Author Archives: zobocopreviews

About zobocopreviews

My name is Zoe – or Zobocop as my adorable niece and nephew call me! You guys can call me either lol – I answer to both! I have a gorgeous little puppy called Arnie who keeps me, or at least is trying to, keep me fit! I currently live with my other half in not so sunny Sheffield! I’m 25 years old and I absolutely LOVE reading! It’s a passion of mine! You can’t beat a good old book, digital or physical! There’s nothing better when life is tough or you want to escape, than to turn the pages of a book and completely lose yourself in the story! I love most genres such as criminal thrillers, mystery and fantasy – but I do LOVE chick lit! Anyway, the aim of this blog is to keep you guys, and myself, up to date with what I am reading. This is currently just a hobby of mine but eventually I would love to review books seriously. So – any questions feel free to drop me a line! You can also follow me on Twitter @zobo_cop

The Shock of the Fall – Nathan Filer

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‘I’ll tell you what happened because it will be a good way to introduce my brother. His name is Simon. I think you’re going to like him. I really do. But in a couple of pages he’ll be dead. And he was never the same after that.’

The Shock of the Fall is the debut novel by Nathan Filer. It has won the Costa book award for best first book 2013 and that kinda tells you how brilliant this book is going to be!

The book is written from the view point of Matthew Homes, who after losing his brother Simon in a tragic accident, is diagnosed with schizophrenia. The story is set out and told in a series of flashbacks and incomplete fragments of memory coupled with occasional drawings and official letters.

I loved the fact that although Simon is killed off pretty early on in the book, the circumstances of his death are not apparent straight away and Nathan Filer has done an excellent job in teasing us with little snippets until **BOOM**, there it is!

There are some truly wonderful characters throughout the book and my favourite has to be Nanny Noo, she has her own secrets but is 100% supportive of Matt, popping round once a week to see how he’s getting on, cook and clean for him and smoking one of her illicit menthol cigarettes in the kitchen. She never lets Matt’s illness faze her, and their relationship is beautifully portrayed throughout.

Don’t worry the book isn’t all doom and gloom, there are some lovely laugh out loud moments despite the fact that it focuses on the spiral Matt faces into mental illness.

It’s hard to believe that this is the authors first novel and I for one cannot wait for his next one!

My rating:   – definitely not one to miss!!

The Shock of the Fall is available here

 

The Storyteller – Jodi Picoult

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the storyteller

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sage Singer is a baker, a loner, until she befriends an old man who’s particularly beloved in her community. Josef Weber is everyone’s favorite retired teacher and Little League coach. One day he asks Sage for a favor: to kill him. Shocked, Sage refuses—and then he confesses his darkest secret – he deserves to die because he had been a Nazi SS guard. And Sage’s grandmother is a Holocaust survivor. How do you react to evil living next door? Can someone who’s committed truly heinous acts ever atone with subsequent good behavior? Should you offer forgiveness to someone if you aren’t the party who was wronged? And, if Sage even considers the request, is it revenge…or justice?

Right from the first page this book grabbed me, sucked me in and held me captive until the very end! It truly was THAT good!

The book follows the two main characters, Sage Singer, and Josef Weber, with a cleverly interwoven story of Ania.

Sage doesn’t describe herself as a Jew, although she comes from a Jewish family. She doesn’t have things easy, her mother has passed away and she’s struggling with her confidence due to a recent accident, which left her scarred, both mentally and physically. Becoming a bit of a recluse, she avoids the outside world and submerges herself in her baking, working through the night and sleeping through the day, emerging only to see her married lover and to attend her Grief group, where she meets Josef.

Josef Weber is your typically friendly old neighbour. A retired teacher and Little League coach, what’s not to love about him? Except Josef has a little secret of his own, he was a Nazi SS guard and Sage’s grandmother is a Holocaust survivor.

The book is harrowingly, and yet beautifully written with the descriptions of the camps and the people making you almost feel as if you were there, staying with you long after the book has ended.

Jodi Picoult has never been one to shy away from taboo subjects and this book does not disappoint. It’s a story of survival and heroism, unimaginable evil and the search for redemption, but for who?

If you only read one book this year, make it this one!

My rating:   – definitely not one to miss!!

The Storyteller is available in both physical and digital copies  here

Picture Perfect

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The fabulous Lucie Simone has very kindly agreed to supply one copy of her brilliant ebook ‘Picture Perfect’ for my first competition on the blog!

For your chance to win simply leave a comment below and tell me why you think you deserve to win this ebook. The winner will be picked randomly and notified via email.

You must be a ‘follower’ of this blog to be eligible to win.

Please note, you will need to leave an email address with your comment in order that the winner can be contacted and notified.

The competition will close on Thursday 25th October 2012 and the winner will be announced on that date! Good luck!!

Lucie Simone

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Here on the blog today with have a question and answer session with the fabulous Lucie Simone.

Tell us about yourself

I’m a Chick Lit author, a girly girl, a yogi, a vegetarian, a bookworm, a film fan, and an animal lover. I live in Los Angeles with three (yes, three!) cats and I have a great fondness for New York City.

What inspired you to write Picture Perfect?

After completing my first novel, Hollywood Ending, about life in Hollywood for the not-so-rich-and-famous, in which the characters are all struggling to finally get that big break, I wanted to write about the other side of Hollywood and explore the worlds of those who have actually made it in showbiz. Having been in and around the entertainment industry for a long time, I have a bit of an insider’s view, and let me tell you, it isn’t all glitz and glamour. It’s a very stressful industry and everyone’s career is always at stake. Add in the gossip and backstabbing that is so prevalent in showbiz, and you’ve got a great premise for a Chick Lit Mystery!

Lauren is quite a sassy, fun individual. Are your characters based on anyone you know or real life situations you have encountered?

Lauren is a little bit like me (except I think I am a little less neurotic than she is and I’m nowhere near a size 6!). Alan, Lauren’s despicable soon-to-be-ex-husband is loosely based on a producer I once worked for (and I’m so glad I no longer do!). Justine is inspired by a very good friend of mine, a poet who lives in New York and introduced me to the best chocolate truffles on the planet. And a great guy I used to work with at a theater company served as the inspiration for Giles. The situations in the book are mostly straight out of my imagination, but some of the places Lauren goes are definitely based on my own experiences, such as Spago, the bowling alley where Jack’s mom works, the spa, and, yes, even the Timeless Television offices!

If you were stuck on a desert island, what would be the 3 things you would have to take with you that you couldn’t live without?

Number one would be my cats. I can’t imagine life without a cat. Yes, I’m a crazy cat lady. Number two would probably be sunscreen. I’m fair-skinned and would burn to a crisp the first day. Number three, I think, would have to be my Kindle. Hopefully, the battery won’t die before I’m rescued!

Finally, what was the last book you read?

I recently finished Spin by Catherine McKenzie. I highly recommend it! Right now, I’m reading Overseas by Beatriz Williams. I’ve only just started it, but I can tell it’s going to be a winner. I also met Beatriz at a book signing in July and she is absolutely wonderful!

Lucie has kindly agreed to supply one copy of Picture Perfect to one lucky winner over on the competition page. Why not head over and check it out?

 

Witch Hunt – Syd Moore

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A chilling, haunting ghost story that delves into the dark past of the 16th century Essex witch trials.

Sadie Asquith has been fascinated by the dark past of Essex’s witch hunts for as long as she can remember. And for good reason: between 1560 and 1680, over 500 women were tried for witchcraft in the county of Essex. But as she researches a book on the subject, Sadie experiences strange, ghostly visions. She hears noises at night, a sobbing sound that follows her, and black moths appear from nowhere. It’s as if, by digging up the truth about the witch hunts, she has opened an unearthly connection to the women treated so cruelly and killed centuries before.

And something else in the modern world is after her too: Sadie is sure she’s being followed, her flat is burgled and she finds clues that reveal her own past isn’t all that she believed. Can she find peace for the witches of Essex’s history and can she find a safe path for herself?

Sadie Asquith is a freelance journalist who decides she is going to write a book about the Essex Witch Hunts, in which 500 women were tried and many of whom lost their lives.

Throughout the book we learn the appalling ways in which women were treated by power hungry men who lorded it over young girls, exploiting them in the most horrific ways in order to get them to confess to witchcraft, sometimes against themselves and in some cases against their loved ones. Once they had confessed to this ‘crime’, they were either hung in front of a heckling crowd, or ‘swum’.

Sadie’s research brings some shocking details to light and she knows that she’s on to something highly explosive! Will Sadie live to tell the tale?

This book had me hooked from the very beginning, so much so I was unable to put it down and finished it in just over 2 days! I loved how the characters literally came to life throughout the book. Any horror fans out there will LOVE this book!

Love ghost stories? Then this is definitely the book for you! The PERFECT Halloween read.

Witch Hunt is available here and a bargain at only 99p for the Kindle edition!

My rating:  

All She Wants – Jonathan Harvey

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There are some things in life you can always rely on. Living in the shadow of your ‘perfect’ brother Joey, getting the flu over Christmas, and your Mother showing you up in the supermarket. Then there are some things you really don’t count on happening: a good dose of fame, getting completely trashed at an awards ceremony, and catching your fella doing something unmentionable on your wedding day. This is my story, it’s dead tragic. You have been warned… Jodie Xx

All She Wants is the first book I have read by Jonathan Harvey and I have to tell you I was not disappointed! This book is literally filled with laugh out loud moments so beware of people giving you strange looks if reading this in public!!

The book follows the life of the main character Jodie McGee, a normal girl from a ‘normal’ family. When her mother takes her and her brother on a ‘trip’ during the school holidays, to camp outside the studios where Acacia Avenue is filmed Jodie is far from pleased, after all the studios are a mere bus ride away and whilst her class mates go on holiday her mother takes her there! However when she is met at the gates by a famous actress in Acacia Avenue, she is hooked and soon declares that when she grows up she will join the cast of Acacia Avenue.

In the meantime life doesn’t exactly go as planned for Jodie. She meets the love of her life at school and they go on to get married, but all is not well and I was literally shocked at the following events that took place!

There are many twists and turns in Jodie’s life before her eventual rise to fame and some of the scenarios are quite cringey, but equally hilarious! I couldn’t help but feel for this character and I did feel myself really wanting things to finally go her way and for her to be happy.

This book was brilliantly written with comedy in all the right places. I have never laughed so much when reading a book!!

If you are looking for a book to cheer you up and totally lift your spirits then this is definitely the book for you!

My rating:  

All She wants is available both in digital and physical copies here

Picture Perfect – Lucie Simone

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For Lauren Tate, a high-powered TV producer, sex, lies, and scandal make for a great movie-of-the-week, but when she becomes the target of a smear campaign, even the most salacious of Hollywood’s tales can’t compare to her real life drama. With her soon-to-be-ex-husband leading the effort to sully her reputation, and her former assistant threatening to snatch her hard-earned position at Timeless Television out of her hands, Lauren’s perfectly planned life quickly begins to unravel at the seams. Clawing her way back to the top of the TV food chain is no easy task, especially in an industry where backstabbing is a sport and gossip is a full time business. But Lauren learns just how cutthroat showbiz can truly be when the hottest scandal in Tinsel Town turns deadly and the Hollywood hunk who’s stolen her heart is missing in action. Can she salvage her career, her reputation, and her love life? Or will Hollywood be the death of her?

I was casually browsing Facebook, as you do, and came across this author who was talking about her book Picture Perfect. First of all I have to say the cover of the book blew me away, it’s sooooo pink! That itself was enough reason for me to request to review the book!

The book focuses on Lauren Tate, a TV producer in Hollywood. She’s married, soon to be divorced, to a husband who quite frankly doesn’t deserve her. His jealousy of her earning more money than him really grated on me, and I was glad when he made the decision to leave her – although it wasn’t very nice for Lauren! I couldn’t help but warm to Lauren, she’s funny, sassy and smart, she certainly isn’t about to roll over crying (well not for long) because her husband is leaving her!

Events begin to spiral and this book takes you on a rollercoaster of a ride from fast paced Hollywood, to a more muted occasion in a New York Bookstore, throw a murder into the mix and you’re in for a fun night and a fabulous whodunit that will certainly keep you on your toes!

I love how Lucie has written the book, it’s fast paced, sexy and fun! What more could a girl want, right?

My rating:  

Picture Perfect is available here