Saturday 4 March 2023

8 Recent Reads | March 2023

I've accidentally ended up reading *a lot* over the past week or so - I'm not complaining though! My girlfriend goes to sleep super early because of her work shifts, so I always get a solid few hours of reading in while she's snoozing next to me... I'm on track to hit my target of 100 books this year, which might sound crazy, and if I don't get there then who really cares? But anyway, without further ado, here's some quickfire reviews of my 8 recent reads...

The Nursery by Sue Watson

I think the title of this was quite misleading, but that aside it was an okay read - it follows a woman and her teenage daughter living in a flat by the coast, and they get broken into which is particularly worrying because the mum is very obviously keeping a big and possibly dangerous secret. We know this because the end of every single chapter says something along the lines of "if only I knew what was coming next..." - literally over and over. Like, it's a psychological thriller, we get it... there's going to be a twist! This was definitely 'meh' for me, so I wouldn't rush to buy or read it if I were you.

The Daughter in Law by Shalini Roland

If you know me, you know I'm a pub dweller - from working behind the bar to afternoon pints with my girlfriend to watching the match every weekend, me and the pub go hand in hand. So when I discovered that this book was set in a pub, I instantly warmed to it; it's a really enjoyable read about a newly married couple who move into his parents' pub, announcing their marriage and being thrown into working and living together as a whole family unit. Then the secrets and lies start tumbling out, like why did he not tell her he'd been married once before ...and who is she really? I really enjoyed this; it was an easy read, but that's not to say it wasn't well-written!

Better Than The Movies by Lynn Painter

This was the only YA book I read this month, and I thought it was gorgeous. A typical enemies-to-lovers AND fake dating romance, it follows neighbours who have known each other since they were tiny and are now in high school, dealing with everything that comes alongside that. She's obsessed with romance movies and playlists, so the book is peppered with quotes and song references which I loved. From dealing with grief to the importance of friendship, there are a lot of themes packed into this book and I just thought it was a fab read.

The Girls Are All So Nice Here by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

If there's one book trope I'm really into it's the "reunion of friends who haven't spoken in X amount of years because of some trauma that happened and now they're getting together to figure out the truth" - and that's exactly what this is. Flicking between then & now, the book follows Ambrosia, a theatre student at an American college who has grown up to work in PR; it's their class' 10 year reunion, and she's been getting some creepy notes and emails in the run up to it. She did something pretty bad to her roommate all those years ago, and as the book goes on we figure out what that is ...with some pretty dark revenge-led consequences! Very big trigger warning for self-harm/suicide in this book. 

No Friends of Mine by Vanessa Garbin

This is another reunion story, with bonus points because they're all trapped there - it's set at a beach house in Australia during a storm, 10 years on from a high school leavers' week where two people tragically lost their lives. Our protagonist is Maz, who attends with her on-off boyfriend Lance; when they arrive, everyone is being weird and nobody knows who to trust. What happened that night has never been solved, and there are some people in the group who will do anything to discover the truth... The twists in this one were genuinely really good; my suspicions were on the right track but I could never quite work it out! I'd definitely recommend this one.

Run Away with Me by Daniel Hurst

I've read a lot of Daniel Hurst's books through my Kindle Unlimited subscription, and this wasn't my favourite but it was still genuinely great; it follows a couple who are due to have their first baby any day now, when he gets home confessing to a crime and begging her to run away with him to avoid going to prison. The book flits between both of their POVs, and we soon learn that he actually has an entirely different plan. She does become suspicious, and we get to see how it all pans out. This is a creepy tale of revenge and drama, and I enjoyed it.

A Game of Two Hearts by Iona Kane

Last month I read a fair few sapphic romances, and this was another one; it follows Tess and Rowan, ex team mates at the local rugby club, who always had a weird thing going on and are now, years later, revisiting whatever that was. Tess is recently divorced with two teenage kids, no job, an abusive ex - Rowan is busy looking after her dad, running the family business and trying to keep the rugby club going. They're maybe an unlikely pair, but the love is very real... For a fun, British, wholesome sapphic romance, definitely read this.

The Ideal Man by T J Emerson

I've read a couple of T J Emerson's books before, which is why I gravitated towards this one - I didn't love it, but it was alright. Split between the POV of three different women, all tied to the same man, it's about Sandy who is in prison for raping a bar maid. The three points of view are from his daughter, another of his victims, and also the woman he has been writing to whilst in prison. It's a question of is he guilty, who's going to stand by him, and what really happened that night. I think it was the subject matter that meant I didn't really enjoy it, but the writing/plot was okay!

So, a real mixed bag in terms of genres and whether or not they were actually good - have you read any of these? Let me know!

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