How is it December?!? I am no where near prepared for C-Day – in fact I am a bit of a Grinch towards this time of year (blame the soul destroying years of working in retail) December also means my birthday – which means I get to treat myself all month to birthday presents!!
I’ve read fourteen books over November, however I have been really rubbish at reviewing. I really must learn to read a book then review it, THEN start another. Oh well! My highlight of the month without question has to be ‘Iron Gold’ by Pierce Brown. Once again he managed to destroy my soul and now I NEED book two ASAP!
This month has also seen me receiving my first ever book boxes. I didn’t even know such a thing existed until I started blogging and I am very happy I’ve discovered them. My unboxing for My Chronicle Book Box is here My Chronicle Book Box – November Unboxing @MyChronicleBB and my unboxing for Illumicrate is here Illumicrate Unboxing – November Box.
WHAT I’VE BEEN READING
‘The Story of Our Lives’ by Helen Warner. Four friends come together once a year, they’ve faced everything together but will one secret destroy everything? I really enjoyed how this was written, we only meet Sophie, Melissa, Amy and Emily once a year but Helen Warner has illustrated how much can change in just a year. I found this un-put-downable and very enjoyable, a fantastic tale of friendship ‘The Story Of Our Lives’ -Review
‘The Fourteenth Letter’ by Claire Evans. London, 1881. A bride is stabbed at her engagement party and a young legal clerk is thrown into a world of danger and intrigue. Initially I was slightly put off by all the characters in this book but once I got to grips with them this was a great read. It’s unpredictable, full of mystery and a gripping Victorian adventure. Book Review – ‘The Fourteenth Letter’ by Claire Evans
‘The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender’ by Leslye Walton. A girl is born with wings and recounts the story of her family. This is beautifully written, the language is poetic and lyrical and it suits the voice of Ava Lavender to a tee. The ending was quite horrific so be prepared! But a stunning and unique read.
‘Iron Gold’ by Pierce Brown. Ten years on from events in the Red Rising trilogy and Darrow is back, facing the challenges that his uprising has caused. Oh. My. Goodness! If you are waiting for this to come out in January you will not be disappointed. Once again Pierce Brown has written a rip-roaring tale, full of action and shocks. Sooooo good! Published January 2018.
‘A Place For Us’ by Harriet Evans. The Winter family come together at the family home, secrets are revealed and old wounds are re-opened. This was a compelling read that I couldn’t put down. I love a book with family secrets and this one was full of them! It’s a story of family, love and acceptance, thoroughly entertaining.
‘The Polar Bear Explorers’ Club’ by Alex Bell. Stella Starflake Pearl has always wanted to be an explorer so when she joins her adopted father on his latest adventure she couldn’t be happier. This was just delightful! It’s aimed at 9-12 year olds but I still absolutely loved it. Full of adventure, peril, colourful characters, unicorns, wolves and magic, this was such a fun story and I’m hoping to see more of Stella and her friends. Book Review – ‘The Polar Bear Explorers’ Club’ by Alex Bell
‘The Memory Chamber’ by Holly Cave. Isobel is a Heaven architect, she falls for her dying client, Jarek and her life is turned upside down following his death. This book left me feeling very unnerved and full of moral questions. In this book you can create your own Heaven and while that seems pretty out there, really it could happen. It’s definitely a thought-provoking read and one that will stay with me for a while. Published February 2018.
‘The House of New Beginnings’ by Lucy Diamond. One house on the Brighton sea front containing five flats and seven tenants. I loved this book, a really nice and pleasant read and a great ensemble cast of characters. I found it an inspirational story of stepping out of your comfort zone, reaching out to people and gaining the confidence to leave past hurts behind you. This was my first book by Lucy Diamond, but it certainly won’t be my last.
‘Monsoon Summer’ by Julia Gregson. 1947 and midwife Kit and her Indian doctor husband, Anto fall head over heels in love and start a new life in India, but it’s not without it’s problems and Kit has to face things she never thought. I loved this book – I love anything historical and with an exotic setting. There is a lot that happens in this book, it’s not just a love story, Julia Gregson looks at Indian politics and unrest and the trials of being English in India during this period. I enjoyed learning about the Indian views of midwives and labour, some of it is pretty shocking! This was a tremendous read that I just adored.
‘Death of a Busybody’ by George Bellairs. The local village busybody is found dead and Scotland Yard’s Inspector Littlejohn is sent in to investigate. This was a very English crime story, so many things in this book are quintessentially English and it made for very entertaining reading. My only quibble is the colloquial writing that the author used, I struggled with it a little bit and it did interrupt my flow while reading.
‘Sweet Pea’ by C.J Skuse. Rhiannon Lewis works at the local paper and seems just your ordinary girl next door, but she has a killer secret. Oh my goodness, I cannot tell you how much I loved this book! I howled with laughter as I read it. It’s full of dark humour and filthy language and Rhiannon’s exploits as a vigilante killer of rapists/potential rapists are just hilarious. I should probably worry that I was cheering on a serial killer, but let’s not think too much on that! Book Review – ‘Sweet Pea’ by CJ Skuse
‘The Maine Mutiny’ by Jessica Fletcher and Donald Bain. It’s the first annual Cabot Cove Lobster Festival but not everyone is happy about this celebration. Once again Jessica is on the case when she discovers a lobster-man murdered. These books are being my go-to when I need something light and easy. It’s just like watching an episode of Murder, She Wrote – full of red herrings and danger. Enjoyable, full of our favourite characters and a great mystery.
‘The Invention of Wings’ by Sue Monk Kidd. Two young girl’s – one a daughter of a rich plantation owner, the other a slave, become unlikely friends and over the course of their lives try to break their chains. Inspiring, powerful and gripping, I became thoroughly immersed in the story of Sarah and Handful. It’s beautifully written and illustrates the power of friendship and of the human spirit. Clearing The Shelves – Book Review – ‘The Invention of Wings’ by Sue Monk Kidd
‘Deep Down Dead’ by Steph Broadribb. Lori Anderson is a bounty hunter, her latest job goes badly wrong and she finds herself forced to work with someone from her past. Wow… this was so fast paced! Full of action, it kept me on the edge of my seat. Lori Anderson kicks ass, she’s a fantastic female lead. I couldn’t put this down and I am so looking forward to book two.
Only a couple of things have dropped through the letter box this month, I am purposely not requesting anything so I can make some headway in the books I already have. And it seems to be working!
‘The Image of You’ by Adele Parks. Anna and Zoe are twins. Identical in appearance, but different in personality. Nothing can break their bond. But then Anna meets Nick, and Zoe doesn’t trust him…
‘Dear Mrs Bird’ by A.J Pearce. London in 1940 and Emmy finds herself working for agony aunt, Mrs Bird. Mrs Bird will not deal with any unpleasantness and Emmy decides she can’t leave desperate women without an answer.
‘The Feed’ by Nick Clark Windo. It’s been six years since the world collapsed. Six years Tom and Kate have had to fight every day to survive but when their daughter is taken a new threat emerges.
I hope everyone has a great bookish December!