As I am behind in posting updates about the books I have read (see previous post!) I have decided to attempt to do block updates to catch up.

Books 16-20 in 2015 were:

16.
Harriet Evans – A Place For Us
Rating: 3 out of 5

I hadn’t read a Harriet Evans novel in a long time, although I have several lined up. I saw that this one was available at the library so I snatched it up. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. I found it quite long, and sad. The book looks at family, mental illness, secrets and affairs. It wasn’t a particularly easy read and one that I came away from feeling a bit down. I will read more by Evans, but this one isn’t one I would highly recommend.

17.

John Green – Paper Towns
Rating: 3 out of 5

This is the second John Green novel I have read. I loved The Fault in Our Stars so had high hopes for this novel. I found it a bit of a let down – well, I found the ending a let down. This is a story of friendship. A girl goes missing, and a group of friends – led by her neighbour – seek to find her. I liked the tension, I liked reading about the friendship group, but ultimately I didn’t really like the girl they were looking for and I didn’t like the outcome. I finished the book feeling a bit deflated. I will probably watch the film when it comes out though!

18.

M. C. Beaton – Agatha Raisin and the Vicious Vet
Rating: 4 out of 5

This is also the second M C Beaton novel I have read. I am thoroughly enjoying the Agatha Raisin series. I find them entertaining, gripping and easy reads. The crimes are never too gruesome, and there is something about Agatha that amuses me. This novel didn’t let me down. In this instalment, she investigates the murder of the vet that no one liked. It was a fun read. If you like light-hearted crime novels, this is for you!

19.

Rowan Coleman – The Memory Book
Rating: 4 out of 5

Man, this was a sad book. This was recommended to me by a friend (a fellow book lover), and I did really enjoy it. But goodness me was it a sad read. This novel looks at dementia, but in early age, and the effect it has on the family. It was a hard read, a bit of a tear-jerker, but one that I enjoyed. There was also a little twist, which I hadn’t seen coming, but was a bit heart-warming. This is a novel I would recommend.

20.

Debbie Macomber – 1022 Evergreen Place
Rating: 3 out of 5

As you know, I like a Debbie Macomber novels. They are quick, easy reads – definite Chick-Lit. This, of course, fit that bill perfectly. This is the 10th Cedar Cove instalment. As I am reaching the end of this series of books, I am finding them to be a bit same-y. That said, I liked the storyline about the WW2 letters, that brought a new element to these stories. If quick, girly reads are your thing, you will like this series books – but don’t read them all in one go!

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can-you-keep-a-secretSynopsis:

Emma is like every girl in the world. She has a few little secrets.

Secrets from her mother:
1.I lost my virginity in the spare bedroom to Danny Nussbaum while Mum and Dad were downstairs watching Ben Hur.

…From her boyfriend:
2. I’m a size twelve. Not a size eight, like Connor thinks.
3. I’ve always thought Connor looks a bit like Ken. As in Barbie and Ken.

…From her colleagues:
4. When Artemis really annoys me, I feed her plant orange juice. (Which is pretty much every day)
5. It was me who jammed the copier that time. In fact, all the times.

…Secrets she wouldn’t share with anyone in the world:
6. My G string is hurting me.
7. I faked my Maths GCSE grade on my CV.
8. I have no idea what NATO stands for. Or even what it is…

…until she spills them all to a stranger on a plane. At least, she thought he was a stranger…

This is another gem from Sophie Kinsella. This is pure chick-lit, a light, fun read, humorous and heart wrenching. Emma, the protagonist, is flying from Glasgow to London after a dreadful work meeting. She is a nervous flyer, who was upgraded to Business Class. When the plane hits turbulence she believes she is going to die, and that the handsome American stranger in the seat next to her is the last person she is ever going to see. So she tells him everything – all her secrets and innermost thoughts and feelings. And then they land safely and Emma thinks she will never see him again – until he turns out to be the founder of the company she works for, and he is checking out the London offices. The story follows Emma as she adjusts to having Jack around all the time, struggling with her family, facing unbearable humiliation, love, friendship and revenge.

As ever, Kinsella kept me gripped. Her writing is fluid and engaging. Her characters were similar to those in the Shopaholic Series but I still connected with them. I loved Emma and her brutal honesty on the plane, and how the poor girl had to suffer the consequences. I was willing the best for her, and felt her humiliation and pain with her. Her flat mate Lissy founded gorgeous – what a lovely person to have around. Her other flat mate, Jemima was a hilarious character, with a warped way of viewing the world, but hilarious all the same. There were some vicious characters who I didn’t like as well – which is important to a good story.

Kinsella looks at the use of secrets in relationships. Although this is predominantly a chick-lit book, we do what can happen if you keep secrets. Relationships fall apart, there is a lack of trust and people often get it wrong. Once someone has been hurt through secrets they can be tarnished forever, as was the case with Conner, who turned into a bit of a wet lettuce – insecure and paranoid. However, being a light read, most things turned out OK in the end.

I really enjoyed this book. I laughed and felt pain, I was emotionally connected to Emma and wanted the best for her, and I recommend this book if you like quick, fun reads. The only complaint I have is there was a fair amount of swearing. Apart from that, this is a good novel.

8/10

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