2019 Reading Challenge – What I Read in September

September 27, 2019Hels

“But when fall comes, kicking summer out on its treacherous ass as it always does one day sometime after the midpoint of September, it stays awhile like an old friend that you have missed. It settles in the way an old friend will settle into your favourite chair and take out his pipe and light it and then fill the afternoon with stories of places he has been and things he has done since last he saw you.”
― Stephen King – Salem’s Lot

Everything I Know About Love (Dolly Alderton)

Author: Dolly Alderton
Genre: Autobiography
Page Count: 368
Published: 7 Feb 2019


My rating:
Plot:8 out of 10 stars (8.0 / 10)
Characters:7.5 out of 10 stars (7.5 / 10)
Ending:8 out of 10 stars (8.0 / 10)

 

Award-winning journalist Dolly Alderton survived her twenties (just about) and in Everything I Know About Love, she gives an unflinching account of the bad dates and squalid flat-shares, the heartaches and humiliations, and most importantly, the unbreakable female friendships that helped her to hold it all together. Glittering with wit, heart and humour, this is a book to press into the hands of every woman who has ever been there or is about to find themselves taking that first step towards the rest of their lives.

I really enjoyed this book. It was charming, funny, totally relatable and so very honest. I wasn’t expecting it to be as brutally honest but loved that it was. I did find some of the chapters a bit hard to read, when they were emails from friends etc, I didn’t think they added much to the book, and I found the way the timeline jumped around really confusing at times. I loved her journey and her retelling of her talks with her therapist especially. I think there are aspects that almost every woman can relate too, and I loved her realisation about her friendships at the end of the book. It’s well-written, and really worth reading, though it took me a good couple of weeks to get through.

 

I Will Make You Pay (Teresa Driscoll)*

Author: Teresa Driscoll
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Page Count: 317
Published: 10 October 2019


My rating:
Plot:7 out of 10 stars (7.0 / 10)
Characters:5 out of 10 stars (5.0 / 10)
Ending:5 out of 10 stars (5.0 / 10)

 

It seems like an ordinary Wednesday, until the phone rings. A mysterious caller with a chilling threat. Journalist Alice Henderson hangs up, ready to dismiss it as a hoax against the newspaper. But the next Wednesday, the stalker makes another move—and it becomes clear that this is all about Alice.

Someone wants her to suffer, but for what? Her articles have made her a popular local champion—could it be her past rather than her work that’s put her life in danger? Alice is determined not to give in to fear, but with the police investigation at a dead end, her boyfriend insists on hiring private investigator Matthew Hill.

With every Wednesday the warnings escalate, until it’s not only Alice but also her family in the stalker’s sights. As her tormentor closes in, can Alice uncover what she’s being punished for before the terrifying threats become an unthinkable reality?

I was really looking forward to this, the premise sounded so intriguing and I’ve enjoyed a couple of other books by Teresa Driscoll. I loved that there were a few characters I recognised from previous books (although they are all standalone stories).

I thought the book started out brilliantly, it was chilling, I felt a bit jumpy as Alice realised that she was being targeted and I was really intrigued about who it was, and why. There were a lot of twists, turns and red herrings throughout the book, maybe a few too many. My main issue with the book was that there weren’t that many characters, so I felt like the reveal of the stalker was a little predictable. I really like Matthew’s character, but I felt fairly indifferent towards Alice, so was maybe less invested in the outcome than I should have been. I read a lot of thrillers, and for me, this one was well-written and very readable, but not one of the best I’ve read.

*Gifted for review by NetGalley

 

The Rosie Result (Graeme Simsion)

Author: Graeme Simsion
Genre: Fiction
Page Count: 384
Published: 4 April 2019


My rating:
Plot:8 out of 10 stars (8.0 / 10)
Characters:9 out of 10 stars (9.0 / 10)
Ending:8 out of 10 stars (8.0 / 10)

 

Meet Don Tillman, the genetics professor with a scientific approach to everything. But he’s facing a set of human dilemmas tougher than the trickiest of equations.

Right now he is in professional hot water after a lecture goes viral for all the wrong reasons; his wife of 4,380 days, Rosie, is about to lose the research job she loves; and – the most serious problem of all – their eleven-year-old son, Hudson, is struggling at school. He’s a smart kid, but socially awkward and not fitting in.

Fortunately, Don’s had a lifetime’s experience of not fitting in. And he’s going to share the solutions with Hudson.

He’ll need the help of old friends and new, lock horns with the education system, and face some big questions about himself. As well as opening the world’s best cocktail bar.

I fell in love with this series many years ago when I read The Rosie Project (which also inspired the name of my blog) and I was really looking forward to the release of The Rosie Result.

It was a little like reuniting with an old friend. Although it has been a while since I read The Rosie Project and The Rosie Effect, I found that I immediately felt that lovely warm familiarity of the main characters.

I don’t think it had quite the same impact on me as the first two books, but it is an amazing read. It tackles some very important issues, including autism, political correctness, gender roles, and it does it all brilliantly, while managing to keep the story light-hearted and humorous. I loved getting to know Hudson, and the story was very much focussed on Don’s relationship with his son, and how he and Rosie are learning to navigate parenting. I found that there were a lot of new characters to get to know, which isn’t a bad thing, but it took me a while to read the book so I had to keep going back to check who was who as they weren’t all as memorable as I’d have liked.

I thought The Rosie Result was a brilliant end to The Rosie Project series, and I’m sad to leave the characters behind – I’d really, really recommend this book – and the whole series!

 

No Exit (Taylor Adams)

Author: Taylor Adams
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Page Count: 287
Published: 25 June 2017


My rating:
Plot:5 out of 10 stars (5.0 / 10)
Characters:6 out of 10 stars (6.0 / 10)
Ending:6 out of 10 stars (6.0 / 10)

 

Darby Thorne is a college student stranded by a blizzard at a highway rest stop in the middle of nowhere. She’s on the way home to see her sick mother. She’ll have to spend the night in the rest stop with four complete strangers. Then she stumbles across a little girl locked inside one of their parked cars.

There is no cell phone reception, no telephone, no way out because of the snow, and she doesn’t know which one of the other travellers is the kidnapper.Who is the little girl? Why has she been taken? And how can Darby save her?

The description of this book grabbed me immediately, it’s definitely my kind of story. However, while I know thrillers can be a bit ridiculous, I found this almost completely unbelievable… BUT this doesn’t mean that it’s not worth a read – I was gripped by most of it, and I wanted to know how it was going to end, but I thought it went on a bit…

One big point in the story was that the kidnappers were careless amateurs, not professional criminals, so I can see how it descended into a desperate, chaotic struggle for survival, but the violence was a bit much for me at times. I liked the character of Darby, and I mean, good grief she had everything thrown at her in one night, and I actually liked the way some of her decisions were maybe careless, it made her more believable. I must admit, I got a little fed up with hearing about the battery on her iPhone though (also, what iPhone battery lasts on 5% for that long, despite trying to make calls, taking a photo, using the torch and writing out texts…)

I found the way the narrative jumped around quite hard to read at times as the tone of voice didn’t change. The book was more of a cat and mouse game and there was no mystery or suspense to it.

 

What have you been reading this month?

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