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Christmas Book Haul 2016 Part 2

Hello everyone and welcome back to The Bookworm’s Fantasy! I hope you’re all doing well. Today’s blog post is part 2 of my Christmas book haul 2016! I received a lot of books for Christmas (17 in total), so I’ve split this haul up into 2 parts. You can find part 1 here. So, keep reading to find out about the rest of the books I got for Christmas…



If I Stay by Gayle Forman.


‘Just listen,’ Adam says with a voice that sounds like shrapnel.’ I open my eyes wide now. I sit up as much as I can. And I listen.
‘Stay,’ he says.

Everybody has to make choices.

Some might break you.

For seventeen-year-old Mia, surrounded by a wonderful family, friends and a gorgeous boyfriend decisions might seem tough, but they’re all about a future full of music and love, a future that’s brimming with hope.

But life can change in an instant.

A cold February morning . . . a snowy road . . . and suddenly all of Mia’s choices are gone. Except one.

As alone as she’ll ever be, Mia must make the most difficult choice of all.

Haunting, heartrending and ultimately life-affirming, If I Stay will make you appreciate all that you have, all that you’ve lost – and all that might be.


The main reason I wanted this book is due to the fact it’s now a film. I really want to see the film soon, but of course I have to read the book first! I’ve heard pretty mixed reviews about the book, so I’m excited to read it and formulate my own opinions. Hopefully I’ll enjoy it!



Reasons She Goes To The Woods by Deborah Kay Davies.


Pearl can be very, very good. More often she is very, very bad. But she’s just a child, a mystery to all who know her. A little girl who has her own secret reasons for escaping to the nearby woods. What might those reasons be? And how can she feel so at home in the dark, sinister, sensual woods, a wonder of secrets and mystery?

Told in vignettes across Pearl’s childhood years, Reasons She Goes To The Woods is a nervy but lyrical novel about a normal girl growing up, doing the normal things little girls do.


I’ve heard really good things about this book, and I’ve wanted to pick it up for quite a while now. I could tell that it would be something unique and it’s been pinned “experimental fiction”. I have already read this, and I really really enjoyed it. It’s unique and brilliant, and I gave it 4 stars.



The Swimming Pool by Louise Candlish.


‘I can’t take my eyes off the water. Can you?’

It’s summer when Elm Hill lido opens, having stood empty for years. For Natalie Steele – wife, mother, teacher – it offers freedom from the tightly controlled routines of work and family. Especially when it leads her to Lara Channing, a charismatic former actress with a lavish bohemian lifestyle, who seems all too happy to invite Natalie into her elite circle.

Soon Natalie is spending long days at the pool, socializing with new friends and basking in a popularity she didn’t know she’d been missing. Real life, and the person she used to be, begins to feel very far away.

But is such a change in fortunes too good to be true? Why are dark memories of a summer long ago now threatening to surface? And, without realizing, could Natalie have been swept dangerously out of her depth?


I’ve wanted this book for absolutely ages. I’m always on the hunt for a good Psychological Thriller, and the unique setting of a swimming pool really drew me to this. I have already read this, and really enjoyed it – it was brilliant! I highly recommend it, and gave it 4 stars.



Cemetery Girl by David Bell.


In Cemetery Girl, David Bell’s gripping psychological thriller, a father tries to uncover the secrets of his daughter’s inexplicable disappearance.

Tom and Abby Stuart had everything: a perfect marriage, successful careers, and a beautiful twelve-year-old daughter, Caitlin. Then one day Caitlin vanished. The tragedy changed their lives and shattered their marriage.

Four years later, Caitlin is found alive – dirty and dishevelled yet preternaturally calm. The police arrest a suspect, but Caitlin refuses to testify, leaving the Stuarts with a choice: let the man who may be responsible for destroying their lives walk away, or take matters into their own hands.

When Tom decides to try to uncover the truth for himself, nothing can prepare him for what he discovers . . .


I saw this recommended on Pinterest as a good Psychological Thriller and really liked the sound of the blurb. I’ve read quite a few books now about child disappearances, but this one sounds quite different. I’m excited to read this!


Pretending To Dance by Diane Chamberlain.


When the pretending ends, the lying begins . . .

It’s the summer of 1990 and fourteen-year-old Molly Arnette lives with her extended family on one hundred acres in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The summer seems idyllic at first. The mountains are Molly’s playground and she’s well loved by her father, a therapist famous for books he’s written about a method called ‘Pretend Therapy’; her adoptive mother, who has raised Molly as her own; and Amalia, her birth mother who also lives on the family land. The adults in Molly’s life have created a safe and secure world for her to grow up in. But Molly’s security begins to crumble as she becomes aware of a plan taking shape in her extended family – a plan she can’t stop and that threatens to turn her idyllic summer into a nightmare.


I read Chamberlain’s ‘The Silent Sister’ last Summer and really enjoyed it, and vowed to read more of Chamberlain’s books in the future. I thought this sounded like the kind of novel I’d love; full of secrets and lies. I really hope I enjoy this!



She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb.


Meet Dolores Price. She’s thirteen, wise-mouthed but wounded. Beached like a whale in front of her bedroom TV, she spends the next few years nourishing herself with the chocolate, crisps and Pepsi her anxious mother supplies. When she finally rolls into young womanhood at 257 pounds, Dolores is no stronger and life is no kinder. But this time she’s determined to rise to the occasion and give herself one more chance before really going belly up.

In his extraordinary coming-of-age odyssey, Wally Lamb invites us to hitch an incredible ride on a journey of love, pain, and renewal with the most heartbreakingly comical heroine to come along in years. At once a fragile girl and a hard-edged cynic, so tough to love yet so inimitably loveable, Dolores is as poignantly real as our own imperfections.


I’ve heard so many good things about this book and have wanted to read it for ages. I really love coming-of-age novels, and this one sounded like a brilliant contender. I have already read this, and really loved it. I loved the protagonist so much! I gave this 4 stars and highly recommend it.



Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult.


Luke Warren would have slept in the dirt if it meant he could be under the stars. He lives by the laws of nature, and would surely want to die that way.

But Luke is in a coma, and his family must make an unbearable decision.

As tensions and secrets rise to the surface, the tragic accident which brought them back together against the odds could well tear Luke’s family apart forever.

They know Luke would not want to live like this. But how can they choose to let him die?


I read Picoult’s ‘Handle With Care’ a couple of months ago and really loved it – it went straight on my “favourites” shelf. Since reading that I just knew I had to read more of Picoult’s novels! This one was recommended to me by my Nan and I’m excited to read it!



The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey.


Alaska, the 1920s. Jack and Mabel have staked everything on a fresh start in a remote homestead, but the wilderness is a stark place, and Mabel is haunted by the baby she lost many years before. When a little girl appears mysteriously on their land, each is filled with wonder, but also foreboding: is she what she seems, and can they find room in their hearts for her?

Written with the clarity and vividness of the Russian fairy tale from which it takes its inspiration, The Snow Child is an instant classic.


I saw this mentioned on Pinterest a while back as a must-read. I think the blurb to this sounds really good and very intriguing. It sounds like a pretty unique Psychological Thriller. I have high hopes for this, so really hope I’m not disappointed!



Falling by Jane Green.


Eight years ago, Emma Montague left behind the strict confines of her upper-crust English life – and rather dull boyfriend – and moved to New York City, where she immediately found success in the world of finance. But her soulless, cut-throat, all-consuming job has only led to another life she didn’t want.

Answering an online ad, Emma finds a tiny beach cottage to rent in the small town of Westport, Connecticut. It needs work – lots of work. But it’s the perfect project to satisfy Emma’s passion for interior design and gardening, if her new landlord, Dominic, is agreeable to the small changes she yearns to make.

To Emma, Dominic is also something of a fixer-upper. A local handyman with a six-year-old son, he’s a world away from the men she should be interested in, but he’s comfortable in his own skin, confident, quiet and kind. Slowly, over a shared garden, time spent with his son and late-night conversations, Emma finds herself falling for Dominic.

From friends to lovers happens as naturally as the changing seasons. But laying down roots doesn’t come easily when two lives as different as theirs merge into one. And Emma will realize that the seeds of happiness must be nurtured and cherished to grow into something strong enough to shelter all their hopes and dreams . . .


I love Jane Green’s novels, and I will continue to read them for a long time. I’ve read ‘Saving Grace’, ‘Tempting Fate’ and ‘Second Chance’ and loved them all, and have a couple of others currently sitting on my shelf. This one is inspired by Green’s real-life experiences, and I’m excited to read it!






Happy reading 🙂

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