I made a a fabulous start to my challenge in January, reading a total of 7 books (click here for last month’s update). And after that fast getaway, I was a little worried that my progress might stall during February. I really didn’t need to be concerned though, as I read another 6 books last month.
That takes my total for 2017 to 13 books read towards my 45 book target for the year. I need to read around 4 books a month to meet my target, so I’m well ahead of schedule so far.
Disclosure: I received a copy of The Girl Before* for review. The opinions below are my own and unbiased.
This is a fantastic thriller that really gripped me from the very start. It’s cleverly written to follow the story of Jane, who is moving into a beautiful house with a very exacting landlord, and also Emma, who is ‘the girl before’ of the title. Jane discovers what happened to Emma, and begins to worry that she will meet the same fate.
The narrative swaps between the two storylines, and there are twists and turns throughout leading up to a surprising ending. I really enjoyed this book and you can read my full review here.
Disclosure: I received a copy of Love Them and Leave Them* for review. The opinions in this post are my own and unbiased.
Love Them and Leave Them is another book which flips between two storylines running alongside each other. But in this case, the book has a ‘Sliding Doors’ type format. In one version of events, Jessie’s father dies in a car accident and her carefully planned life falls apart. In the other, the accident doesn’t happen and Jessica becomes a successful barrister.
But Sue Shepherd suggests that some people and events would still enter Jessie/Jessica’s life, regardless of whether the accident happens. And this book is a clever and entertaining look at how small twists of fate can have a big impact on a person’s life. You can read my full review here.
Disclosure: I received a copy of Drive-By Shouting* for review. The opinions below are my own and unbiased.
The next book I read during February was Mark Chase’s debut novel, which is set in the cut-throat music industry. It follows two university friends, who form a band together. Matt is from a wealthy family and fortune seems to fall in his lap – he betrays his friend Gram and makes his dreams come true. Gram is from a less privileged background, and when Matt betrays him, he becomes bitter.
It’s an interesting read from an author who has a background in the music industry. You can read my full review here.
Disclosure: I received a copy of The Gingerbread House* for review. The opinions below are my own and unbiased.
I loved reading this next book. Tess is made redundant and decides that it’s an opportunity to finally write her book. She goes to look after her 90 year old mother-in-law, Eleanor, who has dementia. But caring for Eleanor is harder than she ever imagined. Tess’s teenage daughter Katia is also at the house, and can only watch as her mother struggles under the pressure of life at The Gingerbread House (Katia’s name for the house).
This is a beautifully written book which addresses an issue that is going to touch most of our lives in the future. It’s a ‘warts and all’ approach which makes for difficult reading at times, but definitely one to add to your TBR pile. You can read my review here and read my interview with Kate Beaufoy here.
Disclosure: I received a copy of Open Grave* for review. The opinions below are my own and unbiased.
I’m a big fan of CJ Lyons’ Beacons Fall novels, and this is the third in the series that I’ve reviewed. This time, TK O’Connor takes the lead in investigating a 60 year old cold case. A body is discovered in a submerged car, and there’s a race to try and find out what happened.
This novel touches on the subject of racism in the South of the United States, and the subject matter makes this novel tough going at times. But even though you know that there isn’t going to be a happy ending to the cold case, it’s a great read. You can read my review of Open Grave here.
The final book I read during February was one of my Christmas presents from Mark. The Marble Collector in the title is Fergus Boggs, who begins collecting marbles when he is a small child. Many decades later, he is living with dementia in a nursing home. His daughter, Sabrina, is floundering through life and takes a day off work. On the same day, she receives several boxes of her father’s marble collection, all meticulously catalogued. She discovers that some of the most valuable items are missing, and gives herself this one day to discover where they went. She ends up learning a lot more about her father than she expected.
I really enjoyed reading this book, Mark definitely picked well!