[REVIEW] The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides #TheSilentPatient @orionbooks #BreakTheSilence

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The Silent Patient will be the leading psychological thriller of 2019 – I mean it already is. While writing this review I’m happy to say that the US version of the book is already out and the UK comes out tomorrow (7th). The Silent Patient is a book that surprised me in a good way and didn’t have that cliché psychological thriller stuff in it [I’ll discuss this in the review].

The Silent Patient introduces us to Theodore Faber, a forensic/criminal psychotherapist, who gets a job at a facility that helps mentally ill criminals. Theo has a goal set in mind when it comes to taking this job  and it’s finding out why the mysterious artist Alicia Berenson killed her husband Gabriel and after the murder stopped speaking. Theo is determined to find out what lead to the murder and being that he’s a psychotherapist he begins his search with a Freudian approach where the therapist delves into patient’s past to find out if the past has influenced the present in any way. The book is told from two voices – we have Theo and we have Alicia Berenson’s diary/journal – which makes you get the full picture of the story.

This book is a fast-paced one and I read two-hundred-and-fifty pages of it in a day! When I say fast-paced I truly mean it because the author doesn’t bother you with over-description or long sentences that wander off into nowhere, everything is there to keep your attention. After doing a bit of googling of Alex Michaelides I found out that he wrote a few movie scripts and The Silent Patient felt like one – I can definitely picture it on the big screen. What I most appreciated was how focused the book was on its events and there weren’t any scenes that dragged so that’s a plus in my book! Towards the end of the book I did manage to figure out what exactly happened but still the shock was there – very clever! I also appreciated the ending because I found it satisfying and well done which not many psychological thrillers manage to do [at least ones I’ve read]. Michaelides managed to include some psychology into this story which was awesome!

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides shows us that even though we’ve seen many psychological thrillers over the years there’s always that one that manages to surprise us and we end up thoroughly enjoying it.

I would like to thank the publisher Orion Publishing for providing me with a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions written here are my own and weren’t influenced by anything.

My rating: 

Add ‘The Silent Patient‘ to your TBR:  

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**I am in no way compensated by these sites. I am simply sharing it so people can find this book easier.

Image taken from Goodreads.

Born in Cyprus to a Greek-Cypriot father and English mother, I studied English literature at Cambridge University and got my MA in screenwriting at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. I wrote the film The Devil You Know (2013) starring Rosamund Pike and co-wrote The Con is On (2018), starring Uma Thurman, Tim Roth, Parker Posey and Sofia Vergara. THE SILENT PATIENT is my first novel.

Find him on: Publisher’s website, Goodreads and Twitter.

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[REVIEW] Dracul by Dacre Stoker and J.D. Barker #Dracul @TransworldBooks

I cannot believe that I waited this long to read Dracul. In this review you will find words like wow, amazing, I found it to be wow and amazing. I seriously enjoyed this book so much.

Dracul is told in chapters which are set in the past where Bram is about eight/ten years of age and the present where we see Bram as a twenty/twenty-two year old. Dracul focuses on the mysterious nanny that has been employed by the Stoker family to care for the young ones and Bram’s quest to find what lies behind the mystery. I think that this is enough information to know before starting the book so this is where I’ll stop.

I am in loss for words to express how much I enjoyed Dracul! At an early age Bram gets sick and can’t move from his bed but whenever nanny Ellen appears he gets better. Why is that? One night when he’s so close to death Ellen appears and as if by magic heals him and from then on Bram is as healthy as an ox.  I loved everything about it – from the mystery to the adventures that Bram, his sister Matilda and brother Thornley go on! I never found a dull moment in this book and if you read the first chapter you will see why. The characters in this story were very well developed and I loved them all! The setting of the book is amazing and I loved how both authors made Bram and other characters come to life – Dracul is such a gripping story. You will get insight into Dracula which is so fascinating! Nanny Ellen Crone’s character is so good and I adored seeing her through the book! I didn’t find Dracul as scary but I found it entertaining BUT I have to note that I did get a few scares from it!

I can safely say that this book will be making my best of 2019 list because it is that good. Read it if you’re a fan of Dracula, gothic and horror books.

I would like to thank the publisher Transworld Books for providing me with a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions written here are my own and weren’t influenced by anything.

My rating: 

Add ‘Dracul‘ to your TBR:  

*Purchase ‘Dracul‘ here:

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**I am in no way compensated by these sites. I am simply sharing it so people can find this book easier

Image taken from Goodreads

Dacre Stoker, a Canadian citizen and resident of the U.S., is the great-grandnephew of Bram Stoker. He is also the godson of H.G. Dacre Stoker, the commander of the AE2 submarine, whose tactics were instrumental in Gallipoli in World War I.

Dacre, who now calls Aiken, South Carolina home, was a member of the Canadian Men’s Modern Pentathlon Team, Senior World Championships in 1979 and coach of the Canadian Men’s Modern Pentathlon Olympic Team, Seoul, South Korea in 1988. Dacre is married to Jenne Stoker and is the father of two children. He is the Executive Director of the Aiken Land Conservancy.

Find him on: Website, Goodreads

Image taken from Goodreads

J.D. Barker is the internationally best-selling author of Forsaken, a finalist for the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a First Novel, and winner of the New Apple Medalist Award. His work has been compared to Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Thomas Harris. His 4MK Thrillers, The Fourth Monkey and The Fifth to Die, were released in June 2017 and June 2018 respectively. He has been asked by the Stoker family to coauthor the forthcoming prequel to Dracula due out in fall 2018. His novels have been translated into numerous languages and optioned for both film and television. Barker currently resides in Pennsylvania with his wife, Dayna, daughter, Ember, and their two dogs, both of whom sit outside his office door daily, eagerly awaiting his next novel.

Find him on: Website, Goodreads, Twitter and Facebook.

[REVIEW] Wanderer by Sarah Léon, translated by John Cullen @OtherPress

Other Press is one of those publishers you love because of their ability to choose and publish brilliant new voices in fiction as well as non-fiction. Wanderer by Sarah Leon was such an interesting and thought-provoking read but not a perfect one.

Wanderer by Sarah Leon is set in France, in a small territory near Bourbonnais Mountains, where we are introduced to Hermin Peyre, a composer who has decided to isolate himself in order to spend his time composing a piece dedicated to Schubert. One wintry night Leonard Wieck, Lenny, shows up on his doorstep after ten years of not having any contact with him. This event will put years of unspoken words and frustrations out in the open for both Hermin and Lenny. They must revisit their past together in order to better understand what happened between them and what kind of damage has been done. What happened between the two? What lies behind their silence?

‘’The fabric of his life had slowly worn itself out during those years of virtual solitude.’’

Leon having written this book at the age of twenty-one amazes me. Not only because of the fact that she was twenty-one but because of the way she crafts sentences and how she perceives certain things. The way music and certain musical pieces were intertwined within the story was beautiful and Leon combining music with winter made me feel like I was right there with Hermin and Lenny. Both characters are very flawed and interesting. Our story is told from Hermin’s POV which revisits the past and the present in each chapter so we get almost a full picture of what happened. Since the book is told from Hermin’s POV and since Lenny is his guest, Leon makes us a part of Hermin because we experience everything from his perspective – it feels as though we have welcomed a long lost friend into our home and are experiencing all of the consequences that this brings. What I found most enjoyable was the language in the story and the way Leon creates them which are all wonderfully translated from French by John Cullen. The translator did a fantastic job! The story is something I found to be weak – although the ‘ghosts of the past’ came to haunt both characters I felt as though the story could’ve been thought-out better. I get the decision behind bringing Lenny back after ten years of silence but I felt dissatisfied in a way because of the way the story went. I hope this makes sense to people who have read it but the story felt predictable to me. Wanderer being Leon’s debut novel shows to me that she has a lot of skill and I’m excited to see what she comes up with in the future. I feel like what Leon fell short on [for me] she made up by the way she wrote this novel.

‘’I’d looked at him helplessly. I’d never had any gift for consoling people – I could listen to them talk about their trouble, sure, but then how to find the right words? And this particular case seemd to be precisely the sort about which there was nothing to say; no phrases would have the power to cushion the blow that had just struck him. But in spite of all that, I was required to say something…’’

Wanderer explores the psychological effects of what long periods of silence do to a friendship and what damage they may cause.

If you’re someone who likes their reads to be more on the psychological side then I definitely recommend this book.

I would like to thank the publisher Other Press (NY) for providing me with a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own and weren’t influenced by the fact that I got this book from the publisher.

My rating: 

Add ‘Wanderer‘ to your TBR:  

*Purchase ‘Wanderer‘ here:

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**I am in no way compensated by these sites. I am simply sharing it so people can find this book easier.

Gérard Cambon-Éditions Héloïse

Sarah Léon was born in 1995 and studied literature and musicology at the École normale supérieure in Paris. She won the 2012 Prix Clara for her novella, Mon Alban.

Find her on: Publisher’s website and Goodreads.

[BEST OF: 2018] Most beloved books of 2018 ft. @OneworldNews @BelgraviaB @QuercusBooks @OtherPress @MantleBooks and more

First of all, Happy New Year. I want to thank you all for visiting and commenting on Breathing Through Pages in 2018 and making me want to continue blogging and sharing book love with you. I want to thank all of the publicists and publishers as well for being so kind with sending books this way! Seriously, thank you for making my little corner of the internet a joyous one.

BEST BOOKS OF 2018

Now, before I begin with sharing which books I liked last year I just want to note that none of these books are rated from ‘1 to 10’ or ‘worst to best’ etc. I just felt like doing a post reminding you, the readers, as well as me of the books I enjoyed a lot in 2018. With each book I will be posting a short comment on it as well as a Goodreads link so you can add it//them to your TBR pile.

BEST OF 2018

The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne published 14th December 2017 by Black Swan.

I read this book earlier in January of 2018 and absolutely loved it. This was my first Boyne novel and it was filled with such interesting characters and I couldn’t look away from it. I was totally immersed in it.

Read my review of it. 

The Only Girl in the World by Maude Julien, translated by Adriana Hunter published 4th January 2018 by Oneworld Publications.

I love reading memoirs and this book was so good! The horrific childhood of Maude Julien was so, well, horrific to read but also very fascinating and interesting. If you’re someone who loves reading memoirs this is the one you must pick up!

Read my review of it.

Educated by Tara Westover published 20th February 2018 by Random House.

Another fantastic memoir I highly recommend you pick up! Westover writes so well and her upbringing is something you’ll find so interesting. It’s one of those books that stay with you and make you think about them long after you’ve read them.

Read my review of it.

The House of Impossible Beauties by Joseph Cassara published 1st February 2018 by Oneworld Publications

This book is very special to me – from the moment I saw it I fell in love with that cover and when I read it I just got lost in the NYC ball scene and the lives of many LGBTQ+ characters. Such a fantastic debut! It’s the one I’ll never stop shouting about because I want everyone to read it.

Read my review of it.

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin published 4th January 2018 by Tinder Press.

If you’re someone who’s active on social media and ‘the book world’ there’s a high possibility you’ve heard of this one. A family saga following four siblings who go to a fortune-teller to find out their death dates. I mean, come on. Read it.

Read my review of it.

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara published 1st March 2018 by Faber&Faber.

Amazing true-crime novel. Worth every hype it got and praise it still gets. A must read.

Read my review of it.

VOX by Christina Dalcher published 23rd August 2018 by HQ.

This is a debut dystopian novel from Dalcher which I found to be pretty great and entertaining. I especially loved the use of the author’s profession in the book.

Read my review of it.

Kill For Me by Tom Wood published 26th July 2018 by Sphere.

This book came at the right time for me and I devoured it. Kill For Me is so entertaining and fast-paced you just can’t look away from it! Definite recommendation for thriller lovers.

Read my review of it.

The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton published 20th September 2018 by Mantle.

It’s Kate Morton. Although not one of her best it’s still worth reading..

Read my review of it.

The Incurable Romantic and Other Unsettling Revelations by Frank Tallis published 6th June 2018 by Little, Brown UK.

I loved reading Tallis’ stories about love and obsessive love. If you love psychology books I recommend you pick it up because it’s so interesting as well as fascinating!

Read my review of it.

The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel That Scandalized the World by Sarah Weinman published 11th September 2018 by Ecco.

I’ve read mixed reviews on this one but my personal experience of it was very enjoyable. I loved this book. Yes, it did read like a long thesis on Nabokov but I still loved it. True crime lovers – it’s a good one!

Read my review of it.

True or Poo? by Nick Caruso and Dani Rabaiotti published 18th October 2018 by Quercus Books.

A lovely short book that contains many interesting facts about animals and many animal things. It also has some fantastic illustrations!

Read my review of it.

The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker published 30th August 2018 by Hamish Hamilton.

My experience with this book was positive and I just love stories like this. A must read.

Read my review of it.

The Syndicate by Guy Bolton published 20th September 2018 by Oneworld Publications.

Noir crime book, I was sold. I loved reading this one. Bolton is the one to watch.

Read my review of it.

Little by Edward Carey published 4th October 2018 by Aardvark Bureau.

The illustrations inside done by the author are fantastic. The story inside is such a memorable one. I just love this book so much! It’s in my heart.

Read my review of it.

The Parting Gift by Evan Fallenberg published 4th September 2018 by Other Press (NY).

Such a fantastic one! It reminded me of Gone Girl in a way. Read it, yes!

Read my review of it.

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton published 1st October 2018 by Bloomsbury UK.

Believe the hype. I found it to be a very interesting book and very original. Definite recommendation.

Read my review of it.

A Different Drummer by William Melvin Kelley published 1st November 2018 by Quercus Books.

An important work of literature. I teared up a few times reading it. I cannot wait to read more of Melvin Kelley in the future. Read it.

Read my review of it.

The Chestnut Man by Søren Sveistrup publishing on 10th January 2019 by Michael Joseph.

This one is not out yet but since I read it last year I’ve decided to add it here. It’s a debut from the producer of The Killing. I found it to be an awesome thriller book.

Read my review of it.

THE END

Thanks for reading this blog post. Do you agree with my picks? Would you add any of them to your TBR? Let me know below in the comments.

[BLOG TOUR: BOOK REVIEW] The Chestnut Man by Søren Sveistrup @MichaelJBooks #TheChestnutMan

I was very excited when I opened Twitter and saw a message about joining the blog tour for The Chestnut Man. Having loved The Killing TV series I couldn’t wait to dive into this one and I’m happy to say that I wasn’t disappointed!

The Chestnut Man follows Naia Thulin and Mark Hess in their quest to solve the mystery and murder of Laura Kjaer, whose murder appears to be routinely executed but upon looking at the details both Thulin and Hess begin to see that something isn’t right. We are also introduced to Rosa Hartung who is a Minister for Social Affairs and who carries a horrible loss behind her. Rosa’s loss is the murder of her daughter whose killer has been caught but his testimony doesn’t make sense. Laura Kjaer’s murder contains a piece of evidence which is linked with Rosa‘s horrible loss – this discovery sets both Thulin and Hess in search of the truth behind the Chestnut Man.

Reading the first few chapters I felt shivers because of how dark and gruesome they were! What an opening! From the beginning we are introduced to Naia Thulin, a detective in the Homicide’s Murder Squad who feels like this job isn’t thrilling her and challenging her anymore so she plans on moving to the Cyber Crime Unit. Mark Hess has been kicked out of Europol for causing many issues and has made his way to Homicide’s Murder Squad. We can see that Hess doesn’t want to be there at all and already has plans to move quickly. Hess and Thulin have been partnered together in solving the case of Laura Kjaer and although not standing each other they have to do their best in solving it. Sveistrup has an amazing ability at writing gruesome scenes because I felt unsettled whenever I stumbled upon them. Naia Thulin’s character has to be my favourite because of how interesting she is and how her psyche worked. In the beginning Mark Hess wasn’t someone I liked but throughout the book we saw his flaws and that gave him depth and a somewhat understanding of why he is who he is. There are many voices in this book and at times I did feel lost because it didn’t keep my attention. Compared to the first part of the book the last part kept me much more entertained and although I found it a bit weak at times I felt that the ending made up for that. Sveistrup is someone who can write and I got reminded why I love these sort of books.

The Chestnut Man is a fantastic debut I highly recommend you pick up if you like dark and interesting thrillers.

I would like to thank the publisher Penguin Random House UK (Michael Joseph) for inviting me on the blog tour and providing me with a review copy of this book in exchange for a review. All opinions written here are my own and weren’t influenced by anything.

My rating: 

Make sure to check out other book bloggers’ reviews on this tour!

Add ‘The Chestnut Man‘ to your TBR:  

*Purchase ‘The Chestnut Man‘ here:

*Purchase ‘The Chestnut Man‘ with free international delivery here: 

**I am in no way compensated by these sites. I am simply sharing it so people can find this book easier.

Søren Sveistrup is an internationally acclaimed scriptwriter of the Danish television phenomenon The Killing which won various international awards and sold in more than a hundred countries. More recently, Sveistrup wrote the screenplay for Jo Nesbø’s The Snowman. Sveistrup obtained a Master in Literature and in History from the University of Copenhagen and studied at the Danish Film School. He has won countless prizes, including an Emmy for Nikolaj and Julie and a BAFTA for The Killing.

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[BLOG TOUR: BOOK REVIEW] Who I Am by Sarah Simpson @sarahrsimpson @aria_fiction

I was invited by the author to join the blog tour for Who I Am and after reading the synopsis of it I had to say yes because – twisted friendship, twisted characters YES.

“You never know do you, people’s backgrounds, how much it impacts on them? The choices they make because of it.”

Who I Am follows two characters Andi and Camilla who upon meeting at University become best friends and quickly share their secrets and pour their souls to each other. The story is set to two different timelines 2000’s and 2017. In 2017 we see Andi as an adult with children, living almost an idyllic life but not everything is what it seems. She is haunted by what happened one night at the beach which changed everything and soon she becomes stalked by someone who knows what happened and is blaming her for it. Who is out there to get her?

I have to compliment the design of this book because it’s so good. Well done, book designer! From the first two/three chapters you can already sense that this story won’t be the usual ‘friendship’ one because it contains dark elements that make you all tingly inside because you know it will be a fun ride. The author’s background as a psychologist shows throughout the book and I love how in-depth her characters were and how you could analyse their actions. I also learned what Korsakoff’s syndrome is which I haven’t heard of before. Towards the last 150 pages of the story Simpson introduces a few more characters which I found to be very interesting and loved reading their POV. This book is very dark and is unlike other toxic friendship stories as I’ve mentioned before. It contains some trigger warnings (e.g. alcohol abuse) which may not suit every reader. I especially enjoyed how unreliable Andi’s characters was because I began second guessing her intentions and her role in that awful night at the beach. What I found lacking in Who I Am is that sometimes I felt the story going somewhere and losing my interest – but that wasn’t a huge part because I did enjoy the story a lot. I found Eve’s character to offer more info on Andi [which I appreciated] but she didn’t feel very necessary to the story for me. From my experience with Who I Am I can say that Simpson knows how to write dark characters and twisted stories. I was captivated throughout the book and although I found some small parts to lose my interest I absolutely enjoyed spending my time with Who I Am.

If you enjoy reading dark and twisted stories with unreliable narrators then you’re in for a treat with Who I Am.

I would like to thank the author Sarah Simpson as well as the publisher Aria Fiction for inviting me to join the blog tour and providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions written in this review are my own and weren’t influenced by anything.

My rating: 

Add ‘Who I Am‘ to your TBR:  

*Purchase ‘Who I Am‘ here:

*I am in no way compensated by this site. I am simply sharing it so people can find this book easier.

Sarah Simpson has a business degree and a first class honours degree in psychology with appropriate post-graduate qualifications. Her background, working privately within mental health for many years; within the collaborative family law arena and with additional experience within the family court system has gifted her an invaluable understanding of life and people. Thus, Her Greatest Mistake is a cocktail of professional and personal experiences stirred vigorously by the imagination.

She is relatively late to the writing scene, despite a love of books and writing from when she was very young, it wasn’t until 2016 that she sat down to put pen to paper. Her Greatest Mistake was then some twelve months in creation, followed by some vigorous re-writing. In June 2017, she signed with her current agent Broo Doherty and shortly after was offered a three book publishing contract with Aria, Head of Zeus…

Find her on: Website, Twitter and Goodreads.

[REVIEW] A Different Drummer by William Melvin Kelley @QuercusBooks

I first heard of this book from Instagram and Twitter but mostly from Ana [who works at Quercus] who loved this book a lot. What I found amazing is that Quercus gave a copy of A Different Drummer to their employees and gave them a morning off to read it which shows how they feel about it. I am so glad and grateful I had this book sent to me.

‘I mean it seems horrible that the most you can do for people you love is leave them alone.’

In a fictional town called Sutton, one black man, Tucker Caliban, throws salt on his fields, shoots his horse and cow, sets fire to his house and departs Sutton. Along with him other black towns folk follow. From this point the story is told from white towns folk perspective – whether it be male, female, adult or child.

‘It was that gradually, going back as far as I can remember, they kept saying less and less to each other until the time came – this is the time I’m talking about – that they didn’t say anything at all to each other . . . except maybe at night when I guess married people feel most alone, when they realize how little they have in common, and how much they’ve lost.’

I don’t tend to read these stories often but when I do I really appreciate them because I love learning something new from them. When I say ‘these stories’ I mean stories tackling race issues – where I live there are not many black people and it’s predominantly white but I have always been raised to view everyone as equal which I’m grateful for. I found A Different Drummer to be such an interesting read that I teared up a few times while reading it. The ending of the book left me broken because of how people can be cruel and selfish.  I love the idea of telling the story from white people’s POV because it is very fascinating. I have actually raced through at least 200+ pages in a day and finished the book because I found it to be so compelling and the story-telling to be excellent. William Melvin Kelley shows great writing skills and I would absolutely love to read the rest of his works. The story felt and is relevant today and I think more people should get to know this author better by reading A Different Drummer. This is the kind of book that makes you dissect it after you’ve finished it. I honestly don’t know what else to say about this book except that I found it to be so well written considering that the author was 23 at the time.

Read it.

I would like to thank the publisher Quercus Books (Riverrun) and Ana for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and weren’t influenced by anything.

My rating: 

Add ‘A Different Drummer‘ to your TBR:  

*Purchase ‘A Different Drummer‘ here:

*Purchase ‘A Different Drummer‘ with free international delivery here: 

**I am in no way compensated by these sites. I am simply sharing it so people can find this book easier.

William Melvin Kelley was a prominent African-American novelist and short-story writer. He was educated at the Fieldston School in New York and later attended Harvard University (class of 1960), where he won the Dana Reed Prize for creative writing. William Melvin Kelley has been a writer in residence at the State University of New York at Geneseo and has taught at the New School for Social Research. He currently teaches at Sarah Lawrence College. In 2008, he won the Anisfield-Wolf Lifetime Achievement Award.

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[BLOG TOUR: BOOK EXTRACT] Who I Am by Sarah Simpson @sarahrsimpson @aria_fiction

Today is my stop on the WHO I AM blog tour. I am sharing an extract from the book and will soon post a review of the book.

BOOK EXTRACT

‘Yes, you could, it’s Christmas and I’d really like you to stay on. I’ll be leaving tomorrow.’

A worried expression shot across her face. ‘Oh? What leaving Uni? For good?’

I laughed, feeling flattered, she appeared genuinely upset. ‘No, course not. For Christmas I mean. I’ve the rest of next year to get through yet. How about you, what year are you in, you didn’t say?’

‘Yeah, the same. Well it should be anyway, but the way things are looking, what with the accommodation,’ she shrugged, ‘I might not be graduating at all.’

I curled my arm around her and squeezed. ‘Try not to worry. Thing’s always turn up, there’s always something to be worked out.’ It felt like a silly thing to say. Why do we say these things? ‘Come on choose your cocktail. I’m buying, I insist.’ It’s funny, I hardly know Camilla, but sitting here I feel a real affinity to her, there’s a sadness behind her eyes, something unsaid, but also there’s – life and excitement.

My head spins, my legs have other ideas, when I stand to make my way to the ladies, stumbling back, I collapse on to Camilla’s lap. ‘Woah, sorry,’ I giggle, ‘these cocktails are potent.’ With Camilla’s help I lever myself back up, the room wobbling around me, ‘I’d better come with you,’ she laughs.

Clara gathers herself to stand, ‘I’ll go, I’m used to her atrocious drink tolerance,’ she practically spits at Camilla.

‘It’s fine, Clara, stay put, I’m hardly blotto, just stood up too quickly.’ I tell her, as soon as the words leave my mouth, I realise I’ve offended her in some way. Camilla smiles at her warmly, then arm in arm we make our way across the room. Pushing our way through the heavy bathroom door into a woman, giggling at her affronted face as we pushed past her in the doorway.

‘It’s Christmas. Tis the season to be merry.’ Camilla calls after her. Her tongue finally loosening as she relaxes. Practically falling through the second door into the spacious bathroom, gilt mirrors and floral displays in abundance, a strong whiff of pot pourri. ‘Wow,’ I hear through the cubicle door, ‘these loos are better than anything I’ve ever lived in.’ I can’t help but laugh out loud. ‘Think I could stay here next year? D’you think they’d notice if I moved my stuff in?’ When I exit the cubicle, she’s padding around in wonderment before turning her attention to the complimentary toiletries. ‘Look at this stuff. It’s really expensive, wish I’d brought a bigger handbag now.’

I giggle at her expression through the elaborate gold-leaf mirror as I wash my hands. ‘You’re hilarious Camilla, you’ve not been here before tonight then?’

She bolts herself upright. ‘Of course I have, only pulling your leg.’ She throws her hands up. ‘I’m not kidding you, am I?’ She nods. ‘This is the first time, and it’s completely amazing. But, I’ll definitely be coming back, that’s for sure. As often as I can.’

She reminds me of an awestruck child, so refreshing and charming, makes me feel as though I’m missing out on something special, too much in my life taken for granted. ‘Are you serious then?’ I ask, reaching for the folded cotton hand towels. Camilla spins on her heals, all eyelashes. ‘About not having anywhere to stay next year, I mean. Surely, you won’t really need to defer, will you?’

Twinkling dark eyes cloud, ‘deadly,’ she says. ‘I can’t pull the funds together, so I can’t see that I’ll have a choice. I’m trying not to think about it but it’s a strong possibility.’

‘So what about your student loan?’

She regards the vanity size moisturiser in her hand, ‘ah well, that’s another story. Probably not for tonight, I don’t want to burden you with my crap, I mean bad stuff, it’s not fair.’

‘No, go on, please. I’d like to understand.’

‘Nothing to it really. I’ve used up all my allowance, so, can’t afford to support myself. Simple as that.’ She sighs heavily, shoulders noticeably slumping. ‘I’m all, as they say – spent up. Skint.’

‘How come? Sorry, do you mind me asking? You don’t have to tell me, if you think I’m being nosey.’

‘It’s fine, feels like I’ve known you for ages anyway,’ I smile at her, I totally understand what she means, it does. ‘Thing is, I had to pay for my dad, he’s sick, really sick, in a home he is.’

As she hangs her head, I could kick myself for making her feel so dejected on a night like this, I brush her hand, ‘I’m sorry, Cam, I’d no idea things are so bad, I shouldn’t have pushed you, feel awful now.’

‘It’s fine really. It’s his own fault really, Dad, I mean. Korsakoff’s syndrome they call it?’ Her voice rises as if she’s uncertain. ‘Dementia to me. That’s how I get my head round it.’

‘Korsakoff’s? Isn’t it associated with too much alcohol?’ God, I wish I hadn’t guzzled all those cocktails, in particular that I hadn’t practically forced them on Camilla too.

‘Yeah, he’s a pisshead basically,’ she cups her mouth with a delicate hand. ‘Excuse my language,’ she says, ‘but, he always has been – a drunk. You’ve heard of it then, can’t say I ever had before. Could hardly even pronounce it, never mind understand it. The doctor tried to say, it isn’t always caused by the booze, but we both understood, in Dad’s case, it was. I’m gob-smacked you’ve even heard of it.’

‘Only because we had a talk on the long term effects of alcohol last year. Think they were trying to dry some of the students out. Warn them off with a list of potential deadly outcomes. Wasting their time, obviously. I don’t really understand the full ins and outs of it, other than it’s a really cruel illness, as dementia always is. I’m so sorry, that’s really tough on you too.’

‘Hmm. Like I said, it’s his own fault. But anyhow that’s where my money went. All of it. But what was I to do?’

‘What about your mum?’ Words I wished I could rein back in on noticing her physically congeal.

‘Dead.’ She says.

I gasp out loud before I can stop myself, then grab her hand and squeeze, words failing me.

‘Same way, before you ask.’ She gives a reciprocal squeeze then releases my hand, to place the moisturiser back in the basket next to her. ‘Not the Korsakoffs stuff, but still a… drunk, amongst other stuff. Again, all her own doing.’

Despite now feeling completely sober, I feel my legs quiver. ‘Look, I appreciate you hardly know me, so please tell me if I’m offending you. But the three of us,’ I nod towards the bathroom door, ‘me, Clara and Jo, we share a house in Stockbridge, Daddy rents it for us, then we share the rent. My bedroom is huge, plenty big enough for two and I’ve a spare bed already in there, you could always share with me, until you sort yourself out at least.’

‘But…’

‘No, you don’t need to say anything, not just yet. Have a think about it. I’m off back home tomorrow, won’t be back until January, so you’ve some time to mull it over. Please don’t feel obliged or anything though, it’s only a thought.’ I pick up our bags and hand her hers as we walk towards the exit door. ‘You have my mobile number so let me know, any time.’ The raucous laughter hits us as we push at the door, joyfulness and drunken exchanges circling the domed ceiling. I pull her back before we reach our table. ‘Please tell me – I haven’t offended you, been a little too forward. I didn’t mean to be. I only want to help if I can.’

Newly perfectly painted lips turn upwards. ‘No, of course you haven’t,’ she reassures me, ‘but obviously, I’ll need to think it over. It’s very sweet of you but I like to pay my way usually and it’s all a bit embarrassing. I’ve always been a believer, nothing is free in life, everything comes with a price list. Something Dad did teach me.’

‘Accept good friendships, Cam, they shouldn’t come at a cost. I know we’ve only just met but like you said, feels more like we’ve known each other for ages. If I can help you, you’ll let me know, won’t you?’

‘Thanks Andi, I’ll think about it, promise.’ She rubs my arm.

Maybe, I’ve lifted some of the weight sitting incongruently on a petite frame. Life can be so unfair sometimes, so cruel and as Grandma always told me, there but for the grace of God go I.

Thanks for stopping by and reading this extract. Make sure to check out my review which will be posted soon.

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Sarah Simpson has a business degree and a first class honours degree in psychology with appropriate post-graduate qualifications. Her background, working privately within mental health for many years; within the collaborative family law arena and with additional experience within the family court system has gifted her an invaluable understanding of life and people. Thus, Her Greatest Mistake is a cocktail of professional and personal experiences stirred vigorously by the imagination.

She is relatively late to the writing scene, despite a love of books and writing from when she was very young, it wasn’t until 2016 that she sat down to put pen to paper. Her Greatest Mistake was then some twelve months in creation, followed by some vigorous re-writing. In June 2017, she signed with her current agent Broo Doherty and shortly after was offered a three book publishing contract with Aria, Head of Zeus…

Find her on: Website, Twitter and Goodreads.

[REVIEW] The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton @BloomsburyRaven

I have seen this book all over social media and when I say all over I truly mean all over – Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, Youtube and book blogs. What first attracted me to it was the synopsis because it sounds so good and unique. I’m sure that the synopsis of Seven Deaths will intrigue every lover of mystery books (if one could classify it as such).

The story revolves around one woman called Evelyn Hardcastle who upon attending a party thrown for her by her parents gets murdered. This happens every night and the quest of saving Evelyn falls upon one man called Aiden Bishop. Aiden re-lives this whole day through the eyes of different guests and what he’s tasked with is solving the mystery around Evelyn’s death. But solving her death is very tricky and Aiden must give his all in order to find out the truth behind her death[s].

I have kept this synopsis short and sweet because it’s all you need before going in. The first question that pops into my mind is – is Seven Deaths worth the hype it got and still gets? I would say that it is because it offers something unique and something I haven’t read before. The story is complex and interesting and very rich in terms of characters and happenings. Because I’ve been busy with tests/exams I’ve been reading it for a longer period than usual but I have to note that I’ve read around 400 pages in two days which says something about the book as well as Turton’s writing. I found the characters as well as different timelines to be confusing at times because a lot of stuff happens in it. I enjoyed the mystery around Evelyn as well as Aiden’s attempts at trying to figure out what exactly happens every night. The last one-hundred pages were so good and fast-paced that I couldn’t look away so even though I was in class at one point I just kept reading instead of paying attention [sorry professor]. I love the complexity of the story Turton has created because even when I was trying to guess what Aiden was missing, Turton managed to add a new layer to the story and point to a different direction. I found the conclusion to the book to be very interesting and wanted at least twenty more pages just so I could see what happened! What bothered me the most and what I mentioned at the beginning are the characters and switching timelines but other than that I found the book to be such a strong mystery.

If you’re someone who gets sort of distanced when it comes to hyped-up books I can assure you that with this one you won’t be disappointed because it will thrill you, mislead you and entertain you. The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle stands as a strong mystery book and one of the most interesting ones I’ve read in a while.

I would like to thank the publisher Bloomsbury UK (Raven Books) for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and weren’t influenced by the fact that I got this book free from the publisher.

My rating: 

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Stuart Turton lives in London with his amazing wife and daughter. He drinks lots of tea.

What else?

​When he left university he went travelling for three months and stayed away for five years. Every time his parents asked when he’d be back he told them next week, and meant it.

Stuart is not to be trusted. In the nicest possible way.

He’s got a degree in English and Philosophy, which makes him excellent at arguing and terrible at choosing degrees.

Having trained for no particular career, he has dabbled in most of them. He stocked shelves in a Darwin bookshop, taught English in Shanghai, worked for a technology magazine in London, wrote travel articles in Dubai, and now he’s a freelance journalist. None of this was planned, he just kept getting lost on his way to other places…

Find him on: Website, Goodreads and Twitter.

[COVER REVEAL + TITLE] Millennium Series: Book VI by David Lagercrantz @QuercusBooks #TheGirlWhoLivedTwice

I’m very excited to be one of many book bloggers who are participating in revealing the cover and the title for the Millennium book VI. Without further ado here’s the title and the cover for the sixth book:

THE GIRL WHO LIVED TWICE

 

Doesn’t it look stunning!? Let me know your thoughts on it below in the comment section.

*You can pre-order The Girl Who Lived Twice by clicking on this link –> 

*I am in no way compensated by this site. I am simply sharing it so people can find this book easier.

David Lagercrantz, born in 1962, is a journalist and author, living in Stockholm. His first book was published in 1997, a biography of the Swedish adventurer and mountaineer Göran Kropp. In 2000 his biography on the inventor Håkan Lans, A Swedish genius , was published. His breakthrough as a novelist was of the Fall in Wilmslow (Fall of Man in Wilmslow) , a fictionalized novel about the British mathematician Alan Turing. In David Lagercrantz ‘writing you can thwart see a pattern: the major talents who refuse to follow the convention. He has been interested not only in what it takes to stand out from the crowd, but also in the resistance That Such creativity inevitably faces.

Find him on: Website and Goodreads.