Recently Read in 2017 #2

Recently Read #2 | Essential Twenty

I absolutely smashed my January reading goal, reading 9 books in two weeks (I had planned to read 4) but I seem to have slowed down a little now. My previous recently read post got a fair amount of traffic so I’m going to stick with them. Quite a few of these books have been hyped up, whether that’s by bloggers, in the press or on social media, but some of them were completely under the radar as far as I was concerned. Either way, I’ve read another 8 books and I’m sharing my thoughts with you on them today.

I want to make my husband fall back in love with me. Let me explain. This isn’t an exercise in 1950s wifeydom. I haven’t been reading articles in old women’s magazines. ‘Twenty ways to keep your man’. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I want him to fall back in love with me so that when I tell him to get the hell out of my life he’ll care. He won’t just think, ‘Oh good’. I want it to hurt.

I picked up My Sweet Revenge by Jane Fallon after thoroughly enjoying Strictly Between Us back in January. The writing is obviously in the same style, but it seemed to flow better in the previous book, not that I mind. It’s still a good read and I didn’t expect most of the twists and turns. If you’re only going to read one of the two Jane Fallon books I’ve read this year, I’d definitely go for Strictly Between Us but this is still a good book and worth a read if you want some chick-lit.


Bryony Gordon has OCD. It’s the snake in her brain that has told her ever since she was a teenager that her world is about to come crashing down: that her family might die if she doesn’t repeat a phrase 5 times, or that she might have murdered someone and forgotten about it. It’s caused alopecia, bulimia, and drug dependency. And Bryony is sick of it. Keeping silent about her illness has given it a cachet it simply does not deserve, so here she shares her story with trademark wit and dazzling honesty.

I’d seen Mad Girl by Bryony Gordon on the shelves in Tesco for a few weeks (one of my favourite places to pick up book as they’re usually on 2 for £7) and eventually bit the bullet and picked it up when it was the last one on the shelf – I’m a sucker for something that is seemingly hyped. Honestly, Mad Girl was the best book I read out of the previous 8. As a SOMHI myself, it was a relief to read about illness in such a candid way. So many of the thoughts she had were the same as what I went through a couple of years ago, and I’d definitely recommend giving it a read if you either suffer yourself or know somebody who does. I’m so excited to come off my book spending ban and pick up Bryony’s other book!


Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration from Elizabeth Gilbert. Now, this beloved author digs deep into her own life to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and generosity, she ponders the mysterious nature of inspiration, asking us to embrace our curiosity, tackle what we most love and face down what we most fear. Whether we are looking to create art, address challenges in our work, give ourselves permission to embark on a dream long deferred, or simply to infuse our everyday lives with more mindfulness and passion, Big Magic cracks open a world of wonder and joy.

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert is a book that I’ve seen a lot of other bloggers raving about when it comes to lacking creativity and finding that flow again. I’m not personally suffering with it at the moment, but I’m always interested in picking up a book that could potentially help me when it comes to my blog. Most of the book wasn’t relevant to me as it mainly talks about being a creative soul, which I’m simply not. However, this book is worth picking up for the section titled Persistance as it is very relevant to looking after something you love aka your blog.


What if your life was built on a lie? When lawyer Lily marries Ed, she’s determined to make a fresh start. To leave the secrets of the past behind. But when she takes on her first criminal case, she starts to find herself strangely drawn to her client. A man who’s accused of murder. A man she will soon be willing to risk everything for. But is he really innocent? And who is she to judge?

Before I was sent Blood Sisters (see below), I’d bought My Husband’s Wife by Jane Corry to read, although I actually read this after the soon to be released novel. Whilst none of the characters were particularly likeable (other than Ross; Ross was a babe) and most of the twists were predictable, I enjoyed it a lot. It did take me a little while to get into it, mainly because I really didn’t like one of the main characters, but it’s worth a pick up.

Recently Read #2 | Essential Twenty

Three little girls set off to school one sunny May morning. Within an hour, one of them is dead. Fifteen years later, Alison and Kitty are living separate lives. Kitty lives in a care home. She can’t speak, and she has no memory of the accident that put her here, or her life before it. Art teacher Alison looks fine on the surface. But the surface is a lie. When a job in a prison comes up she decides to take it – this is her chance to finally make things right. But someone is watching Kitty and Alison. Someone who wants revenge for what happened that day. And only another life will do…

I was kindly sent Blood Sisters by Jane Corry* by Penguin in January and I’m so thrilled to have had the chance to read this so I can tell you all about it, ready for its release in May. Blood Sisters is told from two perspectives – Kitty and Alison – and is split into three parts. You quickly learn that Kitty has a severe brain injury and it’s obvious that there must be some relation to Alison although how you’re not quite sure. There are plenty of twists and turns to keep any thriller and crime books interested and I really did enjoy this book. When it’s released in a couple of months check it out because it does not disappoint. There’s love, loss and thrilling twists; what more could you want?


You’ve been held captive in one room. You’ve been mentally and physically abused every day since you were sixteen years old. Then, one night, you realise your captor has left the door to your cell unlocked. For the first time in eight years you’re free. This is what happens next.

I was really disappointed by Baby Doll by Hollie Overton. It should’ve been an excellent book about a girl rebuilding her life after being kept hostage for 8 years but it left me feeling meh. I hated the nicknames and one of the only two characters I actually liked was the abductor which I’m sure wasn’t the author’s intentions. It also seems to wrap up far too quickly which always angers me about books. Please, if you’re writing a book, don’t draw the plot out to then wrap the whole story up within about 4 pages. I’ve spoken to a few people who’ve said they want to read this book but I wouldn’t bother if I were you.


Noah is four and wants to go home. The only trouble is he’s already there. Noah is a little boy who knows things he shouldn’t and remembers things he should have forgotten. Because as well as being a four-year-old called Noah, he remembers being a nine-year-old called Tommy. He remembers his house. His family. His mother. And now he wants to go home. Two boys. Two mothers. One unforgettable story.

The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin wasn’t quite what I was expecting but I enjoyed it just the same. A young boy spends every night crying that he wants to go home to his mother, and it’s a tale of finding this ‘mother’ as well as looking at the idea of past relationships and reincarnation. Definitely an interesting read.


The clock strikes twelve. Beneath the wind and the remorseless tolling of the bell, no one can hear the scream. 1912. A Sussex churchyard. Villagers gather on the night when the ghosts of those who will not survive the coming year are thought to walk. And in the shadows, a woman lies dead. As the flood waters rise, Connie Gifford is marooned in a decaying house with her increasingly tormented father. He drinks to escape the past, but an accident has robbed her of her most significant childhood memories. Until the disturbance at the church awakens fragments of those vanished years

The Taxidermist’s Daughter by Kate Mosse was a disappointment, but to be honest it wouldn’t have been my first choice of reading. A colleague let me borrow it and felt bad if I said no so I read it in about three days and gave it back. Sure it was easy to read, but it wasn’t that thrilling. The twists in it were predictable and the character were unlikeable. I also feel like a missed something with the ghosts appearing – I got really lost with that happening. If you want an quick read that doesn’t take a lot of concentration then sure, pick it up, but you’re not missing out if you don’t bother to read it.

Recently Read #2 | Essential Twenty

Do any of these books stand out to you as must reads? Or have you read any of these in the past? Let me know your thoughts because I’m always game for a chat in the comments. And if you have any recommendations for me based off previous books I’ve read then definitely shoot me a message! I’d love to get some more recs.

*This post contains press samples received in consideration for review, as well as affiliate links. Please read my full disclaimer here.

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