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My Year in Books 2021.

My Year in Books 2021.

I read 46 books last year. This is largely due to the book club that I joined and also a lot of buddy reads with Irena. I reviewed a lot them, but not all. Reading is the best part for me, so sometimes the reviews slip by with just a number rating.

Here are all the books I read in 2021.

It is a difficult decision to chose my top books of the year as so many of them were really gripping, entertaining and some so funny. But as a bookblogger and keen to recommend the best books in my opinion, I will tell you my top 4 of 2021.

In no particular order, my favourite 4 are:

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides. You can read my review of that book here – https://chocolatepages.wordpress.com/?s=the+silent+patient

Friend Request by Laura Marshall.

I haven’t reviewed this one, but it is well reviewed on Goodreads and Amazon. A very twisty thriller based on the main character Louise receiving a Friend Request from a former high school student who is dead.

The Secret Bridesmaid by Katie Birchall.

You can read my review of this one here – https://chocolatepages.wordpress.com/2022/01/04/more-end-of-2021-mini-reviews-there-is-a-favourite-in-here/

Into The Drowning Deep by Mira Grant.

I didn’t expect to enjoy this one so much as it was a different genre from what I usually like best. This was based on monster type sea creatures and a group of explorers and scientists going out on a ship to find proof that they exist. Very different and very good. Thanks to Irena again for this recommendation.

What were your favourite books of 2021? Give me your recommendations of what I should read in 2022.

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2022 in Books

 

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More End of 2021 Mini Reviews. There is a favourite in here!

More End of 2021 Mini Reviews. There is a favourite in here!

If you saw my last post, you will have seen that I read a lot of books in 2021, but I didn’t manage to review them all. So these few days of posts will be mini reviews of some of the books that I read but hadn’t reviewed until now. They were read over the past year, so my reviews will be shorter than normal, but I will give you the jist of what I thought of each of them.

The Secret Bridesmaid by Katy Birchall

Published May 4th 2021 by St. Martin’s Griffin

I buddy read this book with Irena, and what a fun time we had with this one. We both agreed that this was one of the best books we’ve read in 2021. It was easy to read, funny and a really pleasant surprise from an author that was new to us both.

Sophie is a professional Bridesmaid, people hire her to be their Bridesmaid and to ensure that their Wedding goes perfectly. Yes, she pretends to be whoever the customer / Bride wants them to be, and she ensures she plays the perfect Bridesmaid and that the Weddings go exactly as planned, sometimes even edging her clients in the right direction if they seem a bit lost in all the planning.

Sophie is hired by Lady Victoria, to be Bridesmaid for her daughter Cordelia. Cordelia does not feel this is necessary and here is where the fun starts. Cordelia is hilarious and does her best to throw a spanner in all Sophie’s plans and asks her to do the weirdest things.

If you have seen and enjoyed the film ’27 Dresses’, then you will love this book even more. That film was fab, this book is even better in my opinion.

Definitely among my top books of 2021. I look forward to reading more from Katy Birchall in 2022.

Romance By The Book by Sarah Ready

Published September 14th 2021 by Swift & Lewis Publishing LLC

This book appealed to me because of the title and the blurb. Book loving, librarian Jessie has loved Gavin since she was a child. She lives in a town called Romeo, where there is a psychic who can predict people’s soul mates. Of course Jessie is over the moon to hear that the guy she has loved for so long is her actual soul mate, but the problem is that he is already engaged. So, Jessie makes plans (based on literary romantic scenarios) to show Gavin that they are soul mates.

I liked that this was escapism, easy reading. The plans that Jessie came up with were stereotypical ideas of romance, but the way she went about them were amusing.

The book was predictable, but then most romance books are, so that wasn’t a problem. I found it a little strange that we hear about Jessie’s friends in the first few chapters, but when it comes to putting her plans into action, she enlists the help of a group of older ladies from the library. I wonder if this was for amusement factor? Though to me, it made it a little unrealistic. I would have liked to hear more from her friends.

This is book 3 in the ‘Soul Mates in Romeo’ series. I hadn’t read book 1 or 2, and I think there were enough spoilers in book 3 that I wouldn’t go back to previous books. But this did work ok as a standalone.

I buddy read this book with Irena, and we both enjoyed the book and the discussions that we had while reading it. A nice easy read, with a few chuckles and a predictable ending.

Let me know any of your favourite books of 2021, I’m always looking for recommendations to add to my reading list.

 
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Posted by on January 4, 2022 in Books

 

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End of Year Reviews. #BookBlogger. #BookClubReads

End of Year Reviews. #BookBlogger. #BookClubReads

I have read a lot of books this year, and I didn’t get a chance to review all of them. So here is a round up of some of the books I read and my brief thoughts on them. They will probably come in multiple posts as there are a lot of unreviewed books this year!

Some I read by myself and some I read as part of my book club. Thanks to Irena for introducing me to lots of new books and genres. Irena’s links below.

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Published June 30th 2020 by Del Rey

This book was a bookclub read and not really my top choice, but I was ready to try new genres. I would describe this as historical, horror fiction.

Our main character Noemi gets a letter from her cousin asking for her help. So Noemi goes to see her cousin and stays in a very old gothic building in attempt to help her cousin who seems to be quite sick and scared. The descriptions within these pages are my favourite part as you can really imagine the dampness, the creepiness and the eerie atmosphere that Noemi’s cousin lives in.

I have to say, I was hoping for more Mexican influence, but the family were English so despite being based in Mexico there wasn’t much Mexican influence in it.

I knew I was going in for a horror read, we read this as part of our October Halloween bookclub read. But the supernatural element just didn’t work for me. I was hoping there would be believable (to me) reasons for what was happening, but I just didn’t believe it.

As you can see for yourself, the cover of this book is gorgeous and that was one of the things that attracted me to the book. Sadly, this book wasn’t for me.

Cackle By Rachel Harrison.

Published October 5th 2021 by Berkley Books

This was our second Halloween read, and I liked this one so much better than Mexican Gothic. It was marketed as a horror / thriller by some reviewers. I want to be very clear on my and my co reader’s thoughts here. This is definitely not a thriller or a horror. We decided that at best it can be describe as a cosy women’s fiction with paranormal / witchy elements. It was the Halloween book that I wanted.

Annie leaves Manhattan to try to start again after her boyfriend dumped her. She is feeling low in confidence and hopes her new job, house and location will bring her more happiness. Apart from a spider infestation, her house and area seems lovely. Then Annie meets Sophie, who is super confident, super hot and super nice to Annie. One odd thing though, the other locals seem a bit scared of Sophie!

This was such a cosy, easy read. We see the character development of Annie and Sophie throughout the book. Particularly with Annie there are many pro feminism aspects as her character grows.

I love the cover of this book, despite there being a spider on it. The Author may think this book will lessen readers fear of spiders! For me it did not. I would be totally freaked out in Annie and Sophie’s houses. But whats a Halloween book without a friendly spider or 5!

I really liked this book as just an easy read with a hint of paranormal, that even me as a total non believer could enjoy. Highly recommended.

Well, thats it for today. More mini reviews to come soon as I look over all the books I’ve read this year. As I look at what I’ve read, I will consider my favourites of the year? Let me know your favourite book(s) of 2021 and perhaps I will add them to my tbr list for 2022. Happy Reading Folks.

Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Pexels.com
 
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Posted by on December 31, 2021 in Books

 

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Christmas Book Review: Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella. #FestiveRead

Christmas Book Review: Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella. #FestiveRead

If I can recommend one festive book to read this year, it would be this one. It was a real pleasure to be back in Becky’s life again so she could bring me some laughs at this seasonal time. I buddy read this with Irena and we had a great time reading and discussing it.

Description:

Celebrate Christmas with the ultimate Shopaholic!
The brilliant laugh-out-loud festive novel from the Number One bestselling author.
Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood) adores Christmas. It’s always the same – Mum and Dad hosting, carols playing, Mum pretending she made the Christmas pudding, and the next-door neighbours coming round for sherry in their terrible festive jumpers.
And now it’s even easier with online bargain-shopping sites – if you spend enough you even get free delivery. Sorted!
But this year looks set to be different. Unable to resist the draw of craft beer and smashed avocado, Becky’s parents are moving to ultra-trendy Shoreditch and have asked Becky if she’ll host Christmas this year. What could possibly go wrong?

With sister Jess demanding a vegan turkey, husband Luke determined that he just wants aftershave again, and little Minnie insisting on a very specific picnic hamper – surely Becky can manage all this, as well as the surprise appearance of an old boyfriend and his pushy new girlfriend, whose motives are far from clear . . .
Will chaos ensue, or will Becky manage to bring comfort and joy to Christmas? 

Paperback, 384 pages
Published October 15th 2019 by Bantam Press

My Thoughts:

It was so much fun to be back with Becky Brandon nee Bloomwood again. I was really hoping I would enjoy this book, as the last Shopaholic was quite disappointing. I am happy to say, that this one was a lot better. I buddy read this one with Irena and we had lots of interesting discussions as we read along.

It was a great idea to get Becky to host Christmas lunch for her family. Having to host, buy, prepare and feed her parents, sister, neighbours and best friend and their families is some job for anyone. But for Becky, who wants to make everybody happy and will do whatever she can to make it perfect for everybody, it is a very large job. Anybody who has read previous Shopaholics will know that this is the perfect opportunity for Becky’s shopping addiction and also for her to get into plenty of scrapes.

One thing I would say about this book, is that it would probably best to be read as part of the series and not to read this one before the others. There are a lot of past reference points to the many other books. This is not an negative point, because there have been lots of Shopaholic books and if you haven’t read any, you have a bookish feast ahead of you.

We meet all the usual characters again. Becky’s parents have taken on a new adventure so we get a few giggles from them. Suze and Becky’s friendship is as lovely as ever. And Jess, Becky’s sister is home for Christmas. Jess is a vegan and the most eco friendly person I have ever heard about. Being eco friendly is of course a good thing, but Jess takes it to another level, and the most annoying character in the book. Becky is extremely patient with her.

Becky is such a great character. She is funny, caring, generous and just makes the most entertaining character I know from a book series.

If you have read previous Shopaholics and not this one, then now is the time to read it. If you haven’t read any Shopaholics and you like light funny reads, then this is the series for you.

Links:

 
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Posted by on December 27, 2021 in Books

 

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Book review: Spooky Halloween Reads.

Book review: Spooky Halloween Reads.

I read some great Halloween reads over the last month. The first I will tell you about is a horror book, which is entirely out of my usual comfort reading zone. But I was buddy reading it with Irena, which would make it enjoyable whatever I thought of the book. Luckily for me, I rated the book 4 out of 5 stars.

Description :

Seventeen-year-old Iris Hollow has always been strange. Something happened to her and her two older sisters when they were children, something they can’t quite remember but that left each of them with an identical half-moon scar at the base of their throats.

Iris has spent most of her teenage years trying to avoid the weirdness that sticks to her like tar. But when her eldest sister, Grey, goes missing under suspicious circumstances, Iris learns just how weird her life can get: horned men start shadowing her, a corpse falls out of her sister’s ceiling, and ugly, impossible memories start to twist their way to the forefront of her mind.

As Iris retraces Grey’s last known footsteps and follows the increasingly bizarre trail of breadcrumbs she left behind, it becomes apparent that the only way to save her sister is to decipher the mystery of what happened to them as children.

The closer Iris gets to the truth, the closer she comes to understanding that the answer is dark and dangerous – and that Grey has been keeping a terrible secret from her for years.

House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland.

My Thoughts:

I think this is my first proper horror book that I have read in quite a few years. I used to enjoy Stephen King books when I was a lot younger. But since then, my genre preferences stayed between thriller and womens fiction. Branching out to a horror book at Halloween seemed the perfect time to give it a go. Even better, I got to buddy read it with Irena.

So, onto House of Hollow. This book starts with three sisters who are as close as sisters can be. They have arranged to meet up as only Iris now lives at home. Vivi and Grey are out living their own lives. Grey as a famous model, and Vivi in a band. The three sisters share a bond like no other as they disappeared as children for 1 month, and when they were found unharmed except for a scar on the throats, they remembered nothing.

The mysterious things start to happen pretty much straight away in this book. Grey doesn’t turn up for their meeting so Iris and Vivi start to look for her. This leads them on a journey neither of them were expecting, and gives them answers and many more questions about their lives along the way.

The writing in House of Hollow is so descriptively amazing and really painted a picture in my mind. It was good to discuss these parts with Irena, as some parts of it really made me cringe, but Irena had different views. When I first saw the cover, I thought it was lovely, as I read on and discovered these were flowers of death, it seemed more creepy than nice. It wasn’t the traditional horror story with blood and gore, or ghosts and ghouls. This horror had mythical dark fairytale vibes, the type that is super creepy to me. While I didn’t know much about faeries at the time (I knew only that fairies were good and faeries were not so good). Irena knew quite a lot about them, so I also learnt about faeries and myths while reading the book.

The concluding chapters to House of Hollow are gripping, fast paced, earie and answered all the questions that I had built up over the read. The ending was both sad, happy, weird and so imaginative. There was an epilogue which was not really necassary and may or may not have been written with a book 2 in mind?? I’m not sure. Personally, I think House of Hollow ended and should remain ended in this way. But saying that I really did love this Author’s writing style and creative imagination. I would read Krystal Sutherland’s books again. I didn’t think I would say that before I started this book, but again my buddy reads have pulled me out of my comfort zone and found something exciting. I highly recommend House of Hollow. Thanks to Irena for suggesting the book and buddy reading it with me.

See this amazing trailer, if my review didn’t convince you to read, then this will.

 
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Posted by on October 31, 2021 in Books

 

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Book Review: The Therapist, by Helene Flood. Translated by Alison McCullough #Netgalley #PsychologicalThriller

Book Review: The Therapist, by Helene Flood. Translated by Alison McCullough #Netgalley #PsychologicalThriller

Thank you to Netgalley and Spiderline publishers for my copy of this book. I love psychological thrillers and even the name of this one had me hooked from the beginning.

Photo by rikka ameboshi on Pexels.com

Description:

From the mind of a psychologist comes a chilling domestic thriller that gets under your skin.

What happens when a psychologist begins to question her own sanity?

Sara runs a private psychology practice for troubled youth in the newly inherited house she is refurbishing with her husband, Sigurd. One morning, a voicemail from Sigurd tells Sara he’s arrived at a holiday cabin for a weekend away with the guys. A couple of hours later, Sigurd’s friends call from the cabin asking where he is — according to them, Sigurd never arrived.

Sara is irritated by what she thinks is a practical joke. But as the hours stretch out, her anger turns to fear, and the large empty house begins to feel increasingly threatening.

To get to the root of Sigurd’s disappearance, Sara must question everything she knows about their relationship. But can she trust her own thoughts? And where is she safe?

Published July 6th 2021 by Spiderline

My Thoughts:

I love the strapline to this novel – “The truth is inside her head“. Sara is a therapist, treating her patients in her office at home. Her husband Sigourd is supposed to be renovating their big old inherited house. But Sigourd is so busy with his work, he doesn’t get around to doing much renovating. He needs a break away with the boys for the weekend, so Sara is home alone. But when Sara gets a call to say Sigourd never arrived, things start to unravel. At first Sara thinks its a weird stupid joke from the friends of her Husband, friends she never really liked. But as the hours pass, Sara gets worried.

Sara was not a likeable character, but as a therapist, I enjoyed seeing the way her mind worked. As the police investigation continues into Sigourd’s disappearance, strange things continue to happen around Sara. So much so that she starts to doubt herself. We didn’t hear to much about the investigation from the police side of things and as their suspicions are told to Sara, this is when we learn about them. The fact that a Sigourd left a message on Sara’s phone to say he arrived to see his friends makes this all the more strange and makes the reader question, why Sigourd lied? For the first half of the book, I didn’t have any suspects, which is odd as usually I suspect everybody. As I got into the second half of the book, more suspects appeared.

The writing and translation of this book was excellent. If it wasn’t based in Norway with Scandinavian names, then I would not know it was not originally written in English. I have read quite a few Scandi Noir books over the years and I was not disppointed with this one. The ending of the book was very good and I felt satisfied that all ends were tied up.

Author Helene Flood is a psychologist herself. The book has already had been bought for film rights, which I look forward to seeing. She also has another book due out next year which I look forward to hearing about.

Links:

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2021 in Books

 

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Book Review: The Flat Share by Beth O Leary.

Book Review: The Flat Share by Beth O Leary.

The Flat Share was a book club read with Irena and Monika . This was a different read from our usual genre, but we decided to go for something light hearted and an easy read.

Description:

Tiffy and Leon share a flat
Tiffy and Leon share a bed
Tiffy and Leon have never met…

Tiffy Moore needs a cheap flat, and fast. Leon Twomey works nights and needs cash. Their friends think they’re crazy, but it’s the perfect solution: Leon occupies the one-bed flat while Tiffy’s at work in the day, and she has the run of the place the rest of the time.

But with obsessive ex-boyfriends, demanding clients at work, wrongly imprisoned brothers and, of course, the fact that they still haven’t met yet, they’re about to discover that if you want the perfect home you need to throw the rulebook out the window…

My Thoughts:

The description of this book was what initially appealed to me about this book. The idea of a man and a woman sharing a one bedroom flat, where he sleeps there in the day and she sleeps there at night sounded like it would be fun, quirky and an easy read.

Leon and Tiffy share a flat but are never in it together. They have never even met. The idea is very strange for a living arrangement, but Leon needs more income and Tiffy can’t afford a place or room of her own in expensive London . So they agreed to a 6 months agreement.

The first half of this book was funny and weird and parts of it did make me chuckle. Tiffy is low on self esteem but she has a quirky dress sense and she is very chatty and tends to say what’s in her mind at the time . She is the opposite to Leon who is very quiet and tends not to say what’s in his mind. As with most romantic comedies you can tell where this will end up. There are a few extra parts of the story which are not obvious and gave our book chat plenty of things to discuss.

As the book turned to the second half of the plot, I found it not as humorous and easy going as it was to begin with. This disappointed me a bit because I wanted a funny easy read. There were more difficult topics that came up and I found that the light heartedness had almost gone from the book. It picked up again at the very end of the book, and although the book ended as I would have liked it to, I thought that there were quite a few unnecessary parts which made the book longer than it needed to be.

I did like the writing style which was alternated between Tiffy’ s point of view and Leon’s point of view. I could see a different style between the two and it was quite obviously a male / female difference. Leon and Tiffy communicate to each other through post it notes for the other to read during their time at the flat. The notes were amusing, despite the notes being left around for ages and making a mess.

Personally I wouldn’t read books from this author again as for me it didn’t prove to be the light easy read I expected. If you like romantic comedies with a mix between funny and serious topics then you will probably love The Flat Share. Sadly for me this was not a satisfactory read and this was primarily due to the change in tone over the chapters.

Links:

 GoodreadsAmazon.co.uk / 

 
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Posted by on October 3, 2021 in Books

 

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Book Review: Survive The Night, by Riley Sager.

Book Review: Survive The Night, by Riley Sager.

Thank you to Netgalley and publisher Dutton Books for my copy of this book. I had heard very good things about this Author, and having not read any books by Sager yet, I wanted to give this book a go.

Description:

It’s November 1991. George H. W. Bush is in the White House, Nirvana’s in the tape deck, and movie-obsessed college student Charlie Jordan is in a car with a man who might be a serial killer.

Josh Baxter, the man behind the wheel, is a virtual stranger to Charlie. They met at the campus ride board, each looking to share the long drive home to Ohio. Both have good reasons for wanting to get away. For Charlie, it’s guilt and grief over the murder of her best friend, who became the third victim of the man known as the Campus Killer. For Josh, it’s to help care for his sick father. Or so he says. Like the Hitchcock heroine she’s named after, Charlie has her doubts. There’s something suspicious about Josh, from the holes in his story about his father to how he doesn’t seem to want Charlie to see inside the car’s trunk. As they travel an empty highway in the dead of night, an increasingly worried Charlie begins to think she’s sharing a car with the Campus Killer. Is Josh truly dangerous? Or is Charlie’s suspicion merely a figment of her movie-fueled imagination?

What follows is a game of cat-and-mouse played out on night-shrouded roads and in neon-lit parking lots, during an age when the only call for help can be made on a pay phone and in a place where there’s nowhere to run. In order to win, Charlie must do one thing–survive the night.

Published June 29th 2021 by Dutton Books.

My Thoughts:

Well this book takes place over one night, as could be guessed from the title. From receiving my copy to beginning to read it, I didn’t read too many reviews or re read the blurb. So I went in a little blind. I was pleasantly surprised to find it was set in 1991, which meant no mobile phones or internet. It was nice to revisit this time, and I have to say it makes thrillers seem more dangerous as you can’t just call for help on your phone.

The plot begins with the main character Charlie, we learn that her best friend has been murdered on a night out. Charlie feels guilty and wants to leave campus and get home. As she isn’t able to drive herself home she looks for a travel buddy to car share with. Here enters Josh. The majority of the story is between these two characters and told from their points of view.

Because the chapters are written from the two main characters point of view, I got a good sense of who they both are. Personally I didn’t like Charlie and after the first few chapters, any sympathy that I had for her was gone. I found her to be one of the most stupid characters I have ever read about. She made terrible decisions concerning her own safety and I don’t think this was due to lack of common sense I think she just decided to do stupid things. Charlie was a very frustrating character to me. The only positive part of her that I liked was that she used a lot of movie references. These were entertaining and helped to get a better idea of who she was and why she was as she is.

Josh on the other hand was a bit more interesting. I had a few theories about who he was while I read the chapters. I won’t say too much about that because it would lead to spoilers. The writing was easy to read and flowed well.

As we were reading this as part of a book club we ended up reading it much faster than we initially planned.

Overall I have to say that sadly I was a bit disappointed with this book. All the chapters lasted the one night, but then at the very end goes years to the future and tells us what happened there. Again I found Charlie to be continuing to make bad decisions.

I wouldn’t be against reading another book by this author as the writing style and the idea of the plot was good. I just felt to strongly that the decisions made were a little ridiculous. There was also a part of Charlie’s character where she had what she called ” movies in her mind” . It was left unclear whether this was a mental health condition or just part of Charlie’s coping mechanism. ( perhaps it’s the same thing?) I would have liked the epilogue to make this a bit clearer as I felt it was quite a big part of the story that wasn’t explored and explained to the reader enough.

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Posted by on September 19, 2021 in Books

 

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Book Review: Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty.

Book Review: Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty.

I chose Nine Perfect Strangers in a book swap in my work place quite a long time ago. I was attracted to the front cover and the description. Since I got the book, I watched Big Litle Lies. ( written by the same author). I loved this series starring Reece Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman and it also allowed this book a bit closer to my ‘ to be read ‘. I am very excited to see the film of this book now , and hope it will live up to the excellence of the book. Here are my thoughts.

Description:

Could ten days at a health resort really change you forever?

These nine perfect strangers are about to find out…

Nine people gather at a remote health resort. Some are here to lose weight, some are here to get a reboot on life, some are here for reasons they can’t even admit to themselves. Amidst all of the luxury and pampering, the mindfulness and meditation, they know these ten days might involve some real work. But none of them could imagine just how challenging the next ten days are going to be.

Frances Welty, the formerly best-selling romantic novelist, arrives at Tranquillum House nursing a bad back, a broken heart, and an exquisitely painful paper cut. She’s immediately intrigued by her fellow guests. Most of them don’t look to be in need of a health resort at all. But the person that intrigues her most is the strange and charismatic owner/director of Tranquillum House. Could this person really have the answers Frances didn’t even know she was seeking? Should Frances put aside her doubts and immerse herself in everything Tranquillum House has to offer—or should she run while she still can?

It’s not long before every guest at Tranquillum House is asking exactly the same question.

Combining all of the hallmarks that have made Liane Moriarty’s writing a go-to for anyone looking for wickedly smart, page-turning fiction that will make you laugh and gasp, Nine Perfect Strangers once again shows why she is a master of her craft.

· First published 18 September 2018


My Thoughts:

I read this book a while ago but never got around to reviewing. So here is my mini bullet point review of Nine Perfect Strangers.

* Nine very different characters end up at a retreat. They are in for a very different kind of ” retreat”.

* Some reviews I’ve read said this isn’t Liane’s best book but it’s the first I’ve read of hers and I really enjoyed It. So if I can take anything from those reviews it’s that I would probably enjoy the other books too.

* I was a little confused by the first chapter temporarily then as I read on it made more sense.

* All the characters are a little eccentric or at least have something about them. I liked all the characters but my favourite was the older lady who before arriving had a funny little meltdown in her car. I can totally imagine this and it made me warm to her before she even arrived at the retreat. I wanted her to feel better.

* The Author uses her imagination to create different chats between each character and how they would react under strained and unusual circumstances. There was a human element to the story and getting to know each character was what I liked.

* I like the plot but I liked the characters more.

* Definitely recommended as a fun summer read.

Links:

Goodreads

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2021 in Books

 

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The Open House by Sam Carrington. A book review of twists and intrigue.

The Open House by Sam Carrington.  A book review of twists and intrigue.

Thank you to Netgalley, the Author and publishers for my copy of this book. I was attracted to the book by the intriguing sounding description.

Description

Everyone’s welcome. But not everyone leaves…

Nick and Amber Miller are splitting up and selling their Devon family home. But despite the desirable location, the house isn’t moving. Not a single viewing so far.

When their estate agent suggests an open house event, Amber agrees, even as she worries about their gossiping neighbours attending and snooping around their home.

But Amber has more to worry about than nosy neighbours. Because thirteen people enter her house that afternoon, and only twelve leave.

Someone doesn’t want the house to sell, and is willing to do anything to stop it…

My Thoughts:

This book was great, full of twisty plots, sub plots and an array of interesting characters.

When Amber and her Husband decide to split up, they need to sell their house. Its been on the market for a while but there hasn’t been any interest yet. When it’s suggested to Amber that she has an open house to attract more interest, although not thrilled with the idea of people nosying around her house, she agrees. The only problem is it seems that 13 people went into the house, but only 12 came out. I was intrigued as to how this would make the premise of a whole book. But there were many subplots which were based around this idea.

There were lots of creepy things happening in Amber’s house and I thought she was brave to stay there alone with her children. When weird things happen, do you convince yourself that you must have done it yourself and forgotten or do you remember that only 12 people came out of your house and where is that last one? Did you count wrong? Were you seeing things? Questions questions! Perfect for a thriller.

There were lots of great characters, not necessarily likeable ones but lots of interesting ones. The chapters alternated between different characters points of views. I think this made me consider lots of red herrings which is always fun in a thriller. I read this book on my own and having participated in lots of book club reads recently, I found there were many thoughts that I would have liked to discuss. This would be fab for a book club read.

The end of this book ties up all the loose ends properly and the many twists that come up throughout the book all make sense. I found myself suspecting many of the characters, from the husband to the new boyfriend to the nosy neighbour who wants to know everyone’s business to the annoying busy body of a mother in law to the estate agent. In fact the only characters I didn’t suspect was Amber herself and her 2 friends ( whose names were mentioned in the acknowledgement as having their names taken from the authors friends). I did guess some parts towards the end but I didn’t see all the twists coming.

A great read with twists, sub plots and a page turning finale.

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Posted by on September 5, 2021 in Books

 

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