Thursday, 7 December 2017

Book Review - Faking Friends by Jane Fallon

Faking FriendsFaking Friends by Jane Fallon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fabulous read, one I would highly recommend to fans of contemporary women's fiction. It has humour, drama, tension and a healthy dose of revenge. Fans of Jane Fallon will love 'Faking Friends' although, for me, I would love to read something of hers that didn't follow the themes of lies and revenge.
That aside, as usual, her skill at writing dialogue and characterisation is on point and you will find yourself completely immersed in the life of the Amy Forrester. Great supporting cast and believable scenarios that will draw you even further into a lively plot. Watch out for a cute twist in the narrative voice.
I would have given this five stars had it not been for the section of the novel in which I was plodding through and not racing because the page turning factor dropped for a short while and I found the flashbacks at the start of the book a bit thrown together and not as neatly plotted as the present day events. Later I understood the point to the flashbacks and found them a lot more polished as an idea later on in the book.
That said, I still recommend that you rush out and get this one - you won't regret it!

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Friday, 20 October 2017

Writing My Next Novel

Yes, it has been a while since I wrote my last actual post. I know. I've managed to post the odd review here and there because that is something I have been doing a lot of - reading.

I have been writing too, though. Some of you may know I write under a pseudonym, under which I have just completed the third book in a trilogy. Phew. I've sent the final draft off to the editor and I'm waiting to do the final read through. The third book will be out in February 2018 so I thought it was about time I wrote a book as me.

Starting to write a book is like lacing up your hiking boots and looking up at Mount Everest and wondering if you packed enough supplies. If you haven't then you're never going to make it to the top. I'm looking up that mountain right now and I'm just checking my backpack before I go a step further.

By chance I came across a fabulous article on the Writers and Artists blog (and if you are not on their mailing list then you really ought to be). It was written by Emily Suvada and you can find the whole article here

I've shortened all her points in case you are already half way up Everest and you've got no signal:

  • See the book in parts rather than a whole. Focus on things like scenes, chapters or character description and make notes
  • Have a game plan before each writing session e.g I will write 1000 words today
  • Write a brief note of everything a particular scene or conversation needs to contain before approaching the actual writing of it
  • Time management. Think Pomodoro Method. It will stop you running out of steam or neglecting everything else that should be going on with your life
  • Stay healthy, eat well and get plenty of sleep and exercise
I hope these were helpful. In fact you could apply this to any project you have, written or not. The article has given me a boost to get going on a book I'm excited to write. Yesterday I wrote 1000 words, another 90,000 and I'll be at the top of Everest and ready to start editing.

See you up there!

Friday, 6 October 2017

Book Review - the Betrayals by Fiona Neill

The BetrayalsThe Betrayals by Fiona Neill
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'm usually very mean about giving five star reviews but this title certainly deserved all five.

Neill has such an engaging and easy flow to her narrative that I found myself drawn into the tangled lives of the characters and loved the way she introduced me to subject areas I don't necessarily have an in depth knowledge of with ease. I'm assuming she did her research because I was totally sold on themes such as OCD and the world of medicine.

There are neat plot twists here that are probably not so hard to guess but compelling none the less.

Unlike some books that speak from the point of view of two or more characters, I could honestly say that I knew which character's head I was in, So many authors fail miserably when it comes to a split narrative but this one works.

A real page turner for me and one I would highly recommend this book.

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Saturday, 29 July 2017

Yesterday by Felicity Yap - Book Review

YesterdayYesterday by Felicia Yap
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There is a wonderful premise to this book. A world in which people are distinguished by their memory recall. Some of the population have 48 hour recall while the others only 24. In this crime mystery we discover what happens when a person with complete memory of past events seeks revenge on those responsible for her 17 year stay in a mental hospital only to turn up drowned in the river Cam.

Sounds thrilling, right? And it totally is. Told in the voices of the main protagonists, Yap skilfully relays the events so that we become totally involved in each of their lives. Characters are well rounded and believable in a world some may describe as dysptopian but certainly weird enough to make me glad I was neither a Mono nor a Duo.

The plot is carefully weaved with some intricate twists and turns that I never saw coming. That's always a plus for me. The only time I thought the intensity was lacking was towards the end when I thought the book should have been coming to a close but Yap amps up the tension a notch and I found myself engrossed until the closing pages.

As this is suspenseful and somewhat of a thriller, I don't want to give any spoilers. All I can say is that this is a well written book with a good pace and flowing language that will appeal to readers of several commercial genres and well worth the read.

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