Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Book Review: Angel's Share by Kayte Nunn




I was recently given the opportunity to read Angel's Share, and I thought that this was a delightful story with a cast of great characters.
It begins with Matilda 'Mattie' Cameron, who is in her early thirties, and is enjoying a successful life in London.
She headed there from Australia in her late teens to pursue a career, and hasn't seen her parents or her brother Mark in years.
She now has a handsome beau, a great group of girlfriends, and a job at an advertising agency that is impressive yet highly demanding. 
So when her boyfriend Johnny organises a skiing trip to Switzerland for ten days with Mattie and a couple of friends, she can't wait. 
But a horrific skiing accident leaves Mattie with terrible injuries, and she loses not only her job, but Johnny as a result.
At a loss for what to do, she comes to the decision to head back to Australia to allow herself time to heal.
Mark offers her a place to stay at his winery, located in the quaint town of Shingle Valley.
Mattie is welcomed into the home by Mark, and his partner Rose, along with his two young children from a previous relationship.
Mark is a kind and caring brother to Mattie, but he is concerned with issues relating to the future of Shingle Valley, and is away for extended periods of time.
Rose steps in to care for Mattie, and the two quickly become firm friends. Rose is a generous and compassionate woman, and makes Mattie feel right at home.
But as Mattie begins to recuperate from her injuries, she is faced with the decision of where her future lies, particularly when she meets winemaker Charlie Drummond, and develops feelings for him. 
Should she head back to London and give things another shot, or should she make a life for herself in Shingle Valley? 

Angel's Share is a really pleasant book that I breezed through in a couple of days. As mentioned earlier, I enjoyed the vast range of characters, however, Rose was definitely my favourite. She made Mattie feel right at home, and put the needs of others before her own in many situations. All whilst trying to run her restaurant, Trevelyn's Pantry, and taking on the role of step-mum to Mark's children. Her generosity towards others was something to be admired.
I was pleased to discover that the characters have been featured in Kayte Nunn's earlier novel, Rose's Vintage, which I plan to read in the near future. 
If you're after a easy-to-read, highly-enjoyable book, then be sure to check out Angel's Share. 

You can even win a copy in my latest giveaway! Just head here to enter! 

Disclaimer: I was given a copy of Angel's Share thanks to Beauty & Lace and Nero Books. I was not paid for this review. All opinions are my own and are not influenced in any way. 

Monday, 29 May 2017

Book Review - Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig 






Once every so often, I read a book that is so special and so amazing that I am left in awe of the author's work, wondering how such a story was created.
That book becomes a memory that I will look back on and think of with a smile on my face, in the coming days, months, and even years. 
Ginny Moon is the latest book to have that effect on me.
I adored this book from the first page.
Ginny Moon is a girl who has been in the care of her foster parents, Brian and Maura Moon (or as she calls them, her Forever Parents), for about 2 years.
We meet her just as she approaches her 14th birthday.
Ginny has autism and learning difficulties, and she was taken from her birth mother Gloria when she was 9 years old.
Gloria was deemed to be an unfit mother as she was a drug user and very often, abusive and neglectful. 
This is the third home that Ginny has been welcomed into since being taken away from Gloria, and here, in what is known as the Blue House, she is safe and protected by her foster parents who adore her.
Ginny is going to be a big sister soon, but she misses her 'baby doll' that she used to care for when she lived with Gloria. 
Nobody takes her claims seriously enough, as no doll was found when she was picked up by Social Services, but Ginny is adamant that a baby doll was with her in Gloria's home. 
It has been over 4 years of Ginny not knowing what happened to it, and given Gloria's sordid past, Ginny is forbidden to contact her.
However, she keeps thinking of her 'baby doll', and needs to find out if it is safe.
With the help of a school friend, Ginny manages to track down Gloria and contact her to ask for it back.
But once she does, the repercussions are damaging and dangerous..
And once Ginny's baby sister Wendy is born, there is even more friction bought into the family. Her foster parents struggle with juggling a newborn, whilst being as accommodating to Ginny as they can, even though her recent actions are making them reconsider all of theirs. 
Ginny can't seem to find anyone that is willing to help her uncover the truth, and in contacting her birth mother again, she simply doesn't realise the harm that it's bound to cause...

This book had me hooked from the start. I couldn't put it down, and my mind kept reverting to it when I wasn't reading it. I finished it within 2 days as I needed to know how things turned out for Ginny. The story is told from her point of view in her very unique voice which wholly captivated me. She is at times as fragile as an eggshell, but is also very determined and will go to great lengths to get what she wants. I was on her side for the entire duration of the story. 
Reading the author's notes and discovering that he himself is a foster parent just added to my over all love for the novel.
This is one of my favourite books that I have read this year, and I will definitely delve back into Ginny's world again soon. It is a book that you will long remember after the final page is read. 


*Linking up this week for #LifeThisWeek by http://www.denysewhelan.com.au/ 

Also, there's still time to enter my 1 year blogiversary giveaway here


Thursday, 25 May 2017

Children's Book Review - Through The Gate by Sally Fawcett




I know firsthand that children can often find changes in their difficult, and books like Through The Gate can really help them become more resilient and accepting of those changes.
This beautiful hard-covered picture book tells the story of a young girl who has shifted into a new house in a new neighbourhood, and who is finding it difficult to adjust.
In the first few pages of the story, we see the girl viewing her surroundings in an unhappy way, but each time the girl goes 'through the gate' of her new home, she slowly begins to discover that change can definitely be a good thing, and she becomes more accepting of her new way of life.
One of my favourite things about this story is the illustrations. I love how Sally Fawcett has used colour to reflect the feelings and perceptions of the young girl. For example, in the first few pages of the story, when the girl is still trying to adjust to the new home, the illustrations are mainly black and white, the home is run down, and the reader can see by her facial expressions that the girl is rather sad. 
But as we progress through the story and observe the girl getting used to her new experiences, the drawings are bought to life with bright hues, the house is transformed into a loving family home, and the girl finds beauty all around her and begins to find happiness.
There is also a spot the difference element within the illustrations, which is great for encouraging interaction between the reader and the child. 
This book is targeted to younger readers in the 4-8 years age group. If you have a child that is going through changes, whether it be preparing to begin school, gaining a sibling, or moving home, then this book would be ideal for them. 
Through The Gate retails for $24.99, and has been released earlier this month through Exisle Publishing. 
It is available to purchase here, or wherever good books are sold. 

Tuesday, 23 May 2017


Children's Book Review: To The Lighthouse by Cristy Burne






After finally convincing his mum to take a week-long trip to Rottnest Island, Isaac can't wait to begin his a magical holiday.
Isaac's mum is a bit of a worry wort and prefers to keep Isaac safe and within her sights at all times, but when Isaac meets a young girl named Emmy, his life gets more exciting by the minute!
Emmy is quite the daredevil with a carefree attitude, and it isn't long before she encourages Isaac to step out of his comfort zone, leading him to make some risky decisions.

When they head out on a late-night adventure, things don't go as planned, and Isaac realises that his new-found freedom may not be as exhilarating as he first thought! 


To The Lighthouse a fantastic junior fiction novel, suitable for young readers aged 6-10 years old.


To The Lighthouse is published by Fremantle Press, RRP $14.99. For further information, head here 

Saturday, 20 May 2017

My One Year Blogiversary & A Fabulous Giveaway!!!

I can't believe that it has been a whole year since I first started my blog! 
I created my blog as a means of being able to discuss books with my followers, as well as have them share their opinions with me. I have always been passionate about reading, and could literally talk about books all day. 
I also wanted to help readers discover books and/or authors that they may have never heard of before, as well featuring those that are more well known.
It's been wonderful that I've been able to feature a vast range of books for both young and older readers. 
The support that I have received from authors, publishers, and my followers has been so lovely, and I really do appreciate all of those who take the time to comment, like, read or follow my posts and reviews. 

As a way to show my appreciation to you all, I have put together a giveaway where you have the opportunity to win one of three books. And not just any books. I've been fortunate enough to read all three of them recently, and I think that they are three of the greatest books I've read so far this year. 

The books are:



Angel's Share by Kayte Nunn





Talk Of The Town by Rachael Johns 





and a signed copy of Her Mother's Secret by Natasha Lester


You can read my full review for Her Mother's Secret here
I will also be sharing reviews for Talk Of The Town and Angel's Share in the near future, so be sure to keep an eye out for those!

Now, for the giveaway!

If you'd like to enter for your chance to win one of the three titles mentioned above, you need to: 


Be a follower of my blog (either by liking my Facebook page/twitter/Instagram, or following via email or bloglovin' - I don't mind which one you opt for but you must do at least one please), and

Answer in the comments section below:

Where is your favourite place to read, and why? 

Three separate winners will be selected - the most creative/original answers will win, so get entering, and please include your email with your answer so I can contact you if you're one of the lucky winners!**



A big thank you to the authors for agreeing to be involved with this giveaway.
You can find out more about each of them, including where to buy their books, here:
http://kaytenunn.com/

http://www.rachaeljohns.com/

http://www.natashalester.com.au/


Terms & Conditions:

1. This giveaway is open to residents of Australia only. 
2. Giveaway closes on 3rd June 2017, 9 pm. Winner/s will be contacted via email within 24 hours. Failure to receive a response from the winner/s will mean the prize is forfeited and a new winner/s  will be chosen.
3. Winner will be selected on a basis of skill, not chance - the most creative and/or interesting answer deemed by the judge/s wins. 
4. The prize is not redeemable for cash.
5. In  The Good Books blog will not be responsible for items that go missing through Australia Post postal services.
6. This promotion is not associated or endorsed by Facebook.
7. Those who 'unlike' or 'unfollow' after the giveaway ends will be disqualified from entering future giveaways.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Book Review: The Orphan's Tale by Pam Jenoff




Set during the harrowing times of World War II, The Orphan's Tale tells the story of two women bought together in the direst of circumstances.
There's Noa, a young woman who is disowned by her family after falling pregnant to a German soldier at just 16 years old. Once she gives birth, her baby is taken away from her, so Noa works at a train station in exchange for food and a place to sleep.
And then we have Ingrid, a Jewish woman who comes from a circus family. Now divorced to a German SS soldier,  she is left alone after their separation and returns home to find her family, but they are nowhere to be found. At a loss as to what to do, she visits Herr Nuehoff, owner of another circus, who offers her work as an aerialist with his company. She has no money, so accepts his proposition.
She changes her name to Astrid Sorello to protect her Jewish heritage, and to avoid being discovered by the Nazi's.

One day, Noa discovers a boxcar filled with abandoned infants and young children at the train station where she works. 
Reminded of the loss of her own baby not long ago, she makes the decision to take one of the babies into her care, and runs away with him into the forest. 
But without food and shelter, she doesn't make it far. 
She is rescued by a man named Pete, who works at the circus where Astrid works.  In fact, he is Astrid's new lover.
Astrid and Noa meet for the first time, and once Noa recovers, she and the baby are provided a place to stay. Noa is offered a job as an aerialist, and Astrid is to be her teacher. 
Together over time,  the two women form a relationship that offers hope when there is so little happiness, and a strong sisterly bond that each of them come to depend on during their darkest times.

I enjoyed reading The Orphan's Tale. The author has researched the history well, and it is evident in the story. I felt that she portrayed the circus life effectively. 
I'm not sure why, but I did feel as though I didn't get to know the characters well enough, and thus didn't feel overly drawn to either of the female characters as much as I wanted to. 
Having said that, it is still a beautiful novel that tugs at the heartstrings so it definitely gets points for that. 

Linking up for Life This Week, hosted by http://www.denysewhelan.com.au/

Disclaimer: I was given an ARC of The Orphan's Tale in exchange for an honest review through Netgalley. I have not been paid for this review. All opinions are my own and not influenced in any way.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Book Review: He Said/She Said - Erin Kelly 



He Said/She Said is a gripping psychological thriller that I enjoyed immensely. In fact, I'd go so far to say that it is one of the best thrillers I've read this year!
The story reverts back and forth between timelines from 1999 to 2015.
In 1995, Kit is a lifelong lover of eclipses, and wants to witness as many as possible. He's been an eclipse chaser since his childhood. He is currently dating a woman named Laura. Along with his twin brother Mac and his partner Ling (who happens to be Laura's best friend), they attend a music festival in Cornwall to see an eclipse. 
It is at this festival that Laura witnesses what she believes to be a woman being raped. Kit is close by but doesn't see the incident taking place, however, he attempts to go after the attacker once he finds out what has occured. 
The victim is a young woman named is Elizabeth (Beth) Taylor. Her attacker is Jamie Balcombe. 
Both Kit and Laura make statements to the police and are later called to trial. 
Jamie claims that it was all consensual and that Laura has got it all wrong, but Beth claims that she was, in fact, raped. 
So who is telling the truth?

In 2015, Laura and Kit are married, she is pregnant with twins and Kit is going on a cruise to witness another eclipse.  
We discover that the impact of the court case still effects all four characters in different ways. I don't want to spoil it for others, but there are a lot of secrets, lies, and betrayals that I didn't see coming.

To say I was hooked on this story would be an understatement. I initially found it a little hard to get into, mainly due to the differing points of view and timeline changes, but it didn't take me long to get my head around it all and become completely engrossed. I really enjoyed how the story unraveled itself slowly; the benefit of the story going back in time is the insight we are given into Kit and Laura's relationship, and the in-depth idiosyncrasies each character has.
If you enjoy suspenseful novels, then this is sure to satisfy!

Have you read He Said/She Said yet? If so, I'd love to hear your thoughts on it!

Friday, 5 May 2017


Children's Book Review 
I Can Only Draw Worms by Will Mabbitt




This funny picture book is ideal for young children; I would say that 4-7 year olds would be a good guide, although older readers would enjoy it too - I certainly was entertained by it.
It involves counting up to ten, so it has that element of being educational, which is always a bonus with children's books.
I was most surprised that although there isn't much text within its 32 pages, the story itself is quite funny and silly, particularly for those that can't draw well (myself included!) 
The illustrations are of worms (brightly-hued pink ones), and the pages are also lovely and bright. 
It has an RRP of $14.99 and was released on the 18th April through Penguin Random House Australia.

Don't forget that there's still time to enter my Mother's Day Giveaway here

Monday, 1 May 2017


Recent releases from Penguin Random House Australia


We're All Wonders by R.J Palacio


Some of you may be familiar with R.J Palacio's bestselling book, Wonder, released in 2012, which tells the story of a young boy named Auggie who looks different to others, but is just a normal kid and wants to be accepted as one.

R.J is back with this fantastic picture book aimed at younger readers, titled We're All Wonders, and it features the delightful Auggie once again.
Following along the similar path of Wonder, the story encourages kindness and acceptance. The illustrations allow the reader to delve into Auggie's world and become a part of his journey.
Another fantastic positive aspect of this book is that it is a great conversation starter. 
This book is sure to resonate with many young children, and older readers alike. Children will learn about empathy and compassion.

We're All Wonders has been recently released and has an RRP of $16.99
For further information, check out https://penguin.com.au/books/were-all-wonders-9780141386416 

Wolfie by Deborah Abela



Deborah Abela is a great children's author, and I really admire her work. 
With her latest  picture book, Wolfie, we discover the story of a wolf who is sick and tired of wolves always getting a bad reputation in fairy tales, particularly because he is nothing like them at all. 
Wolfie doesn't want to dress up as anyone's grandma, or blow down any houses. He just wants to rescue a princess. But will his wish come true?
This hard-covered book is sweet and funny too! Illustrator Connah Brecon brings the antics of Wolfie to life exceptionally well. 
It is a great picture book that young readers will enjoy. 
It is due for release today, 1st May, and has an RRP of $24.99 
For further info, head here: https://penguin.com.au/books/wolfie-9780143781509


Charlotte And The Rock by Stephen W. Martin 






Charlotte wants a pet for her sixth birthday. She doesn't mind which sort of pet.
But when her parents surprise her with a pet rock, Charlotte quite doesn't know if she is that pleased at being a pet owner.
However, Charlotte remains positive, and in time, she learns to adapt to having a rock for a pet. The only thing she wishes is that it could love her back..
This hard-covered picture book has a surprise ending that is very sweet. I won't spoil it for others, but it does take an unexpected turn!
Charlotte And The Rock has recently been released, and has an RRP of $19.99
For further information, see https://penguin.com.au/books/charlotte-and-the-rock-9780143785309


Little Paws: Welcome Home Harley by Jess Black (Book One in a series) 



This chapter book for primary school readers is the first in a series about adorable puppies who train to become Guide Dogs, and the families that help to train them.
In Welcome Home Harley, siblings Lexie and Tom are super-excited to meet their 8-week-old puppy Harley. With the help of their Puppy Raising Officer, they teach Harley some basic skills to help prove that he is the perfect candidate for the role of being a Guide Dog. 
I think that this series is fantastic for raising awareness about Guide Dogs Australia. 
Welcome Home Harley was released in April and has an RRP of $9.99
For further info, head to https://penguin.com.au/books/little-paws-1-welcome-home-harley-9780143781776


**Don't forget to enter my Mother's Day giveaway here**