Book Review: The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor

The Chalk Man - C.J. Tudor

*Thanks for the free book @CrownPublishing; it’s my pleasure to be a part of your monthly book send progamme and provide honest reviews for the titles chosen*

According to the early reviews for The Chalk Man, it is the must-read book of 2018! Of course, I had to find out for myself…

Book Description:

In 1986, Eddie and his friends are just kids on the verge of adolescence. They spend their days biking around their sleepy little English village and looking for any taste of excitement they can get. The chalk men are their secret code; little chalk stick figures they leave for one another as messages only they can understand. But then a mysterious chalk man leads them right to a dismembered body, and nothing is ever the same.

In 2016, Eddie is fully grown, and thinks he’s put his past behind him. But then he gets a letter in the mail, containing a single chalk stick figure. When it turns out that his friends got the same message, they think it could be a prank . . . until one of them turns up dead. That’s when Eddie realizes that saving himself means finally figuring out what really happened all those years ago. Continue reading “Book Review: The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor”

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Book Review: The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State by Nadia Murad #nonfictionnovember

The Last Girl - Nadia Murad

*Thanks for the free book, @CrownPublishing; it’s my pleasure to be a part of your monthly book send programme and provide honest reviews for the titles chosen*

As it’s Non-fiction November, I thought it the apt time to read The Last Girl.

From the back cover:

In this intimate memoir of survival, a former captive of the Islamic State tells her harrowing and ultimately inspiring story.

Nadia Murad was born and raised in Kocho, a small village of farmers and shepherds in northern Iraq. A member of the Yazidi community, she and her brothers and sisters lived a quiet life. Nadia had dreams of becoming a history teacher or opening her own beauty salon.

On August 15th, 2014, when Nadia was just twenty-one years old, this life ended. Islamic State militants massacred the people of her village, executing men who refused to convert to Islam and women too old to become sex slaves. Six of Nadia’s brothers were killed, and her mother soon after, their bodies swept into mass graves. Nadia was taken to Mosul and forced, along with thousands of other Yazidi girls, into the ISIS slave trade.

Nadia would be held captive by several militants and repeatedly raped and beaten. Finally, she managed a narrow escape through the streets of Mosul, finding shelter in the home of a Sunni Muslim family whose eldest son risked his life to smuggle her to safety.

Today, Nadia’s story–as a witness to the Islamic State’s brutality, a survivor of rape, a refugee, a Yazidi–has forced the world to pay attention to the ongoing genocide in Iraq. It is a call to action, a testament to the human will to survive, and a love letter to a lost country, a fragile community, and a family torn apart by war. Continue reading “Book Review: The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State by Nadia Murad #nonfictionnovember”

Book Review: Bonfire by Krysten Ritter

Bonfire - Krysten Ritter.jpg

*Thanks for the free book, @CrownPublishing; it’s my pleasure to be a part of your monthly book send programme and provide honest reviews for the titles chosen*

It’s no secret I love a small-town mystery, so I jumped at the opportunity to read Bonfire. I had no idea the author of this novel, was an actress, well-known for her role in the Netflix series Marvel’s Jessica Jones and cult favourite Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 – what can I say, I prefer the book to the screen.

From the inside cover:

It has been ten years since Abby Williams left home and scrubbed away all visible evidence of her small-town roots. Now working as an environmental lawyer in Chicago, she has a thriving career, a modern apartment, and her pick of meaningless one-night stands.

But when a new case takes her back home to Barrens, Indiana, the life Abby painstakingly created begins to crack. Tasked with investigating Optimal Plastics, the town’s most high-profile company and economic heart, Abby begins to find strange connections to Barrens’s biggest scandal from more than a decade ago, involving the popular Kaycee Mitchell and her closest friends–just before Kaycee disappeared for good.

Abby knows the key to solving any case lies in the weak spots, the unanswered questions. But as she tries desperately to find out what really happened to Kaycee, troubling memories begin to resurface and she begins to doubt her own observations. And when she unearths an even more disturbing secret–a ritual called “The Game”–it will threaten reputations, and lives, in the community and risk exposing a darkness that may consume her.

With tantalizing twists, slow-burning suspense, and a remote rural town of just five claustrophobic square miles, Bonfire is a dark exploration of what happens when your past and present collide. Continue reading “Book Review: Bonfire by Krysten Ritter”

Book Review: American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West by Nate Blakeslee #nonfiction

American Wolf - Nate Blakeslee

Some books you should never leave sitting on the shelf – when Crown Publishing offered to send me a copy of American Wolf to review, two months passed before I finally picked it up. I gave myself a good telling off for not reading this five-star non-fiction book immediately.

Book Description:

The enthralling story of the rise and reign of O-Six, the celebrated Yellowstone wolf, and the people who loved or feared her

Before men ruled the earth, there were wolves. Once abundant in North America, these majestic creatures were hunted to near extinction in the lower 48 states by the 1920s. But in recent decades, conservationists have brought wolves back to the Rockies, igniting a battle over the very soul of the West.

With novelistic detail, Nate Blakeslee tells the gripping story of one of these wolves, O-Six, a charismatic alpha female named for the year of her birth. Uncommonly powerful, with gray fur and faint black ovals around each eye, O-Six is a kind and merciful leader, a fiercely intelligent fighter, and a doting mother. She is beloved by wolf watchers, particularly renowned naturalist Rick McIntyre, and becomes something of a social media star, with followers around the world.

But as she raises her pups and protects her pack, O-Six is challenged on all fronts: by hunters, who compete with wolves for the elk they both prize; by cattle ranchers who are losing livestock and have the ear of politicians; and by other Yellowstone wolves who are vying for control of the park’s stunningly beautiful Lamar Valley.

These forces collide in American Wolf, a riveting multigenerational saga of hardship and triumph that tells a larger story about the ongoing cultural clash in the West–between those fighting for a vanishing way of life and those committed to restoring one of the country’s most iconic landscapes.

Publication date: 17 October 2017 Continue reading “Book Review: American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West by Nate Blakeslee #nonfiction”

Book Review: Here and Gone by Haylen Beck

Here and Gone - Haylen Beck

This fast-paced thrill ride is my first five star read of July!

Book Description:

Here and Gone is a gripping, wonderfully tense suspense thriller about a mother’s desperate fight to recover her stolen children from corrupt authorities.

It begins with a woman fleeing through Arizona with her kids in tow, trying to escape an abusive marriage. When she’s pulled over by an unsettling local sheriff, things soon go awry and she is taken into custody. Only when she gets to the station, her kids are gone. And then the cops start saying they never saw any kids with her, that if they’re gone than she must have done something with them…

Meanwhile, halfway across the country a man hears the frenzied news reports about the missing kids, which are eerily similar to events in his own past. As the clock ticks down on the search for the lost children, he too is drawn into the desperate fight for their return. Continue reading “Book Review: Here and Gone by Haylen Beck”