2013 : My year in review


So when I say Year in review I really mean 10 months in review as I've only been blogging since march. I've really enjoyed the last ten months. I've read some great books and met some lovely people. I hope next year will be just as successful. 

My Year in Numbers (since March):

Total pageviews : 34000
Blog posts: 148
Bloglovin Followers: 210
Tumbler followers: 720
Twitter Followers: 560
Facebook likes : 185

Books read in 2013 : 105

Favourite reads of 2013

If you are interested in reading my reviews or adding the book to goodreads just click on the cover.

Goals for 2014

As usual read around 100 books
Be more selective and have more 5 star reads
Stop feeling guilty for not finishing a book!
Set reasonable targets - 2 books a week
Network - follow more blogs and comment more!

Once again I just want to thank everyone has read my blog during the last 10 months. A huge thanks must also go to the publishers who have sent books. Without your generosity I would not have been able to read and review as many books as I did.

I hope you all have happy and healthy new year!

Bad Blood by Arne Dahl


                                                 Amazon | Goodreads

A review copy was provided by Gill Hess in return for an honest review

I should start by saying that I haven't read the first book nor have I seen the TV series. It usually really irks me when I discover that the book I'm reading is part of a series but it didn't really effect my enjoyment of this one.

The blurb on the back sounded really interesting and I couldn't wait to get into it. I was expecting a roller-coaster like thriller but that wasn't what I got. The first half of the book moves quite slowly. I found it very hard and it became a bit of a drudge. It was almost a DNF for me.

However I'm glad I stuck with it. Bad blood spends its first half letting out little threads. We are not given a lot of information about the killer and there are only a few paragraphs told from his point of view. Things really started to heat up once I passed the halfway mark. Those little threads that seemed meaningless earlier in the story were starting to weave together. 

The character development in the novel was top class. I could feel their need to catch this killer with every chapter that passed.

This was a really intelligent crime thriller. It is a little explicit and gory in parts but it's nothing the regular crime reader couldn't handle. Readers new to the genre might find it a little too much.

 I'd recommend it to any crime fan looking for a story with a little more depth. I can't wait to read the next instalment! 


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The truth about you by Susan Lewis


                                             Amazon | Goodreads

A review copy was provided by Louise Page PR in return for an honest review

I waited a while before writing this review. I had struggled with guilt for a while as I didn't really enjoy it but I felt horrible about posting a bad review when someone had been nice enough to send me a book. However in the interest of fairness I felt like I had to post this. It does say in my review policy that my reviews will be honest and I have to stick to that. I certainly wouldn't trust the opinion of a blog that has nothing but 4 and 5 star reviews.

The truth about you started well and looked very promising. It's unusual for the main character to be "the other woman". I could feel good things starting to happen. The problem is they never really happened for me. 

I found the inclusion of 50 shades of Grey a little ridiculous. The behaviour doesn't fit well with that of a rebellious teen. Again I found the behaviour of her friend Skye too over the top. Nothing seemed to balance.

The novel ambles a long and doesn't really build any suspense or tension. I found myself getting really irritated with every character. I was hoping for some action when Lainey finally reached Italy but again it just fell flat for me.

There are some attempts at plot twists but I found them predictable and underwhelming. If you have been a long time fan of Susan Lewis then I'm sure you'll be satisfied with this instalment. There just wasn't enough too it to make it memorable for me.


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The Truth About Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter


                                                  Amazon | Goodreads

I bought this on Amazon because I'm a consumer whore and because it had her name on the cover. 

The protagonist Jude is a rather scant woman who associates the downward spiral of her life with her ageing appearance. Thing would have been so much better if only she had "stayed pretty". 

To convince herself that she is still desirable she embarks on a number affairs with younger men who see her as nothing more than a stop gap because she's so grateful. What Jude doesn't know is that her husband has been having similar idea's.

She seems to be an utterly selfish character. She abandons her own child and justifies it by telling her self that he is with the better parent. Years pass when they are given the chance to reunite and this is where the story ends.

I found this to be a bad case of false advertising. The title originally had the Will Trent tag but was swiftly removed when the reviews poured in complaining that Will Trent is very much missing from this "Novella".

To me this felt more like a sample chapter than a short story. It will be interesting to see if it gets developed any further but I would pass on it for now.


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Cold Hands by John J. Niven


                                                 Amazon | Goodreads

A review copy was provided by Gill Hess / Century in return for an honest review

Cold Hands tells it's story through Donnie, a young Scot attempting to escape from the shadow of his past. Despite being a thriller Cold hands is quite a slow burner and the reader is gradually introduced to the changes that have occurred throughout Donnies life. 

Cold Hands really forces the reader to question their morals on life. Does a change of circumstance change the person at heart? This is essentially a rags to riches story. Donnie moves from Scottish estate to a sprawling mansion in the wilds of Canada. He has a wife and son whom he adores and a pillar of the community. But does this mean he is a good person?

It's difficult to talk about the story without spoiling it but let's just say that Donnie encounters a figure from his past. Even though he destroyed this person life he had all but forgotten about them. However this figure has not forgotten or forgiven. Time doesn't always heal. Sometimes it allows things to fester, rot and eat away at you. This, I can relate too. 

The story goes a little crazy in the end. It really explodes but If you just go with it you'll find cold hands a very enthralling read that will make you think about how you define right and wrong.

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Hanged for Murder by Tim Carey


                                                            Amazon | Goodreads

A review copy was provided by The Collins Press and Killeen PR in return for an honest review 

It's amazing. You can pass by something many times in your life, thinking you know everything there is to know when in reality, you know nothing. If you mentioned "Mountjoy" to someone they'd associated the name with the jail but not much else. The fact that 29 people were hanged there came as a complete surprise to me. 

As surprising as that was, the following information made me do a double take:

"Thomas Delaney was found guilty of the murder of seventy-four-year-old Patrick Horan in Banagher, count Offaly"

I'm sorry.....what!! Someone was murdered...murdered,  in my small, back end of nowhere country town! Not only that but the victim has the same last name as me! I read the story about 5 times before I could actually believe what I was seeing. This led me to a Google search which was disappointingly unrewarding. Unfortunatly a lot of the older members of my family have passed away so my next step will be the library. I feel that thanks to this book I've discovered a whole side of my town and family that I never knew before.

As for the rest of the book, it was never going to be an easy read. Its incredibly harrowing and it took me a long time to get through it. In many of the cases it seemed that the most important thing was that someone was punished, regardless of whether the right person was punished. In some cases there was little or no evidence that led the accused to the gallows. 

These people, today remain buried in the Grounds of Mountjoy in unmarked graves. Hopefully in the future the bodies can be excavated and moved to a proper burial site. 

When someone commits an atrocious crime the phrase "They should be hanged" often comes quick to the tongue of some. This book brings home the real meaning of this phrase. It's incredible that death penalty was only officially abolished in 1990.  As human beings we should never wish or want it to return.

Overall this was a fascinating look at an area of history I never even knew existed.

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Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh


                                                                           Goodreads | Amazon

Anyone who reads my reviews regularly will know that I can be quite hard on these blog to book transitions. I usually can't see the point. 

The difference with Hyperbole and a Half is the Allie Brosh can actually write. Her stories and illustrations may, at first, seem juvenile but to pass them over would be an affront to comedy. The tales from her childhood are extremely well structured. The hilarity of the situations is really just a plus. I think Allie would be capable of writing about anything.

What really makes Hyperbole and a half appealing is Allie herself. Her childhood stories are very relatable. Most people would be able to think of similar happening in their own lives. As for me, I found her explanation of depression and it's effects to be one of the most accurate I've ever read! Anyone who's ever suffered from depression will note themselves nodding, then laughing and then feeling guilty (sorry Allie!)

I have been a follower of her blog for quite a while so a lot of the stories weren't new to me. This really doesn't matter though. The humour is timeless and her stories never get old no matter how many times you read them.The only problem was that it wasn't long enough. It never would be. I could read her stories all day.

If you are new to Allie Brosh then be prepared to literally laugh out loud. 


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The Secret of Kit Cavenaugh by Anne Holland


                                                                                Goodreads | Amazon

A review copy was provided by Killeen PR in return for an honest review

The secret of Kit Cavenaugh is told through kits actual accounts, excerpts and little added flare/dramatisation from the author.

Kit is our very own Irish Mulan! She is deeply in love with her husband Richard and is devestated to learn that he has been tricked into enlisting in the army and is now half way across the world on a ship destined for a strange, war torn land. Young men were bribed in whatever way possible if it got them onto a ship and into a uniform. Many did it as a way to escape poverty. The army offered a regular wage and food on a daily basis. 

Kit is so determined to find Richard she decides to conceal her sex and enlist in the army in an attempt to find him. Her love for him is heart warming but the way she was so easily able to pawn her children off was a little disturbing. Throughout the story she seems to have very little maternal instinct!

Kit excels as a soldier and is thoroughly involved in life in the camps. She was a fearless fighter who impressed generals of the highest rank. In fact I think that Kit enjoyed life at war so much that she almost forgot about Richard. 12 years pass without much mention of him.
When they do finally meet again she finds that he hasn't been missing her as much as she missed him!

Perhaps the most surprising element of the book, for me was the lack of punishment upon the discovery of her sex. I thought the penalty would be extremely harsh but no. Everyone just seemed fine with it! Maybe I'm just influenced by too many Americanised films?

One thing that I felt ruined the book for me was the pictures in the middle. The captions gave away the entire story so for the remainder of the book I was just waiting for things to happen. I felt these pictures and illustrations would have been better placed at the end of the book.

Despite Kits cold nature the story was enjoyable. History Buff's will really enjoy the thorough descriptions of life at war and within the camps.


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Feature and Follow Friday 6th Dec


Hosted by Parajunkee and Alison can Read.

Gain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! or just check out the weekly questions and see what others respond.


1) Started this blog
2)Graduated from college (woo)
3) Started working full time as a Veterinary Nurse
4) Rescued an animal that would have been put to sleep. Now were BFF's! Here's a pic:

That's all I can think of. Wow. Boring!

As usual I am happy to follow back anyone who follows through this meme. Just let me know how and where you followed so I can return the favor. 

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Advanced Review copies: Be careful what you wish for...


I have been blogging for approximately 7 months. When I started I was so utterly jealous of bloggers who got mounds of digital and physical  ARC's sent to them . For those who don't know, ARC stands for advanced review copy. Publishers will sometimes send them out to bloggers and editors to read, review and generally create a little hype and excitement for when the book is actually released. 

About 2 months had passed and I could no longer resist the urge to start begging publishers for review copies and to be added to the those ultra elusive VIP (insert more important sounding terms) reviewer lists.

Being the hugely pessimistic moany individual that I am led me to believing that 99% of my requests would go ignored. This then led to me emailing as many publishers as I could find/think of. 

Weeks passed and I forgot about my many requests. I continued buying books and reading copies provided through Netgalley. 

Then something wonderful happened. I got my first review copy. I was elated. This publisher thought that little old me was doing a decent enough job to warrant sending me a book to read and rant about. So I did and all was well in go book yourself land. For a while.

Another book arrived. Great! Then another. Wow! Then another. em..it's OK ill get through them. Then another and anotherandanotherandanotherandanotherandanother.

I now have a pile of approximately 15 books in the corner of my room. That may not sound like a lot to some, but it is to me. I hyperventilate when I see it and actively try not to look at it.

Yes. I am hiding from a pile of inanimate objects.

Everytime I glance in the corner my guilty conscience kicks in:

Guilt midget in my head: Why are you reading a book that's not from the pile? Ignoring it won't make it go away.
Me: I know, I just saw this book and fancied reading it *sad face*
Head: Oh how grateful of you to ignore this pile of books these nice publishers send you!
Me: I know! I will get through them..eventually.
Head: Oh eveeentually...that makes it OK then

*Cue the endless cycle of procrastination and guilt*

I am determined to read them and this means sacrificing any thought I had of buying new books for Christmas. Moral of the Story: Be careful what you wish for!
P.S I would like to thank the publishers who have sent me books. As whiny as this post sounds, I do appreciate it. You will hear from me regarding reviews...eventually.

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Goth Girl & The Ghost of a Mouse by Chris Riddell


Goth Girl and The Ghost of a Mouse by Chris Riddell

                                    Book Depository | Goodreads

Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse was provided free of charge by The Book Depository in return for an honest review.

I was on Goth Girl like a magpie!. I was immediately drawn to it when I saw it. It's so beautiful and shiny! There was as much thought put into the design of the book itself as the story.

I have been a fan of Paul Stuart and Chris Riddell since the original Twig novels were published. Beyond the Deepwoods drew me in and then  I was hooked for life!

Now for the book itself. Ada Goth lives with her father in the sprawling Gastly-Gorm Hall. She spends the majority of her time alone. Her father avoids her as she reminds him of his deceased wife. So much so that she must wear big plodding boots around the house so that he can hear her approaching. He limits his time with her to once a week for tea. 

One night Ada meets the ghost of a mouse called Ishmael. He was caught in a mouse trap and now fears he will spend eternity floating around Ghastly Ghorm Hall. Something is keeping him from moving on but he can't remember what. Ada is determined to help him.

As this is a Chris Riddell novel you can expect the most wonderful character designs and illustrations. Each page is a feast for the eyes

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Even though the characters are quirky I still found them very relatable. Ada lives in very strange surroundings but suffers from the same woes as many children. She has few friends and feels alienated.  As she meets the younger servants of the house she learns that status doesn't need to get in the way of friendship.

I can't think of anyone who wouldn't love this book. The illustrations will entice adults and children. This book would be a great start for anyone wanting to introduce a kid to reading as there will be something for both to enjoy. 


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The Sunday Post 1/12/13


The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~ It's a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on my blog and share news about what's coming up in the week ahead.

Woo It's December! We can Officially start thinking about Christmas without looking bonkers!

This week Go Book Yourself reviewed:

Click the cover to read the review

Recieved for review

From Netgalley:

I am supposed to be on a Netgalley ban but I couldn't help myself

In the post:

Thanks to Penguin Ireland and Pan Macmillan

That's it for now. Hope everyone has a good week!

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Fractured by Dani Atkins


                                                                               Amazon | Goodreads

A review copy was provided by Head of Zeus in return for an honest review

You're heartstrings will be pulled like never before.

Fractured starts with new beginnings. Rachel and her friends will soon be leaving for university. They meet at a local restaurant for what may be, their last meal together. Wine is drank, memories are shared and tears are shed. For some this meal will be a final goodbye.

As the party are set to leave a terrible tragedy occurs which will change their lives forever. Rachel is scarred, both physically and mentally. She doesn't live, she merely exists. In an attempt to come to terms with the past she visits her home town, not knowing that this visit will change the entire course of her future.

Rachel awakes in hospital to a life that isn't her own. Her best friend is alive. She has apparently landed a dream job and is engaged to her very successful ex boyfriend. Here dani does an incredible job of portraying Rachel's confusion and apparent insanity. Family members talk about her as though she's not in the room. The more she insists that she's not crazy, the crazier seems.

Rachel spirals into her own shutter island like insanity. Why can she remember the names and places of where she worked if that life never existed? How can she recall minute details such as security codes and hidden house keys?

All sorts of theories are thrown around from paranormal activity to disturbances in the space time continuum, whatever that is. Rachel soon learns that this world is not as ideal as it seems. People who were untrustworthy before are untrustworthy now. It was easy as a reader to have empathy for those memories that she just can't shake. A past she can't just leave behind.

The unfortunate truth about Rachel's new life is heartbreakingly simpler than all her theories. It is so completely unexpected that you will stare blankly at the last page and you'll re read the last few pages over and over as you come to terms with what happening all along.

The real emotions in Fractured are left until the big finish but this was one of the best fictions of the year for me. I don't think I'll ever forget he ending. It felt like someone punched me in the stomach.


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The Rising of Bella Casey by Mary Morrissy


                                              Amazon | Goodreads

A review copy was provided by Brandon in return for an honest review

A beautiful, enigmatic and harrowing story.

Using a blend of fact and fiction, Sean O Casey, the acclaimed playwright attempts to rise the memory of his sister Bella from the ashes of her past. 

Bella is a clever character but her circumstances in life never seem to allow her to use her brain to its full potential. She excels as a teacher. Nurturing impoverished young minds into believing that they can be more than what they are. That your background doesn't have to define who you are in life. 

Her life is rapidly thrown into disaray by the aptly named reverend Leeper. Her constant refusal of his advances do nothing to extinguish his desire for her. If anything it her "disobedience" fuels his rage and leads him to assaulting her. Bella learns she is with child and eventually looses her beloved position at the school.

Raising a "bastard" child is something that couldn't happen in Ireland. It was the ultimate shame that any girl could bring upon her family. Bella needed someone to take the fall. That someone comes in the form of the handsome Nicholas Beaver. Bella lures him into bed and no questions are asked 9 months latter when Susie is born.

I was so completely engrossed in the story that it came as a shock to be pulled from Bella's world and into Sean's. It was easy to feel his despair. No matter how much we love someone, as time fades so do our memories of them. Bella had such an impact on his life and he struggles to portray this in his writing.

As we continue to follow Bella through numerous child births and evictions it becomes hard to feel for her as person. She is so selfless yet life takes every chance it gets to make life unbearable for her.

This book will stay with you for days after finishing the final page. It would have been so easy to walk past it in the bookshop. It was certainly my historical fiction of the year. I would highly recommend it.


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