Thursday, 13 August 2015

Women in Red

By Jordan Rosenfeld

Genre: Psychological thriller

Book Description
Dead-broke single mother Stella Russo, daughter of a world-class prima ballerina, has nearly given up on her own professional aspirations—much less true love—when a dazzling impromptu stunt by a mysterious troupe reminds her just how empowering performing onstage can be. Convincing herself that a dependable gig with such a company just might be the ticket to a better life for her musical-prodigy daughter and now-invalid mother, Stella takes a giant jeté of faith and joins up. But when she lands in the clutches of an enigmatic and demanding impresario bent on making her his star at any cost, has she risked too much? As Stella untwists the troupe’s troubling secrets, she becomes entangled in turns she could never imagine—and is forced to face her own past as well. Women in Red draws readers into the dark, dangerous, and dramatically sexy underworld of the dance—but also into the longing of every living, breathing being for a family of one’s own.

I have not read a book like this in quite a while; it is captivating, relatable, sexy, and incredibly enjoyable to read!

Would you give up every dream you have in order to do what is best for your child?

Women In Red is about a would-be-professional-dancer turned single mother called Stella who battles with the duties of being a mother to her ten-year-old daughter, Izzy. Stella also struggles with her responsibility to her invalid mother and her dreams of being a professional dancer, not to mention hiding from the secrets of her past!

Then, just when Stella has given up all hopes of achieving her dreams, walks in a strange and alluring gentleman who declares that he can change her life, make all her dreams come true (so to speak).

Now Stella needs to decide; does she follow her instincts or her desire to be a professional dancer which for so long she thought never to accomplish?

That's enough about the plot anyway, you need to read it to get the good stuff!

Women In Red is set amongst the backdrop of the glamorous performing world, full to the brim of glitter, PVC, leotards, sequins, make-up and fine champagne. It is the world we dream of because of its alluring and beautiful mysticism. But is it all that we think? Is it really about the parties and the fun of being centre-stage, or is there a darker, more sinister side?

Jordan Rosenfield has created in Women In Red an intricate story of hope, sex, secrets and murder in this entertaining, sassy story that keeps you guessing and planted firmly on the edge of your seat until the end of the book.

What I enjoyed about the book is how, not only is the reader told events from Stella's point of view, but also from her daughter and mother's. This, for me, allowed me to really get to know not only the personality of the main character but also how that character relates to others within the book itself, particularly between Stella and her mother. Between these two characters exists several conflicting emotions throughout the book; love, gratitude, devotion, but also; resentment, envy, anger and fear.

Stella's mother holds an interesting position within the story. She is seemingly dependant on others and yet she holds information about Stella's past that Stella doesn't want revealing. This conflict of character is something that Rosenfield uses with all her characters  within Women in Red and makes for a more interesting and gripping read as the characters clash.

I found myself wanting to know more about Stella from before the book was based despite the information that is given within the book, about her past and how she had ended up in the position she now found herself in (I personally hope the author may consider doing a prequel)

This book is a must read for the summer and should definitely be placed on the list of books to read in 2015!
Author Bio
Jordan Rosenfeld is author of the novels Forged in Grace and Night Oracle as well as A Writer’s Guide to Persistence and three other guides to the art and craft of writing. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Salon, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Washington Post, in numerous literary journals, and on “The California Report,” a newsmagazine produced by NPR affiliate KQED. She lives in Northern California.

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Saturday, 8 August 2015

The Ice Twins

by S.K.Tremayne

Rating: 4/5

Pages: 373
Publisher:  Harper Collins
Publication Date: 2015
ISBN: 9780007563036

Summary (via Goodreads)
 A year after one of their identical twin daughters, Lydia, dies in an accident, Angus and Sarah Moorcraft move to the tiny Scottish island Angus inherited from his grandmother, hoping to put together the pieces of their shattered lives.

But when their surviving daughter, Kirstie, claims they have mistaken her identity—that she, in fact, is Lydia—their world comes crashing down once again.

As winter encroaches, Angus is forced to travel away from the island for work, Sarah is feeling isolated, and Kirstie (or is it Lydia?) is growing more disturbed. When a violent storm leaves Sarah and her daughter stranded, Sarah finds herself tortured by the past—what really happened on that fateful day one of her daughters died?

Review (Warning Spoilers!)

I would like to thank Harper Collins Publishers for a review copy of The Ice Twins.

Imagine that you have two identical children. Not only are they identical twins but they have the exact same hair cut, the same outfit, the same eyes, moles and blemishes on their skin. Do you think you would be able to tell the difference between them?

For Sarah, who has lost one of her perfectly identical daughters, this becomes a matter of urgency when one night her remaining daughter tells her that she got it wrong about who died.

When I first read the blurb on this book I was hooked on the idea of a parent not knowing which child she had buried and which was the one who now remained in front of her and wanted to read it immediately. 

The way that S. K. Tremayne has started the book makes the reader feel that they have entered half way through a story. Lydia has already been dead for over a year and her remaining family are trying to move on with their lives without her. The family is broken, struggling to cope and carry on, especially Lydia's twin Kirstie who has no friends and feels lost without her other half.

The Ice Twins is chilling and suspenseful. I found myself questioning the death of Lydia, trying to work out if I believed Kirstie's claims to be her. The hostile relationship between Sarah and Angus at some points confused me, I wanted to know what had caused the love-hate pull that now existed in the void caused by their daughter's death.

One thing I also liked about the book was that there were pictures included within it at certain stages. For me these gave me a sense of excitement and the feeling like I was reading a criminal file and these were the stages which led to that crime. However I would like to point out this is only my take on it and I have no proof that the images are intended to be interpreted this way.

I would recommend this book to any lover of modern fiction or crime fiction (aged 14+). It was an enjoyable read that had a surprising conclusion.

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Crow Mountain

by Lucy Inglis

Rating: 5/5
Pages: 368
Publisher:  Chicken House
Publication Date: September 2015
ISBN: 9781910002353

Summary (via Goodreads)
While on holiday in Montana, Hope meets local boy Cal Crow, a ranch hand. Caught in a freak accident, the two of them take shelter in a mountain cabin where Hope makes a strange discovery. More than a hundred years earlier, another English girl met a similar fate. Her rescuer: a horse-trader called Nate.

In this wild place, both girls learn what it means to survive and to fall in love, neither knowing that their fates are intimately entwined.

Review (Warning Spoilers!)

My thanks to Chicken House for supplying me with a review copy of Crow Mountain.
Crow Mountain is one of the best books I have read this year and, as I have already told the author Lucy Inglis, one of my favourite love stories ever!

Do you ever wonder how the past could have shaped the present? I have, and for me this is one of those rare books that I found so captivating and intoxicating I couldn't put it down and read it in one sitting! The way the book was written was easy to read with characters that you fall for.

As mentioned above Crow Mountain  tells the stories of two young couples, Nate and Emily, and Hope and Cal. Their stories are alike in many ways except that they are over a century apart.

In 1867, Emily was on the way to meet her future husband when a freak accident, or fate, intervened and, rather than at her wedding, Emily finds herself in the secluded mountains with a strange man who's every trait is against her own upbringing. Despite the social differences Emily finds Nate intriguing and, as she learns more about him, wonders how she will ever return to her old life. Set around the backdrop of the Indian's vs railroads confrontations Lucy Inglis brings the horrors of history to life.

Meanwhile in modern day Montana Hope is going on holiday with her mother and meets Cal, a handsome boy who seems apprehensive to get too close to her. Once again an accident leads to Hope and Cal being trapped with only each other for company and support. Hope finds Emily's diary and realises that she needs to do something to stop the events of the past repeating itself once more.

Having read books all my life I find that I rarely find books now that make me physically react however in Crow Mountain not only could I not put the story down, but I also found at times I was sitting on the edge of my seat in anticipation, trying to predict the ending.

Unfortunately I cannot say everything I want to about the ending to Crow Mountain as I don't want to give it away. Therefore all I can say is that is was perfect for the book and very well written and my favourite part of the book.

Crow Mountain is truly a fantastic read with a beautiful love story where fate and the past become intertwined with the present. At times it was so heart-breaking to the point where I wanted to scream "No, you cant do that!" But in the end when I closed the cover I found that I wanted to start it again from the beginning, to hear the stories of Emily and Nate and Hope and Cal once again.

I cannot recommend this book enough - go and get yourself a copy!

Crow Mountain is due for release on 3rd September 2015