So, I’m a little bit late, but here’s what I was reading in August. I think that getting to write book reviews is one of my favourite parts of blogging.
Everybody Hurts. Joanna Nadin and Anthony McGowan.
MORE HOPE. MORE HEART . . . MORE FOOL YOU.
Matt and Sophia live in the same city, but they come from opposite sides of the track. By rights they should never have met. They definitely should never have fallen in love at first sight, of all cliches.But, to their great surprise, they do. That’s the easy part. It’s what to do next that they struggle with. Friends, family and circumstance are mostly against them. They betray themselves; then they betray each other. And in the end they learn, the hard way, what it takes for love to survive. It’s true what they say. Everybody hurts sometimes. But sometimes, too, the pain is worth it.
What I thought:
This is a young adult novel, and I’ve read some fantastic YA novels lately (Wonder, Eleanor and Park, The Fault in Our Stars to name a few) so I was looking forward to getting my hands on another one.
Sophia has a brain tumour (which seems to be incidental to the story) and Matt is from the wrong side of town. They meet by accident and fall in love. It seems like all the odds are stacked against them, but they are hopeful that they can make it work.
This book is interesting in that it’s written by two well-known young adult authors, which can often seem a little jarring. In this case, however, it works well. I love the way that each author gives their particular character its own voice.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. While it’s not life-changing, it’s a nice, easy read.
The Pool House. Tasmina Perry
The Pool House: Someone lied. Someone died.
A Summer To Die For. To Jem Chapman, it’s the chance of a lifetime. An invitation to join a group in an exclusive Hamptons house-share, who could say no? But when she discovers what happened last summer, Jem can’t help but feel a chill.A young woman was found drowned in the house’s pool. The housemates said Alice was troubled. She’d been drinking. She couldn’t swim…A Secret To Kill For. As Jem gets to know her glamorous new housemates, she realises each has something to hide. What really happened last summer? And who would go to any lengths to keep a person quiet?
What I thought:
Jem has moved to New York with her husband to support him in his demanding new job. Suddenly, they are thrust into a lifestyle beyond anything Jem has imagined before. When they are invited to make up the final couple in a share in a beach house for the summer, he is quickly seduced by the influence and opulence, while she is struggled to retain some of her own identity.
Upon finding out about a tragedy which occurred the previous summer, Jem is determined to figure out whodunnit. What happened to Alice? Were her housemates involved?
I’m not going to let anything slip about what happens in this book – it’s enough to let you know that I really enjoyed it! This one is a ‘definite’ for your reading list this summer.
Nineteen Letters. Jodi Perry
The 19th of January, 1996 … I’ll never forget it. It was the day we met. I was seven and she was six. It was the day she moved in next door, and the same day I developed my first crush on a girl.
Then tragedy struck. Nineteen days after our wedding day, she was in an accident that would change our lives forever. When she woke from her coma, she had no memory of me, of us, of the love we shared.That’s when I started writing her letters.The stories of our life. Of when we met. About the happier times, and everything we’d experienced together.What we had was far too beautiful to be forgotten. If you love Nicholas Sparks’ bestselling novel THE NOTEBOOK, you will devour the compelling, emotional storytelling of Jodi Perry’s Nineteen Letters. It will make you laugh, and it will make you cry.
What I thought:
Ok, there’s a big part of me that is a complete cynic. Overblown romance, ideal love stories and characters who reach the heights of perfection tend to make me roll my eyes. I’m not going to lie – the first few chapters of this book, I did a LOT of eye rolling. With a love story that’s just too good to be true and a husband straight from the daydreams of a bored housewife, I was pretty sure that this book was just going to be saccharine idealism. I didn’t think I’d be able to make it to the end.
It won me over though – against all odds! I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it, but I did. It’s actually a lovely read, so if you’re looking for some lovey-dovey romance with a dash of angst and tragedy – this one’s for you. Just hang on through those first few chapters!
Yesterday. Felicia Yap.
The thriller of the summer
A brilliant high-concept debut thriller – just how do you solve a murder when you only remember yesterday?
There are two types of people in the world: those who can only remember yesterday, and those who can also recall the day before.You have just one lifeline to the past: your diary. Each night, you write down the things that matter. Each morning, your diary tells you where you were, who you loved and what you did.Today, the police are at your door. They say that the body of your husband’s mistress has been found in the River Cam. They think your husband killed her two days ago.Can you trust the police? Can you trust your husband? Can you trust yourself?
What I thought:
This book confused the hell out of me! In a (mostly) good way though. I struggle reading high-concept books. Fantasy, time-travel, unlikely powers and abilities – they all bring out the arguer in me. I guess I find it difficult to suspend logic in the ways that the authors require. If I can manage to suspend that logic, I can generally enjoy the storyline, but if not, I struggle to finish the book.
I struggled with this one. While the ideas of stereotypes and prejudices brought on depending if you are a ‘mono’ (can only remember one day), or a duo (can remember 2 days) was definitely interesting and so relevant in today’s society, I found the explanations of what could and couldn’t be remembered ponderous and heavy.
If you are a fan of these kinds of books, then I can see that this one has a certain charm.
Gather the Daughters. Jennie Melamed.
GATHER THE DAUGHTERS is a haunting story of an isolated island cult for fans of THE HANDMAID’S TALE, THE GIRLS and THE POWER. ‘An intriguing, gorgeously realised and written novel which inexorably draws you into its dark heart’ Kate Hamer
On a small isolated island, there’s a community that lives by its own rules. Boys grow up knowing they will one day reign inside and outside the home, while girls know they will be married and pregnant within moments of hitting womanhood. But before that time comes, there is an island ritual that offers children an exhilarating reprieve. Every summer they are turned out onto their doorsteps to roam wild: they run, they fight, they sleep on the beach and build camps in trees. They are free. It is at the end of one of these summers, as the first frost laces the ground, that one of the younger girls witnesses something she was never supposed to see. And she returns home, muddy and terrified, clutching in her small hand a truth that could unravel their carefully constructed island world forever.
What I thought:
Talk about disturbing! This novel is just completely unsettling and sinister on so many levels. I don’t want to say too much about it because I think that a part of what makes it so chilling is the element of shock. Suffice to say, if you’ve enjoyed dystopian novels such as ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’, ‘Brave New World’ and ‘Farenheit 451’, then you definitely want to read ‘Gather the Daughters’.