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Review: Clean by Juno Dawson

Review: Clean by Juno Dawson

‘I sigh. it’s all so improbable. How can I be ‘an addict’? I’m seventeen years old. I always sort of aspired to a coke problem as I turned thirty, but never this.’ Lexi Volkov is in rehab, and she’s not fucking happy about it. Just […]

Top Ten Tuesday: Recommendations for my daughter

Top Ten Tuesday: Recommendations for my daughter

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish, but was recently relocated to That Artsy Reader Girl.  This week is a freebie week, so to celebrate it being exactly four weeks since I gave birth – phew, time has flown! – I decided I’d […]

Review: Intricate Deceptions by Jennifer Rayes

Review: Intricate Deceptions by Jennifer Rayes

When Jennifer Rayes contacted me asking if I’d like to read and review a copy of Intricate Deceptions, I jumped at the chance. Focused on the victim of a human trafficking operation, it sounded unlike any book I’d ever read before. With the amount of five star ratings that it has on Goodreads, I thought it was bound to be brilliant.

Sadly, it ended up being one of the most terribly executed novels I’ve encountered. It’s rushed. It’s monotone. It’s flat. Gaia is kidnapped, taken to the human trafficking location and rescued within the space of a few pages. After that the story evolves into a corny romance between Gaia and Raoul, the Prince of Kayamato, who “would’ve liked to say in bed with Gaia, just to hold her” after having just one conversation with her. Barf.

Then there’s the appearance of pirate captain Dominique, who kisses Gaia without her permission but who she’s oh-so attracted to. Can you hear me heaving? Of course, it wouldn’t be a cheesy romance without a love triangle, but when both of the love interests are blander than plain flour it’s hard to see the appeal of either of them.

This book is completely two-dimensional. The events that go on feel reported: this happens, then this happens, and there’s no life in the story. It’s impossible to get emotionally involved, even with the harrowing events that are occurring.

Luckily, Intricate Deceptions is a short novel, so it’s a very quick read. I read it in a few hours, and because there’s not really much world-building (despite being set in Ica and Kayamato, we don’t really know anything about the places or their cultures) and all of the events are rapidly delivered one after the other, the pace is ridiculously fast.

It ends on an unexpected cliffhanger, which – irritatingly enough – kind of makes me want to continue on with the series… But considering the fact that it took four years for the sequel to be written and released seems that it was only done because the author didn’t know how to finish it. If I’d read it any earlier I would have been frustrated. If the ending had been more satisfactory I would have given Intricate Deceptions three stars, because I was ambivalent towards the story as a whole, but the cliffhanger left me with no choice but to drop my rating down.

 

If you’re interested in learning more about Intricate Deceptions, check it out on Goodreads. If you decide to buy a copy, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link: I’ll earn a few pennies from your purchase. Thank you!

 

Alyce

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Review: Out of the Blue by Sophie Cameron

Review: Out of the Blue by Sophie Cameron

‘It was our 9/11, our Princess Diana, our JFK. You’d always remember where you were when you heard about Being No. 1.’ Ten days after Jaya’s mother died, Beings started falling from the sky. Over the course of eight months 85 Beings fall, and no […]

Review: Things I Wish I’d Known edited by Victoria Young

Review: Things I Wish I’d Known edited by Victoria Young

Things I Wish I’d Known was recommended to me by a friend who used to work in Waterstones, because she said that so many pregnant customers said it was a necessary read before giving birth. I thought I might as well give it a go: it’s […]

Review: Thirteen Chairs by Dave Shelton

Review: Thirteen Chairs by Dave Shelton

I hadn’t heard of Dave Shelton before he was announced as the British Books Challenge Author of the Month for April, but I decided to check out Thirteen Chairs when I saw that they had it on the library catalogue.

A collection of thirteen ghost stories masquerading as a novel, Thirteen Chairs isn’t a very scary book. This might be because it’s aimed at a slightly young audience, or it might be because I’m not easily frightened, but it disappointed me a little bit. The premise is very good – a young boy explores a house which is rumoured to be haunted, discovering a room containing thirteen chairs filled by twelve people, each of whom tell a spooky story – but the quality of the stories fluctuates wildly.

The first few short stories are bland. Let Me Sleep is painfully average, Oswald has hardly any atmosphere and The Wrong Side of the Road is predictable, although there’s a good moral to that tale. However, things pick up in the middle of the collectionThe Red Tree has an extremely strong narrative voice, Tick, Tick, Tick… is a tad too open-ended but is a less traditional ghost story, while Beneath the Surface is a painfully honest exploration of loss from the perspective of a young child.

A couple of the stories are awfully farfetched – namely The Patchwork Sailor and Razorbut there are a few that deserve to be expanded into full-length novels (The Girl in the Red Coat, Unputdownable and Snowstorms, respectively).

However, the plot that weaves throughout is blatantly obvious from the start, and I found myself rolling my eyes at the reveal of the ‘twist’ at the end of the book. Again, a good idea, but the execution leaves something to be desired.

Thirteen Chairs is an extremely fast read – I read it in a couple of hours, and found myself flying through each of the stories – but it’s not the most satisfactory book of ghostly tales that you’ll ever encounter.

 

If you’re interested in learning more about Thirteen Chairs, check it out on Goodreads. If you decide to buy a copy, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link: I’ll earn a few pennies from your purchase. Thank you!

 

Are you a fan of spooky stories, or are they just too scary for you?

Alyce

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Blog tour: The Goose Road by Rowena House

Blog tour: The Goose Road by Rowena House

Hello, and welcome to my stop on The Goose Road blog tour. I’m so excited to be teaming up with Walker Books to welcome Rowena House to The Bumbling Blogger to share her top tips for budding writers and how to get published – but first, let’s […]

Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite books I’ll never reread

Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite books I’ll never reread

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish, but was recently relocated to That Artsy Reader Girl.  There are a few books that I reread constantly, but normally when I love a book I find it impossible to reread it. I worry that it […]

Baby Bumble begins

Baby Bumble begins

Hey everyone,

In case you missed it, I made an announcement on Twitter last month… I had a baby!

I’m absolutely over the moon, and glad that I can finally share the news. My partner and I decided to keep the pregnancy private – only telling family and extremely close friends – but with the baby arriving (yep, I’ve been keeping this a secret SINCE JULY! This is the reason I had so many blog breaks last year, and had to defer my second semester at university) it seemed like the right time to let you all know that there are going to be some changes to The Bumbling Blogger.

First up, there’s a good chance that the post frequency is going to go way, way down. Posting on every weekday is a goal that I’m not going to be strict about maintaining anymore: instead, I’m going to attempt at least two posts a week (not including Top Ten Tuesday, which I’ve written up until the end of May). I’ve still been posting daily for the past couple of weeks, because I had so many drafts written up, but I’ve burnt through them pretty rapidly and now I’m almost out – eek!

Secondly, I’d like to reveal the launch of a new section of the blog: Baby Bumble.

I’ll be showcasing baby products, as well as writing advice posts for new parents and helpful tips for pregnant people. There’s no such thing as a perfect parent or a perfect pregnancy, but hopefully I’ll be able to help at least one other mother-to-be. I’ll also be recommending the best board and picture books (I’m determined to make my little one into a bookworm as soon as possible).

I’m looking forward to this new challenge and to sharing my journey into motherhood with all of you. Thank you for your support over the past few years – you’ve made me comfortable enough to share this part of my life with you, and I’ve never been more excited.

Alyce

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Review: The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr

Review: The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr

Flora Banks has anterograde amnesia and she’s unable to remember anything past the age of 11. That is, until she kisses Drake – her best friend Paige’s recent ex-boyfriend – on the beach during a party. Flora can remember kissing Drake, and she wonders if he […]