Mini Reviews: This Careless Life, Flight of a Starling, See How They Lie, Undercover Princess

It’s that time of year again… I’ve enjoyed glorious months of uninterrupted reading over the summer so it’s time to share my thoughts and create mini reviews of some of the books I’ve had the pleasure to read over the past few months.

As always you can click on the relevant links to find out more about the book or purchase a copy if I’ve managed to tempt you.

Expect a few rounds of these mini review posts in the coming weeks and then when I’ve finished playing catch up I can turn my attention to the shiny 2018 releases I’ve been saving!

This Careless Life by Rachel McIntyre

Facts and figures

Published: June 1st 2017, Electric Monkey

Standalone/Series: Standalone

Genre: Contemporary/mystery

Acquired: Kindly sent for review by the publisher

Goodreads // Amazon

What did I think?

I’m so disappointed I can’t give this a glowing review. I’m a big fan of Rachel McIntyre’s previous releases and An Inspector Calls is one of my all time favourite plays so I was hyped for this one. Unfortunately it didn’t work for me. However hard I tried to convince myself I was enjoying it…I wasn’t. The threads that pulled the mystery together (which are key to this story working) were too tenuous to conjure the eerie magic I was hoping for, the writing felt a little rushed towards the end, and I felt like a lot of potential for characterisation was squandered in terms of a fast-paced plot that, in the end, didn’t satisfy.

Flight of a Starling by Lisa Heathfield

Facts and figures

Published: June 29th 2017, Electric Monkey

Standalone/Series: Standalone

Genre: Contemporary

Acquired: Kindly sent for review by the publisher

Goodreads // Amazon

What did I think?

To the surprise of nobody who’s read this blog before, I’m a huge fan of Lisa Heathfield. She writes beautifully and creates living, breathing worlds on the page that make it impossible to do anything other than plunge into her stories headfirst. She’s a true talent and one of my auto-read authors.

Based on the cover I actually thought Flight of a Starling was a little younger than the age ranges I usually read but I’m so glad I went ahead and read this one, as I might have passed on it if it had been by a different author.

You’ll need tissues. But then this is a Lisa Heathfield book so what do you expect? A beautiful story of forbidden love and family ties, you need to gobble this one up on a cosy winter night and sob your way through the final chapters.

See How They Lie by Sue Wallman

Facts and figures

Published: March 2nd 2017, Scholastic

Standalone/Series: Standalone

Genre: Thriller

Acquired: Kindly sent for review by the publisher

Goodreads // Amazon

What did I think?

I enjoyed this one. It didn’t blow me away but it kept me entertained from start to finish. I appreciate the way Wallman trusts her readers, she allows us to piece a certain amount together ourselves and never shoehorns in clumsy explanations to make sure everybody knows exactly what’s going on.

As the facade of perfection at Hummingbird Creek began to crack I enjoyed the book more and more. I’m always a sucker for that building sense of despair and it was very well done here.

Undercover Princess by Connie Glynn

Facts and figures

Published:

Standalone/Series: Book one in The Rosewood Chronicles

Acquired: Kindly sent for review by the publisher

Goodreads // Amazon

What did I think?

Undercover Princess is…nice. The cover is nice, the characters are nice and the story is nice. It’s all very sweet and inoffensive, toss in a couple of cliched characters and a meandering plot and you’ll see why this didn’t work. I think younger readers (or those looking for something easy and whimsical) will love this but I was surprised it’s being marketed as YA. It definitely had more of a middle grade feel.

Not for me. Sorry.

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