The Woman in the Window

“My head was once a filing cabinet. Now it’s a flurry of papers, floating on a draft.”
– A.J. Finn, ‘The Woman in the Window’

Title: ‘The Woman in the Window’

Author: A.J. Finn

Publisher: Harper Collins

My Rating: *****

Firstly I should start by saying sorry for the absence…it’s been a while since I have done a review. As I’m sure many of you can relate that when life takes over with work and social commitments the blog slowly starts to get left on the back burner. However, with that said and out of the way I have to share my excitement for A.J. Finn’s debut novel, ‘The Woman in the Window’. An unputdownable pure genius on thriller/suspense fiction that has be already yearning for A.J. Finn to get on it and write some more novels! This book has sparked quite the attention in the last few months with its reining title of New York Times Best Seller list.

Anna Fox lives a quite yet not so simple life, confined to the walls of her beautiful brownstone home in Brooklyn, NY.  Anne’s fear of open spaces, the outside world and esp. cold weather leaves her suffering with Agoraphobia and erases her old life as a practicing physiologist. (ironic I know) Her days leave her with lots of time on her hands, watching old movies, drinking wine (lots) and watching the neighbours. In the beginning you get to know Anna and in an almost comical grasp an understanding how the life she leads. She knows every single neighbour on the block or does she really know they at all…?

As you progress through the book you learn more about Anna and the life she used to live, the people that used to make it important and why. But it always comes back to those damn neighbours and the effect they have on Anna. Then the Russells move in and encompass the perfect family. From behind the window Anna sees the life she used to live. But then one day she sees something that isn’t right…and her already brittle world begins to crumble more. Things become blurred and lines begin to become cross and soon for Anna it is hard to tell what is real and what is make believe. No one is who them seem and it will take you to the very last page to figure out why.

What really gripped me throughout this whole book was the fact that I really had it figured out. I was so sure and then each chapter would completely shock me and change my view. A.J. Finn had a wonderful way of playing little word play mind games with the reader which made me keep wanting to turn the page. Anna’s character is extremely emotional and gripping thus makes the reader share her change of emotions through every chapter.

I highly recommend The Woman in the Window, it is the next Girl on the Train-unputdownable, read in one weekend kind of book you will be dying to take on your next holiday!

Link to purchase The Woman in the Window


Dan Brown’s ‘The Da Vinci Code’

“What really matters is what you believe.”– Dan Brown


Title: ‘The Da Vinci Code’

Author: Dan Brown

Publisher: Anchor

Rating: *****

So I am super late in the game but decided a couple months ago to read ‘The Da Vinci Code’ and to my surprise I finished it within two days of picking it up. I also didn’t realize at the time that ‘The Da Vinci Code’ is the second book in the Robert Landon series written by Dan Brown. ‘Angels and Demon’s’ is the first book in the series which I read next after this. (So basically I read them backwards-personally after reading both I don’t think it really matters the order they are read.)  With a passion for Art myself, The Da Vinci code’s vast abundance of true art historical facts is what I found to be the most interesting aspect of the book. It was like taking a journey through time all the while uncovering information on things I thought I had already known all the answers to.

The book follows a religious Art Historian by the name of Robert Langdon. One night while he is in Paris he receives a phone call in the middle of the night. The curator of the Louvre has been murdered and what is left on his body is just the beginning of a race for answers to mind boggling symbols leading to different clues. Langdon and the curator’s daughter, Sophie Neveu, soon find themselves on a mission to decipher through the bizarre riddles that are left before them and become stunned to discover a pattern of clues hidden deep within the works of Leonardo da Vinci.

One thing I found most interesting is some of these clues are images that have existed in Leonardo da Vinci’s painting for centuries and to one person are perceived a certain way. Therefore I ask myself, why all of a sudden do I notice these symbols in a different way just as I have begun to read Dan Brown’s book?  Not only does Dan Brown disguise his cryptic clues in a never ending path throughout the story but he also lets us into the ingeniously disguised clues that lie within da Vinci’s most famous works of art. This is what I believe makes this particular novel of his enriching.

As Langdon and Sophie race through the cathedrals and mansions of Europe they sort through bizarre riddles finding answers to not only the reasoning behind her Grandfather’s death but also secrets about Sophie’s own past. Unless Langdon and Sophie can figure out the labyrinthine puzzles while avoiding the people who are going after the same thing then the ancient truth may seize to exist. 


Rebel of the Sands

“I was a desert girl. I thought I knew heat. I was wrong.”Alwyn Hamilton, Rebel of the Sands


Title: Rebel of the Sands

Author: Alwyn Hamilton

Publisher: Viking Books

Rating: ****

Besides its beautiful cover art and mysterious title, Rebel of the Sands is a literary adventure with every turn of the page. This book took me back to my imaginative childhood, making me want to escape to the desert and live off the land, fighting thieves and following the stars.

Mixed with a bit of sci-fi the book follows a mortal young girl named Amani, whose fate is stricken by her evil uncle who tells her she either finds a husband or dies. Living in Dustwalk, a small haven in the middle of the desert with poverty and a cast system, Amani is destined to create her own fate. When Amani meets Jim, an interesting foreigner, she soon discovers he may be her only escape route. However in all the years she dreamt of escaping Dustwalk she didn’t quite imagine it would be this difficult, especially when she begins to feel herself falling for Jim which she least expected most of all.

Soon Amani realises the fate of the desert lies in her hands and asks herself if her dream of escaping to a better life really is what she wants or if there something bigger and better that lies just beyond the horizon.

Rebel of the Sands is the first book in a new series by Alwyn Hamilton. I really enjoyed every second of it, as it constantly kept me on my toes. It was a rather fast read but mainly because each page is gripping and makes you turn the page to find out the outcome of the previous event. Hamilton has a way of drawing her readers in and leaving them with just enough suspicion to keep them guessing. I am very much looking forward to reading the next book in the series!

The Lake House

“May your past be a pleasant memory, Your future filled with delight and mystery, Your now a glorious moment, That fills your life with deep contentment.”

– Kate Morton, The Lake House


Title: The Lake House

Author: Kate Morton

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

Rating: *****

Its hard to pinpoint a certain character this book follows as through each turn of the page you are introduced to a new character whom intertwines with the rest. However mainly the story tells the lives of two very strong, bright, inquisitive woman. Morton describes their lives through the past an present by recalling events that all eventually lead to the vanishing of a little boy and the determination to find out what happened the day he disappeared.

Cornwall, 1933:

Alice Edevane an adventurous, investigative sixteen year old spends her days exploring the grounds of her family’s beautiful lakeside estate in Cornwall. She is an aspiring writer, determined to write a page turning mystery. But the mysteries she puts on paper are no trial to the mystery her own family is about to withstand.

Eleanor Edevane, mother of Alice and three other beautiful children, Deborah, Clemmie, and Theo. Being a devoted wife and mother defines her life, but she yearns for the adventurous girl that used to roam the grounds of the Lakeside estate all those years ago. Her husband has not been the same ever since his return from the war. His shell-shock continues to progress and in turn affects his daily life giving him visions of the past he desperately tries to forget. Eleanor begins to worry for her children and his conditions effect on them and the dangers he could put them in. When Eleanor falls pregnant with Theo she thinks he might be just what he needs: a boy. But when things don’t change for the better Eleanor must make a choice that will change her life and the lifes’ around her forever.

Ben Munroe, a gypsy, and wanderer finds his way working as a gardender on the Edevane’s lake side estate in Cornwall. Not only does he capture the lives around him but he reminds people that anything is possible if you know where to look for it. But are his reasons for being there really as innocent as they seem or is he determined to be closer to someone that has impacted his life in so many ways.

Cornwall, 2003: 

Sadie Sparrow, a young Detective in the London Metropolitan Police Department finds herself at her Grandfather’s house in Cornwall after being asked to take a leave of absence due to a wrong doing during a previous case. One morning Sadie goes for a run and stumbles upon an abandoned estate beside a lake. Her detective instinct takes hold and sparks her curiosity setting the stage for a number of secrets for not only the Edevane’s past but also her own. All the while introducing her to people she never knew would have such an impact on her life.

Bertie, widower and Grandfather to Sadie, spends his days trying to adapt in a new environment in Cornwall after loosing his beloved wife. With Sadie now living with him its hard to forget the past when it’s secrets continue to unfold. However maybe the past will be just what he needs in order to fill a void he so long ago was never able to fill.

Kate Morton has a way of introducing different characters and yet still intertwining them with one another in a way to convince the reader they have known them all along. The Lake house was an immensely enjoyable read that constantly kept me on my toes. Just when I thought I had it figured out I was credulously wrong, evoking the urge to read on to see the outcome. Morton takes historical fiction and blends it seamlessly with the present making it a marvellous piece of modern day fiction.

I truly enjoyed how Morton has different characters tell the story through their own words. With that said I would have liked to see more of some of the characters. It would have been interesting to see Ben Munroe have a chapter dedicated to his side of the story. As well possibly hearing what Bertie might have to say in regard to his own past and how it related to the present.

Morton’s way of introducing fiction to the reader is not only adventurous but also a way of taking the reader on a journey whilst painting the words of the story out like oils on a canvas.

Me Before You

“Push yourself. Don’t Settle. Just live well. Just LIVE.” – Jojo Moyes, Me Before You

Screen Shot 2016-06-04 at 14.39.20

Title: Me Before You

Author: Jojo Moyes

Publisher: Penguin Random House

Rating: *****





This book was in so many ways wonderful. Have you ever felt incredibly sad about something but at the same time incredibly thankful, hopeful and excited about the future and what it can bring? This is exactly how this book makes me feel. I honestly thought the book would make me reach for the tissues a lot more than it did. Yes, it had a sad overall theme and some aspects tugged at my heart more than others however the melancholy aspects of the book somewhat came with an uplifting turn. In a way Moyes makes the reader look for the good in a bad situation. Arguably, could be the outcome of what she hoped the reader to get out of the ending as I have read a lot of reviews and I know some really disagree with the way the book took a close.

Me Before You reminds you to appreciate all the things that are good in your life and reminds you that YOU are the only one that can truly make your life worth living. Jojo Moyes has a way with words, intertwining your thoughts to connect closer to the characters presented throughout the book.

Lou Clark, is a twenty-seven year old stuck in a dead end relationship with her muscle obsessed boyfriend. Lou lives at home with her parents who are struggling financially and to make matters worse Lou finds herself unemployed from her job at the local cafe. I would have liked to see Moyes go into a bit more detail about Lou’s past and why she was where she was in her current life. In so many ways I feel like the book ended up being more about Lou’s life than Will’s yet there is still a gap that I feel should have been filled in reference to Lou’s incident in the maze.

Will Traynor, a thirty something young man is a paraplegic due to an accident that happened two years ago. Everyday he is miserable, joyless, and misses his old life of adventure. He finds it hard to see a reason to live in a world that reminds him everyday of his condition.

I love how Moyes presents different chapters narrated by different characters throughout the book. However I feel like it would have been interesting to see it in Will’s perspective which was never presented. As well as maybe even having a Chapter where Lou’s boyfriend is telling the story through his eyes.

Both Lou and Will are a bit lost in the world. Lou has never travelled outside her hometown and likes staying in her little bubble of protection under her parents roof. All the while, Will is struggling with what life can provide him as a paraplegic and yearns for an end to his misery. As both their lives cross paths they soon realise just how much they will change each others lives forever. The ending whilst not what I was hoping for (without giving too much away) still was a strong ending.

Have you read it? What did you think of the book and would you change anything as well?

As a side note I’m also really interested to see how the book is presented through the movie that is coming out in August in London! It will be interesting to see what they change and include throughout the story line.


The Girl on the Train

“I am no longer just a girl on the train, going back and forth without point or purpose.” – Paula Hawkins, ‘The Girl on the Train’


Title: ‘The Girl on the Train’

Author: Paula Hawkins

Publisher: Transworld Publishers

Rating: *****






I must admit that I am not one for reading Thrillers, or anything that makes me peak behind the shower curtain or look under the bed for monsters. However I convinced myself to read The Girl on the Train and see what all the fuss was about.  The verdict? I picked it up and couldn’t put it down. So yeah, I get what all the hype was about. Paula Hawkins has a way of making the reading get to know each character as if you are standing right in front of them talking to them yourself. I found myself taking sides with one character but then completely changing my mind on the next page.

The story follows three women whose lives interlink in various ways: Rachel, Megan and Anna.

Rachel Watson, who takes the same commuter train every morning and evening. On her journey the train always stops at a red signal when passing the same suburban homes allowing her watch the couples that occupy them. She starts to feel like she gets to know them. She feels their life is perfect, a life that she is missing, and the life she lost.

The story then introduces Megan Hipwell, who seems to have the perfect life. She lives in an adorable suburban home with her husband and spends the day lounging on her deck watching the trains go by. But is this enough for her? Is her past catching up with her, making her yearn for more?

One day on her way in on the train, passing the suburban homes Rachel sees something shocking, something she can’t just keep to herself. She ends up going to the police. Rachel finds herself entangled not only in the investigation but the lives of everyone involved. Is she really a reliable source? Has she done more harm than good?

One scene presented throughout the book is the reoccurring theme of Rachel seeing a blue dress curled up in a ball along the side of the train tracks. I love how Hawkins uses little symbols like this to get the reader looking towards the details for clues throughout the book. I also love how this type of imagery makes you then go back to the first time you read it and think: ‘Hold on wait a minute…’ completely changing your perspective from your beginning thoughts.

Hawkins juggles multiple perspectives throughout the book and creates incredible suspense at the same time. A true page-turner piece of fiction that you will pick up and not be able to place down.


Someday, Someday Maybe…


“Anyone can smile on their best day. I like to meet a man who can smile on his WORST.”- Lauren Graham, ‘Someday, Someday Maybe’


Title: ‘Someday, Someday, Maybe’

Author: Lauren Graham

Publisher: Ballantine Books

Rating: *****






Remember Lorelai Gilmore, from Gilmore Girls? Well she wrote a book. Well not Lorelai but Lauren Graham, the actress that plays Rory’s mom! Yes I know I was just as excited as you when I first found this out. I bought it and read it in the same day. Yes, its that good. But you see, I’m a sap for ‘feel good’ stories, the kind where you don’t really need to think yet in the end your playing the story back in your head casting yourself as the protagonist.

The story follows a struggling actress named Fanny Banks, who finds herself with only three months left on the three year plan she gave herself to be successful in New York City. Yet day to day she finds herself in a dead end waitressing job and her only acting opportunity?…an ad for ugly Christmas sweaters.

Fanny lives in Brooklyn with two other people; Jane who is her best friend from University and Dan a shy sic-fi writer who fanny would never even consider boyfriend material. The best part of Fanny’s day is the one hour she spends at acting class where she drools over a charming guy she is hoping one day to get up the nerve to ask out.

Fanny has always dreamt of doing something big, something important but never seems to get the opportunities she needs in order to achieve this. While her money slowly disappears you are left turning each page wondering if she will run out of funds or time first. ‘Someday, Someday, Maybe’ is a hilarious take on the daily troubles of following your dreams in the ever powerful and frightening world we live in. Yet when you are done reading it you are left with wondering if you have been searching for your dream in the wrong place this whole time.



The Perks

“We accept the love we think we deserve.”-Stephen Chbosky, ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’ 




Title: ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’

Author: Stephen Chbosky

Publisher: Pocket Books

Rating: ****




The year was 2004, I was 13 years old, loved every single colour in the rainbow, sparkles, Lizzie McGuire and woke up extra early every morning just to watch Saved by the Bell. My favourite holiday and still to this day is Halloween, and in 2004 just like every year previous I was prepared to show up to school in the best costume possible. The day came, and my Mother helped me put a wig on and everything in tow. However when Mom pulled up to the drop off section of school, my stomach took a nasty turn. I saw my friends, my classmates, my teachers, yet it was not the site I wanted to see. None of them were dressed up in fancy costume, everyone was in regular school clothes. I’ll never forget that day because it was the first day my awkward stage as an adolescent sunk in. kids made fun of me so badly and years to follow just proved that I was a nerd. Now of course at twenty-five this is something I embrace but at 13 this was a nightmare.

So, this brings me to an amazing book written by Stephen Chbosky. The book follows a young boy named Charlie who has just started his Freshman year in high-school. Charlie is not a nerd, nor is he well-known he is rather uncategorised, he’s just normal. Charlie is extremely intelligent, a bit shy, and somewhat socially awkward. In other words he is a Wallflower-trying to live his life whilst also trying to run away from it.

The book follows Charlie through experiencing he has not dealt with before. Some of these situations include, First dates, sex, drugs, making friends, and finding that one song that when you listen to it you feel utterly infinite. As Charlie faces new experiences he slowly succumbs to the idea that maybe staying on the sidelines isn’t fulfilling enough.

I remember having to read this book as a kid in school, and maybe really getting it’s full potential. Since then I have read it numerous times and it is one of my favourites. Chbosky has a way of telling Charlie’s story but at the same time also letting you reminisce on your past and or present. The Perks of Being a Wallflower encourages you to feel good about yourself, makes you step back and say ‘I’m going to live my life by what makes me happy’ whilst listening to your favourite song on repeat.

Read it Tomorrow (no pun intended)

“You shouldn’t try to stop everything from happening. Sometimes you’re supposed to feel awkward. Sometimes you’re supposed to be vulnerable in front of people. Sometimes it’s necessary because it’s all part of you getting to the next part of yourself, the next day.” – Cecelia Ahern ‘The Book of Tomorrow’ 



Title: ‘The Book of Tomorrow’

Author: Cecelia Ahern

Publisher: HarperCollins

Rating: ****



Cecelia Ahern, an Irish born novelist has written many amazing novels all of which I am a fan of, esp. ‘Love, Rosie’ also known as ‘Where rainbows end’. The way she writes draws you in, forcing you to create a live Rom-com in your head casting each character with your chosen actor. I recently read her novel called ‘The Book of Tomorrow’.  The story follows a young girl named Tamara Goodwin, who is used to living a life of luxury. Drastic changes occur when Tamara’s father dies unexpectedly. This unexpected loss leaves Tamara and her mother in a mountain of debt  resulting in them having to leave their big mansion for a tiny cottage in the countryside. This tiny cottage however is inhabited by Tamara’s very peculiar Aunt and Uncle, which Tamara is now forced to share her life with. Whilst Tamara’s mother suffers from depression and ignores the outside world, Tamara finds herself bored and lonely.

One day a travelling book shop makes its rounds and stops at Tamara’s Aunt and Uncle’s house. Tamara decides to start checking out books as a way for something to do. She ends up finding a rather interesting leather bound book with a gold clasp and padlock attached to it. The book has no name and no title. Fascinated, Tamara opens the lock and to her surprise is starring at her own handwriting filling the pages with diary entries. But the most interesting part? The diary entries are dated for the next day.

When the next day plays out as the book predicted Tamara soon learns that all her problems could be solved. The book soon takes Tamara on a journey, introducing her to people she had no idea could impact her life. In Tamara’s quest to get the life back her and her mother once had, she learns more about herself, her family and that messing with fate has it’s consequences.

‘The Book of Tomorrow’ is a novel that makes you think twice about life’s situations, making you appreciate the things you have more than the things you want. All of Cecelia Ahern’s books leave you wanting to read more of her writing style.

A Warm Hello

Hi, so here it is my first post. I thought I would start by mentioning my favourite book, which whilst hard to narrow down to one, I thought I would take on the challenge.

‘You’ve Got Mail’1998 

Joe Fox: “Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice. She was too proud.” 

Kathleen Kelly: “I thought you hated Pride and Prejudice?”

Joe Fox: “Or was she too Prejudice and Mr. Darcy is too proud? I can’t remember.”



Title: ‘Pride and Prejudice’

Author: Jane Austen

Publisher: Thomas Egerton

Rating: *****


In my opinion Mr. Darcy was too proud.  Pride and Prejudice was first published in 1816, by the amazing Jane Austen and whilst she has written many memorable novels, ‘Pride and Prejudice’ is my favourite.  The novel is written in old english so as you read you actually feel as though you should be having tea with the queen and discussing eighteenth century drawing room intrigues.

The story takes place around Herefordshire (about 80 km outside of London) and focuses on the Bennet family. The Bennet’s are made up of one overbearing mother, one easygoing father, and five extremely different daughters. Whilst Austen touches upon all five daughters throughout the novel, she focuses primarily on life of Elizabeth and her witty banter with Mr. Darcy.

Mrs. Bennet has one goal in life and that is to marry off all of her daughters to the perfect husband. One day exciting news comes to Herefordshire that a wealthy man by the name of Mr. Bingley is moving to Netherfield (the town next door). In honour of his first night there the townspeople throw a ball (as you do) and Mr. Bingley brings along his sister and his best mate Mr. Darcy. Right away Bingley and Jane Bennet (1 of the 5 Bennet daughters) fall deeply for each other, whilst the prejudice Elizabeth is heavily put off by the proud and overbearing Dr. Darcy. The story continues to follow the playful love affair between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet leaving you guessing to the very last second whether their love for each other will weaken or deepen. Austen brings you within the novel placing you inside Eighteenth century England and it’s traditional courtly manners.