I am counting down the days until the new Bridget Jones book comes out. I can’t remember the last time I was this excited for a book to come out!
In the meantime I wanted to give you a rundown on some books I read lately. Some amazing… and some just ‘meh’!
When She Woke by Hillary Jordan
Hannah Payne is a RED.
Her crime: MURDER.
And her victim, says the state of Texas, was her unborn child.
Lying on a table in a bare room, covered by only a paper gown, Hannah awakens to a nightmare. Cameras broadcast her every move to millions at home, for whom observing new Chromes – criminals whose skin has been genetically altered to match the class of their crime – is a sinister form of entertainment.
Hannah refuses to reveal the identity of her father. But cast back into a world that has marked her for life, how far will she go to protect the man she loves?
This book had me gripped from the start. Upon reading the first few pages I was hooked. The story itself of criminals being ‘chromed’ and the future of prisons was of massive interest. The main character Hannah was likable and I was intrigued to find out her story. The opening chapters are beautifully written and engaging but unfortunately the book lost momentum towards the end. The last few chapters felt rushed and the ending was an anti-climax. Such a shame as it had the premise to be so much more.
Stars out of 5: 3/5
Before I Go to Sleep by SJ Watson
Memories define us.
So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep?
Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you love – all forgotten overnight.
And the one person you trust may only be telling you half the story.
Welcome to Christine’s life.
Another book I couldn’t put down! However unlike When She Woke ,the story was engaging from beginning to end. Really well written, great pacing and a fantastic psychological thriller! Christine has amnesia and wakes up every morning in a bed with a man (her husband) that she has no recollection of. She begins to write about her days and memories in a secret diary and it becomes apparent that not everyone is telling her the truth… Highly recommend this book.
Stars out of 5: 4/5
Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children
A mysterious island.
An abandoned orphanage.
A strange collection of very curious photographs.
It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive. A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.
This book is quite misleading in that it looks (on first glance) and the blurb reads like a book for adults, however it it more more teenagers. From reading reviews on Amazon it would seem that many others have the same view. Now, I happily read many books for teen audiences such as Harry Potter, Twilight etc., as I love the magical worlds that you can be transported to. In saying that, Ransom’s writing is not up to the standard of JK Rowling and the writing in this book was not up to the standard to properly engage adults. I felt the language was tiresome and too simple. It started off well but certainly seemed to run out of steam towards to final chapters. The combination of vintage photos and fiction is a nice touch but doesn’t do enough to hold the readers attention. The book ends with a clear view of book number two which I don’t think I will be buying…
Stars out of 5: 2.5/5
Until You’re Mine by Samantha Hayes
You’re alone. You’re vulnerable. And you have something that someone else wants. At any cost … If you liked BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP, you’ll love this gripping psychological thriller.
Claudia seems to have the perfect life.
She’s heavily pregnant with a much wanted baby, she has a loving husband, and a beautiful home.
And then Zoe steps into her life. Zoe has come to help Claudia when her baby arrives.
But there’s something about Zoe that Claudia doesn’t like. Or trust.
And when she finds Zoe in her bedroom, Claudia’s anxiety turns to real fear …
Really loved this book! Having just read Gone Girl I was looking for another gritty thriller and personally I think this is even better than Gone Girl (perhaps because I hated the ending in Gone Girl!). The writing was captivating and I loved that it was told from three characters viewpoints: Zoe, Claudia and detective Lorraine. It’s a real page turner and has a satisfying ending!
Stars out of 5: 4/5
Various Pets Alive and Dead
Lentils, free love, radical politics and family truths . . . Various Pets Alive and Dead is the wonderfully funny fourth novel from Marina Lewycka, author of the bestselling A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian.
For twenty years Doro and Marcus lived in a commune, convinced lentils and free love would change the world. They didn’t. What they did do was give their children a terror of radicalism, dirt, cooking rotas and poverty. Their daughter Clara wants nothing less conformist than her own, clean bathroom. Their son Serge hides the awkward fact that he’s a banker earning loadsamoney. So when Doro and Marcus spring a surprise on their kids – just as the world is rocked in ways they always wished for – the family is forced to confront some thorny truths about themselves . . .
I really didn’t like this book at all. I had to force myself to finish it. I bought it as I was looking for a lighthearted, funny read to compliment the thriller books I had been reading. I don’t think I laughed once while reading this book. The characters weren’t likable or engaging, and as a reader I just didn’t care what happened to them. Very bland and disappointing…. I just wanted a funny book!
Stars out of 5: 1/5
I am now reading Caitlin Moran’s How to Be A Woman. Liking it so far – very witty!
I previously wrote about my favourite books of all time so feel free to check that out if you are looking for more recommendations.
What books are you reading at the moment? Would love to know!