Tag Archives: Novel

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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Wattpad from the POV of someone who has recently joined the site

As a trained journalist, budding blogger and constant writer of fiction (that’s home is my laptop) I thought it was about time I did something with my writing.

I have had a few poems and short stories published but novels are a completely different animal. Initially  there was something quite worrying  or sad about publishing your work online especially as someone who has aspirations of publishing something conventionally at some point in the future it almost felt like letting go of something that I couldn’t get back.

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I had heard of Wattpad and have a few friends who use it as readers not as writers and for a while had thought about giving it a go. But as writer  I had the initial feeling of finding it hard to let go of my work, didn’t I have plans (eventually) of trying for the route of traditional publishing?

Why do this? Why throw something I had worked so hard on away?

Because this will not be the only thing I will only thing I will ever write (its not I have another novel in progress) and because and I think this is my most valid reason, my eyes on are not enough (I’m starting to realise I’m not such a great editor).

Yes family and friends are one thing, but the ultimate honesty of Wattpad users, other actual writers has been invaluable to me. From comments and feed back I can see where I’m going wrong and where I am going right something which is impossible to do when editing your own work, so thanks Wattpad!!

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The downside to Wattpad for me is that it really is heavy on the Fan fiction, Young Adult/Teen Fiction and Romance genres which is great if you are writing in that genre although the pool of work you are competing against is huge.

My novel is a Historical fiction novel, at least that is the category it’s posted under on Wattpad. My story is set in both the present day and the years 1913-1918  so when categorising it for Wattpad it was a toss up between General Fiction and Historical Fiction in the end I went for Historical fiction as the category seemed to fit my story better.

Joining clubs and reading other users stories has been a useful tool because I have realised what you put into Wattpad you get back.
Wattpad has basically been my first set of Beta readers, the first eyes  on my story and so far I have really enjoyed being part of this community who have shown me that as a writer you are always learning and you always have more work to do on anything you write.

I am currently working on The Girl That Fell Out of The Ocean (Previously titled – A Story of Will)

Synopsis

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What if you had lived before?

For eighteen year old Lavinia Gregory everyday is like waking up from a dream, the older she gets the more she remembers.

She used to be shorter, with long, dark hair, not now, and it is not just the colour of her hair that has changed it is her entire life. 

Over the years the memories of her past life became less vague, less like shadows and colours and more like the thundering horses that always seem to be hammering across her chest. 

Lavinia had a family, a family she sacrificed everything for and now they are gone and she’s here, in a world of ghostly shadows and unfinished memories.

Lavinia must discover why she came back to this world and how she died in the first place. But most importantly what happened to him, Will, the one she loved above all the rest.

Thanks for reading and I hope your’ll come and check out The Girl Who Fell Out of The Ocean. The Girl Who Fell Out of The Ocean

I’ll be back soon with more bookish chat!

Happy reading (and writing) everyone!

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I’m officially on Watt Pad!

Hi guys,

Today I wanted to talk to about writing – I blog (obviously) and for as long as I can remember like so many people I have written stories, and poems but have always been shy about sharing them even with close friends and family.

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I heard about Watt Pad about a year ago and today finally bit the bullet and joined up I’m only on day 1 but so far it seems like it’s going to be a positive experience, a place where I can get comments, advice, and feedback in a safe like-minded space.

Are any of you on Watt Pad? What are you thoughts? Do you have any advice?

I am going to be talking about my writing journey and I hope you will join me!

Come and find me on Watt Pad and check out my first  (and on going novel) A Story of Will. 

Happy Reading (and Writing) Everyone!

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A New York Winter’s Tale – Review (Spoilers)

A New York Winter’s Tale or Winter’s tale is based on the bestselling and beloved novel by Mark Helprin it is the story of Peter Lake a thief and a wanted thief too boot. Wanted by his old boss Pearly (by reasons unknown) Peter and his flying horse yes you read correctly, break into house of a wealthy family believing that no body at home.

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Peter and Beverly

When he discovers  the daughter of the house Beverly Penn is still in the house, Peter and Beverly fall immediately in love over a good old fashion cup of tea and the rest is history… or not. Beverly has consumption and is going to die so their time together is limited and spent being chased by Pearly who is later revealed to be a servant of the devil.

A WINTER"S TALE

 

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Now it was at this point where I had a problem, suspend your belief I was told by people who had previously seen the film, and so I did, even when Peter’s horse for a reason which is never explained grew WINGS and took flight my belief remained suspended. Until we meet Lucifer and out walks, wait for it, Will Smith, I had to laugh, you’re telling me that the Fresh Prince, Hitch, is the Devil, I’m sorry but no, just no. I watched his face trying to be all mean and dark, all the while waiting for him to make a joke (He didn’t but he may as well of done, who made that casting choice what a joke!)

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Peter and Horse

Okay so Pearly, servant of Lucifer obviously his against true love, he must stop them  being together we get it but seriously… BLAH, BLAH, BLAH. Russell Crowe as Pearly has the worst Irish accent I have ever heard proper leprechaun chic. (Sorry Russell but I hear Noah is going to be good) The acting in this film on the whole was great and Colin Farrell and Jessica Brown Findlay as Beverly Penn and Peter Lake were very believable. Winter’s Tale is a big book and fantasy realism is hard to put to the screen because it isn’t one thing or the other sadly I heard this film was a long coming passion project which makes it even worse that it was such a flop.

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Russell Crowe as Pearly

But, without having read the book (which I will be reading this month) I would say the biggest problem with the story was world building (there wasn’t any!). There was to many unanswered questions to make the story believable. For example why is the horse really a dog? And why he can  fly is never really explained, the topic of guardian angels is briefly touched upon but there was never really enough substance.

I love the reincarnation side to the story but by this point in the film there had been already been so many bad points to achieve a decent ending for the story.

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Reincarnated 

A beloved novel that has been adapted poorly, fantasy realism is a hard genre to take on and I have read that many said that Winter’s tale could never be brought to the screen. I think perhaps they were right.