Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT Dark Humour RUM HIJACK by @philmotel

Today’s team review is from Georgia, She blogs here https://www.georgiarosebooks.com

#RBRT Review Team

Georgia has been reading Rum Hijack by Phil Motel

Rum Hijack by [Phil Motel]

I enjoy stories told in the first person, I like getting right inside a character, being privy to all their thoughts and emotions and those of the unnamed narrator of this tale are extraordinary. Our protagonist believes himself to be the all-conquering author of a masterpiece of literary magnificence. The only problem being that he hasn’t written one word of it…yet. He lives an eccentric lifestyle in his flat and tries to channel his Grandfather’s spirit as if believing this will funnel some sort of divine inspiration that will overcome his writer’s block and allow his words to be unleashed upon the waiting world.

 I thoroughly enjoyed Motel’s writing. Graphically descriptive it’s sharply quick witted and highly perceptive of this would be writer’s unusual lifestyle. An emergency potato – why haven’t I ever thought of having one of those? I loved the dark humour throughout this tightly written story and there were many, many priceless moments which made up a fabulous read.

 Our narrator eventually comes up the name Inkker Hauser, in unusual fashion. His relationships are disastrous and you would never want to have him as your neighbour but I liked him very much. However, you do need to buckle up to take on the ride that is Inkker when he goes on a date with the lovely Tylissa.

 He drinks a staggering amount and wanting to impress her with his intellectual and literary genius spouts all sorts of what to most people would be nonsense but which Inkker is earnestly serious about – this ‘A psychonaut. A sailor of the soul, a navigator of the mind. I happen to be something of one’ is how he describes himself to her. As the drink takes hold his behaviour becomes increasingly erratic and you can only sympathise with poor Tylissa and admire her tenacity for hanging on in there particularly when he does something that is a definite no-no in my book!

 Many pages of this darkly humorous novel are taken up with the date. That might seem like a lot of words just to describe a date but every one of them is needed in order to convey the sheer craziness as it descends into mayhem for Inkker. There are so many reasons why you shouldn’t like this narrator and yet I really do. In some bizarre way, considering how he behaves, he comes across as fragile and endearing and I feel protective of him, especially when he is aware of being mocked by others.

 Because it’s written in the first person we are exposed to his thoughts, feelings and anxieties and these show his vulnerability and increasing desperation as the night unravels. But nothing that has gone before compares to the pain you can feel Inkker going through when he meets his new neighbours.

They are, Claire, who calls him Inky, and Adrian, a writer of novels, and they invite Inkker to a flat warming party telling him to ‘dress fancy’ a term he misunderstands but I loved the amount of planning that went into his appearance.

 Inkker’s behaviour becomes increasingly wild. He’s banned from his local, The Laughing Goat, but when he goes to make the peace in an attempt to be allowed back in he can’t help but cause more trouble. His eccentric domestic habits become more and more surreal, I mean, the mannequin, what is going on there? Towards the end his violent thoughts and destructive actions escalate to levels that wreak havoc on his life and then there is a devastating setback for him, the desperate grief that follows all consuming. And you feel it, you really do.

 Excellently written I would recommend this to everyone who fancies reading something highly original and totally entertaining – and don’t we all want to do that? I truly hope to read much more from this terrific writer in the future.

Book description

A frustrated loner and book lover, convinced he is destined to write a best seller and become a literary legend – before even typing a single word – begins taking out his “writer’s block” on the local community.

Depressed and volatile, his explosive outbursts within the privacy of his own home begin to manifest in public as his increasing creative frustrations and disastrous romantic relationships pile up, causing him to become a source of amusement among the regulars at local pubs and bars – but who will have the last laugh?

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

Rum Hijack by [Phil Motel]

Celebrating 6 Years Of Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT With Team Member Robbie @bakeandwrite

Recently we celebrated our review team’s six year anniversary by revealing fourteen of the team’s favourite books.

You can find out which books they were in part one and part two.

I invited some of my team members to tell us more about being part of the book reviewing team.

Welcome to Robbie Cheadle, who also writes book reviews at Robbie’s Inspiration Blog

I have always been a reader. I read books at such a fast rate when I was a young girl that my own four library cards were not enough. I used to use my younger sister’s three library cards as well as my own [Cath was not a big reader back then and preferred to visit her friends down the road than read] and I still had to make two trips a week to the local library. That mean I read at least fourteen books a week. I used to ride to the library on my bicycle which my dad fitted wit a basket for my books.

Even back then, I never read the same books as my friends. I read strange books like Fattipuffs and Thinifers by André Maurois, Helter Skelter, the Charles Manson story by Susan Atkins and all the Eva Ibbotson books, which I didn’t think were unusual, but my friends definitely did. I lived in a Catholic community and books about witches, wizards, dark magic, banshees, and other magical creatures were not encouraged. When I was ten, I ran out of books to read in the children’s section of the library, so I resorted to reading my mom’s books behind the couch. My reads included The Shining and Salem’s Lot by Stephen King. My peer group were not reading these books in the fifth and sixth grade.

The result of my unusual and advanced reading tastes was that I never participated in reading groups at school. I was a “lone wolf” reader and was never interested enough in popular peer group reads to change this position.

As an adult I never belonged to book clubs as they seemed to involve more socializing and drinking of wine that discussion of the books I like to read. As a result, I never joined one, so I don’t know if my views are actually fact or not.

When I started to blog, I quickly saw that a lot of readers shared their reviews on-line. There were all sorts of book reviewing groups among blogging groups and on Goodreads where people read the same book and discussed their opinions of the books and the writing style. This interested me and I started following lots of book bloggers and reading lots and lots of book reviews. One book blogger that particularly interested me with her detailed reviews was Olga Nunez. I realized that Olga belonged to an on-line book reviewing club called Rosie’s Book Reviews and was sufficiently interested to find Rosie’s wonderful blog and follow many of her reviewers.

Often, more than one reviewer would read the same book offered to the club and I loved reading the different viewpoints. All the reviewers have a different reviewing style and I learned to look for, and appreciate, different things in books. This has helped my own writing as well as my own book reviewing process. I decided to ask Rosie if I could join her book reviewing team and she graciously added me to her group. I still have rather different tastes in books and read and review a lot of classics, but I do like to read at last one book a month from Rosie’s lovely list. I always look for other reviews of the same book by other team members as I am fascinated to learn what they enjoyed about a book I have read and what they did not enjoy. I have found that certain of the team members share similar tastes to me, so I look out for books they have reviewed and sometimes request them from Rosie.

Some of the recent books and authors I have read and enjoyed during my time as a Rosie’s book reviewer are as follows:

I enjoy being part of Rosie’s team and have discovered some great new authors this way. She had a splendid team of reviewers whose opinions on books I value, including Rosie’s own reviews. If you like to read a wide variety of different genres and authors and like the idea of being part of a book reviewing team, then I would recommend this lovely group.

Thank you Robbie, I enjoy seeing all the different books that team members enjoy.

Celebrating 6 Years Of Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT With Team Member @OlgaNM7

Recently we celebrated our review team’s six year anniversary by revealing fourteen of the team’s favourite books.

You can find out which books they were in part one and part two.

I invited some of my team members to tell us more about being part of the book reviewing team.

Welcome to Olga N Miret, who also writes book reviews at Author Translator Olga

Those of you who have been following my blog for some time know that I’m a member of this fantastic group of people, and I’m sure you’ll have read many of the reviews I’ve written for the team. And if you use Twitter, you might have come across the team’s tag #RBRT.

Rosie Amber is a British blogger who has been reviewing books for quite a while, and as her popularity grew, and she started getting more and more requests for reviews, she had a brilliant idea. Rather than trying to review all the books she fancied that came her way and having to reject many more, she thought she would coordinate a team of reviewers, from different places, with different backgrounds and interests, and that would allow her to help authors and small publishers to find their perfect readers and would offer readers and reviewers and opportunity to discover new books and authors. (If you want to read her own words about it, here is a guest post she wrote recently on how to avoid blogging burnout). She mediates between the two, ensuring that the books are suitable and comply with certain standards of quality and keeping track of the books each reviewer has agreed to review and reminding them to do it in a timely manner. (That does not mean that reviewers have to review all the books they request.  They can opt-out as long as they can offer a reason for it, and Rosie will explain the reasons to the authors. They aren’t always happy, but most understand the rules). She also distributes the review copies, shares the review with the authors, keeps reviewers updated on all the new books that arrive, and publishes all the individual reviews on her blog. If you love reading, I can’t recommend her blog enough.

I joined the team five years ago. I had been reviewing books since shortly after I started publishing my own (in 2012), and I was particularly interested in discovering new independent authors. I reviewed books for an online magazine for a short while, but the books on offer were not always to my liking, and the reviews had to follow a strict format that didn’t particularly suit me. The same happened with another group of reviewers I tried, where the books by some authors seemed to be given priority over others, and we also had to follow a specific format that I didn’t particularly like. Although there were incentives, they didn’t compensate for the lack of freedom.

#RBRT Review Team

I came across Rosie’s team through some of the authors and reviewers I followed, and I liked the standard of the reviews I read, the people involved, and the fact that I was only expected to read and review the book, but could follow my own criteria and style when writing the actual review. I get approached by many authors requesting reviews directly, but I like the fact that Rosie checks the requests, so I’m less likely to come across badly edited books, or be faced with authors who expect a good review no matter what. Some people don’t think authors should review books as well, but Rosie has never had a problem with that. On the other hand, the fact that she’s exclusively a reviewer works very well, in my opinion, as there are no grey areas or confusion possible. (And those of us who are authors in the group agreed that we would not submit our books to the group).

Rosie reviews books, of course, but not exclusively those submitted to the group, and we all have our own likes and dislikes. I love the fact that our reviews are shared twice and not only once on our own blog; I’ve met fabulous bloggers and reviewers thanks to Rosie’s blog and the team; and I’ve discovered great books and authors, not only those I’ve chosen from her wonderful list of books but also those reviewed and recommended by some of the other members. Over the years I’ve come to learn which reviewers’ tastes are closer to mine, and there are some whose recommendation would make me pick up books even in genres I wouldn’t normally try. And I can tell you for a fact: when several of us cheer for a book, you can bet anything that it’s a great read!

Rosie and the rest of the team are always thinking of new initiatives to promote books, authors, and reading, and she organises an annual award given to the best books in the different categories, nominated and voted by the members of the team. Recently they’ve come up with an initiative, the #TuesdayBookBlog tag on Twitter, which we use on Tuesdays, and has been adopted by many other reviewers and writers (you’re also invited to join as well, as long as the post you’re sharing is related to books, but it has some quality content and it’s not only promotional).

I enjoy the ever-changing list of books available, the sense of belonging to a wonderful team and working together to encourage others to discover great books, the companionship and regular updates by other members, the sense of joint purpose, the joy at seeing how many authors keep coming back with their new books, and I also regularly refer authors whose books I’m sure other members of the team will enjoy, even if they aren’t for me. Knowing that Rosie and her team are there and have my back is a great feeling and makes me feel happy, especially in times of crisis, when nothing seems certain or secure. It’s been six years, but I hope we’ll celebrate many more anniversaries, and we’ll keep sharing many more reviews. (Oh, and of course, we also post the reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, and the favourite sites of each reviewer).

And, now, if you’ve liked how the team sounds, make sure to check Rosie’s blog (I know she’s very modest, so I won’t go into all the awards she’s been nominated for or anything like that). We’re always happy to discover new authors (this is the page with all the details), and we always welcome reviewers (you can find out more here), so, what are you waiting for?

We look forward to hearing from you and you’ll be warmly welcomed!

Thanks to Rosie and all the members of her team for those five wonderful years, thanks to all of you for reading, and remember to like, share, comment, click and visit, always keep smiling and keep safe!

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #Thriller UNDER YOUR SKIN by Rose McClelland

Today’s team review is from Judith, she blogs here https://judithbarrowblog.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Judith has been reading Under Your Skin by Rose McCelland

Under Your Skin by [Rose McClelland]

I wasn’t sure how to review this book. On the whole I liked Rose McClelland’s writing style, but I couldn’t decide what genre Under Your Skin is. This doesn’t bother me normally, many books cross genres but, for me, there were some elements that didn’t feel quite right in this story about one of the most destructive and distressing traits in any relationship. And, so, for the first time, before I wrote this, I checked to see what other reviewers thought.

Under Your Skin has been well received; most of the comments have concentrated on how well the issue of domestic violence is at the forefront of the story; it’s the main theme. And I agree, how a person can gain control over another in a carefully planned and invidious way is excellently written through the characters of Kyle and Hannah. With both the internal and spoken dialogue the reader learns how the husband thinks and acts. I admired the author’s in-depth approach to that.

Kyle Greer, the antagonist, is multi-layered. Told in the third person point of view the narrator initially depicts him as a pleasant easy-going man, concerned about his missing wife. But slowly a different personality emerges. The underlying sinister side to Kyle becomes more obvious, his actions more violent. The author has written a good portrayal of a husband who controls, who is an abuser, a cruel manipulator.

The same careful representation has been given to his wife, Hannah. This character is written in first person point of view. At first, the reader is led to believe that she has been kidnapped. She says, “Even if I tried to batter on the tiny window… no one would hear”. To begin with, because of the dialogue, I believed her to an unreliable narrator, ostensibly because of her fear, depression and mental instability. But as the story progresses, and she reveals how she has become a victim of Kyle’s bullying, I understood why she was characterised in that way. The stages of the relationship between them are shown in past tense, through flashbacks: from the time when she first met him to the present time and to the present situation. Each memory exposes her degradation brought on by Kyle’s jealousy, possessiveness and moods; her ability to excuse his behaviour, to turn off her emotions in an attempt to save her sanity. And too proud to admit she’d made a mistake marrying him. It made difficult reading and I empathised with her.

But, for me, the other characters vary, some being more rounded, even though they all occupy equal importance in the book and I felt those characters detracted from the strong theme that occupies the central story.

I found the portrayed relationship between Kerry Lawlor and DCI Simon Peters unrealistic and unnecessary. The inferred, lightly romantic, attraction between them, especially on the part of Kerry Lawlor, felt forced and it all sort of petered out in the end, anyway. A straightforward colleagues’ relationship would have been enough for me. Though I admit I enjoyed the twists and turn in the police investigations, from the searching for her as a missing person to the suspicions about Hanna’s husband Kyle

The representation of Kate and her husband, Guy is shown through her point of view and the relationship between them, showing all the difficulties of a working wife and a stay at home writer husband is okay, though I did wonder how they fitted in and when that was shown towards the end I felt a little sceptical that this was realistic, (perhaps this was because of the first chapter with Hannah and the dialogue there )– I’m not sure.

The story line between Julia and Kyle is stronger. I thought it was included to show how easily a certain type of woman can be taken in by a certain type of man. But she plays a more important part than that. Yet I also felt there was little depth to her character, considering what she apparently has been through and is still struggling with; her portrayal and her actions didn’t ring true.

And though, overall, the dialogue quite clearly differentiates the characters, I have to say that, occasionally, the speech attributed to some didn’t give them any depth, and even detracted from how they were portrayed. And, more than that, there were dialogue tags that clashed with the actual dialogue; an example being, “piped up” when the dialogue showed quite a different mood than “piped up” represented. This happened in quite a lot in places and I found it irritating. I’m a great believer that dialogue should show the emotion, the way it is spoken, and that ”said” is enough most of the time.

The story is set in Belfast and, through some of the descriptions, there was a good sense of place.

Despite my latterly reservation I think it is a good plot, covering an important issue; and is a theme sensitively written by Rose McClelland.

Loved the cover by the way.

All reviews are subjective; mine is no different, so I think I should leave it to other readers to decide if Under Your Skin is for them. As I said at the beginning it’s a book that has been well received and admired.

Book description

When Kyle’s wife Hannah goes missing, the whole town is out in force to try to find her. One person knows where she is. One person is keeping a secret.

Detective Inspector Simon Peters and Detective Kerry Lawlor have been brought in to investigate the case but Hannah has left no traces and Kyle has no clues.

Local Belfast resident Julia Matthews joins the #FindHannah campaign and becomes friendly with Kyle, sympathising with his tragedy. As Julia becomes more involved in the case than she bargained for, she begins to uncover more secrets than the Police ever could. Julia was only trying to help but has she become drawn into a web of mystery that she can’t escape?

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

 

Under Your Skin by [Rose McClelland]

Celebrating 6 Years Of Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT With Team Member @CathyRy

Recently we celebrated our review team’s six year anniversary by revealing fourteen of the team’s favourite books.

You can find out which books they were in part one and part two.

I invited some of my team members to tell us more about being part of the book reviewing team.

Welcome to Cathy Ryan, who also writes book reviews at Between The Lines Book Blog

I’ve just been reminded that Rosie’s Book Review Team is six years old! That means BetweenTheLines is also six years old. I joined the team a few months after I began my blog and am still enjoying the experience. Rosie does a great job coordinating everything and many books have come my way that I probably would have missed otherwise, and more than a few authors have become firm favourites, such as Terry Tyler, Carol Hedges, Adrienne Vaughan, Liza Perrat…the list goes on.

One book in particular, The Cunning Woman’s Cup by Sue Hewitt, which I enjoyed immensely and is one I’ve read more than once, sent me on search to find the stone circle in the story. It was a trek to find the Duddo Stones but it was worth it for the atmosphere and the view.
I enjoy following series and there are several murder/mystery ones I’ve enjoyed including The Victorian Detectives by Carol Hedges, Madame Tulip cosy mysteries by David Ahern and Inspector de Silva Mysteries by Harriet Steel.
Not only that, several of us have become ‘real life’ friends and meet up every so often, which is fantastic. Long may it last!

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #PsychologicalThriller ODD NUMBERS by @JJMarsh1

Today’s team review is from Karen, she blogs here https://mytrainofthoughtson.wordpress.com

#RBRT Review Team

Karen has been reading Odd Numbers by J. J. Marsh

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My Opinion

The story starts in 1999 when six friends (Clark, Dhan, Gael, Lovisa, Mika, and Simone) want to celebrate the Millenium close to Prague at a cabin by a lake.

With Odd Numbers”, JJ Marsh has created an expertly woven plot, an intriguing novel of five friends who cope with the death of the sixth friend. “Odd Numbers” comprises authentic characters with sufficient depth; Gael is the one I took to the most; my sympathies for her friends underwent slight changes as the story evolved. JJ Marsh delicately introduces her characters. I had a great time reading – this is a very compelling read; I was drawn into the story right away, close to Gael and her friends. The plot offers food for thought, still keeps me thinking. Even if I anticipated some outcomes, I was intrigued by the way JJ Marsh directs her readers there.

I could imagine this a perfect plot for the “Fantasy Film Festivals” (they are known for unusual stories).

The cover is great – perfect for this story.

This is for you if you like thought-provoking stories and psychological fiction.

A remarkable story to read again.

Recommended.

Book description

The Guilty Party meets The Secret History

Can you forgive a friend?

Strange things bring people together. Like a tragic death.

Over two decades, five friends reunite every other New Year. They celebrate, grieve and heal. Memories grow dusty and the nightmare starts to fade.

On the 20th anniversary, in a remote snowy chalet, old doubts surface.
Wounds reopen and morality comes into question.

Is friendship a safety net or a tie that hobbles to the past?

They thought they knew each other’s secrets.
Did they miss the biggest one of all?

When history is rewritten, they must act to preserve the future.
A fatal decision means this reunion will be their last.

A psychological drama with beautifully portrayed characters and an intricately woven plot. The suspense emerges between the lines, grabs you softly but never lets go.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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Celebrating 6 Years Of Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT With Team Member @barbtaub

Recently we celebrated our review team’s six year anniversary by revealing fourteen of the team’s favourite books.

You can find out which books they were in part one and part two.

I invited some of my team members to tell us more about being part of the book reviewing team.

Welcome to Barb Taub, who also writes book reviews Barb Taub’s Blog

It was 2014, and the world was small enough for me to pop over to any place I wanted to go: Madrid, Paris, Moscow, Venice and Florence, Scottish islands, rural India and London glitter. I even squeezed in a quick trip back to the States that year. All I had to do was buy a ticket and head to the next place I dreamed of. And I did a LOT of dreaming.

When I wasn’t traveling, I was writing blog posts. I started the blog because I needed to be a writer. So I wrote a book and plenty of clever people said novelists need blogs to provide shiny PR for their books. It should, they said, be full of content about books and writing as a process, and… and… And you know what? Talking about the process of writing is not only boring, but the only people who’d read it are other writers, not always potential buyers readers.

So I started writing about other people’s books. And I started reading other people’s book blogs. There was one in particular, written by Rosie Amber, that grabbed my attention. I did some reviews for her Book Review Challenge. I admired her style and her creativity. Basically, I wanted to be her when my blog grew up.

So when Rosie asked me to be part of her book review team, I thought it sounded easy, and fun, and a great way to get free books. But I didn’t realize I’d get so very much more. We’d just moved to Glasgow, where I didn’t know a soul. But through Rosie I met an entire community of bloggers and readers. We chatted online, read each other’s posts, and blogged our book reviews.

In the years since then, I’ve reviewed over 70 books as a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team, while my fellow team members reviewed hundreds more. And a wonderful, unexpected thing happened. Rosie’s bloggers turned from an online group into a team. We chatted, met up, shared our stories. We became friends.

Then the coronavirus hit and the world hit the “off” switch.

But there is one thing that hasn’t changed. Books. My online friends are still there, my book friends are still waiting to meet me, my old favorites are waiting for another read.

And there are new friends waiting too. Wouldn’t you like to be part of Rosie’s team? You won’t need a facemask, you won’t have to worry about social distancing. But you will get to read some great free books, and better still, you’ll get to be part of a team. You’ll get to be friends.

Hanging out with members of Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #Ya #Mystery THE LAKE NEVER TELLS by @alextullywriter

Today’s team review is from Olga, she blogs here https://www.authortranslatorolga.com

#RBRT Review Team

Olga has been reading The Lake Never Tells by Alex Tully

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This is the first of Tully’s books I’ve read, although it is the third novel she has published, and in the ‘About the author’ section of her page and her books she describes her stories as ‘feel good’ stories, and she states that she hopes ‘readers will smile after turning the last page’. Well, hope accomplished, as far as I’m concerned.

The book description provides enough clues as to the general plot of the story. This is the story of a summer that changed the lives of the young characters at the centre of the story. Two of them, Zoe and Parker, live in a trailer park at the shore of a lake, just a stone’s throw from a posh resort ‘Crystal Waters’. They both have unconventional families (Parker lost his mother in tragic circumstances, never met his father, and lives with his grandmother, who is the strict but fair and wonderful Shirley; while Zoe lives with her single Mom, Debbie, who refuses to take responsibility for anybody, even herself, and acts much younger than her years). Zoe’s best friend, Meredith, the daughter of the local sheriff, can be pushy and harsh at times, but she is also funny and amusing, and always has Zoe’s back. Ethan, a young boy from the posh side of the divide who has come for the summer, somewhat stumbles into their group dragging his own problems with him. Although his life and circumstances might seem charmed from the outside, his parents’ relationship is a sham, and he suffered a traumatic event one year ago that he has not fully recovered from. It has changed him and turned him into somebody quite different. As the novel advances, we come to realise that Ethan’s change might have been for the better, even if that is not so evident for him at the beginning of the story. The novel fits well into the YA genre, and although the characters are put to the test and have to confront some harsh truths about themselves and others, these are not extreme, brutal or too challenging, and I think the book would be suited to fairly young teens as well, although I’d recommend parents to check it out because there are mentions of drugs, mental health difficulties, a suspicious death, a suggestion of sexual harassment, as well as divorce and drinking.

I liked the way the story is told. It starts with a hook, as we follow Parker on the 5th of July when he makes a shocking discovery, and then we go back a few weeks, to learn more about the characters and how they came to this point. The story is told in the third person, but from the points of view of the three main protagonists, Zoe, Parker, and Ethan, and their emotions and thoughts feel suitable to their ages (Parker is only 11, and he behaves appropriately to his age) and to their circumstances. I also liked the way we get and insight into Ethan’s disturbing thoughts and the way he tries to deal with them. We don’t learn what happened to him until quite late in the story, but by that time we’ve got to know him as he is now, and we can empathise with him even more. The way he and Zoe behave with Parker, as if he were their younger brother, is heart-warming.

I liked Zoe, because she is strong and determined, and I liked the way Meredith can be annoying but also amusing and supportive, and she usually helps lighten up the atmosphere. Shirley is a great character, although like all the adult characters, she does not play as big a part in the story as the young people.

The element of mystery is well resolved and integrated into the story, and I particularly enjoyed the fact that this is not a story of amateur detectives that can find answers and clues the police have missed, pushing the suspension of disbelief, but one where the characters are involved in the story because this is a small community and people’s lives become easily entangled. I also enjoyed the red herrings, twists, and revelations, and the resolution of the plot is very satisfying and hopeful.

The writing is simple and straight forward, without unnecessarily lengthy descriptions, but the author still manages to create a good sense of place and, especially, of the feeling of friendship and affection between the protagonists.

I cannot highlight any major negatives for me. Readers who are looking for diverse characters might not find them here (there are major differences in social class, and this is something the book focuses on, and one of the characters suffers from mental health issues, but no issues of genre, or race are discussed), and although I enjoyed the ending, the fact that the author decides to share the same scene from the point of view of the three main characters in succession results in some minor unavoidable repetitions. This slows down the ending a bit, but it wasn’t something that bothered me in particular. Each chapter is told from a single point of view (apart from the final one), and it is clearly labelled, so that does not cause confusion. I also missed some more interaction between Ethan and his twin sister, who hardly makes an appearance during the book. Ethan thinks about her at times, but she does not have a presence, and she is the only one of the younger characters I didn’t feel I had got to know. Even Heather, one of the cabana girls working with Zoe, has a bigger part than her. Other than that, the book flows well and is fairly cohesive, although the action speeds up towards the end, as is usually the case with mysteries.

I recommend this book to people who enjoy YA fiction, especially, as the author says, ‘feel-good’ fiction, where some important subjects are discussed but in a sensitive rather than a challenging manner. It is an ode to friendship and hope, and it feels particularly suited to the times we’re living. And it will leave readers with a smile.

Book description

Zoe has lived in Sunny Shores Trailer Park her whole life and she knows what the Memorial Day weekend brings—snobby rich kids who serve as a constant reminder of how pathetic her life really is. So when she meets Ethan, the awkward boy from the exclusive community of Crystal Waters, she can’t help being intrigued. He’s different, but in a good way.

Along with her stand-in little brother Parker, and her best friend Meredith, the four of them form an unlikely friendship. But one morning, their idyllic summer is turned upside down when a dead body washes up on the beach…

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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Celebrating 6 Years Of Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT With Team Member @LizanneLloyd

Recently we celebrated our review team’s six year anniversary by revealing fourteen of the team’s favourite books.

You can find out which books they were in part one and part two.

I invited some of my team members to tell us more about being part of the book reviewing team.

Welcome to Liz Lloyd, who also writes book reviews at Lost In A Good Book 

2014 was a special year for me. I had started my social history blog and I was a busy volunteer setting up an exhibition in our local Workhouse about its time as a World War One Hospital. We had bought a holiday home in Portugal and travelled there, several times a year.  I was also an avid reader and liked to follow authors and book bloggers on Twitter for new books to read.  And that was how I found Rosie Amber.

When she challenged some of her followers to review one of the books submitted to her, I couldn’t resist. I believe the book I chose was Death In A Red Canvas Chair, an intriguing American crime thriller by N A Granger. When Rosie then invited some of us to join her team and review many other books of our choice from novels submitted to her, I was thrilled to be included.  Soon I was writing more book reviews than history posts, so I decided it was time to set up my own book blog Lost in a Good Book

Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team receives a wide range of submitted genres, including young adult, fantasy, historical, romance, steam punk, mystery etc.  Not all of the books appeal to me but often I will challenge myself to try a new type of book and frequently discover an exciting new novelist to follow.  Of the 14 extra-special books Rosie featured (see links above) I have read and enjoyed 8 of them.  In addition, I have to mention other favourites: –

Rose Edmunds Crazy Amy series of corporate espionage

Christine Campbell’s Reluctant Detective series set in Scotland

Mimi Matthews spirited historical romances

The Cunning Woman’s Cup an amazing story by Sue Hewitt

Passionate Travellers by Trish Nicholson, incredible journeys throughout history

Thank you Liz, it is a pleasure to have you as part of our team.

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT #PsychologicalThriller UNDER YOUR SKIN by @RoseMcClelland1

Today’s team review is from Karen, she blogs here https://sassyredheadbookreviews.wordpress.com

#RBRT Review Team

Karen has been reading Under Your Skin by Rosie McClelland

Under Your Skin by [Rose McClelland]

4.5 stars

Psychological thriller that will have you wondering what’s going on, and who you can trust.

Kyle is angry that the police won’t do anything to find his missing wife. She didn’t come home from work and he has no idea where she could be. The police won’t help because she hasn’t been missing long enough to begin a search. Kyle will organize a search and things get more questionable at the end of the day.

Hannah is surprised that Kyle is interested in her. She just started this job and she’s quiet and shy. Kyle and Hannah have a good relationship until after they get married. Hannah isn’t sure what caused the change, but she’s wary of everything now and walks on eggshells.

I enjoyed this book, but I found that there were some gaps as to what was happening and how things progressed. The story is told mostly in the female character perspective. Only the first chapter is in Kyle’s perspective. Which I found interesting and different. I loved the plot and the way that the story was done in the sense that it kept me wondering what was going on, where Hannah was, how she got to where she was, was she being mistreated, was she in danger, and how things would turn out. I love a mystery in a story like this, and the way that the story kept my mind working while reading the story. I enjoy the guessing of a story to figure out the who, what, when, or why, but I want the challenge of multiple characters to have to think about, not being able to figure it out right away and this story definitely challenged my brain. I give this book a 4.5-star review and if you like psychological thrillers, the mystery of figuring out the bad guy, and strong women characters, this book is a perfect choice.

Book description

When Kyle’s wife Hannah goes missing, the whole town is out in force to try to find her. One person knows where she is. One person is keeping a secret.

Detective Inspector Simon Peters and Detective Kerry Lawlor have been brought in to investigate the case but Hannah has left no traces and Kyle has no clues.

Local Belfast resident Julia Matthews joins the #FindHannah campaign and becomes friendly with Kyle, sympathising with his tragedy. As Julia becomes more involved in the case than she bargained for, she begins to uncover more secrets than the Police ever could. Julia was only trying to help but has she become drawn into a web of mystery that she can’t escape?

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

Under Your Skin by [Rose McClelland]