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Title: The Lightning-Struck Heart (Tales from Verania #1)
Author: T.J. Klune
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 5+/5
# pages: Audiobook ~17 hours
Date read: January, 2017

Once upon a time, in an alleyway in the slums of the City of Lockes, a young and somewhat lonely boy named Sam Haversford turns a group of teenage douchebags into stone completely by accident.

Of course, this catches the attention of a higher power, and Sam's pulled from the only world he knows to become an apprentice to the King's Wizard, Morgan of Shadows.

When Sam is fourteen, he enters the Dark Woods and returns with Gary, the hornless gay unicorn, and a half-giant named Tiggy, earning the moniker Sam of Wilds.

At fifteen, Sam learns what love truly is when a new knight arrives at the castle. Sir Ryan Foxheart, the dreamiest dream to have ever been dreamed.

Naturally, it all goes to hell through the years when Ryan dates the reprehensible Prince Justin, Sam can't control his magic, a sexually aggressive dragon kidnaps the prince, and the King sends them on an epic quest to save Ryan's boyfriend, all while Sam falls more in love with someone he can never have.


Oh boy, where to start!

I have two simultaneous thoughts I want to get out through this review.
1) This book was HILARIOUS and I loved every minute of it. Can't remember when a book has last made me laugh this much and this often. Not to mention that it was just SWEET! ... at times... in places...
2) This book should come with a shit-load of warnings for language and content and is NOT for everybody!

(And for once I'm not going to apologize for my language, because I'd rather scare you off now, than after buying the book. Just trust me on that one. Consider it a VERY mild example).

Meet Sam of Wild - a 20-year-old wizard's apprentice, who has an incredible talent for getting captured by Dark wizards... but fortunately they just. can't. stop. monologueing!
Gary - a hornless gay unicorn who snorts coloured sparks and poops rainbows and cupcake-smells.
Tiggy - a half-giant who'll smash all of Gary and Sam's enemies if they let him.
Kevin - a sexually aggressive dragon.
'Mother' - Sam's fairy drag-mother.
Dmitri - the 6" tall gay fairy with a size-kink whom Sam almost got gay fairy married to that one time...
And of course - Knight Ryan Deliciousface... oops, sorry, I mean Ryan Foxface, who's the object of Sam's abject devotion, but unfortunately betrothed to Prince Justin.

Add all this together, and you get the FUNNIEST book it's been my pleasure to read in a very, very long time (I laughed out loud more times than I can count), while at the same time being incredibly rich in sexual jokes and very crude language. So if (explicit) M&M romance and (even more explicit) sexual banter is a dealbreaker for you - this is your warning.

The plot itself was well executed and pretty traditional for a fantasy novel - prince gets captured by dragon, knight and wizard must go free prince and return home in time for a royal wedding - yada-yada-yada. The novel's strength comes in the dialogue between the characters, and the obvious affection between Sam and his friends (including Ryan), his family, and even his wizard mentor and his King. Sam has the weirdest life ever, but it never seems forced, and much like Douglas Adams, T.J. Klune manages to make the jokes and mad escapades seem effortless and natural. The writing was excellent and appropriately witty all the way through.

The ending was perhaps a tiiiiiiny bit more explicit than I would have liked (although that may mostly have been because of the awkwardness of listening to it, rather than reading it myself), but for most of the book the sexual content is mostly talk, very little action. So download a sample off amazon, and if the language in the first few paragraphs doesn't scare you off - go for it. You won't regret it.

I "read" this as an audiobook, and absolutely adored the narrator, Michael Lesley. I've never listened to any of his performances before, but did an incredible job.

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Title: After You (Me Before You #2)
Author: Jojo Moyes
Genre: Chick-lit
Rating: 3/5
# pages: 409
Date read: January, 2017

Lou Clark has lots of questions.
- Like how it is she's ended up working in an airport bar, spending every shift watching other people jet off to new places.
- Or why the flat she's owned for a year still doesn't feel like home.
- Whether her close-knit family can forgive her for what she did eighteen months ago.
- And will she ever get over the love of her life.

What Lou does know for certain is that something has to change.
Then, one night, it does.

But does the stranger on her doorstep hold the answers Lou is searching for - or just more questions?
Close the door and life continues: simple, ordered, safe.
Open it and she risks everything.
But Lou once made a promise to live. And if she's going to keep it, she has to invite them in...


I loved "Me Before You" - rated it 4 stars and sobbed my way through much of the end of it. So I was simultaneously predisposed to like this one too... as well as ever so slightly worried whether or not it could live up to my expectations.

And unfortunately it couldn't... not completely anyway. I really enjoyed parts of it - laughed at some parts, got a tad choked up at others, but there were also aspects that just didn't work for me. Jojo Moyes just tried too hard to get the reader emotionally invested to the point that it almost - almost - felt like manipulation. Fortunately she never quite crossed that line (or I'd have thrown the book away in disgust), but it did sour things for me that she even came close.

But otherwise...
I liked Lou and thought the way she worked through her grief very believable.
I mostly liked Lily... at least later on in the book.
I liked the grief circle.
I liked Mrs. Traynor.
I can't quite make up my mind about Sam, but think I liked him - I definitely liked Donna!
I didn't much care for Lou's mother, father nor sister :-/
I liked the ending, even if I didn't much care for how Lou was pressured to get there.

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Title: The Chemist
Author: Stephenie Meyer
Genre: Suspense
Rating: 5/5
# pages: 518 pages
Date read: January, 2017

She used to work for the U.S. government, but very few people ever knew that. An expert in her field, she was one of the darkest secrets of an agency so clandestine it doesn't even have a name. And when they decided she was a liability, they came for her without warning.

Now, she rarely stays in the same place or uses the same name for long. They've killed the only other person she trusted, but something she knows still poses a threat. They want her dead, and soon.

When her former handler offers her a way out, she realizes it's her only chance to erase the giant target on her back. But it means taking one last job for her ex-employers. To her horror, the information she acquires only makes her situation more dangerous.



I'd forgotten how utterly awesome it is to disappear into a brilliant book for a weekend, and not return for air until the very last page is turned. This is the best book I've read in a very long time - let me put it this way, if "The Chemist" isn't an automatic shoe-in for the "Top 10 of 2017" list, I will have had a very amazing reading year indeed!

I was a bit hesitant at first. It had been sold to me as a crime novel, and they have to be very good for me to like them - J.K. Rowling certainly didn't manage - but "The Host" is among my favourite books, so I thought I'd give it a shot.

Well! Whoever sold it as crime fiction was dead-wrong. Suspense, yes. Crime - no. Instead we got a thrilling "escape from the government" story with lots of action and humour thrown in (and yes, a love-story. Not sure Meyer knows how to write books without them, but it was believable and it WASN'T a love-triangle, so I didn't mind).

I had a very, VERY hard time putting it down for the night (stayed up much too late Saturday for "just one more chapter"), and totally disagree with the reviews calling it boring - I was hooked from the very first page.

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Title: Shadow Man (Smoky Barrett #1)
Author: Cody McFadyen
Genre: Suspense
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 396 pages
Date read: January 2017

Once, Special Agent Smoky Barrett hunted serial killers for the FBI. She was one of the best - until a madman terrorized her family, killed her husband and daughter, and left her face scarred and her soul brutalized. Turning the tables on the killer, Smoky shot him dead - but her life was shattered forever.

Now Smoky dreams about picking up her weapon again. She dreams about placing the cold steel between her lips and pulling the trigger one last time. Because for a woman who's lost everything, what is there left to lose?

She's about to find out.

In all her years at the Bureau, Smoky has never encountered anyone like him - a new and fascinating kind of monster, a twisted genius who defies profilers' attempts to understand him. And he's issued Smoky a direct challenge, coaxing her back from the brink with the only thing that could convince her to live.

The killer videotaped his latest crime - an act of horror that left a child motherless - then sent a message addressed to Agent Smoky Barrett. The message is enough to shock Smoky back to work, back to her FBI team. And that child awakens something in Smoky she thought was gone forever.

Suddenly the stakes are raised. The game has changed. For as this deranged monster embarks on an unspeakable spree of perversion and murder, Smoky is coming alive again - and she's about to face her greatest fears as a cop, a woman, a mother... and a merciless killer's next victim.


Brilliant page-turner that made short work of the long commutes I had between Denmark and Sweden last week.

I'm very taken with crime shows like CSI, Criminal minds etc. and apparently that translates to books as well. I was instantly taken with Smoky and the rest of her team, and enjoyed reading about all the work that has to be done in order to investigate crime scenes, follow up on leads, analyse evidence etc. The crimes themselves were horrid and gruesome, but while absolutely fascinating, the book itself wasn't as scary as I'd thought it might have been... still very difficult to put down, however.

Very well written, and most of the time well translated as well, so mentally correcting the translator didn't constantly pull me out of the story - I mostly completely forgot I was reading a book in translation. There were two very obvious exceptions though, with some glaring mistakes that really ought to have been caught by the editor or proof-reader:

First the translator obviously didn't know the two meanings of "to start", meaning that "Smoky started and..." was translated with "Smoky began and..." instead of "Smoky was startled and..." - making for a rather confusing sentence until I puzzled it out.

At another point, Smoky and her best friend were described as having been each others' "ladies in waiting"... I'm pretty sure the original text said "maids [of honour]" instead.

Fairly minor issues though, and in the end didn't detract from my enjoyment of the book at all. And for once I wasn't too disappointed by the way the unsub was finally caught... in this case, it seemed like the only way it really could end.

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Title: Dare to Do
Author: Sarah Outen
Genre: Memoir
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 288 pages
Date read: January, 2017

On 1 April 2011, rower and adventurer Sarah Outen set off in her kayak from Tower Bridge for France. her aim was simple: to circle the globe entirely under her own steam - cycling, kayaking and rowing across Europe, Asia, the Pacific, North America, the Atlantic and eventually home. A year later, Sarah was plucked from the Pacific ocean after tropical storm Mawar, her boat broken, her spirit even more so.

But that wasn't the end. Despite ill health and depression, giving up was not an option. So Sarah set off once more to finish what she had started, becoming the first woman to row solo from Japan to Alaska, as well as the first woman to row the mid-Pacific from West to East. She kayaked the treacherous Aleutian chain and cycled North America, before setting out on the Atlantic, despite the risk of another row-ending storm...


I've been wanting to read this book pretty much ever since I first heard of it... which was while Sarah was still on her London2London expedition, so it's been awhile :)

Sarah Outen's first book, "A Dip in the Ocean" was a clear 5-star book, and this came very close to being the same, but unfortunately it suffered somewhat from the expedition being so much longer, and the book (by necessity) therefore couldn't go into as much detail.

I still loved reading it though. Granted, I knew much of it in advance from following Sarah Outen's blog and youtube channel, but it was still great to have it all wrapped up here, and I enjoyed living vicariously through her experiences... well knowing that there's no WAY I could follow in her footsteps in reality. Didn't make it any less fascinating to read about - probably quite the contrary.

My one complaint is that there wasn't nearly enough photos for my liking - only 8 pages worth - but fortunately the rest are easily found online.

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Title: Thirteen Hours
Author: Francis Gideon
Genre: Dystopian
Rating: 1.5/5
# pages: 73 pages
Date read: January 2017

Hans longs to be accepted by his academic peers. When he discovers a cure for the ongoing zombie crisis, he thinks he's finally achieved that goal - only to be stripped of his rank and unceremoniously tossed out on the streets.

With nowhere else to turn, Hans, his wife, and her lover Joan look for solutions in other areas, cobbling together a lab and supplies by scrounging the back alleys of London. The only thing they lack is a body to experiment on.

When the body of a young man shows up, it's almost too good to be true. Hans has only thirteen hours to work, but he's determined to prove himself. The clock is ticking, and nothing is ever as easy as it seems...


If goodreads hadn't told me otherwise, I'd have assumed this was Francis Gideon's first book. The plot showed definite potential, but was very poorly executed and the characters were two-dimensional and caricatures. The writing was choppy and needed editing, and at a mere 73 pages, the author wanted to do far too much, and had to rush through the various stages of the plot (which actually turned out to be a good thing... I doubt I would have finished it, had it been much longer). For a book containing zombies, it was awfully tame, with not even the fear of an attack to add tension to the story, and unfortunately the main love-story seemed tacked on and completely unbelievable.

A shame.

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Title: A List of Cages
Author: Robin Roe
Genre: YA
Rating: 3/5
# pages: 320 pages
Date read: January, 2017

When Adam Blake lands the best elective ever in his senior year, serving as an aide to the school psychologist, he thinks he's got it made. Sure, it means a lot of sitting around, which isn't easy for a guy with ADHD, but he can't complain, since he gets to spend the period texting all his friends. Then the doctor asks him to track down the troubled freshman who keeps dodging her, and Adam discovers that the boy is Julian--the foster brother he hasn't seen in five years.

Adam is ecstatic to be reunited. At first, Julian seems like the boy he once knew. He's still kind hearted. He still writes stories and loves picture books meant for little kids. But as they spend more time together, Adam realizes that Julian is keeping secrets, like where he hides during the middle of the day, and what's really going on inside his house. Adam is determined to help him, but his involvement could cost both boys their lives.



The writing-style took some getting used to - to the point that the first 25% took me 2 months to read, and I then finished the last 75% in one sitting!

I wasn't as blown away by this book as other reviews had let me to hope I would be. As already mentioned it took some getting into, and while I loved the growing friendship between Julian and Adam and his friends (definite shades of "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" there!) and found the middle part of the book captivating, the lack of communication and trust in adults was still frustrating (Adam's mother especially). Worst of all, the ending was deeply unsatisfying. The other issues I could have ignored or forgiven, but a poor ending means a poor lasting effect of a book.

It still deserves 3 stars though, as it was a very powerful book up until then. With a better ending, it could easily have been a 5-star read.

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Title: The New Rector (Tales from Turnham Malpas, #1)
Author: Rebecca Shaw
Genre: Chick-lit
Rating: 3/5
# pages: 264
Date read: January, 2017

When Peter Harris arrives in Turnham Malpas as the new rector, he finds the village people welcoming but set in their ways. Yet despite his own weaknesses and the sadness of his childless wife, he comforts and advises his new parishioners, growing more and more involved with the rural way of life. Then the whole village is rocked by spiteful trick that goes terribly wrong, and a gruesome murder that points to a killer in its midst. Now, more than ever, Peter's pastoral role is crucial - and yet he is wrestling with his own private hell that may still wreck his own life.


A nice account of life in an English village - written in much the same style as Rosamunde Pilcher and Maeve Binchy (although a LOT more simplistic). It was extremely soap-opera'ish at times, but despite its weaknesses and occasional OTT'ness, I ended up really enjoying it. The characters were likable and (with certain memorable exceptions) believable, and I got to really care for them.

Not high literature in ANY kind of way (see above re. soap opera), but a fun read, if you're able to keep your eye-rolling at bay.

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Title: Truly, Madly, Guilty
Author: Liane Moriarty
Genre: Fiction
Rating: 3/5
# pages: 415
Date read: January, 2017

Despite their differences, Erika and Clementine have been best friends since they were children. So when Erika needs help, Clementine should be the obvious person to turn to. Or so you'd think.

For Clementine, as a mother of a two desperately trying to practise for the audition of a lifetime, the last thing she needs is Erika asking for something, again.

But the barbecue should be the perfect way to forget their problems for a while. Especially when their hosts, Vid and Tiffany, are only too happy to distract them.

Which is how it all spirals out of control...


I approached this book with very high expectations, as I've loved everything else I've read by Liane Moriarty. Unfortunately, it couldn't live up to those expectations at all. Liane Moriarty used much the same tactic of foreshadowing/hinting/secrecy as in "Big Little Lies", but whereas I loved it in BLL, it just didn't work at all here, and instead came across as being rather silly. (I think the difference is that in BLL the surprise came later chronologically, whereas here, it was danced around as something that happened in the past - which just made me roll my eyes and want to yell at Moriarty to just reveal it already!)

So why still 3 stars? Despite my annoyance at her ridiculous use of foreshadowing, I do enjoy Liane Moriarty's writing style, and the pages almost turned themselves. I liked that the characters were generally nice to one another, and I liked that people talked things through, instead of letting misunderstandings and lack of communication ruin their lives. It made for a refreshing change :)

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Title: Half Bad (Half-Life #1)
Author: Sally Green
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: 3.5/5
# pages: 380
Date read: January, 2017

Sixteen-year-old Nathan lives in a cage: beaten, shackled, trained to kill. In a modern-day England where two warring factions of witches live amongst humans, Nathan is an abomination, the illegitimate son of the world's most terrifying and violent witch, Marcus. Nathan's only hope for survival is to escape his captors, track down Marcus, and receive the three gifts that will bring him into his own magical powers—before it's too late. But how can Nathan find his father when there is no one safe to trust, not even family, not even the girl he loves?


I think, possibly, my expectations were too high. I liked it well enough, and found myself nicely entertained, but I never really got interested in Nathan's plight, and though Sally Green used too much of the book to define the universe and set the stage for the next book, and too little on the actual plot.

So though very little was actually resolved in this book, I'm in no rush to run out and pick up the next one. But I do understand the high ratings it has received - it was good... just not for me.

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Title: Breaking Free
Author: Beth Moore
Genre: Christian non-fiction
Rating: 2.5/5
# pages: 289 pages
Date read: December, 2016

Do you want to know God and really believe Him? Do you want to find satisfaction in God, experience His peace, and enjoy His presence? Do you want to make the freedom Christ promised a reality in your daily life?

In Breaking Free, Beth Moore embarks on a study of selected passages from the book of Isaiah, drawing several parallels between the captive Israelites and today’s Christians, in order to show how to make freedom in Christ a daily reality. Moore teaches readers to remove obstacles that hinder freedom by identifying spiritual strongholds in their lives and overcoming them through the truth of God’s Word—truth that will set us free.


I've only ever heard good things about Beth Moore's books, so it was with high expectations that I approached this book. Unfortunately it couldn't live up to my expectations. I found her main points interesting and relevant, but unfortunately her examples and anecdotes were much too vague for me to be able to draw any sorts of parallels to my own life. Her reasoning was not to lock the reader into thinking those were the only situations relevant, but unfortunately it didn't work for me.

At the end of the day, I remember her main focus-point (escape satan's strongholds in your life, by seeing his lies for what they are, and focusing on Christ's truths instead) - which is the important thing, of course, though nothing I didn't already know - but nothing else... and I have no better understanding of how to apply that to my life than I did before reading this book.

So I guess I'd recommend the book to a new Christian - but "experienced" Christians (for want of better word) probably won't get much new out of it.

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Title:
Wish Upon a Star
Author: Trisha Ashley
Genre: Chick-lit
Rating: 5/5
# pages: 468
Date read: December, 2016

Single mum Cally’s life is all about her little girl Stella. She’s resigned to the fact that the only romance she’s going to get is from the rom-coms she watches, and with her busy job and her daughter, she doesn’t have time to even think about love.

But life gets very tough when Stella gets sick. Balancing her job as a recipe writer and looking after Stella is all consuming, so when Cally meets handsome baker Jago the last thing she wants to do is fall in love, especially when she’s been badly burned by a Prince Charming from her past. Can laid-back, charming Jago unlock Cally’s frozen heart and help her find true love and magic under the mistletoe?


Not really sure why this is labelled a Christmas book? It's even less so than "The Magic of Christmas". But it's so sweet and adorable that I loved it all the same, and was actually disappointed when I turned the last page.

Trisha Ashley writes little-town communities so very well. True, her books do get a bit formulaic, but they're so charming that I don't really mind. I loved Cally, Stella and Jago, and would have liked to read more about them. And it was so refreshing to read about main characters with a spine for a change! Even if Aimee and Adam need need more than subtle clues to finally get the point!

Lovely book, and though total fluff, it still deserves a five star rating for pure enjoyment and a fairly realistic description of subconscious courting :-)

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Title: The Magic of Christmas
Author: Trisha Ashley
Genre: Chick-lit
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 412
Date read: December, 2016

In the pretty Lancashire village of Middlemoss, Lizzy is on the verge of leaving her cheating husband, Tom, when tragedy strikes. Luckily she has welcome distraction in the Christmas Pudding Circle, a group of friends swapping seasonal recipes – as well as a rivalry with local cookery writer Nick over who will win Best Mince Pie at the village show…

Meanwhile, the whole village is gearing up for the annual Boxing Day Mystery Play. But who will play Adam to Lizzy’s Eve? Could it be the handsome and charismatic soap actor Ritch, or could someone closer to home win her heart? Whatever happens, it promises to be a Christmas to remember!


Not really very Christmassy until the last few chapters, but very much a cozy comfort book, so I enjoyed it all the same. I liked reading about life in a small village, and even though I did feel the romance was tied up a bit too quickly, there'd been signs throughout the book, so I only really minded because I thought a certain guy was assuming too much, and didn't really care for that.

There were a few surprises along the way, but I'd guessed the final twist concerning Tom's death at a fairly early stage. Just glad it all got sorted out though.

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Title: The Book of Strange New Things
Author: Michel Faber
Genre: Sci-fi
Rating: 3/5
# pages: 512
Date read: December, 2016

It begins with Peter, a devoted man of faith, as he is called to the mission of a lifetime, one that takes him galaxies away from his wife, Bea. Peter becomes immersed in the mysteries of an astonishing new environment, overseen by an enigmatic corporation known only as USIC. His work introduces him to a seemingly friendly native population struggling with a dangerous illness and hungry for Peter’s teachings—his Bible is their “book of strange new things.” But Peter is rattled when Bea’s letters from home become increasingly desperate: typhoons and earthquakes are devastating whole countries, and governments are crumbling. Bea’s faith, once the guiding light of their lives, begins to falter.

Suddenly, a separation measured by an otherworldly distance, and defined both by one newly discovered world and another in a state of collapse, is threatened by an ever-widening gulf that is much less quantifiable. While Peter is reconciling the needs of his congregation with the desires of his strange employer, Bea is struggling for survival. Their trials lay bare a profound meditation on faith, love tested beyond endurance, and our responsibility to those closest to us.


I really can't figure this book out... it was fascinating and boring at the same time, and I'm not even sure how that works! Also, I have no idea what story the author was trying to tell! (But then I had much the same thoughts after reading "The Crimson Petal and the White", so perhaps that's just his writing-style). I was intrigued by Peter's experiences on Oasis and liked his time at C-2 much better than when he was back at base. I loved the natives and wish we'd seen more of their lives.

But at the same time, I felt there were SO many questions that weren't answered! Mostly about what was happening back on Earth while Peter was away. And worst of all, the book had no real resolution or conclusion... it just ended, as if Michel Faber had written himself into a corner and couldn't figure out where to go from there.

At the end of the day, I think I liked it. And I did appreciate that it didn't poke fun at Christianity or missionaries. But apart from that, it had too many problems for me to really be able to recommend it to anybody else... unless you happen to love vague books with ambiguous endings.

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Title: Breaking Free
Author: Beth Moore
Genre: Christian non-fiction
Rating: 2.5/5
# pages: 289
Date read: December, 2016

Do you want to know God and really believe Him? Do you want to find satisfaction in God, experience His peace, and enjoy His presence? Do you want to make the freedom Christ promised a reality in your daily life?

In Breaking Free, Beth Moore embarks on a study of selected passages from the book of Isaiah, drawing several parallels between the captive Israelites and today's Christians, in order to show how to make freedom in Christ a daily reality. Moore teaches readers to remove obstacles that hinder freedom by identifying spiritual strongholds in their lives and overcoming them through the truth of God's Word - truth that will set us free.


I've only ever heard good things about Beth Moore's books, so it was with high expectations that I approached this book. Unfortunately it couldn't live up to my expectations. I found her main points interesting and relevant, but unfortunately her examples and anecdotes were much too vague for me to be able to draw any sorts of parallels to my own life. Her reasoning was not to lock the reader into thinking those were the only situations relevant, but unfortunately it didn't work for me.

At the end of the day, I remember her main focuspoint (escape satan's strongholds in your life, by seeing his lies for what they are, and focusing on Christ's truths instead) - which is the important thing, of course, though nothing I didn't already know - but nothing else... and I have no better understanding of how to apply that to my life than I did before reading this book.

So I guess I'd recommend the book to a new Christian - but "experienced" Christians (for want of better word) probably won't get much new out of it.

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Title: The Couple Next Door
Author: Shari Lapena
Genre: Thriller
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 320 pages
Date read: December, 2016


You never know what's happening on the other side of the wall.

Your neighbour told you that she didn't want your six-month-old daughter at the dinner party. Nothing personal, she just couldn't stand her crying.

Your husband said it would be fine. After all, you only live next door. You'll have the baby monitor and you'll take it in turns to go back every half hour.

Your daughter was sleeping when you checked on her last. But now, as you race up the stairs in your deathly quiet house, your worst fears are realized. She's gone.

You've never had to call the police before. But now they're in your home, and who knows what they'll find there.

What would you be capable of, when pushed past your limit?


Absolutely thrilling book. I could NOT put it down and read it in just two sittings (would have been one if it hadn't been for work). Told by multiple narrators (and not all reliable ones) it had me guessing till the very end.

It would have been a solid 5 star book... but unfortunately I did NOT care for the last two pages. That was a twist I could happily have done without and which (I felt) was totally unnecessary for the book. So that knocked it down a star, but I'd still consider it one of the best thrillers I've read all year.

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Title: Kiss and Spell (Enchanted Inc #7)
Author: Shanna Swendson
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 3/5
# pages: 284
Date read: December 2016

When a freak accident leaves Katie Chandler with magical powers, it seems like a wish come true for the former magical immune. But it also means she's vulnerable to magic, just when the dangerous Elf Lord is cooking up another scheme in his bid for power. Anyone who gets in his way disappears--including Katie and her wizard boyfriend, Owen Palmer.

Now Katie's under a spell that obscures her true identity, living a life right out of a romantic comedy movie in a Hollywood set version of New York. Will she be able to find her true Mr. Right in time to break the spell with a kiss and warn everyone, or will she be trapped forever, unaware of the doom facing her world?


So far the last book in the series (although book 8 is due out December 2016), and with a very nice ending indeed :) The book itself was rather slow-moving however, so I think it's probably just as well Shanna Swendson ended the series here. I just couldn't get as interested in the plot as I would have liked.

I did enjoy the chapters just after Kate woke up in 'not New York' though (and loved how that was handled - for a minute there, I wondered if I'd opened up a wrong book on my Kindle!), and reading about how she slowly caught on to the fact that something odd was happening. I also really liked Florence :-) We saw far too little of her once Kate and Owen started plotting again.

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Title: Delicious!
Author: Ruth Reichl
Genre: Fiction
Rating: 4.5/5
# pages: 384
Date read: December, 2016

Trying to escape her unhappy past, Billie Breslin leaves her home in California for New York to take a job at the premier food magazine Delicious!. Everyone there cooks but Billie refuses to, despite her perfect palate; she prefers to write about recipes rather than revisit a past she would rather forget.

At Delicious!, Billie discovers a treasure: the magazine's hidden library. There she finds the letters of Lulu Swan, a young girl who wrote to the magazine in 1941. As Billie reads Lulu's vivid evocations of wartime life, she finds that she is able to make peace with her own grief... and sets on a journey to meet her in person...


I really, really wish I could have given this book five stars straight, but it just didn't quite make it. The book is divided up into 3 parts, and the first part was so decidedly my favourite, that I had to subtract half a star because the other 2 parts couldn't quite live up to it.

This is the third book I've read by Ruth Reichl, but her first novel, and it completely lived up to my expectations. It had all the interesting food tidbits I wanted (at least in the first part... this was where the two other parts slacked off) and a large cast of interesting characters. I loved Billie, Sammy and Sal (... his entire family, come to think of it), and while I wish "Mr. Complainer" had been fleshed out more, he did seem decent enough.... even if I did think he was extremely unreasonable in their fight!

I'd guessed the "twist" at a fairly early stage, but that's alright - it made sense.

So all in all very enjoyable book. I just wish the first part had been longer!

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