The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel – Review

Title: The Roanoke Girls 

Author: Amy Engel

Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton

Book Format: Paperback ARC 

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First of all, I want to thank Hodder and Stoughton for sending me an ARC of The Roanoke Girls, the ARC that I was sent was an absolutely studding edition of the book and this cover is so gorgeous with the roses and the slash across the cover tieing in so well with the story. But, now for the actual review… 

The Roanoke Girls is about a mysterious, rich family and their big mysterious house, each Roanoke Girl over the years either runs away from that house or dies. The story follows Lane Roanoke the daughter of one of the runways, when her mother dies she is sent to live with her grandparents at the grand Roanoke estate a place she has only heard about through the lips of her mother, a woman who ran away from that place as fast as a bullet from a gun.

The novel is told from two perspectives from teenage Lane and Lane ten years later, This book certainly has the ick factor and is not for the faint hearted! I know this book is being marketed as a mystery but really the story is not that mysterious. What is going on at Roanoke is revealed very early on it’s just the layers that get slowly peeled away.

This book certainly isn’t a fun ride it has the serious ick factor and certainly sent my moral compass into a right spin.

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It also has a narrative structure that felt reminiscent to books such as The Girls by Emma Cline and We Were Liars by E.Lockhart. I couldn’t help thinking have I been here before? Have I read this before? Which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing it just felt familiar and sadly I wouldn’t say, The Roanoke Girls wasn’t as good as either of these novels, it wasn’t bad, it just didn’t hit me right in the heart or in the head like some books do, nor did it leave a lasting impression.

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I know this book is being marketed as a mystery but really the story is not that mysterious. What is going on at Roanoke is revealed very early on it’s just the layers that get slowly peeled away.
The Roanoke Girls deals with complex and deeply troubling issues and it’s not self-serving of judgemental to the characters the writer just tells the story and allows the reader to make their minds up for themselves.

The novel has some interesting characters exploring the way we are all human and sometimes the people we think are perfect are the most flawed and the ones we think are the most flawed have the ability to be the most kind.
An interesting exploration of human relationships and the damage that one family can do to itself throughout the ages.

Worth a read.

3/5 Stars

I hope you enjoyed my review, I’ll see you next time!

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Children’s​ Books- My Childhood Favourites!

I was having a think about the books I read while I was growing up, the books that had a big impact on me not only as a reader but as a young girl growing up in Britain.

I know when people mention their favourite children’s books Harry Potter is often at the top of their list  but there will be no Harry Potter mentions here. Although the Harry Potter books were being released throughout my childhood I didn’t read them until last year! So that’s me, putting Harry Potter to bed… at least for the remainder of this post.

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What we love has children can have an impact on us for our whole lives, from music to film and everything in between youth is an impressionable time. Now I want to share with you my childhood favourites, the books I loved, the books that started off my never ending TBR pile, the books that started it all…

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol

Alice in wonderland

I have a life-long love for Alice and her adventures, that curious little girl who fell down a rabbit whole as stayed with me and I’m always finding new Alice re-tellings to delve into Splintered by A.G Howard being one of my favourites.

Goosebumps by R.L Stine

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Even now I love a creepy read and I’m sure Goosebumps was where it all began, spooky, spine-tingling reads and I’m sure the cause of some rather creepy nightmares.

Jacqueline Wilson Books

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I adored Jacoline Wilson growing up, from Tracey Beaker to The Suitcase Kid Jacqueline Wilson writes great stories that also show children a world, or a situation that they may not have understood before. At the same time her books are relatable and full of great characters and hard-hitting drama.

Nobody’s Horse by Joanne Webster

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When I was growing up I was lucky to have a mother who was also I reader and I constantly searched her book shelves looking for some hidden gem. Nobody’s Horse was one of those gems, the story of a horse with no one to love and care for it. As a little girl who loved horses I read everything with a horse or pony on the cover  but Nobody’s horse was definitely a special read and I read that book cover to cover until the cover fell off and the pages were held together by nothing but tape.

The Beatrix Potter Stories

Peter Benj Jem

Beatrix Potter was such an interesting woman to be a writer and an illustrator in the time she lived was amazing for a woman of her era but she also did a great deal with the money from her books for conservation and the protection of British countryside. Her beautiful books were a childhood staple for me, I was fascinated and thrilled by the tales of Peter Rabbit and her other characters.

Ten Week Stables

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Another of my Mums old books, ten-week stables was another horsey adventure and is the type of story that makes any young child  think that anything is possible.

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

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Another horsey book I know, but Black Beauty is such a classic, voiced by Beauty himself this unique narrative follows Black Beauty throughout his life. From when he leaves his home and mother and moves to his new home with his first owner. Each time Beauty is sold he gets a new life and sometimes not for the better. The story teaches children that not all humans are kind but when they are they can give love beyond measure, a beautiful tale of love and friendship.

The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore

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There was always something so magical about this lyrical christmas story, when I hear lines from the famous poem now I am filled with nostalgia from Christmas’ gone, a book to read in a magical time of year.

I hope you enjoyed my Favourite Childrens Books post, what are your favourite books from your childhood? Let me know in the comments, happy reading everyone!

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Bodies of Water by V.H Leslie Review

Title:Bodies of Water

Author:V.H Leslie

Publisher:Salt Publishing

Format:Paper Back

I have recently been looking for some good gothic fiction to read and on my new found hunt in all things gothic I came across Bodies of Water by V.H Leslie. I didn’t know this when I bought it but at 130 pages Bodies of Water is actually a novella but don’t let that put you off it is a steady burner and has a slow build and really gives the reader time to get enthralled into the world and become interested in the characters and their stories.

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Bodies of Water follows Kirsten and Evelyn both live in the building Wakewater House but in different periods in time. Kirsten moves into Wakewater in present day London while Evelyn is living at Wakewater in Victorian London. The two women have two very different lives and two very different experiences, while Kirsten is moving into her new flat Evelyn has been sent to a hydrotherapy centre for ‘women’s complaints’.

Wakewater house is on the River Thames and the river is a huge part of the story partly because of water treatments being used by ‘doctors’ who treated the women in the victorian Wakewater House.  But water is a strong theme running throughout the book and  a huge factor in tying the stories of Evelyn and Kirsten together.

An interesting and educated novella, Bodies of Water is not just a gothic ghost story but a study of women and a discussion about the repression that we have suffered over the centries and what the long term consqueses of that maybe.

I loved reading this and would definitely recommend to everyone who fancies a watery, creepy, ghostly time!

Paint and Butterflies Rating 5/5 Stars

Hope you enjoyed my Bodies of Water Review,

Happy reading everyone!

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The Jane Austen Challenge

Hi guys, recently I have been thinking about how I don’t read enough classics and I have so many of them on my TBR (I won’t name names because it’s kind of embarrassing when I think about how many seriously beloved classics I haven’t read.)

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To help me on my road to literary enlightenment I started thinking about my favourite books of all time and what classic would be the best suit me… Well, one of my favourite books EVER is Pride and Prejudice I have read that book so many times I feel like that girl from Lost in Austen (A good TV show, worth a binge-watch) So I was thinking why not start with Austen and go from there?

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Luckily for me and very helpful for this challenge a few Christmas’ ago I was bought a lovely bind up of all the Jane Austen novels. So between now and the end of the year and dare I say it is only five months away I am going to be reading and reviewing all of Jane Austen’s works including a re-read and review of Pride and Prejudice (it’s been a while!)

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Anyone who wants to get involved feel free to do so I am starting with Sense and Sensibility  and will be reading and discussing it this August.

Hope you enjoyed today’s update,

Happy reading everyone!

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WWW Wednesday 3/8/16

Hi guys it’s Wednesday and you know what that means… it’s  WWW Wednesday, this meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and was revived by Taking on a World of Words.

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All you have to do is answer the three questions below and then post the link to your post in the comments of Taking on a World of Words,  so let’s get started!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading

bodies of water

I heard about Bodies of Water over on Booktube and it seemed like the kind of book I was in the mood for, I have been looking for gothic, creepy reads for a while now and haven’t been able to find anything that fit the bill until Bodies of Water. It’s only 130 pages long and so far I am about 50 pages in but so far it’s pretty gripping.

It’s following two female characters who are both living in the same building one in Victorian London and one in the present day. The building where our present day character Kirsten lives is on the River Thames and was formally a hydro- therapy centre in Victorian London. So far the book seems to follow the creepy presence that is the water and the building Waterwake House provides and both characters are both repelled and drawn to it I am really excited to see where this goes.

What did you recently finish reading?

voyager

I  recently finished reading Voyager by Diana Gabaldon, this is the third instalment in the Outlander series. I have a full review coming soon so I don’t want to go into to much detail just that I really enjoy this series and always look forward to Jamie and Clarie’s next adventure!

What do you think you’ll read next?

This is a tough one because I’m not actually sure what I will be reading next, I am really in the mood to read a gothic romance so any recommendations welcome! I have been meaning to read Named The Dragon by Susana Kearsley  for ages I also might read The Golam and The Djinni or The Longest Ride by Nickolas Sparks.

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I hope you enjoyed this weeks WWW Wednesday, happy reading everyone!

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The Ruler of Books Tag!

Hi guys, so I spotted this tag on Booktube and I thought it looked really fun, the idea is if you are the ruler of books and your own bookish kingdom what would you do? Here are the questions so let’s get started shall we?

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What book would you make everybody read?

I would make everyone read On The Island by Tracey Garvis Graves, what starts out as an awkward teacher, student romance turns into something totally tear worthy and unexpected. A really brilliant story and I would recommend this book to everyone, a perfect beach read!

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What would you abolish in book construction?

Big books are hard enough to read as it is, but big mass market paperbacks can be a right pain, the font is small and you can’t open the book fully without breaking the spine. No thanks, floppy or hardback for me all the way!

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What author would you pick to write you any book?

I love Cassandra Clare, she rights great characters, and plots that are so addictive whenever I get my hands on a new Cassandra Clare book I just can’t stop reading!

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What book would you demote to the library basement?

It has to be Hurt by  Tabitha Suzuma I read this book a few years ago and was really excited to read it as I had only heard great things and kept hearing people talk about this amazing plot twist that I just wouldn’t guess. Well, guess what I guessed it and, really early on in the book too. That really spoilt the reading experience for me, in my opinion, twists should be unguessable that’s the whole point.

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What cover artist would you commission to make you a mural?

I love the covers of the Splintered books by A.G Howard (a really great modern Alice in Wonderland retelling). The covers for the Splintered series are amazing each depicting a main character in the series, they are all created by artist Nathalia Sullen.

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What characters face would you put on the coin of your new kingdom?

It would have to be Tyrion Lannister because let’s face it he’s pretty badass and I’d want someone badass on my money!

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What book would you award the ruler of books for 2016?

Difficult, because 2016 is not over but so far my book/s of the year have to be Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare, closely followed by The Girls by Emma Cline but like I said 2016 isn’t over yet!

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My Tags!

Kourtni Reads

Happily Ever Bookish

Quillable

Read Dream Live

Book Addicted Reader

Arctic Books

Literary Dust

Thanks for checking out The Ruler of Books Tag, happy reading everyone!

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WWW Wednesday 27/7/16

Hi guys! Welcome to another WWW Wednesday, this meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and was revived by Taking on a World of Words. All you have to do is answer the three questions below and then post the link to your post in the comments of Taking on a World of Words,  so let’s get started!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading

voyager

I am currently reading Voyager by Diana Gabaldon at nearly 900 pages Voyager is a beast of a book and quite a commitment but so worth it! It’s the third book in the Outlander series and I am just over half way now, with its mix of time travel, romance and hard-hitting drama this series really knows how to pull the dramatic punches. I love the tv series and although these books are mighty they are addictive.

letters to the men I have loved

I am also reading the poetry collection Letters to the Men I have Loved by Michelle Castro Marmol this beautiful collection of poems and letters is from the author to the men in her life past and present. From ex-boyfriends to her Grandfather this collection has had me in tears, I’m still reading it as I like to take my time with poetry but I would definitely recommend it to everyone as it’s an easy read and very relatable.

What did you recently finish reading?

Runes

I have just finished Runes by Ednah Walters a fun paranormal romance which reminded me a lot of Twilight crossed with The Mortal Instruments. Come and check out my full review here.

What do you think you’ll read next?

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Bodies of Water by V.H Leslie I’ve been looking for something creepy but not scary and Bodies of Water seems to fit the bill perfectly, I’ve also seen some good recs which just made me want to pick this up all the more.

After ministering to fallen women in Victorian London, Evelyn has suffered a nervous breakdown and finds herself treated by the Water Doctors in the imposing Wakewater House, a hydropathy sanatorium. Years later, Wakewater House is renovated into modern apartments and Kirsten moves in, fresh from a break-up and eager for the restorative calm of the Thames. But her archivist neighbour, Manon, fills her head with the river’s murky past and with those men of science and art who were obsessed with the drowned women who were washed up on its banks. As Kirsten learns more about Wakewater’s secrets, she becomes haunted by a solitary figure in the river and increasingly desperate to understand what the water wants from her.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my WWW Wednesday, I’ll see you next time!

Happy reading everyone!

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