Beartown by Fredrik Blackman Review

Beartown by Fredrik Backman book review
Beartown by Fredrik Backman, ISBN 9781501163104, 418pp

Beartown by Fredrik Backman is one of those books I’ve been seeing around everywhere for a long time. When I discovered a copy at a second-hand book sale I went to recently, I finally picked it up.

Beartown is a small, struggling town nestled deep in the forest in Sweden. But this sporting town felt like it could be anywhere – in Canada, America, even Australia if you swapped hockey for rugby league. Beartown doesn’t have much going for it besides its ice hockey team. The townspeople’s lives revolve around the ice rink and the fortunes of their team echoes the fortunes of the town.

This season a win by the junior hockey team in the national championships could change everything for the teenage players, the club management and trainers, their families and the rest of the town.

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Gone by Midnight by Candice Fox Review

Gone by Midnight by Candice Fox review
Gone by Midnight by Candice Fox, ISBN 9780143789154, 372pp

Gone by Midnight by Candice Fox is the third book in a crime series set in far north Queensland. I read the first book Crimson Lake earlier this year and absolutely love it, so went on to read the second book Redemption Point. I recommend that you start with these two books before reading Gone by Midnight. But it can be read as a stand-alone book if you want to. Just realise that there will be spoilers from book one and two in it.

This crime series is set in the fictional far north Queensland town of Crimson Lake near Cairns. It follows disgraced ex-cop and falsely imprisoned Ted Conkaffey, now turned Private Investigator, and his convicted killer and eccentric partner Amanda Pharrell. Amanda is quirky, heavily tattooed, has no filter and is a brilliant investigator. Ted is a more by-the-book investigator, but his life has been changed forever after being jailed for a heinous crime he didn’t commit which turned him into one of the most hated people in Australia. In Gone by Midnight he is trying to live a normal life, do his job, and look after his small daughter on her first approved visit to stay with him. His ex-wife is visiting a wellness retreat nearby. Continue reading

Dating You Hating You by Christina Lauren Review

Dating You Hating You by Christins Lauren book review
Dating You Hating You by Christina Lauren, ISBN 9780349417523, 353pp

I discovered Christina Lauren books back in March when I read Roomies. Since then I’ve read The Unhoneymooners and Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating. Earlier this month I picked up a fourth Christina Lauren book – Dating You Hating You – and this might be my favourite one yet!

Dating You Hating You is very much in the same vein as The Hating Game by Sally Thorne and is your classic flirty foes storyline in a workplace setting. I really enjoyed it. Carter and Evie are Hollywood talent agents from rival agencies who are introduced by mutual friends at a Halloween party (they both dress as Harry Potter characters). They hit it off despite the rivalry and it seems they are heading into a budding romance. BUT then their rival agencies suddenly merge. They are told by their mutual boss that there might only be one position for them in the new company. So suddenly everything is very complicated as they are pitted against each other for the job. Continue reading

While You Were Reading Review and Blog Tour

While You Were Reading book review
While You Were Reading by Ali Berg and Michelle Kalus, ISBN 9781925750560, 374pp

While You Were Reading is the second book by Melbourne-based co-authors, Ali Berg and Michelle Kalus. If you don’t know, Ali and Michelle are the book loving brains behind the Books on the Rail initiative where book ninjas like myself are sent books by publishers to hand out on public transport around Australia. I was sent a copy of this book for review and so I could participate in the #whileyouwerereadingblogtour.

While You Were Reading is a love story dedicated to book lovers, reading and Melbourne. After reading this delightful book, I feel like booking an impromptu weekend in Melbourne to explore all the trendy cafes and book stores mentioned in the novel. Continue reading

The Trick to Time by Kit De Waal Review

The Trick to Time Kit De Waal Review
The Trick to Time Kit De Waal, ISBN 9780241973417, 262pp

The Trick to Time by Kit De Waal was an emotional and beautifully written book. It tells the story of Mona, slipping backwards from the present day to the past. In the present day, Mona is about to celebrate her sixtieth birthday and this milestone has her thinking a lot about the past. She runs a business specialising in making dolls. She has friends and a good life, but there is sadness too from some tragedy in her past.

As a young girl, Mona grows up in Ireland, raised by her father after the untimely death of her mother. Like many young Irish people, she leaves Ireland for work, settling in Birmingham and meeting and falling in love with a young man named William. As the book goes back and forth between the past and present, you discover what happened between Mona and William and why Mona carries so much sadness around. Continue reading

Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren Review

Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren review
Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren, ISBN 9780349421865, 306pp

Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren is a funny, romance read about two friends who go on a series of double-blind dates together. They are friends, just friends. Hazel is a elementary school teacher who’s a bit kooky. She has a lot of pets and very much marches to the beat of her own drum. She reminded me of Jessica Day from New Girl. Josh is Korean, smart, sensitive and hot. He met Hazel in college through a series of spectacular encounters. Ten years later they meet again when they discover that Hazel is friends with his teacher sister, Emily. Now that they are back in each other’s lives, Hazel decides they are going to be best friends. When Josh’s long-distance relationship breaks up, they decide to set each other up on dates – all with disastrous consequences. Continue reading

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren Review

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren review
The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren, ISBN 9780349417615, 400pp

The Unhoneymooners is the latest release from Christina Lauren. I discovered this writing duo back in March when I read Roomies, so I was eager to read another book by them. And I was not disappointed. Set in the beautiful and romantic destination of Hawaii, The Unhoneymooners has all the elements of a fun rom com read.

Olive and Ethan don’t like each other but they are forced to get along at the wedding of Olive’s twin sister Amy to Ethan’s brother, Dane. Olive has always felt unlucky compared to Amy who always wins competitions. But when the whole wedding party is struck down with food poisoning, Olive’s luck is about to change. With her sister not able to take the honeymoon that she won, she asks Olive to go in her place to a gorgeous resort in Hawaii. The only catch is that Ethan also escaped food poisoning and Dane insists that he go too. Continue reading

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang Review

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang Review
The Bride Test by Helen Hoang, ISBN 9780451490827, 296pp

I absolutely loved Helen Hoang’s first novel The Kiss Quotient , so I was so excited to pick up her second book The Bride Test. If you’re not familiar with this series, they are romance reads with a difference. Not only are there Asian American characters, there’s also characters with autism and Asperger’s. These books are sexy, fun and offer plenty of representation.

The Bride Test tells the story of Esme (My) Tran and Khai Diep. Esme works as a cleaner in a hotel in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. She is mixed race as her dad was an American – a man she has never met. She has a small daughter and supports her mum and grandma. Her family are poor and sleep on the floor in a one room house. Esme wants bigger things for her life and for her child. Continue reading