The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes was my last read of 2014 and I couldn't have found a better book to end the year with. I laughed, I cried, and it compleThe Last Days of Rabbit Hayes was my last read of 2014 and I couldn't have found a better book to end the year with. I laughed, I cried, and it completely broke my heart at times - but it's one of the most beautiful stories I've read in a long time.
Anne McPartlin's sixth novel tells the story of Rabbit, an Irish journalist and single mother to twelve-year-old Juliet, who is losing her fight against cancer. Through a series of flashback episodes we get to know Rabbit as a young girl and follow her journey throughout the years, from her early teens through adulthood. We get to know her family and friends, who have been with her every step of the way, and who are there in the hospice, holding her hand, when Rabbit's journey comes to an end. We learn about her best friend, Marjorie, and her first - and only - love, Johnny Faye. We get a glimpse into the often chaotic, but always entertaining, days of the Hayes family and Rabbit's relationship with her daughter.
With its intriguing premise and Transworld’s reputation for publishing some of the best thrillers I’ve ever read, The Girl on the Train was one of myWith its intriguing premise and Transworld’s reputation for publishing some of the best thrillers I’ve ever read, The Girl on the Train was one of my most anticipated novels of 2015 – and it completely blew me away. Hawkins’s debut took the blogosphere by storm and it has every right to be at the top of the charts. It’s so brilliantly written, so unpredictable and so full of twists and turns that I read the second half in one sitting and would willingly give it 6 stars if I could.
One of the (many) reasons why it stood out for me is its narration. Rachel, our main character and narrator, is alcoholic. She’s had drinking problems for quite a while and she even lost her job because of it. And why it’s interesting, as far as the story is concerned, is because she’s unreliable. She often drinks herself to a state where she completely blacks out and has no memory of what she’s done when she wakes up the next morning. Add this to a story where she is the only witness and you’ll have no idea what to believe.
All the characters are brilliantly – and very cleverly – written, in a way that makes it impossible for you to know who to trust or who to believe. Not just Rachel, but everyone has their own version of events and they are all acting suspiciously in one way or another. I love books with unreliable narrators and The Girl on the Train was no exception.
Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock has been recommended to me by an increasing number of people in the past few months and after hearing so many great thingsForgive Me, Leonard Peacock has been recommended to me by an increasing number of people in the past few months and after hearing so many great things about it, my expectations were very high. Since it left such a lasting impression on the book blogger community and all those people whose taste I absolutely trust, and since I generally like books dealing with suicide or mental illness, I decided to give it a go. Now, after reading the book, I can’t thank all these people enough for their constant nagging – because it was simply amazing.
I loved this book for so many different reasons, I don’t even know where to begin. Perhaps the best place to start is the narration and our main character, Leonard. On the surface, Leonard is your average eighteen-year-old secondary school student with an average life. Okay, maybe the fact that his mother abandoned him and, as it turns out later on, doesn’t have the faintest idea about what he’s going through and how tough his childhood has been isn’t so average. On the contrary. But other than that, he seems like any other guy his age. Until he starts talking. Through Leonard’s story we learn that, in fact, he couldn’t be any more different from everyone else. I loved his unique voice and his way of storytelling. And while he’s just a young guy trying to get through his school years, his attitude and his way of thinking, his thoughts about adulthood couldn’t be more mature. His anger and his thoughts about not wanting to grow up – because adults just don’t seem to remember how to be happy – reminded me of Holden Caulfield from The Catcher in the Rye (one of my favourite classics of all time) and I loved Leonard just as much as I loved him.
Mother, Mother is typically one of those books which left such a great impression on me that I have no idea where to even begin. I’ve always been a biMother, Mother is typically one of those books which left such a great impression on me that I have no idea where to even begin. I’ve always been a big fan of psychological thrillers and suspense – both in terms of films and books – so even though I went into this book not knowing what to expect, I was secretly hoping it would render me speechless. And render me speechless it did. I finished reading it in late December and, without exaggeration, it’s been on my mind ever since.
There’s something very disturbing about the story, something which makes it impossible for you to put it down. You get a sense that there’s something very, very wrong with Josephine. You don’t know what she’s capable of, why she’s acting the way she does and this sense of unease, uncertainty is one of the reasons why it’s such a compelling story and why it has such an impact. Zailckas manages to keep you in constant suspense and make you feel a deep sense of unease until the very end. You keep wondering how far it could go, how far Josephine (who really is the master of manipulation) could take things before the unthinkable happens and whether anyone realises how powerful she is before it’s too late.
I have a soft spot for psychological thrillers so I fell in love with Luana Lewis’s story the minute I read the synopsis. I had very high hopes for DoI have a soft spot for psychological thrillers so I fell in love with Luana Lewis’s story the minute I read the synopsis. I had very high hopes for Don’t Stand So Close and luckily, it didn’t let me down. I loved it from start to finish and I’m not exaggerating when I say I read the first hundred pages in one sitting.
One of the reasons why it’s so difficult to put it down is that you have no idea who’s lying, who’s manipulating who and who the (real) victims are. Blue turns up at Stella’s house with an innocent enough story but once she’s inside, it turns out things are more complicated than they seem. Both of them are acting strange. Stella has been cocooned inside her home with symptoms of agoraphobia and anxiety, and been on heavy medication for years so she’s clearly not the most reliable character you’ll ever find. Blue says she knows Stella’s husband but she keeps changing her story all the time. You have no idea what’s going on and you want to find out who’s telling the truth so desperately that by the time you manage to put the book down for a few minutes, it’s midnight and you realize you forgot to have dinner. And lunch. It’s very addictive!
There are only a handful of crime writers whose new books instantly go to the very top of my wish list, and Sharon Bolton is one of them. After readinThere are only a handful of crime writers whose new books instantly go to the very top of my wish list, and Sharon Bolton is one of them. After reading all three books in the Lacey Flint series, as well as an e-book short story, I’m convinced that no matter what she writes about or how she does it, I’m going to end up loving it. All of her books are so well-researched, so twisted and mind-boggling and so well-written that it’s impossible not to be captivated by them. A Dark and Twisted Tide is no exception.
Bolton’s ability to grab your attention within seconds and to keep up this suspense, this tension throughout the book is one of the reasons why I love her work as much as I do. As our killer and his/her soon-to-be victim make their appearance at the very beginning of the first chapter, the reader cannot help but wonder what is about to happen, why is s/he doing it. And of course Lacey can’t stay out of it either. A Dark and Twisted Tide pretty much continues from where the previous book ended, with Lacey leaving her team and joining the Marine Unit in the hope of a quieter, less stressful life. But someone has other plans. After discovering the first victim during her early morning swim in the Thames and a handful of (seemingly) practical jokes it becomes obvious that someone is keeping a close watch on her. And, once again, the killer will make sure that Lacey is very much part of his/her twisted game.
Although the synopsis doesn’t reveal too much about the story, I was intrigued by the mysterious premise of the book. What is Webster running from? WhAlthough the synopsis doesn’t reveal too much about the story, I was intrigued by the mysterious premise of the book. What is Webster running from? What is this dark curse? Will they find a cure before it’s too late? It sounded like an action-packed story full of twists and turns but in the end, it turned out to be quite different from what I expected. It’s not a bad book. Far from it. It just didn’t really work for me.
The first thing that took me a while to get used to is the fact that The Dark Inside is a mixture of fantasy and reality. It’s a very fairytale-like novel. There’s a bad witch and her loyal son, potions, curses, magic, you name it. Yet, the novel is set in an everyday place, somewhere in a small English village. Magical elements are mixed with real problems, real characters throughout the book. I kept wondering what to think: is this a magical tale? Is this real? What’s going on? This clash of two different worlds shouldn’t be a bad thing. But, again, it didn’t work for me.
Elly Griffiths' books have been on my wishlist for a while but, as much as it pains me to say this, after reading The Crossing Places I’m not sure ifElly Griffiths' books have been on my wishlist for a while but, as much as it pains me to say this, after reading The Crossing Places I’m not sure if I will read them after all. The book sounded great but, even though there were some elements in the story which I really liked, I was quite disappointed with it by the end.
Firstly, it is written in third person singular and the present tense which really bothered me. There are books where this combination works but here it didn’t – or at least it didn’t work for me. It probably wouldn’t have vexed me as much as it did if the writing itself was better, but it’s not. Which brings me to the second thing on my list, which is that Griffiths’ writing is nothing special. In fact, it’s mediocre at best. Which, again, wouldn’t have bothered me as much as it did if at least the plot was great and something that made me want to keep on reading, but it wasn’t.
I fell in love with Linwood Barclay’s writing about a year ago, so seeing A Tap on the Window among bookshops’ ‘soon to be released’ titles was almostI fell in love with Linwood Barclay’s writing about a year ago, so seeing A Tap on the Window among bookshops’ ‘soon to be released’ titles was almost like an early Christmas present. Although I’ve yet to read the majority of his previous books, I simply cannot recommend him enough.
Having read No Time for Goodbye earlier I already knew I was in for one hell of a ride but the author’s ability to grab you within the first few pages of the book still managed to take me by surprise. If you think you can read this before going to bed, one chapter a day, think again. Barclay’s books are as addictive as chocolate – once you start reading them it’s literally impossible to stop. I’ve always considered myself a slow reader but I probably read the first half in one sitting.
Initially I was a bit worried about the plot because, as it turns out, the girl who goes missing and who seems to be at the centre of things is the local mayor’s daughter and politics in crime fiction has never been my thing. At all. Luckily, I shouldn’t have worried – the book doesn’t really feature any power struggles or political scandals, after all. Phew.
It’s been a few weeks since I finished Talking to the Dead but I’m still in two minds about it. On the one hand, I do like the idea behind the novel.It’s been a few weeks since I finished Talking to the Dead but I’m still in two minds about it. On the one hand, I do like the idea behind the novel. Bingham managed to create a realistic setting and a plausible crime which isn’t far-fetched and could easily happen in today’s Britain. Which is great. I’ve never been a big fan of fantastic plots so his ability to create a world which is so similar to our own is something I definitely enjoyed about the book.
The fact that he doesn’t try to be violent, sensationalist and gory just to make his story more popular is also something to be appreciated. There is no torture, no detailed description of corpses and bloody crime scenes in the book, nothing that more imaginative readers couldn’t handle. Which, again, is great.
Yet, the crime itself (i.e the whole mystery that needed to be solved) wasn’t as memorable, chilling or fast-paced as I expected. In fact, I felt like the story dragged quite a bit. Although I have to add that the last few chapters of the book where Fi captures the killer were brilliant and as intense as I was hoping the book would be, the rest was definitely not as action-packed as I thought it would be.
Fergus McNeill has been on my ‘top 10 favourite crime writers’ list ever since I read his debut, Eye Contact, last year. Needless to say the sequel,Fergus McNeill has been on my ‘top 10 favourite crime writers’ list ever since I read his debut, Eye Contact, last year. Needless to say the sequel, Knife Edge, was one of my most anticipated books of the year and I’m glad to say that McNeill didn’t disappoint. While Knife Edge seemed a bit slower paced than its predecessor, all in all I really enjoyed it.
The book pretty much starts where the previous one ended so it won’t make much (if any) sense if you haven’t read Eye Contact yet. Serial killer Robert Naysmith is on a holiday on a remote island and, seeking recognition, he is just about to tell his girlfriend his deadly secret. How do you go about confessing such a thing? How will Kim react? Will she try to get away or will she stay with him? These are the questions Knife Edge focuses on while it follows Kim’s journey after Naysmith’s revelation.
The first thing that came to my mind when I read the first few chapters is why on earth have I not read any of Jane Costello’sOriginally reviewed at:
The first thing that came to my mind when I read the first few chapters is why on earth have I not read any of Jane Costello’s books before? After several cringe-worthily predictable and dull chick lit books I read in the past few months, I was starting to wonder whether I’d ever find one which is genuinely entertaining and impossible to put down. Well, considering the fact that it’s been four days since I finished reading the book and some of the jokes (Mr Matt Itchypants Taylor, to name my favourite one) still make me laugh, and the fact that it was so gripping that I just had to stay up until half past one in the morning two nights in a row, I guess we can say The Wish List ticks both these boxes.
Possibly the main reasons why I loved this book so much is the main character’s personality. I just loved Emma. If I had to describe her, I would say she’s a bit like Bridget Jones or Becky Bloomwood from Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic series, two characters I absolutely adore, by the way. She’s just as clumsy as Bridget and just as sarcastic and funny as Becky, the combination of which makes for a brilliant and entertaining story. Another thing that makes it as good as it is is the fact that Emma’s friends are so relatable and well-written. They’re not shallow or two-dimensional at all. Quite the opposite, in fact. It’s not just about Emma either. They all have their own little sub-plots within the story and you actually do feel for them and want them to succeed and be happy. Or at least that’s how I felt, especially about Asha.
And if being hilarious and making me laugh out loud God knows how many times throughout the story wasn’t enough, I should also add what both Hannah and myself found great about the book: short chapters. Oh, how I love them. I’m quite a slow reader so long chapters always make me feel as if I’m not making any progress. Short ones, however, result in me not being able to put the book down and staying up until the crack of dawn with a stupid grin on my face, congratulating myself for reading so much. Big thumbs up for short chapters!
The only problem with books of this genre, however, is originality. Unless you’re the chick lit queen Sophie Kinsella, it’s pretty much a case of if you’ve read one, you’ve read them all. They all seem to work with the exact same clichés and make their heroines face the same problems and make almost the same decisions in their lives: ex boyfriend vs. new (and handsome) guy, old and boring job vs dream job, etc. And as much as I’d love to say that The Wish List is not like this but is something totally unique and ground-breaking and is not at all predictable, it wouldn’t be true. There are several parts where it’s perfectly obvious what the author is leading up to (hint: the case of the Northern Lights trip, the game in Matt’s garden) and what would happen a few chapters later in the story – but do you know what? In this case, I didn’t even care. Not as much as to put me off and stop enjoying the book, at least. The difference between the books I just described and this one is that when something is so well-written and so laugh-out-loud funny as The Wish List, you just don’t seem to care whether you know what’s coming or not. Emma is such a hilarious and entertaining character and her friends are so real and relatable that it would have been difficult not to be gripped by their story.
I really, really enjoyed this story and it definitely goes on my ‘favourite chick lits’ list. I’m a bit gutted that it’s a standalone book and we have to say goodbye to Emma and all her friends but I hope the author’s next books will be just as addictive and entertaining as The Wish List was. It’s absolutely hilarious so do give it a try if you can and if you’re in need of a pick-me-up....more
Wow, wow, and wow. It’s been a few weeks since I finished this book and to tell you the truth, I’m still speechless. Based on what people were sayingWow, wow, and wow. It’s been a few weeks since I finished this book and to tell you the truth, I’m still speechless. Based on what people were saying about it when the first proof copies came out and how many times I saw it being mentioned on social media, I knew it would be a memorable story, but I wasn’t expecting it to be as powerful and mind-blowing as it was. Saying that it was perfect wouldn’t completely be true because there were a few minor details I wasn’t particularly keen on but I found it unputdownable all the same and it’s definitely one of my favourite books this year.
In fact, it’s typically one of those books where two sentences in you already know it’s going to be an amazing read. Not only because of the arresting opening and the plot, which are brilliant in themselves, but mostly because Zan’s writing is so powerful, so eloquent that it’s impossible not to be completely captivated by it. I was immediately hooked and wanted to find out more about the two girls: how did this list come about? What happened in their childhood that made them write this list? What happened to them down in the cellar? And most importantly, how and why did Sarah get out and Jennifer didn’t? Who was this sadistic person who kept them captive for all these years and what was his motive? And while these questions quietly whirl around in your head, Zan slowly reveals the girls’ past and what they went through… one secret, one tiny morsel of information at a time.
Tangled Lives was a pleasant surprise in every sense of the word. While I wasn’t familiar with Hilary Boyd’s work before I staOriginally reviewed at:
Tangled Lives was a pleasant surprise in every sense of the word. While I wasn’t familiar with Hilary Boyd’s work before I started reading this book, I’ll certainly pick up whatever she comes up with next.
The book tells the story of Annie – a middle-aged mother of three living in London – whose life suddenly turns upside down when her son she had given up for adoption at the age of 18 turns up out of the blue and wants to get in touch with her. It doesn’t seem like a big deal at first, however, it turns out that Annie’s children don’t know about her adopted son Daniel. And chances that they are going to take it badly are quite high. When she finally plucks up the courage to tell them a small family drama ensues, with her son storming out of the house and her two daughters staring at her in utter disbelief. While her husband and her younger daughter Lucy are quite supportive, her son and elder daughter can’t seem to forgive her and, if you ask me, act in a slightly childish and selfish way. Throw in an ex-boyfriend who not only happens to be Daniel’s father but who has absolutely no idea about his son, a pinch of emotion and a great deal of jealousy and you get an unputdownable tale of love, family, past secrets and forgiveness.
It would have been nice to learn a bit more about Daniel and what his life was like before he made contact with Annie and there were certain parts in the book (for example, the night of the party when Daniel is accused of hitting on Emma) which I found rather predictable, yet, all in all I really enjoyed the book. Annie and Lucy were lovely and relatable characters who I managed to connect with very easily and who, for me, definitely made the story as good as it was.
Tangled Lives for me was one of those books that’s perfect for spending a relaxed afternoon in a garden chair basking in the sunshine, sipping a cup of tea. Fans of contemporary fiction or family sagas are guaranteed to enjoy this one....more
With only 144 pages All the Little Animals is a relatively short read which can easily be read in just a few hours, and one which I, once I picked it up, didn’t want to put down. The book doesn’t have a complicated plot and is most definitely not a white-knuckle ride that will keep you guessing till the end but it doesn’t have to be one in order to be memorable. The appeal of this novel lies not with its complexity but with all those emotions that are packed into such a tiny book.
Bobby is a 31-year-old man who, as a result of being involved in a car accident in his childhood, is trapped in the body and mind of a young boy. Bobby lives with his mother, the owner of a local department store, until she marries a man Bobby calls ‘The Fat’ and her health begins to deteriorate due to an abusive marriage and eventually dies. He, then, is forced to live with ‘The Fat’ and put up with verbal and physical abuse on a daily basis. When ‘The Fat’ kills his last remaining friend – a mouse called Peter – he decides to leave. Somewhere along the way he meets Mr Summers, a mysterious – and as it turns out rather peculiar – little man. According to Mr Summers, who detests everything about the world we live in today, his job is to find and bury all the little animals that were run over by cars or lorries. He says “people can bury each other but the animals have to be helped. Not just rabbits and rats, but all the little animals. Other men kill them and I bury them”. Soon this eccentric man becomes Bobby’s teacher, his guardian and only friend and the one who eventually helps him overcome his traumas, let go of his fears and become free.
As I said, the plot might not be a complicated one but Bobby’s personality and his friendship with Mr Summers definitely makes up for it. The simplicity and childlike innocence that characterises Bobby’s narrative is both charming and heart-warming. His relationship with the old man and the way he talks about him and their adventures brought tears to my eyes quite a few times and is something I’m not going to forget anytime soon.
I would add, though, that even though it might be considered as young adult fiction based on its plot and its language, I would rather classify it as an adult-oriented book. There is both verbal and physical violence in the story – and especially the last two or three chapters – which might not be suitable for the younger generation, no matter how much of an easy read it may seem. Hamilton also touches upon certain subjects which might be more easily understandable or digestible for and appreciated by adults than by the younger generation, thus the book might not have the same effect on a younger reader.
All the Little Animals is a short but touching story of friendship, hope and starting over and which fans of contemporary fiction are guaranteed to enjoy....more
Even though I’ve heard great things about the author’s previous books and I even got as far as downloading her Christmas short story onto my Kindle, I haven’t managed to read any of these books yet, so I didn’t really know what to expect from The Last Time I Saw You. I have to say, though – I’m very impressed. It was definitely a pleasant surprise and I fell in love with the writing right away.
Apart from the fact that Moran’s writing style is just spot on and it got me hooked within a few pages, the other thing that made me even more intrigued by the two girls’ story is that I’ve had a friend just like Sally. While I was reading Olivia’s version of events I knew from personal experience exactly what they had gone through because I’ve been that friend and I could relate to literally everything she said. Even though Sally was quite a powerful character – a lively girl who always wanted to be the centre of attention and someone who was used to getting what she wanted – and her behaviour towards Olivia really started to irritate me at times, I couldn’t help wondering: what went wrong? They seemingly had such a great relationship… so what happened? What made their friendship end in such a dramatic way? And whose fault was it? And more importantly, how and why did Sally die so young when she’s always been the bright and energetic one? And this is exactly what Olivia herself is trying to figure out in The Last Time I Saw You – while she tells her and Sally’s story through an episode of flashbacks and tries to come to terms with Sally’s death, she herself is looking for answers.
The only thing I wasn’t really keen on is the last few chapters but especially the very last one. It seemed to have ended so suddenly and even though I loved the story and I don’t mind happy endings at all, it just seemed so out of character and so unlike the first 450 pages. It might have something to do with the fact that I didn’t like William (I don’t want to spoil anything for those of you who haven’t read it so that’s all I’m saying) or his relationship with Olivia, I don’t know. Love triangles usually don’t work for me because I always prefer the ‘other guy’ but apart from this aspect and the fact that the ending was a bit of a let-down, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and would definitely recommend it to anyone.
The Last Time I Saw You is a brilliantly written story of friendship, love, revenge, acceptance and overcoming grief that is guaranteed to leave fans of contemporary fiction speechless. Beautiful writing, compelling set-up and relatable characters – what’s not to love?...more
Sophie Divry’s The Library of Unrequited Love is very a short story you can easily devour, from cover to cover, in one sitting. I’ll be totally honest here: it's been a while since I finished reading it and I still don’t know what to make of this book. What I know for certain is that it’s unlike anything I’ve read before.
Firstly, the book doesn’t have any chapters or any kind of divisions at all. None. Nada. I know it’s a short book but if you don’t have enough time to read it in one sitting and you also happen to have a weird habit of reading to the end of a chapter before setting your book aside (like me), it might make you feel a bit uneasy. Another thing that was completely new for me is narration. It’s basically a one-way conversation between the librarian and a reader who has been locked in the library’s basement overnight. We know nothing about the reader – not even his or her name or whether s/he’s a man or a woman. Everything we know comes from the librarian’s monologue, which is definitely one of the things that make this book unique and unlike any other. But again, I still wasn’t a hundred percent sure what to make of it. I love how we gradually get to know our narrator and what type of person she is and I found myself smirking (or occasionally nodding) at some of her remarks. Perhaps one of the things I loved the most about this book is how the narrator talks about reading and how she describes what it means to her. She says, “I prefer the company of books. When I’m reading, I’m never alone, I have a conversation with the book. It can be very intimate. Perhaps you know this feeling yourself? [...] When I’m reading, I can forget everything, sometimes I don’t even hear the phone.” And I’m sure it’s something all of us bookworms can agree with, something we all go through on a daily basis. At the same time, I would’ve liked to know a bit more about the reader and see what s/he makes of all this or how s/he reacts to some of our librarian’s observations.
If you like short stories and the lack of chapters don’t bother you, I would say go for it and give it a try. It might not have been my favourite book of the month but it was an interesting read all the same and I know for a fact that book lovers will find many of its aspects easily relatable....more
Sabine Durrant’s Under Your Skin is – for me, at least – one of those books that is quite hard to talk about without ruining tOriginally reviewed at:
Sabine Durrant’s Under Your Skin is – for me, at least – one of those books that is quite hard to talk about without ruining the story and giving away too much, but I’ll try my best to find a balance.
Compared to most of the books in this genre the novel started off quite slowly and it took me some time to fully settle into the story and get used to the writing style but once I did, I could barely put it down. Contrary to what I was initially expecting, it’s not your usual police procedural book and nor it is one of those race-against-the-clock thrillers where there’s a new victim every few chapters and more blood than you bargained for. Under Your Skin starts with our main character, a London TV riporter called Gaby Mortimer, finding a dead woman’s body near her home while she’s out running one morning. The book then follows Gaby’s life and lets us take a glimpse of how this incident has affected her life and how, hard as she might, her life will never be the same. As the police are trying to collect evidence and figure out what might have happened on that fateful night, Gaby suddenly realises that every piece of evidence is leading back to her. And gradually every little thing in her life is starting to fall apart.
Although it wasn’t as much of a fast paced, nail-biting white-knuckle ride as some of the thrillers I’ve read so far, the writing and the tense, edgy atmosphere the author creates makes up for it. Durrant’s writing is so eloquent and so thorough that I couldn’t help being drawn to Gaby’s story and wanting to find out more about what happens to her. If I had to categorise this book I would probably say it’s a psychological thriller since the focus is on how these events affect Gaby and what’s going on in her head rather than on the events themselves. Also, not only does Gaby’s narration make you empathise with her but the writer’s ability to keep you on edge until the very end is remarkable and you really do feel scared for Gaby. I kept thinking ‘no, do not stay at home on your own. That is a very bad idea.’ I even got to the point where I found even her own husband suspicious and was convinced he’d kill her right there and then. You have literally no idea what’s going on, all you can feel is a calm before the storm and the fact that something bad is about to happen.
There’s a huge twist at the end which I’m not going to talk about but all I can say is, I didn’t see it coming at all. Did it shock me, though? I would say no, not as much as I think it should have. (Agatha Christie has a book with a similar ending and while that one shocked me to no end and made me go ‘how clever’ and ‘this is sick’ at the same time, I didn’t feel the same way when I was reading this one, for some reason. It came as an enormous surprise to me because as I said, I didn’t see it coming at all, and I loved the idea but it didn’t have as much of a shock factor for me as I think it should have.)
All in all I really enjoyed this book and I'm glad I picked it up, though, and I would definitely suggest that you do the same if you like psychological thrillers and books that keep you in the dark until the last chapter. Durrant has a unique captivating writing style which I absolutely loved and, despite the fact that (as much as I would love to be able to say this) it wasn't the best thriller I've ever read, I'm sure I'll read whatever the author comes up with next....more
Lost and Found has been among my most anticipated books of 2013 and I knew I'd have to read it the minute I saw the synopsis. I seem to have a soft spLost and Found has been among my most anticipated books of 2013 and I knew I'd have to read it the minute I saw the synopsis. I seem to have a soft spot for bitter-sweet and touching stories and it definitely seemed like one. A few chapters in, however, I realized it is in fact a bit different from what I expected - but not in a bad way. Not at all. I actually found it really hard to put it down and, had it not been for me being ill at the time, I would have probably read it in one day.
The reason why I was taken by surprise, I suppose, is that I expected some sort of a love story or a story of a beautiful friendship. A tear-jerker, basically. I mean, it sounds like one, doesn't it? And while it is a sweet and occasionally moving book, I would have never predicted how funny it actually is. As odd as it may sound, for me most of the humour came from the protagonist, Carol, who's been trapped in an unhappy marriage for most of her life and her husband, Bob. Man, they're a hilarious duo. Bob is one of those guys who don't have the faintest idea about the fact that their marriage isn't working or in fact, hasn't been working for a long time. He lives in denial. On top of that, he acts like a big kid. Which, under normal circumstances, would really annoy me. And of course it's a sad situation too, isn't it? Living your life in a monotone way and with someone you shouldn't have married in the first place. Yet, through Carol's sarcastic thoughts and comments, somehow it all became entertaining.
I love, love, love Katie. I’m pretty sure everyone’s aware of her story but just in case someone’s not, well… this is what happened in a nutshell. Back in 2008 Katie, who was working in the media at the time and was hoping to become a TV presenter, was attacked by her boyfriend. First she was raped and then a few days later the guy got another man to throw sulphuric acid in her face as she was leaving her home. Katie was blinded in her left eye, her face, nose, neck, eyelids and ears were burned and even though she was rushed into hospital immediately after the attack, her injuries were so severe she was expected to die. But she survived. After years and years of hospital treatment and several operations to rebuild her face, Katie decided to share her story on TV in the hope of helping other survivors of domestic violence. Katie became one of the UK’s most influential (and most inspiring, I have to add) people and the founder of the Katie Piper foundation.
I cannot even begin to imagine what she and her family must have gone through but I admire and respect her for her courage and her determination. I absolutely love what she’s doing with her foundation and I think she’s a huge inspiration to all of us.
As for Start Your Day With Katie, it’s one of those books that everyone needs to have. It’s basically a collection of inspirational quotes that helped her through these difficult times, quotes that inspired her and helped her go on. It’s an incredibly optimistic book which is guaranteed to lift your spirits and give you a boost. It would also make a lovely Christmas present for anyone who you think needs some cheering up. After all, we all need a little bit of inspiration and positive thinking sometimes. :)...more