Attachments by Rainbow Rowell Review

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell, ISBN 9781409120537, 357ppAtta

Attachments is the third book I’ve read from author Rainbow Rowell and it just might be my favourite so far. While Fangirl and Eleanor & Park were written for a YA audience, this book is aimed more at adults. I loved the premise for this story. It was quirky, original and read like a chick lit book from a male perspective.

Attachments is set in a newspaper office in 1999, a time when the millennium was fast approaching and hysteria about the y2k bug was everywhere. Lincoln is a twenty-something IT guy who works the evening shift at the newspaper and his job is mostly monitoring staff emails and issuing warnings if there’s any inappropriate content. It’s in this capacity that he starts reading email exchanges between two female colleagues (Beth and Jennifer) who work at the newspaper during the day, as their emails keep being flagged by the security system due to inappropriate content.

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The Ruin by Dervla McTiernan Review

The Ruin
The Ruin by Dervla McTiernan, ISBN 9781460754214, 380pp, Pub Feb 2018

The Ruin by Dervla McTiernan is a debut novel set in Galway, Ireland. I was sent a copy of this book for review by HarperCollins Australia and it sat in my to be read pile for a while. When I finally picked it up, I was instantly hooked by the writing and expert plotting. The Ruin very much reads like it should be book ten from a well-established author instead of a debut. I read mostly crime thrillers rather than police procedural novels, but I’ve read enough of this genre to know that this is a high quality example.

The Ruin has been compared to the bestselling The Dry (probably because Dervla and Jane Harper both live in Australia) but I think it’s very different from The Dry.

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Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell Review

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, ISBN 9781447263227, 480pp

I was very excited to read Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell after reading and loving Eleanor and Park last year. There’s so much love out there for Fangirl so I went into reading this with my expectations set sky high, ready to have my heart and mind truly blown. And while I enjoyed this YA book, there was a lot to like about it, it didn’t grab me as much as I thought it would.

For anyone who is not familiar with Fangirl, it tells the story of Cather or Cath, twin sister to Wren. When they start university, Wren wants to set out alone from the whole twin thing and party. Cath on the other hand, hides out in her dorm room like a hermit and works on her fanfiction story that is part of the world of Simon Snow (a Harry Potter like publishing phenomenon). Continue reading

My Love Affair with the Outlander Series

I discovered the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon years ago when I was at university. It remains one of the defining moments in my reading life to date. I can still remember the absolute pleasure it was to read about Jamie and Claire for the first time. I often wish I could go back to this first time so I could be surprised all over again. This book fulfilled a lot of my reading loves: historical fiction, romance, adventure, a bit of fantasy and I loved all the medical aspects portrayed through Claire’s character.

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Tithe by Holly Black Review

Tithe by Holly Black was a book I re-read recently in anticipation of reading The Cruel Prince. And I’m glad I did as Kaye and Roiben from Tithe make an appearance in The Cruel Prince. It’s a YA fantasy novel that blends faeries and the modern world together.

Tithe by Holly Black
Tithe by Holly Black, ISBN 9780689849244, 320pp

Tithe tells the story of Kaye, a teenage girl with a rocker for a mum who moves from place to place as her mum pursues her music. Like her mum, she’s a bit rebellious. She’s not going to win any prizes for being a model teen as she smokes, drinks and skips school. She also has a big attitude.

Kaye and her mum go back to New Jersey to live with Kaye’s grandmother. When she was a kid, Kaye used to have friends in this place — faerie friends that only she could see. And now that she’s back, strange things start to happen and she begins to explore the powers she’s always had. Continue reading

The Wife Between Us Review

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen is clever and very twisty. Coming off the back of reading The Woman in the Window by A.J Finn, another psychological suspense thriller with an unreliable narrator, I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy this as much. But I did.

It’s hard to go into too much detail about this book as I don’t want to give anything away so I will quote the book’s blurb:

The Wife Between Us
The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen, ISBN 9781509842827, 346pp, Pub Jan 2018

When you read this book, you will make many assumptions. It’s about a jealous wife, obsessed with her replacement. It’s about a younger woman set to marry the man she loves.

The first wife seems like a disaster; her replacement is the perfect woman.

You will assume you know the motives, the history, the anatomy of the relationships.

You will be wrong. Continue reading

Surrogate: A novel by Tracy Crisp Review

Surrogate by Tracy Crisp
Surrogate by Tracy Crisp, ISBN 978174305083, 230pp, Pub Nov 2017, Wakefield Press

Surrogate by Tracy Crisp is a powerful, beautifully written novel about two women from different generations and their experiences with family, personal relationships and motherhood. Set in Adelaide in the present and past, it follows the story of Rachael Carter, a young nurse who agrees to house-sit for a colleague, Dr Cate O’Reilly, and then becomes deeply involved in Cate’s quest to become a mother. It also tells the story of Mary Bowen, a young woman who finds herself pregnant after her boyfriend heads off to the Vietnam War and is forced to give her baby up for adoption.

Two stories, two women and two generations entwine in Surrogate and as the story develops Continue reading

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn Review

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn is a compelling page turner which I pretty much inhaled in one day, thanks to the short, punchy chapters. I just kept reading ‘one more chapter’ and before I knew it I had finished the book. It’s another book with an unreliable narrator — these books are so popular these days — and was like a cross between Girl on the Train and Hitchcock’s Rear Window. I also thought there was a smattering of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine in there in terms of the main character struggling with depression and trauma alongside other things.

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn
The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn, ISBN 9780008234164, 427pp, Pub Jan 2018

Without giving too much away, The Woman in the Window is narrated by Dr Anna Fox, a former children’s psychologist who suffered some trauma months ago and now has developed agoraphobia. She hasn’t been able to leave her New York house in ten months and exists on lots of prescription medication chased down with copious glasses of wine. Hence the whole unreliable narrator angle.

Watching her neighbours from her window is something of a past time. That and watching old black and white movies like Rear Window, Strangers on the Train and Vertigo. Continue reading