Love Anthony

Love Anthony – Lisa Genova
http://lisagenova.com
Reviewed: 09/09/2015

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Book Description
After 14 years of marriage and three children, Beth Ellis discovers her husband is having an affair with a local waitress. Feeling heartbroken, rejected, and alone, Beth wants to recapture the independent, creative spirit she used to be and finds the inspiration to pick up pen and paper once again. What emerges is a startling new voice, one that will become a balm for her wounded soul. Newly separated Olivia Donatelli has just moved into her family’s rental cottage. Struggling to understand the unraveling of her marriage, she is also desperate to make sense of her eight-year-old autistic son Anthony’s short life and accidental death. A chance encounter between these two women develops into an unexpected and meaningful friendship, giving one writer the opportunity to find her voice and a grieving mother a chance to finally understand her son.

I picked up this book because I had read Left Neglected a few years ago and really enjoyed the book. However, I am reviewing this book before I have finished it (because i don’t think i have the motivation to finish it!!) I am disappointed with the book to say the least. The characters have no substance and the story is flat and repetitive. I understand what the writer tried to achieve by showing the story through the autistic view point, but i didn’t like the way it was comprised.

The other thing i didn’t like that the author kept doing was mentioning the ‘dog in the night garden’ book, it was like she had a deal to name drop the book, it was unnecessary and didn’t add anything to the story!

Unfortunately I was looking forward to reading this book and am sad to say that I don’t think I will finish it. I wouldn’t recommend the book to my peers. sorry 😦 I don’t like giving bad reviews to books as I realise how much work is put into it, but this was not the best book.

Ranking 3/10

My House

My House – Alex Hourston
https://twitter.com/alex_hourston?lang=en-gb
Reviewed: 10/08/2015

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This book was bought for Holiday, however was read before I had even made it to the airport! It was a nice read with some themes which where interesting and that had not been covered in previous fiction books I have read. The book was based around the theme human trafficking however also considered alcohol abuse, a mothers temper, family break ups and a child been taken from her mother at birth from her farther!!

Book Description
Maggie lives a life of careful routines and measured pleasures. But everything changes when, walking through Gatwick a few days shy of her fifty-eighth birthday, a young woman approaches her and whispers a single word: ‘Help.’
Maggie responds, and in that moment saves a stranger, earning Anja her freedom and ensuring the arrest of a brutal trafficker.
But when the story gets picked up by the papers, Margaret is panicked by the publicity, as well as the strange phone calls she begins to receive.
Meanwhile Anja makes contact. She wants to thank her rescuer, but quickly insinuates herself into Maggie’s life.
As her relationship with Anja intensifies, Maggie begins to reveal, in increments, what it is she has been hiding. As a picture of her past takes shape, we are drawn into a slippery moral maze in which every choice is compromised. Maggie’s account is faithful, but she will keep you guessing about what really happened until the very end

I thought that this book was going to be more about he incident itself and was shocked to see that the author had skipped over this so quickly. I felt that Alex could have brought more to the trafficking incident as i didn’t feel it was explained fully. However Alex nicely described the insular life of Maggie the main character and i felt as a reader you really understood Maggie’s ‘quiet life’.

The relationship between Maggie and Anja was odd.. (I thought) and i did not like Anja. I recognised that her character had gone through huge hardship however i felt she was overly comfortable in Maggie’s house. I thought that Anja took advantage of Maggie’s kind nature and was selfish in a few moments throughout the book. However it was nice to read a story of 2 people helping each other out.

I enjoyed the way Alex explained the life of Maggie through narration at different parts of the book, drip feeding important aspects of her history. (SPOILER) The moment you find out she slaps her own daughter is quite a poignant moment, which shocks and surprises you.

The final part of this book (SPOILER) was a nice surprise, although Anja was selfish to contact her daughter it was nice to see that Maggie would no longer be a lone wolf but have contact finally with her daughter.

Overall I think it was a great read and thank Alex for a relaxing couple of days before my holiday!!

Rating: 8/10

Happy Reading
Em

Second Life

Second Life – S.J Watson
http://www.sjwatson-books.com/
Reviewed: 10/08/2015

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I loved the look of this thriller, however I was nervous about buying this book as ‘Before I Go To Sleep’ S.J Watson’s last novel was not brilliant. Although it was a enjoyable read which was saved by the last 50 pages.

Book Description
The sensational new psychological thriller from the bestselling author of Before I Go To Sleep . . .
She loves her husband. She’s obsessed by a stranger.
She’s a devoted mother. She’s prepared to lose everything.
She knows what she’s doing. She’s out of control.
She’s innocent. She’s guilty as sin.
She’s living two lives. She might lose both …

The book description of Second Life intrigued me, I enjoyed reading the first few chapters however by this point I had decided I didn’t really like the main character Julia. She came across as extremely self involved and selfish who didn’t listen to any of her friends or families advice. Although I didn’t like her character I was intrigued to see what had happened to her sister (which you are told in the first few chapters has died – which Julia thinks is suspicious and defiantly a murder).

As Julia investigates what has happened to her sister she forgets her original mission and become involved in a online relationship. For a few chapters the book goes from thriller to ’50 shades’ which quite frankly… is boring. I would have liked to have learnt more about the other characters like her son and husband than read a few chapters of the same old stuff.

However, I was pleased to see the book then returned back to the point and the last few chapters become extremely exciting and the story peaks to a brilliant finale.

I would recommend this book to friends, however I would not rush to read it again.

Rating: 7/10
N.b without the great ending the book would be 5/10

Happy Reading
Em

You, Me & Other People

You Me & Other people -Fionnuala Kearney
https://twitter.com/fionnualatweets
Reviewed: 10/08/2015

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This was the last book i chose to read on holiday, it was a ‘new Author’ recommendation from a well known bookseller. I chose to read this book last probably because I was not expecting much from it. However… I enjoyed this book!! 🙂

Book Description
The stunning debut novel from Fionnuala Kearney – already a Top Ten Irish Times bestseller
THEY SAY EVERY FAMILY HAS SKELETONS IN THEIR CLOSET . . .
But what happens when you open the door and they won’t stop tumbling out?
For Adam and Beth the first secret wasn’t the last, it was just the beginning.
You think you can imagine the worst thing that could happen to your family, but there are some secrets that change everything.
And then the question is, how can you piece together a future when your past is being rewritten?

I find that when reading books I really connect with on or two characters, throughout this book I connected with Beth (the main character) and her best friend. Adam who was beth’s husband I found was hard to connect with, I just thought he was a bit of a muppet!! However later in the book his behaviour was explained, although i was a bit fed up with his attitude by the end of the book and wanted him to just get a grip!!

I thought the book was brilliant at intertwining lots of different stories and quite thought provoking at times… making you consider ‘what would I do?’.

I would recommend this book as another easy read for holidays. However I would struggle to read this back home as to be honest it was quite slow and i remember thinking, this is getting a bit boring…and then something would happen 🙂

Rating = 6.5/10

Happy Reading 🙂
Em

I Do Not Sleep

I Do Not Sleep – Judy Finnigan
http://blog.whsmith.co.uk/judy-finnigan-q-not-sleep/
Reviewed 10/08/2015

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Book Description
Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there. I do not sleep.

There is nothing more powerful than a mother’s love.

Five years ago, Molly Gabriel lost her twenty-year-old son, Joey, to a terrible sailing accident. His empty boat was washed ashore on the rocks, but his body was never found.
Now, Molly has returned to the sands of Cornwall haunted by his disappearance, unable to accept he is gone. Joey was an experienced sailor and died on a calm sea – things just don’t add up and Molly cannot let it go. Desperate for answers, she turns to Joey’s best friend, Ben, to try and find out what really happened that day…

 

I chose this book because of the links to the South West coastline, not only have I spent a lot of time here as a child but I now also reside in a city in this part of the UK. The book really takes you back and draws you in to the villages and beaches that Molly the main character visits with her family. 🙂

The book was a great read. After reading the first chapter I felt like I was in the middle of the book already familiar with the charecters and wanting to read on to find out what was happening. The rest of the book continued with a sense of flow. lots of little new pieces of information which helped you understand both the main character (and the sense of her loss) but also the feelings of her family. The book really highlighted how grief can effect people differently.

I loved the relationship which develops between Molly and Josie, Josie is a lady who lives in cornwall and has also had to deal with challenging events throughout her life. The friendship which develops shows how even throughout adulthood we can make the most wonderful friends 🙂

I was unsure about the Len’s character (a cornish charmer), this may be because its out of the norm and didn’t really fit with the beginning of the book. However as the book went on i became more conformable with Len and his input in the story.

Finally, Although a very sad theme the book is still a easy read and a great book for a summer holiday. I would recommend this to any female friend out there 🙂

Rating = 8/10

Happy Reading 🙂
Em

A Lovely Quote

‘Today I’d Like to sit and read,
Forget I have a job I need,
Ignore the things I have to do,
And just enjoy a book or two.’

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This is my constant thought at the moment!!

Happy Reading 🙂

Em

Holiday Reads :)

Hi Ladies and Gentlemen 🙂

Whilst on holiday in sharm I read some lovely books:

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Each book was very different, I loved the whole book of ‘You Me and Other People.’ I thought the main character in ‘I Do Not Sleep’ was really captivating and her story of the loss of her son extremely honest. Finally I loved the ending of ‘Second Life’.

Over the next few days I will try to review these books honestly.

I hope the sun is shining where you are.. Its raining Cats & Dogs here!!

Happy Monday & Happy Reading!!
Em x