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September Wrap Up!

Another pretty good month reading wise – I was concerned with a number of social engagements I wouldn’t get through many books. BUT, I somehow managed to read 7 this month! (smug face here). My favourite had to be ……. The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes! It’s out in a few weeks so make sure you pre-order now.

Elevator Pitch by Linwood Barclay

The story starts off pretty intense and fast paced, then slows down quite a bit before picking up again. I was expecting more elevator scenes but regardless, it does take you on quite a ride! There’s a good deal of gruesome scenes as well as suspense, and it did keep me guessing until the end. If you’re looking for a new psychological thriller … look no further! Oh… and now I’m totally freaking out every time I step into an elevator! 3.5/5. Details here.

The Sleepover by Carol Wyer

It’s kind of predictable now with Carol Wyer’s books … we know they are just going to be so freakin’ awesome! No exception with her latest novel, The Sleepover, centering around the latest case for DI Natalie ward! Boy OH boyyy.. does this one keep us on our toes! It’s got some ‘will they, won’t they ‘ factor along with a new gruesome case for Natalie and team to sink their teeth into. LOVED IT! I love uncovering a little more about each of the characters throughout the books. They now feel SO real, I just can’t wait for the next instalment. 4.5/5. Click here.

Lady in the Lake by Laura Lippman

A slow burn mixed genre (historical/women’s/mystery) set in 1960s America, there’s more to it than ‘just’ the unsolved murders. At its core this book brings to light the prominent issues faced by society during this time; racial/class/religious tension and feminist movement. It was a compelling, intriguing read but with too many different POVs. I didn’t love the main character, Maddie, but I did love the book’s premise and what it stood for. More of my thoughts on this one below, but I will for sure be picking up more of Lippman’s books! Also – I listened to Fully Booked interview with Lippman, and it was super interesting to find out why so many POVs. In fact, it was to show Maddie, who was only focused on chasing that one story of missing African American, Cleo, that she was missing many great stories all around her. I really liked this – but it’s a shame it wasn’t clear enough for me whilst reading it. 3.5/5. Podcast and full review here.

Beautiful Boy by David Sheff

I really loved this book. David goes on a journey of self-blame, fear, desperation, pain and grief as he navigates the world of drug addiction in a desperate attempt to help his son. He lays himself bare, with such raw emotion as he describes watching your child destroy their life and you have to stand back, practically helpless. There wasn’t anything I was actually surprised about in this book, which actually surprised me – everything rang true. I really wanted to her David discuss more about his own issues, and given his family’s history, his father dying of alcoholism, how that affected him/his parenting style, were there warning signs? I also wanted to hear more about how Nic’s addiction impacted his siblings and their relationships with both David/Nic. I’m really curious to read Nic’s side of the story – he’s released his own memoirs, so I will probably add those to my TBR, and of course watch the movie adaption! 4/5. Review here.

The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes

Remarkable story of five incredible and diverse women – based on a true story. The horseback library of 1930s Kentucky is a powerful story of bravery, friendship and love. Set in the great depression era, this book touches all the important subjects of the time; issues of racism, class, women’s rights. It was a totally remarkable, magical even, story which I was fully immersed into and still plays on my mind. It’s emotional in parts, so have your tissues ready – truly an amazing read. 4.5/5. Click here for full thoughts.

Cilka’s Journey by Heather Morris

I absolutely loved the story of The Tattooist of Auschwitz, but the writing let it down for me. So when Morris announced a sequel Cilka’s Journey, I knew I had to try it. This time, Morris’ writing was totally on point and I LOVED it, but the story wasn’t as compelling for me. I felt it had so much potential but fell a bit short. I don’t want to say too much on the plot other than this is Cilka’s journey post liberation from Auschwitz and condemnation to a Siberian Prison camp for sleeping with the enemy.  It was a story of hope amongst despair. It’s about loss, survival, friendship, and of course love. I connected with Cilka and the other girls portrayed in this book. Morris did a great job at character development – I loved the parallel timelines from days in Auschwitz. It really enabled the reader to get to know Cilka much better without having to lose too much of the present day story. I teared up in many parts, it was obviously quite an emotional read. I really enjoyed Cilka’s Journey, but I didn’t quite love it. 3.5/5. Link here.

And that’s a wrap on September! A huge thank you to NetGalley, publishers and authors for my review copies of some of these books – this in no way influenced my reviews. If any of you have read these books and want to discuss further … ping me a note 🙂

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