Book Jackets

I have another batch of books that I’ve finished reading, so I wanted to share my opinions on them with you. It’s a mixed bag of thrillers and chick-lit, with some that are defintely worth picking up yourself and some that are definitely worth avoiding.

The State We’re In by Adele Parks
This is a really boring novel. It also has the most terrible ending- like the author just couldn’t be bothered to write anymore so just plucked the strangest of happenings out of thin air. It’s a human interest story about how decisions in love can affect the rest of your life and it follows the lives of several people who are all more connected than they, at first, realise. None of the characters are likeable and you don’t really take anything away from having read this book.

The Memory Game by Nicci French
I didn’t think I would enjoy this book as it isn’t aimed at my age group; but I did. The narrator and protagonist is an elegant woman in her late 50s, Jane Martello, who is going through a divorce. The story is about the disappearance, decades ago, of her best friend Natalie and how it has affected her and her family’s lives ever since. During a house renovation, Natalie’s body is discovered buried in the back garden and Jane sets out to try and work out what happened to her by remembering more about the events of all those years ago. The story isn’t so much a thriller, but more of an exploration of the human mind and of how experiences during childhood shape us. The premise of how Jane uncovers lost memories isn’t very believable, but this didn’t stop me from enjoying what is a very telling book about the human condition.

How To Get a (Love) Life by Rosie Blake
I do like a classic chick-lit novel for easy, enjoyable reading. This isn’t a deep or intelligent book with a riveting story, it’s just good entertainment. In it we follow Nicola, a permanent singleton, who is set a challenge by her work colleague to find a date by Valentine’s Day. It takes us through her disastrous dating experiences until she finally gets the man of her dreams; who, as it happens, didn’t actually need to be found.

The Year of Taking Chances by Lucy Diamond
This is a quiet unassuming book with a great story about human life. Nothing big or exciting happens; it’s simply a well-written tale about the nuances of human life and how we deal with adversity. It’s set in a small rural village and tells the stories of three 40-something women who meet at a time when they all need one another’s friendship. I found it a very uplifting read.

The Woman Who Stole My Life by Marian Keyes
I loved this book! Marian Keyes’ writing is incredibly funny and I laughed out loud on many occasions. It’s narrated by Stella Sweeney, an Irish woman in her early 40s who got a rare disease that caused her to be unable to move any muscle in her body. She was mentally fully awake, but could do nothing but blink. The story shifts back and forward in time from when she was hospitalised, to soon after her recovery, then several years later too. It’s packed full of Irish humour, but is also very thought-provoking. You really connect with and root for Stella; empathising with the various problems in her life. I would love there to be a sequel to this as Stella is such a brilliant three-dimensional character.

Human Remains by Elizabeth Haynes 
What can I say about this? It is literally the most disturbing and disgusting story that I have ever read. It’s also incredibly unbelievable and far-fetched. I loved Elizabeth Haynes’ Into The Darkest Corner novel; but you just can’t connect with or understand her characters in this one at all. They are very one-dimensional. I can’t really go into too much of the story without giving it away; but it involves a lot of rotting corpse descriptions and an investigation into why there are rotting corpses in the first place. It’s supposed to be a thriller, but it doesn’t thrill- it’s just an unnecessary, gratuitous depiction of what happens to our bodies after we die. It has actually made me worry about the writer’s sanity- who could think up a story like this?

If you have any novel recommendations yourself, leave them for me in the comments!

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