Basic Book Review: Maestra by L.S Hilton

Maestra had been on a lot of bookstagram feeds over the last few months, so when I was struggling to decide on what book to read after finishing Silence is Goldfish, I decided to give it a go.

I wasn’t breaking my rule about not reading hyped-up books because I hadn’t actually seen anyone’s opinion on it, but after finishing it, I understand why.

Let’s get this over with.

Maestra: The shocking international number one bestseller by [Hilton, L. S.]

Blurb: By day Judith Rashleigh is a put-upon assistant at a London auction house.

By night she’s a hostess in one of the capital’s unsavoury bars.

Desperate to make something of herself, Judith knows she has to play the game. She’s learned to dress, speak and act in the interests of men. She’s learned to be a good girl. But after uncovering a dark secret at the heart of the art world, Judith is fired and her dreams of a better life are torn apart.

So she turns to a long-neglected friend.

A friend that kept her chin up and back straight through every past slight.

A friend that a good girl like her shouldn’t have: Rage.

Fatal attraction meets The Talented Mr Ripley in this darkly decadent thriller, soon to be a major Hollywood film, that asks:

Where do you go when you’ve gone too far?

Published: 2016

Genres: Mystery, Thriller

Character Development: 7/10

Judith definitely changed over the course of the book, but I’m not entirely sure it was for the better. Though maybe that was the point.

Plot: 8/10

Interesting enough. Definitely kept me reading till the last page, but that was probably more through a determination to finish it than because of genuine concern for the characters.

Storytelling: 7/10

A bit meandering at times.

Turning Point: 7/10

I’m guessing with this book it’s one of the scenes a few chapters in and not the decision Judith makes that sets her on the path that makes everything happen, because things don’t really get going until she goes on that holiday.

Ending: 7/10

More unexpected than anything else.

Recommend: I guess so. If hyped books are you thing or you have a morbid curiosity about things you wouldn’t really want everyone to know you’re reading about.

Buy From: Amazon & Book Depository

Add to: Goodreads

I have not been paid for this review. The opinions here are mine and mine only.

Note: I don’t like saying I don’t like a book. Goodreads is brutal for reviews and I always cringe when I see someone picking apart a story, but I couldn’t write a good review for this one. It wasn’t the kind of thing I usually read but it was different and I thought a bit of variety in the books I review on here would be good.

Apparently not.

But please, please don’t take this review as the final word. It’s only MY opinion, and there are plenty of half-decent reviews on Goodreads to counter this one.


Basic Book Review: Silence Is Goldfish

I wanted to read something a bit different after finishing Their Finest, and since Silence is Goldfish sounded as far from the Home Front as possible, I decided I’d give it a go.

So here’s my third Basic Book Review.

Blurb: ‘I have a voice but it isn’t mine. It used to say things so I’d fit in – to please my parents, to please my teachers. It used to tell the universe I was something I wasn’t. It lied.’

Fifteen-year-old Tess doesn’t mean to become mute. At first, she’s just too shocked to speak. And who wouldn’t be? Discovering your whole life has been a lie because your dad isn’t your real father is a pretty big deal. Tess sets out to find the truth of her identity, and uncovers a secret that could ruin multiple lives. But can she ask for help when she’s forgotten how to use her voice?

Published: 2016

Genres: Being a teen, Family

Character Development: 8/10

At the beginning of the book, Tess’ sole concern is finding her real dad. She has a plan for how to find him, but as the story progresses, her focus shifts away from that and she starts paying attention to the things going on around her.

Plus, she was pretty funny at times.

Plot: 8/10

Not your average YA novel because it wasn’t all about dying and death and getting boyfriends. It focused on family, and Tess’ struggle to accept that hers isn’t the same as everybody else’s.

I liked how the author handled the subject, and didn’t make it all doom and gloom.

Storytelling: 8/10

Again, different from other YA novels, but it was that freshness which kept me reading.

Turning Point: 9/10

it was a relief when Tess decided to try and fix things because she’d had enough of being walked all over, and satisfying in a way I haven’t read in a while.

Ending: 9/10

Recommend: Definitely.

If you’re looking for something a bit different, this is it.

Buy From: Amazon & Book Depository

Add to: Goodreads

I have not been paid for this review. The opinions here are mine and mine only.

Stayed tuned for my reviews of Maestra and Heatwave




Basic Book Reviews: Their Finest by Lissa Evans

So for those of you who don’t know me (and that’s everyone who’s reading this because nobody who does know I have this blog) I am a HUGE history lover. I have books and books on the Titanic (the real ship, not the movie) and collections of Horrible Histories.

I love learning about how things used to be, and getting caught up in the customs and lives of the ‘Olden times’. So when I saw the trailer for Their Finest, I added the film to my list of ones I had to see.

But somehow I missed its stint at the cinema, and I turned instead to the novel the film was based off.

So here’s my 2nd Basic Book Review of 2017.

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Blurb: It’s 1940. In a small advertising agency in Soho, Catrin Cole writes snappy lines for Vida Elastic and So-Bee-Fee gravy browning. But the nation is in peril, all skills are transferable and there’s a place in the war effort for those who have a knack with words.

Catrin is conscripted into the world of propaganda films. After a short spell promoting the joy of swedes for the Ministry of Food, she finds herself writing dialogue for ‘Just an Ordinary Wednesday’, a heart-warming but largely fabricated ‘true story’ about rescue and romance on the beaches of Dunkirk. And as bombs start to fall on London, she discovers that there’s just as much drama, comedy and passion behind the scenes as there is in front of the camera . . .

Published: 2017

Genres: Fiction, War, Film & TV tie-in

Character Development: 7/10.

This was a tricky one, because the book’s told from various characters’ points-of-view. And I wouldn’t say that character development was a priority in this book, more the story itself. But still, Catrin and Edith are different at the end than they were at the beginning, so I decided not to discount this category.

Plot: 7/10

Again, the book is told through different perspectives, so it’s another 7. The whole thing reads a bit like a film, and if you aren’t concentrated on what you’re reading, it’s easy to lose your place.

Storytelling: 8/10

The style of Their Finest is similar to others of its genre, and the language and behaviour of the characters seems accurate enough for a period story, so it’s this which recovered my opinion on it.

It’s easy to become immersed in the Blitz raids and the character’s panic, and a few times I half expected to hear the air raid sirens.

Turning Point: 9/10

Shook up the story and kept me reading until the end.

Ending: 8/10

But only because of what happened in the last half. And I really didn’t like Ambrose.

Recommend: If you like reading about the 2nd world war.

Buy From: Amazon & Book Depository

Add to: Goodreads

I have not been paid for this review. The opinions here are mine and mine only.

Basic Book Reviews: Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella

Welcome to my first ever book review!

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Today’s target is Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella, whose name you probably recognise in connection with The Shopaholic series.

The Basic Book Reviews I’ll be posting will be just that: a basic review of books from all genres which will provide you with all you need to know to decide whether you want to read it too.

So let’s begin!

Blurb: Lara has always had an overactive imagination. Now she wonders if she is losing her mind. Normal twenty-something girls just don’t get visited by ghosts! But inexplicably, the spirit of Lara’s great aunt Sadie – in the form of a bold, demanding Charleston-dancing girl – has appeared to make one last request: Lara must track down a missing necklace Sadie simply can’t rest without.

Lara’s got enough problems of her own. Her start-up company is floundering, her best friend and business partner has run off to Goa, and she’s just been dumped by the love of her life.

But as Lara spends time with Sadie, life becomes more glamorous and their treasure hunt turns into something intriguing and romantic. Could Sadie’s ghost be the answer to Lara’s problems and can two girls from different times end up learning something special from each other?

Published: 2009

Genres: Fiction. Romantic Comedy. Contemporary.

Character Development: I’m giving this an 8/10 purely because Lara probably wouldn’t have changed if it weren’t for the ghost of her great aunt.

It would’ve been a 6 or a 7 if Lara had had a different approach to meeting a ghost, and if the excuses she’d given to her family hadn’t been as funny.

Plot: 9/10.

Not everyone likes ghosts in their novels, and I’d been wary of the idea at the beginning. But I got hooked pretty quickly, so this was an easy 9.

Storytelling: 9/10.

If you’ve read other books by Sophie Kinsella, you’ll recognise her style immediately. But that’s why I picked up this book, and despite the introduction at the beginning and the world building, it didn’t take long for the main story to get underway. Plus, the overall book had that witty warmth you get from Sophie Kinsella’s books.

Turning Point: Occurs about halfway through, but is definitely worth the wait, so a 10/10 for this one. It was unexpected, and I think my jaw actually dropped when I read where Sadie’s necklace had been all along.

Ending: 9/10. Only because the book ended and I wanted to read more about Sadie and Lara.

Recommend: 100%

Seriously, I’m a fan of this book. It’s got twenties flapper dresses and stories from Sadie’s wild days, and balances the heavy stuff to keep it from being too heavy. So you can read this book if you need a pick-me-up and know you aren’t going to be crying at the end of it.

Buy From: Amazon & Book Depository

Add to Goodreads

I have not been paid for this review. The opinions here are mine and mine only.