August To December
In this blog post Im going to be sharing my reads from August through to December 2018. In this list I have some very great reads and during the second half of last year I found my new favorite author and may have read my favorite book ever I still think back to it now.
So with out further ado lets dive in.
Book 12: An Unwanted Guest By Shari Lapena
Synopsis: As the guests arrive at beautiful, remote Mitchell’s Inn, they’re all looking forward to a relaxing weekend deep in the forest, miles from anywhere. They watch their fellow guests with interest, from a polite distance. With a violent storm raging, the group finds itself completely cut off from the outside world. Nobody can get in – or out. And then the first body is found . . . and the horrifying truth comes to light. There’s a killer among them – and nowhere to run.
My Thoughts: This was the third Shari Lapena novel I’ve read and again I enjoyed it. Although this one is my least favourite. It was a great setting in the guest house with a wonderful mix of characters all with their mix of personalities and own secrets. It was a awesome mixing pot of emotions. Sadly I felt a little deflated about the ending although I didn’t see the twist coming I felt Shari had slightly got a little out of control and the story line lost its way. This is something sadly I have experienced with her other novels especially noticeable in her first book ‘The Couple Next Door’. Overall it was a easy, gripping read not too serious and a good escape.
My Goodreads Score: 3/5
Book 13: Five Years From Now By Paige Toon
Synopsis: What if you met the right person at the wrong time?
Nell and Van meet as children when their parents fall in love, but soon they are forced worlds apart. Five years later, they find each other. Their bond is rekindled and new feelings take hold, but once again they must separate.
For the next two decades, fate brings Nell and Van together every five years, as life and circumstance continue to divide them. Will they ever find true happiness? And will it be together?
My Thoughts: Oh my I really don’t know where to start about this read. I absolutely adored every word never wanting my journey with Nell and Van to end. I laughed with them along with crying with and for them both. By the time I turned the last page both felt like real friends and I had been on the journey with them. The way we caught up with each character at different points always five years after the last meeting was utterly amazing. Paige Toon really does have a fantastic way at character building, tackling hard/ emotional issues and just generally been the most fantastic author. I recommend this book to everyone I know. Even now sat writing about it for this post I can feel myself getting emotional and all the feels I felt during my time with this book. It was the first ever Paige Toon I had ever picked up and it certainly as you will be able to tell further on it was by no means my last. A bold statement to make but this has to be my favorite book I have read in 2018 and even in my whole life so far.
My Goodreads Score: 5/5
Book 14: Eve Of Man By Giovanna and Tom Fletcher
Synopsis: Against all odds she survived. The first girl born in fifty years. They called her Eve.
My Thoughts: I absolutely love both Giovanna and Tom followed both of them for years on there Youtube channels. I really enjoyed G’s book happy mum, happy baby and reading The Christmasaurus by Tom with my eldest. So for a book by them both was a absolute dream. Especially as its a trilogy and sounded super intriguing. However Im super disappointed to say I found this book such a drag to read and it took me so long to complete. One of the main issues I had with Eve Of Man it felt like two totally different books mismatched together into one. As Giovanna writes all Eve’s chapters and Tom writes chapters for a character called Bram. It felt completely disjointed and just didn’t flow quite right for me. I feel both of them are good writers in their own works but together they have such varying styles that sadly it just didn’t work. Like mentioned this is due to be a trilogy and im still undecided weather I will pick up book two although this ends in a cliff hanger and I sort of want to know what is going to happen. Its weather I can put myself through the torture again when I have so many books waiting to be read and discovered.
My Goodreads Score: 2/5 ( mainly as it is Gi and Tom plus the cover is absolutely stunning for a handback book with the dust cover off. Also I did enjoy Eve and her character)
Book 15: One Of Us Is Lying By Karen M.McManus
Synopsis: Five Students walk into detention. Only four come out alive. Yale hopeful Bromwyn has never publicly broken a rule. Sports star Cooper only knows what hes doing in the baseball diamond. Bad boy Nate is one misstep away from a life of crime. Prom queen Addy is holding together the cracks in her perfect life. And outsider Simon, creator of the notorious gossip app at Bayview High wont even talk about them again. He dies 24 hrs before he could post their deepest secrets online. Investigators conclude its no accident. All of them are suspects. Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you’ll go to protect them.
My Thoughts: I loved the concept of the story five people attending detention and only four leaving alive. It gave me vibes of breakfast club meets scream! The layout of the story was easy to dip in and out easily grabbing a few pages at a time with the diary format. Each a different perspective of the happenings in the investigation. I thought I knew where the story was heading about halfway through and even though I didn’t get it completely correct. It wasn’t too far off the mark, this was a little bit of a shame as it would have been a awesome twist. As its aimed at young adults been a YA with a recommenced age of 12+ it was a little beneath the depth of the thrillers I normally read with its complexity. However with this it was a good read and im intrigued to read Karen’s second novel that has just been released.
My Goodreads: Score: 3/5
Book 16: Part of Your World (Twisted Tales) By Liz Braswell
Synopsis: Its been five years since the infamous sea witch defeated the little mermaid…taking King Triton’s life in the process. Ariel is now the voiceless queen of Atlantica, while Ursula runs Prince Eric’s kingdom on land. But when Ariel discovers that her father might still be alive, she finds herself returning to a world, and a prince, she never imagined she would see again. Will Ariel be able to overthrow the murderous villain set on destroying her home and the world she once longed to be part of? Follow this tale of power, love and a mermaids quest to reclaim her voice
My Thoughts: I fully expected to completely fall in love with this book as like I mentioned in part one of this blog post The Little Mermaid was my complete favorite thing in the whole world growing up. So to have these characters again and a twist on the tale that could see Ursula get her comeuppance over again would satisfy me. However it really didn’t I felt the characters were written all wrong. Prince Eric was just dopey, Ariel needy and I felt sorry for Ursula/ Vanessa.The story got too far fetched even for a Disney film where there is a giant octopus lady along with talking crabs and seagulls. This is the second I have read in the twisted tales series If I didn’t have two already waiting on my shelf after this attempted I don’t know if I would waste my money.
My Goodreads score: 2/5
Book 17: The Last Piece Of My Heart By Paige Toon
Synopsis: A successful travel journalist, Bridget has ambitions to turn her quirky relationship blog about the missing pieces of her heart into a book. But after a spate of rejections from publishers, she accepts an alternative proposition. Nicole Dupré died leaving behind a bestselling novel and an incomplete sequel. Tasked with finishing the book, Bridget is thankful to have her foot in the publishing door, even if it means relocating to Cornwall for the summer and answering to Nicole’s grieving husband, Charlie…
My Thoughts: I was super excited when this arrived in the library for me I couldn’t wait to get started and it truly didn’t disappoint. For me Paige Toon had done it again created another fantastic read. I immediately loved all the characters Bridget felt like a old friend by the end and Charlie too. The subject matter was well tackled and handed with sensitivity of a grieving widow caring for a young baby. The two settings of England and Thailand were brought to live so exquisitely. I absolutely adored it.
My Goodreads Score: 4.5/5
Book 18: Surprise Me By Sophie Kinsella
Synopsis: After being together for ten years, Sylvie and Dan have a comfortable home, fulfilling jobs, beautiful twin girls, and communicate so seamlessly, they finish each other’s sentences. They have a happy marriage and believe they know everything there is to know about each other. Until it’s casually mentioned to them that they could be together for another sixty-eight years… and panic sets in. They quickly decide to create little surprises for each other, to keep their relationship fresh and fun. But in their pursuit of Project Surprise Me – anything from unexpected gifts to restaurant dates to photo shoots – mishaps arise with disastrous and comical results. Gradually, the surprises turn to shocking discoveries. And when a scandal from the past is uncovered, they begin to wonder if they ever really knew each other after all.
My Thoughts: I came across this title while browsing in the library so I took it home to give it a try. I have read a number of Sophie Kinsella books in the past and have felt mixed about them. I went in with low exceptions for this novel as I hadn’t really heard much about it and prefer the Madaline Wickham novels from Sophie. However I was very pleasantly surprised, I flew through this novel and really enjoyed it. It was a great light book to escape too at the end of busy days. Some of the situations that Sylvie and Dan find themselves in are hilarious and I found myself laughing out loud a number of times. As well as Sylvie and Dan the supporting characters are really great too and add so much to the story. Its defiantly encouraged me to pick up more Sophie Kinsella books in the future.
Book 19: The One We Fell In Love With By Paige Toon
Synopsis: Phoebe is caught between a rock and a hard place. Settle down and get married, or return to the French Alps to pursue her passion?
Eliza is in love with someone who is no longer hers. In fact, he probably never was… And her dream of becoming a successful musician seems to be vanishing before her eyes. Rose is out of a job and out of a boyfriend. To make matters worse, she’s been forced to move back in with her mother…
But these very different girls have one thing in common. Angus. The one they fell in love with.
My Thoughts: This was the third Paige Toon I picked up in as many months. Again I was absolutely captivated and I found myself picking it up at every spare opportunity. Most nights wishing it wasn’t already bedtime struggling to put the book down. I again loved the characters and the story line. This one gave me so many similar feelings that I had felt earlier in the summer with Five Years From Now. How each of the girls stories all took their shape intertwining with each others and Angus’s. It was just truly wonderful. I laughed, cried, smiled every emotion possible. Not wanting the story to end as I didn’t want to leave the world of Pheobe, Eliza and Rose.
My Goodreads score: 5/5
Book 20: Dear Mrs Bird By AJ Pearce (DNF)
Synopsis: London, 1941. Amid the falling bombs Emmeline Lake dreams of becoming a fearless Lady War Correspondent. Unfortunately, Emmy instead finds herself employed as a typist for the formidable Henrietta Bird, the renowned agony aunt at Woman’s Friend magazine. Mrs Bird refuses to read, let alone answer, letters containing any form of Unpleasantness, and definitely not those from the lovelorn, grief-stricken or morally conflicted.But the thought of these desperate women waiting for an answer at this most desperate of times becomes impossible for Emmy to ignore. She decides she simply must help and secretly starts to write back – after all, what harm could that possibly do?
My Thoughts: Sadly this book wasn’t one for me. I trudged my way to just over 100 pages and had to give it up. I really didn’t feel the characters they were a little flat and fluffy. I loved the concept of the story it just sadly didnt work for me.
My goodreads score 1/5 ( as I couldn’t leave it without scoring on my app)
Book 21: Dead Ex By Jane Corry
Synopsis: Vicki’s husband David once promised to love her in sickness and in health. But after a brutal attack left her suffering with epilepsy, he ran away with his mistress. So when Vicki gets a call one day to say that he’s missing, her first thought is ‘good riddance’. But then the police find evidence suggesting that David is dead. And they think Vicki had something to do with it.
My Thoughts: This was another library pick and im so glad I did. I really enjoyed this one. It was full of twists and turns that I didn’t see coming which was just great and it kept me wanting more. It took a little while to get used to the narrative but once I had got my head around the layout of the story it really works. Such a complex story. I highly recommend and I will read more from Jane Corry in the future.
Book 22: The Mother Of All Christmases By Milly Johnson
Synopsis: Eve Glace – co-owner of the theme park Winterworld – is having a baby and her due date is a perfectly timed 25th December. And she’s decided that she and her husband Jacques should renew their wedding vows with all the pomp that was missing the first time. But growing problems at Winterworld keep distracting them . Annie Pandoro and her husband Joe own a small Christmas cracker factory, and are well set up and happy together despite life never blessing them with a much-wanted child. But when Annie finds that the changes happening to her body aren’t typical of the menopause but pregnancy, her joy is uncontainable. Palma Collins has agreed to act as a surrogate, hoping the money will get her out of the gutter in which she finds herself. But when the couple she is helping split up, is she going to be left carrying a baby she never intended to keep?Annie, Palma and Eve all meet at the ‘Christmas Pudding Club’, a new directive started by a forward-thinking young doctor to help mums-to-be mingle and share their pregnancy journeys. Will this group help each other to find love, contentment and peace as Christmas approaches?
My Thoughts: I was really excited when this book was released I read Milly’s book The Yorkshire Pudding Club many years ago and throughly enjoyed it. This is a sequel to that with some returning characters. It was another great read and very great at getting me in a festive mood. I love how Milly’s books are laid out with sort chapters to the point. Her writing style really suits my reading style. I have since taken out The Winter Flame from the libiary that first introduced the character Eve and Winterworld to find out more about her beginnings.
My Goodreads Score: 4/5
Book 23: Christmas at Mistletoe Cottage Animal Ark Revisited By Lucy Daniels
Synopsis: Christmas has arrived in the little village of Welford. The scent of hot roasted chestnuts is in the air, and a layer of frost sparkles on the ground. This year, vet Mandy Hope is looking forward to the holidays. Her animal rescue centre, Hope Meadows, is up and running – and she’s finally going on a date with Jimmy Marsh, owner of the local outward bound centre. The advent of winter sees all sorts of animals cross Mandy’s path, from goats named Rudolph to baby donkeys – and even a pair of reindeer! But when a mysterious local starts causing trouble, Mandy’s plans for the centre come under threat. She must call on Jimmy and her fellow villagers to put a stop to the stranger’s antics and ensure that Hope Meadows’ first Christmas is one to remember.
My Thoughts: This was the second book in the series and it was another great read. Hanging back out with old friends Mandy Hope, James Hunter and Jimmy Marsh. Loved the way it tackles issues serious and humorous. This festive addition to the series was great alongside book one set in the summer season. Im really looking forward to book three set in the spring to see what the gang get upto.
There you go my full 2018 in books I hope you have enjoyed finding out what I read last year. What I enjoyed as well as what I didn’t.
If you have read anything that isn’t on my list I would love to know.
Until Next Time