Hi everyone! I did a poll on my Instagram to see what blog post you would like to see next and the majority voted for another book review so here we are! I have a little bit for everyone in this book review so whether you like chic lit, courtroom dramas, thrillers, historical fiction, mysteries or fantasy, I have a recommendation for you!
If you’re looking for a sweet story about generations of friends and family secrets, set against the backdrop of an old manor home with an immaculate garden, this book is for you. Libby’s marriage has just come to an end after a number of miscarriages and a lot of heartache. She has also just lost her father and has moved back into her family home to tie up all the loose ends and pack up the house. While she’s back in town, she’s hired as a wedding photographer in the old manor house in the area. Following the wedding, the owner of the manor house requested that she photograph the renovations of the greenhouse that had been a wedding gift from the owner’s grandfather to her grandmother. This greenhouse would begin to unlock the secrets of both Libby and the owner’s families and how their stories are completely intertwined. It is such a warm story with a light touch of romance and it will leave you feeling so happy. I give this a 4/5 for being such a refreshing, lovely story.
Gosh guys, let me start off by saying how disappointed I was with this book. I loved HBO’s Big Little Lies so I was really keen to read another book by the author. This story follows nine people that book themselves into a retreat centre, each for various reasons, and when they get there, things start to get a bit weird. Sound’s like a prime plot, right? Except absolutely nothing happens for the first half of the book. From there, the reader gains a deeper insight into the characters and why they are there but, still, nothing much happens. Only towards the end is there some kind of drama but by that stage, I was so bored with this book and its characters. By the end, I felt a bit cheated by what had the potential to be a great story. I would say that this book is not worth your time or money. So many of you messaged me on Instagram saying that you had such similar thoughts. What a bummer! I’ve given this a 1/5 star rating.
If you’re into plot twists and that nagging feeling that something isn’t right about someone, this book is BRILLIANT! Julia and Will, each very successful in their own right, have not known each other all that long. That aside, they have planned an over-the-top wedding on an uninhabited, Irish island with a lot of history. When the guests arrive on the island, the behaviour of the maid-of-honour appears to suggest that she’s recently experienced trauma but the bride is irritated by her absentmindedness. The groomsman is also acting very self-consciously and definitely appears to be uncomfortable given the significant role of his duties when he has barely spoken to the groom for the past few years. The groom and his boarding school friends are frightening when they are together in a way that reminded me so much of the boys in Lord of the Flies by William Golding, except that these are grown men. When a huge storm blows in during the reception, the power goes out and when the lights come back on, someone is dead. The twists and turns of this story are phenomenal and the story of each character happens to be linked, however, many of them only discover this after the murder. What a fantastic book. I’d highly recommend this one! It’s a high 4/5 from me.
If you’re a lover of historical fiction, this is a must-read. It had been on my reading list for the longest time. This story is about two sisters that had a bit of a rocky relationship but both became war heroes after WWII. This story is set in France during the Nazi occupation. Vianne’s husband is sent to war and she is forced to share her home with Nazi leaders who will take up residence with her and her daughter. Isabelle, with a fiery heart, decides to become a part of the French resistance. Both women, through their own choices and kind hearts, strive to save as many people as they can during the horrors of this war. It is a story that is so beautifully written, heartbreaking and will stay with you long after you finish the last page. If you loved “Beneath the Scarlett Sky” by Mark Sullivan and “All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr, you will definitely want to add this book to your reading list. I give this book a 4/5.
I picked up this book romanticising a library (as I often do) that would be similar to that of The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern, but this is not that kind of story at all. If anything, this story is one that strongly addresses the importance of looking after your mental health. Nora Seed appears to be going through a crisis. She has lost touch with her brother. She has just suffered a breakup. Her cat was hit by a car in the street. She has also just been fired from her job. She’s at an all-time low and thinks that the world would be better off if she was no longer in it. The night she decides to end her life, she finds herself in a library filled with books that tell the story of her life and the decisions that she has made. In this library, she is given a limited opportunity to change her life decisions. Should she have pursued an environmental research career in the arctic? Should she have married? Should she have stayed in that band and become incredibly successful? Re-evaluating her decisions also gives her guidance as to what her core values are and what she finds worth living for. This book is sad in the way that it deals with regrets and heartache but ultimately the reader roots for Nora’s future and her pursuit for happiness. My rating for this book is 3/5.
Lucas has an affair with his underage student, Tara, and the two of them are married as soon as she finished school. The newly married couple has a baby not long thereafter. There are rumors of Lucas having an affair with one of his new students and suddenly, Tara (not yet 21) and their baby go missing. This book is primarily focused on the lead detective of the case and her investigation and partially based on the courtroom drama that takes place simultaneously with another, external lead in the investigation. I love a good mystery but, personally, I don’t enjoy these from the criminal investigator perspective and I’m not particularly interested in courtroom dramas either. Perhaps I’m judging this one a little harshly by rating it 2/5 because it is definitely not short on intrigue. If you love criminal investigation novels, you will no doubt love this book.
If you read one of these recommendations, please let me know! Tag me on your Instagram stories. 🙂 I’d also love it if you have any book recommendations you think I might like. Please leave them down below! The other big request that I received for the next blog post was a beauty review so I will be doing that next. Can’t wait!