler: Alex returns from the Great War almost destroyed by the horrors he has experienced. When he is plucked from certain death by an old friend, he commits to making so much money he’ll never know that agony again. But the route to the top is filled with danger and every time he helps one of his powerful friends like Al Capone, he acquires more enemies who want to see him dead. The turmoil caused by the death of organised crime financier, Arnold Rothstein means Alex must once more fight for his life. How far would you go to seize the American dream? And could you protect your family along the way from the fellas who want to see you dead?

Midtown Huckster: Alex runs Murder Inc for Lucky Luciano. After the death of Prohibition he must find a new way to make money, just as the cops are baying at his heels. When Luciano goes down for racketeering, Alex loses his protection and is arrested for tax evasion-he must decide between saving his skin and ratting out his friends. If he chooses prison time then his gang will fall apart and he will end up with nothing. If he squeals then he will have to flee the city he loves and the family he once adored. What would you do in a world where nobody can be trusted and you have everything to lose?

When Alex arrives in America from Europe in 1915 he straight away falls into bad hands of the gangs of New York. Alex’s parents are struggling to make ends meet and then Alex who is only 15 is bringing in all this money for the family. They’re appreciative but a little concerned about where the money has come from and whose hands it’s been in before theirs. I don’t think at any point throughout all three books he actually discloses to his family what his job is. They know it’s probably crime related, but they know nothing more than that.

Throughout the first book, Alex is known on the streets as Fabian Mustard as that’s the name the immigration people gave him when he first set foot in America. But in the second and third book he’s known as Alex. It was a little bit confusing in the first book when Alex was being called three different names: Alex, Fabian and ‘Slugger’, but it all made sense quite quickly. 

As can be expected when you’re part of a gang, not everything is easy. There’s a lot of deaths involved, a lot of violence and little time for Alex to be alone with his feelings (and family) without something cropping up and getting in the way.

In the second book, Alex becomes acquainted with Al Capone. I found this part of the storyline very interesting as it made Alex, as a character, seem more like he was a real person himself. Immersing a fictional character into the life of a real person is a really clever idea and I’ve never seen it before in a book.

Alex is a character that I’ve not made my mind up whether I loved or hated him. The more he aged and the more he was involved in criminal activity, the more of a jerk he became. Throughout the first book he was a generally ok person and towards the end of the third book he displayed some affection towards his family, but aside from that he was generally quite selfish and just liked killing people and making money.

What I Liked:

Something I really enjoyed about these books was that they were a direct continuation from one another. The Bowery Slugger is set in the 1910s, East Side Hustler the 1920s and Midtown Huckster the 1930s. Where one book finishes, the other one carries on (maybe with a few years skipped out). For example, book 1 finishes with him heading off to Europe to fight in WW1, and book 2 starts when he returns from the war. 

Some mental maths allowed me to deduce that Alex was born around 1900 so that made it easy to work out how old he was at each point in time.. This meant that you get to see Alex’s choices and how he develops from the age of 15 right up until he’s almost 40. 

The writing in these books is INCREDIBLE. Throughout all 3 books the writing is so descriptive and really helps to immerse you within the books and paint a mental picture of each scenario that Alex finds himself in. At no point throughout reading these books was I confused about the plot or what was going on. I’ve read quite a lot of books where I feel like the plot is a bit iffy in patches and I end up getting lost and not following what’s happening, but everything in these books is super clear and easy to follow. I also read all 3 books within the space of 9 days – I was gripped from start to finish.

What I Didn’t Like:

Something I struggled with a little bit throughout these books was the concept of time. It clearly states at the start of each section the month and year, but there were times when 2 or 3 years passed, and it seemed like it could be the next week. It’s almost like the times were changing, but Alex and what he was getting himself up to wasn’t.

For example (hopefully without spoiling too much), Alex ends up getting married and then problems start to occur in the relationship and the two go their separate ways. It seems like it might have been a month or two that had passed between them seeing one another again, but it had actually been more like 2 years?! And then a further 3 years pass but again, it only seems like a few weeks.

Overall Thoughts:

I think the speed I read these books speaks for itself as I’m generally quite a slow reader. Despite being a selfish and obnoxious character, Alex was really quite loveable and I think a lot of this is down to the reader going through 25 years of his life with him. There’s more books in the series and I’m excited to read them and find out what happened to Alex as book 3 was left on a bit of a cliffhanger!

Social Media:

Twitter: @borstinski

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LeoBorstinski/

Website: https://www.leopoldborstinski.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/borstinski/

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2K2r7LG 

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/36X9SV7 

Publishing Information:

Published by Sobriety Press in paperback and digital formats on 2nd November 2020

This blog was quite lengthy so congrats if you made it this far! Here’s everyone else who’s involved in this blog tour if you’d like to check out their reviews.

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