Yeah, I know this is super late but I got too caught up in the actual reading of the books to do any reviews so I'm putting February and March together and will pop April up next month!
The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty
Told from the perspective of three women, it takes a while to work out the connection between them. This is slowly revealed as they each get their own chapters for their story. The husband in question is Cecelia's husband. She finds a letter addressed to her and only to be opened in the event of his death. Curiosity gets the better of her eventually and what she reads changes their lives forever. Sounds intriguing, right? Yeah, I thought so too. Look, it was grand, a passable read but definitely not the best thriller I've read so far this year. Some are describing this as "chick lit" but the subject matter is definitely in the thriller category as far as I'm concerned. While it wasn't a bad read at the time, it was pretty much instantly forgettable-I had to go back and read the synopsis of this to remember what happened. That rarely happens with books I've read only a month ago.
Starter For Ten by David Nichols
I was a big fan of One Day (the novel that came after this) so I was eager to give this a go. The story follows Brian on his first year in college, away from home and the friends he grew up with. "Starter For Ten" refers to his lifelong ambition to get onto University Challenge. Brian isn't the most appealing character; he never says the right thing, has delusions regarding his own intelligence, social standing and abilities with women which can at times make for fairly cringe-worthy reading. That said, it was also laugh out loud funny in parts and just extremely witty. I wouldn't read this if you're hoping for another One Day but I really like Nicholls style of writing so I enjoyed it. On a side note, I also appreciated the Smiths references ;)
The Innocents by Francesca Segal
This is a modern reworking of the Edith Wharton novel, The Age of Innocence, which I thought was an interesting concept. That was before I read it.
The story is that of a couple in their late twenties, about to get married after almost a decade together. This is a big deal as they're part of a close-knit Jewish community in London where marriage is a natural progression and something the entire extended family becomes apart of. Unfortunately, Adam, the groom-to-be falls for the bride's free-spirited, sexy cousin (the opposite of his fiancee Rachel) and then...well, nothing really happens after that. For me, it took too long to establish its storyline and even then not a huge amount happened. Things moved slowly, as they often do in real life and while that's realistic and perfectly fine, it doesn't make for the most exciting plot for a book containing 288 pages. I'd give this one a miss.
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
This is a children's fantasy novel about a young boy Conor, who while struggling to cope with his mother's failing health due to terminal cancer, experiences visitations each night from a monster outside his bedroom window. The monster tells Conor he's there to help him but must tell him three stories- each one seems to have the theme of "humans are complicated and the most obvious explanation is not always the right one". Each story has greater impact on Conor's life during the daytime until eventually it culminates in a major showdown between him and the monster which, if I'm honest, had me in absolute floods of tears and once again in public (this is a regular occurrence for me when I read a book anywhere outside of my house). Although this technically is a childrens book, it's also very accessible for adults and deals with themes and emotions that we're all familiar with in a more grown-up way than I was expecting. I read this on my kindle cause I got it in the amazon kindle sale after Christmas but the hardback version has some rather beautiful illustrations in it too that are well worth having a look at if you can get your hands on it.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer "No Future For You"
This is number two in the graphic novel series which carries on from where season 7 of the TV show left off. I'm really enjoying these so far; the style is very much in-keeping with the programme and the drawings are brilliant. This one focuses a bit more on Faith, the "bad" slayer, who everyone loves..some more so than Buffy herself *controversial*.
Harry Potter and The Prizoner of Azkaban by J.K Rowling
No 3 in the series and I'm well on my way to getting all of them finished this year as part of my reading goals. Loving the series and I really enjoyed this one, which a lot of people have told me is their favourite! I can't judge yet, obviously!
The Book Lovers Companion: What To Read Next
Himself and I actually got this for my mammy-in-law for Christmas but I picked it up when I stayed in the in-laws house recently and had it finished in a couple of hours. Featuring a foreword by Lionel Shriver and reviews throughout from English literature experts, critics and avid readers, this is a very handy guide for anyone who finds themselves stuck on what book to pick up next. It covers old school to modern classics with recent releases in there too and highlights interesting discussion points about each book which would be useful for you if you're part of a book club. I was pleased to find that I'd read a lot of the books that are mentioned but I did also get lots of tips for books to read in the future too.
Have you read any of this lot?