The Secret Place by Tana French

The Secret Place by Tana French Rating: 4 / 5 stars
Format: Paperback
Published: 9th April 2015
Amazon | Goodreads

Detective Stephen Moran has been waiting for his chance to get a foot in the door of Dublin’s Murder Squad—and one morning, sixteen-year-old Holly Mackey brings him this photo. The Secret Place, a board where the girls at St. Kilda’s School can pin up their secrets anonymously, is normally a mishmash of gossip and covert cruelty, but today someone has used it to reignite the stalled investigation into the murder of handsome, popular Chris Harper. Stephen joins forces with the abrasive Detective Antoinette Conway to find out who and why.

I’ve always just assumed that I don’t like crime novels, apart from the Cormoran Strike series by Robert Galbraith I haven’t found any crime books I’ve liked. But I think the problem is I’ve been reading bad crime books. Because I really enjoyed this. It was less CSI-ey and more people talking to people trying to work out what happened. It was more a book about problem solving and I really liked that.

The only thing I noticed (and this may just be me and not a problem with the editing) was towards the beginning of the book someone mentions the fact that the girls in this school are not allowed to have phones with them. However the girls having phones is a large part of this mystery. In fact the girls having phones is an extremely important part of this novel. I can’t tell if I misread something or if this was a plot bunny that the editors missed.

The only other tiny thing that annoyed me was with all the references to Facebook and WTF amazeballs not to mention Voldemort this felt like a very modern book, so the fact that these girls were using flip phones felt very out of place. I realise I’m getting picky here but it’s been at least 10 years since I saw someone use a flip phone. However apart from those little problems I really enjoyed this book. In fact I enjoyed it so much I think I’m going to read Tana French’s other books.

Buy The Secret Place on Amazon

Thanks for reading.
Find me on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads.

If you want to help support this blog and get books for doing so you should click here and find out more.

*I received a copy of this book from Hodder Paperbacks in exchange for an honest review.

Support Me On Patreon

patreon

I’ve been blogging here on bluchickenninja.com for 2 and a half years now. Its something that I’ve come to really enjoy and spend lots of time on. However blogging isn’t cheap, everything from the domain name to the books I review cost money (not all of the books, but some of them). But because of my CFS I can’t work and pay for these things. This is where I am asking you guys for help.

I’ve signed up to Patreon which means if you like my blog and want to see it continue to grow and get better you can help me do that by donating a few dollars every month. This will allow me to do more book reviews on things I actually want to read, show off parts of this great country I call home (maybe even share a couple of brilliant book shops I’ve found) and just make this blog better for you all.

If you can’t help that is totally fine. I don’t believe in putting my content behind a paywall. This blog will stay exactly the same, you will never need to pay to see any of it, however if you do donate on Patreon you will be helping to make that content better. There are also a number of rewards that you can claim if you do help.

$1 – You get access to the Patreon feed. We can talk, you can ask for advice, book recomendations and even suggest topics for me to write about.

$5 – Not only will you get access to the Patreon feed. I will send you a handwritten letter thanking you for donating. Basically pick this if you want a letter from some random person on the internet.

$15 – You will be sent 1 book every month, these will be books I have read and enjoyed and want to share with others. You will mostly be sent a mix of science-fiction and fantasy though there could be other genres as well.
This month I will be sending out: Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel

I basically trying to set up a book club via Patreon. Every month you will get a book and then towards the end of the month I will do a full review/ discussion post about it. Then if you are part of the club you can read and take part in the discussion. That sounds simple enough. Right? This book club also needs a name however as the best thing I can come up with right now is the Holy Shit You Need To Read This Book Club, I may need to spend a little more time working on that.

When will rewards ship out?
All rewards will be sent out on the 4th of the following month. For example if you pledge in May your rewards will be sent out on the 4th of June. As Patreon processes payments after the month is over I will not ship anything out until I have received payment.

Will you ship internationally?
Yes. I will ship anywhere. Unless you’re on the moon or Libya or somewhere like that. Apparently the Royal Mail doesn’t like Libya just now. Don’t ask me why.

I realise that money is tight for everyone and if you can’t sign up on Patreon I totally understand. Just you reading my blog is enough for me. Though you can also help in ways that don’t involve money, you can tweet/ facebook and even blog about it. Every little helps.

Support Me On Patreon

Thanks for reading.
Find me on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads.

Barbarians by Tim Glencross

Barbarians by Tim GlencrossRating: 3 / 5 stars
Format: Paperback
Published: 26th March 2015
Amazon | Goodreads

It is 2008, late capitalism is in crisis, and the great and the good are gathered at an Islington house party. Hosting proceedings are waspish Sherard Howe, scion of a publishing dynasty and owner of a left-wing magazine, and his wife, Daphne Depree, whose feminist work The Third Sex is seen – to her increasing discomfort – as an intellectual cornerstone of the Blair era. The guests include cabinet ministers, celebrated artists and peers of the realm; but somehow it’s doubtful that any number of grandees would overshadow Afua, the Howes’ beautiful and supremely ambitious adopted daughter, already a rising star of the Labour Party.

Into this world arrives twenty-four-year-old Elizabeth “Buzzy” Price, an aspiring poet only too aware of her suburban background. Moral support is at hand from shy but devoted Henry, the Howes’ biological son – though perhaps Buzzy is most grateful for her friend’s connection to her own unrequited love, Afua’s boyfriend, the worldly Marcel.

This was surprisingly enjoyable. I found it all strangely fascinating, you sort of get to see how the rich people live. Though most of the time it makes fun of the Oxbridge, art-collecting, well-read, lawyers and political types. It was a very easy book to read, the type of book you would want to take on holiday with you. I would definitely recommend if you are into art or modern day politics.

Buy Barbarians on Amazon

Thanks for reading.
Find me on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads.

*I received a copy of this book from John Murray in exchange for an honest review.

**So I’ve been feeling really awful today and the result is a shitty 3 sentence review. And for that I apologise.

Everything You Need To Know About Eurovision

To the uneducated the Eurovision Song Contest might appear to be a bunch of Europeans having a party while the rest of the world watches on in confusion. And it is just that, however it is also slightly more than that too. I will explain.

Everything You Need To Know About Eurovision | bluchickenninja.com

Eurovision started in Switzerland in the 1950s. After the devastation of World War 2 a “light entertainment programme” was conceived in hopes that it would bring together the countries of the EBU (European Broadcasting Area).

Everything You Need To Know About Eurovision | bluchickenninja.com

Countries wishing to participate do not have to be members of the European Union, they don’t even have to be located on the continent of Europe. However the country must be an active member of the European Broadcasting Area. Countries like Cyprus and Israel have competed in previous years and in 2015 to mark the 60th anniversary of the show Australia will be competing.

The rules state that the country which won the preceding year’s contest must host the event 12 months later; this year’s contest will therefore be held in Vienna, thanks to a historic victory for Conchita Wurst, with 290 points.

Everything You Need To Know About Eurovision | bluchickenninja.com

Sometimes countries are unable to finance the event and therefore send particularly silly acts. It seems that Greece decided to use this strategy in 2013.

However some countries purposefully send silly acts in hope that they will be memorable. For example Ukraine in 2007 and Finland in 2006 who won that year with a bunch of singing Klingons (not going to lie, I totally voted for them).

Each country’s points are determined by a 50/50 combination of viewer votes and a jury of music professionals in each country. When all the points have been calculated, the presenters of the show call upon each voting country in turn to invite them to announce the results of their vote.

Everything You Need To Know About Eurovision | bluchickenninja.com

Voting can be a controversial process as old alliances, grudges against neighbours, and current political tensions can factor into each country’s decision.

Everything You Need To Know About Eurovision | bluchickenninja.com

Oh you want me to talk about the UK? Ugh, fine then.

Everything You Need To Know About Eurovision | bluchickenninja.com

The UK never wins. We might have won in the past but not any more. Every year people like to get their hopes up because maybe just this year we will actually win. But we won’t. Seriously.

This year the UK is being represented by the duo Electro Velvet with their song Still In Love With You. They were put together for the contest, and consist of Bianca Nicholas – who once appeared on The Voice – and Alex Larke, who spends most of his time as a Mick Jagger impersonator.

Surprisingly the UK has won Eurovision more than once, 5 times in fact. One time we even managed to win with Congratulations by Cliff Richard. But we’re not going to win this year. Don’t even think about going to the comments and saying something like “maybe it will be different this time”. No. We’re not going to win.

Everything You Need To Know About Eurovision | bluchickenninja.com

Though it does appear that Eurovision has worked to bring countries closer together. Even if that is only through mutual hatred.

Everything You Need To Know About Eurovision | bluchickenninja.com

Oh and I nearly forgot about the dancing grannies. Because that happened.

Thanks for reading.
Find me on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads.

Angelfall by Susan Ee

Angelfall by Susan Ee Rating: 3 / 5 stars
Format: Paperback
Published: 23rd May 2013
Amazon | Goodreads

It’s been six weeks since the angels of the apocalypse destroyed the world as we know it. Only pockets of humanity remain.

Savage street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night.

When angels fly away with a helpless girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back…

I was really surprised by this. In that it wasn’t as bad as I expected it would be. I think angels are the new in thing right now, what with books like The Bone Season and The Catalyst. In those books the beings are called angels because that is the best way to describe them, I like that in this we have proper biblical angels. I like that it had that little bit of religion in it. However I didn’t like the fact that I was constantly being reminded about what hunks these angels were. I mean from what I can tell these angels basically look like those guys who stand outside Abercrombie and Fitch.

It felt a little strange. It felt like Susan Ee was trying to fit a romance story into this post-apocalyptic world and it just didn’t seem to work very well. All the way through the story it felt like she was trying to hint at romance, but it was through silly stuff like Penryn wondering if she should wash her hair because cute guy. But then suddenly at the end it was all boom romance.

I also felt that Penryn doing so many years of self defense was a little unbelievable. I mean she was basically ready for the apocalypse to happen. The reason for this being that she needed to protect herself from her mother, though I didn’t feel that her mother was much of a threat, other than having a strange egg obsession she didn’t feel that dangerous.

My only other grievance was the start of the novel. I know its annoying if a book starts out with a huge amount of exposition, however I like to know at least a little of what happened. Especially in a post-apocalyptic world. And I definitely want to know more than just “Its been six weeks since the angels of the apocalypse destroyed the world as we know it”. Apart from that it really wasn’t too bad.

Buy Angelfall on Amazon

Thanks for reading.
Find me on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads.

*I received a copy of this book from Hodder and Stoughton in exchange for an honest review.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 8,204 other followers