Because bloggers said so…

read-honeyI have read quite a number of books based on recommendations from other bloggers. Actually, most of the books that I have added to my TBR this year were recommendations that I picked from the book blogging community. I can’t remember everyone who has influenced my reading choices but here are some of the books that I recently read because of blogger recommendations.

 

Books that I have recently read

Blackbird SeasonThe Black Bird Season by Kate Moretti

I can’t remember all the bloggers who mentioned this book but the last post that I read that convinced me to get it was by Cleo(Cleopatra Loves Books). Honestly, the description of black birds falling from the sky sounded both creepy and intriguing.

This ended up being a slow burner but still, an addictive read. You can read my review here.

 

best day everBest Day Ever by Kaira Rouda

This was an interesting choice for me. I read a review by Dee (Dee’s Rad Reviews and Reads)  and was immediately convinced to get the book.

I ended up enjoying book. The villain reminded me of Joe from the You/Hidden Bodies series. Here’s my review.

 

 

 

The next two books have been popular around blogosphere for a while now.. Their popularity is what influenced me to read them and they both turned out to be two of the most memorable books that I’ve read this year.

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah(reviewed here)

Small Great Things by Jodi Piccoult(reviewed here)

 

Books that I have recently added to my TBR

I didn’t know about the following books until I saw different bloggers mentioning them.

Her Last Secret by Barbara Copperthwaite

Her Last Secret.png

The last thing to go through Dominique Thomas’s head was the image of her teenage daughter’s face and her heart lifted. Then the shot rang out.They were the perfect family. Successful businessman Ben Thomas and his wife Dominique live an enviable life, along with their beautiful children; teenager Ruby and quirky younger daughter, Mouse.

But on Christmas Day the police are called to their London home, only to discover the entire family lying lifeless, victims of an unknown assailant. But when . Each family member harboured their own dark truths – but has keeping their secrets pushed Ruby to the edge of sanity? Or are there darker forces at work?

 

I enjoyed the author’s previous title, Darkest Lies. I didn’t know that her new book is already up on NetGalley until I saw Yvonne (It’s All About Books) mention it. Needless to say, I quickly requested for the ARC and was happy to be approved.

 

 

Hum if you don't knowHum if You Don’t know the words by Bianca Marias

Life under Apartheid has created a secure future for Robin Conrad, a nine-year-old white girl living with her parents in 1970s Johannesburg. In the same nation but worlds apart, Beauty Mbali, a Xhosa woman in a rural village in the Bantu homeland of the Transkei, struggles to raise her children alone after her husband’s death. Both lives have been built upon the division of race, and their meeting should never have occurred . . . until the Soweto Uprising, in which a protest by black students ignites racial conflict, alters the fault lines on which their society is built, and shatters their worlds when Robin’s parents are left dead and Beauty’s daughter goes missing.
I found out about this book from two of my favorite bloggers, Renee (IT’S BOOK TALK) and Annie (THE MISSTERY).  That plus the book’s description, I knew that I definitely had to get it.

 

Books that I hope to read someday

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Little FiresIn Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.
Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother – who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenaged daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.

I remember seeing this book in a couple of blogs around mid-September. Some of the reviews that I recall were by NiKola (Breathing Through Pages), Stephanie (STEPHANIE’S NOVEL FICTION), Yvonne (Its All About Books) and Holly,( Dressed to Read). This is definitely a book that I hope to read soon.

Update: I have just received an email notifying me that my request for this ARC  has been approved through NetGalley.

 

marsh king.pngMarsh King Daughter’s by Karen Dionne

When notorious child abductor – known as the Marsh King – escapes from a maximum security prison, Helena immediately suspects that she and her two young daughters are in danger.

No one, not even her husband, knows the truth about Helena’s past: they don’t know that she was born into captivity, that she had no contact with the outside world before the age of twelve – or that her father raised her to be a killer.

And they don’t know that the Marsh King can survive and hunt in the wilderness better than anyone… except, perhaps his own daughter.

 

nOI really wanted to read an ARC of this book from the first time that I saw it on NetGalley. I don’t know why but my request was rejected TWICE. I thought it’s a sign that I should probably stay away from the book but then a couple of reviews convinced me to keep looking for a copy even if ill wait until 2018 for the book to be available in my country. One of the first reviews that I read about this book was by Inge(The Belgian Reviewer). You can read her post here.

 

Hate you GiveThe Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.
I have been seeing this book around and without a doubt, I know its a book that I need to read.  One of the best reviews that I read about the book is by Laila(Big Reading Life). You can read her review here.

 

Bear TownBear town by Fredrick Backman

People say Beartown is finished. A tiny community nestled deep in the forest, it is slowly losing ground to the ever encroaching trees. But down by the lake stands an old ice rink, built generations ago by the working men who founded this town. And in that ice rink is the reason people in Beartown believe tomorrow will be better than today. Their junior ice hockey team is about to compete in the national semi-finals, and they actually have a shot at winning. All the hopes and dreams of this place now rest on the shoulders of a handful of teenage boys.

Being responsible for the hopes of an entire town is a heavy burden, and the semi-final match is the catalyst for a violent act that will leave a young girl traumatized and a town in turmoil. Accusations are made and, like ripples on a pond, they travel through all of Beartown, leaving no resident unaffected.

I remember reading reviews of this book by Renee and Yvonne. Renee compared the book to Friday Night Lights and I was convinced that I need to read it soon.

 

 

i LOVE THIS BOOK

Have you read any of these books? Have you recently added  new books to your TBR based on recommendations from book bloggers? Let me know in the comments section.

 

 

Review: The Surrogate by Louise Jensen @bookouture

Surrogate

Kat and her husband Nick have tried everything to become parents, and are on the point of giving up. Then a chance encounter with Kat’s childhood friend Lisa gives Kat and Nick one last chance to achieve their dream.

But Kat and Lisa’s history hides dark secrets.

And there is more to Lisa than meets the eye.

As dangerous cracks start to appear in Kat’s perfect picture of happily-ever-after, she realises that she must face her fear of the past to save her family…

 

 

Review

Happy publication day!

Louise Jensen has become one of my favorite authors. Her previous titles, The Sister and The Gift were both brilliant. In my opinion, The Surrogate is her best book… I have a feeling that I will say the same thing about her next book. Honestly though, her books just keep getting better.

In this story, Kat desperately wants to be a mom. After failed adoption attempts, she decided to try out surrogacy especially when an old friend offered to be the surrogate. It sounds straight forward right? That is what I thought. I read the first chapters with a feeling of foreboding. I kept waiting for something to go wrong. I knew that something would but just didn’t know what and when. However, all my assumptions were dead wrong. There was absolutely nothing that was straightforward in this book. I couldn’t have predicted the twists and turns that came as the story progressed.

The story is narrated through dual timelines and narratives. The then is not only narrated by one person but by two. I kept wondering why the author used two narrators until the connection became apparent. Have you ever shouted at a book? I remember the exact moment when the realization dawned on me and the connection became clear. I was shouting, heart racing, furiously turning pages in disbelief mixed with anticipation. It was a brilliant twist.

Louise Jensen kept the twists coming up to the last page and the ending was so chilling that I had to check and confirm that all my doors and windows were locked before I could sleep. This book has everything that makes a perfect thriller. It has a set of unlikable yet addictive characters. The twists are unpredictable and I just loved how everything came together in an explosive conclusion. The prologue had already set the tone for the book but I couldn’t have guessed the ending. I had to get to the final chapter to understand what the prologue was all about.

The Surrogate by Louise Jensen is a must read for all fans of this genre. If you enjoy a good, thrilling, memorable book with lots of twists, you definitely have to read this one. If you haven’t read of the author’s previous titles, you are missing out on a great reading experience and you should definitely rectify that. Highly recommended!

 

 

Review: The Blackbird Season by Kate Moretti

Blackbird Season.jpgIn a quiet Pennsylvania town, a thousand dead starlings fall onto a high school baseball field, unleashing a horrifying and unexpected chain of events that will rock the close-knit community.

Beloved baseball coach and teacher Nate Winters and his wife, Alicia, are well respected throughout town. That is, until one of the many reporters investigating the bizarre bird phenomenon catches Nate embracing a wayward student, Lucia Hamm, in front of a sleazy motel. Lucia soon buoys the scandal by claiming that she and Nate are engaged in an affair, throwing the town into an uproar…and leaving Alicia to wonder if her husband has a second life.

And when Lucia suddenly disappears, the police only to have one suspect: Nate.

Nate’s coworker and sole supporter, Bridget Harris, Lucia’s creative writing teacher, is determined to prove his innocence. She has Lucia’s class journal, and while some of the entries appear particularly damning to Nate’s case, others just don’t add up. Bridget knows the key to Nate’s exoneration and the truth of Lucia’s disappearance lie within the walls of the school and in the pages of that journal.
 

Review

Happy publication day!

I decided to get a copy of this book after reading a couple of good reviews about it. Reviewers described it as unsettling and I get why especially after reading the book’s opening. The first chapter begins with thousands of birds falling from the sky in a small town in Pennsylvania. This incident is quite creepy and I tried to imagine what would happen if something like that happened in my country. However, the residents of this town soon forget the dead birds when a new scandal erupts. A beloved teacher is suspected of an illicit affair with his student.

The story is narrated through alternating POVs. The MCs are Nate (the teacher suspected of the affair), Lucinda (the student), Alecia(Nate’s wife) and Bridget(a teacher in the same school). The story goes back and forth through different timelines. Some sections cover the unfolding drama after the dead birds. Others take place before the bird incident. Others go further back a little. At first, these alternating chapters felt a little confusing. I usually don’t keep details of cheater headings. I am more likely to get the name of the narrator but exact dates don’t tend  to stick on my mind. However, I eventually got the hang of it.

Recently I haven’t had much luck with slow burners but things did change with this book. There are chapters that I still felt moved too slow but the book managed to hold my attention to the end. They mystery of what happened to Lucinda kept me moving forward. I was also curious to find out whether or not Nate really was guilty. There were reveals that shocked me and other made me uncomfortable but all in all, the mystery was well built to the last page.

Lately I have been reading a lot of books set in memorable small towns. In this one, the town was Mt. Oanake. It’s the kind of place where nothing seems to happen and most people dream of leaving . I liked the setting since it added a creepy feel to the story. Abandoned buildings, dead birds dropping from the sky, close-knit but gossipy community are all factors that made me like this setting. The Blackbird season by Kate Moretti is not a non-stop action kind of book but it still has enough to keep readers turning pages to the end.I think fans of small-town mysteries will enjoy this one.

 

Mini Reviews: Girl in Snow (Danya Kukafka) and Beneath Copper Falls(Colleen Coble)

Girl in SnowGirl in Snow by Danya Kukafka

When a beloved high schooler named Lucinda Hayes is found murdered, no one in her sleepy Colorado suburb is untouched—not the boy who loved her too much; not the girl who wanted her perfect life; not the officer assigned to investigate her murder. In the aftermath of the tragedy, these three indelible characters—Cameron, Jade, and Russ—must each confront their darkest secrets in an effort to find solace, the truth, or both.

In crystalline prose, Danya Kukafka offers a brilliant exploration of identity and of the razor-sharp line between love and obsession, between watching and seeing, between truth and memory. Compulsively readable and powerfully moving, Girl in Snow offers an unforgettable reading experience and introduces a singular new talent in Danya Kukafka

Review

I was invited by the publisher to read this book. I liked the premise and I do like a good murder mystery so I was excited about reading the book. Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would.

This book is character-driven and the pace is really slow because the entire focus is on the narrators. The story is told through three main POVs; Cameron, Jade and Russ, complex characters,  all battling their own demons. At the heart of the story, there is a murder case. Through the characters, we finally get to learn how Lucinda Hayes lost her life.

Although this is a murder mystery, I didn’t feel the suspense and tension that usually comes with the genre. I couldn’t connect with Lucinda, maybe because the story begins when she is already dead. In addition, the focus on the characters dragged the story. The writing was beautiful and the setting (small town) interesting but the story wasn’t for me. Fans of character-driven stories who don’t mind a slow paces are more likely to enjoy this one.

 

Beneath Copper FallsBeneath the Copper Falls by Colleen Coble

Dana Newell has just moved to Rock Harbor to take a job as a sheriff’s dispatcher and is settling in next door to Bree and Kade Matthews. The abusive relationship she left behind seems a distant memory in this perfect place.

Her first day on the job, Dana receives a call from her friend Allyson who screams “He’s going to kill me too” before the phone goes dead. Dana immediately dispatches a deputy, but it’s too late. Allyson’s death is ruled an accident, but Dana just doesn’t believe it. She knows Allyson—an investigative reporter—was researching a new story. Did someone want to keep her quiet?

Dana continues to look into the accident with the help of Bree and also Allyson’s cousin Boone. Romance quickly blooms between Dana and Boone but the game is much more complex than either of them imagined. When Dana’s ex-fiance locates her, she’s caught in the middle. It’s a game of cat and mouse

Review

Beneath Copper Falls by Colleen Cable tells the story of Dana Newell who works as a dispatcher. Right from the start, readers get to know that Dana is leaving an abusive relationship. She goes back to Rock Harbor, the small town where she grew up. Dana expects the town to offer refuge but instead,  finds out that there is a serial killer on the prowl.

The characters in this story were well developed. I was drawn to Dana and Boone. The two were complex, flawed characters with complicated pasts. However, they are the kind of characters who are  easy to root for. At first, I thought this would end up being a cheesy, romantic story. However, I was surprised to see the inclusion of the serial killer angle. It heightened the tension in the book. In addition, Dana’s ‘crazy’ husband also added to the apprehension that I felt as the story progressed.

Having read way too many murder mysteries, this was pretty predictable for me. I was able to guess the killer early in the book. However, it was still a thrill to read about how the characters made the discovery. I guess that is what kept me reading. I wanted to see how the reveal would be done and how different characters would find out.

I have always loved small town settings and Rock Harbor was memorable. The characters were great but I do wish that the story was less predictable. This may be an issue on my part though and readers who don’t read too many mysteries may enjoy this one more than I did. If you like romantic suspense then this book is  for you.

Review: Cold Blood by Robert Bryndza @bookouture @RobertBryndza

Cold Blood by BryndzaShe fell in love with a killer, now she’s one too.

The suitcase was badly rusted, and took Erika several attempts, but it yielded and sagged open as she unzipped it. Nothing could prepare her for what she would find inside…

When a battered suitcase containing the dismembered body of a young man washes up on the shore of the river Thames, Detective Erika Foster is shocked. She’s worked on some terrifying cases but never seen anything like this before.

As Erika and her team set to work, she makes the link with another victim – the body of a young woman dumped in an identical suitcase two weeks ago.

Erika quickly realises she’s on the trail of a serial killer who’s already made their next move. Yet just as Erika starts to make headway with the investigation, she is the victim of a brutal attack.

But nothing will stop Erika. As the body count rises, the twin daughters of her colleague Commander Marsh are abducted, and the stakes are higher than ever before. Can Erika save the lives of two innocent children before it’s too late? She’s running out of time and about to make a disturbing discovery…there’s more than one killer.

Review

Happy Publication Day!

Cold Blood is the fifth book in the DCI Erika Foster series by Robert Bryndza. Previous titles are; The Girl in the Ice, The Night Stalker, Dark Water and Last Breath. You can click on the titles to read my reviews. Although this can be read as a standalone, I recommend that you read the entire series in order. This will help you get to know the characters  better especially the MC, DCI Erika.

The story begins with the discovery of two bodies in suitcases. The detectives have little to go on and so they start piecing together the evidence. Unlike most cases where killers escalate their crimes and body count goes up, this one is a bit different in that it sorts of goes backwards. It takes time for detectives to realize who they are dealing with.They  have to look into the killer’s past to understand the nature and extent of their crimes.

The story is told through different POVs. DCI Erika is the main narrator. However, there are chapters narrated by the killer. In these chapters, we get to learn how the crimes began and the motives. I really liked this second narration. It is darker, thrilling and gives insight into the making of a killer.

What I loved most about this book is that the focus is not solely on the investigation. There are other things going on. DCI Erika has changed so much through the series. I disliked her in the second book, Night Stalker and thought she was kinda mean. Now, I feel like I know her better and so I really enjoy reading about her. I wish certain parts of her life would have stayed the same as in the previous book but it is okay, the changes are good even though some broke my heart. Once you read the series, you will get to know what I mean. I like how we get to know more about the characters outside the investigation.

Bryndza has done it again with this book. It’s a crime thriller masterpiece that has everything that makes this genre so enjoyable. A murder mystery, serial killer, twists and lots of suspense and of course a lead detective that readers can root for, DCI Erika Foster. This was a gripping, thrilling, addictive read. I can’t wait to see what Robert Bryndza comes up with next. Honestly, I can’t recommend this series enough.

 

Best Day Ever by Kaira Rouda

best day everPaul Strom has the perfect life: a glittering career as an advertising executive, a beautiful wife, two healthy boys and a big house in a wealthy suburb. And he’s the perfect husband: breadwinner, protector, provider. That’s why he’s planned a romantic weekend for his wife, Mia, at their lake house, just the two of them. And he’s promised today will be the best day ever.

But as Paul and Mia drive out of the city and toward the countryside, a spike of tension begins to wedge itself between them and doubts start to arise. How much do they trust each other? And how perfect is their marriage, or any marriage, really?

Forcing us to ask ourselves just how well we know those who are closest to us, Best Day Ever crackles with dark energy, spinning ever tighter toward its shocking conclusion.

Review

Happy publication day!

I decided to read Best Day Ever by Kaira Rouda after seeing some good reviews about it. It ended up being a creepy, addictive read. The story is narrated though a single POV (apart from the epilogue). I won’t mention who the narrator is because I think it is best to find out when you read the book for yourself.

The book reminded me a lot about the You and Hidden Bodies series. The narrator who is one of the MCs is so dark and twisted, one of those villains that you find yourself not hating as much as you should. The twisted narrations were creepy yet so addictive. I liked the  narrative style which was used. It sounded conversational such that the narrator kept addressing the readers. We found out things before the other characters because we knew the narrator’s secrets. After all, we were in his mind.

The plot-line reminded me of the TV show 24 because all events take place in one day. We get hourly updates at first and then thirty minutes and sometimes fifteen. As the time goes by, so does the story line. It gets twisted as more discoveries are made. I couldn’t believe just how much was revealed in that day.

I really enjoyed reading Best Day Ever by Kaira Rouda. It’s the kind of book that you find yourself thinking about when you are not reading it. The villain is obviously a sociopath and the fact that readers get stuck in this twisted mind is both scary and fascinating at the same time. If you are looking for a creepy, psychological thriller then you might enjoy this one.

If the Creek Don’t Rise by Leah Weiss

creekA strikingly sincere portrait of a town and its buried secrets from an outstanding new voice in southern fiction.

In a North Carolina mountain town filled with moonshine and rotten husbands, Sadie Blue is only the latest girl to face a dead-end future at the mercy of a dangerous drunk. She’s been married to Roy Tupkin for fifteen days, and she knows now that she should have listened to the folks who said he was trouble. But when a stranger sweeps in and knocks the world off-kilter for everyone in town, Sadie begins to think there might be more to life than being Roy’s wife.

As stark and magnificent as Appalachia itself, If the Creek Don’t Rise is a bold and beautifully layered debut about a dusty, desperate town finding the inner strength it needs to outrun its demons. The folks of Baines Creek will take you deep into the mountains with heart, honesty, and homegrown grit.

Review

I have never read anything like If the Creek Don’t Rise by Leah Weiss before and I mean this in a good way. The story turned out to be different from what I was expecting. One thing that set it apart was the narrative style. The story is set in Baines Creek, a small, mountain town in North Carolina. The town was a character in itself. It was the kind of town where all residents knew each other. What I didn’t understand though was the education sector in the town. It sounded like there were no schools apart from the kindergarten where the kids learned. I thought this was a bit odd though a minor detail.

The book is about the residents of Baines Creek told through multiple narrations. Each POV is told in about only two chapters. However, the stories are interwoven so that the only thing that changes is the narrator. At first, the style was frustrating. I wanted to hear more from some of the characters like grandma, Gladys and Sadie but then new narrators kept being introduced. It took a while to adjust to the changing POVs but once I did, I ended up really enjoying the narration. By the way, apart from the narrators, the author used a different dialect in some of the dialogue to reflect the setting.

This being a character-led story, readers get to really know each of the MCs. I think my favorite one was Sadie because I sympathized with her. She was a lovely girl, unfortunately married to an abusive monster. I liked how she was friendly, her love for Loretta’s music and in general, her kind, gentle spirit. I was frustrated by her inability to leave her husband although I did understand why. I liked her auntie, Marris and grandma, Gladys and the teacher, Kate. Even the herbalist, Birdie, was a delight to read about and so was Pastor Eli. Okay,  I liked most of the characters. Some I really disliked though like Roy (Sadie’s abusive husband) and his sidekick, Billy. The reverend’s sister , Prudence, was kinda mean too. The author did a fantastic job with the crafting of characters such that all of them felt familiar by the end of the book. I got to know them and form attachments with some of them and I enjoyed the fact that we got to hear their side of the narration.

The writing of this story was done well. I found it addictive even though this wasn’t a suspenseful read like what I usually go for. However, I was invested in the story and the characters and for a while, I got lost in Baines Creek. The ending was twisted, unpredictable and perfect for the story. I think that this book will appeal to readers of character-driven stories and Southern Literature. If you like small town settings then I suggest that you take a trip to Baines Creek.

Throwback Thursday: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

throwbackthursday

This weekly feature is hosted by Renee, (Its Book Talk). Throwback Thursday offers a way to share some of our old favorites as well  as sharing books that we are finally getting around to reading that were published over a year ago.

This is one back that I should have read a while back. It has been on my TBR but I am definitely glad that I finally got around to reading it.

NightingaleAbout the Book

Despite their differences, sisters Vianne and Isabelle have always been close. Younger, bolder Isabelle lives in Paris while Vianne is content with life in the French countryside with her husband Antoine and their daughter. But when the Second World War strikes, Antoine is sent off to fight and Vianne finds herself isolated so Isabelle is sent by their father to help her.

As the war progresses, the sisters’ relationship and strength are tested. With life changing in unbelievably horrific ways, Vianne and Isabelle will find themselves facing frightening situations and responding in ways they never thought possible as bravery and resistance take different forms in each of their actions.

Review

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah is a story about two sisters, Vianne and Isabelle, living in France during WWWII. The story is narrated through their POVs. Isabelle is described as strong-headed yet quite a courageous young woman. I liked how confident she was and it was nice to see her fight for what she believed in. She never hesitated to follow her mind and heart. On the other hand, Vianne is the mature sister. She is married, level-headed but that doesn’t mean that she is boring. She had her strengths and I really enjoyed her narrative. The author crafted Vianne’s character in such a way that you can’t help but love her. There are many other strong, memorable characters like Vianne’s daughter and friend Rachel. The author took the time to ensure that all characters including the villains were so well crafted that they stood out in their own way.

The setting for the story is France. One sister lives in Paris and the other one in Carriveau which from description sounded like the country side. Through the story, we get to witness the devastation of the Nazi occupation. The author used vivid descriptions to transport readers to that time period and setting. Through the pages, I could see the long queues for the food rations and the smug Nazi soldiers. Some of the characters turned my stomach while others were didn’t fit the villain image that I had in my mind.

There are many shocking moments in this book. There were no dull instances because things just kept happening. The uncertainties and unexpected turns truly captured the theme of war. It is hard to know what tomorrow brings during war and this was well portrayed in this book.

Warning!

One thing you need to know right now is that this book will break your heart. It might leave you feeling dazed and most probably, a weeping mess. However, it is such a beautiful story that is likely to move you and claim a spot on your list of favorites. It will occupy your mind and heart.

Nonetheless, this warning should not deter you from reading this book. Yes, it will break your heart but it is still the kind of book that you should experience.  I have no doubt that this story will stay with me for a long time.

Book Details

Hardcover, 1st Edition, 440 pages

Published February 3rd 2015 by St. Martin’s Press

Original Title: The Nightingale

Literary Awards: Audie Award for Fiction (2016), Goodreads Choice Award for Historical Fiction (2015), International Dublin Literary Award Nominee (2017)

 

WWW Wednesday #September 13th

This meme is currently hosted by Sam @ Taking on a world of words. To take part all you need to do is answer the following questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

So here’s my 3 W’s for the week.

Recently Finished

I had a good reading week. I read a thriller and a historical fiction and enjoyed both.

The Girl Who Came Back by Kerry Wilkinson is a character-led psychological thriller. You can read my review here.

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah is historical fiction set in Paris during the WWII. A wonderful, beautiful but totally heartbreaking book. My review will be up tomorrow.

Currently Reading

The Surrogate

The Surrogate by Louise Jensen

I am halfway through this book and loving it so far. It is so unsettling. I know something bad is about to happen especially after reading the prologue. Now I am just waiting for the when and how. This is an addictive read that I can’t wait to see how it goes.

Reading Next

If the Creek Don’t Rise by Leah Weiss – I have read mixed reviews for this one. I can’t wait to see how it goes. 

creekIn a North Carolina mountain town filled with moonshine and rotten husbands, Sadie Blue is only the latest girl to face a dead-end future at the mercy of a dangerous drunk. She’s been married to Roy Tupkin for fifteen days, and she knows now that she should have listened to the folks who said he was trouble. But when a stranger sweeps in and knocks the world off-kilter for everyone in town, Sadie begins to think there might be more to life than being Roy’s wife.

As stark and magnificent as Appalachia itself, If the Creek Don’t Rise is a bold and beautifully layered debut about a dusty, desperate town finding the inner strength it needs to outrun its demons. The folks of Baines Creek will take you deep into the mountains with heart, honesty, and homegrown grit.

 

The Obsession by Nora Roberts

ObsessionNaomi Bowes lost her innocence the night she followed her father into the woods. In freeing the girl trapped in the root cellar, Naomi revealed the horrible extent of her father’s crimes and made him infamous. No matter how close she gets to happiness, she can’t outrun the sins of Thomas David Bowes.

Now a successful photographer living under the name Naomi Carson, she has found a place that calls to her, a rambling old house in need of repair, thousands of miles away from everything she’s ever known. Naomi wants to embrace the solitude, but the kindly residents of Sunrise Cove keep forcing her to open up—especially the determined Xander Keaton.

Naomi can feel her defenses failing, and knows that the connection her new life offers is something she’s always secretly craved. But the sins of her father can become an obsession, and, as she’s learned time and again, her past is never more than a nightmare away.

I haven’t read any books by Nora Roberts in quite a long time. The Obsession was released in 2016 and has received a lot of good reviews although there are some not so good ones on goodreads. I have read the first chapter already and it does start off as a fast, addictive read. I can’t wait to read the entire book.

So, what are you reading? Let me know in the comments section.

Happy Reading!

Hush Little Baby by Joanna Barnard

Hush Little Baby by JoannaWhen baby Oliver breaks his arm, no-one can (or will) say how it happened.

His mother is exhausted.

His father is angry.

His older sister is resentful.

And they all have something to hide

 

 

 

Review

Hush Little Baby by Joanna Barnard begins on the night that little Oliver gets hurt. His mother is out with friends. She comes back home a bit drunk and then the next day; she is woken by her husband carrying her wailing baby, Oliver. The baby is rushed to the hospital and all hell breaks loose when the doctors find out that his arm is fractured. Things become even more complex when nobody seems to know how Ollie got hurt.

This is a domestic thriller. The story was more about how the family was affected by the injury. The secrets started coming out and Ollie’s accident revealed the cracks in what at first seemed like a perfect family. Throughout the story, I kept trying to guess what happened to Ollie. Of course there were theories. It could have been a natural injury caused by vitamin D deficiency or it could have been caused by someone’s actions. I couldn’t guess.

The three main characters are also the narrators. We get to hear the story from Martha (the step-sister), Sally (mom) and Richard (dad). These narrations are told through alternating chapters. I sympathized with the family and in particular, the mom, Sally. I can’t imagine what she was going through. Richard’s character is bound to elicit mixed reactions. When you read the story, you will get why. I also sympathized with Martha who was already struggling with fitting into the blended family. She had issues with finding acceptance not just in the family but at school too. However, I also had my suspicions about the three. What happened to Ollie? Who among them knows the truth? The three stories are interwoven with the mystery behind Ollie’s injury.

Hush Little Baby by Joanna Barnard is definitely a character-driven thriller. However, the pacing is brisk. There is a lot that is going on hence the pace keeps moving as we get further insights into the family and their secret lives. It was an easy read in terms of pacing though the themes were far from being light. My only issue with the book was the conflict resolution which felt a bit sudden. Nevertheless, I think that fans of domestic noirs and family-drama thrillers will like this book.