I love the premise and inspiration for this novel:
Two years ago Liane Moriarty stumbled upon a fascinating article about real life deathbed confessio
...moreI love the premise and inspiration for this novel:
Two years ago Liane Moriarty stumbled upon a fascinating article about real life deathbed confessions. She learned about Christian Spurling, who confessed on his deathbed to faking a notorious photo of the Loch Ness Monster. There was a famous songwriter who was dying of cancer and wrote a letter admitting, after years of adamant denials, that she had plagiarized a lullaby melody. Then there was the hapless man who, after suffering a stroke, confessed he’d killed his neighbour thirty years earlier. The only problem was that he didn’t end up dying. After he was released from hospital he went straight to jail.
This article helped inspire Sydney-based Liane to write her latest novel, The Husband's Secret which we are publishing in April.
Cecilia Fitzpatrick, Sydney wife, mother and P&C President, discovers her husband has a secret so dark it could destroy her blissfully ordinary suburban existence. We all have secrets. But not like this… The Husband’s Secret is a stunning, complex novel guaranteed to cause debate and controversy. This book will have everyone asking, “What would I do?” (taken from Pan Macmillan's press release)
Some of the best highlights of my reading life over the last 7 years (it was in 2005 that I stumbled upon Three Wishes, an all time fave) has been snapping open a new Liane Moriarty. My love for her prose and characters and unique stories brings with it high expectations. You guys, I am SO EXCITED to be sharing my review of this book with you as there has never been a better time to get with the program. The Husband's Secret was so divinely awesome, so surprising, so deliciously funny and genuinely heartfelt that it seriously blew me away, me - a devout fan with sky-high expectations.
So you think you know what this book could be about? Think again. It is so mysterious and even after the Big Reveal (ie the reading of the letter) it's even more unexpected and surprising. Even more addictive. How does she do it? Liane has a niche on the market for intelligent women's fiction ~ utterly original, superbly creative and just so good, so good.
This book had the magic combo for me: that feeling of wanting to rush ahead and devour it all, desperately hanging out for the reveal, and also wanting to slow down and savour all it's brilliance. (confession: I decided to savour this book. 24 hours after cracking open that first chapter I was done. I couldn't stop thinking about when I had to tear myself away, and I'm still thinking about it now.)
I love so much about Liane's books. But I often find myself in a scatterbrained mess trying to articulate just how brilliant they are. Here's a few points :)
1. The storytelling! Moriarty is a master storyteller weaving together three perspectives which eventually criss-cross each other paths. It has that gorgeous touch of whimsy, coincidence and fate. It's also insanely addictive storytelling - reveals in just the right places, humour sprinkled in perfectly alongside the heartbreak the tension building and the climax exploding.
2. The humour is so delightful, it's wicked and empathetic and intelligent and smiley and it just nails it, every time.
3. The characters. They come to life in such a way that they are lovable even in their unlovable moments. I truly was invested in them. I felt their sorrow and ached alongside them <3
4. Those swoony moments. With a few deft sentences, the romance in this book just had my heart, it also left me bereft (but hopeful) at times. Which is the perfect kind of love stories, all good and bad and swoony and unpredictable.
5. The Sydney (and Melbourne) setting. Just gorgeous. So spot on, I could feel myself walking along those streets and doing the school run.
6. The more I was drawn into the book, the more I got caught up in the shades of grey. And wondering just what was the right thing to do? How was Liane going to make this whole thing turn out? The answer is: in an unexpected and unforgettable way...
I recommend this book so much. I am excited for it to be out, excited for everyone to read it. And already hanging out for my next Liane Moriarty fix. (less)
This was refreshingly addictive with a great vibe.
Mostly, I loved Devan's voice in this. She was so fun to read. This contemporary YA has moving to a...moreThis was refreshingly addictive with a great vibe.
Mostly, I loved Devan's voice in this. She was so fun to read. This contemporary YA has moving to a new school , getting to know (or not) an estranged mum, a huge musical element (I don't even like musicals-- well, I sometimes like the stories, I just don't like the bits where the people sing, haha--, but I loved this book).
This was fun and breezy with some high emotional moments to give it some depth. Very much looking forward to Amy Spalding's next book (out later this year!) Ink is Thicker Than Water. (less)
Some fact-ish stuff: All This could end is narrated by both Nina and Spencer, in alternating POVs. There is a love story. And bank robbery's. With guns...moreSome fact-ish stuff: All This could end is narrated by both Nina and Spencer, in alternating POVs. There is a love story. And bank robbery's. With guns and stuff. And intriguing family secrets, and sad family secrets, and secret secrets as well. It's about families and friendships and wanting and hoping and dreaming and growing up. And everythign complicated in between.
Steph Bowe's second novel is an absolute breath of fresh air. Despite the original and delicious premise (a family of bank robbers) All This Could End is much more of a character driven than plot driven novel, . And this is where Bowe shines. Her characters are brimming with life and insecurities and intelligence and hope and just the perfect amount of truth and charm.
The other thing I loved about this book is that it is this gorgeous blend of the real and the slightly surreal. This book is so grounded in real life, yet has the whimsiest* touches of creative licence. While reading I was reminded of a post Steph Bowe wrote where she talks about her 'love of the slightly ridiculous'.
"I don't think ridiculous and genuine have to be mutually exclusive, or that literary fiction has the monopoly on affecting and brilliant stories. I think as long as there are characters the reader can empathise with, a ridiculous plotline will work (and some degree of self-awareness and irony helps)."
This quote really stood out to me when I first read the post (as a reader, I completely concur), and afterwards while reading All This Could End. All This Could End isn't all that ridiculous, at all, it's completely genuine and the characters are grounded and perfectly relate-able and achey. But. There are these perfectly delightful little anecdotes, memories and idiosyncrasies that just make the reader smile. It lifts the story and gives it this charming and fun edge.
This is the kind of book you sink into and savour the vibe and small moments. It's narration is often full of internal dialogue. Fast-paced, it is not. I found it so easy to engage with both Nina and Spencer, but at times wished there was a bit more of a tug in the plot, that little bit of something that would keep me sitting a little bit tighter, keep me a little more glued to the pages.
Most of all, this book is just full of soul with the right dash of whimsy. It's also the teensiest bit surprising, teetering on the edge of certain heartbreak, the climax and resolution and little mysteries unknown and revealing themselves at just the right moments.
It has it's own utterly unique heartbeat. It's the kind of book that, when placed in the right set of hands, turns out to be a perfect kindred spirit kind of book.
I have mentioned before how I so love Text publishing and a lot of the books they are bringing to readers. All This Could End is another gem of theirs and I would be so pleased to see this book picked up by international publishing houses. For those in Australia, this is not to be missed out on.
Oh, mate, I really loved this romantic verse novel from Sarah Tregay. It was fun and cute and swoony and just a delicious rainy-day feel good read.
Fr...moreOh, mate, I really loved this romantic verse novel from Sarah Tregay. It was fun and cute and swoony and just a delicious rainy-day feel good read.
From the cover and so many swoony and favourable reviews I expected it to be all that, but I didn't anticipate just how addictive it would be, and how much I would grin and sigh my way through it. So recommended. I read this on my kindle but am itching to buy a copy for my shelves (hopefully a paperback will be released). (less)
I love Lisa Schroeder. She is on my auto-buy list of favourite authors.I bought this without realising it is her debut non-verse (regular prose with s...moreI love Lisa Schroeder. She is on my auto-buy list of favourite authors.I bought this without realising it is her debut non-verse (regular prose with some poems scattered throughout) book. I also saw mixed reviews before beginning. I am SO happy to say I am on the LOVE side.
What a completely heart-felt little book this is. My heart broke and I was full of hope and well wishes for our the lovely Rae. I got swept into this story and even shed a tear or two :) Also, Schroeder's prose is just gorgeous. I love her writing and her themes and the way she brought light into darkness.
Warning: I think both the blurb and the cover of this are unfortunately misleading. It's not a kissy romance book. It's also not about one typical story just dealing with abuse. ALSO the first 100 pages might begin as cliché but the plot veers right of in it's own unique and unexpected direction. I would love to see more people find this quietly awesome gem of a book.(less)
Have to confess, the beginning few chapters of this one were a little tedious/painful but the book got much...moreI really do love reading Sophie Kinsella.
Have to confess, the beginning few chapters of this one were a little tedious/painful but the book got much better as it progressed. Kinsella is the master of embarrasing/humliating her heroine, but in such a fun way. I was (surprisingly) touched by Sadie's tragic love story :'(
And, as always, Kinsella's leading men bring on the swoon. YUM. (next time, Kinsella don't wait until page 120 something to introduce the love interest! I could always use more of Ed). Also, best meet cute ever, haha. Still chuckling.
If I were the editor, I would have pared some of the superfluous scenes down (especially in the first half). However, this book is as crazy, silly and fun as her other novels and is the perfect rainy day comfort read.
I am seriously craving some more Kinsella now, can't wait for her 2012 release :)
Hands down best book I've read this year. My gosh, I loved it so x
Oh, so you can see I liked it. More than just a lot.
Every now and then a book comes...moreHands down best book I've read this year. My gosh, I loved it so x
Oh, so you can see I liked it. More than just a lot.
Every now and then a book comes along that just is the perfect fit for me.
A book that reminds me how much I love to read.
How much I love falling in love with characters.
How much I love gorgeous and funny and whimsical and perfectly put together prose.
A book that I cannot keep away from. And when I have to leave it, I am finding any moments in my day to squeeze in a few more sentences.
Even better, this was a book where, upon finishing, I went back through for the next couple of days. Just not ready to move on from the characters and the world.
I truly, sincerely, crazily loved this book. Just thinking about it now has me smiling and sighing, remembering the good times the book and I had together.
This book is just so utterly charming.
It had it all for me. I ached (surprisingly, a lot) with genuine sadness and regret. I swooned (oh my swoon!). I laughed. I felt inspired. I loved every single thing about this book.
There's mystery elements, murder, sky-diving, manic-like shoplifting, grief, love, people behaving badly, mixed-messages, possible ghost-lingering, quirky coincidences and despair all wrapped up with humour, fun, sincerity and whole lot of heart. I loved the plot, original and true and slightly bizarre. But, more than that, I adored the characters. And when I fall in love with characters, that provides the ultimate reading experience, because for that moment, while I am with them, they are real to me. Very endearing flawed characters.
What a gorgeous, life-affirming, moving, whimsical, original debut. With one book, Nicola has bounded on to my all time fave authors list.
Things you might want to know:
Free Falling is my favourite book this year (followed closely by an Aussie YA novel which I plan to talk about next week ;))
Nicola is one of five sisters, two of whom you may be familiar with: YA author Jaclyn Moriarty, and author Liane Moriarty. I love all three of these Moriarty girls, they are SO my kind of authors <3
I plan on rereading this very soon. In fact, I feel nostalgic about it every time I think about it, haha.
Oh, so, no review-type synopsis from me. You can find them in reviews on goodreads. I much prefer to just chat (or in this case, gush) about how much I loved this book so. (less)
Reading Past Perfect was reminiscent of the time I read Psych Major Syndrome. I just didn’t want to stop reading it. Not because it’s an adrenalin-fue...moreReading Past Perfect was reminiscent of the time I read Psych Major Syndrome. I just didn’t want to stop reading it. Not because it’s an adrenalin-fuelled, tension-filled, mind-blowing plot but because I was just having such a good time reading it that it felt like a crime to stop. So I read Past Perfect until 3am and grinned and sighed my way through it.
The first reason I fell in love with this book was because is gorgeously funny. The prose is a dream: insightful and sharp and snarky, slightly whimsical and completely relate-able. I found out after reading that Sales is a comedienne. Which absolutely makes sense as not only were there poignantly brilliant one-liners, but the whole experience is doused in a whimsical and clever humour. Gosh, I was crushing on so many sentences and sentiments and overall themes.
The premise of this book is truly awesome. Chelsea is working @ a historical colonial village, where her parents also work, and her relationship with employees there is somewhat family-like. They are close-knit and loyal and I loved them to bits (some were endearing, others intense and others provided comic relief). Amongst them is Chelsea’s (awesome) best friend &, awkwardly, her ex-boyfriend, who she just can’t seem to get over.
Chelsea’s Historical village is in a fierce all-out, teenager-y war with the teenagers who work @ a rival historical village across the road. (Think the townies and the cadets in On the Jellicoe Road). Chelsea gets kidnapped by one particularly cute boy from the enemy’s camp and even after her rescue can’t stop crushing on him even though he is completely forbidden...
I loved the escalating war between the two teen historical summer-job crews. It was clever and intense and fiery. And funny, haha.
I loved the whole setting of Chelsea working at the colonial village. So much fodder for in-jokes, random historical trivia (awesome stuff) and it’s a vivid setting I haven’t read before in YA ~ kind of like a summer camp vibe, but more funky ~ and Sailes absolutely takes advantage of it ~ using quiet irony, loads of humour and a little bit of heart. This is one of those books that so effortlessly portrays a vivid setting that you feel you were there with the characters, and bonded along. I felt like a part of the gang :) I want to go there and hang out.
I LOVED the romance in this. It was just perfect for my tastes. I swooned, I ached, I wanted more of Dan ~ their chemistry and honesty and dialogue and kisses and complications and betrayals felt so genuine. lovelovelove.
Not only was Chelsea and Dan's relationship brilliant ~ but all the characters were real. Chelsea’s best friend was funny and true and I loved her. Her parents cracked me up. Even minor characters were treated with their own unique flavour.
Flannery talks more about the history side of it~ it was genius and so relate-able and even while I was having immense fun reading this ~ it also made me think a little ~ about history and my memories, and who I am and what makes me me, etc. It had a gorgeous message without being at all didactic (rather liberating the reader to think for themselves. Without sounding cheesy ~ it felt uplifting by the end)
There’s some awesome jokes in here, a brilliant sense of camaraderie ~ it feels like Sales took her time creating this world and it’s nuances and characters (loved the ice-cream testing, the FARBS, the history the people had together).
I pretty much thought this was brilliant. Pretty much a perfect reading experience for me (loved every single minute of it) Why aren’t there more YA books like this?
Thanks to Flannery for recommending this to me (it was even better than I imagined!) and to S & S Galley Grab for the galley :) ~ I will be purchasing my own copy to squeeze onto my favourite shelf :D (less)
My Ridiculous Romantic Obsessions is a charming, breezy read for people who love their romances light (occasionally cheesy), flirty and clean...more3.5 stars
My Ridiculous Romantic Obsessions is a charming, breezy read for people who love their romances light (occasionally cheesy), flirty and clean.
Sarah has a thing for romance novels and is the kind of girl who daydreams about love and romance. The main plot line is about Sarah wanting to be "the heroine" in her own romance story. She dated a jerk in the past which has left her feeling insecure and like she is always destined to be the leading girls side-kick friend without her own man. Enter Ben ~ "hot as a Greek god" ~ who readers will easily see is captivated by Sarah. Sarah is oblivious yet hopeful and makes some stupid assumptions along the way.
At 180 pages it's a light and fast read. The pages just fly by. There's not too many surprises in the plot ~ it's one of those books where you know the outcome but read it to enjoy the ride. And it is enjoyable ~ there's little bursts of humour and cute embarrassing scenes and also plenty of little swoon-y 'awww' moments.
I was drawn to this title looking for a chick-lit, fluffy read ~ but I was pretty keen due to the fact it is set in college with older YA protags who have finished school. However, it felt very innocent and still similar to high school aged reads.
I was a teensy bit disappointed, hoping it would fit more into the older YA bracket. I don't mind the occasional sweet-romancey book ~ but this one really does match the title: it has a fun 'ridiculous' quirky vibe, and it really does centre around the romance side of things. At times, it was a bit too cute for me. As a love interest Ben was a regular nice grinning guy ~ a gentlemen and a little bit charming but not particularly memorable as a leading male for me (and he's another YA guy who plays the guitar :D).
I enjoyed the funny little narrations comparing her life to romance novels and discussing meet cutes and "what would happen right now if I was starring in my own rom-com scenarios."
I would have *adored* this book as a teen ~ and think it's a perfect fit for girls who like cute, charming romances. It also has a fab (but not preachy) little message with confidence and being yourself. I was pretty impressed with the "voice" and effortless style that Becca Wilhite writes ~ a little bit funky, a little bit sweet and with lots of heart.
*I also think the cover matches the vibe/tone of the book. Swirly and smiley and daydreamy and a little bit fun.(less)
Sarah Ockler debuted with Twenty Boy Summer ~ an addictive, emotional yet fun must read for fans of contemp YA. I became an instant fan of her writing...moreSarah Ockler debuted with Twenty Boy Summer ~ an addictive, emotional yet fun must read for fans of contemp YA. I became an instant fan of her writing and themes handled so dexterously for teens. Twenty Boy Summer was like a blend of Sarah Dessen mashed up with The Sky is Everywhere (Jandy Nelson) in a cute little beach read with a huge emotional punch.
Anyways, I was MOST thrilled to read her sophomore novel, Fixing Delilah.
Fixing Delilah is quite different to Twenty Boy Summer, but equally as gorgeous.
Ockler's prose is JUST STUNNING. Gorgeous and lyrical and surprising. It's the sort of book you don't want to skim ahead. Each sentence is written to be savoured ~ it's a book where I'm crushing big time on the writing. The way Ockler finds the perfect rhythm with her prose, and the eye for details and the gift she has for expressing emotion sets her apart as a talented author to keep your eye on.
As for the story ~ it is another book set over summer. Not at the beach this time, but in a small country town. The plot focus's on relationships: Delilah's relationships with her mum, her mum's relationship with her sister, family relationships and secrets from the past AND Delilah's relationship with The Boy Next Door.
The Boy Next Door is Patrick and I'm sure he is leaping onto people's literary crush lists all over the world. He's one guy you really should meet ~ often shirtless, plays guitar, sings, mucks around and is Delilah's childhood playmate. Ockler also knows how to write some verrrry sweet make-out scenes heating it up while keeping it PG. SWOON
It's a classic coming of age. Working through your stuff and growing up, Delilah's character ARC was wonderfully done, subtle and quiet and ultimately touching.
This is very much a book for fans of literary fiction. It's plot may not be as dynamic/addictive as Twenty Boy Summer for some readers, but the setting is just as rich and it's a book you can fall into and find yourself lost in.
I ADORED it and plan on re-reading it. It's on my keepers shelf, guys :) (less)
Before my review, here's what Liane has to say about writing this book (which is in lieu of me composing my own synopsis, haha):
I had always wanted
...moreBefore my review, here's what Liane has to say about writing this book (which is in lieu of me composing my own synopsis, haha):
I had always wanted to write a story about time travel but I found the logistics made my head explode. Then I read a story about a woman in the UK who lost her memory and behaved like a teenager – she didn’t recognise her husband or children. I realized that memory loss is a form of time travel. So I came up with the idea of a woman, Alice, who loses 10 years of her memory. She thinks she is 29, pregnant with her first child and blissfully in love with her husband. She is horrified to discover she is 39, with 3 children and in the middle of a terrible divorce. It’s like the younger Alice has travelled forward in time. Readers tell me that what they liked best about this novel was how it made them think about the choices they’d made and wonder how their younger selves would feel about the lives they are leading now.
I know (!) I ADORE time travel novels as well (and amnesia stuff) ~ and the whole concept of this one is just so brilliant ~ travelling forward to meet yourself ten years in the future. sigh. And while a premise like that could get complicated and messy ~ it didn't ~ it's written so effortlessly with that genius Moriarty touch where all the plot threads come together just so cleverly.
It's not just the concept that had me falling COMPLETELY in love with this book.
It was pretty much EVERYTHING that has me gushing about it:
The writing. Oh ~ yes, Liane Moriarty is the sister of my fave YA writer, Jaclyn. They both have a GIFT with words. They write in a whimsical style which just has you loving the turns of phrase and sentiments. It's prose you can sink into and sigh about. it's also funny-clever-delicious writing. I am in awe and envy over the prose.
The characters. Liane is like some kind of anthropologist. She GETS people and their quirks and finds tiny truths in those little moments as if she's been inside your own head (and in your kitchen during the mad morning scramble).
Mostly ~ I ADORED Alice and all her family. Nick is the kind of HOT male lead that has you swooning one moment and completely in love with him and then the next he is an absolute douche bag, but it's his flaws that make him all the more endearing and real to life. The family scenes were stunning ~ I could read those kinds of anecdotes all day. I honestly fell in love with Alice's children ~ just delightfully done.
The mystery ~ things unravel as we try to discover along with Alice just all the things that happened in the ten years she lost. Some you can guess and others will surprise you.
It's this whimsical blend of fun (sometimes incredulous, but none-the-less cool) but also has a deeper meaning under it all that makes you stop and consider your life and your priorities and all that stuff.
Perhaps similar in concept to Sophie kinsella's But whereas Kinsella's is commercial, stereotypical rom-com (a fun, guilty-pleasure kind of read), What Alice Forgot is gorgeously written, and a story that will resonate.
I really couldn't put this book down and I love it hard.
Liane Moriarty is my favourite chick-lit type writer. And not only is What Alice Forgot one of my fave reads this year ~ it's on my list of all time fave books.
ALSO: the film rights to this book recently sold (!!) It's going to be BRILLIANT!
OH! and the grandma has a blog and ARGH it's truly hilarious ~ and the comment section is laugh-out loud funny and there's even a commenter who's a secret admirer. Too funny. (very reminiscent of some of the blogging in Jaclyn Moriarty's
*this is one for people who love their chick-lit well written, breezy and fun and also a little bit deeper at heart. Also for fans of Jaclyn Moriarty who are looking for an adult read :D(less)