Ethan’s Secret by Patrick Hodges

Ethan's Secret by Patrick Hodges - Lauren Mayhew AuthorEthan’s Secret – Patrick Hodges – 5 Stars

Blurb: Kelsey Callahan is smart, tough and fiercely loyal to her friends. She wants nothing more than to follow in her father’s footsteps, and be a detective just like her hero, Sherlock Holmes.

A lover of mysteries, she finally gets the chance to solve something on her own when Ethan, a cute but mysterious loner appears in her class. Both fascinated and infatuated with him, Kelsey soon learns there are events at play in Ethan’s life that are both tragic and dangerous.

Events that, the deeper she digs, may end up threatening not only their relationship but their very lives.

What I like: I loved the first book in the James Madison trilogy, so I’m not sure why it took me so long to get around to reading Ethan’s Secret. I’ll be reading Sophie’s Different, the final book in the series next. I really want to know what happens next, even though the characters may be slightly different. Continue reading “Ethan’s Secret by Patrick Hodges”

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Avengers: Infinity War

Avengers Infinity War Film Review - Lauren Mayhew AuthorAvengers: Infinity War – 5 out of 5 Stars

Synopsis: Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk and the rest of the Avengers unite to battle their most powerful enemy yet — the evil Thanos. On a mission to collect all six Infinity Stones, Thanos plans to use the artefacts to inflict his twisted will on reality. The fate of the planet and existence itself has never been more uncertain as everything the Avengers have fought for has led up to this moment.

There really isn’t a lot I can say about Avengers: Infinity War without giving away too much of the plot, so this could be the shortest review I’ve ever written. All I can really say is that this is one film you don’t want to miss. Continue reading “Avengers: Infinity War”

A Quiet Place

A Quiet Place - Film Review - Lauren Mayhew AuthorA Quiet Place – 5 out of 5 Stars

Synopsis: A family of four must navigate their lives in silence after mysterious creatures that hunt by sound threaten their survival. If they hear you, they hunt you.

That is probably one of the shortest film descriptions that I have ever read, but it’s simplicity completely matches the film. A Quiet Place lived up to the hype that is currently surrounding it. I’m not much of a horror movie watcher, but there was something about this one that drew me in. I’m so glad I didn’t chicken out.

First of all, if you don’t like reading subtitles when watching films, this definitely isn’t the one for you. The film is almost completely silent, there’s not even a lot of backing music. It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before and it’s definitely the best film I’ve seen this year, and that’s including The Greatest Showman which I saw three times! Continue reading “A Quiet Place”

Tomb Raider

TTomb Raider - Film Review - Lauren Mayhew Authoromb Raider – 4 out of 5 Stars

Synopsis: Lara Croft is the fiercely independent daughter of an eccentric adventurer who vanished years earlier. Hoping to solve the mystery of her father’s disappearance, Croft embarks on a perilous journey to his last-known destination – a fabled tomb on a mythical island that might be somewhere off the coast of Japan. The stakes couldn’t be higher as Lara must rely on her sharp mind, blind faith and stubborn spirit to venture into the unknown.

The first thing I’ll say is that, if you wanted this Tomb Raider to be anything like the previous films starring Angelina Jolie, you’re going to be disappointed. This is more of the story about the making of Lara Croft, rather than the gun toting, big breasted millionaire than Jolie portrayed. This is the story of a young woman struggling with the loss of her father, refusing to accept his death. Continue reading “Tomb Raider”

The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory

The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory - Lauren Mayhew AuthorThe Lady of the Rivers – Philippa Gregory – 5 Stars

The fact that it took me a few months to finish this book doesn’t reflect on the quality. When I pick up a book and read it for the first time, it often takes me a few weeks, not months like this one, but I’m busy and have many late nights, so reading anything goes out of the window. I really wanted to love this book, and I’m glad to say that I wasn’t disappointed.

Blurb: Jacquetta, daughter of the Count of Luxembourg and kinswoman to half the royalty of Europe, was married to the great Englishman John, Duke of Bedford, uncle to Henry VI. Widowed at the age of nineteen she took the extraordinary risk of marrying a gentleman of her household for love, and then carved out a life for herself as Queen Margaret of Anjou’s close friend and a Lancaster supporter – until the day that her daughter Elizabeth Woodville fell in love and married the rival king Edward IV.

Of all the little-known but important women of the period, her dramatic story is the most neglected. With her links to Melusina, and to the founder of the house of Luxembourg, together with her reputation for making magic, she is the most haunting of heroines. Continue reading “The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory”

Black Panther

Black Panther Film Review - Lauren Mayhew Author
Image: Marvel Studios

Black Panther – 4 out of 5 Stars

Synopsis: After the death of his father, T’Challa returns home to the African nation of Wakanda to take his rightful place as king. When a powerful enemy suddenly reappears, T’Challa’s mettle as king – and as Black Panther – gets tested when he’s drawn into a conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people.

Black Panther is another film from the Marvel universe, and there’s not many Marvel films that I haven’t watched. I’m always excited to see what Marvel have up their sleeve next, and off the back of Thor: Ragnarok, I was expecting big things. Continue reading “Black Panther”

Darkest Hour

Darkest Hour Film Review - Lauren Mayhew Author
Poster: Focus Features

Darkest Hour – 4.5 Out of 5 Stars

Synopsis: A thrilling and inspiring true story begins at the precipice of World War II as, within days of becoming Prime Minister of Great Britain, Winston Churchill (Academy Award nominee Gary Oldman) must face one of his most turbulent and defining trials: exploring a negotiated peace treaty with Nazi Germany, or standing firm to fight for the ideals, liberty and freedom of a nation. As the unstoppable Nazi forces roll across Western Europe and the threat of invasion is imminent, and with an unprepared public, a skeptical King, and his own party plotting against him, Churchill must withstand his darkest hour, rally a nation, and attempt to change the course of world history.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I sat down to watch Darkest Hour. There are so many depictions of Churchill in films, TV and books, I wasn’t sure how this one was going to differ. Darkest Hour chose to show the very beginning of Churchill’s leadership during the war, rather than his health decline in later years. It was great to see the battles that he faced from members of the opposition, the King, and even members of his own party. Continue reading “Darkest Hour”

The Greatest Showman

The Greatest Showman - Film Review - Lauren Mayhew AuthorThe Greatest Showman – 5 out of 5 Stars

Synopsis: The Greatest Showman is a bold and original musical that celebrates the birth of show business and the sense of wonder we feel when dreams come to life. Inspired by the ambition and imagination of P.T. Barnum, The Greatest Showman tells the story of a visionary who rose from nothing to create a mesmerizing spectacle that became a worldwide sensation.

This film was something special. Michael Gracey did a fantastic job with his full length feature debut. More experienced directors would shy away from the thought of directing a musical, but Gracey was right not to. He had a vision and he went for it.

I’m not a massive musical fan, Grease being one of the only exceptions, and Disney of course, but you expect a certain level of cheese with that. I haven’t even watched La La Land yet, and it’s supposed to be amazing. Maybe one day I’ll get round to it. Anyway, when I heard it was a musical, I wasn’t expecting to love it. I would have been happy to watch a film based on P.T. Barnum’s life without the singing, but I could not have been happier than when I left that cinema last night. I was totally in the mood for a singalong on the drive home. Continue reading “The Greatest Showman”

What Makes a Good Book Review?

Book Reviews - Lauren Mayhew AuthorI’ve always wondered what people like to see in a book review. As an author, any review 3 stars or more is greatly appreciated. Even a 3 star review can mean that the reader enjoyed the book, they just didn’t love it. Every review is appreciated by an author, indie or not.

One of my most liked posts on here is a book review. I wrote it almost two years ago now, and it still gets views. I do wonder sometimes how people stumble upon that post. It made me think why that review was so popular. If people enjoyed it enough to like the post, it meant the format of the review must have been to certain people’s taste. You can find it here.

These are the 5 steps that I use to write my reviews. Continue reading “What Makes a Good Book Review?”

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare - Lauren Mayhew AuthorClockwork Angel – Cassandra Clare – 5 Stars

The Clockwork Angel is the first in the trilogy of ‘The Infernal Devices’. The first time I read this book must have been in 2010 after finding it in my local library, and I instantly fell in love with it. It’s now one of my favourite books ever. I’ve read it quite a few times, and it never lets me down. I only wish that I’d written this review after the first time of reading the book. It would be great to see what I thought of it back then!

Blurb: Magic is dangerous – but love is more dangerous still… When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray arrives in England during the reign of Queen Victoria, something terrifying is waiting for her in London’s Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets.

Friendless and hunted, Tessa seeks refuge with the Shadowhunters, a band of warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons. Drawn ever deeper into their world, she finds herself fascinated by – and torn between – two best friends and quickly realizes that love may be the most dangerous magic of all. Continue reading “Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare”