Book review: The Haters by Robyn Harding

Saturday, July 6, 2024 Permalink

The Haters by Robyn Harding takes readers into the world of books and publishing. It’s something Harding would know well of course, given her profession. And this new release reflects the good, the bad and the ugly of that world – albeit with an underlying agenda spurring online trolling and bullying.

I’ve seen similar things play out on social media. A negative review and a defensive author striking out, only to then have the reviewer’s supporters (or grumpy people in general) heap onto the author. Or vice versa… an author reacting badly to a negative but fair and very very subjective review (which all reviews are, of course). **We humans are complicated walking talking animals resplendent with baggage from life experiences and our own thoughts, feelings and behaviour, so our perception of anything is personal and tainted by all that’s come before.**

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four-stars

Book (ARC) review: The Silence in her Eyes by Armando Lucas Correa

Wednesday, January 17, 2024 Permalink

I bookmarked the opening sentences of The Silence in her Eyes by Armando Lucas Correa.

On my eight birthday, the world came to a standstill. My mother’s face became a portrait of pain. My father’s face vanished forever.

The story is narrated by Leah, a woman with akinetopsia – or motion blindness. She explains that images stay with her, like photographs. Then she blinks and there’s a new image. It impacts on the way her story unfolds, the way Correa describes her world, what she sees and what she perceives.

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four-stars

Book review: The Search Party by Hannah Richell

Friday, December 22, 2023 Permalink

The Search Party is the first book I’ve read by Hannah Richell and I enjoyed it though was slightly worried to see a list of characters’ names before the intro. I often struggle if I have to keep flicking back to remind myself who’s who. Though here we’re predominantly in the heads of four couples so don’t have to worry quite as much about the eight children.

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four-stars

Book review: The Fiction Writer by Jillian Cantor

Wednesday, November 29, 2023 Permalink

I enjoyed The Fiction Writer by Jillian Cantor though the end let it down a little for me. I mean, I liked where it finished… but then Cantor went a bit further, and for me, it was one twist too far. That said, this is an intriguing book – several tales within a tale. Within a tale. Or in some ways… fan fiction run amok!

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three-half-stars

Book review: Zero Days by Ruth Ware

Tuesday, June 13, 2023 Permalink

Zero Days by Ruth Ware is a fast paced action-packed read. I’ve read a few of Ware’s books now and know she has a big fan base. She’ll also be attending the crime writing festival I’m going to next month in England so this is a timely read. Although I kinda felt it was pretty obvious whodunnit here, the why was certainly unexpected and Ware also complicates the who with some murky shadow-lurking types.

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four-stars

Book review: The Drowning Woman by Robyn Harding

Sunday, June 4, 2023 Permalink

The Drowning Woman by Robyn Harding took me by surprise. I read the blurb and made some assumptions. As I started reading and met Lee and Hazel I pictured it… the way it was going to play out. I could see it clearly and felt disappointed. Knowing that what was to come was going to be an anticlimax. Predictable. I’d read many versions of this book before.

So… you can imagine my surprise when the first major twist comes and the book goes in a completely different direction. And it happens not once, not even twice, but three times. Or maybe it was more. I lost count.

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four-half-stars

Book review: Drowning by TJ Newman

Sunday, May 14, 2023 Permalink

Drowning by TJ Newman was a rare read as I was rivetted from the opening paragraphs. She put me onto that plane as it was going down and, though only briefly exposed to some characters, I already cared about their fate and had a very visceral reaction to what was happening. (Full disclosure, I was – ahem – quite teary before the end of the first chapter*!)

I tend to skim read more than I should – usually over descriptive prose, or sometimes [what I believe to be] irrelevant detail – to get to the action. But by action I mean conversations or things progressing the plot. I’m not really a lover of heart-pumping ACTION action. When watching movies I fast forward fight scenes and car chases.

Getting me truly panicked about a narrative means I need to be really engaged. I need to be there and I need to care. Which was the case here. I wanted to skim as much as possible because I REALLY NEEDED TO KNOW WHAT WOULD HAPPEN!**

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four-half-stars

Book review: The Rush by Michelle Prak

Saturday, May 6, 2023 Permalink

The Rush by Michelle Prak was a bit of a sleeper. I enjoyed it and it’s paced well so I remained intrigued, wondering how the disparate parts of the story we hear (all told over a day or two and out of sequence) intersect. But then Prak throws in a twist when least expected and one I certainly hadn’t seen coming. Thankfully it wasn’t left-field enough to not be feasible. Just shocking. Which is a good thing.

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four-stars

Book review: The Only Suspect by Louise Candlish

Thursday, February 9, 2023 Permalink

I enjoyed Louise Candlish’s The Other Passenger, published in 2020. It proved popular, as did Our House, published in 2018 and since made into a four-part miniseries. I missed her 2021/22 book The Heights but happily dove into her latest release, The Only Suspect. Like The Other Passenger, here Candlish offers up a twisty tale with a narrator (well, two in fact) we’re not sure we can trust.

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three-half-stars