Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Book Review: Our Little Secret by Roz Nay


Desire, passion, first love, and the turning of time all play factors in this wonderful, power-packed thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat, turning pages. Enjoyable, heart-pumping, and just what I needed.

Angela is left in a stark interrogation room with nothing but a revolving line of police officers entering, all with the same questions about her ex, HP. His wife Saskia is missing. Just what does Angela know about it?

Detective Novak becomes the main interrogator, letting Angela go back ten years to tell how she knew and fell in love with HP. Roz Nay goes deep inside the thoughts of Angela to find what has kept her ticking all these years. We are given snapshots of the life Angela wanted and expected to always be there.

HP and Angela were best friends; there was always that extra pull deep inside of Angela towards HP. They were closer to each other than anyone else. It wasn't unexpected - and yet it was when it finally happened - when they fell in love. Was it meant to be? Was it meant to last? What if HP meant someone else?

Saskia's vanished, hasn't she? It's kind of terrible, although deep down, in a part of me I'll never let anyone see, I don't mind if she doesn't come back. That sounds bad, I know. But people can't always control their thoughts; they just control what they do about them. Saskia came in like a hurricane that summer, ripping whole dwellings apart, and maybe Mom is right. The energy you put out into the world does change everything.
Angela has her own thoughts on what has been going on. Could she be protecting someone? Who has been telling the truth, and who is living the lie?
The way we live now, most people veil their destructiveness and dress it up as love. They clothe it and feed it and take it out on the town as their socially acceptable form of desolation. They do as much damage as the next person.
I really enjoyed this cat-and-mouse thriller. Our Little Secret kept me guessing until the end. I look forward to what Roz Nay will come up with next.


Thanks go to Simon & Schuster Canada and Roz Nay for providing an ARC copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Our Little Secret - Roz Nay 
On sale: June 6, 2017


Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9781501142802

E-Book
ISBN: 9781501142864


Get to know more about this author!



Roz Nay grew up in England and studied at Oxford University. She has been published in The Antigonish Review and the anthology Refuge. Roz has worked as an underwater fish counter in Africa, a snowboard videographer in Vermont, and a high school teacher in both the UK and Australia. She now lives in British Columbia, Canada, with her husband and two children. Our Little Secret is her first novel. Visit her at RozNay.com, on Facebook Roznay1, or follow her on Twitter @roznay1.





Cross-posted on Goodreads

From Just Beyond My Bookshelf

Monday, 15 May 2017

Book Review: I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak


Maybe everyone can live beyond what they're capable of.

In walks Ed Kennedy. He's a 19 yr old underage cab driver in an Australian small town. He's a loser with less than impeccable friends. He reads a lot, has no goals in life, is bad at sex, and good at foiling a bank robbery with his overly talkative buddy, Marv.

The Doorman is pretty important to Ed. Not the guy who holds doors open; it's the name of his 17 yr old dog that means the world to him. Almost as important as his best friend, Audrey - who he is completely head-over-heels in love with. Too bad she is into having sex without love, and Ed does not fit into her line of detached relations.

Not long after the hilarious bank robbery, Ed receives his first card in the mail - the Ace of Diamonds. Three addresses are listed on it. What is in store at each place? It is up to Ed to figure out what is going on and how to deal with it. After finishing off one card, the next Ace shows up. It's Ed who holds people's lives in his hands.

While making moves with the cards he's dealt, Ed is learning to do that in his own life. He has a rather difficult relationship with his mother, and he has no idea why it is the way it is.
"Ma?" I ask. 
"What?"
"Why do you hate me so much?"
And now she looks at me, this woman, as I make sure my eyes don't give me away.
Flatly, simply, she answers.
"Because, Ed - you remind me of him."
Him?
It registers.
Him - my father.
She goes inside and the door slams.
Two other quotes that made a huge impact on the story with me are:
Carefully no, her statement comes out. "Believe it or not - it takes a lot of love to hate you like this."

I love that old woman's smile. I love the patches of human wrinkles on her face ad the joy in her eyes.
I absolutely loved this book from beginning to end. I smiled, laughed, and teared up, too. This is my second of Zusak's books and I must say it reaches the level I expect after reading The Book Thief. Completely different but in no way lacking the poetic, genuine, and well-paced words that Markus Zusak is well-known for. This book has earned a spot on my favourites shelf, and I look forward to many re-reads to come.

Cross-posted on Goodreads

From just Beyond My Bookshelf


Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Book Review: Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

Sydney hates being the number 2 child, and not just because she's the youngest. Her mom has always been so proud of older brother Peyton, and her Dad doesn't seem to see her at all. Even when Peyton goes to prison for a DWI that paralyzes a teen, Sydney is still overlooked by her parents. Tension builds within Sydney as her privacy in the community disappears and Peyton's best friend Ames begins to get a little too close for comfort.

When Sydney decides to leave her private school to go to the local public high school for a bit of anonymity, she is enveloped by Layla, her brother Mac, and their cozy band of family and friends. Sydney meets with an acceptance she has been searching for and finds in a family pizza restaurant.
To me, the Chathams were like that merry-go-round out  in the middle of nowhere in the woods. I hadn't been aware they'd existed; it was pure luck to have stumbled upon them. Now that I had, I couldn't forget and go back to the way I'd been before. Just knowing they were out there changed everything. Especially me.

This story made me want to laugh, cry, and shout out "Exactly!" Getting to know Sydney, Layla, and Mac would have made my high school years magical.
"Relationships evolve, just like people do. Just because you know someone doesn't mean you know everything about them."
"Just because a person isn't talking about something doesn't mean it's not on their mind. Often, in fact, it's why they won't speak of it."
When faced with the scariest of things, all you want is to turn away, hid in your own invisible place. But you can't. That's why it's not only important for us to be seen, but to have someone to look for us, as well.

Saint Anything an amazing story. I love Sarah Dessen's writing - the truth in each story, the agony of emotions the characters express and the reader feels, and the ease in which simple words become a world I could be living next to any day of the week. Sarah Dessen writes about the community that readers live in, emotions they feel, and stories they can sink in to. Sarah Dessen is the friendly neighbour I wish I knew.
That was just it. You never knew what lay ahead; the future was one thing that could never be broken, because it had not yet had the chance to be anything. One minute you're walking through a dark woods, alone, and then the landscape shifts, and you see it. Something wondrous and unexpected, almost magical, that you never would have found had you not kept it going. Like a new friend who feels like an old one, or a memory you'll never forget. Maybe even a carousel.

I highly recommend Saint Anything as a great read. You may just have found yourself a new author, too!

From just Beyond My Bookshelf...


Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Book Review: The Twilight Wife by A.J. Banner

None of us is bound by the past.

Kyra Winthrop, after barely surviving a diving accident, remembers very little of the last several years of her life. She can't remember the accident, her time in the hospital, or even her married life. She is fortunate to have a patient husband, a few good friends, and a wonderful island she can recuperate on.
But is this enough to give Kyra the life back she once had?



The Twilight Wife is a good, fast-paced story full of mystery. I enjoyed the well-created, suspense-filled scenes. The twists and turns kept me engaged, and I loved the scenery of the remote island in the Pacific Northwest. I correctly guessed some of the plot line early on, but I really enjoyed the mystery behind why it happened that way. It was good to read a book that brought shivers to my spine.

A.J. Banner has packaged up a nice stand-alone novel in The Twilight Wife. There was one passage that was of particular interest to me. It resonated deeply within me, and I felt a connection to the character as I read further.

What makes a woman so sure of herself? She has to know who she is, and to know who she is, she needs knowledge of her past. She remembers falling in and out of love, making a decision to marry or remain single. She remembers the choices that define her. But I don't have that advantage.

Thanks go to Simon & Schuster Canada and A.J. Banner for providing a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

THE TWILIGHT WIFE - A.J. Banner
Publication: December 27, 2016
ISBN: 9781501152115

Don't forget to check out more by this author!
 
A.J. Banner graduated from high school in southern California and received degrees from the University of California, Berkeley. Her first novel of psychological suspense, The Good Neighbor, was a #1 Kindle bestseller, and was named by Harper’s Bazaar as the next Gone Girl. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and five rescued cats.

Cross-posted on Goodreads

From just Beyond My Bookshelf


Sunday, 12 February 2017

I Am Coming Back, People!


Hello to my fellow book junkies that amaze me with viewing my little blog!

I just wanted to say sorry for being so erratic in my book reviews. I have been reading lots but not posting much. I worry too much about what others might expect of me. I used to write for the love of it until my health began to lead me astray. I am working hard at getting myself better, both physically and mentally, so I can amaze you all with my reviews...and hopefully much more to add to the blog in the future!

So bear with me as I start writing up the hundreds of book reviews I have hand-written notes for.

I love you, my crazy book lovers!

From just BEYOND MY BOOKSHELF...

 

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Book Review: In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware




Nora is invited to a hen (bachelorette) party, but it’s been ten years since she’s seen or talked to the bride-to-be, Clare. After contacting Nina, the only other person she knows on the invite list, Nora begrudgingly agrees to go to the party, only to find out that Nora’s ex and the groom-to-be are one and the same.

As Nora tries her best to appear happy, her old friends and anew acquaintances remind her of why she left town after graduation without looking back.

  • Clare – Nora sees, after only a few minutes, that Clare hasn’t changed much from her stuck-up, popular days
  • Flo – very high strung, intense, and trying to become a replica of Clare; appears as the most psychologically unbalanced member of the party
  • Nina – outspoken and uncensored Nina still hasn’t learned to watch what she says before she says it; the part of her that was once envied is now seen as her downfall 
  • Melanie – too wrapped up in her six-month old to enjoy anything or be a team player 
  • Tom – seems to fit right in as one of the girls 
  • James – Nora’s first love that she thought she’d gotten over, and now he’s to marry Clare

In a Dark, Dark Wood is very readable with lots of suspense and thought-provoking moments slipped in throughout the story. It is very well crafted and I will definitely enjoy returning to it.

I wish to thank Simon & Schuster Canada and Ruth Ware for providing me with a review copy for an honest review.


Cross-posted on Goodreads