What I'm Reading

Christina Dalcher – Vox #bookreviews #positiveonly #5* #dystopia

MY VERDICT? With a nod to The Handmaid’s Tale, Christina Dalcher creates a dystopian world of voiceless women which is all the more chilling for its complete plausibility. Loved it. 5*.


In a world where women are silenced, would you speak up?

Greetings, to all Pure Women.

You should all be fitted with your new wrist counters. A symbol of your purity and devotion to your family. Life is simpler now. Just 100 words a day.

Your role is in the house. Your husband takes care of everything else.

You’re free.

Instead, you should focus on values of modesty, submission, humility and purity. Love, honour and most importantly, obey. You know the rules. Just one word over 100 and your wrist counter will send 1,000 volts through your body. Choose your words carefully.

You have the right to remain silent.

What I'm Reading

Abi Morgan -This is Not a Pity Memoir #bookreviews #positiveonly #5* #audiobook #bbcsounds

MY VERDICT? I love using the BBC Sounds app for audio books when I’m out walking the dogs, so was very pleased to find Abi Morgan’s compelling memoir on there. What a book! Heartwrenching, darkly humorous in parts, honest and moving. Beautifully narrated by Nicola Walker. 5*.

THE BLURB: One morning in June, Abi had her to-do list – drop the kids to school, get coffee and go to work. Jacob had a bad headache so she added ‘pick up steroids’. She returned home and found the man she loved and fought and laughed with for twenty years lying on the bathroom floor.

And nothing would ever be the same again.

But this is not a pity memoir. It’s about meeting your person. And crazed late night Google trawls. It’s about the things you wished you’d said to the person that matters then wildly over-sharing with the barista who doesn’t know you at all. It’s about sushi and the wrong shoes and the moments you want to shout ‘cut’. It’s about the silence when you are lost in space and the importance of family and parties and noise.

It’s the difference between surviving and living.
It’s a reminder that, even in the worst times, there is light ahead.

Listen on BBC Sounds:

What I'm Reading

On A Night Like This by Lindsey Kelk #bookreview #randomthingstours #blogtour #positiveonly #5*

MY VERDICT? Charming, funny and unashamedly escapist fiction. This really made me laugh! There were so many great lines and hilarious, relatable episodes in this book. Fran Cooper is an engaging, if slightly infuriating, heroine. For an intelligent and capable woman, she has a mile wide blindspot as far as her awful, controlling boyfriend, Stew, is concerned, and I’m sure some readers will take issue with that. But even though she came across as a bit of a naive doormat, I read her as a woman stuck in a rut she doesn’t know how to climb out of…until true romance arrives. I really enjoyed this and highly recommend it to anyone who would like to escape to the glam and glitzy Crystal Ball for a few hours. Thanks to the author and Random Things for the chance to take part in the blog tour.
THE BLURB: Within days of wishing she could change her life, Fran Cooper is acting assistant to a celebrity, on a yacht in the Mediterranean, and en route to a tiny Italian island and the glittering Crystal Ball, along with the world’s rich and famous.
When she – quite literally – bumps into a handsome American called Evan, a man able to keep his cool in the face of chaos, the magic really begins. Evan makes her a promise: no last names, no life stories, just one unforgettable night. Yet Evan belongs at the Crystal Ball and Fran is a gatecrasher. They may be soulmates, but their homes are an ocean apart, and their lives a world apart. They’ll never meet again – unless, on a night like this, everything can change forever…

What I'm Reading

Beyond the Veil Ed. Mark Morris #bookreview #randomthingstours #blogtour #positiveonly #5*

MY VERDICT? Ever since I was a Point Horror obsessed teen, I’ve loved reading fiction that deals with the darker side of human nature. And if it comes with a supernatural twist, then I absolutely want to read it. The stories in the ‘Beyond the Veil’ collection satisfy on both counts and have a bang up-to-date feel, with references to the pandemic, killer viruses and anti -vaxxers. The near future world of Beechfield Miracles may have roots in ancient stories, but is juxtaposed with a post -Brexit nightmare world that feels uncomfortably close to the bone. Polaroid and Seaweed is the most revoltingly gothic, with some truly uncomfortable scenes that induce a sense of revulsion. Clockwork had an Angela Carter feel that I loved. The God Bag ends with a twist that seems inevitable, but is no less horrifying as it explores bad parenthood, a theme considered in several of the stories. Standouts for me were The Dark Bit, a grotesque psychological study of self harm and collective hysteria, and A Mystery for Julie Chu. The latter has a Black Mirror -esque feel with secret auctions, haunted objects and a lead with a gift. I’d love to read more of her adventures! Thanks to Flame Tree Press, the anthology authors and Random Things for the chance to take part in the blog tour.
Beyond the Veil is the second volume in an annual, non-themed horror series of entirely original stories, showcasing the very best short fiction that the genre has to offer, and edited by Mark Morris. This new anthology contains 20 original horror stories, 16 of which have been commissioned from some of the top names in the genre, and 4 of which have been selected from the 100s of stories sent to Flame Tree during a 2-week open submissions window.

What I'm Reading

A Mother Never Lies – Sarah Clarke #bookreview #positiveonly #5*

MY VERDICT? Whoa! I genuinely could not put this down. I love dual narrative stories, especially with distinctive voices, and Ben and Phoebe’s pitch – perfect perspectives added to the twistiness of this complex plot. I also love domestic noir, so this hit the spot for me on every count. Highly recommended.

I had the perfect life – a nice house, a loving husband, a beautiful little boy.
But in one devastating night, they were all ripped from me.
It’s been fourteen years, and I’m finally ready to face the past.
I’m taking my son back.
He just can’t know who I am…or why we were torn apart.
A nail-biting thriller packed with twists and turns, perfect for fans of Lisa Jewell and Shalini Boland.

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What I'm Reading

Sleep Tight – CS Green #bookreview #positiveonly #5*

MY VERDICT? I have a real love for books with a supernatural twist. Combine that with a quirky heroine and a cracking plot, and I’m in book heaven. ‘Sleep Tight’ ticks every five star box. Can’t wait for DC Rose Gifford’s next case.

THE BLURB:Even in your dreams you’re not safe…
The nightmare is only just beginning…
When DC Rose Gifford is called to investigate the death of a young woman suffocated in her bed, she can’t shake the feeling that there’s more to the crime than meets the eye.
It looks like a straightforward crime scene – but the police can’t find the killer. Enter DS Moony – an eccentric older detective who runs UCIT, a secret department of the Met set up to solve supernatural crimes. Moony wants Rose to help her out – but Rose doesn’t believe in any of that.
Does she?
As the killer prepares to strike again, Rose must pick a side – before a second woman dies.

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