Mad Honey, Jodi Picoult & Jennifer Finney Boylan – Book Review

Jodi Picoult is back on form once again with this latest offering, in which she works with Jennifer Finney Boylan to create a compelling and beautifully written story which peels back the layers on themes of identity, wrapping it up neatly into an emotive murder mystery.

Olivia is a beekeeper and single mother to her teenage son, Asher. She’s escaped an abusive relationship with her ex-husband to build a life for herself and Asher back in her hometown. And it’s going well – Asher is a popular teen, playing hockey on the high school team, and he’s just got himself a new girlfriend, Lilly – who has recently arrived in town.

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Filed under Book Reviews, Contemporary, Drama, Mystery

The Atlas Six, Olivie Blake, Review

So, I finally succumbed to the “Tiktok sensation” that is The Atlas Six, ahead of the sequel coming out. And really, I have no idea how I feel about it. This book both was and wasn’t what I expected; it surprised me and slightly bored me in equal measure.

It starts off strong, as we meet six medians (basically magicians/witches – whatever you’d like to call them) receiving a mysterious invitation to a secret society. Magical dark academia at its finest. That invitation is issued by the Caretaker, Atlas and it offers them to the opportunity to access a secret library; archives of magical information and history which is held back from the rest of the world.

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Tell Me An Ending, Jo Harkin – Book Review

This shiny new sci-fi drama debut about memory erasure procedures naturally draws parallels to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, one of my favourite films. And I can see the comparisons, but this book tells a story all of its own.

At the heart is Nepenthe, an organisation which makes a business of erasing unwanted, painful or traumatic memories. We are introduced to Nepenthe at a point of controversy, when problems have been discovered with the procedure – people are experiencing ‘traces’ of their forgotten memories. And people want their lost memories back.

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Filed under Book Reviews, Contemporary, Drama, Sci-Fi, Speculative

Idol, Louise O’Neill – Book Review

This was the first I’ve read from this author, despite being intrigued by some of her previous releases. It won’t be my last. This book floored me – it’s an incredibly clever contemporary drama which explores a whole range of topical issues (I’ll get into that), but with the unputdownable pace of a thriller.

The cover may allude to it being a beach read, and it is that in a way – it’s an accessible, easy read – and yet it seamlessly weaves together sensitive and timely topics into a gripping narrative. There’s light and dark and all sorts of shades of grey. And I loved it.

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Filed under Book Reviews, Contemporary, Drama

Upgrade, Blake Crouch – Book Review

Blake Crouch is fast becoming an auto-buy author for me. His edgy sci-fi thrillers take a concept you think you understand and turn it completely on its head in a way which is truly unputdownable. Team that with authentic, sympathetic characters, and you’ve got a winner in my eyes.

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Filed under Book Reviews, Dystopia, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Carrie Soto Is Back, Taylor Jenkins Reid – Book Review

Well, I never thought I’d love what is essentially a sports drama. But I’ll read anything that TJR comes out with, and this turned out to be one of my favourite novels of hers yet.

Don’t get me wrong, there is a whole lot of tennis in this book. But the author managed to get me captivated with Carrie’s story and completely invested into the importance of each and every match – I often found myself on tenterhooks, waiting to see which way a player would jump, which way the ball would drop. And I never thought that would be the case with a book about tennis.

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Filed under Book Reviews, Contemporary, Drama

Metronome, Tom Watson – Book Review

This was a strange, compelling and, ultimately, bleak story. I’m not quite sure how I feel about it. When I started reading this novel, it immediately sucked me into its bizarre, dystopian world which just feels a little off-kilter. It lost me a little in the middle, but it’s definitely a unique tale – a quiet drama set against an epic survival backdrop in a strange dystopian twist on our reality.

In this reality, a couple is exiled to a harsh, almost uninhabitable island as a punishment for their crimes. Because of the nature of the island, they have to take a special pill every 8 hours in order to survive the unnatural atmosphere. But they’re counting down the days until their parole, one pill at a time.

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Filed under Book Reviews, Drama, Dystopia

Book Lovers, Emily Henry – Book Review

I don’t often read romance, but this author has somehow slipped into my regular reads over the past couple of years. She can be relied on to leave me with a warm, fuzzy feeling – and sometimes that’s just what I need.

And yes, they can be a little cheesey in places, but you just need to embrace it – and the author does that really well herself with this latest offering. It’s a modern, fresh take on the classic rom-com tropes, which isn’t afraid to make fun of itself just a little.

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Filed under Book Reviews, Contemporary, Romance

Notes on an Execution, Danya Kukafka – Book Review

Sometimes I request a book on a whim. With this book I haven’t seen much hype about it, I hadn’t been recommended it, but something about the synopsis drew me in. And sometimes, that book is an absolute winner, a hidden gem. That’s definitely the case here.

This book was a stunning drama, a powerful, unique piece of fiction which was incredibly emotional and compelling. It’s immediately made it into my favourite books of the year.

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Filed under Book Reviews, Crime, Drama

Family Of Liars, E. Lockhart – Book Review

We Were Liars was an absolute young adult sensation back on its release in 2014. But, it’s quirky writing style and off-the-wall twist did divide readers. I was firmly in the love camp, and so when I saw the author was releasing a prequel after almost a decade, I was far too intrigued to pass this up.

In this book, we return to the Sinclair family and their private island, but we’re whisked back in time to the 1980s. We get a glimpse at a summer of the “aunts” of WWL when they were teens, through the eyes of Carrie.

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Filed under Book Reviews, Contemporary, Drama, Young Adult