Whistle in the Dark by Emma Healey / Blog Tour

Whistle in the Dark by Emma Healey

 

40099420Publisher: Viking

Publishing Date: 10th January 2019

Source:  Received from the publisher, thank you!

Number of pages: 336

Genre: General Fiction (Adult)

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

Synopsis:

In the award-winning Elizabeth is Missing debut novelist Emma Healey explored grandmother Maud’s attempt to solve a 70-year-old mystery as she succumbed to dementia.

Now, in her dazzling follow-up Whistle in the Dark, we meet Jen, mother to 15-year-old Lana – who has just been found after going missing for four desperate days. Lana can’t talk about the missing days. As her daughter’s life falls apart, Jen turns detective to discover what happened . . .

How do you rescue someone who has already been found?

Jen’s fifteen-year-old daughter goes missing for four agonizing days. When Lana is found, unharmed, in the middle of the desolate countryside, everyone thinks the worst is over. But Lana refuses to tell anyone what happened, and the police think the case is closed. The once-happy, loving family returns to London, where things start to fall apart. Lana begins acting strangely: refusing to go to school, and sleeping with the light on.
With her daughter increasingly becoming a stranger, Jen is sure the answer lies in those four missing days. But will Lana ever reveal what happened?

my-review

Jen Maddox is on holiday with her fifteen-year-old daughter, Lana, when Lana goes missing. Four days later she’s found. It seems that nothing really bad has happened – she’s exhausted but there are no signs of violence. However, Lana insists she has no memory of whatever has happened and refuses to talk about it any more. Lana, together with her mother Jen, returns home to London. Jen tries to resume the normal family life but it turns out that it’s easier said than done – she simply needs to understand what has happened, why Lana went missing, what is happening with her younger daughter. She and her husband Hugh are loving parents of Lana and her older sister, they are a normal family, so why does she feel that she let her daughter down as a mother?

What I loved in this book so much was the relationship between Jen and Hugh. And also their characters, even with Jen’s paranoia and her desire to please Lana in every aspect of their lives – but I think this is the way mothers work, no matter what’s happening. Hugh being the laid – back one was perfectly complementing Jen’s parenting ways. They were so great around each other, there was the lovely easiness between them and it was crystal clear that they are the perfect couple.

I was incredibly grateful for the character of Meg, Jen and Hugh’s eldest daughter. She’s pregnant with her first child and she lives on her own but her occasional visits to her family home were the best moments probably. She was down – to – earth and she’s seen things how they were, and I think I simply needed it in the paranoid world of Jen’s and Lana’s depression and moods. Meg seemed to be the only one who was able to see through Lana, to deliver some home truths, to tell her sister some sharper words, and I think Lana deserved it, because, to be absolutely honest, I was not so convinced about her and this whole depression. I don’t know. I couldn’t put my finger on Lana. But we must appreciate the fact that Lana, mostly seen through her mum’s eyes, WAS an interesting, complex and complicated character, clever and with a sense of humour.
Under the mystery of Lana’s disappearance, I think that the main issue of this book was, in fact, Jen’s insecurity to fail as a mother. She was desperate to do everything as best as she could, to be accepted by her younger daughter, and respected as well, and as much as it made me feel angry towards Lana, with the way she has treated her mother, the way she behaved, I could understand Jen’s needs.

This novel was a real slow – burner, so be prepared. There is not much happening action – wise, but as it is a very character – driven book you’re going to receive brilliant, fleshed – out, relatable characters. Also the way Emma Healey writes about parenting, about all the emotional upheavals, challenges and emotions is very realistic and it rings the bell, as so many of her observations and insights are genuine and true. It was not the easiest read, it was too slow and too often it felt repetitive, recycling the same idea over and over again to be honest, but one that will for sure make you think. I also wasn’t sure how to feel about the end but, in retrospection, I think it was probably the only realistic, possible one. It’s not a twist that is going to change your life and make you go all wow, but it is suitable and I liked that Jen has got her closure – she really deserved it! So altogether, “Whistle in the Dark” is a brilliantly observed, humorous and poignant book about parenting, a brilliant mix of fear, family life and dynamics, insecurity. It’s Intriguing and clever, a real read with difference.

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The Chestnut Man by Søren Sveistrup / Blog Tour

The Chestnut Man by Søren Sveistrup

 

40232719Publisher: Penguin – Michael Joseph

Publishing Date: 10th January 2019

Source:  Received from the publisher, thank you!

Number of pages: 512

Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Mystery & Thrillers

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Hardcover | Paperback (out on 05.09.2019)

 

Synopsis:

A NAIL-BITINGLY THRILLING CRIME NOVEL FROM THE SCRIPT WRITER BEHIND THE KILLING

Rosa Hartung is returning to her job as Minister for Social Affairs, a year since the disappearance of her twelve year-old daughter. Linus Berger, a mentally ill young man, confessed to her killing, but can’t remember where he buried her dismembered corpse.

That day a young single mother is found murdered at her home in the suburbs of Copenhagen – she’s been tortured, and one hand has been cut off. Thulin and Hess, sent to investigate the crime, arrive to find a chestnut figure hanging from a playhouse nearby.

When yet another woman is murdered, and another chestnut figure is found, Thulin and Hess begin to suspect that there’s a connection between the Hartung case and the murdered women.

Thulin and Hess are drawn into a race against time, as the murderer is on a mission that is far from over . . .

Rating: five-stars

“The Chestnut Man” introduces us to Naia Thulin and Mark Hess, two detectives in Homicide’s Murder Squad, trying to solve the mystery of Laura Kjaer’s murder. It doesn’t look like it is a beginning to a series, and that it will eventually lead to a disappearance of Rosa Hartung’s, Minister of Social Affairs, young daughter. The girl’s killer has been caught, but as Thulin and Hess start to dig deeper, his testimony simply doesn’t make sense. And moreover, in the place of Laura Kjaer’s murder they find a figure made of chestnuts with an evidence linking it to Rosa’s daughter Kristine. As further murders occur, with a similar pattern and more chestnut men with Kristine’s fingerprints on them, the race against time begins – are Thulin and Hess going to solve the case on time?

So, there was the best opening ever in this book. I was actually afraid that I’m not going to be able to read it, judging on the opening, on the awful, gory details but I just couldn’t stop reading. There was something in this book that kept me glued to the pages, and even though I’m a little softie when it comes to crime scenes, and if the children are involved, all the descriptions didn’t dishearten me.

Almost every chapter – and there were 130 of them, bear with me! – introduced us to a new character. Maybe I’m exaggerating a little, but there were tons of characters in this book and it was simply impossible to keep track on all of them, and I quickly decided that I’m not even going to try, even though I couldn’t be sure who’s important and who’s not. However, the few main characters are the most important, although all of them, even the background ones, are really well developed and fleshed out. You can’t help but be wary with all of them, as you don’t know whom you can trust. And I really felt involved in the characters’ lives. Naia Thulin feels unchallenged at her job (that is, until the chestnut man case arrives!) and wants to transfer to NC3 (National Cyber Crime Centre). She’s a single mother to Le. Mark Hess is a bit of enigma but there was much more to him than met the eye. He’s been pushed out of Europol because of some issues and finds himself back again in Denmark, on the case with Thulin – though it’s obvious he doesn’t want to be there (that is, until they find the connection to Kristine’s case and he starts to put two and two together). But their partnership was really sparkling and they were completing each other. Their characters develop throughout the story.

Yes, of course, one could say this book was full of clichés. We have here your usual detectives couple: the clever young girl who, despite her lack of experience, is your top girl, single mother and with great ambitions. The laid – back detective with unresolved issues, discredited, with a tragic past, forced to leave Europol, scruffy and harsh but with a heart made of gold. They make a lot of mistakes and also decisions they really shouldn’t make by themselves, the killer is always one step ahead of them, the colleagues are more interested in their own careers and vendettas etc, etc . But it didn’t bother me and it didn’t take away from the story. I was totally drawn to it, I’ve breathed and lived it and I told anyone that was in my vicinity and wanted something from me to simply go away because this book is so good.

Now, guys, I’ve guessed the culprit. I can tell you exactly what page it was that gave me the tip that made me feel so sure but I’m not going, oh no. However, it didn’t make me feel smug or whatever, no, it made me race through the pages even faster as I desperately wanted to know why – what was the reason, how deep did it sit in their soul, what turned them into a killing monster.

It was an addictive and captivating Scandi – Noir, brutal psychological thriller, very realistic and very sharp and very complex. It was dark and bleak and grimy and so incredibly absorbing. It was a chilling, disturbing and gripping debut novel, full of tension and suspense and the feeling that something is going to happen, that it’s not enough, that something is lurking around the corner – the atmosphere was really well captured. Haunting and truly unforgettable. The writing style was so chilling and so down to earth, yet it simply sucks you in. The author has an ability to write gruesome scenes that will make you feel unsettled. The last part of the book felt much more faster as the first two – thirds, a lot happened then and there and maybe in comparison it should be a little slower. But altogether, “The Chestnut Man” was an exciting and fast – paced book, and the short chapters made it even more pacy, and they were full of twists and turns and cliffhangers that make you hold your breath and lead to a satisfying conclusion. I personally absolutely loved it – highly recommended!

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Tell Me a Secret by Jane Fallon / Blog Tour

Tell Me a Secret by Jane Fallon

 

41946727Publisher: Penguin – Michael Joseph

Publishing Date: 10th January 2019

Source:  Received from the publisher, thank you!

Number of pages: 416

Genre: General Fiction (Adult)

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

 

Synopsis:

**The million copy bestselling author of Faking Friends and My Sweet Revenge is back – pre-order now!**

Holly and Roz spend most of their days together. They like the same jokes, loathe the same people and tell each other everything.

So when single mum Holly gets a shot at her dream job after putting everything on hold to raise her daughter, she assumes her friend will be dying to pop the champagne with her.

But is she just imagining things, or is Roz not quite as happy for her as she should be?

As Holly starts to take a closer look at Roz’s life outside their friendship, she begins to discover a few things that don’t add up. Who is the woman who claims to be her ally?

Perhaps it was a mistake to tell Roz all her secrets.

Because it takes two to forge a friendship.

But it only takes one to wage a war . . .

Rating: five-stars

 

Holly has always prioritised her little family so when, after years, she gets her dream job on a popular TV soap she’s over the moon, and also determined to pass the probation period, to prove that she’s really the right person in the right place. But quickly it turns out that not everyone in the office agree with her promotion, as a not a very subtle campaign full of sabotage and accidents takes place. Holly is in shock and taken aback – who is behind this all? She tries to unveil who the person is, but in the meantime she must be prepared for a life full of twists and turns, sometimes better than in the soap opera she’s working on.

The characters were absolutely brilliant. Not only Holly, but also the side characters that were so well developed and fleshed out. Jane Fallon is perfect when it comes to capturing people’s characters, their personalities and mentalities, and she’s a real queen of revenge novels, guys. The characters always feel realistic, they are engaging and genuine, and the way she writes about friendship dynamics is absolutely brilliant, as she isn’t shy of stirring things up and complicating them. She’s a great and sharp observer of everyday interactions and she can brilliantly transfer them onto the pages of her novels. Holly was so human, with all her insecurities, and the need to prove herself that she’s got the promotion rightly and so she puts herself under a lot of pressure. I can only guess how weird and difficult it must have been for her, suddenly managing people that she used to work with and who are now to report to her but I think she really did her best, even though it couldn’t have been an easy task, especially with all the back – stabbing and the uncertainty of what’s going to happen yet. I really loved to see her growing in confidence, it was the best thing to see. It was also refreshing to see Holly as a single woman, not looking after a romance or a man that she could relay on – she didn’t need it, she had her best friend Dee, and I loved their interactions and how far would Dee go to help Holly.
But I also think we shouldn’t demonize the other character, the one that sabotaged Holly. Of course our sympathy is on Holly’s side, there is no other option, but I think we should also stop for a moment and think what was it that made her act like this, to put people so down. And this also what I so love in Jane Fallon’s novels, the diversity, the way she is able to portray different types of friendship! There is the perfect mix of characters that we love and we love to hate.

This book follows the Jane Fallon’s proven formula and guys, it turns out I could read the books like that over and over again, it doesn’t grow old or boring for me. Though, in my opinion, this novel is not as bitchy and as sharp as the previous books. It’s not a criticism, oh no, it’s just my simple opinion, I am used to much more trouble, fret and paperchase. Also, in the previous books we were not directly told who is the frenemy and here we actually know from the very beginning who’s sabotaging Holly, the question is now – why. But – just as with Ms Fallon’s previous books I was so close to put this book down because I simply couldn’t take the tension! This is why I don’t watch films – because I can’t stand sitting here and not being able to do anything, and it is the same with “Tell Me a Secret”. You’ve no idea how much I wanted to punish the character in question, and I’m usually really a very peaceful person, so that’s saying something, that my blood was boiling and I so wanted her to happen to slip up eventually. Sure, there were things that were perhaps happening too convenient, and right people in the right places so that the plot could flow seamlessly towards the happy end, but honestly, it didn’t bother me.

I do love a Jane Fallon novel, that’s not a secret, and “Tell Me a Secret” was a light – hearted, entertaining novel, full of intrigue and hidden depth. There is the safe and proved Fallon’s trademark that explores the themes of friendship, rivalry, betrayal, jealousy and deception, and it’s sometimes so refreshing to read a book without a romance in it. It explores toxic friendships in such an eye – opening way, with all its ups and downs. It was, just like all the other Fallon’s books, a fast – paced and addictive read that made my heart go faster and me to clench my fists. It was a complex, thought – provoking and clever read, very well developed and written in this brilliant, sharp writing style. Even though it’s pretty sure who the “bad one” is, there are moments that I started to doubt myself, and started to suspect everybody, that I was wondering perhaps they are all involved? The author knows how to complicate the things, how to pool wool over our eyes. Highly recommended!

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The Missing Pieces of Sophie McCarthy by BM Carroll

The Missing Pieces of Sophie McCarthy by BM Carroll

 

38470065Publisher: Penguin

Publishing Date: 27th December 2018

Source:  Received from the publisher, thank you!

Number of pages: 400

Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Crime & Thriller

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Paperback

 

Synopsis:

‘Intriguing, compelling. Impossible to put down and irresistibly good’ Liane Moriarty

No one is who they seem to be.

Sophie McCarthy is known for her determination, ambition and brilliance. She’s tough, but only because she wants to get the best out of people.

Aidan Ryan is strong, honourable, and a family man. He’s tough too; the army requires it.

Now Sophie’s life is in ruins and Aidan is responsible. Her family wants to see him pay for what he did. His family is just as devastated.

Aidan’s prepared to sacrifice everything – including his marriage and his child – to fix the mess he’s made.

But Sophie, who is facing a lifetime of pain, is darker and much more complicated than she first appeared . . .

The Missing Pieces of Sophie McCarthy is a gripping, impossible-to-put-down exploration of betrayal and revenge.

Rating: four-stars

Sophie is a successful, young woman however her healthy and busy life is ceased when she’s involved in a car accident. After spending a huge amount of time at the hospital, her life consists now of pain. However, there is also a bright side to it – Sophie and the driver of the car, Aidan, who guilt – ridden has been visiting her in the hospital, fell in love. Aidan left his family, his wife Chloe and daughter Jasmin, to be with Sophie. But there are problems and troubles everywhere, and the court date for the accident is looming closer, and suddenly all involved in this family drama start to see that their lives are not as straight – forward as they’ve been thinking.

The author has created the main character in such a perfect way. You start reading the book feeling sympathy to Sophie McCarthy, adoring her in fact because of the way she’s coping with her life now, seeing how much she has lost and how far she could go if it weren’t for the accident that was absolutely not her fault. She’s such a strong person, intelligent, ambitious and she truly knows what she wants. However, the more we read, the more we learn about Sophie and her past and the more we start to dislike her – I like such complex characters that are not too straightforward. It was fascinating to see how Sophie has seen herself and how the others have seen her – her parents Richard and Dee, and it’s already remarkable how different the opinions of those two were. Then we have Aidan, his wife Chloe and the nine – year – old Jasmin, and Hannah and Jane, Sophie’s assistants at work. Theoretically, with being tough, determined and ambitious, she had all the attributes of a great character. Practically, the way she used those qualities around people and in her life made her impossible to like. However, I think that the situation is not so obvious. Yes, Sophie wasn’t a particularly nice person, she was, in fact, a bully, but on the other hand, wasn’t she a victim as well? Not only because of the accident, but deeper, of her father’s ambitions and the way he dotted on her? One thing is for sure, it was a great character study that is going to make you think.
All the other characters were as well multi – faceted and complex, with life challenging them more than necessary. They felt relatable and true to life. I was asking myself all the time if it was really love, or maybe guilt, on Aidan’s side – though, to be honest, I think he was too straightforward and too honest to fake his feelings. So maybe it was not love but fascination, but whatever it was, he was honest.

I really liked the way the book was built. The chapters are told from different points of view and there is a group of characters that the story introduces us to but it was just the right number to keep the track of them easily. This way, it slowly and engagingly unravelled the plot, telling us the backgrounds stories, letting us to make up our mind on our own. It helped to built an intriguing, suspenseful story. There was a tension to this book, and this overwhelming feeling that something is going to happen – just the way I like it. I’ll be honest, at the beginning I thought it is going to be totally different kind of read, the title made me think that perhaps it’s going to be a gory thriller full of parts of body (yep, I know. My imagination) but it turned out into a relatively fast – paced and tense domestic noir psychological drama, war of nerves and race against time that I really enjoyed. BM Carroll has captured the atmosphere of uncertainty and toxicity, added some twists and turns that truly made me wonder, and well, yes, the plot is perhaps not new, focusing on things and events that we often come across in this type of books, but it truly well worked for me. There were secrets, drama, betrayal, revenge and innocent lives at stake and the author, with her way of writing, kept me firmly in her grasp.

“The Missing Pieces of Sophie McCarthy” dealt with so many issues: fertility, single parenthood, guilt, bullying, but the one that hit me a lot were probably the severe sleeping problems Jasmin had. The descriptions of the way she felt, and how Chloe felt, the desperation, the not – knowing, were brilliant and heart – breaking. This was a complex read, full of many layers and it was great to be able to unpeel them all to eventually get to the end. Truly recommended!

 

The Importance of Being Aisling byEmer McLysaght & Sarah Breen / Blog Tour

The Importance of Being Aisling

by Emer McLysaght & Sarah Breen

 

 

41433629Publisher: Michael Joseph

Publishing Date: 15th November 2018

Series: OMGWACA # 2 (read my review of Book 1 here)

Source:  Received from the publisher, thank you!

Number of pages: 384

Genre: General Fiction (Adults), Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Paperback

 

 

Synopsis:

You can take the small-town girl out of the big city – but can you take the big city out of the girl?

Job. Flat. Boyfriend. Tick. Tick. Tick.

Aisling (seems) to be winning at life. But life has other ideas.

Fired. Homeless. Dumped. Tick. Tick. Tick

When everything comes crashing down around her, moving back in with her mam seems like a disaster.

But might returning to her roots provide the answers Aisling’s looking for?

Rating: five-stars

In “The Importance of Being Aisling” we’re back with our beloved character created by two authors, Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen, and I couldn’t be more happier to be reunited with her. She’s still deeply grieving after the tragic loss of her beloved Daddy but she tries to go on – well, she’s back with John, so it’s not so bad, right? However, she’s being made redundant at PensionsPlus. Elaine and Ruby are getting married, so she’s forced to look for a new place to live which in Dublin is simply impossible. To top it all, yes, she’s back with John, but where is this sparkle…? The butterflies…? Her mum is not coping well and it looks like she’ll be selling the farm. Might Aisling need to go back home, to Ballygobbard, then? How will she cope with mum, unemployment, John being in another city? But maybe Ballygobbard can offer her more than she thinks is possible?

 I love Aisling, I think it is impossible not to love her. She’s so nice and so kind and also so genuine in being nice and kind, there is not a drop of falsity in her and this makes her an outstanding character. I love that she’s so proud of being herself, of her heritage, of coming from a little town in Ireland, and I love her sense of humour and simply the way she is. She knows how to party and she knows when she should stop, she knows probably all recipes in the world and I’m sure she also knows how to get any stain out. 

There are so many brilliant things happening in this book, guys, we can’t say that Aisling’s life is boring, oh no. She’s made redundant so she needs to consider what to do next, her relationship with John is not this what she was thinking it is, there is the cracking and epic visit to Las Vegas and she’s always able to get up, shake off and built a new life for herself, and I simply adore her for this. Aisling is such a queen of being organized, I am sure that no matter what can happen she’d be prepared for it and have it in her bag.  I loved how important her family and friends were to her and how much she stressed it, it doesn’t happen often that the characters REALLY put them first and act according to this.  She’s such a brilliant friend as well, the girls are so supporting and they can count on each other, and it feels so genuine, honest and real. This friendship is actually one of the best points in this book,  going strong and it’s certain, and it is so lovely the girls are always open to people becoming their friends, and taking it all, with ups and downs, supporting each other’s backs. They’re all the kind of characters that I’d got to know and love with all my heart in Marian Keyes’s books – the Irish families and people are the one and only in the world, they respect each other but also mercilessly pull their legs, their humour is so sharp and intelligent, their observations so spot on and life approach so relaxed – and I’ve got all of this in this book, and it was so brilliantly entertaining. 

It was a great joy to be back with Aisling, and I really hope there is more of her to come. She’s so practical and so serious in being practical, it’s simply impossible not to fall for her. She’s funny without trying too hard to be too funny, which only makes it so entertaining, and the way she takes all things so seriously  is overwhelmingly heart – warming. I personally think that what makes Aisling such a brilliant, exceptional character is the fact that maybe we are not complete Aislings ourselves (although…),  but there is much of Aisling in every single one of us. 

It was actually really hard to write this review because there was not a single thing in this book that I didn’t like! I loved the characters, I loved the setting, I loved the events and I adored the humour – what’s more to love, right? “The Importance of Being Aisling” was a brilliant, uplifting story about trials and tribulations in life, about friendship and family and being there for each other, also touching upon some heavier issues this time – there is the short but expressively written issue of bullying, domestic violence and sexual abuse which I appreciated so much and I think the authors tackled in the best possible way. This book, as well as the character of Aisling, was heart – warming, uplifting, funny and poignant. The supporting characters were a huge part of this novel and they were equally comic, craic, believable and they felt so full of life good people. A special and magnificent novel about girls’ power and women’s empowerment and sisterhood, inspiring and so important nowadays. I hope for many more Aisling’s stories to come!

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The Anniversary by Hilary Boyd / Blog Tour

The Anniversary by Hilary Boyd

 

 

38470197Publisher: Penguin

Publishing Date: 20th September 2018

Source:  Received from the publisher, thank you!

Number of pages: 416

Genre: General Fiction (Adult)

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Paperback

 

 

Synopsis:

A deeply emotional new novel from the bestselling author of Thursdays in the Park

Is the one you tried to forget the one you can’t live without?

Stella once thought that if she never saw Jack again, it would be too soon.

But life has other plans for her and her stubborn, handsome ex-husband.

Looking after their daughter in a time of need, Stella finds herself unwillingly reunited with the man she shared the best years of her life with – followed by the worst.

Where tragedy once tore them apart, now Stella and Jack are being drawn back together. But each of them has a new partner and a new life.

Should they fight temptation?

Should the past remain the past?

Or are some loves simply meant to be?

Rating: four-stars

Stella and Jack used to be the perfect couple – happy and totally in love. Until one day, when the tragedy happened. After that, their marriage has slowly started to fall to pieces  to eventually end in divorce. Fast forward many years and they both live their own lives with new partners and even though they have a daughter, they don’t often meet. However, it’s going to change – Eve is pregnant and needs their help. As there are many unfinished business between them, are they going to rekindle their friendship – or more – for the sake of Eve and their grandson Arthur? What is going to happen? Can they put the past to rest and focus on the present, or look even further, in the future? 

I think the author has brilliantly captured the way relationships work, and admittedly different kinds of relationships. No matter if it was a marriage or mother – daughter, or exes, if people involved were young or older, they always sounded completely realistic, with all their ups and downs and thousands of problems – the book explores them all, in a true to life way. Because of this, the characters also felt so very honest and genuine and it was really easy to fell for them and to root for them. They made mistakes and they often pushed you to your own limits, often I didn’t understand their decisions, but they were all the time real and genuine in this what they’re doing. 

Hilary Boyd’s writing style is simply beautiful. I immediately felt a part of this story. She paints a very realistic portrait of family’s dynamics. There were moments and scenes where I literally had a lump in my throat and felt my heart breaking into thousands little pieces – the book is sad, yes, it’s also sometimes tragic but it is also full of light, hope and it’s uplifting, and all those feelings and emotions are perfectly balanced. She writes so perceptively and brings all the emotions and feelings effortlessly to the pages.

My only problem was that the book was simply too long. The idea has been reformulated and remodelled through many different words, situations, events and there came a moment it was like chewing a gum, it felt as if we were going around in circles, as if the author has been trying hard to built on more elements to something that is already completely utilised. But altogether, “The Anniversary” was a beautiful, elegantly written story about second chances, families and relationships. About love and loss, about grief and hope, about finding happiness again. Full of compassion and understanding and with a great depth to it and I enjoyed it very much. Highly recommended!

 

 

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One Day in December by Josie Silver (Blog Tour)

One Day in December by Josie Silver

 

 

34879283Publisher: Penguin

Publishing Date: 18th October 2018

Source:  Received from the publisher, thank you!

Number of pages: 432

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Paperback

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A love story about what happens after you meet, or rather, don’t meet the one.

Laurie is pretty sure love at first sight doesn’t exist anywhere but the movies. But then, through a misted-up bus window one snowy December day, she sees a man who she knows instantly is the one. Their eyes meet, there’s a moment of pure magic…and then her bus drives away.

Certain they’re fated to find each other again, Laurie spends a year scanning every bus stop and cafe in London for him. But she doesn’t find him, not when it matters anyway. Instead they “reunite” at a Christmas party, when her best friend Sarah giddily introduces her new boyfriend to Laurie. It’s Jack, the man from the bus. It would be.

What follows for Laurie, Sarah and Jack is ten years of friendship, heartbreak, missed opportunities, roads not taken, and destinies reconsidered. One Day in December is a joyous, heartwarming and immensely moving love story to escape into and a reminder that fate takes inexplicable turns along the route to happiness.

Rating: four-stars

One Day in December, a boy meets a girl and a girl meets a boy… They fell in love and have their happily ever after. No? No! They meet but don’t meet. Laurie is on a bus home from work. He’s on the bench at the bus stop. Their eyes meet and there is this magical sparkle, this connection, almost like love at the first sight. But then the bus door closes and it drives away into the night.Laurie looks after the mysterious boy from the bus stop  for a year. And then she finds him! His name is Jack and he’s a new boyfriend of Laurie’s best friend Sarah.What do you do in this situation? Tell your friend? Or try to eject all your feelings and live the next decade full of missed opportunities? 

Although I’m not a great fan of cinema I’ve seen a few classic films, like “Sleepless in Seattle”, “Nothing Hill”, “When Harry Met Sally”, “You’ve Got Mail”, to name a few, and as a huge bookworm I’ve read some great books, such as the Lou Clark series by Jojo Moyes or “PS. I Love You”, and guys, “One Day in December” is the perfect mix of all of them. It perfectly combines and blends the magical moments, the moments that made you go “wow” when watching and reading. And it’s full of such magical and wow occassions of it’s own, bringing to us new characters that we’re going to talk about for a long, long time and, actually, never forget. But what makes this book even better is the fact that it’s challenging, it’s not fairy – tale – ish but it’s realistic and down to earth.It follows the lives of the characters over the course of ten years, skipping periods of time and jumping forwards, sometimes few weeks, sometimes months, and I must say that it was a brilliant idea – writing it like this made the book’s pace faster, and I really liked how it focused on things that were truly significant, without leaving out the details but still focusing on the most significant events and things. 

The friendship between Laurie and Sarah was gorgeous. I liked Laurie from the very beginning, but I actually was falling in love with her with every page that I’ve read, seeing how much she’s able to sacrifice in the name of friendship. This closeness covered so many years, it was the real kind, when you don’t see each other for few weeks and when you do you just start where you’ve finished, where you understand each other without words, where you’d do anything for the other person. It was real, genuine and honest. It was so incredibly easy to immediately become invested in their lives.As much as the tale is told from Laurie’s point of view, it also included chapters told from Jack’s perspective. And Jack, oh Jack… It really broke my heart more than once to see how he tried to make himself invisible and unimportant, how much he was also able to sacrifice and how much it was breaking him. 

My biggest problem with this story though was – it bothered me all the time, since I’ve finished reading it some time ago to this moment – that even though I loved it, and I fell for the characters, and I WANTED them to be together, I couldn’t feel the chemistry between them, didn’t see the sparkle! Their relationship missed it, no matter how much the author tried to convince me that they’re destined to be together, that they’re a perfect much. For me it was clear they’re perfect match, it was clear that they loved each other so much but still, this electricity between them was missing. And the end – even though extremely romantic and gorgeous – did seem too abrupt for my liking – after spending so much time avoiding each other and making excuses it only takes a chapter to solve the problem. 

This book was brilliantly written, and I don’t only mean the writing style. The author has so vividly and beautifully described the feelings and all the emotions were palpable through the pages – it was so powerful and overwhelming. It was easy, uplifting and poignant read and it had it all: beautiful friendship, unconditional love, brilliant characters, unfavourable in – laws, all the ups and downs of being young and falling in love and getting older and realising that life is not always a bed of roses. However, those elements could also be perceived as clichés. I’d also love some of the characters to be better developed, as they felt too stereotyped, too black and white, and some events happening too conventionally, just helping the plot to continue. You could also see the end coming already at the beginning of the book, but the execution and the way to this end was what absolutely fantastically worked for me and I simply loved this book. I could not only laugh and cry but I also closely felt the gut – wrenching pain, the despair of the characters, their resignation and desperation, and it can’t be easy to bring such feelings to the pages. Here Josie Silver has done and excellent job, pulling her readers into the story, making them fully invested in the characters’ lives. Of course it is also this kind of book that makes you ask yourself what would you do in this situation. Being Laurie, would you tell Sarah, taking into consideration this brilliant, honest friendship of theirs? Being Sarah, would you like to know? And if your answer is yes, what then? I didn’t find answers to these questions.

“One Day in December” was totally different to other books, refreshing, unique and addictive – you just have to know how it all is going to end! It was touching, moving and affecting, and I really often found myself holding my breath – at life being a bitch, at the unfairness of it, at the bad luck and especially at the beautifully captured feelings and emotions. It was not your usual boy meets girl, girl meets boy story, it was a love story with a difference, full of challenges and obstacles on the way and even though you could feel with your whole being how it’s going to end – or at least you want to end it in THIS way – you really don’t know, till the last moment, how it’s going to happen. I liked it that way, as I liked my books to give me all kind of emotions, and it doesn’t happen often that I can feel butterflies in my belly. A gorgeous story about love and loss, about friendship and relationships that is so much more than your usual love story, about falling in love and staying in love against all odds; about second chances, missed opportunities, about trust and about what ifs, regarding the question of all times: can love really conquer everything? Highly recommended! 

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