Monday, September 20, 2021

Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult

It's Friday the 13th and Diana is an ambitious young appraiser at Sotheby's in New York. She's about to go on a long-awaited holiday, where she knows Finn, her surgeon boyfriend, will propose and the next stage of her carefully planned life will begin.

But it is Friday the 13th of March 2020.

The new virus hits. Finn can't leave the city, and suggests she goes without him. In the Galapagos, unable to get back to her real life, Diana learns about the devastation hitting the world as she hears intermittently from her boyfriend. She's discovering a new side to herself and a new kind of life, when everything changes . . .

I received a copy of this book from the publisher Hodder and Staunton, and netgalley, in return for an honest review.

I’m a huge Jodi Picoult fan, so there’s no denying I was ridiculously excited to see this book on Netgalley, and even more excited when I was approved! I read this one as a buddy read with 5 of my pals, and we all really enjoyed it (all book reviewers and all approved on Netgalley).

There was a bit of controversy around this book before it came out, people saying they weren’t sure about reading a book based on the pandemic, which is still very much going on. And I get that, I’ve hardly been anywhere in almost 19 months, but I knew Ms JP would write it well. The book is mostly all about Diana and The Galapagos, with Covid mentioned sporadically throughout. 

The book is told from the perspective of Diana, who jets off to The Galapagos alone, only to get there and find everything is closed due to the pandemic, and she is stuck. I loved the Galapagos parts of the story, the descriptions were amazing and I felt whisked away while reading. I really liked Diana, and was rooting for her character all the way through. Finn I wasn’t as fussed on, I felt Earth sorry for him with what he was going through working on the Covid wards. Jodi’s descriptions of how Finn was feeling and the people who lost their lives, it was all very real and close to home. And there was a certain point me and my pals were a bit shocked.

I won’t go into much more detail but yes read this book, then read it again, and fall in love with The Galapagos. Well done again Ms Picoult!

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Boy Parts by Eliza Clark


Irina obsessively takes explicit photographs of the average-looking men she persuades to model for her, scouted from the streets of Newcastle. Placed on sabbatical from her dead-end bar job, she is offered an exhibition at a fashionable London gallery, promising to revive her career in the art world and offering an escape from her rut of drugs, alcohol, and extreme cinema. The news triggers a self-destructive tailspin, centred around Irina's relationship with her obsessive best-friend, and a shy young man from her local supermarket who has attracted her attention.

I read this as a buddy read with my fab pal Kath (go check out her review on her Bookstagram account kathvbooks). I thoroughly enjoyed chatting with Kath sporadically throughout reading this and can’t wait to do another buddy read with her. I was drawn to this after reading that its set in my home town.

So at first I wasn’t sure on how I was feeling about this one. Irving talks photographs of male models she finds in Newcastle, the photos range from topless to full on erotic poses. Irina has some issues, there is a lot of drug taking, drinking, and just plain nastiness . She isn’t a dry nice person at all and you can tell she wants things her own way or no way. She’s a bully to her friends, and manipulates the guys she photographs into doing whatever she wants.

Kath mentions Eddie in her review, and I agree that we both fell for him, and he just seemed so sweet. He just wanted to be liked and unfortunately the friend he met and made was Irina.

There was a lot of has someone been killed or not throughout the book and it had us quite confused at times. But I actually enjoyed the book, and after the first few chapters I got quite addicted to finding out what was going on! A different read, but well written and a good book.

Monday, September 13, 2021

The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri

In the midst of war, he found love In the midst of darkness, he found courage In the midst of tragedy, he found hope.

Nuri is a beekeeper; his wife, Afra, an artist. They live a simple life, rich in family and friends, in the beautiful Syrian city of Aleppo - until the unthinkable happens. When all they care for is destroyed by war, they are forced to escape. As Nuri and Afra travel through a broken world, they must confront not only the pain of their own unspeakable loss, but dangers that would overwhelm the bravest of souls. Above all - and perhaps this is the hardest thing they face - they must journey to find each other again.

This was Tsundoku Squads August read.

I fell for this book hard and really loved it. Nuri and Afra were such great characters, and they both absolutely stole my heart. 

For me, and the rest of thesquad, I kept thinking this book was set so long ago, but really was set in recent times. And it made it even more so real with the awful things going on today in the real world. The descriptions were brilliant, and the love that poured from the pages was amazing. So many feelings were thrown around in this book, but I loved it and would highly recommend it to anyone who hasn’t yet read it.

I’m hoping Christy Lefteri’s newest book ‘Songbird’ is just as good!

Monday, September 6, 2021

Because Of You by Dawn French

Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock . . . midnight.

The old millennium turns into the new.

In the same hospital, two very different women give birth to two very similar daughters.

Hope leaves with a beautiful baby girl.

Anna leaves with empty arms.

Seventeen years later, the gods who keep watch over broken-hearted mothers wreak mighty revenge, and the truth starts rolling, terrible and deep, toward them all.

The power of mother-love will be tested to its limits.

Perhaps beyond ...

I read this as a buddy read with Lisa @tot_and_tales, this was my first buddy read and it went very well, I will definitely do more of these. I wasn’t sure where this book was going to go, two ladies, Hope and Anna, both give birth on the same day in the same hospital, on the same ward. One lady leaves with a baby, one lady leaves without. 

This book was a strange one, it’s the first time I’ve really been rooting for somebody who I know has done something wrong. Me and Lisa agreed it plays with your morals a little.

I loved quiet Isaac, he was my favourite character throughout, I just think he seemed like the sweetest person. Hope was a good character, she seemed very loving and her family did too. Julius is a shit, I’m not even going to lie. Anna is strong, and seems like a lovely Person. I did feel so bad for her throughout the story, and I’m glad she grew some balls. When you read you know what I mean. 

But Minnie is the main character in this book, I liked her, she seemed very young and vulnerable, but grown up at the same time.

I’m not going to say much as to give spoilers, but let’s just say by the end my heart was broke and my face was soaked with tears. Definitely read this one.

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Paper Towns by John Green