I've decided to step this blogging commitment malarkey up a notch and introduce my second blog series. Gasp.
Several weeks ago, I dusted off my Kindle and fired it up - determined to re-kindle *groan* my passion for reading that was lost somewhere around dissertation writing and Skittle Bombs, circa 2010. As a child, I was an avid reader. So much so that my mum recalls having to tell me off for reading well into the night, when I really should have been sleeping. I remember asking Santa for encyclopedias for Christmas. Okay, maybe we'll keep that one hush, but getting back into reading has been a positive step for me. Not only is it helping me battle my insomnia-shaped demons, but burying myself in a good book is also a great escape.
For this series, I thought that I would list the books that I have been reading lately, along with a brief description of what they are about, plus my thoughts on the book as a whole. Don't worry, I wont post any spoilers! Every time I hit five read books, I'll stick up a blog post. Comprende? Let's make a start.
Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn
On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?
I loved this book! A serious page-turner that had me gripped from the get-go. It has more twists and turns than a Crazy Mouse ride; and is so cleverly written that it's almost frightening. I haven't seen the movie, and I'm not sure I want to as I hate it when they don't live up to the book, but if you're after a story line that continually keeps you guessing, then this book is for you.
Elizabeth is Missing - Emma Healey
Maud, an aging grandmother, is slowly losing her memory—and her grip on everyday life. Yet she refuses to forget her best friend Elizabeth, whom she is convinced is missing and in terrible danger.
But no one will listen to Maud—not her frustrated daughter, Helen, not her caretakers, not the police, and especially not Elizabeth’s mercurial son, Peter. Armed with handwritten notes she leaves for herself and an overwhelming feeling that Elizabeth needs her help, Maud resolves to discover the truth and save her beloved friend.
This singular obsession forms a cornerstone of Maud’s rapidly dissolving present. But the clues she discovers seem only to lead her deeper into her past, to another unsolved disappearance: her sister, Sukey, who vanished shortly after World War II.
As vivid memories of a tragedy that occurred more fifty years ago come flooding back, Maud discovers new momentum in her search for her friend. Could the mystery of Sukey’s disappearance hold the key to finding Elizabeth?
I had never read a book like this before and despite my initial reservations, I was hooked almost immediately. Emma Healey really captures what it must be like to suffer with Dementia in a charming yet honest way. I laughed and not-quite-cried; my way through this book. I felt that the ending was a little predictable, but a great read nevertheless.
How to Fall in Love - Cecelia Ahern
Christine Rose is crossing the Ha'penny Bridge in Dublin late one night when she sees a stranger, Adam, poised to jump. Desperate to help, she talks him into a reckless deal: if he gives her two weeks - till his 35th birthday - she'll prove that life is worth living. But as the clock ticks and the two of them embark on late-night escapades and romantic adventures, what Christine has really promised seems impossible.
Your typical, 'chick-lit' type book here. I fancied an easy read and this is definitely that. It doesn't take a genius to work out what the story line will consist of, but saying that, I still enjoyed it. There were a couple of teary-eyed moments, but I cry at adverts so that's nothing much to go by. I do like Cecelia Ahern. Her books are the kind you'd read on holiday or on the bus ride to work - easy to dip in and out of.
A Mother's Story - Amanda Prowse
"I deserve all this because I did the worst thing a woman can do. The very worst. Jessica's wedding was like a fairytale. She looked radiant in a dress strewn with crystals. Her dad conquered his nerves and made a tearful speech. And her gorgeous husband Matthew declared himself the luckiest man alive. Together, Jessica and Matthew feel like they can take on the world. But when their beautiful baby girl is born, Jessica is gripped with panic and fear. She can’t tell anyone how she feels. Even when her life starts to spiral out of control… This is her story. A mother’s story.
This book divided my opinion. On the one hand, I felt that it was well thought out, well written and thoroughly gripping, but the flip side is that it's incredibly raw and hard-hitting. It preyed on my mind for weeks afterwards. I admire that Amanda Prowse brings mental health issues to the forefront of this book, tackling difficult subjects, but it isn't the easiest to read - emotionally. It's one of those stories that stays with you.
Stranger Child - Rachel Abbott
When Emma Joseph met her husband David, he was a man shattered by grief. His first wife had been killed outright when her car veered off the road. Just as tragically, their six-year-old daughter mysteriously vanished from the scene of the accident.
Now, six years later, Emma believes the painful years are behind them. She and David have built a new life together and have a beautiful baby son, Ollie. Then a stranger walks into their lives, and their world tilts on its axis. Emma's life no longer feels secure. Does she know what really happened all those years ago? And why does she feel so frightened for herself and for her baby? When a desperate Emma reaches out to her old friend DCI Tom Douglas for help, she puts all their lives in jeopardy. Before long, a web of deceit is revealed that shocks both Emma and Tom to the core.
They say you should never trust a stranger. Maybe they're right.
A good story with a crap ending. Sorry Rachel Abbott, but I just wasn't feeling the finale. Putting that fact to one side, this is a tense thriller with an intriguing plot. I'd go as far as saying that it was a page-turner. It's predictable in parts, but then it is also littered with shocking revelations and edge-of your-seat drama. Worth a read.
And that's your lot...
Have you read any of these books - If so, what did you make of them? I've almost completed another five books which I will work into a blog post very soon, but for now, do you have any recommendations for me? What should I get stuck into next?