Book review: The Girl in the Mirror by Rose Carlyle

Sunday, August 16, 2020 Permalink

I didn’t get The Girl in the Mirror by Rose Carlyle for review but was hearing a lot about it so borrowed it from a friend. Everyone seemed to find it twisty and had a desire to talk about it after they finished. That’s usually a good sign as it might mean you think you know how it ended but are not quite sure. Of course it’s hard for authors to achieve that balance between…. “WTF just happened?” leaving readers confused with too many unanswered questions; and tying everything up neatly with a bow.

This debut novel by New Zealand author Carlyle was probably a tad more predictable than I had anticipated (given the hype). You know what’s ultimately coming but not how, but it’s certainly enjoyable nonetheless.

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four-stars

Book review: The Secret Life of Shirley Sullivan by Lisa Ireland

Thursday, May 14, 2020 Permalink

I’d requested The Secret Life of Shirley Sullivan by Lisa Ireland for review but unfortunately didn’t receive it. I have a rule that I’m not allowed to buy any books until the end of the year and then I’m only allowed to buy those that might make my ‘best of the year’ post. My weird logic is two-fold. I’m not really working at the moment so can’t justify buying many books PARTICULARLY when I receive so many for review. And my to-be-read (TBR) pile stresses me and I don’t want or need to add to that guilt – although there are quite a few books on there I’ve not requested and are outside of my usual reading genre.

Anyhoo, I’ve really loved Lisa Ireland’s last two books The Shape of Us and The Art of Friendship and met Lisa and also really like her. (I’ve mentioned before if I tend to like someone in person I generally find I like their writing!) So, when a friend suggested I borrow her copy of The Secret Life of Shirley Sullivan I jumped at the chance. And thank god I did as I loved it! In fact it’s probably my favourite of the three (of Lisa’s books) I’ve read.

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four-half-stars

Book review: The Wife and the Widow by Christian White

Thursday, November 7, 2019 Permalink

Christian’s White’s The Nowhere Child was extremely well received when released in 2018. I didn’t read it at the time and heard White speak about it at the BAD Sydney Crime Writers’ Festival in early September. I liked the premise so decided I’d buy a copy there.

Then however White commented on the fact he’d set it in a certain place in America as it was the only place they still trained snake charmers (or something). I asked someone if snakes really did feature in the novel. They laughed when I said I was phobic, but it seriously turned me off reading it. Though I’m sure I would have enjoyed it.

His second novel, The Wife and the Widow offers no snakes. It’s extremely twisty though and has a mid-way surprise to rival that of Clare Mackintosh’s fabulous I Let You Go.

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four-half-stars

Book review: The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart by Holly Ringland

Tuesday, November 20, 2018 Permalink

I put a call out a week or so ago on my Facebook page, asking people about books they’ve loved this year. I explained I was starting to plan my ‘favourite novels of 2018’ post and wanted to check if I’d missed out on something I REALLY should have read. I used The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart as an example. It wasn’t a book I requested for review but I’d read nothing but AMAZING things about it.

Of course, people said the same about Gone Girl and Big Little Lies and (for me) both of those turned out to be somewhat anti-climactic so it was with some trepidation I borrowed Lost Flowers from a friend.

But… Oh. My. God. For the most part this book was amazing and I was hooked from the beginning.

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four-half-stars

Book review: The Book With No Pictures by BJ Novak

Sunday, October 8, 2017 Permalink

I went to my friend’s house last weekend to ‘interview’ (using the term loosely) my godson about a book I’d been given for review. (In related news, check out our Finn and Puss book review, if you missed it.)

While I was there 6yr old Pickle dragged out another story he wanted me to read. As it happened his mother had already told me she’d bought this book, and I suspect I’d come across it via the same person / site as I’d recently heard of it for the first time as well.

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Book review: Force of Nature by Jane Harper

Sunday, October 1, 2017 Permalink

It was good to see Aaron Falk back in this second novel by (award winning) Australian author Jane Harper. For some reason he seemed like an unlikely hero in The Dry but he remains likeable here – perhaps more so with less personal baggage impacting on his role in the investigation (and novel).

I liked the addition of his colleague / work partner Carmen and think the book (perhaps series) is stronger for having her to act as Aaron’s foil.

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four-stars

Book review: The Mummy Bloggers by Holly Wainwright

Tuesday, September 19, 2017 Permalink

Almost everyone I know has loved this book. They’ve raved about it. So I expected to like (or at least, to relate to) this book more than I did.

It’s not the sort of book I’d usually read and I hadn’t requested it for review, but a friend of mine bought it and asked if I wanted to borrow it. Despite my hefty TBR pile I said yes and spent a bit of time with it on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

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three-half-stars