Review: One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus *spoiler-free*

Hello and welcome, fellow bookworms!

For any of my followers/regular readers of my blog, I apologise for my lack of posts! I’m back with one of my favourite reads of July: One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus!

I purchased this book from Book Depository after reading the blurb on the site whilst browsing for new books. I initially started reading the blurb after spotting the words “recommended for fans of Gossip Girl” as I’m a big fan, although I’ve only seen the first two series!

I got a fab surprise when I opened my parcel…THE PAGE EDGES ARE RED! (see featured image of this post).

But onto the book itself…

The blurb of the book is below:

“Yale hopeful Bronwyn has never publicly broken a rule.

Sports star Cooper only knows what he’s doing in the baseball diamond.

Bad body Nate is one misstep away from a life of crime.

Prom queen Addy is holding together the cracks in her perfect life.

And outsider Simon, creator of the notorious gossip app at Bayview High, won’t ever talk about any of them again.

He dies 24 hours before he could post their deepest secrets online. Investigators conclude it’s no accident. All of them are suspects.

Everyone has secrets, right?

What really matters is how far you’ll go to protect them.”

SOUNDS GREAT, RIGHT?

It was. This book definitely lived up to my expectations and more! I had so many theories from the beginning and most of them were wrong but I figured one thing out!

I don’t want to say too much for fear of ruining the book for any who are going to read it (you all should) but there were so many twists; it really kept me guessing! It was so good that I read it in a day, around being at work!

Rating: 5 Stars 

(I’ve also added to my favourites shelf on Goodreads – there are only 3 other books on there, so I think that says a lot)

I hope you’ve enjoyed this review enough to read the book…trust me, it’s worth a read!

Until my next post.

Elanor 🙂

Top 3 Tudor Fiction Books

Hi there, fellow bookworms!

If you’ve read any of my previous blog posts, you may already know that I’m pretty interested in History. In particular, the Tudors.

I studied Tudor history (along with Luther and the German Reformation and the Witchcraze in Europe and North America) for 2 years at a-level (results day is getting closer and I’m getting nervous) and that’s when my obsession with historical fiction properly began; when one of my teachers recommended reading Philippa Gregory’s The Other Boleyn Girl. 

The vast majority of the historical fiction books I’ve read so far have been set in the Tudor period and written by Philippa Gregory, although I have quite a few historical fiction books that aren’t set in the Tudor period, that I haven’t gotten round to reading yet (surprise, surprise).

So here are my top 3 Tudor fiction books…happy reading!

1. The Queen’s Fool by Philippa Gregory

I picked this up second hand from a charity book stall, last year, and was really excited to read it…I finished it in 9 days.

It is set between the years 1548 and 1558 and follows the story of a Jewish girl called Hannah Green who has the gift of the “Sight”, which allows her to foresee the future. She and her father are forced to flee Spain and come to England in order to escape the Inquisition. Robert Dudley brings her to court to be a “holy fool” for Queen Mary I…to spy on her. I really enjoyed this book it’s definitely one of the best that I’ve read!

Rating: 4 Stars

2. The Lady Elizabeth by Alison Weir

I owned this book for several years before I actually read it (why am I like this?) but honestly, this book was amazing! It looks at the life of Elizabeth I, right from her childhood, when she noticed that people were no longer calling her “Lady Princess” but “Lady Elizabeth” (the book starts just after the execution of Anne Boleyn). The book looks at how the relationship between Elizabeth I and her older half-sister, Mary I, grew and changed throughout their lives – at the beginning of the book, Mary genuinely loves her younger sister and is the one to tell Elizabeth about the death of her mother, but begins to grow increasingly wary of her as she gets older. The book also looked at the relationship between Elizabeth I and Thomas Seymour, which I thought was interesting, although not necessarily accurate. But all in all, this was a really good read!

Rating: 4 Stars

3. The King’s Secret Matter by Jean Plaidy

This book follows the “King’s Great Matter” – Henry VIII’s desire for an annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon, his desire for a male heir and his lust for Anne Boleyn. Henry is angry that his wife has been unable to provide him with a “suitable” heir (Mary was disregarded as this as she was female). Upon the arrival of Anne Boleyn and her refusal to become his mistress, Henry begins to secretly formulate a plan (with the help of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey) to divorce Catherine and make Mary illegitimate…but Catherine fights back. This was one of my favourite aspects of my Tudor course and so I enjoyed this book!

Rating: 3 Stars

I hope you found this interesting! Try reading one of these books (or another by one of these authors), they’re great!

Happy reading!

Elanor 🙂

If you’re looking for a book about friendship, fun and romance, try Milly Johnson!!

Hey again fellow bookworms!

A few years ago, my Mam picked up 3 of Milly Johnson’s books (The Yorkshire Pudding Club, Here Come the Girls A Summer Fling) at a secondhand book sale. I liked the covers and the sound of them but I somehow never read them until earlier this year (my Mam read them years ago).

When secondhand book shopping with my friends, earlier this year (we made very productive use of our free periods in college, obviously), I found a copy of Milly Johnson’s It’s Raining Men. Again, I liked the cover and was hooked by the sound of the blurb. I bought it for my Mam but read it as soon as she had finished it.

Since then, I’ve read 6 of her books, am currently reading The Queen of Wishful Thinking and have 2 more bought and ready to read. They’re so good – I always finish them in a few days because I can’t put them down!

Most of her books focus on one or more women (and their husbands/partners) or a group of women who are friends and the chapters vary between the perspectives of one of the main characters.

My current read (I finally finished reading Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Childen!) is her most recent book and I’ve almost finished it – I would definitely recommend! It’s about a woman called Bonnie who is stuck in a marriage with a man she doesn’t love and loses her job in the antiques shop where she has always worked. She finds a new job in a new antiques shop called the Pot of Gold. The owner of the Pot of Gold is called Lewis (Lew) Harley and he and Bonnie become friends. I won’t say more because I wouldn’t want to ruin it but so much has happened that I didn’t expect!

The books by Milly Johnson that I have read and 100% recommend are:

  • The Yorkshire Pudding Club
  • Here Come the Girls
  • A Spring Affair
  • A Summer Fling
  • White Wedding
  • It’s Raining Men
  • The Queen of Wishful Thinking (currently reading)

I really hope you take this recommendation and enjoy these books as much as I do!!

Bye for now,

Elanor 🙂

judge a book by it’s title

Hiya fellow bookworms!

Now you’ve heard the phrase “never judge a book by it’s cover” and about the cool ideas some bookshops have where they wrap books so you can’t judge them by their covers (I really want to visit a shop that does this but I can’t find any near me).

But what about judging a book by it’s title?

This might sound strange, but I find that I’m more likely to read a book from my tbr pile if I like the sound of it (e.g. Murder Most Royal by Jean Plaidy). So I thought it would be fun if I came up with a list of books from my read pile, that I really enjoyed, and wrote them down to get you guys to pick one based on it’s title and read it.

I don’t know if any of you will do this but I’d love it if you did! You could even comment a few books down below for me to choose one from.

So judge a book by it’s title:

  • The Cake Shop in the Garden by Carole Matthews
  • Here Come the Girls by Milly Johnson
  • Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
  • The Lost and the Found by Cat Clarke
  • Women & Children First by Gill Paul
  • Murder in Little Italy by Victoria Thompson
  • The Vintage Tea Cup Club by Vanessa Greene
  • The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie

I’d love it if you did this! Leave me a comment with the book that you’ve chosen!

Happy reading!

Elanor 🙂

Like reading Agatha Christie or Enid Blyton? Try reading Robin Stevens!

Welcome back fellow bookworms!

Growing up, Enid Blyton’s books were my favourites. Whether it was her Faraway Tree series or The Twins at St Clare’s; I loved them all. My particular favourites were those set in schools (The Twins at St Clare’s, The Naughtiest Girl and Malory Towers).

A few years ago, a friend introduced me to the works of Agatha Christie, at which point my Dad informed me that my late Grandad used to love her books. Since then, I have read a great deal of her books and yet, there always seem to be some that I have never heard of. As I used to love Enid Blyton’s school and mystery books, I now love Agatha Christie’s mysteries (check out my previous post for a recommendation of my favourite).

When scrolling through my Goodreads feed in May, I came across a book update of someone I follow. The book was called Arsenic For Tea which is the second book in Robin Stevens’ Murder Most Unladylike Mysteries series. Reading the description of the book, I was hooked.

A few days later, I went shopping and came across a book sale, in which a section of the shop had all books reduced to £1. By some miracle, I found copies of Robin Stevens’ Murder Most Unladylike and First Class Murder (books 1 and 3 of his Murder Most Unladylike series).

I read each of them within a few days; I couldn’t put them down.

The first book, Murder Most Unladylike, was set in the boarding school of two girls: Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong. Hazel discovers the body of their science mistress lying in the gym and assumes there has been an accident. However, when she returns, with Daisy, a few minutes later, the body is gone and the two girls are left to prove their mistress has been murdered (the rest of the school think she has resigned) and find her body…

To me, this felt like a combination between an Agatha Christie and an Enid Blyton novel and I really enjoyed it!

The third book (in the series), First Class Murder, Daisy and Hazel are spending their holiday travelling on the Orient Express with Hazel’s father. During dinner, there is a scream from one of the passenger’s cabins and the door has to be broken down to reveal the dead body of one of the passengers…but the killer appears to have vanished from the locked cabin. Again, I really enjoyed this book – there were even mentions of Agatha Christie! (This book could be read as a stand-alone, you don’t necessarily need to read the others beforehand!)

I rated both of these books 4 Stars and would definitely recommend them if you’re a fan of either Enid Blyton or Agatha Christie! I really want to read the rest of this series (when my bank account allows me to).

I hope you’ll enjoy these books as much as I did!

Bye for the moment,

Elanor 🙂

Book Recommendation: And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

Hello again, fellow bookworms!

Although it’s only July, I’ve already read 35 books and I’ve got to say, some of them have been amazing!

In this time, I discovered one of my favourite books and I would 100% recommend it to everyone! I wanted to make this post to share my opinion of the book and hopefully convince some of you to read it! 🙂

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (Rating: 5 Stars)

Firstly, if you’ve never read an Agatha Christie book, you’re really missing out! I absolutely love her books and I’ve even managed to get some of my friends reading them too!

And Then There Were None is one of Christie’s most famous works, having been voted the “World’s Favourite Christie” in a global vote in 2015 to mark her 125th anniversary.

In this novel, 10 strangers arrive on Soldier Island, each having been invited there by an unknown host. They are each hiding something (a crime which they have gotten away with). When first one, then another (and so on) of their group is murdered, they begin to realise that the murderer must be among them.

There is a major plot twist in this novel, which is partly why I love it so much! I read this  book in a day and rated it 5 Stars which I think says a lot!

It has been made into TV adaptions and is even the plot of a Family Guy episode (Episode 1, Season 9) called “And Then There Were Fewer”. I don’t usually watch Family Guy but my best friend got me to watch this episode with her before I had read the book and it was actually pretty good!

I would definitely recommend this book to you all and I hope that more people will read this book!

Bye for now,

Elanor 🙂

Review: Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare *Spoiler Free*

Hi there fellow bookworms!

I recently finished reading Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare, which is the second book in her Dark Artifices trilogy and thought that this was the perfect book to review first on this blog.

First things first: I LOVED this book! My parents bought me Lady Midnight as a Christmas present and I was lucky enough to be bought Lord of Shadows by a friend, as a birthday present.

Normally, I don’t like reading a series as it is being published, I prefer to wait until the whole series is available to be read as I have a tendency to forget details from the previous book. Initially, I’d told myself that I was not going to read Lord of Shadows until the final book in the trilogy was published as I’m not a particularly patient person and was worried that this book would end on a cliffhanger. I was right.

Through this book, I loved the focus on the rest of the Blackthorns (and Emma and Cristina) other than just Julian and I felt that there was a great deal of development of the characters across the book. I thought that the focus on the friendship between Kit (Herondale), Ty and Livvy was really cute 🙂

Arthur was one of my favourite characters in Lady Midnight, partly because I was confused as to how none of the Clave had realised how obviously unwell he was and I liked discovering a little more about him in this book.

One of my favourite things about this book was the reappearance of characters from The Mortal Instruments, The Bane Chronicles and even Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy!

If you haven’t read this already and are worried about being left on cliffhanger ending until the final book is published, I’d save reading Lord of Shadows until just before the final book is published!

There is so much more to talk about with this book but I don’t want to spoil the book for anyone who hasn’t read it!

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I can’t wait for the final Dark Artifices book to come out!

Rating: 4 Stars 

Have any of you read Lord of Shadows yet? I’d love to discuss it!

Elanor 🙂