Book, Lifestyle

Recently Read #3 + A Book Giveaway

Recently Read #3 | Essential Twenty

After posting not one, but two, recently read posts, I’m back with another today. But today I’m here with something a little different. Sure, I’m going to carry on with my mini reviews but I’m also going to be doing a little giveaway of my favourite book out of the 8 to go alongside this post so stay tuned to the end of this post for that!

Recently Read #3: Letters From My Sister & Dear Amy | Essential Twenty

Bells is always writing to her sister Katie, but Katie never replies. Preoccupied with her glamorous career in fashion, her busy life and her boyfriend Sam, she just doesn’t have the time. Then Bells announces that she’s coming to stay. She’s not a secret exactly, but…Sam doesn’t know she exists. For Bells doesn’t fit into Katie’s perfect world. But when Bells does arrive, everything changes for Katie. Perhaps her perfect life isn’t so perfect after all?

Letters From My Sister by Alice Peterson revolves around Katie’s life in London, away from her family. Hardly anybody in her life knows about her mentally disabled sister, but when she comes to stay her life changes. New perspectives are seen and relationship dynamics change. This was a very easy read which I enjoyed, and it’s always nice to take a break from the heavy crime and thrillers I’ve been reading a lot of recently. Yes, it was predictable but sometimes that’s all you really want in a novel (especially when you’re reading it at 7:45am just before work, and at 5pm when you’re on the way home).

A local schoolgirl has been missing for weeks when Margot Lewis, agony aunt of the ‘Dear Amy’ advice column, receives a letter: “Dear Amy, I’ve been kidnapped by a strange man.  I don’t know where I am. Please help me, Bethan Avery.” This must be a hoax. Because Bethan Avery is another young girl, who went missing twenty years ago. As more letters arrive, Margot becomes consumed by finding the sender and – unlike the police – convinced that the girls’ disappearances are connected. Solving this puzzle could save someone’s life – but could it also cost Margot her own?

Dear Amy by Helen Callaghan was the final book I read of the 8. I started this a couple of days after I took a trip to Cambridge (one of my favourite cities) and since this is set there, it was really easy for me to visualise the places it mentioned. I always head down Trumpington Road on my way into town; I walked past the Corpus Clock last week and I know a number of people who have been admitted to Addenbrooke’s Hospital. There’s definitely something about reading a book with a setting you know that makes it more enjoyable. Honestly, I got a little confused reading this book. I didn’t follow it properly, and could’ve probably done with going back over it a few times. It wasn’t bad, it was just a little confusing as there were three key characters in the mix and it wasn’t always obvious whose voice we were hearing.

Recently Read #3: The Vanishing Year & The Widow | Essential Twenty

Zoe Whittaker appears to have a charmed life. Newly married to a rich and attentive man, she has the best of everything. But five years ago, Zoe’s life was in danger. Because back then, Zoe wasn’t Zoe at all. When an attempt is made on her life, Zoe fears that her past has caught up with her. But who can she ask for help when even her own husband doesn’t know her real name? Zoe must decide who she can trust before she, whoever she is, vanishes completely…

The Vanishing Year by Kate Moretti was a thriller, but it was an easy one to read. Firstly, the blurb was misleading because she was never going to vanish as such, and therefore I was little disappointed. The twist also became predictable around 2/3 through. On a positive note, I did really like the main character. Zoe recreated a life and she’s been on the run ever since, but it doesn’t take long for her past to catch up with her.

We’ve all seen him: the man – the monster – staring from the front page of every newspaper, accused of a terrible crime. But what about her: the woman who grips his arm on the courtroom stairs – the wife who stands by him? Jean Taylor’s life was blissfully ordinary. Nice house, nice husband. Glen was all she’d ever wanted: her Prince Charming.  Until he became that man accused, that monster on the front page. Jean was married to a man everyone thought capable of unimaginable evil. But now Glen is dead and she’s alone for the first time, free to tell her story on her own terms. Jean Taylor is going to tell us what she knows.

The Widow by Fiona Barton was slow to get going, but it made me want to read it more. I wanted to hear the widow’s opinion on the death of the toddler. Who carried out the murder? How did the little girl die? Where is the body? You always think about the victim’s family, but what about the the family of the accused? I really enjoyed this book and whilst the writing wasn’t anything to sing and dance about, I enjoyed the new perspective around a crime.

Recently Read #3: The One Plus One & All She Ever Wished For | Essential Twenty

One eternal optimist: Jess Thomas, with two jobs and two kids and never enough money, wears flip flops in the hope of spring. And when life knocks her down she does her best to bounce right back. But no one told her it’s okay to ask for help. Plus one lost stranger: Ed Nichols is the good guy gone bad. He had it all, then one stupid mistake cost him everything. Now he’ll do anything to make it right. Equals a chance encounter: Ed doesn’t want to save anyone and Jess doesn’t want saving, but could Jess and Ed add up to something better together?

The One Plus One by Jojo Moyes wasn’t a novel I was necessarily going to read, but I remember really enjoying Me Before You when I read that. I feel like my recent reads have all be fairly predictable, and this was another one of those, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I loved everything about Jess and Ed both as individuals, and once they’d met and become friends. I love a thriller, but I equally love a cheesy romance novel. Next month I’m going to be reading The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes, as I’ve loved everything I’ve read from her so far. She’s my next Cecelia Ahern, for sure.

A gorgeous story of chance meetings and unexpected friendships. Because sometimes what you’ve always wished for isn’t necessarily what life has in store…Marriage. It’s a dream come true. Isn’t it? One wet winter night, two women meet on a bridge. One is Tess Taylor, a personal trainer on the way to meet her boyfriend for date night. The other is Kate King, a celebrity married to a handsome billionaire who just happens to make her cry. In the cold dark evening, there is nothing to link them together but the bridge they shiver on. Little do they know they’ll both hold the key to each other’s future marriage…All She Ever Wished For tells the story of what happens when your dream is about to come true. And what happens when that dream turns into a bit of a nightmare…Claudia Carroll brings you a Christmas gift filled with second chances, fateful encounters and a lesson in what true love means.

To be honest, I thought All She Ever Wished For by Claudia Carroll was going to be a husband swap situation. An early heads up: it isn’t. It also isn’t anything about Christmas, despite what the blurb may make it seem. A predictable ending and an easy read, but still an enjoyable book. I wasn’t hooked on the writing style either, but the novel was a nice change to the thrillers.

Recently Read #3: The Breakdown & Behind Closed Doors | Essential Twenty

If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust? It all started that night in the woods. Cass Anderson didn’t stop to help the woman in the car, and now she’s dead. Ever since, silent calls have been plaguing Cass and she’s sure someone is watching her. Consumed by guilt, she’s also starting to forget things. Whether she took her pills, what her house alarm code is – and if the knife in the kitchen really had blood on it.

My favourite book of the month, and therefore the one I’ll be giving away over on my twitter, was The Breakdown by BA Paris. After reading Behind Closed Doors (see the review below), I just had to pick this book up. I’ve seen a lot of reviews saying that the novel was predictable but for me it wasn’t. Whilst the murder aspect didn’t really seem necessary, watching Cass go crazy kept me hooked.

Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace. He has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You might not want to like them, but you do. You’d like to get to know Grace better. But it’s difficult, because you realise Jack and Grace are never apart. Some might call this true love. Others might ask why Grace never answers the phone. Or how she can never meet for coffee, even though she doesn’t work. How she can cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim. And why there are bars on one of the bedroom windows.

Behind Closed Doors by BA Paris, was also a great read. I need BA Paris to bring out more books stat! This book does really make you think about what’s going on behind the scenes of a relationship. You just never know someone’s home life, and whilst I’m sure it’s not as extreme as this in most circumstances, it does make you wonder. I definitely recommend either novels by BA Paris.

Onto the giveaway – to be in with a chance to win The Breakdown, just follow my twitter account and retweet my pinned tweet. It’s simple! This giveaway is open to UK residents and will be open until the 14th May 2017.  I’m hoping to do giveaways like this for every recently read post I write so there should be more of these to come if you don’t win this one!

Which novels have you been enjoying recently? Let me know and I’ll be sure to check them out!

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