The Good Daughter. Karin Slaughter.

The Good Daughter. Karin Slaughter. Review.

The blurb:

The stunning new standalone, with a chilling edge of psychological suspense, from the bestselling author of Pretty Girls.

Two girls are forced into the woods at gunpoint. One runs for her life. One is left behind …

Twenty-eight years ago, Charlotte and Samantha Quinn’s happy smalltown family life was torn apart by a terrifying attack on their family home. It left their mother dead. It left their father – Pikeville’s notorious defence attorney – devastated. And it left the family fractured beyond repair, consumed by secrets from that terrible night.

Twenty-eight years later, and Charlie has followed in her father’s footsteps to become a lawyer herself – the archetypal good daughter. But when violence comes to Pikeville again – and a shocking tragedy leaves the whole town traumatised – Charlie is plunged into a nightmare. Not only is she the first witness on the scene, but it’s a case which can’t help triggering the terrible memories she’s spent so long trying to suppress. Because the shocking truth about the crime which destroyed her family nearly thirty years ago won’t stay buried for ever …


What I thought:

When you see the calibre of the authors who are praising this book (Lee Child, Kathy Reichs, Tess Gerristen, Gillian Flynn),  you just know it’s going to be a good one – and it doesn’t disappoint.  It can be pretty gory and absolutely horrific in parts, but it’s one of those books that you just can’t put down.
You know how, when reading book reviews, there are words that the reviewers overuse that make you roll your eyes? (“Unputdownable” and “Compelling” being the two which I snigger at every time) The problem with these words is that they DO have a place, no matter how many times they’ve been used (and used and overused) before. The Good Daughter definitely does deserve to be described as both ‘compelling’ and ‘unputdownable’, although I hesitate to do so in fear of sounding trite. Needless to say – I loved this, and have reread it already. I think you’ll love it too.

My Absolute Darling. Gabriel Tallent.

my absolute darling. garbriel tallent. review.


The blurb:

‘You think you’re invincible. You think you won’t ever miss. We need to put the fear on you. You need to surrender yourself to death before you ever begin, and accept your life as a state of grace, and then and only then will you be good enough.’

At 14, Turtle Alveston knows the use of every gun on her wall;
That chaos is coming and only the strong will survive it;
That her daddy loves her more than anything else in this world.
And he’ll do whatever it takes to keep her with him.

She doesn’t know why she feels so different from the other girls at school;
Why the line between love and pain can be so hard to see;
Why making a friend may be the bravest and most terrifying thing she has ever done
And what her daddy will do when he finds out …

Sometimes strength is not the same as courage.
Sometimes leaving is not the only way to escape.
Sometimes surviving isn’t enough.

What I thought:

Holy disturbing Batman. I don’t quite know what to say about this book. I don’t want to say that I loved it, because that just feels wrong. (Trust me, when you’ve read it, you’ll understand). Turtle is the most amazing character. I just want to give her a hot bath and a big hug, but I think that she would probably bite me if I tried.  She is so horribly damaged, but she is remarkable, with grit and strength and the determination to be more than what she is living. Read this one – it stays with you.

Every Lie I’ve Ever Told. Rosie Waterland.

Every lie I've ever told. Rosie Waterland. Review.

The blurb

‘I’m okay!’ The bestselling author of The Anti-Cool Girl returns with a devastating, heartbreaking, brilliant, brave and laugh-out-loud funny memoir of telling lies and being on the brink…

‘I had made it! All my dreams had come true. I had an operating fridge, I was doing brilliantly, and I had written the memoir to prove it. I even had online haters. I had conquered life at 30 and nothing was ever going to go wrong again!’

It was all going so well for Rosie Waterland. Until it wasn’t.

Until, shockingly, something awful happened and Rosie went into agonising free fall.

Until late one evening she found herself in a hospital emergency bed, trembling and hooked to a drip. Over the course of that long, painful night, she kept thinking about how ironic it was, that right in the middle of writing a book about lies, she’d ended up telling the most significant lie of all.

A raw, beautiful, sad, shocking – and very, very funny – memoir of all the lies we tell others and the lies we tell ourselves.

What I thought:

This book should be required reading for anyone trying to navigate life in 2017. While it is definitely funny, it is also very sad. Coming from a traumatic upbringing, Rosie had hit the big time with the publishing of her book “The Anti-Cool Girl”. This book swoops from pubic hair to abortions, and although it purports to be about lies, I think that it tells more truths. Mental health is such a massive issue at the moment (I feel like I need to index this:
               Mental Health:
  attitudes to –  pg 95,109
prevalence of – pp74-9
resourcing (lack) – freaking everywhere  )
and this book is such a great read to shine a little light on the whys and the wherefores, but also, it’s just a really funny read!


How Hard Can It Be? Allison Pearson.

How Hard Can It Be? Allison Pearson. Review.

The blurb:

Kate Reddy is back! This is the follow-up to the international bestseller I Don’t Know How She Does It, the novel that defined modern life for women everywhere. This time she’s juggling teenagers, aging parents and getting back into the workplace, and every page will have you laughing and thinking: It’s not just me.

Kate Reddy is counting down the days until she is fifty, but not in a good way. Fifty, in Kate’s mind, equals invisibility. And with hormones that have her in shackles, teenage children who need her there but won’t talk to her and ailing parents who aren’t coping, Kate is in the middle of a sandwich that she isn’t even allowed to eat because of the calories.

She’s back at work after a big break at home, because somebody has to bring home the bacon now that her husband Rich has dropped out of the rat race to master the art of mindfulness. But just as Kate is finding a few tricks to get by in her new workplace, her old client and flame Jack reappears – complicated doesn’t even begin to cover it.

This is a coming of age story for turning fifty. It’s about so much more than a balancing act; it’s about finding out who you are and what you need to feel alive when you’ve got used to being your own last priority. And every page will leave you feeling that there’s a bit of Kate Reddy in all of us.

As funny as Helen Fielding and Caitlin Moran, this is straight-up brilliant fiction about how to have it all and not end up losing yourself on the way.

What I thought:

I loved “I Don’t Know How She Does It” so was really looking forward to this follow-up novel. What I found most interesting was my response to the characters this time around. When I read ‘I Don’t Know How She Does It’, I was much younger. In fact, I think I pinched it off my Mum’s book shelf and the characters seemed funny in a comedic way, but not a way that I could really relate to. Reading it now, as a wife and a mum to three children, my response is completely different. I can totally understand now how Kate is so chronically, frantically busy. I can understand how it is easier for her to stay up late and get up early to do those little must-do jobs than to cajole someone else into doing them. I can also understand the ‘martyr’ feeling that comes along with making those sacrifices.

Kate’s children are older than mine, and I enjoyed this read in a ‘I totally get it’, ‘God I hope I’m never like that’ cautionary tale kind of way! I think the part of this book that I enjoyed the most though, is my realisation that our experiences completely inform our response to what we read.

What Was I Scared Of? Dr Seuss.

what was i scared of. Dr Seuss. review.

The blurb:

A very special, spooky story from Dr. Seuss – with glow-in-the-dark ink!
Then I was deep within the woods
When, suddenly, I spied them.
I saw a pair of pale green pants
With nobody inside them!

Turn out the lights and say hello to Dr. Seuss’s spookiest character… the pair of empty trousers, with nobody inside them!
First published as part of The Sneetches and Other Stories collection, this all-time favourite story of Dr. Seuss’s is now published on its own in this very special edition with a glow-in-the-dark finale!

What I thought:

Come on! It’s Dr Seuss…what more do you need me to say?
We loved it – and it glows in the dark. That’s about as cool as it gets according to the munch bunch.
Look, Dr Seuss is great. We love his stories. I love that they’re always fun and funny and the kids are always entertained by them. I also love that if you scratch the surface, there’s a fantastic meaning right there. This is no exception, and with so many children dealing with fears and anxieties in our society, this is such a wonderful way of teaching them about facing up to these fears.

A BIG thank you to HarperCollins for keeping us happily in books for October!



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