Finding Emma By Steena Holmes

Title: Finding Emma

Author: Steena Holmes

First Published: March 14th 2012

Publisher: Amazon Publishing/Self Published


Megan sees her daughter Emma everywhere. She’s the little girl standing in the supermarket, the child waiting for the swings at the playground, the girl with ice cream dripping down her face. But it’s never Emma.

Emma’s been missing for two years.

Unable to handle the constant heartache of all the false sightings, Megan’s husband threatens to walk away unless Megan can agree to accept Emma is gone. Megan’s life and marriage is crumbling all around her and she realizes she may have to do the thing she dreads most: move on.

When Megan takes a photo of a little girl with an elderly couple at the town fair, she believes it to be her missing daughter. Unable to let go, she sets in motion a sequence of events that could destroy both families lives. (From Goodreads, 25th May 2014)

‘Finding Emma’ is a novel that struck me. It has reminded me of other novels, which unfortunately I cannot remember the name of, however, although I found this novel predictable it was still highly enjoyable. The book was well written and portrayed human emotions fantastically. This is a novel, along with it’s sequel ‘Emma’s Secret’ which I would recommend to individuals who want a quick read that is not overly complicated but has a gripping element, whilst also having a human element that makes the novel seem so believable.
A series to enjoy, especially this summer!
3.5 out of 5

The Shock of the Fall By Nathan Filer

Title: The Shock of the Fall

Author: Nathan Filer

First Published: May 8th 2013

Publisher: Harper Collins


‘I’ll tell you what happened because it will be a good way to introduce my brother. His name’s 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.’ (From Goodreads, 25th May 2014)


‘The Shock of the Fall’ is a novel that is best to go into without knowing much about it, so I am going to keep this review short and sweet. ‘The Shock of the Fall’ is Nathan Filer’s debut novel and takes on the complexities of describing the world through the eyes of an individual with mental health problems. This novel interweaves the past and present to build a picture, a movie, a story of one families life. This is a novel that is elegantly written and captures real people. Nathan Filer makes you feel for his characters and understands humans more than most, no wonder this novel won Costa Book of the Year 2013.

This is a novel I highly recommend.

4.5 out of 5

Someone Else’s Life By Katie Dale

Title: Someone Else’s Life

Author: Katie Dale

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Publication Date: 2012


When seventeen-year-old Rosie’s mother, Trudie, dies from Huntington’s Disease, her pain is intensified by the knowledge that she has a fifty-per-cent chance of inheriting the crippling disease herself. Only when she tells her mum’s best friend, ‘Aunt Sarah’ that she is going to test for the disease does Sarah, a midwife, reveal that Trudie was not her biological mother after all…

Devastated, Rosie decides to trace her real mother, hitching along on her ex-boyfriend’s GAP year to follow her to Los Angeles. But all does not go to plan, and as Rosie discovers yet more of her family’s deeply-buried secrets and lies, she is left with an agonising decision of her own – one which will be the most heart-breaking and far-reaching of all… (From Goodreads, 9th July 2013)


This is difficult to write as I don’t want to give things away, but will try my best!

I really enjoyed ‘Someone Else’s Life’ despite it not being as focused on Huntington’s Disease as I thought it was going to be. This is more a novel about a girl who finds out due to her mothers death to Huntington’s Disease that she was not biologically related and decides to search for her biological parents.

But this search brings Rosie into situations she would never have imagined, and makes her wonder are some secrets better kept hidden? Does searching for her family risk creating wounds that will never heal? Or does it bring the closure she now seeks?

Does blood mean everything? Or does a loving family growing up enough?

This is a fast paced novel, which is not nearly as long as it appears, short chapters make it really easy to be drawn in and to keep reading.

This novel brings in so many issues, but not many are in such gritty depth that I like. But never-the-less, I feel a lot of the issues were dealt with well.

This is a novel about family. Family lies. Family secrets. Family relationships. Family tragedy.

This is a novel well worth getting your hands on but if you think the main focus will be on Huntington’s Disease you will be disappointed.

4 out of 5

The City of Bones By Cassandra Clare

Title: City of Bones

Author: Cassandra Clare

Publisher: Walker Books Ltd

UK Publication Date: 2nd July 2007


When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder — much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing — not even a smear of blood — to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know. . . . (From Goodreads, 13th February 2013)


This is the first book in The Mortal Instruments Series and I am so glad I have invested in the first four books when I saw them. I am kicking myself for not picking them up sooner! One thing that put me off slightly was the fact the cover I got has a quote from Stephenie Meyer. I read the Twilight Saga, I liked the story but there was just a bit to must relationship stuff for me! But I’m glad I didn’t let that put me off!

The novel has twists and turns all the time, you are unsure who to trust, and when you finally decide to trust them something happens and you are unsure again! There is a lot of layers and unanswered questions which I hope the following books bring more light too.

Clary is brought into a world that she is unaware off and soon becomes entwined. There is fights, history of wrong doings and return of a powerful Shadowhunter whom Clary is learning is no good. Vampires, warewolves, warlocks, demons, there is everything. Along with the action there is past stories, love, affection, families, secrets, deception, trust. A series which has begun well and I look forward to getting deeper into.

Also is you haven’t started this series and are a bit slow of the mark like me, my advice is get it! The film adaptation is coming out in August 2013 (UK) so get reading before then!

4.5 out of 5

The Most Beautiful Thing By Fiona Robyn

   Have you ever read a book and it just pulls you in from the first word. The name is a perfect description of the writing style. Beautiful.

This novel is written in two sections. First section is when Joe is 14 and is sent to his Aunts in Amsterdam. He is having a hard time at home and at school and buries himself in books about birds or whatever his current interest is.

You see the way Joe views his Aunts life. She is a painter and doesn’t live according to the usual 9-5 pattern of his home life. There is a slow pace to the first section but the writing is just so beautiful that you cannot put it down.

The second section picks up pace and is set when Joe is 29 and returns, for the first time since his trip at 14, to Amsterdam. We learn about why at 14 he was troubled and why his life and his Aunts takes the turns that they do.

It is an excellent book that is written so gracefully that I would want everyone to read it. I book to buy and pass on. To talk about. To think about. But beware tissues may need to be on the arm of the coach, the bedside table or wherever you are reading this beautiful novel.

Halfway House

    This is a fantastic novel with a real insight into mental illness. When Angie jumps into the deep end of the swimming pool and doesn’t resurface everyone knows something is seriously wrong.

This novel looks at the family ties which reach breaking point when dealing with Angie’s Bipolar Disorder. It is unique in looking at all family members view points and the path their lives take along with Angie’s deviation off the planned path.

I think this is an example of a well researched book showing a great understanding of mental illness. The story pulls you in right from the beginning and keeps bringing in twists and turns just like life does.

This story is not just for those interested in mental illness, it is for those who like drama and a close look at relationship dynamics.

An interesting novel for both adults and young adults alike.
A five star book and one which I know I will read more than once (which is a rare thing for me!)