Five Years From Now by Paige Toon was a very moving read. When I picked this up I thought the name Paige Toon seemed familiar but I’ve never read any of her books before. Then I realised her very first book Lucy in the Sky was just about to be released as I was leaving my first publishing job at Simon & Schuster Australia to head over to the UK to live and work.
Why did I wait so long to read this wonderful book? I had seen The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah being raved about for years and for some reason I never read it. It was only when I visited my parents’ place and saw this book on their shelf that I finally decided to give it a go. Even then it sat in my to be read pile for ages, alone and unloved, until I picked it up recently and started reading. And then I couldn’t stop until I had read it all. Continue reading
I haven’t been posting many reviews in the last couple of weeks because I’m six books into the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas. This series is epic in scale, and I’m loving it, but it’s dominating my reading time at the moment. I don’t want to do a book by book review because of spoilers but I will post something non-spoilery about the series soon.
So to combat my review drought, I have decided to look back at the past four months of reading and pick my favourite books in a few different genres. If you are looking for your next great read, feel free to click on the links below to go to my original review. Happy Reading!
Best Fiction/Literature Reads
1 Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman is a novel that deserves all the buckets of praise it’s getting. If you like books with a quirky narrator who is different from any other character you’ve ever read about, then this is a book that will warm your heart. I haven’t encountered a character like Eleanor before. The way she thinks and acts throughout the book had me laughing, cringing and pitying her. I also cheered her on as she opened up more to people and life.
My Verdict: Read this if you want to meet an unforgettable protagonist who gives you all the feels.
2. Still Me by Jojo Moyes is such a delightful read and the perfect conclusion to the three book series which began with Me Before You and continued with After You. I know it’s rude of me to recommend you read a book that is the third book in a series, but I am urging you to go and read the whole series. If you want to get your heart smashed to pieces and then stuck back together again then please give this series a read.
My Verdict: I don’t give starred reviews on this blog… if I did, this book would get 5 stars. I loved it!
3. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng is a novel that is popping up everywhere and it’s such a great read that is worthy of all the hype! It’s a story about teenagers, mothers, families, parenting, art, race, class, creativity and love, told from many perspectives. There’s also a court case woven into the story that will have you debating both sides.
My Verdict: An absolute gem of a book that is beautifully written.
Best YA Reads
If you are looking for a great historical fiction series packed with intrigue, family issues and a little bit of romance, then I have the series for you. I first discovered the Wintercombe series by Pamela Belle about fifteen years ago. I picked up Wintercombe in a second-hand book store and then later its sequel Herald of Joy. I lost both books in a house move and then spent years trying to find them again. To my delight, I discovered that both books were available as ebooks this year and I bought them immediately. And I also discovered book three A Falling Star and book four Treason’s Gift.
Wintercombe is set during the English civil war in the 17th century and tells the story of its namesake, Wintercombe, a beautiful manor house in Somerset where Puritan Lady Silence St Barbe lives with her two step-children Rachael and Nathaniel and three children Tabitha, Deb and William. Her Parliamentarian husband is off fighting in the war. Silence is the perfect Puritan wife to her much older husband and lives a quiet, godly existence.
The English Civil war has been raging for two years when a detachment of Cavaliers is sent to garrison at this country house. Not having anywhere to take her children, and not wishing to let her house and beloved gardens be destroyed by the enemy in her absence, Silence elects to stay for the occupation.
Captain Nick Hellier is the second-in-command of the enemy Royalist soldiers and is, at first, not someone Silence is willing to trust. But compared to the brutish Lieutenant-Colonel Ridgeley who is evil incarnate, Captain Hellier is mild mannered. He soon becomes someone Silence can go to for help, despite being an enemy, as he does his best to protect her and the children from Ridgeley’s wrath. Amidst all the turmoil of war, Silence begins to break free from the constraints around her and allow music, laughter and love into her life in the form of Nick. Continue reading
If you’re reading a crime novel set in a small Australian country town you can be sure of a few things: the story will take place against a harsh, unforgiving natural landscape; there will be a bevy of local characters with secrets to hide–from hard-drinking farmers to small town gossips; everyone will know everyone in town and there will be a couple of long standing feuds; and there will be something bad that happened in the past which is somehow connected to this latest crime. That’s not to say that these books aren’t a pleasure to read, I just often see this pattern.
Perhaps that’s why it took me so long to pick up The Dry by Jane Harper. It was the book on everyone’s lips in 2016, winning rave reviews from critics and racing up the bestsellers chart. Booksellers and book lovers embraced this debut and you would have had to be living under a rock to not have heard about it. It has also been optioned for the screen by Reese Witherspoon. Even now, The Dry is still picking up accolades, the recent being Jane Harper winning the British Crime Writers’ Association Gold Dagger award for the best crime novel of the year. Continue reading
Reading a Marian Keyes novel is like having a cosy chat over a bottle of wine with a girlfriend you only see every few years. There are laughs, the occasional tear, secrets shared, milestones celebrated and losses commiserated. I’ve read every one of Marian’s novels over the years. They have taken me through my twenties and into my thirties and have never disappointed.
The Break is Marian Keyes’s latest novel. Set in Dublin and London, it tells the story of Amy O’Connell, a 44 year old mother of two girls (and carer of a niece) who works in PR and is married to the dependable Hugh. She is part of a large, nosey family, has a ‘portfolio of friends’, and is on her second marriage. Suddenly Hugh decides he needs to take a break by himself in the form of a six month trip to South East Asia. But he doesn’t just want a break from Ireland. He wants a break from his marriage. What follows is the before, during and after effects of this decision on their marriage and family.