Jules Just Read... March 2016

The Dreams of the Black Butterfly - Mark James Barrett Between You and Me: A psychological thriller with a twist you won't see coming - Lisa Hall

It has been another slow month for reading, due to a combination of work, decorating, travelling up north for a few days again, and sheer exhaustion. I managed to get through 9 books, which is the same number of books I acquired in March, so at least I managed to break even. I still dream of the day when I manage to read more books than I acquire, so I can actually reduce the length of my to be read list.




5 Star Ratings


Book of the Month

The Dreams of the Black Butterfly


When I first finished this book (and to be honest, sometimes during reading it) I was left with the feeling of “Did I just read that?” “What just happened to my mind for the hours and days it took to read this?”

This is probably going to be hard to review, as I’m not sure I’ve fully got my head around this fascinating and creative novel. It’s not often I say this, but I honestly feel the desire to read it again. To make better sense of some of it. To make sure I understood it correctly. Probably the last time I felt like this was when I studied philosophy as part of my university degree in the 1990s. I loved philosophy, but couldn’t always make full sense of it. This novel is a little like that. Not in a bad way, but some parts are so surreal, it challenges a mind that has learnt to see things in a certain way.

Each chapter appears almost as a separate short story, but each story connects with the others in some way, creating a somewhat unusual, visually descriptive and very intriguing plot.

This is in no way a book that can be rushed. As a reader, you need to enter this book with an open mind. Absorb each story. Fully experience it for what it is. Allow yourself to become a part of the often dark and sometimes brutal world created within these pages.

The Dreams of the Black Butterfly is not only thought provoking, but a work of art that touched my soul. Filling my heart with emotion and my mind with so many thoughts and questions, I didn’t know what to do with them all.

I’m not sure what genre to place this book under, as it covers so many, such as literary fiction, historical, science fiction, fantasy, spiritual, thriller, and romance. It would seem that this story has as many different aspects to it, as the Black Butterfly has stories on its wings!

This isn’t a book for everyone. Some, I imagine, will be completely baffled by it, while others will soak up the pages with eagerness, as I did. You will question the way you treat the planet you inhabit, as well as the plants, animals and people you live alongside, and the impact that may have on your future. If you like a novel that challenges the way you think, has a philosophical, ethical and spiritual element to it, then this is definitely a book you do not want to miss!



Clever Psychological Thriller

Between You and Me


My best advice to anyone considering reading this book, is DO NOT read reviews about this book before reading it yourself (except this one, ha ha).

I know a few of you will be used to my essay length reviews, but I have deliberately made this review as vague as possible, as I feel I knew a little too much about this before reading it, due to other reviews and comments I had seen. It is better to throw yourself into this without the knowledge of those who have read it.

What I will say, is it is very hard to believe this is a debut novel, as it is exceptionally well written!

If you enjoy psychological thrillers that are very hard to put down, then I highly recommend reading this.

Sorry that I cannot give you more details, but I hope my 5 star rating is enough to convince you to give this a go.



4 Star Ratings


The Finding of Martha Lost


Before reading this book, I never would have thought it possible for a train station to feel so homely and magical. This story is filled with friendship, love, family, secrets, hope, magic and self-discovery. Who would have thought so much could happen in a train station.


I think this will mostly appeal to fans of magical realism and young adult fiction.



Kitty's Countryside Dream


Kitty’s Countryside Dream is a lovely story of friendship, love, hidden pasts and new beginnings.



In the Shadows


In the Shadows (apart from reminding me of one of my all-time favourite songs, In the Shadows, by The Rasmus) is a great psychological crime thriller featuring a ruthless serial killer. Pick up this book when you have plenty of time to read, as you won’t want to put this one down.



Last Kiss Goodnight


Having read two books by this author now, I’m discovering that Teresa Driscoll has a way of creating authentic characters that are genuinely lovable. It is impossible not to get emotionally involved in the story. This novel has a good mix of happy and sad moments, and I had tears in my eyes while reading the epilogue. I also loved the friendships between some of the characters, and the feel of the close-knit community.



Hellbeast, (The ARC Chronicles, #3)


Hellbeast is yet another well written, fast paced, action packed thriller with more demons than anyone would care to encounter in real life, or in their nightmares, come to think of it. You know that saying about facing your demons. Well, you wouldn’t want to be facing the ones in this series, that’s for sure!



Time Travelling with a Hamster


I’m not sure I’m any less baffled by time travel after reading this, but what a fun adventure of a story.

Time Travelling with a Hamster is packed full of mischief, adventure, family, friendship, grief, love, time travel, random facts, and of course, not forgetting the pet hamster.



3 Star Ratings


Sleep Sister


Just writing this review, and remembering details of the book is making me feel more depressed. It feels like this book weighed too heavily on my heart. I’m sure many authors spend a lifetime trying to achieve that intensity of emotion in their readers, so that is a job well done.

If you enjoy slow burning family sagas and don’t mind them being quite dark and depressing, then I would recommend this book.