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Recent Reads…

So I slipped out of my regular routine of posing my recent reads, so there’s a double whammy of book-related-goodness this month. Hurrah!

I’m so chuffed because I hit my target of 20 books this year, and I’m ready to set myself a new challenge of another 20!

Let’s get straight in to it!

The Other Woman by Sandie Jones
“When Emily meets Adam she knows he is the One. That together they can deal with anything that is thrown at them. But lurking in the shadows is another woman, Pammie. Emily chose Adam, but she didn’t choose his mother. There’s nothing a mother wouldn’t do for her son, and now Emily is about to find out just how far Pammie will go to get what she wants . . .”

This book is bloody brilliant; the villain in it is someone who truly makes you want to scream at in anger, all the while strange occurrences with other characters ensure you begin to find yourself questioning every body! I couldn’t put this down and the twist at the end was fantastic. 

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend.Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything. One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Now she must learn how to navigate the world that everyone else seems to take for granted – while searching for the courage to face the dark corners she’s avoided all her life.

Change can be good. Change can be bad. But surely any change is better than… fine?”

I didn’t want to read this book – mainly because I’d seen such a big fuss about it and for some reason that normally puts me off! I’m a weirdo, I know! A friend lent it to me and I honestly think it’s such a beautiful, uplifting book. Eleanor is such an intriguing character, who I took some time to warm to; as the book unravels, and so does more of her past, you can’t help but end up loving Eleanor and totally routing for her as your unlikely heroine.

The Girl Before by JP Delaney
“Jane stumbles on the rental opportunity of a lifetime: the chance to live in a beautiful ultra-minimalist house designed by an enigmatic architect, on condition she abides by a long list of exacting rules. After moving in, she discovers that a previous tenant, Emma, met a mysterious death there – and starts to wonder if her own story will be a re-run of the girl before.”

This was just the psychological thriller I’d been dying for; something to really suck me in and have me thinking about the mysteries in the book whilst I wasn’t reading it. I actually read this just as I was moving into a new place where the landlord asked us to be pretty fastidious about how we keep the property, so this book double-freaked me out! Great book, with a powerful and interesting twist at the end! 

This Is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay
Welcome to the life of a junior doctor: 97-hour weeks, life and death decisions, a constant tsunami of bodily fluids, and the hospital parking meter earns more than you.Scribbled in secret after endless days, sleepless nights and missed weekends, Adam Kay’s This is Going to Hurt provides a no-holds-barred account of his time on the NHS front line.”

This book was simply life changing. It was beautiful and funny and sad in equal measures. I always thought our NHS was amazing, but after having read Adam’s first-hand account of life on the ward, I have a total new found respect for doctors. His wry style of writing makes this an enjoyable read – you feel like you’re having a cup of tea with a very worn-down friend. The book documents his time as a doctor, although now he works in TV; the poignant reason he quit medicine will have you thinking about this book for days. My only wish is that it had been longer.

The Retreat by Mark Edwards
“Two years ago, Julia lost her family in a tragic accident. Her husband drowned trying to save their daughter, Lily, in the river near their rural home. But the little girl’s body was never found—and Julia believes Lily is somehow still alive.”

Generally, I default to Mark Edwards for an easy-read-through psychological thriller. His last one, What You Wish For, was pretty weird – and also, pretty crap! This was … okay… The storyline / premise was pretty good, but overall this felt like a YA novel and was hard to take seriously at times. Good for a light read, but I found it a little silly in places!

Liar by K L Slater
“Single dad Ben is doing his best to raise his children, with the help of his devoted mother Judi. And then Ben meets Amber. Everyone thinks this is a perfect match for Ben but Judi isn’t so sure… There’s just something about Amber that doesn’t add up. Ben can’t see why his mother dislikes his new girlfriend. And Amber doesn’t want Judi anywhere near her new family. Amber just wants Ben and the children. The further Judi delves into Amber’s personal life, the closer she gets to shocking secrets that could change everything. And Judi must make a decision that could lead to the most disastrous consequences.”

This book was another absolute banger! The twists and turns make this  the kind of book you’ll be reading with one hand holding your Kindle out of the shower, just so you can squeeze in an extra few minutes before work! I was absolutely shocked by the ending, and although some plot lines turned out to be a little predictable, the key story has such a good twist at the end which I never saw coming!

Forget You Had A Daughter by Sandra Gregory
Sandra Gregory seemed to have the perfect life in Bangkok – until illness, unemployment and political unrest turned it into a nightmare. Desperate to get home by any means possible, she agreed to smuggle an addict’s personal supply of heroin. She didn’t even make it onto the plane.In this remarkably candid memoir, Sandra Gregory tells the full story of the events leading up to her arrest, the horrific conditions in Lard Yao prison, her trial in a language she didn’t understand and how it feels to be sentenced to death.

Sandra finally resumed her journey home some four and a half years later, when she was transferred to the British prison system and had to adapt to a new, yet equally harsh, regime.”

I actually first read this years ago and it’s one of those books that has stuck with me for so long. This powerful autobiography takes a really shrewd look at one of the most notorious prisons in the world in Thailand, and paradoxically how the British system treats Sandra Gregory a lot more poorly. Her journey from Thai to British prison is an incredible tale, and at no point does she deny her wrong-doing. I love this book and would recommend it to anyone.

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9 Comments

  • Reply Abbeylouisarose

    Huge well done on smashing your reading goal! I have been a bit slack this month and haven’t committed much time to reading, but as Hels kindly lent me copies of This is Going to Hurt and He said / she said, I have no excuse not to pick up a book! This is Going to Hurt sounds like it has really stuck with you and I’m sure I’ll be raving about it too once I’ve finished it! I’ve been really into thrillers lately so The Girl Before sounds right up my street!

    Abbey

    August 27, 2018 at 21:41
    • Reply Kate

      Thanks so much Abbey! I actually just finished He Said / She Said, it was quite good if a little slow I thought – really look forward to hearing what you thought about it! Ooh The Girl Before is very good, I know Hels is reading another of JP Delaney’s so I’ll be intrigued to hear if it’s as good!
      Kate x

      September 2, 2018 at 11:05
  • Reply Bethany Jane

    Okay well there’s another 4 or 5 books on my TBR list…! The only one I’ve read from your list is The Girl Before but I actually didn’t love it too much! I think because I was reading other psychological thrillers around the same time – it was good but I almost wanted more of a twist haha! I’ve heard such great things about This Is Going To Hurt that I will definitely have to read it soon!
    Beth x Adventure & Anxiety

    August 28, 2018 at 13:46
    • Reply Kate

      Haha this is the danger when you read book blog post right!? I swear I read so many and I always say how much they extend my TBR list – it’s ridiculous! I know what you mean, I loved how creepy I found the book, although maybe it just felt too close to home given the situation with the flat I was moving in to at the time!
      Kate x

      September 2, 2018 at 11:14
  • Reply Charlotte

    Oooh, these sound so GOOD! I haven’t read any of these – for a while last year I was so into psychological thrillers but I think I read them so much that I they all started to seem the same to me. But some of these are definitely going on my TBR!

    September 1, 2018 at 10:48
    • Reply Kate

      I know what you mean! It’s definitely my favourite genre but I do often read them and think ‘this sounds familiar…’ haha. Would love to hear what you think of the ones you do add to your TBR!
      Kate x

      September 2, 2018 at 11:20
  • Reply Jessica & James

    Super congrats on smashing your reading goal – I only aimed for a book a month and I think I stopped at 3… smh The Other Woman sounds like such an intriguing book and one some may relate to! Will defo be adding that on my list!

    Jessica & James | http://www.foodandbaker.co.uk / http://www.foodandbakertravels.co.uk

    September 2, 2018 at 18:09
    • Reply Kate

      Oooh def read The Other Woman – its SO good!
      Kate x

      September 7, 2018 at 13:27
    • Reply Kate

      Aw thanks lovelies! Check out the book for sure, it will have you GRIPPED!
      Kate x

      September 11, 2018 at 08:17

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