Tuesday, 28 May 2019

2019 Reading Challenge | Books 26-30 Round-Up


Hooray - it's time for another book round-up! When I first set myself the challenge of 80 books this year, I kind of regretted it because there are only 52 weeks in a year. I feel like I'm doing well and speeding through them. It helps that Goodreads currently tells me that I'm "on track" now as opposed to behind!

If you would like to read my past round-ups, you can do so here: 1-5, 6-10, 11-15, 16-20, 21-25. Feel free to add me as a friend on Goodreads too.

Our Stop by Laura Jane Williams - 4/5
Blurb:
"What if you almost missed the love of your life? 

Nadia gets the 7.30 train every morning without fail. Well, except if she oversleeps or wakes up at her friend Emma's after too much wine.

Daniel really does get the 7.30 train every morning, which is easy because he hasn't been able to sleep properly since his dad died.

One morning, Nadia's eye catches sight of a post in the daily paper.

To the cute girl with the coffee stains on her dress. I'm the guy who's always standing near the doors... Drink sometime?

So begins a not-quite-romance of near-misses, true love, and the power of the written word."

Review:

This is a really cute, feel good, easy read. 

The point of view flits between Nadia and Daniel, who both capture each other's eye on the Tube and they take to writing messages to each other via Missed Connections in the morning paper.

There are so many near misses and I finished the book in 24 hours because I was desperate to finally "see" them meet. The characters are well developed and it's just a very enjoyable read.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman - 5/5 

Blurb:
"No one's ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine.

Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she's thinking. Nothing is missing in carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy.

But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kind of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond's big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one."

Review:
I love this book so much. Usually when a lot of hype is surrounding a book, I read it and think, "Is that it?" but I loved everything about this.

Eleanor follows the same routine every day and is a little different to everyone else (but she thinks they're the ones who are odd!). She is content with her life and feels like nothing is missing until she makes her first friend and tries doing new things.

It makes you laugh and totally breaks your heart too. She is probably my favourite book character ever. 

Dead Inside by Noelle Holten - 4/5 

Blurb:
"When three domestic abuse offenders are found beaten to death, DC Maggie Jamieson knows she is facing her toughest case yet.

The police suspect that probation officer Lucy Sherwood - who is connected to all three victims - is hiding a dark secret. Then a fourth domestic abuser is brutally murdered. And he is Lucy's husband.

Now the finger of suspicion points at Lucy and the police are running out of time. Can Maggie and her team solve the murders before another person dies? And is Lucy really a cold-blooded killer?" 

Review:



This is a great debut novel about domestic abuse. It's marketed as the first book in the Maggie Jamieson series but it really focuses on the story of Lucy, a probation officer whose husband is abusing her.

I knew quite early on some of what was going to come out but the ending took me by surprise and I really loved it. I have rated it 4 because, to me, it felt like the story pottered along and I didn't feel a chase or sense of urgency.

It's obvious that the author has a background as a probation officer as everything is explained really well. I am excited for the next book!


Something Like Happy by Sasha Greene - 4/5


Blurb:
"Jade is just trying to get by. She doesn't want to talk about it. She doesn't want a fuss. 

But one day she meets Nick and everything changes.

Out of the most difficult of situations, Nick and Jade's friendship grows into something both of them never knew they needed.

Jade used to be sure that she was better off alone. But could it be that together, with Nick by her side, she can start to feel something like happy again?" 

Review:
I almost didn't read this because it only had two reviews on Goodreads, both of them being low, but I actually really loved it. A few people mentioned how they didn't like the jump between POVs but I didn't find it confusing at all.

The story starts with Nick about to take his own life and Jade finds him, making the decision to help him by meeting up with him every Saturday to do something from her 'Happy List'. He doesn't realise that she has lost someone close to her due to suicide and she blames herself for that.

It's a great novel focusing on a normal person and their struggles with depression and suicidal thoughts. The pace was good and I found myself unable to put the book down because I wanted to see how it ended. 
 
How Do You Like Me Now? by Holly Bourne - 4/5 

Blurb: 
"Turning thirty is like playing musical chairs. The music stops and everyone just marries whoever they happen to be sitting on.

Who the f*ck is Tori Bailey?

There's no doubt that Tori is winning the game of life. She's inspired millions of women to stick two fingers up at convention with her bestselling memoir, and she has the perfect relationship to boot.

But Tori Bailey has been living a lie.

Everyone around her is getting married and having babies, but her long-term boyfriend won't even talk about getting engaged. And when her best friend Dee - her plus one, the only person who understands the madness - falls in love, suddenly Tori's in danger of being left behind.

When the world tells you to be one thing and turning thirty brings with it a loud ticking clock, it takes courage to walk your own path.

It's time for Tori to practice what she's preached, but the question is: is she brave enough?"

Review:
Tori Bailey is the bestselling author of a self-help memoir style book all about surviving your twenties. Now, at the age of 31 and in a six-year relationship with Tom, she isn't that same person anymore and is struggling to write her second book.

She is social media obsessed and craves validation from strangers, constantly analysing what she's posting and checking how many likes and comments she's got.

All of her friends are getting married and having babies. She tells herself that she doesn't need any of that. She's happy with her career, doing TED talks but she is feeling differently to how she portrays herself online.

I struggled to like the character of Tori but I really do feel sorry for her because it was quite obvious that she is in love with Tom but he's a narcissist who is gaslighting her but she just can't see it.

An enjoyable book! 

Have you read anything good lately?


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