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book review

January 2019 Wrap Up

Posted in Books
on 03/02/2019
The cover of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo features the actress herself in THAT famous emerald dress.

January was a good month for reading! I got through most January TBR of my and a couple of others too, plus I picked up some sick reads for next month. Tearjerkers take pride of place this month’s wrap up (maybe it’s something about January?) because my gosh did I cry through some of these books. I also found it so hard to pick up a book – I think going back to work after my three weeks off over Christmas ruined me. Anyway, I still did relatively okay this months – eight books means I’m on track for my goal of 100 and I’m going to take some of my own advice to get me through the last of the dark days of winter!

Anyway, enough rambling – let’s jump in to my January Wrap Up!

A quick heads up for you, there are affiliate links within this post that, should you purchase anything through them, I will earn commission. This is at no extra charge to you. I also received some of these books for free via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Book of the Month

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Taylor Jenkins Reid

The cover of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo features the actress herself in THAT famous emerald dress.

Yes, I’m jumping on the bandwagon, here, but this book is just so good. It it not the type of book I usually read, but I could not put it down and I ended up reading it in one sitting! It made me laugh, cry, and angry – sometimes all at once

Evelyn Hugo is a famous actress who, after a colourful life, has lived in relative silence for many years. Until she wants her story to be told and, to the disappointment of many, she chooses Monique Grant, a relatively unheard freelancer, as the person to write her story. The book follows the journey of her rise to fame, the behind the scenes sadness, and her relationships.

I don’t want to write too much as I’ve got a fuller review coming soon, but this is such a beautiful book – I cannot recommend it enough.

Read

Yes, this girl finally read a book by Victoria Schwab and I’m completely in love. City of Ghosts was my first read of 2019 and I’m v. excited for Tunnel of Bones in September! I’ve got A Darker Shade of Magic and Vicious lined up in my February TBR. The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton, by Anstey Harris, was an “ooooo, that front cover is v. cute” purchase and, you know what, it turned out to be a bloody good read too!

Michelle Kenney’s Book of Fire and City of Dust were my rollercoaster reads. I think I enjoyed Book of Fire slightly more than the second installment. Everything was new and there was an enemy to sort of lovers trope that will get me every time, whereas that wasn’t so prevalent in the second (for various reasons that would spoil the books if I told you what they were).

One Of Us is Lying kept me guessing up until it was so obvious I felt a little stupid for not spotting the ending. A brilliant read and I finished just before Karen McManus’s next book, Two Can Keep a Secret, came out – keep an eye out for that in my TBR!

The saddest moment of the month had to be not enjoying A Dance of Air and Water. Look, it’s a decent book, but I’ve read it before in a million different ways. And, whilst it is refreshing to see LGBT+ characters within a book, I just think that the author was clumsy with it and missed the mark.

Currently Reading

I was so pumped for Red Snow to come out last month so I decided to do a re-read of the first book in the series, Dark Pines, ahead of the publication of the next installment. Then I got distracted, and work got hectic, and I still haven’t finished it. Fingers crossed I’ll get this and Red Snow done in February as there are some big books on their way that I am dying to get my hands on!

When I first bought The Binding, I’m not going to lie, I bought it for the cover. It is beautiful. And the story was blossoming into something beautiful too. Until it wasn’t. And now I’m fighting to not DNF the book and that is making me so sad.

DNF’d

A beautifully written book, it just wasn't my cup of tea.I warned you in last month’s TBR – this book was massively out of my comfort zone. Unfortunately, that has proven to be it’s downfall.

The Far Field, by Madhuri Vijay, is a beautifully written book. Very descriptive and a story that should grip anyone. It just wasn’t the type of book I needed this month. A very sad DNF for me!

 

So, there you have my January Wrap Up! Full reviews of each book will be coming soon, I just need to pull my finger out and get writing! What were your reads of January? Did we read any of the same books?

*Updated to include disclosure at the top of the article. Sorry for any confusion.

The Flower Girls, Alice Clark-Platts

Posted in Books
on 26/01/2019
Yellow and black tend to mean bad, like wasps. Doesn't bode well for the colour scheme of The Flower Girls then, does it?

What happens when you mix the innocence of children with murder? A gripping book full of twists and turns!

Thank you to Bloomsbury for an e-copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. For complete transparency, there are affiliate links within this post that, should you purchase anything through them, I will earn a commission at no extra charge to you.

Yellow and black tend to mean bad, like wasps. Doesn't bode well for the colour scheme of The Flower Girls then, does it?

Title: The Flower Girls

Author: Alice Clark-Platts

Page count: 339

YOU’LL NEVER FORGET THE FLOWER GIRLS

The Flower Girls. Laurel and Primrose.

One convicted of murder, the other given a new identity.

What. A. Book.

Seriously, this is one to grab a copy of ASAP. Set in the present day, with flashbacks to life as children, we meet Primrose (now, Hazel) who is on a getaway break over the New Year’s period. All is, relatively, well in the hotel until a child goes missing.

Not a big deal, I hear you say. Sounds like the premise of an interesting murder-mystery, right? Until you find out that Hazel was given her new name because her sister, Laurel, was found guilty of the murder of a child at the age of 10 (Hazel was 8). Yep. Not good.

And so begins the most intriguing and (at times) disturbing rollercoaster ride this book takes you on.

This book gripped me from the very first page.

I absolutely love the way the Clark-Platts has written this book. The different viewpoints and flashbacks give enough to make you think some outcomes are certain, whilst slowly building a case for the final reveal. I remember finishing the book and feeling both delighted with the ending and annoyed that I didn’t spot it – exactly what you want for this type of book.

I also think that the setup is rather unique. Murder committed by young people is often, in books, designed under the trope of “led astray” or “expected due to their upbringing.” Whilst the latter may be true to some extent, it doesn’t feel like the focus throughout the book. That’s an amazing feat for the author to achieve.

I would say that one of the reveals at the end was more obvious and fitted well with the story, but it also worked to draw your mind away from the final few twists that have stuck with me since I read this in November!

Go get this book and let me know your thoughts in the comments below!