Posted in #Dark, Audiobook Review, New Releases, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult

Heroine by Mindy McGinnis @MindyMcGinnis @harperteen @brit_pressley #AudiobookReview #YA

Hello book lovers,

I’m so pleased to bring you my review of this very deep, dark, but riveting audio book!

Why did you pick it up Vicci? – Because it is a pretty new release there has been a lot of talk about this book, especially on Goodreads, most of it was shouting TRIGGERS and BE CAREFUL warnings, so naturally it made me want to pick it up…I’m a bit of a rebel like that LOL.

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My Thoughts

When I wake up, all my friends are dead.

The first line of the book…….makes you want to read it right??

Be warned that this is, and has very graphic detail on drug addiction, if you are a recovering addict then this book could be extremely triggering for you, and you would be best to stay away from it until you are in a better mindset.

If you are OK reading this sort of thing, then this one is well worth a credit.

The story follows our MC Mickey Catalan, the narrator of this story, a young high school student that has a pretty good life, she is the star catcher in her Softball team and they are probably going to make it to the local history books with a win in a large tournament in the upcoming season.

We meet Mickey in the months before that hard hitting first line of the book, her and her friend are involved in a car crash as she is driving home from Softball practice, her friend damages her arm, and Mickey badly damages her leg.

She is obviously not able to play softball until her leg has healed properly and she is given a timescale for this, 12 weeks, but this is just before the new Softball season starts and she doesn’t want to be sidelined.

She is given medication (Oxy) for the obvious pain that she is in, but Mickey realises quite soon that if she takes more, then she can push herself a little bit harder, and will therefore be fit in time for the new season.

Unfortunately her problems are only just beginning, unbeknown to her, Oxy is is highly addictive, she is taking it for the pain, but she is soon not in so much pain, but still taking the tablets.

She begins to up her dosage as she becomes more and more addicted to the high, when she runs out of her medication she needs more, immediately!  but her prescription shows that she should still have at least 2 weeks supply left, what is she to do?

This is where things start to go more and more downhill for Mickey, she buys them from someone, who then becomes friends with her, and introduces her to other people that can ‘help’

This book doesn’t pull any punches, it is brutal and dark, you see the slow downward spiral of Mickey, how she becomes disengaged with her other life and starts to slowly become a shadow of her former self.

This is a Young Adult book, but it really didn’t read that way to me, yes it is about young adults, but that is as far as the YA went for me. I think that it is an extremely important book, it shows that drug addicts don’t always look like the images that you see on TV, they don’t always end up laying in a park or a back-street somewhere, that can look quite normal and function just as well as you and me, and you would never know. It is only when the addiction starts to get out of hand, that the red flags and the warning signs start showing.

🎧🎧 – Brilliantly narrated by Brittany Pressley a new to me narrator, but one I will definitely be looking out for again.

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About the book

Heroine
By: Mindy McGinnis
Narrated by: Brittany Pressley
Length: 8 hrs and 33 mins
Release date: 03-12-19



A captivating and powerful exploration of the opioid crisis – the deadliest drug epidemic in American history – through the eyes of a college-bound softball star. Edgar Award-winning author Mindy McGinnis delivers a visceral and necessary novel about addiction, family, friendship, and hope.

When a car crash sidelines Mickey just before softball season, she has to find a way to hold on to her spot as the catcher for a team expected to make a historic tournament run. Behind the plate is the only place she’s ever felt comfortable, and the painkillers she’s been prescribed can help her get there.

The pills do more than take away pain; they make her feel good.

With a new circle of friends – fellow injured athletes, others with just time to kill – Mickey finds peaceful acceptance and people with whom words come easily, even if it is just the pills loosening her tongue.

But as the pressure to be Mickey Catalan heightens, her need increases, and it becomes less about pain and more about want, something that could send her spiraling out of control.

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Vicci

Posted in #Dark, memoir, Non Fiction, True Crime

Girl A: The truth about the Rochdale sex ring by the victim who stopped them By Girl A #Review #Dark #NonFiction

Hello book friends, I hope you are all having a great week!

I have started to watch more TV recently, and have been binging on Netflix shows, unfortunately that has moved me away from reading as much, but I have remedied this over the last couple of weeks and have got my Mojo back…I think.

Why did you pick it up Vicci? – **THE TRUE STORY BEHIND THE CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED BBC DRAMA ‘THREE GIRLS’ ** After watching this show, and feeling so angry, I wanted to find out about the girl, and if she was OK now and living a happy and healthy life, I didn’t manage to find this information, but I did find this book.

Be warned, this is not a fluffy feelgood book, this is gritty, graphic and heartbreaking. This would probably be a good book for people in the Social Worker profession to read about what not to do!

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My Thoughts

A heartbreaking read of true events, in May 2012 nine men were convicted of sex trafficking and other offences including rape, trafficking girls for sex and conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a child.

This is the story of one of those girls.

Only known as Girl A in the news, this is the harrowing story of a young girl that were groomed, raped and then ultimately sold for sex, all under the eyes of the police, social workers and her parents.

The men involved were all of Asian/Pakistani descent, and occurred within their own community, however this is not a book about race, this is something that happened and is still happening to young girls.

Girl A or Hannah for the purpose of the story was from a well off family who fell onto bad times, her father lost the business he had,and they had to downsize their house and move to a different area.

This is where she met Emma, who befriended her for ulterior motives.

After finding new friends “Hannah” used to go to the local kebab shop with Emma, there they were given free kebabs, chips and drinks, this soon led to Vodka and parties.

Only being 14, this was the best thing ever, her parents didn’t know, and the owners of the kebab shop gave her and her friends everything she wanted, they even picked her off and dropped her off, as the friend of the shop also had friends that ran a taxi company, all of this was done for free, they never asked for any money, or anything in return……until they did!

Hannah is then drawn into a spiral of harrowing and horrifying despair, and when she finds the courage to speak up, she is let down by the very authorities that are supposed to be there to protect her!

I can’t tell you how angry I was reading this book, these poor girls were failed time and time again by the authorities, and the one lady that knew what was going on and told the police time and time again was brushed aside, even Social Services who KNEW what was happening in that area, brushed it aside and said that it was a “lifestyle choice” by the girls!! 14 YEAR OLD GIRLS!!!!

This is not a lifestyle choice, this is RAPE!! These men were all 40-50 years old!

This book was heartbreaking, and I really hope that “Hannah” is now happy and living a normal and happy life, she is one brave lady to tell her story.

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About the book

THE TRUE STORY BEHIND THE CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED BBC DRAMA ‘THREE GIRLS’

What do they find attractive about me? An underage girl who just lies there, sobbing, looking up at them…as they come to me one by one.

This is the shocking true story of how a young girl from Rochdale came to be Girl A – the key witness in the trial of Britain’s most notorious child sex ring.

Girl A was just 14 when she was groomed by a group of nine Asian men. After being lured into their circle with free gifts, she was plied with alcohol and systematically abused. She was just one of up to fifty girls to be ‘passed around’ by the gang. The girls were all under-16 and forced to have sex with as many as twenty men in one night.

When details emerged a nation was outraged and asked how these sickening events came to pass. And now, the girl at the very centre of the storm reveals the heartbreaking truth.

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Vicci

 

Posted in #Dark, Best of 2018, Mystery, Psychological Thriller, Romantic Suspense, Thriller

Verity by Colleen Hoover @colleenhoover #bestof2018 #Dark #Romance #Thriller #Mystery #BookReview #aktbmbookblog

4.5 Crazy WTF Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐·5

Another late addition to my best of 2018 reads.

Well, Colleen Hoover released another book

If you don’t already know it by now CoHo is the queen of romance, her books (if you haven’t read them) always have a romance element to them, even if the story line deals with some heavy (and important) topics, and is one of my absolutely favourite authors.

But then she decides to just move away from the genre that everyone knows and loves, and self publish a psychological thriller, I mean WHO DOES THAT??

COLLEEN FREAKING HOOVER THAT’S WHO!!

This book shouldn’t work, looking at her back catalogue, you would expect to find Love, Despair and happiness, all wrapped with a kind of awkwardly placed bow.

But this book WORKS PEOPLE!!!

I’m not sure whether she popped to Tarryn Fisher’s house and they somehow managed to have some weird Seance-Ouija board party, where their minds were mixed together, but CoHo went to the dark side people!!

I was really worried about reading this book, I love a Psychological Thriller, and have read some great…and not so great ones, so for CoHo to even attempt to do this deserves a high five.

The Blurb

Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish.

Lowen arrives at the Crawford home, ready to sort through years of Verity’s notes and outlines, hoping to find enough material to get her started. What Lowen doesn’t expect to uncover in the chaotic office is an unfinished autobiography Verity never intended for anyone to read. Page after page of bone-chilling admissions, including Verity’s recollection of what really happened the day her daughter died.

Lowen decides to keep the manuscript hidden from Jeremy, knowing its contents would devastate the already grieving father. But as Lowen’s feelings for Jeremy begin to intensify, she recognizes all the ways she could benefit if he were to read his wife’s words. After all, no matter how devoted Jeremy is to his injured wife, a truth this horrifying would make it impossible for him to continue to love her.

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My Thoughts

4.5 Crazy WTF Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐·5

Verity follows the story of Lowen Ashleigh, an author who is hired by Jeremy Crawford, to complete the remaining books in a hugely successful series by his wife, the bestselling author Verity Crawford, who, after an accident, is unable to finish them on time.

Although Lowen is struggling financially, she doesn’t feel like she should be the one taking on this monumental task, however when the dollar signs are waved in front of her face, the idea of being able to pay off her debts is too large, and she takes the job.

She is advised to stay at Verity’s house for a few days to sort through the outlines and notes for the new books, considering she has never read any of the books by the author, it is a huge task to take on.

Finding years worth of notes and boxes of files in Verity’s office, Lowen realises what a massive task this will be…..and then she finds the autobiography!

“What you read will taste so bad at times, you’ll want to spit it out, but you’ll swallow these words and they will become part of you, part of your gut, and you will hurt because of them.”

And that my friends is all I am going to tell you about this book, yes you could have gotten all of this from the blurb, but this is one that you need to go in blind!

I haven’t read a book that had me hating every character for a long time, I mean I LOVED them, but Gahh do they have any redeeming qualities…Nope!

You know when you are watching a thriller / horror film, and you start shouting at the TV? The music is taking a turn, and you know something is about to happen, and the BAM, your popcorn goes flying, and your heart starts racing?

THIS is the book that did that to me!

Prepare yourself for a dark, brilliant read.

Vicci

Available on Kindle Unlimited:

Grab your copy here:

Kindle U.S – https://amzn.to/2RsGC1p

Kindle UK – https://amzn.to/2TkJiM0

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Posted in #Dark, Crime Thriller, Psychological, Psychological Thriller, Thriller and Suspense

The Good Samaritan by John Marrs @johnmarrs1 #AudiobookReview #Thriller @audibleuk @EKNOWELDEN

⭐⭐⭐⭐ Chilling Stars

Ok then, who’s up for a dark, twisted thriller??

**Holds hand up**

The Blurb

She’s a friendly voice on the phone. But can you trust her?

The people who call End of the Line need hope. They need reassurance that life is worth living. But some are unlucky enough to get through to Laura. Laura doesn’t want them to hope. She wants them to die.

Laura hasn’t had it easy: she’s survived sickness and a difficult marriage only to find herself heading for forty, unsettled and angry. She doesn’t love talking to people worse off than she is. She craves it.

But now someone’s on to her – Ryan, whose world falls apart when his pregnant wife ends her life, hand in hand with a stranger. Who was this man, and why did they choose to die together?

The sinister truth is within Ryan’s grasp, but he has no idea of the desperate lengths Laura will go to…

Because the best thing about being a Good Samaritan is that you can get away with murder.

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My Thoughts

⭐⭐⭐⭐ Chilling Stars

“Good afternoon, you’ve reached the End of the Line, this is Laura speaking. May I ask your name?”

Laura is a soft spoken woman, she will listen to you as you discuss your problems, you will tell her what is making you feel so sad, and of course you wouldn’t be calling the End of the Line helpline, if you wasn’t contemplating ending your own life.

She will not try and talk you out of committing suicide, or tell you that there are better things, no, she is just there to listen to you, and not judge.

Laura is a very well liked colleague in the office, always bringing in her gorgeous hand-baked goods, she keeps herself to herself, and doesn’t mix much, but she always gets involved with charitable volunteering, and always raises lots of money for good causes.

What the people she works with don’t see, is that actually Laura is Bat-Shit-Crazy!

If you are feeling that you are loosing your way and are contemplating ending your life, and just needed someone to talk to, the worst possible person that you could get through to in the call centre would be Laura!

You see, Laura likes the fact that you want to end your life, in fact, she’s banking on it!

Ryan doesn’t know why his pregnant girlfriend would kill herself, and who was the man she was seen holding hands with before they both jumped? He can’t understand why she would want to do this to him and their unborn child, perhaps he needs to do a little investigating?

A cracking thriller to keep you on your toes, with a Good Ol’ Baddie you’ll hate-to-love-to-hate.

🎧🎧 – Narrated expertly by Elizabeth Knowelden, who is a new to me narrator.

Elizabeth’s voice was perfect for Laura and she made this fantastic read even better.

Buckle yourself in, it’s a bumpy ride

Vicci

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Posted in #Dark, Crime Thriller, Psychological Thriller, Thriller and Suspense

Sweetpea by C.J. Skuse @CJSkuse #GeorgiaMcGuire #Dark #Thriller #AudioBookReview #LaughOutLoud

I am so pleased to give you a review of this cracking read, i absolutely LOVED this one, it is right up my street.

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 Brilliantly Dark and Funny Stars

51QKj-4IPUL._SX314_BO1,204,203,200_The last person who called me ‘Sweetpea’ ended up dead…

I haven’t killed anyone for three years and I thought that when it happened again I’d feel bad. Like an alcoholic taking a sip of whisky. But no. Nothing. I had a blissful night’s sleep. Didn’t wake up at all. And for once, no bad dream either. This morning I feel balanced. Almost sane, for once.

Rhiannon is your average girl next door, settled with her boyfriend and little dog…but she’s got a killer secret.

Although her childhood was haunted by a famous crime, Rhinannon’s life is normal now that her celebrity has dwindled. By day her job as an editorial assistant is demeaning and unsatisfying. By evening she dutifully listens to her friend’s plans for marriage and babies whilst secretly making a list.

A kill list.

From the man on the Lidl checkout who always mishandles her apples, to the driver who cuts her off on her way to work, to the people who have got it coming, Rhiannon’s ready to get her revenge.

Because the girl everyone overlooks might be able to get away with murder…

My Thoughts

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 Brilliantly Dark and Funny Stars

I already knew after I had finished Chapter 3 that I would be giving this book 5 stars!

The main character Rhiannon is just perfect, I laughed out loud many MANY times, she is outrageous, crude, rude and definitely a psychopath, as she proudly tells us!

Did a Buzzfeed quiz this morning – How Psychopathic Are You?
Turns out – Very. I scored 82 percent.

Look, one thing you need to know about this brilliant book, you are either going to absolutely love it, or hate it!

If you are not into inappropriate jokes, and classic put downs I would avoid this one like a dose of the clap, however if you like to have your sides split with laughter then add it straight to your TBR.
(I’ve been adding some of her put-downs in a little book to remember for when me and my husband argue)

The book is written in diary form at the beginning of every chapter, every day she makes a “Kill List” of all of the people that she wants to bump off, this can range from ALL of her work colleagues, to the bloke standing behind her in the supermarket, from her neighbour, to her boyfriend Craig.

The thing is, as funny as her kill list is, girl-next-door Rhiannon Lewis IS actually a killer, and a serial killer at that, something she is very proud of!

Also, I’m officially a serial killer now, according to Google: “a person who murders three or more people with the murders taking place over a period of time with an extended cooling off period”. I fit the bill almost perfectly.
Finally I’ve accomplished something. Finally I have a reason to go to school reunions.
‘Me?’ Pause for hair flick. ‘I’m a serial killer. Yah, I take human heads to work in my lunchbox. I keep my mother’s skull as a bedpost and use my father’s nipples as light pulls, you’re so sweet to notice!’

She hates pretty much everyone and everything, except her dog Tink, and her Sylvanian Families doll house, and makes no bones about telling you what she would like to do to anyone that pisses her off.

There is VERY strong language in this book (the C word is used quite a few times) but it is usually done in a fun jokey way……usually!

She has a lot to say about people and their problems, well if you count things like having a baby a problem!

Just had a text from Cleo – Anni had a baby boy called Samuel at 3.19 this morning. Nine pounds something and no drugs. her vagina must look like a lasagne dropped from a department store roof

The only way i can describe this book is this, it’s a cross between Dexter, YOU by Caroline Kepness, and a Sophie Kinsella / Bridget Jones book!

If those 3 types of book float your boat, and you don’t mind the odd dismembered penis and F’ bomb thrown in, with a little mix of graphic sexual descriptions, then this little gem is the book for you.

🎧🎧 Narrated by Georgia Maguire brilliantly, I laughed out loud multiple times and thought that she did an excellent job, i will certainly be looking out for her other books

There is book 2 available now, and I’ve already grabbed it because of that ending!

Prepare yourself to fall in love with Rhiannon and her literal nutty ways.

P.s, Rights to the book have been bought by a TV company and a series will be on our screens soon.

Enjoy

Vicci

Posted in #Dark, Contemporary Romance

Because of Him by Terri E. Laine @TerriLainebooks @ErinMallon #JasonClarke #AudiobookReview #VNerdsRare19Challenge

Because of Him

Because of Him by Terri E. Laine

🌟🌟🌟🌟·5 Don’t Judge a Book by the Cover Stars

Synopsis

Past and present intertwine with light and dark to tell a story …Because of Him 

Something inside me fiercely craves normal.
Sheltered all my life and taught to be afraid, I want to be bold, fearless.
Up until now I’ve kept myself and my heart safe.
Tade Astor, a guy so hot he steals my breath away, jeopardizes it all.

He isn’t the kind of guy to give up on what he wants—me.
He’s determined to prove my safe world is missing something—him.
Even though he may not be the cocky guy I assumed him to be…
He’s definitely not the guy I should give my heart to.
But each time I see him, he becomes harder to resist.
I want to be brave and give him a chance… though it might come back to haunt me.

At the heart of Because of Him is a love story. But due to certain sensitive topics, it might not be suitable for all readers.

Review

Well this one was certainly a surprise read for me, looking at the cover i was thinking it was going to be my normal boy meets girl, sweet and sexy romance that i like, and then BAM, it all changed in an instant.

This one is a dark one guys, it contains things that are not very nice so you need to be aware of this before you go in thinking it will be sweet and fluffy like me!

Tade Astor is the epitome of college hot bad boy, his family has connections, and he is quite happy bed hopping and is not looking for a relationship as he has his life mapped out in front of him.

Reagan Winters is getting by as best she can, considering her mother is so over protective it’s disturbing, she has never learned how to drive, doesn’t have a bank account, isn’t looking for a man or a relationship.

After a brief encounter Tade decides that Biscuit aka Reagan will be his, and after a few close encounters they start to date, but they both have secrets that they are hiding from each other!

Along with this story, another is intertwined, this is where the story gets dark.
Told by someone you don’t know, is a story about another person, a person who is traffiked, beaten and raped, although the details are not hugely graphic, they are still enough to be a warning for anyone who may be triggered by this.

This Mystery unfolds throughout the book and is done brilliantly, i had no idea until the end, although i had my suspicions.

🎧🎧 Narrated by a new to me but new voice crush Jason Clarke, and the always awesome Erin Mallon, this is one to add to your TBR pile.

Prepare your OMG faces and go in blind!

Vicci 

Posted in #Dark, Contemporary Romance

Mercy by Debra Anastasia @Debra_Anastasia @MuffyNewtown @ZacharyWebber #hothothot #Romance #AudiobookReview

Mercy

Mercy by Debra Anastasia

⭐⭐⭐⭐·5 Skulltastic stars

Synopsis

He taught me to kill. Murder is in my blood now. It runs through my veins and though I hide the monster I see in the mirror with ink, it doesn’t keep him from coming out.

My street name is Mercy, but I never show any. Except for her. I watch Becca, though she doesn’t know. She saved me a long time ago; the day my father killed my mother. Her bravery turned her into a target.

My father holds a grudge and knife with the same proficiency, and Becca is the focus of his hatred. And I’m the only monster who can save her.

Review

Ho-hum another book another tattooed guy what’s a girl to do!!

Fenix ‘Nix’ for short is a troubled boy, he has had a really bad upbringing by a really nasty father.

Beaten and mentally tortured by his father, Nix is waiting for the day he is old enough to leave.

On a random shopping spree his father goes into his usual threats, this day however he is spotted by someone who comes over to help unfortunately it is only a little girl named Rebecca.

She stands up for him when no one else ever has and Nix never forgets her.

Becca now waits tables at a local bar and Nix has turned into a cold hard killer, to stop him from looking like his father he is tattooed with a skeleton from head to foot.

Nix never forgot Becca and knows where she works, in fact he knows where she lives, who her friends are, and spends his time making sure that she’s safe, Becca doesn’t know this obviously and goes about her days in complete ignorance.

A chance for Nix to meet Becca arrives when the bar has a Day of the Dead themed party, everyone has their face painted so Nix just blends right in.

I loved the way this book developed and I love the relationship between Nix and Animal he was such a brilliant friend I hope that there is a book for him soon.

🎧🎧 Narrated by two of my favourite people Muffy Newtown and Zachary Webber.

These two take the book to a whole new level, Muffy’s man voice will make you swoon and Zachary voice as usual is off the chart hot 🔥🔥