Category Archives: Contemporary

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

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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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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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

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

Impossible, Sarah Lotz – Book Review

I don’t often read romance novels, but this latest offering from British fantasy author Sarah Lotz is something a little unique. And I adored it! Authentic, down-to-earth characters, British humour and a unique sci-fi fantasy twist which really makes this love story impossible

Bee is a fashion designer running her own business upcycling wedding dresses from her London apartment. Nick is a failed writer living in a struggling marriage with his loyal dog Rosie in Leeds. The two never would have met if it wasn’t for an email error, but when Nick accidently sends Bee an email meant for his client, sparks fly.

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Filed under Book Reviews, Contemporary, Fantasy, Romance

Mirrorland, Carole Johnstone – Book Review

A grand old Scottish house, estranged mirror twins, secrets and a glowing review quote from Stephen King meant this novel caught my eye straight away. My galley request actually didn’t get approved for around six months, by which point I’d almost forgotten about it and the hype had died down, but I’m so glad I got around to picking this up earlier this year.

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Filed under Book Reviews, Contemporary, Crime, Drama, Psychological thriller

The Maid, Nita Prose – Book Review

The Maid was a winning combination of touching and heartwarming, paired with mystery elements weaved in that kept me glued to the pages. It was a joy to read. I don’t usually go for ‘cosy crime’ which I think it what this would be classed as, but I thoroughly enjoyed it as a break from tougher subjects – and it does touch on some serious issues. And at the heart of it all is one of the most wonderful, complicated, sympathetic characters I’ve read in a while – Molly the maid.

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Filed under Book Reviews, Contemporary, Crime

How High We Go In The Dark, Sequoia Nagamatsu – Book Review

How High We go in the Dark is a speculative dystopian with a stunning cover that’s been compared to Station Eleven and Cloud Atlas. It caught my eye straight away, and I really wanted to like this one more than I did.

It is an original, imaginative and bold story of a terrifying pandemic spawned from an ancient virus which spans generations. You would think another pandemic tale may hit a little too close to home, but that isn’t the case here. This pandemic is much more deadly, and its consequences so bizarre and bleak that it felt almost otherworldly, and it works. This is an incredibly ambitious, explorative and wondrous piece of work.

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