November Book Reviews

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Good morning and happy new week! I am really pleased to be sharing another fab month of reading with you. This month I was also taking part in the #spoonieselfcareclub and the challenge was to take some time to read – which I definitely could get on board with! You can also see this month’s challenge on the November post.

Crueler and More Unusual – Four More Short Stories of Judicial Horror (Cruel and Unusual Book 2) by Erik Dean (Ad | Gifted)

The Blurb

Read four more stories of judicial horror from the award-winning author of Cryptic, Erik Dean.


Robert Holman failed to heed the warnings and an innocent night out turns into a nightmare. What punishment is fitting for this Dummy? He realizes too late that being sorry is not enough, and that there’s no hiding from the vengeful hand of fate.


An amendment to the US Constitution allows for grieving families to apply for Early Release for the prisoners who murdered their loved ones. The prisoner is set loose and the family has twenty-four hours to exact their revenge. If they don’t kill the prisoner within 24 hours, they’re awarded their freedom. Kelvin Heyer, a bank robber, is the lucky winner this time. Will he outrun his victim’s vengeful family long enough with a little help from a Friend?


Best friends and business partners Carlos and Luis are thrilled when their swimming pool design company wins the lucrative bid to build new public pools in Phoenix, Arizona. Their delight is spoiled by a business rival and Carlos’s growing—and mutual—attraction to Maria, Luis’s wife. Lust, passion, and greed quickly build up to murder and betrayal.


In the future, trials take place in small pods instead of courtrooms and most cars are driverless. Holly Barlow is one of the few people who still prefer to drive her own car, but she is caught speeding and must pay a fine. She quickly learns that the court pods do more than simply accept payments for fines—they can also vaporize lawbreakers, carrying out executions instantly… and automated systems are known to break down from time to time.
From courtrooms of the present and into the future, you’ll enjoy these ironic and horrific tales with a twist.

What I Thought

I haven’t read the first in this series but they are completely readable as stand alone books so that didn’t affect my enjoyment.

I really like short stories and also like dystopian fiction and this combined the two, in quite a horrifying take on what the justice system could become!

I wasn’t a huge fan of the author’s style of writing, it was quite simple and didn’t seem to flow very well. However, I did enjoy the stories he created and was impressed with his imagination. I enjoyed all four stories in the series but think my favourite was Early Release and this was definitely the most well written of them all as well.

This book was enjoyable and I finished it even with the fact that I wasn’t the biggest fan of his writing style. If you are a fan of short stories and dystopian fiction I think you will enjoy this offering. I will be adding the first book to my TBR list for sure!

Where To Buy

52 Uncommon Family Adventures – Simple and Creative Ideas for Making Lifelong Memories by Randy Southern (Ad | Gifted)

The Blurb

Connect with your family without breaking the bank.

When you dreamed of having a family you pictured outings, adventures, laughing around the kitchen table. But then the kids actually came and most of the time you’re too busy trying to keep up to figure out how to create a magical, screen-free environment where everyone feels loved, is having fun, and can connect. That’s why 52 Uncommon Family Adventures was written, it helps you do just that, without all the hassle and stress.

Whether it’s a family pillow fight, a lip-sync competition, or Toilet Paper Olympics, give your family the gift of lifelong memories while having fun, connecting spiritually, and speaking each other’s love languages. Enjoy all the benefits of the quality time you dreamed of without all the pressure of advanced planning.

Put down the phones, turn off the TV, and start making some memories together today.

What I Thought

Firstly, I really like the cover of this book! It is also super full of great ideas to enjoy some quality time with your family.

I loved how al the ideas given were linked to a love language from Randy’s previous book – I will also be looking into this one as the concepts sounded really good. They were also linked to a devotion and although it is not something we take part in as a family, I did enjoy the ones linnked to a moral lesson to share with the boys, and also the conversation startrs which were included.

This is a handy addition to any parent’s library and I would recommend to all. We started completing some of the adventures in the recent half term holidays and I have noted some others down for the coming weeks. Some are definitely Summer activities but will be perfect for the Summer school holidays next year.

Where To Buy

The Doll Collector by Joanna Stephen-War (Ad | Gifted)

The Blurb

Murders that look like accidents. An accident that looks like murder.

A couple and their young son burn to death in a house fire.

A girl dies from a nut allergy.

A woman falls under a train during the rush hour.

An accountant falls down the steps to his basement.

Their deaths appear to be accidents but Gloria knows they were murdered because she murdered them. And every time Gloria kills she buys a doll.

But how many dolls will she need to keep her satisfied?

When Gloria takes a room as a lodger her behaviour starts to spin out of control. Gloria wants love and happiness and friendship and she will do anything she can to get what she wants…

What I Thought

Well! Gloria is, quite frankly one of the most vile book characters I have ever come across. Part of me kept reading as I just hoped and hoped that she got her comeuppance in the end!

I really enjoyed this book and it definitely had me hooked from beginning to end. The author did a fantastic job building up the characters and suspense. The fact I could feel such hatred towards a character shows how well it was written I think.

A really good, disturbing, psychological read that all thriller fans will enjoy.

Where To Buy

Audible – The Rumour by Lesley Kara

When single mum Joanna hears a rumour at the school gates, she never intends to pass it on. But one casual comment leads to another and now there’s no going back . . .

Rumour has it that a notorious child killer is living under a new identity, in their sleepy little town of Flinstead-on-Sea.

Sally McGowan was just ten years old when she stabbed little Robbie Harris to death forty-eight years ago – no photos of her exist since her release as a young woman.

So who is the supposedly reformed killer who now lives among them? How dangerous can one rumour become? And how far will Joanna go to protect her loved ones from harm, when she realizes what it is she’s unleashed?

‘Everyone is going to be talking about The Rumour. An intriguing premise, a creeping sense of dread, and a twist you won’t see coming!’ Shari Lapena, bestselling author of The Couple Next Door.

‘In this chilling tale of paranoia, suspicion and accusation, Lesley Kara keeps you guessing until the final page.’ Paula Hawkins, No.1 bestselling author of The Girl on the Train and Into the Water

‘A great debut with a slyly clever premise and a rollercoaster ride to the very last sentence.’ Fiona Barton, bestselling author of The Widow and The Child

What I Thought

I love listening to thrillers on my Audible account and I enjoyed this one.

The book did keep me guessing until the penny dropped for me and then it seemed to drag and get a little unbelievable. Up until that point I was enjoying the story-line and it had been keeping me guessing. At times I felt there were details that didn’t need to be included and therefore felt a little like fillers. I think if I had read this in book form, I would have struggled to pick it up at some points as the story wasn’t grabbing me all the time.

However, as an Audible book, I felt it was easy to listen to and although not one I fell in love with, I did enjoy it.

Where To Buy

Audible – The World’s Worst Teachers by David Walliams

The Blurb

Millions of young readers have loved the World’s Worst Children tales – now they will revel in this delightfully dreadful collection of the most gruesome grown-ups ever: The World’s Worst Teachers. From the phenomenally bestselling David Walliams and illustrated in glorious colour by the artistic genius, Tony Ross.

Think your teachers are bad? Wait till you meet this lot. These ten tales of the world’s most splendidly sinister teachers will have you running for the school gates. Dr Dread teaches science and is half man, half monster… Watch out for the ghastly Miss Seethe. She is ALWAYS furious – and she’s on a detention rampage. And as for Mr Phobe, he’s a teacher with a real difference. He is bone-shakingly terrified of… children!

Millions of children have loved the World’s Worst Children – now they will revel in this delightfully dreadful collection of the most gruesome grown-ups ever, The World’s Worst Teachers. Brought to you by number one bestselling author, David Walliams, with every story illustrated in glorious colour by artistic genius, Tony Ross.

What I Thought

I downloaded this to listen to with the boys on the drive back from Essex and I think I ended up loving it just as much as them!

We have read a few of David Walliam’s books and this is the second Audible one of his we have listened to (after Bad Dad) and we have enjoyed every single one. I think it was the third story along in this book that had Riley giggling for England in the back of the car!

We were all gutted when it ended and could have listened to it ten times over. I love the fact David reads his own books for the Audible versions – as well as having a host of great other voice actors in for the other characters. I would recommend this on Audible or in readable formats – not just for the kids – the adults will enjoy just as much!

Where To Buy

I have read a couple more this month but they are Christmassy books ready to go in my festive round-up for you in December so you will have to wait for those reviews. I hope you have enjoyed these ones – let me know which one you most like the look of in the comments below!

The books tagged as gifted were sent to me from NetGalley in return for my honest review. All opinions in this post are my own.

Affiliate links do not affect your purchase in any way but the blog earns a few pennies when they are used so thank you.

2 Comments on “November Book Reviews

  1. Pingback: Top Ten Reads 2019 – The Spoonie Mummy

  2. Pingback: November Book Reviews and 20 for 20 update – The Spoonie Mummy

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