Gray Wolf Island by Tracey Neithercott

Grey Wolf Island

Gray Wolf Island by Tracey Neithercott


Gray Wolf Island is a story full of secrets, brilliant characters and an adventurous treasure hunt plot.

Tell the truth Ruby. Tell him what you did.

I was apprehensive initially; the unoriginal and boring cover doesn’t appeal to me but trusting the word of fellow bookworms who bestowed high praise on Goodreads I picked it up and am glad I did.

It’s no secret that somebody else has to die.

Although pacing was patchy and there were some parts in the build-up that I thought was over-explained, the storyline is solid with a slightly dark, sinister edge and a couple of unexpected twists.

I like that one girl’s voice could rattle the world.

The characters, an eclectic group of friends, are so believable. Their character development throughout the story, as their individuality is revealed and accepted, was so natural it was streamless. I’m not sure how to put into words that I found their presence comforting, and it’s this feeling that makes the book so captivating.

If I still have a heart, it’s not doing its job. It’s a stone in my chest, heavy like the rest of me.

And the ending? Unpredictable and satisfying.4 Star



Title: Gray Wolf Island Grey Wolf Island

Author: Tracey Neithercott

Publication Date: 10 October 2017

Publisher: Knopf Books

Source: Review copy


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Right before Sadie died, she begged her sister, Ruby, to do the one thing she could never do herself: Find the treasure on Gray Wolf Island.

With just a mysterious treasure map as a guide, Ruby reluctantly allows some friends to join her on the hunt, each of whom is touched by magic: a boy allegedly born to a virgin, a girl who never sleeps, a boy who can foresee his own death, and a boy with deep ties to the island. Each of them is also keeping a secret—something they’ll have to reveal in order to reach the treasure.

As the secrets come to light, Ruby will have to decide: Can she make peace with her friends’ troubled pasts and continue to trust them? Can she forgive herself for doing the unspeakable? Deep in the wilderness of Gray Wolf Island, Ruby’s choices will determine if they make it.  — Abstract from

The fact that I received a complimentary advanced copy of this book does not influence my policy to write an honest review.

Disclaimer: The quotes appear in my review copy and may not appear in the final version.

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

One of Us Is Lying

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus


One of Us is Lying has a brilliantly thought-out, well-planned storyline. Every one of the protagonists are under suspicion and my theories followed wherever Ms. McManus led. At one point or another, I thought they were all guilty.

I know what it’s like to tell yourself a lie so often that it becomes the truth.

There are a lot of characters in this story, not only the individual POV’s of the multiple main characters but also the numerous secondary characters, including the siblings who got involved in the investigation,  which I found confusing and resulted in me paging back and forth to work out who fits in where.

You’re all walking teen-movie stereotypes.

The twists are very clever and the final outcome unpredictable, but I don’t think the story has enough depth. It lacks the intense, dark, formidable atmosphere I was hoping for and which would have taken the book to the next level.

I want to kiss her more than I want air.

As a huge The Breakfast Club fan I am sad that One of US is Lying has been compared to this movie by the publishers. Yes, there are a handful of stereotypical characters in detention, but that is where the comparison ends.

Things’ll get worse before they get better.

Did anyone else pick up Bronwyn’s ability to read Nate’s iPod playlist without her glasses?

4 Star




Title: One of Us Is LyingOne of Us Is Lying

Author: Karen M. McManus

Publication Date: 30 May 2017

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Source: Purchased


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One of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.

Pay close attention and you might solve this.

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.

Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.

Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.

Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.

Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.

And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?

Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.  -Abstract from


Troublemakers by Catherine Barter


Troublemakers by Catherine Barter

Troublemakers is a beautifully written character-driven story. The rich multi-layered characters come to life on the pages against a well-developed background. But the pacing is slow in places and unless you’re as invested in the characters as I was this may bother you.

It’s like a second life, at the edges of this one, that comes into focus sometimes, and then fades away.

Focusing on the effects of grief and secrets big enough to destroy. On family dynamics and friendships. And at the centre is fifteen-year-old Alena and her family consisting of her older brother Danny and his life partner Nick. I loved that the family unit is not a traditional one, but that aside from the secret (and secrets have a way of getting out!) works really well. In all other respects, Danny and Nick make really good parents and Alena is so lucky to have them.

Everyone in the room looks pissed off and depressed so I fit right in.

Why then was I reluctant to pick it up? Although the abstract appealed enough to prod me into requesting the ARC (advanced review copy) it lay in my elibrary for ages before I literally had to read it or face a demotion in my Netgally percentage #bookwormproblems It was the cover that put me off. Please, publishers, take note: covers matter. This simplistic yellow cover is going to get noticed – for all the wrong reasons.

It’s hard not to feel self-conscious when someone is looking at you like you’re some tragic, miraculous woodland creature that’s just appeared.

The title is another bugbear. After reading the story I have no idea why it is called troublemakers. It gives the impression of a mischievous gang causing havoc. But does it portray the story? No, it really doesn’t. It portrays another story, one related but distant. Lena’s story needs her own title.4 Star



Title: Troublemakers Troublemakers

Author: Catherine Barter

Publication Date: 1 June 2017

Publisher: Andersen Press

Source: Review copy



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Fifteen-year-old Alena never really knew her political activist mother, who died when she was a baby. She has grown up with her older half-brother Danny and his boyfriend Nick in the east end of London. Now the area is threatened by a bomber who has been leaving explosive devices in supermarkets. It is only a matter of time before a bomb goes off.
Against this increasingly fearful backdrop, Alena seeks to discover more about her past, while Danny takes a job working for a controversial politician. As her family life implodes, and the threat to Londoners mounts, Alena starts getting into trouble. Then she does something truly rebellious.  — Abstract from

The fact that I received a complimentary advanced copy of this book does not influence my policy to write an honest review.

Disclaimer: The quotes appear in my review copy and may not appear in the final version.

Adding to Your TBR October 2017

TBR October 2017

Adding to Your TBR (To-be-Read List) October 2017


October is here and it’s time to open your hearts and wallets for the exciting new releases… *mumbles from under the TBR pile*

Are any of these on your lists too? Have I missed any books you are anticipating?


I Am Watching You by Teresa Driscoll

Expected: 1 October 2017

A dark and twisty thriller to keep you up at night.

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TBR October 2017


When Ella Longfield overhears two attractive young men flirting with teenage girls on a train, she thinks nothing of it—until she realises they are fresh out of prison and her maternal instinct is put on high alert. But just as she’s decided to call for help, something stops her. The next day, she wakes up to the news that one of the girls—beautiful, green-eyed Anna Ballard—has disappeared.

A year later, Anna is still missing. Ella is wracked with guilt over what she failed to do, and she’s not the only one who can’t forget. Someone is sending her threatening letters—letters that make her fear for her life.

Then an anniversary appeal reveals that Anna’s friends and family might have something to hide. Anna’s best friend, Sarah, hasn’t been telling the whole truth about what really happened that night—and her parents have been keeping secrets of their own.

Someone knows where Anna is—and they’re not telling. But they are watching Ella.  – Abstract from Goodreads


The Goblins of Bellwater by Molly Ringle

Expected: 1 October 2017

OMG Goblins! I need this book in my life.

And one of my favourite fantasy authors Rachel Morgan who wrote the Faerie Guardian series described this book as casting a spell on her in her review on Goodreads.

Plus anyone who has read Laini Taylor’s short story Goblin Fruit must love goblins. What? Just me? Seriously? You need to go back and reread!

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TBR October 2017


Most people have no idea goblins live in the woods around the small town of Bellwater, Washington. But some are about to find out. Skye, a young barista and artist, falls victim to a goblin curse in the forest one winter night, rendering her depressed and silenced, unable to speak of what happened. Her older sister, Livy, is at wit’s end trying to understand what’s wrong with her. Local mechanic Kit would know, but he doesn’t talk of such things: he’s the human liaison for the goblin tribe, a job he keeps secret and never wanted, thrust on him by an ancient family contract.Then Kit starts dating Livy, and Skye draws Kit’s cousin Grady into the spell through an enchanted kiss in the woods. Skye and Grady are doomed to become goblins and disappear from humankind forever, unless Livy, the only one untainted by enchantment, can unravel the spell by walking a dangerous magical path of her own. – Abstract from Goodreads



Things I’m Seeing Without You by Peter Bognanni

Expected: 3 October 2017

I love the sound of this YA contemporary which sounds like a darker version of Brigid Kemmerer’s Letters to the Lost.  

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TBR October 2017


Seventeen-year-old Tess Fowler has just dropped out of high school. She can barely function after learning of Jonah’s death. Jonah, the boy she’d traded banter with over texts and heartfelt e-mails.

Jonah, the first boy she’d told she loved and the first boy to say it back. 
Jonah, the boy whose suicide she never saw coming. 

Tess continues to write to Jonah, as a way of processing her grief and confusion. But for now, she finds solace in perhaps the unlikeliest of ways: by helping her father with his new alternative funeral business, where his biggest client is . . . a prized racehorse?

As Tess’s involvement in her father’s business grows, both find comfort in the clients they serve and in each other. But love, loss, and life are so much more complicated than Tess ever thought. Especially after she receives a message that turns her life upside down. – Abstract from Goodreads


Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore

Expected: 3 October 2017

Promising beautiful, lush, atmospheric writing by early reviewers, Wild Beauty is a must read.

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TBR October 2017


For nearly a century, the Nomeolvides women have tended the grounds of La Pradera, the lush estate gardens that enchant guests from around the world. They’ve also hidden a tragic legacy: if they fall in love too deeply, their lovers vanish. But then, after generations of vanishings, a strange boy appears in the gardens.

The boy is a mystery to Estrella, the Nomeolvides girl who finds him, and to her family, but he’s even more a mystery to himself; he knows nothing more about who he is or where he came from than his first name. As Estrella tries to help Fel piece together his unknown past, La Pradera leads them to secrets as dangerous as they are magical in this stunning exploration of love, loss, and family.  – Abstract from Goodreads




If You Knew My Sister by Michelle Adams

Expected: 3 October 2017

Sisters, secrets and family drama in a psychological thriller! It sounds amazing, I can’t wait.

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TBR October 2017


If You Knew My Sister tells the story of Irini, who was given away by her parents at the age of three, whilst her volatile, destructive sister was kept within the family. Twenty years later Irini receives a phone call from her estranged sister to say that their mother has died, compelling her to return for the first time to the family home, and to uncover the shocking truth that has defined both their lives. – Abstract from Goodreads







The Dark Lake (Gemma Woodstock #1) by Sarah Bailey

Expected: 3 October 2017

Sarah Bailey is a debut author with a mystery/crime/detective story to tell. I was reminded recently that I haven’t read this genre for a while. The Dark Lake sounds like a good place to start.

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TBR October 2017


The lead homicide investigator in a rural town, Detective Sergeant Gemma Woodstock is deeply unnerved when a high school classmate is found strangled, her body floating in a lake. And not just any classmate, but Rosalind Ryan, whose beauty and inscrutability exerted a magnetic pull on Smithson High School, first during Rosalind’s student years and then again when she returned to teach drama.

As much as Rosalind’s life was a mystery to Gemma when they were students together, her death presents even more of a puzzle. What made Rosalind quit her teaching job in Sydney and return to her hometown? Why did she live in a small, run-down apartment when her father was one of the town’s richest men? And despite her many admirers, did anyone in the town truly know her?

Rosalind’s enigmas frustrate and obsess Gemma, who has her own dangerous secrets—an affair with her colleague and past tragedies that may not stay in the past  – Abstract from Goodreads


All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater

Expected: 10 October 2017

It’s Maggie Stiefvater, so obviously, All the Crooked Saints is on my list! She wrote the dark, enticing Books of Faerie which are very dark and very, very good!

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TBR October 2017


Any visitor to Bicho Raro, Colorado is likely to find a landscape of dark saints, forbidden love, scientific dreams, miracle-mad owls, estranged affections, one or two orphans, and a sky full of watchful desert stars.

At the heart of this place you will find the Soria family, who all have the ability to perform unusual miracles. And at the heart of this family are three cousins longing to change its future: Beatriz, the girl without feelings, who wants only to be free to examine her thoughts; Daniel, the Saint of Bicho Raro, who performs miracles for everyone but himself; and Joaquin, who spends his nights running a renegade radio station under the name Diablo Diablo.

They are all looking for a miracle. But the miracles of Bicho Raro are never quite what you expect. -Abstract from Goodreads


The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe

Expected: 10 October 2017

I have no words. This book. And it is based on a true story!

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TBR October 2017


Based on the experience of real-life Auschwitz prisoner Dita Kraus, this is the incredible story of a girl who risked her life to keep the magic of books alive during the Holocaust.
Fourteen-year-old Dita is one of the many imprisoned by the Nazis at Auschwitz. Taken, along with her mother and father, from the Terezín ghetto in Prague, Dita is adjusting to the constant terror that is life in the camp. When Jewish leader Freddy Hirsch asks Dita to take charge of the eight precious volumes the prisoners have managed to sneak past the guards, she agrees. And so Dita becomes the librarian of Auschwitz.

Out of one of the darkest chapters of human history comes this extraordinary story of courage and hope. – Abstract from Goodreads




The Midnight Dance by Nikki Katz

Expected: 17 October 2017

This cover. This gorgeous cover! And ballerinas. It sounds dark and sinister in the best way.

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TBR October 2017


Seventeen-year-old Penny is a lead dancer at the Grande Teatro, a finishing school where she and eleven other young women are training to become the finest ballerinas in Italy. Tucked deep into the woods, the school is overseen by the mysterious and handsome young Master who keeps the girls ensconced in the estate – and in the only life Penny has never known.

But when flashes of memories, memories of a life very different from the one she thinks she’s been leading, start to appear, Penny begins to question the Grand Teatro and the motivations of the Master. With a kind and attractive kitchen boy, Cricket, at her side, Penny vows to escape the confines of her school and the strict rules that dictate every step she takes. But at every turn, the Master finds a way to stop her, and Penny must find a way to escape the school and uncover the secrets of her past before it’s too late. – Abstract from Goodreads


A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge

Expected: 17 October 2017

I am going out on a limb here because this book could go either way, but Frances Hardinge’s last book The Lie Tree was so dark, menacing and delicious that I can’t resist snatching up her new book!

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TBR October 2017


This is the story of a bear-hearted girl . . .
Sometimes, when a person dies, their spirit goes looking for somewhere to hide.
Some people have space within them, perfect for hiding.

Twelve-year-old Makepeace has learned to defend herself from the ghosts which try to possess her in the night, desperate for refuge, but one day a dreadful event causes her to drop her guard. And now there’s a spirit inside her.

The spirit is wild, brutish and strong, and it may be her only defence when she is sent to live with her father’s rich and powerful ancestors. There is talk of civil war, and they need people like her to protect their dark and terrible family secret.

But as she plans her escape and heads out into a country torn apart by war, Makepeace must decide which is worse: possession – or death.”  – Abstract from Goodreads


Little Secrets by Anna Snoekstra

Expected: 17 October 2017

A thriller about sinister porcelain dolls? Perfect for Halloween! 

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TBR October 2017


Rose, a young woman in a dying town, is desperate to escape. When unexplained dolls begins appearing on random doorsteps the townspeople become fearful of strangers and each other. The porcelain dolls look just like the little girls receiving them. Who is sending the dolls and why? As tensions escalate, Rose seizes the opportunity to further her dream of becoming a journalist. She encourages the townspeople to tell their stories and she submits them to a local newspaper. But, as the stories become more sensational, the paranoia in the town grows until things explode in horrific ways. Dolls explores how fear of the unknown and acting on rumor rather than facts can lead to devastating consequences.  – Abstract from Goodreads




Expelled by James Patterson & Emily Raymond

Expected: 23 October 2017

James Patterson is a very versatile author, but his previous book with Emily Raymond had very mixed reviews on Goodreads… So I am taking a chance on this one which has the feel of Karen M. McManus’s One of Us is Lying and it could be very good. 

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TBR October 2017


A secret Twitter account
An anonymous photo
Everyone is a suspect 

Will Foster’s Twitter account used to be anonymous–until someone posted The Photo that got him and three other students expelled, their futures ruined forever. But who took the picture, and why are they being targeted?

To uncover the truth, Will gets close to the suspects: the hacker, the quarterback, the bad girl, the class clown, the vice principal, and…his own best friend. What secrets are they hiding, and even worse–what do they know about each other? The terrible truth will haunt them forever. – Abstract from Goodreads


Zero Repeat Forever by Gabrielle Prendergast

Zero Repeat Forever 

Zero Repeat Forever by Gabrielle Prendergast


Reminiscent of Stephanie Meyer’s The Host, Zero Repeat Forever features an apocalyptic alien invasion. But this story lacks the rich world building and the characters are one-dimensional.

I am obedience. I am malice.

I think Eighth’s character is particularly undeveloped and I struggled to connect with him, feeling zero emotional empathy (the tantrums didn’t help!) By the end of the book I still knew very little about him, his people and where he came from.

Dart each one. Leave them where they fall.

What are the aliens there for? There are so many unanswered questions… I guess the sequel will reveal more but I think this book could have given us a little more of a solid background.

Spoiler Alert!


Why did they invade earth? Why do they leave the human bodies where they lie and why are they preserved? Are they going to make them rise as soldiers like Game of Thrones? Why is there a budding romance between August and Raven?… where can it lead – no mouth means he can’t even kiss her!


I only nod. I can’t answer.

The storyline is repetitive and the pacing patchy, with the long slow parts broken with the occasional burst of energy.

Slow sweet muddy death. I need to sit down.

But oh! The cover is stunning.2 Star



Title: Zero Repeat Forever  Zero Repeat Forever 

Series: The Nahx Invasions #1

Author: Gabrielle Prendergast

Publication Date: 29 August 2017

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Source: Review copy


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He has no voice, or name, only a rank, Eighth. He doesn’t know the details of the mission, only the directives that hum in his mind.

Dart the humans. Leave them where they fall.

His job is to protect his Offside. Let her do the shooting. Until a human kills her…

Sixteen-year-old Raven is at summer camp when the terrifying armored Nahx invade, annihilating entire cities, taking control of the Earth. Isolated in the wilderness, Raven and her friends have only a fragment of instruction from the human resistance.

Shelter in place.

Which seems like good advice at first. Stay put. Await rescue. Raven doesn’t like feeling helpless but what choice does she have?

Then a Nahx kills her boyfriend.

Thrown together in a violent, unfamiliar world, Eighth and Raven should feel only hate and fear. But when Raven is injured, and Eighth deserts his unit, their survival comes to depend on trusting each other… — Abstract from

The fact that I received a complimentary advanced copy of this book does not influence my policy to write an honest review.

Disclaimer: The quotes appear in my review copy and may not appear in the final version.

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