Wednesday, 10 January 2018

My Virtual Book Awards 2017

It's that time of the year again when I look back at the reviews I have written over the past twelve months and decide which ones I have enjoyed most.
This year I have reviewed 52 books on my blog. I have read maybe another 10 or more and listened to 5 audio books. My awards are only for the books I have reviewed. 

It was so hard trying to decide on my favourite books. My short list was 20 then 15 and I have narrowed it down to 12. 
I have three categories. The books that made me cry, the books that had me on the edge of my seat and the  books that should be made into films. 

Every one of my 12 favourite books are well worth a second look if these are not on your kindle or bookshelves. Well done to the authors and I hope to read their next books soon.

Thank you to Net Galley, Harper Collins, Penquin, Avon books U.K and Urbane Publications. A special thanks to all the authors who have also sent me books to review. All my reviews are entirely my own thoughts and I hope I give a well rounded opinion.
This years new books have started with two good ones which I will be writing reviews for soon. 
Three Things About Elsie by Joanna Cannon and If I Fall By Ella Harper. 
Happy New Year everyone! 

The winners who are top of all three categories and my best reads of 2017 are...
East of Hounslow and Island of Secrets.

These two books made me cry, had me on the edge of my seat and should be made into films. East of Hounslow also has a touch of humour running through it and is the first book of a trilogy. 
Island of Secrets author Patricia Wilson has a new book due out this year and I can't wait to read it. 

East of Hounslow by Khurrum Rahman 

Meet Jay.
Small-time dealer.
Accidental jihadist.
The one man who can save us all?
Javid – call him Jay – is a dope dealer living in West London. He goes to mosque on Friday, and he’s just bought his pride and joy – a BMW. He lives with his mum, and life seems sweet.
But his world is about to turn upside-down. Because MI5 have been watching him, and they think he’s just the man they need for a delicate mission.
One thing’s for sure: now he’s a long way East of Hounslow, Jay’s life will never be the same again.

Island of Secrets by Patricia Wilson
It's the story of the Nazi occupation of Crete during the Second World War, of horror, of courage and of the lengths to which a mother will go to protect her children. And it's the story of bitter secrets that broke a family apart, and of three enchanting women who come together to heal wounds that have damaged two generations.

The books that made me cry.......

Relativity by Antonia Hayes
Ethan's single mother, Claire is fiercely protective of her brilliant, vulnerable son. But she can't shield him for ever from learning the truth about what happened to him when he was a baby; why Mark had to leave all those years ago.

Nineteen Letters by Jodi Perry
What can I say about this book? It grabbed my heart and squeezed every emotion it could find from it.
Jemma and Braxton have been neighbours and friends since childhood. They have been married for nineteen days when tragedy strikes and Jemna is left in a comma. Braxton is devasted and stays by her bedside until she awakes.

One Last Wish by Ella Harper

Rosie and Nate had the perfect relationship. But they struggled to cope with the devastating news their daughter Emmie has incurable cancer. It feels like their world – and their relationship – has come crashing down. 
They must do everything to support their little girl, but can they stop their marriage falling apart?

The Returning Tide by Liz Fenwick
One wrong decision leads to betrayal and a lifetime of heartbreak. A heartbreak kept secret for years until the younger generation demand answers. A suitcase in the attic filled with unopened letters, a blurred wedding photo and a bridal veil. Only one person knows it's story and time is running out for her to tell it.

The books that kept me on the edge of my seat.....

The Escape by C.L. Taylor
The stranger knows Jo's name, she knows her husband Max and she's got a glove belonging to Jo's two year old daughter Elise.
What begins with a subtle threat swiftly turns into a nightmare as the police, social services and even Jo's own husband turn against her.

Leopard at the Door by Jennifer McVeigh
The sights,sounds and smells of Africa as described in the book could only come from someone who knows and loves the country. I was transported there by every page. I was worried for Rahel as she wandered around the farm and fished in the river. Were the lions, buffalo or leopards watching her? Was she safe? Actually she had more to worry about from her fellow man and woman than any wild animal as you will find out in the book.

The Witchfinder's Sister by Beth Underdown
Based on the true story of the man known as the Witchfinder General, this exquisitely rendered novel transports you to a time and place almost unimaginable, where survival might mean betraying those closest to you, and danger lurks outside every door.

Books that would make great films ! ...... Film producers why have you not bought the film rights? 

Twenty-Four Shadows by Tanya J. Peterson
This is the story of Isaac who has Dissociative Identity Disorder [multiple personality disorder].
It has taken his whole life for this to become noticeable but when he is found half dead in the wilds of Idaho it brings things to a head so Isaac has to be diagnosed. He then attends a daily medical facility to receive treatment.

The Planters Daughter by Jo Carroll

It's 1848. And Sara, aged fourteen, must leave her family in the stinking potato fields of Ireland to seek a better life with her wealthy aunt in Liverpool. But her Uncle has different ideas.
If I said this was heartbreaking I wouldn't be using a strong enough word. I had no idea just what the Irish people went through at that time. Men, woman and children  dying at the side of the road, the Protestant Church refusing to help or feed starving Cathlics unless they became Protestants,oh the list goes on. 
The ending was a complete surprise and I couldn't get it out of my head.

And with Eddie Murphy and Maggie Smith as part of the cast......
Return of the Magi by P.J Tracy 
Emil Rice has a silver tongue and sticky fingers, the only problem is that his charm always gets him into trouble and he's never been very good at not getting arrested. Twenty-two times he's been caught and twenty-two times he's sworn never to steal again, but it's on his twenty-third arrest when Emil realises he may have picked up more than he bargained for. Sentenced to community service at a secure mental health facility, Emil is unwillingly befriended by two elderly female patients who believe he is the final part of a big cosmic plan that will change their lives forever...


  1. Goodness - I’m humbled to find myself in such company. Many thanks, Anne

  2. You are welcome Jo. Well deserved!

  3. What a list! Thank you, Anne, for putting Twenty-Four Shadows on it! (Wouldn't it be cool if it really were made into a movie?!) Thank you, too, for giving me many books to add to my TBR list!!! :)


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