Before We Met by Lucie Whitehouse – Book Review

To Love To Read

I haven’t posted a book review for a while.  The reason being, I have struggled to get into a book.  That was until Me Before You by Lucie Whitehouse.  This book moves at a quick pace (which I love), keeping you turning the pages as rapidly as you can.

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Although it is building up to something, I was still taken by surprise by what the twist was and although I suspected the ending, its delivery was still surprising and not quite what I thought.  The narrative moves between the past and present and at some points I thought it could have been a little clearer when jumping between the two.

All in all a fantastic book that I would highly recommend – as long as you don’t mind being kept up late because you just need to read one more chapter!! 🙂

Happy reading x

Hot Days Summer Reading

To Love To Read

Laying on a sunlonger, feeling the heat, none of the day-to-day stuff to worry about, absorbed in a fantastic book – heaven!  It’s not quite that simple now I have children but still a little more time that normal.

A few lovely people have been asking me what I would recommend for them to read on holiday.  You can look at my ‘To Love To Read’ section and see the books I have read recently and loved and from there my favourites would be The Fault in Our Stars, The Shock of the Fall, A Single Breath and Precious Thing, but  here are a few others you might want to consider, plus what I will be taking with me on holiday.

My Recommendations

  • The Sea Sisters by Lucy Clarke – This was Lucy’s debut novel and also a Richard & Judy must read.  Set at gorgeous locations all over the world and with a twisting story to unfold, I think its a beach must have.
  • The Husbands Secret by Liane Moriarty – I devoured this book.  Makes you think, what secrets would you keep to protect the ones you love.
  • The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough – If you really want to get stuck into a long book, set in a different time and different continent but deeply emotional and heartfelt then I would recommend this old classic.

My Hot Summer Reads

  • Curious: True Stories and Loose Connections by Rebecca Front – I know Rebecca as an actress but it turns out she is also written some of my favourite comedy shows.  This is a book of witty tales from her life and I do love a good laugh, especially when reading on holiday so I am seriously looking forward to this book.
  • The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton – This has been on my book shelf for a while and given the size I just haven’t started it, holiday will be the perfect time to read this Man Booker Prize winning novel.
  • The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert – The author of memoirs Eat Pray Love and Committed has written her first novel which I am looking forward to reading.

What are you Hot Summer must have reads?  I am happy to be over optimistic about the amount of reading time so want to add a few more to the pile.  Let me know in the comments section…

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XOXO

Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom – Book Review

To Love To Read

This book was recommended to me by a couple of people, but I have no idea how I had never read this book before.  I had never even heard of it and I am now so thankful that I have it in my life.  It is the most profound book and I challenge anyone not to feel their perspective changed and improved as a result of reading this book -and to not fall in love with the wonderful Morrie.

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The book, the story, the words, everything about Tuesdays with Morrie is just beautiful.    It was Morrie’s last wish that this story was put into the world and it is such a gift to everyone who reads it.  I believe this is the sort of book people should read once every couple of years, just to remind us what’s important and enjoy these wonderful words.

I would have loved to hear a little more detail of their conversations and about Morrie specifically, his family.  Those things were quickly moved over and for such a short book, I think he could have given more detail here.  But that is probably just because I am in love with Morrie and want to know everything about him!

I could not recommend this book enough to everyone.

Enjoy.  A complete 4.5 out of 5

Precious Thing by Colette McBeth – Book Review

To Love To Read

I am not sure how to start when reviewing Precious Thing.  To say I loved it, is far to bland.  I love coffee but that feeling is no where near close to how much I was totally enthralled by this book.

For me this book has everything.  A storyline that keeps you guessing all the way along.  Some parts I started to see coming, then they were inevitably delivered in a way or with a twist that I wasn’t expecting.  The characters were imperfect in a way that made them totally relatable and from the off you were completely caught in the most gripping story.  The writing was unquestionably some of the best I have read.  There were so many layers to this book which were delicately dissected but at a really good pace that kept the story ploughing forward page after page.  And you feel just about every emotion reading this book, at one point my heart was physically thumping in my chest when suspicion was building in a chapter.

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I adored the way it was written in the first person with the protagonist talking directly to her friend.  It’s like you have found a secret letter between the two of them, making the story, lies and truth even more compounding.  This narrative made the story not only more believable but like you really were experiencing it first hand.

Even though it was in the first person, the author Colette McBeth had an incredible way of still showing you other people’s sides of the story, just enough to let you realise that the story may not be everything that is being told to you.  It really was so clever.

I read the other day the test of a true book is the feeling that it leaves you with afterwards.  You may not remember every word but you remember how it made you feel and it keeps ticking over in your head.  This is that book.  I can all but guarantee, you won’t be disappointed!

A hands down, fantastic 5 out of 5! x

A Single Breath by Lucy Clarke – Book Review

To Love To Read

Lucy Clarke’s debut novel The Sea Sisters was my unexpected book of 2013 so I was very excited about her second novel coming out.

A Single Breath was an easy beautiful read.  You get thrown into the action, after which the first half was a lot of scene setting, the second half is where the action is and the story starts to unravel, so I was truly in a race to get there.  The number of twists was incredible, just when you think the book is one thing it turns into something else.  Like an onion peeling off layer and layer which meant I truly struggled to put this book down.  I can’t imagine how the author Lucy Clarke manages to plot a story like this.

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What I love about Lucy Clarke’s books is her ability to bring such mystery to the story.  It is not just which path will the heroine take but will she be able to figure out what happening so that she can choose the correct path.

I am not a big fan of long descriptive settings of which there are quite a lot of but in A Single Breath is equates to so much more than just description.  The setting is so integral it makes another lead character in the book and the descriptions so beautiful I am now desperate to go to Tasmania… not sure I even knew where it really was before reading this book (terrible but true).  I must say the thought of the travel ‘research’ the author must do makes me a little green with envy as it sounds so fabulous and is translated beautifully into her writing.

A Single Breath is an absolute must read of 2014.

I give this book a fab 4 Stars out of 5

Happy reading xxx

The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer – Book Review

To Love To Read

If Carelsberg made books…

This is the most wonderful book, you can see straight away why it won the coveted Costa Book Awards.  I actually tweeted when I was about 30 pages into the book; ‘Ever found a book so amazing you want to stop reading cause you don’t want to finish it?  This is that book’.  Only the opposite happened, I read faster because I just couldn’t put it down.

I was constantly amazed at the author ability to make what could have been a sad story and make it warm, full of love and very funny.  I also loved how just when you thought the book was about one thing, it would change to be about something else but move seamlessly between the story lines.

 

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It’s not just the wonderful story lines, it is the way it is written, with beautiful language and in the first person in a way that makes you feel like the protagonist is talking directly to you.  It was very clever of the author.

I read this book as mother to two small children which gave me a certain perspective, amazingly I think this is a book that would read differently for different people and at different times in life; if you were a 18 year old man you would see a very different story, the same for a man, grandparent, you would all draw different things and perspectives from the story.

When I finished the book I had something that I have not had since I don’t know when… I wanted to immediately start again because I knew that I would love the book even more the second time.

I really hope that you enjoy this book as much as I did, please leave a comment to let me know, or let me know if you have any suggestions of what I can read next!

This book gets a fabulous 5 out of 5, enjoy!

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