What She Left by T.R Richmond (Out next week!)

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Title: What She Left
Author: T.R Richmond
Series: N/A
Edition: Advanced Review Copy, 380 pages
Publication Details: April 23rd 2015 by Michael Joseph
Genre(s): Crime; Thriller
Disclosure? Yep! I received a copy in exchange for an HONEST review.

Goodreads // Purchase

Gone doesn’t mean forgotten.

When Alice Salmon died last year, the ripples were felt in the news, on the internet, and in the hearts of those who knew her best.

But the person who knows her most intimately isn’t family or a friend. Dr Jeremy Cook is an academic whose life has become about piecing together Alice’s existence in all its flawed and truthful reality.

For Cooke, faithfully recreating Alice’s life – through her diaries, emails and anything using her voice – is all-consuming. He does not know how deep his search will take him, or the shocking nature of what he will uncover…

Review

I was really looking forward to a gritty crime thriller after a string of YA reads, and I thought What She Left would be just the thing, but unfortunately it didn’t quite live up my expectations.

Alice Salmon was a good-time girl who liked to party a little too hard. When she’s found dead in the river, no one is quite sure what to believe; suicide, a tragic accident, or something more sinister altogether. What She Left pieces together Alice’s life and repercussions of her death on those that knew her.

The premise of this book is great, and I can see what the author was attempting, but it really didn’t work for me, and I put it all down to the format. We only discover what has happened to Alice through her digital and recorded footprint; her facebook posts, her tweets, email conversations, blog and diary entries, letters, and newspaper articles.

The idea is that Professor Cooke, of whom we’re not quite sure of his true intentions or of his relationship with Alice, is collating all of this information as some kind of experimental research – can we really know someone solely from what she left behind?

It’s an interesting hypothesis, and I was really determined to get to the end and find out what did happen to Alice, but let me tell you, it was such a chore. Using such a huge range of formats made What She Left feel very disjointed to me, and so much of it I just wanted to skip.

Also, I felt like all the letters were completely unbelievable. They made no sense, as the actual content of them seemed like nothing anyone would write to someone else. They tended to rehash whole conversations, and jump from one event to the next telling only half the story of each. It was so frustrating.

I thought the format got in the way of me getting to know the characters too, which considering that the idea was for Alice’s digital footprint to tell us who she was, was quite ironic. Her diary entries told me very little of her actual personality and essence, which made it hard for me to care what had happened to her. But saying that, I did keep on reading, so I guess the author was successful in that respect.

I didn’t hate this book, I just wish the format had worked better. Maybe it’s just not for me, as I’ve seen some good reviews of it already. If you like the idea of a story told through various mediums, then you should give it a go.

unicorn rating 2

The hardback is available to pre-order from Waterstones now.

This Week In Books 01.04.15

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Welcome to my new Wednesday post, where I sum-up what I’ve been up to in bookland the past week.

Woah, last week flew by, and it’s April! When did that happen!? Once again I didn’t get much reading done this week, but I now have two weeks off between jobs so that should all change. Whoop!

Anyway, here’s what I did get up to this past week…

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Now: Hold Me Closer ~ David Levithan.

Tiny Cooper ❤ 'nuff said.

I’m also reading a sample of Frostfire by Amanda Hocking as I have an advanced copy of book two from Netgalley. I’m intrigued, so I guess I’ll have to buy the whole book. Damn.

Then: What She Left ~ T.R Richmond.

I didn’t get on with the format of this book, but it wasn’t all bad. My review will be up next week sometime.

My review of Rebel Belle went up this week though.

Next: ???

I still have Heir of Fire and Blood Red, Snow White at the top of TBR pile, but who knows!

New on the Wishlist

Linking up with Friday Finds hosted by A Daily Rhythm

There was only one book that I seriously added to my wishlist this week (one too many!), and it’s all Cleo’s fault. I saw The Ladies of the House on her Stacking the Shelves post and it sounds like a great read. It was released last week.

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On a sweltering July day, three people are found dead in a dilapidated house in London’s elegant Primrose Hill. Reading the story in a newspaper as she prepares to leave the country, Marie Gillies has an unshakeable feeling that she is somehow to blame.

How did these three people come to live together, and how did they all die at once? The truth lies in a very different England, in the double life of Marie’s father Arthur, and in the secret world of the ladies of the house . . .

Stylish, enchanting and deliciously atmospheric, this is a tragicomic novel about hidden love, second chances and unlikely companionships, told with wit, verve and lingering power.

New on the Shelf

(Linking up with Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga’s Reviews) and Friday Finds hosted by A Daily Rhythm.

Purchased: I wasn’t supposed to buy any books this week, but I made the mistake of going in to a charity shop. I didn’t do too bad though. All I bought was There is no Dog by Meg Rosoff, and three old Dicken’s books to clean up and sell in my etsy store.

thereisnodogMeet your unforgettable protagonist: God, who, as it turns out, is a 19-year-old boy living in the present-day and sharing an apartment with his long-suffering fifty-something personal assistant. Unfortunately for the planet, God is lazy and, frankly, hopeless. He created all of the world’s species in six days because he couldn’t summon the energy to work for longer. He gets Africa and America mixed up. And his beleagured assistant has his work cut out for him when God creates a near-apolcalyptic flood, having fallen asleep without turning the bath off. There is No Dog is a darkly funny novel from one of our most delightfully unpredictable writers.

Review Requests: I’m not supposed to be taking on any more requests at the moment either, but I was sold on this one.

thiscrumblingEngland, 1809. As fashionable Society streams toward London for the start of a new social season, they are unaware of a hidden magical England existing alongside. The Magi cathedrals are temples to the old gods. Reigning on their throne is not poor mad George, but the ailing King Pellinore of the House of Pendragon. But their wars are no less deadly.

The Furys are known for their extraordinary music, their powerful magic, and their historic role as kingmakers. But the Furys have their secrets as well, none so dangerous as the daughter whose Shadow magic spills from her, unchecked. Unless her powers are concealed, she’s not only ruined in Society, but marked as a target for those who would use and abuse her magic.

Persephone Fury is the Dark daughter, the one they hide.

But desperate times call for desperate measures, and a good marriage for this frightening daughter is desperately needed. On the night of her debut, her world comes crumbling down around her when she is abducted from the man she loves by the man she most loathes.

Evil powers circle, calling her to the destiny foretold at the moment of her birth, drawing her to the source of her power, to the one place she can finally be free.

Netgalley: I didn’t request any advanced copies this week (pat on the back)!

Borrowed: I didn’t borrow any books this week either.

I’m Waiting on…

(Linking up with Breaking the Spine)

5 to 1 ~ Holly Bodger
This week I’m waiting on 5 to 1. I was struck by the cover first of all, and then the synopsis – wow! High hopes for this one.
5to1
In the year 2054, after decades of gender selection, India now has a ratio of five boys for every girl, making women an incredibly valuable commodity. Tired of marrying off their daughters to the highest bidder and determined to finally make marriage fair, the women who form the country of Koyanagar have instituted a series of tests so that every boy has the chance to win a wife.

Sudasa, though, doesn’t want to be a wife, and Kiran, a boy forced to compete in the test to become her husband, has other plans as well. As the tests advance, Sudasa and Kiran thwart each other at every turn until they slowly realize that they just might want the same thing.

This beautiful, unique novel is told from alternating points of view-Sudasa’s in verse and Kiran’s in prose-allowing readers to experience both characters’ pain and their brave struggle for hope.
Expected publication: May 12th 2015 by Knopf Books for Young Readers

So, that’s my week in books, now how about yours?

If you still do a similar WWW post (or just want to join in, leave your link/answers in the comments, OR why not tweet using #ThisWeekInBooks, and I’ll come and visit!

This Week In Books 25.03.2015

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Welcome to my new Wednesday post, where I sum-up what I’ve been up to in bookland the past week.

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Now: What She Left ~ T.R Richmond.

I’ve only just opened this, so nothing to report yet but looking forward to it.

Then: Rebel Belle ~ Rachel Hawkins

I really enjoyed this quick, quirky read. My review will be up next week.

Next: ???

Maybe Heir of Fire or Hold me Closer. Or Blood Red, Snow White. Ahh so many!

New on the Wishlist

I’m still working my way through Mead’s Vampire Academy series, but when I saw this on the excellent Obsessive Bookseller’s blog I had to add it to my wishlist.

soundless
For as long as Fei can remember, there has been no sound in her village, where rocky terrain and frequent avalanches prevent residents from self-sustaining. Fei and her people are at the mercy of a zipline that carries food up the treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom.

When villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zipline shrink and many go hungry. Fei’s home, the people she loves, and her entire existence is plunged into crisis, under threat of darkness and starvation.

But soon Fei is awoken in the night by a searing noise, and sound becomes her weapon.

New on the Shelf

(Linking up with Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga’s Reviews)

Purchased: So my book-buying ban took a hit last week when I randomly found a The Works shop on my travels. They had some books for £1 and also a 3 for £5 offer. It was rude not to, right!?

Here’s my haul:

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Netgalley: I didn’t request any advanced copies this week (pat on the back)!

Borrowed: I didn’t borrow any books this week either.

I’m Waiting on…

(Linking up with Breaking the Spine)

Miss Mayhem (Rebel Belle #2) ~ Rachel Hawkins
I’m really waiting on this one after just finishing the first book. It was a blast!
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Life is almost back to normal for Harper Price. The Ephors have been silent after their deadly attack at Cotillion months ago, and best friend Bee has returned after a mysterious disappearance. Now Harper can return her focus to the important things in life: school, canoodling with David, her nemesis-turned-ward-slash-boyfie, and even competing in the Miss Pine Grove pageant.

Unfortunately, supernatural chores are never done. The Ephors have decided they’d rather train David than kill him. The catch: Harper has to come along for the ride, but she can’t stay David’s Paladin unless she undergoes an ancient trial that will either kill her . . . or connect her to David for life. Expected publication: April 7th 2015

So, that’s my week in books, now how about yours?

If you still do a similar WWW post (or just want to join in, leave your link/answers in the comments, OR why not tweet using #ThisWeekInBooks, and I’ll come and visit!