Sunday, 4 September 2016

The girl who just wanted to be loved by Angela Hart. - Book Review.

The girl who just wanted to be loved by angela hart book review

"Eight-year-old Keeley looks like the sweetest little girl you could wish to meet, but demons from the past make her behaviour far from angelic. She takes foster carer Angela on a rocky and very demanding emotional ride as she fights daily battles against her deep-rooted psychological problems. Can the love and specialist care Angela and husband Jonathan provide help Keeley triumph against the odds?" 

Angela and her husband have been fostering for a very long time and are very experienced foster carers. They were asked to take in eight year old Keely who had been in the care system for sometime but it just hadn't worked out with her previous foster parents.. Angela and Mike were already fostering two teenage boys at the time Keely came to live with them and became a prt of the family. With the ups and downs and struggles they had with Keely who needed a lot of support because she had been through many tough times. Angela and Mike are amazing people and so inspiring! I really liked this book a lot. If you enjoy fostering memoirs, you'll like this book, too! Similar to Cathy Glass and Angela Watson, Angela and her husband are amazing people and I wish there were more people in this world like them! 

Sarah xXx

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Thursday, 1 September 2016

September TBR

On my September TBR list, I've added three books. Which might be a litle ambitious considering September is going to be a busy month but if I want to reach my goal of 50 by the end of the year, I'm going to have to find time to read more. I've currently read 39 books so far this year (Although I'm sure it's 40 but goodreads tells me otherwise). Here are my books to be read in September.

I see you by Claire Mackintosh. I have read 'I let you go' by the same author and I really loved it. It's one of the best books I've read this year so I have high hopes for this book!

I love Diney Costeloe books, I think she's an amazing author who writes war fiction! I've read two of her books before 'The girl with no name' and 'The runaway family'. I can't wait to read this book! With it being 489 pages, it might take me a while to read! I found this book in a charity shop (in bran new condition !!) for £1. What a bargain!

Next up I'd like to read 'Alfie the door step cat' because it keeps popping up on good reads recomendations. I loved 'A street cat named Bob' so I think I'll like this story! And also, I love cats, haha.

What's on your September to be read list?

Sarah xXx
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Wednesday, 31 August 2016

August wrap - What I read in August

What I read in August - August Book reviews

Honestly, I feel like August was a slumpy month for me, when it came to reading. Although I did manage three books so it wasn't that bad! I also finished reading one that I started in July. So I guess that's FOUR books finished in August.

Here are the books I've read this month -

The book theif book review

I read 'The Book Thief' The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. 
This has been on my TBR list for a long time. I'd already seen the movie which I really liked. The narator of the book is death, which I wasn't really sure about to start with but I ended up truly loving it. I really enjoyed the book a lot. Set during the holocaust in Nazi Germany about a little girl that goes to live with a childless couple who also end up hiding a Jew in there basement! I connected well with the characters and although the book was a fairly long book (552 page !!) I was hooked and found myself reading it quite fast. You can read my full review here

The Girl Who Just Wanted To Be Loved by Angel Hart. (full review coming soon)
"Eight-year-old Keeley looks like the sweetest little girl you could wish to meet, but demons from the past make her behaviour far from angelic. She takes foster carer Angela on a rocky and very demanding emotional ride as she fights daily battles against her deep-rooted psychological problems. Can the love and specialist care Angela and husband Jonathan provide help Keeley triumph against the odds?"

A foster care story by Angela Hart. I have read books by this author before and really liked them. Beautifully written and quite fast paced. And whilst parts of this story is upsetting because Keely had been through rather a lot in her short life. She was taken into foster care by Angela and her husband who gave her a home and loved her. Keeley had many problems which Angela and her husband try to help her through. Angela and her hubby are wonderful people who have been fostering children for many, many years. If you like Cathy Glass and Casey Watson books, I'm certain you will like books by Angela Hart, too!

Finding Tiperary Mary by Phillis Whitsell. (full review coming soon)

"The astonishing real story of a daughter’s search for her own past ¨C and the desperate mother who gave her up

‘I lit the candle and prayed for my birth mother, asking God to take care of her. It was as if I had made some kind of connection with her. Even at such a young age, I found it difficult to understand, but I always feared that she was in danger and needed my prayers. It was the only thing at the time that I could do for her. I feared that she might be coming to some harm and that she was not happy, but I was helpless and had nobody to talk to about my feelings. The only thing at that time was to pray that her guardian angel would take care of her and keep her from harm.’

Phyllis Whitsell began the search for her birth mother as a young woman ¨C and although it was many years before she finally met her, their lives had crossed on the journey without their knowledge. When they both eventually sat down together ¨C the circumstances were extraordinary, moving and ultimately life-changing.

This is a daughter’s personal account of the remarkable relationship that grew from abandonment into love, understanding and selfless care." 

Another true life story. Phillis was put into an orphanage when she was just eight months old and cared for by nuns. She was eventually adopted when she was eight years old by a Catholic couple who already had there own children. Phillis tells her story of how hard it was growing up adopted and how her adoption was a secret and not talked about very much. Phillis goes on to become a nurse. Eventually she decided to search for her biological mother. She doesn't know much about her adoption, if her mother had any other children or even where her mother lives now. She does learn that her mother is an alcoholic. Phillis realises her and her mother have actually met before in her adult life but is her mother still alive? Is it too late? 
I really found this story interesting. Phillis is so brave sharing her story and her feelings with the world. I connected well with Phillis and this book is written really well! 

The sisters by claire douglas book review

I also finished reading 'The Sisters' and you can read my review of 'The Sisters' here.  

What are you currently reading?

Sarah xXx

August book wrap up

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - Book Review.

The book thief book review
"It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .

Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.

This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul." 

Genre - Historical fiction 
Pages - 552

I was really excited to read this book, I have wanted to read it for a long time! I had seen the movie (or parts of it!) before and couldn't wait to read the book. It's quite a big book though and needs a lot of focusing! It did take me a while to read but I managed it. Anyway... The book is narrated by death.
I really wasn't sure about the style this book was told in but I did get use to it and ended up really enjoying it. A story based in Nazi Germany during world war two and the holocaust. A woman and a man take in a young girl during this time. They don't have any children of there own so it takes a little bit of adapting for everyone. They also take in a Jewish man during this time who hides out in there basement. He is trying to escape Hitler and being sent to a camp.. Or worse. I connected so well with the characters and the story. This book is unlike anything I have ever read before. Markus Zusak did I fine job with this story and it's beautifully written. I really did enjoy it but it isn't one I could read again! It's really hard to write a review on this book without giving away any spoilers. 
(Please note: There is a fair bit of swearing in this book) 

It is much like the movie, there are parts that are slightly different. I do think the book is slightly better but the film is also VERY good, too! 
I rated this book 4.5 stars. 

Sarah xXx

Monday, 8 August 2016

The Sisters by Claire Douglas - Book Review

The Sisters by Claire Douglas Book Review

"When one sister dies, the other must go to desperate lengths to survive. Haunted by her twin sister's death, Abi is making a fresh start in Bath. But when she meets twins Bea and Ben, she is quickly drawn into their privileged and unsettling circle.

When one sister lies, she must protect her secret at all costs. As Abi tries to keep up with the demands of her fickle friends, strange things start to happen - precious letters go missing and threatening messages are left in her room. Is this the work of the beautiful and capricious Bea? Or is Abi willing to go to any lengths to get attention? When the truth outs, will either sister survive?"

Abi's twin sister dies in an horrific accident which Abi blames herself for. After the accident she moves away from London an back to where her parents live in Bath. She meets Beatrice and Ben who happen to also be twins. Bea not only looks like Abi's dead twin sister (Lucy) but she is like her in so many other ways too. She befriends Bea and ends up living with Bea and Bea's twin brother 'Ben'. Abi and Ben fall in love and end up starting a relationship which Bea is envious and jealous of.  Abi has already had a breakdown and is on antidepressants, she can not forgive herself for Lucy#s death... Abi thinks she see's Lucy around and someone is playing tricks on Abi Who updated her dead sisters Facebook page? And who stole the letters? Could it indeed be Lucy? 

I don't know what I thought about this book. I had a lot going on while I was reading this book and this is one of those books where you really need to concentrate. It's a mystery/thriller. It took me a while to read because I had zero tiem to read. However, I eventually got to 60% through the book and actually couldn't put it down. It has a couple of twists... One really big twist which I DID see coming but it was still good. IT kept me in suspense towards the end of the book - which is always a good thing. I rated this book 3 out of 5 stars. 
Thats one book from my August TBR pile read! 

Have you read any Thrillers or Mystery books lately? 

Sarah xXx

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Reading Habbits - Tag.

I've seen this tag a couple of times and thought I'd join in and jump on the band wagon. Here are my answers :) 

1. Do you have a certain place at home for reading?
 I love to read in bed at night time but honestly, I'll read anywhere! I find I read better when the house is quiet and the kids are tucked in bed though.

2. Bookmark or random piece of paper?
I actually printed some book marks from pinterest and have been using those but before that, I'd use whatever was closest to me! I was using an artificial flower for the longest time.

3. Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop after a chapter/ a certain amount of pages?
I have to ALWAYS finish on an even page, I know that sounds weird but I just can not stop reading if the page is an odd number. Is that weird? I try to finish at the end of a chapter if and when I can.

4. Do you eat or drink while reading?
I've never even thought about it, haha. I don't eat usually. I do drink water though.

5. Multitasking: Music or TV while reading?
None. I can't multi task when it comes to reading. I like to be focused on the book and story I'm reading. I don't mind having the T.V on in the background though.

6. One book at a time or several at once?
Usually one at a time but I have two on the go at the moment! I'm struggling with 'The Sisters' I don't really know why. Hopefully I'll get into that one soon.

7. Reading at home or everywhere?
Everywhere!! I read on the bus a lot.

8. Reading out loud or silently in your head?
In my head. I don't like reading out loud.

9. Do you read ahead or even skip pages?
Rarely do I skip pages or read ahead. If there's a part in the book that's too graphic, I'll skip that part. I have skipped a head in a couple of books just because I found it boring. This rarely happens though!

10. Breaking the spine or keeping it like new?
 I have to keep it new!! I have quite a few books where the spine is broken in but those have been second hand and are well loved. I still love them just as much but if I buy a book brand new, I do try to keep it new :)

11. Do you write in your books?
Nope. I have no need to write in my books. Actually that might be a slight pet peeve. I can't stand writing in books. If I feel the need to make notes, I write in a notepad but I do understand why some people (students!) need to write in books.

So there's my book tag post! I tag anyone who hasn't done this tag and wants to do it :)

Sarah xXx

Monday, 1 August 2016

August TBR.

In July I managed to read FIVE books. Which I'm quite pleased with. A couple of those books were short reads though but none the less, I read five books. You can read my July Wrap Up here

August TBR

This month I plan on reading the following:

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. This book is rather long with it being 552 pages. So wish me luck! I've seen the movie and loved it so I'm excited to read the book! Being the historical fiction fan I am, I think I'll like this one.

Alfie, the doorstep cat by Rachel Wells. This book keeps popping up on my recommend list on goodreads because I've read 'A street cat named Bob'. And the cat lover that I am, I think I'll enjoy this book!

I also need to finish reading The Sisters by Claire Douglas. I started this book on my kindle, in July but haven't yet finished it. I think I'm something like 40% of the way through.

What's on your August To Be Read list?
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Saturday, 30 July 2016

What I Read In July - July Wrap Up.

I feel like I actually read a lot during July. However, a couple of these books were fairly short reads. With 'If I Stay' being only 201 pages and 'The Boy In Stripped Pyjamas' was also a fairly short read. Still, I'm quite pleased with what I managed to read during July. All things considered, July was a very busy month and also fairly stressful so yes, I am pleased with what how much I actually did read.

'If I stay' By Gayle Foreman which I really loved. I really would like to watch the movie now, too! I also need to read the second book. I wrote about and reviewed 'If I Stay'  on my blog but it was so hard to write a proper review without giving too much away!

Everything Everything by Nicola Yook book review @ Sarahs Book Hub Blog

I really enjoyed 'Everything, Everything' by Nicola Yoon. I was quite surprised because it's a contemporary book, I wasn't sure I'd like it. I absolutely loved it! Click here for the full review of 'Everything Everything'

I've wanted to read 'The Boy In Stripped Pajamas' for the longest time. I think most people have heard of this story and movie. It's a war time fictional story that follows a Nazi solider and his family who move close to a concentration camp. I finally got around to it in July. I really enjoyed the book. I also lived the film even though both were very sad. I do think the book was slightly better.

I finished reading 'The Girl With No Name' in July, too! I started this book at the end of June but it's quite a long book with 416 pages. Diney Costelloe writes this fictional story beautifully. It's another wartime fiction which I really enjoyed.

A photo posted by ★ sarah (@the.bookhub) on

I also started reading 'While my eyes were closed' by Lisa Green. It's a mystery/crime/thriller story which I just loved. I found is SO hard to put down. It's about a little girl that goes missing whilst playing hide and seek with her mum with a couple of twists and turns along the way!I wrote my review here.

I also starting reading a book called 'The Sisters' but I found it hard to get into. I will probably finish it August though as I really do want to know how it ends! I've added that to my 'August TBR' list.

Thursday, 28 July 2016

While My Eyes Were Closed by Linda Green - Book Review.

While my eyes were closed by Lisa Green Book Review

"Lisa Dale shuts her eyes and counts to one hundred during a game of hide-and-seek. When she opens them, her four-year-old daughter Ella is gone. Disappeared without a trace. The police, the media and Lisa's family all think they know who snatched Ella. But what if the person who took her isn't a stranger? What if they are convinced they are doing the right thing? And what if Lisa's little girl is in danger of disappearing forever?"

Pages: 402
Genre: Thriller/Crime/Mystery 

A photo posted by ★ sarah (@the.bookhub) on

This book was recommended to me by my good friend Laura aka Laura In Bookish Land. I love a good Thriller story and this one was no exception. I started this book when I was on the bus the other day. I love reading on the bus, it makes the journey go soooo much quicker. 

Lisa takes her youngest daughter Ella to the park. Ella loves to play hide and seek, while Lisa is counting to one hundred Ella disappears without a trace. Lisa looks for Ella without any luck finding her four year old daughter. Where could she have gone? Did she wander off alone? Did someone take her? Is she lost and injured somewhere? Or is she just hiding in a really good hiding spot? Lisa calls the police who come to the conclusion that Ella has been taken by someone. Is the person that took Ella someone Ella knows? What's if it's a complete stranger and what do they want with Ella? 
This book had me hooked from the word go. I found it very hard to put down. Linda Green has done wonderfully with this story and it is really well written. It was actually quite frustrating in places because I seriously wanted to scream at Lisa! And at the person who has Ella! There's a couple of twists and turns which had me gripped. I rated this book 4.5 stars (out of 5) and would totally recommend it to anyone who loves a good thriller or crime book! 

What have you been reading lately? 

Sarah xXx 

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Sunday, 24 July 2016

If I stay by Gayle Foreman - Book Review.

"Choices. Seventeen-year-old Mia is faced with some tough ones: Stay true to her first love—music—even if it means losing her boyfriend and leaving her family and friends behind?

Then one February morning Mia goes for a drive with her family, and in an instant, everything changes. Suddenly, all the choices are gone, except one. And it's the only one that matters.

If I Stay is a heartachingly beautiful book about the power of love, the true meaning of family, and the choices we all make" 

Pages: 201 
Genre: Young Adult contemporary fiction. 

I honestly don't know how to write a review on this book without adding spoilers. I'm going to be honest - I didn't think this was my kind of book. I was wrong. One snowy morning Mia and her family are involved in an accident. Mia's life changes in a split second.. The choices she faces are very hard. I found this book heartbreaking but it's also so beautiful in a way I can't really explain. I love how music comes into the story. It's written remarkably well. I actually felt quite connected to Mia's character. I couldn't put this book down as it is quite fast paced and being a fast reader, it didn't take long to read at all. I'd say this is quite realistic considering it's fiction. I can't wait to read the second book 'Where She Went'. I also can't wait to watch 'If I Stay'. 
This is such a hard book to write about without giving away any spoilers. I could honestly say a lot about this book but I've seen it on a few 'To Be Read' lists and I honestly don't wait to spoil it for anyone. 

What have you been reading lately? :) 

Sarah xXx
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Wednesday, 20 July 2016

The boy in the striped Pyjamas by John Boyne - Book Review.

The boy in striped Pajams by John Boyne

"If you start to read this book, you will go on a journey with a nine-year-old boy named Bruno. (Though this isn't a book for nine-year-olds.) And sooner or later you will arrive with Bruno at a fence.

Fences like this exist all over the world. We hope you never have to encounter one." 

I have wanted to read 'The boy in the striped Pyjamas' for the longest time. I have seen the movie but really, really wanted to read the book. I have been looking for this book in charity shops for a good few weeks now and the other day, i was passing one of my local charity shops which I wasn't even going to go into when I randomly just thought 'I know they won't have it but I'll have a quick browse in the book section, just incase" And there it was. The boy in the striped Pyjamas. Finally. For the bargain price of £1! I had to have it. I actually couldn't wait to start reading it and read it that same day. It took me overall about 3.5 hours to read as it's quite short. I could easily have read this book in one sitting had I not had distractions. Anyway onto my thoughts about this story. 

The boy in striped Pyjamas is an historical war fiction story about a family who move from Berlin into the countryside. The father is a Nazi soldier and the whole family have to move away with him because of his job. Bruno, the nine year old little boy, is not happy that he's had to move from there big five story house, away from all of his friends and grandparents. Bruno is use to being able to explore and live quite freely but it all changes when the family have to move. They move right next to a concentration camp 'Out With'. Bruno doesn't really understand what the place is and thinks it's perhaps a farm. Bruno goes exploring and walks by the fence where he meets a small boy the other side of the fence who is wearing stripey Pyjamas. He's a prisoner in the camp. They do become friends but Bruno doesn't tell anyone, not right at first anyway.I don't want to go any further as I don't want to spoil it for anyone but it truly is a page turner. 

It IS a little on the unrealistic side in places but again, it's fiction John Boyne has pulled this story off very well, it's written very well. I am in no way complaining as it's fiction and aimed at a younger audience. It is Young Adult style. My twelve year old son has started reading this book  and so far he really likes it, too!
A truly heartbreaking story indeed. I rated this book 4.5 stars. 

I'll just add in here that yes, the movie is fairly true to the book. The ending is slightly different, the movie is a bit more sadder in my opinion. Personally I preferred the book but the movie is certainly worth a watch too. 

A photo posted by ★ sarah (@the.bookhub) on

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon - Book Review.

Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon book review

"My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster." 

Genre: Young adult contemporary fiction 
Pages: 310

I've seen this book floating around everywhere lately and I knew I just had to read it. I added this book to my TBR July list and purchased this book fro amazon. I'm not a huge contemporary fan but I'd heard good things about this book! The book follows the story of a young girl 'Madeline Whittier' who is allergic to literally everything. Madeline hasn't left the house for seventeen years because it could potentially kill her. Her mum is a doctor who takes care of Madeline and she also has a nurse called 'Carla' to help look after her. As Carla is with Madeline every day, they become quite good friends. Madeline doesn't have any other friends because she can't go outside. She is home schooled via the internet and the occasional tutor is allowed to visit but must be disinfected first! 
One day new neighbours move into the house next door. She eventually becomes friends with 'Olly' the boy next door, they IM each other and exchange emails, with the help of Carla they eventually meet... Maddy's life s changed forever. When Madeline's mum finds out she sacks Carla for putting Madeline at risk and things must go back to the way they were before but Madeline can't go back to that, not now she's met Olly. Madelines life has changed forever....

I absolutely LOVED this book. I started this book and put it down for a few days before picking it up again but when I did pick it up, it didn't take me long to read at all. I like the writing style and the IM/email conversations. It is YA genre, it's easy to read and I found myself reading and turning the pages very quick. I was totally hooked on this book from the start. I even liked the illustrations. I rated it 4.5 stars.

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Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Still Alice by Lisa Genova - Book Review.

I watched the movie 'Still Alice' before I read the book. I actually didn't know it was even a book until after I watched the movie. 

Still Alice book to movie review

Book Blurb

"Alice Howland is proud of the life she worked so hard to build. At fifty years old, she’s a cognitive psychology professor at Harvard and a world-renowned expert in linguistics with a successful husband and three grown children. When she becomes increasingly disoriented and forgetful, a tragic diagnosis changes her life--and her relationship with her family and the world--forever."

Genre: Contemporary adult fiction 
292 pages. 

This is a truly heartbreaking story from Lisa Genova that gives a good insight to the alzheimers disease. 
 Alice is fifty years old when she starts forgetting things, she puts it down to being busy and having a busy lifestyle, she teaches lectures and has a lot to remember and think about. She has three grown up children and a husband. Alice soon realises there is much more to her forgetful memory and starts feeling disorientated, too! One day she's running the route she has always ran in the city she lives in and she completely forgets where she is and how to get home! Alice panics for a moment but her memory soon comes back. She seeks medical advice and under go a lot of tests. It turns out she has early Alzheimer’s and is put on medication to slow the Alzheimers down. There is no cure for the disease and it does get worse over time. Alice and her family learns that the type of  Alzheimers she's suffering with is hereditary. She remembers a lot of things about her childhood and I really like that Alice shares those memories. Alice's memory gets worse as time goes on, it's quite slow progressing alzheimers. I'm not going to lie, it is quite upsetting and yes, it's a hard subject to read about because it's so real and true but this is a page turner of a book! I actually learned a lot from this book, it's a real eye opener.

The book itself is very well written, it's very easy to follow! I found it quite hard to put down because I'd watched the movie, I knew what to expect. I did find the book slightly better than the movie. I found myself really connected to the characters, especially Alice! This is a story that is so real, even though it is fictional, it is something that could happen and DOES happen. 
I do wish I'd have read the book first but still, I enjoyed both the book and movie. I rated the book four stars out of five.

The movie is very true to the book. Alice is played by Julianne Moore and I honestly think she suited the role perfectly, I don't think anyone else could have played Alice. The acting is brilliant and I surprisingly like the fact that Kristen Stewart plays Alice's youngest daughter, 'Lydia'. I felt for Alice and her family. It is a sad movie to watch, especially feeling so connected to the characters. Overall I really enjoyed both the book and movie. I do think the book was a little better than the movie. 
I'd recommend reading the book first. 

Sarah xXx

Sunday, 10 July 2016

The Girl With No Name by Diney Costeloe

"Thirteen-year-old Lisa escapes from Nazi Germany on the Kindertransport and arrives in England in August 1939. She can't speak a word of English and her only belongings are crammed into a small suitcase. Among them is one precious photograph of the family she has left behind in Germany.
Lonely and homesick, not knowing if she will ever see her family again, Lisa is adopted by a childless couple and then bullied at school for being German. But worse is to come when the Blitz blows her new home apart and she wakes up in hospital with no memory of who she is, or where she came from. The authorities give her a new name and despatch her to a children's home. With the war in full swing, what will become of Lisa now?" 

Genre: Historical fiction
Pages: 416

I really like Diney Costeloe as an author, I think she writes beautifully and very discriptive. I have already read and reviewed 'The Runaway Family' by Diney Costeloe. I read the kindle version of 'The Girl With No Name'. I love a good war time story and this one is from the perspective of a German refugee that ends up living in England. I have read a fair few historical fiction stories and non fiction stories from the World War II era and this book is one I couldn't wait to read!
I've already mentioned how much I love the way Diney Costeloe writes her books. This book was so easy to read and so easy to follow. The characters are develop well throughout the story. This story follows a 13 year old Jewish girl who is evacuated from Europe to escape the Jews. She manages to stay in contact with her family by writing to her Uncle's address, she does however, loose contact with her family and has no idea what happened to them. Lisa ends up living with a childless couple on London, she learns to speak English with the help from her new friend 'Hilda' who can also speak German and English. The air raids in London are crazy, they're constant - Lisa fears small, dark spaces so going down into the air raid shelter is not something Lisa ever wants to do. One day Lisa is in the wrong place, at the wrong time with her new friend 'Harry' she gets caught up in an air raid and ends up having an accident, she looses her memory and can't remember who she is or where she comes from. Lisa is taken to a children's home for orphans and is evacuated once again, this time to the countryside in Wales.... Her foster family back in London have no idea what happened to Lisa, they suspect she was caught and died during the air raid.

Does Lisa eventually remember who she is? What happened to the first family who took Lisa in? Will she ever discover what happened to her real family back in Europe? 

I'm going to stop there as the rest would contain too many spoilers and I honestly don't want to spoil this story for anyone! It's a very good book, I rated this book five out of five stars and I highly recommend everyone to read this book, especially if you like war fiction! I can't wait to read Dineys other books!

What have you read lately?

Sarah xXx

Sunday, 3 July 2016

My TBR for July.

I read 6 or 7 books in June, which is a lot for me! Considering last year, I read a total of 25 books and I've already read 32 books this year, I am doing well. July is going to be a busy month for me as it's the end of the school term. I have three children who all have end of year plays, assemblies, induction days at high school... Sports days.. The list is endless. You can read more about all of that over on my blog. I am determined to read four books though!
The books I'd like to try and read are as follows..

Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon

Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon - A young Adult contemporary book. I've seen this book floating around on youtube and book blogs, everyone seems to have read it. It's also one of Zoe Suggs book picks for her book club I do believe. It has good reviews and I'm really looking forward to reading this book. (I also really love the cover!)

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The girl with no name by Diney Costelloe - World War II fiction. I am reading this on my kindle. I started reading this book at the end of June but had to take a break from reading due to visual problems (I have a rare brain disease that causes my vision to become blurry). I read Diney Costelloes 'The Runaway Family' last month and throughly enjoyed that book. I reviewed that book here. So far I am really enjoying 'The Girl With No name'

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If I stay by Gayle Foreman - Young adult fiction. Another book I've heard a lot about and I was so pleased I found it in a charity shop in excellent condition. I'd also like to watch the movie after I've read the book. It seems to have really good reviews and a lot of people have recommended I read this book! I don't honestly know that much about it if I'm honest. Sometimes I prefer not knowing much about a book, I find I get into it better and have less expectations.

I'd also like to read 'The Boy In Stripped Pajamas' I have seen the movie (more than once!) and I'd like to see how true the movie is to the book. It's quite a short book so maybe I can squeeze it in somewhere.

What's on your 'To Be Read' list for July? Or what have you read lately?

Sarah xXx

 My lifestyle/family blog: Ups & Downs, Smiles & Frowns

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

What I read in June.

June reading wrap up - What I read this month @ Sarahs book hub blog

I read quite a few books in June. I got a few crossed off my 'To Be Read' list, which I'm really pleased about. I have quite a busy month in July but hopefully I'll find some time to read. Some of the books I read on my kindle and others I read in paperback form. I find a lot of my books in charity shops and have a book haul coming soon! Anyway, here are the books I read in June and a brief summary.


cast off kids book review
The Cast off kids by Tristha Merry. 

"One hot summer's afternoon, two abandoned infants are brought to Trisha and Mike Merry's door, forlorn and afraid. Their mother walked out on them. (They don't remember her.) Their grandmother tried, but couldn't manage them. And now their young father has given up on them too. These cast-off kids desperately need somewhere to live and a family to love them. They've come to the right place...
Trisha and Mike welcome them into their home and their hearts. There are now ten children under five in this household, where every day is filled with cuddles, fun . . . and more than a few challenges. After ten eventful years of love and laughter, they are reclaimed by their jealous mother, a stranger, who sets fire to their memories and sends them to a succession of care homes. Finally the younger one sets out on a quest to find the only two people who have ever loved him.

A true life story about 2 children -A brother and sister- who go into care during the 1970's. There mother abandoned them and there father couldn't cope. They were fostered by Trisha and her husband. Social services don't share any information, or very little as to why they've gone into care - it was very different back in the 70's Trisha and her husband have A LOT of foster children. We learn a lot about the other foster children too. A very fun, loving household, Trisha and her husband are very loving and caring. At one point they have eleven foster kids in there home. I learned so much from this book! For one, fostering and social services have both come a long way since then. A truly beautifully sad story with a good ending. I throughly enjoyed this book and rated it 4.5 stars out of 5. 

we are liars book review

We are Liars by E. Lockhart. 

"A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.

Read it.

And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE" 

A young adult contemporary book. I've seen this book floating around everywhere. It's also a book Zoe Sugg picked for her WH SMITH book club.
I really wasn't sure about this book, it took me a while to get through. It's well written but just not for me. I didn't feel connected to the characters. I may have enjoyed this book more when I was a teenager. I really did like the ending though. I love a good twist in a story. I rated this book 3 our of 5 stars.

The runaway family book reviewThe Runaway Family by Diney Costeloe. 

"THE RUNAWAY FAMILY was previously published as EVIL ON THE WIND.
Germany 1937: Fear and betrayal stalk the streets. People disappear. Persecution of the Jews has become a national pastime.
When Ruth Friedman's husband is arrested by the SS, she is left to fend for herself and her four children. She alone stands as their shield against the Nazis. But where can she go? Where will her family be safe?
Ruth must overcome the indifference, hatred and cruelty that surrounds her as she and her family race to escape the advancing Nazi army's final solution..."

Historical fiction set in world war II. Now, I love a good war story and this book was no exception. I've read a lot of historical fiction and non-fiction. You can read my full review here. Set in Nazi Germany about a Jewish family who have to flee and avoid the Nazi's. Ruths husband is arrested for being Jewish. Ruth does all she can to protect her children. Moving from place to place and with very little money. The ending was a little abrupt.. I won't go into detail as it would contain spoilers! I loved the writing style and the story, it was very easy to read, it only took me a couple of days to read this book! 4 out of 5 stars for me!

the girl with no past book review
The Girl With No Past by Kathryn Croft

"A gripping psychological thriller for fans of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train.

Leah Mills lives a life of a fugitive – kept on the run by one terrible day from her past. It is a lonely life, without a social life or friends until – longing for a connection – she meets Julian. For the first time she dares to believe she can live a normal life.

Then, on the fourteenth anniversary of that day, she receives a card. Someone knows the truth about what happened. Someone who won’t stop until they’ve destroyed the life Leah has created.

But is Leah all she seems? Or does she deserve everything she gets?
Everyone has secrets. But some are deadly.

A none fiction physcholical thriller that follows the life of a woman named Leah who lives a lonely life. All throughout the book it hints that Leah has done something terrible. I reviewed this book on my blog here
This book was alright, I found it hard to focus though. It lost my attention in places. It wasn't too bad and there are a few twists and turns in the story. It did keep me in suspense at times. Overall I rated this book 3.5 stars out of 5.

Skin deep by casey watson book reviewSkin Deep by Casey Watson

"Rejected by her mother and excluded by her school, Flip is a little girl desperate to be loved.
‘Am I ugly, Mummy?’ are the first words that little Phillipa says to Mike and Casey as she stomps into their lives on a hot August afternoon. She has a Barbie doll in one hand and a pink vanity case in the other and the bemused Watsons can only stare in amazement at this tiny eight year old girl who is being guided into the room by her social worker.
Phillipa, known as Flip has Foetal Alcohol Syndrome and life with her single mother has come to an abrupt end after a fire burned the house down. When Casey meets Flip, the child seems remarkably unfazed by what has happened and the thing that seems to worry her is that Casey might find her ugly.
Casey has come across children with FAS in her previous job in a high school behaviour unit, but is now realising that fostering Flip is going to be full of challenges which will test her and Mike’s skills to the limit."

Another true life fostering memoir from Casey Watson. I've read a lot of her books. Casey Watson and her husband are truly amazing people who foster children that have been placed in the care system. Casey and her husband Mike foster Flip while her mother is in hospital after a house fire. It becomes apparent that Flip has been on the at risk register for quite some time and stays in care. An absolute harrowing story. Thankfully Flip has Casey and Mike to take care of her and help her. Flip does have a happy ending but it's so hard for Casey and Mike (and there other foster child!) to say good bye to Flip. I love that there's a follow up at the end about how Flip settles into her new family - I love the way Casey writes her books, too! I rated this book 5 stars.

I also read Still Alice by Lisa Genova but there's a separate post coming on that book! :)

June good reads

What did you read in June? Let me know in the comments :) 

Sarah xXx 

(All book blurbs are from goodreads)

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Wednesday, 22 June 2016

The Runaway Family by Diney Costeloe.

The Runaway Children by Diney Costelo - Book Review @ Sarahs Book Hub

"THE RUNAWAY FAMILY was previously published as EVIL ON THE WIND.
Germany 1937: Fear and betrayal stalk the streets. People disappear. Persecution of the Jews has become a national pastime.
When Ruth Friedman's husband is arrested by the SS, she is left to fend for herself and her four children. She alone stands as their shield against the Nazis. But where can she go? Where will her family be safe?
Ruth must overcome the indifference, hatred and cruelty that surrounds her as she and her family race to escape the advancing Nazi army's final solution..." 

I found this little gem of a book in a charity shop for 90p. It was already on my TBR list! So I was very pleased with this find.
I really enjoy historical fiction (or non fiction for that matter!) and this book was no exception. Set in the late 1930's and 40's, during world war II, being Jewish, living in Germany was terrifying for Ruth and her family. A family that have to flee Germany after Ruths husband is arrested - because he's Jew. He's taken to a work camp, leaving ruth alone with four children. Ruth doesn't hear anything from her husband for quite sometime, she doesn't know if he's even alive!
She has to protect her family from the Nazis, fleeing from place to place to keep her children safe.This story is very sad indeed but very good, too!

I truly loved this book. I love the writing style. I connected with the characters and I found this book very hard to put down! It is sad in places, which is to be expected because it's a holocaust fiction story. I did find Ruth a little naive at times, I liked her character though. Wasn't so sure about the ending.. I found it a little... abrupt. It was a very good book thought and I rate it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

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What have you been reading lately? Let me know in the comments :) 
Sarah xXx

Monday, 20 June 2016

The Girl With No Past by Kathryn Croft -Book Review-

The Girl With No Past Book Review
"A gripping psychological thriller for fans of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train.

Leah Mills lives a life of a fugitive – kept on the run by one terrible day from her past. It is a lonely life, without a social life or friends until – longing for a connection – she meets Julian. For the first time she dares to believe she can live a normal life.

Then, on the fourteenth anniversary of that day, she receives a card. Someone knows the truth about what happened. Someone who won’t stop until they’ve destroyed the life Leah has created.

But is Leah all she seems? Or does she deserve everything she gets?

Everyone has secrets. But some are deadly." 
Leah tries to forget her past and tries to live. She goes to work every day in the library and comes home to her flat that's full of books. Leah has no social life and with no friends and hardly any family, she never really has much company, it's a lonely life.  She meets Julian on a dating website and seems to really like him. She also has her work collogue and meets a man 'Ben' who she becomes quite good friends with. Leah ends up being stalked by someone in her past. Someone who knows the truth about her, someone who knows the REAL her. Her stalker will not stop until they've destroyed Leahs life. 
Who is her stalker? What do they want? What's digging up the past going to achieve? 
This book was fairly easy to read. The first part of the book was slightly off putting because I had to keep going over paragraphs but I think I just had too many distractions going on. Towards to end of the book, I found it a page turner with some twists and turns a long the way! It kept me in suspense and I couldn't wait to find out about Leah's past and what was so terrible! I didn't see the end coming at all! I was quite shocked! Overall this is a great book. I would have read it a whole look quicker if I hadn't of had so many distractions going on. 
I'd rate this 3.5 our of 5 stars.
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What have you been reading lately? 
Sarah xXx

Saturday, 18 June 2016

The fault in our stars - Book Review.

 I read this book a while ago and then I watched the movie.

"Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green's most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love."

This is not an easy book to review. I feel like my review is going to do it no justice. It's a beautiful, sad and romantic story about a girl who has terminal cancer. Hazels life can be prolonged but her life can not be saved. Hazel's mother and doctor decide that hazel needs some support, so they suggest a support group, which Hazel is not keen on attending. Hazel DOES attend the support group and that is how she comes about meeting Augustus. They fall in love... 

Of course the book is centered around the fact Hazel has cancer but there is so, so much more to this book than just that. It's sweet and cute, romantic and it's just beautiful. The story is about two teenagers falling in love and it's about life and death. I can't put into words how this book made me feel, honestly, you just need to read it.

I could not put this book down. Honestly, I found it really difficult to put it down and it took me no time at all to read. I was hooked from the first page. 
I did not see the twist in this book coming AT ALL. That really messed with my emotions... Yes, I did ugly cry. A lot! For much of this book. It's sad and yet so beautiful. I felt all of the emotions reading this book. It's everything a book should be - It has an amazing story, it's beautifully written, the story is beautiful and sad at the same time.It's full of quotes, too! I learned so much from this book and it's a book that is going to stay with me for a very long time. 

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