Author: J. Kent Messum
Publication date: 27 August 2013
Length: 281 pages
Age group: Adult
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon UK | The Book Depository
In a nutshell
No one is coming to your aid. We have ensured this.
Six strangers wake up on a remote island in the Florida Keys with no memory of their arrival. They soon discover their common bond: all of them are heroin addicts. As the first excruciating pangs of withdrawal make themselves felt, the six notice a yacht anchored across open water. On it lurk four shadowy figures, protected by the hungry sharks that patrol the waves.
So begins a dangerous game. The six must undertake the impossible — swim to the next island where a cache of heroin awaits, or die trying. When alliances form, betrayal is inevitable. As the fight to survive intensifies, the stakes reach terrifying heights — and their captors’ motives finally begin to emerge.
I’ve been dying to read this book ever since it came out for so many different reasons. I love adrenaline-drenched thrillers. I’m strangely fascinated by the Agatha Christie-esque scenario of people being stranded on a deserted island (or any remote location there’s no way they would escape from) and having to survive. Add a deathly game and mysterious enemy and that’s my perfect night-time reading sorted right there. But despite the interesting premise, I just didn’t enjoy this book.
I suppose my main problem was the fact that I didn’t feel any sympathy for the characters. None of them. The story is basically a mixture of flashback episodes from the six strangers’ past and what they’re currently going through on the island. The flashbacks give readers a bit of insight into the (wasted) lives of these people, how desperate they all were for their next kick and how they were kidnapped before they ended up in the Florida Keys – which doesn’t really help you warm to them or feel any sympathy for them at all. And reading about a bunch of unlikeable people and their messed up past for a hundred pages is, let’s just say, not very entertaining.
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Belfast based company Little Thunder Co are looking for your help, in making their book series about an inquisitive cat come to life.
The series of books follows the adventures of young Chalky, a stray cat discovered by one of the creators behind the story. Chalky appeared in Tim Potter’s life in 2002 when he was found sleeping on a plastic bag in his friends shed. Tim ended up bringing the 6 month old tomcat home with him.
The first book of the series is called ‘Chalky and the New Sports Car‘ and follows the friendly and adventurous feline, as he encounters a new car whilst exploring the neighbourhood. The series is marketed for 6 months to 5 years old, when children are at their most inquisitive wondering the how’s and whys of life making this book ideal for a bedtime reading adventure.
The pages contain huge vibrant illustrations of Chalky stalking and lazing about whilst the short story, which is created by Tim’s father, Stanley is written in an array of large typography, all fun but importantly easy to consume for the young reader.
“Chalky blinked as the morning sun filled the darkness of the garage”
The project is currently on Kickstarter and needs £10,000 for Chalky to happen and for each pound that you donate, you shall receive a little treat for your kind support. The lovely people at Little Thunder Co, are offering eBooks and hardback copies of Chalky as well as prints from the story.
Show your support and help out with this great idea, because we all know there are never enough readers in the world and reading as a child is a magical experience that we all remember.
If you’d like to see some of the (gorgeous) illustrations from the book, find out more about the project or if you’d like to donate, you can do so by clicking here.
Hello everyone! Next up in my Catalogue Highlights series – a series of posts showcasing some of those 2014 book releases I’m really excited about and which I’ve added to my ever-growing to-be-read list – is Bloomsbury. Bloomsbury is one of my favourite publisher for Young Adult fiction, so I have really high hopes for the ones below. In no particular order, the top 5 books (published by Bloomsbury early next year) I’m looking forward to the most are…
When Mr Dog Bites by Brian Conaghan
Publication date: 16 January 2014
Age group: Young Adult
Goodreads | Pre-order
Dylan Mint has Tourette’s. For Dylan, life is a constant battle to keep the bad stuff in – the swearing, the tics, the howling dog that escapes whenever he gets stressed. And, as a sixteen-year-old virgin and pupil at Drumhill Special School, getting stressed is something of an occupational hazard.
But then a routine visit to the hospital changes everything. Overhearing a hushed conversation between the doctor and his mother, Dylan discovers that he’s going to die next March.
So he grants himself three parting wishes: three ‘Cool Things To Do Before I Cack It’.
It isn’t a long list, but it is ambitious, and he doesn’t have much time. But as Dylan sets out to make his wishes come true, he discovers that nothing – and no-one – is quite as he had previously supposed…
Terms & Conditions by Robert Glancy
Publication date: 13 February 2014
Age group: Adult
Goodreads | Pre-order
Frank has been in a car accident*. The doctor tells him he lost his spleen, but Frank believes he has lost more. He is missing memories – of those around him, of the history they share and of how he came to be in the crash. All he remembers is that he is a lawyer who specialises in small print**.
In the wake of the accident Frank begins to piece together his former life – and his former self. But the picture that emerges, of his marriage, his family and the career he has devoted years to, is not necessarily a pretty one. Could it be that the terms and conditions by which Frank has been living are not entirely in his favour***?
In the process of unravelling the knots into which his life has been tied, he learns that the devil really does live in the detail and that it’s never too late to rewrite your own destiny.
*apparently quite a serious one
**words that no one ever reads
*** and perhaps never have been
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When I saw Ellie’s post about this event sometime last week, I started wondering how many books I managed to read this year so far and realised that I’m quite far behind on my yearly goal. I wanted to read at least 60 books this year but after an insanely busy summer and moving houses I fell a bit behind. 2013 is not over yet, though, and I hope I can catch up in the remaining few weeks – or at least squeeze a few more books in. So I decided to jump on the bandwagon and join the End of the Year Read-a-thon, hosted by Juliababyjen’s Reading Room and Dana Square. The read-a-thon runs from 9 to 22 December, 2013 and includes lots of reading (obviously), fun challenges and awesome prizes. If you’re like me and you want to squeeze a few books in before 2013 comes to an end (how is it December already???), you can still sign up here.
Just like Ellie, I don’t really have anything specific I absolutely must read, but I’d like to read at least the following 4 books this month:
With the exception of Bait, which was a giveaway win, all of these are for review. The Book Thief and The Troop are both going to be released in early January so I’d like to read them and schedule my reviews as soon as possible. Bait seems shorter than the rest so I hope I can squeeze another book in but we’ll see.
What books are you hoping to finish before we say goodbye to 2013?
Welcome to No Books Allowed. This is a monthly feature hosted by Raimy from Readaraptor, which is used to discuss things things in life which aren’t connected to books. This post can be used to talk about days out, music, TV, video games, films, etc for all those book bloggers out there who do occasionally do stuff other than read and go to book events!
Out and about
November seemed even busier – as far as travelling and days-out go – than October. A friend and I decided to visit Cambridge as neither of us have been there before and it’s relatively close to London. Funnily enough, we both expected it to be a bigger place than it actually is and were both surprised how small the ‘touristy’ area is. It is a lovely place, though, and we had a great time despite the chilly and rainy weather.
The following weekend I went to the South Bank Christmas market, which is definitely one of my favourite places to visit in winter. It has such a festive atmosphere with all the fairy lights and the lovely cinnamon scent that it’s totally worth going even if you don’t actually buy anything.
I also met up with a fellow European blogger, Petra from Hazel the Witch this month, which was really fun. We spent Saturday morning book shopping, since Petra wanted to check out the Folio Society bookshop and I wanted to stop by the South bank book market, followed by clothes shopping on Oxford Street. It was a hectic weekend but I had a great time. (and if you’re ever in/near London and want to grab a cup of tea, let me know – it would be lovely to meet other readers too!)
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You might remember that I posted about the John Lewis Secret Santa Challenge that I was lucky enough to take part in this time last month. I received my presents nearly two weeks ago and I thought I’d show you what my Secret Santa chose me.
When I opened the first box I found a big box of hot chocolates inside and was absolutely thrilled. I’m obsessed with hot chocolate and it’s one of my favourite hot beverages to drink while reading. And then literally an hour later two other boxes showed up. You can imagine my surprise as I honestly thought the hot choc selection was all I’d get! But it turns out it was only one third of a complete gift set.
John Lewis Annoushka Hot Water Bottle, £20
Jolly Hot Chocolate Selection, £12.50
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Inspired by Pop Culture Junkie and the Story Siren, the aim of Showcase Sunday is to highlight our newest books or book related swag and to see what everyone else received for review, borrowed from libraries, bought in bookshops and downloaded onto eReaders each week. For more information about how this feature works and how to join in, click here.
Hello everybody and happy December! How was your week? Mine was pretty good, even if it went by way too quickly! A friend of mine and myself went to Uxbridge for a bit of Christmas shopping and to see Catching Fire yesterday and had a lovely time. We were a bit disappointed with the ending, though – anyone else feels the same? We both loved the first half of the film but found the second half a bit ‘meh’.
Bait | A Song for the Dying | Hannibal | After the Funeral | The Executioner
This week was quite hectic on the book front. I won a £30 gift card in a giveaway hosted by Tea in the Treetops a few weeks ago and (I obviously spent it on books) three of the books I picked arrived this week. I already uploaded the picture and started writing my post when I realised one of them was missing from the photo but I’ll make sure to show it to you next week. The other two are Bait and The Executioner – I absolutely love Chris Carter so the latter was a no brainer and I heard great things about Bait as well.
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