13 August 2017

What I've Been Reading: July 2017.

I appear to have upped my reading game as I managed to fly through eights books in July. Two books that failed to hold my attention went onto the DNF finish pile so I won't be mentioning them fully in this post.

My name is Amber Reynolds. There are 3 things you should know about me: 1. I'm in a coma. 2. My husband doesn't love my anymore. 3. Sometimes I lie.

The blurb on this is short, sweet and doesn't giving anything away about the book's plot. I went into this with a very open mind as I didn't have a clue what to expect. The book switches between the present day with amber in the coma, Amber's POV in the week leading up to her accident and flashbacks to Amber's childhood via a diary. There is so much going on in this that I couldn't get enough of it. There's so many twists and turns that you might get whiplash and I was not ready for the ending at all. I can't say too much without giving away all the good stuff, I get why the blurb is so vague now but this is a book you most definitely need to get your mitts on!

A shadow follows Sophie. Watching. Waiting. Her instinct tells her that it's someone she knows. But Who? The man she met internet dating? The nurse caring for her ill mother? Or is her mother faking her illness? The only thing she knows is that she can't trust anyone. Sophie must delve into a dark history to reveal her stalker. But there are some stories that should never be told...

I'd already read Saving April by Sarah A. Denzil and loved it, so it came as no surprise to me that I ended up loving this too. I think I even loved this one more as I finished this in a day. I managed to predict vaguely where this was going (and if you watch Pretty Little Liars, you'd probably be able to guess too) but not quite the hows and wheres of it. The how is the most shocking of all and left me feeling justified with my hatred of a certain character. 
I've already added Silent Child, Sarah's other novel, to my to-read list as the two books I've read have set a high standard and I've no doubt that I'll love that too.

It's spring break of senior year. Anna, her boyfriend Tate, her best friend Elise, and a few other close friends are off on a debaucherous trip to Aruba that promises to be the time of their lives. But when Elise is found brutally murdered, Anna finds herself trapped in a country not her own, fighting against vile and contemptuous accusations. As Anna sets out to find her friend's killer, she discovers hard truths about her friendships, the slippery nature of truth, and the ache of young love. As she awaits the judge's decree, it becomes clear that everyone around her thinks she is not just guilty, but dangerous. When the truth comes out, it is more shocking than one could ever imagine...

This was definitely my favourite book of the month and I can't recommend it highly enough! It's reminiscent of real life cases such as Amanda Knox's conviction, it does make you think but it's important to remember that this is still fiction! While this is classed as YA, the fact that I'm in the wrong side of my twenties to be considered one didn't take away any of my enjoyment of the book.
The timeline constantly switches, showing you Anna's life before the trip, the lead up the Elise's body being discovered, the aftermath of that and Anna's trial. I honestly had no idea how this was going to end, but when it did I found the ending very satisfying, if shocking.

Halley has always followed in the wake of her best friend, Scarlett. But when Scarlett learns that her boyfriend has been killed in a motorcycle accident, and that she's carrying his baby, she's devastated. For the first time ever, Scarlett really needs Halley. Their friendship may bend under the weight, but it'll never break- because a true friendship is a promise you keep forever.

This was a cute read, something that Sarah Dessen does well. I've been an avid reader of hers since I was a teenager and again, the fact that I no longer am one, doesn't take away my enjoyment. It isn't my favourite Sarah Dessen book but I did like it. I'd recommend The Truth About Forever or What Happened to Goodbye if you want to read a Sarah Dessen book, as I love those!

Kensington Worth had a vision for her senior year. It involved her best friends, her posh private school in downtown Chicago and time alone with her piano until her audition was perfected, a guaranteed tickets into the best music programs in the world. Instead, a nightmare took over. It didn't happen all at once, but her life unraveled quickly- a tiny thread that evil somehow kept pulling until everything precious was taken from her. She was suddenly living miles away from her old life, trapped in an existence she didn't  choose- one determined to destroy her from the inside, leaving only hate and anger behind. It didn't help that her neighbour, the one whose eyes held danger, was enjoying every second of her fall. Owen Harper was trouble, his heart wild and his past the kind that's spoken about in whispers. And somehow, his path was always intertwined with Kensington's, every interaction crushing her, ruining her hope for any future better than her now. Sometimes though, what everyone warns is trouble, is exactly what the heart needs. Owen Harper was consumed with darkness, and it held onto his sould for years. When Kensington looked at him, she saw a boy who'd gotten good at taking others down when they threatened his carefully balanced life. But the more she looked, the more she saw other things too- good things... Things to admire. Things... To love. Things that made her want to be reckless. And those things... they were the scariest of all.

This is the first book in the Harper Boys series and I really enjoyed it. I liked the progression of Kensington and Owen's relationship ans there was some shocking moments in the book that I wasn't expecting. I wouldn't say I loved it was it was a good read and I'm glad it popped up in my Goodreads recommendations.

Big city, big dreams, no money, no problem... Six 'friends', one flat, big dreams... What could go wrong? When eightenn-year-old Anna leaves school and moves to Liverpool, she feels like her life is finally beginning. She'd lander her dream job at a theatre, and she's moving into an exciting (if not slightly run-down) flat on a buzzing street lined with shops, bars and buckers. Best of all, her new flatmates are kind, welcoming and a lot of fun- what more could she ask for? But although her new life is fun, it's also a little overwhelming. Anna's job quickly falls through, and then she realises that although her new friends are great, they're also a little mixed-up... and it's not long before Anna starts using her blog to talk about hr experiences, from the hilarious to the ridiculous to the little-bit-scary. But when Anna spills a bigger secret than she can handle, suddenly the consequences are all too real. She'll have to prove she has the mettle to make it in the big city, or risk losing everything she thinks she wants.

Keris Stainton is an author that's been on my radar for a while but this is actually the first book I've read of her's. I wasn't disappointed by the time I'd finished this so it was definitely worth the wait. The point of view switches throughout between Anna and her flatmates, which I really liked as they all had their own storylines and it leads up to Anna spilling the secret as mentioned in the blurb nicely. I had my favourites out of the flatmates, those being Nina and Sean and it was refreshing to read a book around being at uni, actually set in England! Is it me or am I just missing out? If you know any more university novels by british authors, throw some recommendations my way please!

Two Women. Two Love Affairs. One unforgettable story. Kings Cross station, 1943. Rose arrives in London hoping to swap the drudgery of wartime for romance, glamour and jiving the GIs at Rainbow Corner, the famous dance hall in Piccadilly Circus. As the bombs fall, Rose loses her heart to a pilot but will lose so much more before the war has done its worst. Las Vegas, present day. A beautiful woman in  wedding dress walks into a seedy bar and asks the first man she sees to marry her. When Leo slips the ring onto Jane's finger, he has no idea that his new wife will stop at nothing to get what she wants. So when Jane meets Rpse, now a formidable older lady, there's no love lost between them. But with time running out, can Rose and Jane come together to make peace with the tragic secrets that have always haunted their lives? After the Last Dance is an extraordinary story of two women, seperated by time but connected by fate, that will make you believe in the redemptive power of unexpected love.

Confession: Sarra Manning is my favourite author, ever. It started when I read an excerpt of Guitar Girl in a magazine and promptly went out to buy the book. Fourteen years on, that crown isn't going anywhere. I love her YA novels and I love her adult novels... but this is the first book I haven't actually loved. I liked it but for me, this doesn't compare to her other books. It just didn't grip me.
I like how her other books intertwine with each other, and this one doesn't. The YA books have fictional bands that pop up every now and then, while the adult books have common links like Skirt magazine, where a few of the characters work. I just find the way Sarra has linked the books to create one world in which the characters in the books all live really clever and I haven't really noticed anything similar in other books that aren't part of a series before. As for my favourites by Sarra Manning, I'd recommend Let's Get Lost, You Don't Have To Say You Love Me and Unsticky.

A serial killer is stalking your home town. He has a type: all his victims look the same. And they all look like you. Kate returns home from a post break-up holiday with her girlfriends to news of a serial killer in her home town- and his victims all look like her. It could, of course, be a simple coincidence. Or maybe not. She becomes convinced she is being watched, followed even. Is she next? And could her mild-mannered ex-boyfriend really be a deranged murderer? Or is the truth something far more sinister?

I didn't use to reach for thriller books but I've made it through a few lately and boy, is this one good! So good, I immediately added both of Alex Lake's books to my to-read list! The book starts after Kate's break up, with one murder already having taken place. The book flips between Kate's POV and her ex-boyfriend's, as well as adding in flashbacks to do with one of Kate's friends. I didn't find it easy to work out who the serial killer was while I was reading it but there are little clues dropped throughout the book which I didn't pick up on until it was revealed! A gem of a book, I recommend it!

What have you been reading this summer?
Be sure to leave a comment with any recommendations you may have as I'm always looking for new reads!