Yellow Room [blog tour review + guest post!]

Today I’m thrilled to be part of the blog tour for The Yellow Room! Find out what I thought of this great novel (well, that gives it away a little!) and learn a little more about author Shelan Rodger’s writing inspiration below, as she tells all about how important the use of location is in her novels…

Yellow Room - Shelan Rodger

Title: The Yellow Room
Author: Shelan Rodger
Publisher: The Dome Press

[Synopsis]

Set in England and Kenya during the post-election crisis of 2008, a psychological drama that explores the power of secrets to run and ruin our lives.

Chala has grown up in the shadow of a tragic act—as a small child she killed her baby sister in their yellow room. Even now, in her thirties, her state of mind is precarious and both she and her partner struggle with the demons of her past. When a one night stand leaves Chala pregnant, and her beloved adoptive father dies, she decides to go to Kenya and visit the scene of her parents’ deaths. Slowly memories of  the events in the yellow room return, the political uprising puts a new meaning on life, and the future can only be faced by making a choice—to deceive or tell the truth.

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Shelan Rodger
[Guest Post: “The importance of location – in my life and in my books”]

I was recently described in a local Spanish newspaper as a ‘Nigerian author living in Andalucía,’ which I found amusing as the only thing Nigerian about me really is the fact that I was born there (I left when I was three). But it is true that the question ‘Where are you from?’ is one that I find impossible to answer. My father was born in India and grew up in Kenya where he is buried; my mother, also born in India, still lives in Kenya. When I was three, the family left Nigeria and went to the Northern Territory of Australia; my first school was a radio in the bush, my second was an aboriginal school with two classrooms on an island north of Darwin. When I was eleven, we moved to England. I went to a comprehensive school in Hampshire and then Oxford University where I graduated in French and Spanish. Then nine years in Argentina, followed by another period in the UK and six years in Kenya before moving to Spain in 2011. My professional career has revolved around international education, learning and development, and anti-discrimination.

Probably no surprise then that my writing is haunted by the question of what shapes us and our sense of who we are. How much is our personal identity moulded by the place we grow up or live in – the culture, the landscape, the language? And what happens if we move between different cultures, different landscapes? I don’t really feel English but I cannot tell you where I’m from. In my twitter profile, I define myself as a ‘writer and wilderness lover, with a patchwork life’. Connection with nature is extremely important to me; the need for wilderness is in my blood. So, there is a strange dynamic in my own life: strong emotional connections with certain locations and cultures combined with a sense of belonging to none – or all of them.

Twin Truths is set largely in Argentina and a big chunk of Yellow Room takes place in Kenya. I see Argentina and Kenya almost as characters in the stories. The relationship between the protagonists and the location is key to each story and to the journey of self-discovery for the protagonists in each book.

In Yellow Room, Chala is named after a lake in a remote part of Kenya. She volunteers at an orphanage in Naivasha, where she gets caught up in the turmoil of the post-election violence that killed over a thousand people in 2008. One of the things I wanted to explore with this book was the relationship between the internal world of our own inner stage and the external world, and how this affects our sense of who we are. Kenya – the events, the landscape, the culture, the people – has a profound effect on Chala and the outcome of her own personal story. Kenya is not just a setting but plays a role in the story of who she is and who she becomes.

Argentina has its own story. Buenos Aires in the nineties is a place of forgetting, but the shadow of Argentina’s dictatorship lingers. There is a kind of collective amnesia about the 30,000 disappeared, a gentle collusion almost everywhere to forget and move on, in the face of a reality too horrific to counter. In Twin Truths, Jenny’s journey too is one of forgetting, trying to move on. She does not really connect with the culture at first, using it like sex as a means of escape, trying it on like a piece of clothing, treating therapy as a game. But Argentina becomes part of her own story and there is one place that plays a pivotal role: Iguazu falls. There is a point where the falls converge in a bottomless crush of water called La Garganta del Diablo, a place that connects with Jenny’s own memory. ‘I was being sucked down into the depths of the ocean, no air, down and down into the devil’s throat.’

If we are what we eat, we are probably also where we live…Well, I tried that sentence out in Google and discovered this is exactly what someone called Jeff Speck, author of Suburban Nation, said at a conference about urban planning! Location, location, location…I hope you enjoy your travels in my books…

– Shelan Rodger


[My Review]

This is a beautifully written book which really made me think. I felt like it had a bit of everything – human relationships, family, some drama, travel and an element of surprise/ twists. All together these create a wonderfully crafted blend of tragedy, secrets and, through it all, hope.

I felt that the characters in Yellow Room are really convincing and well developed; though I didn’t agree with everything Chala did, I really felt for her. It made me stop and think about how much blame you can really pin on a child, and how difficult it must be for adults around her – especially Emma’s parents – to deal with what’s happened. It also deals with how one decision – whether to tell someone the whole ‘truth’ or not – can affect so many parts of a person’s life.

The travel aspect was interesting, and we saw how Chala’s personal demons eased a bit by being so far away, but at points I just wanted her to go home so I could see what would happen with her ‘situation’ (don’t want to give too much away!).

I absolutely love the way this book makes you think one way about someone – Chala’s husband, for example – but as the book reveals more your opinion changes and morphs with Shelan’s brilliant writing.

Thought provoking, surprising and emotional, Yellow Room is definitely a must-read!

[Rating: 5/5]

Many thanks to The Dome Press for providing a copy of this book on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review, and for inviting me onto the blog tour!


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The Break [review]

the break - marian keyes

Title: The Break
Author: Marian Keyes
Publisher: Michael Joseph UK

[Synopsis]

Amy’s husband Hugh isn’t really leaving her.

At least, that’s what he promises. He is just taking a break – from their marriage, their children and, most of all, from their life together. For six-months Hugh will lose himself in south-east Asia, and there is nothing Amy can say or do about it.

Yes, it’s a mid-life crisis, but let’s be clear: a break isn’t a break up – yet . . .

It’s been a long time since Amy held a briefcase in one hand and a baby in the other. She never believed she’d have to go it alone again. She just has to hold the family together until Hugh comes back.

But a lot can happen in six-months. When Hugh returns, if he returns, will he be the same man she married? And will Amy be the same woman?

Because falling in love is easy. The hard part – the painful, joyous, maddening, beautiful part – is staying in love.

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[My Review]

The Break is another absorbing, interesting and humorous read from an author I’ve loved reading for years: Marian Keyes. I was so ready for a new novel from this brilliant and funny Irish writer and I was definitely not disappointed!

You sort of know what to expect from Marian Keyes’s new novels but The Break surprised me in many ways. For one, it was more emotional and upsetting than many of her other novel (or so I felt anyway). Amy’s husband Richard has what seems to be a sort of mental breakdown after the death of his father and decides he wants a break from their marriage – and yes, a proper break, heading to travel around Asia and potentially involving romances with OTHER PEOPLE! No wonder Amy was devastated; as much as Richard can say it’s nothing to do with her personally, how on earth would you NOT take this at least a little personally?

Mental health is something that’s affected various people I know and care about in the past, so reading this felt very emotional. At times I felt genuinely sick reading about the betrayal that Amy feels, imagining if I was in the same situation.

Don’t get me wrong – there’s still plenty of the classic Keyes humour we’ve all grown to expect and love. Amy really made me laugh, though I definitely did not agree with some of her choices, and she’s definitely not perfect – as we learn in this novel. However she IS really likeable, witty, and fun, and there are some very humorous moments; in fact this novel has a lot of likeable characters, and even when you think you’ll hate a character or have them completely figured out, you realise you don’t because people are not that black and white.

The Break is a fairly long novel but I loved every minute, despite the emotional subject matter. It made me laugh, cry, and consider the fact that there really aren’t many (or perhaps any?) completely perfect marriages – they take work. I’d definitely recommend this novel to fans of Marian Keyes or anyone who enjoys ‘chick lit’/ women’s fiction with an extra level of depth.

[Rating: 5/5]

Many thanks to Michael Joseph UK and Netgalley for providing a copy of this novel on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.


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Cold Blood [review]

Cold Blood - Robert Bryndza

Title: Cold Blood
Author: Robert Bryndza
Publisher: Bookouture

[Synopsis]

She fell in love with a killer, now she’s one too.

The suitcase was badly rusted, and took Erika several attempts, but it yielded and sagged open as she unzipped it. Nothing could prepare her for what she would find inside…

When a battered suitcase containing the dismembered body of a young man washes up on the shore of the river Thames, Detective Erika Foster is shocked. She’s worked on some terrifying cases but never seen anything like this before.

As Erika and her team set to work, she makes the link with another victim – the body of a young woman dumped in an identical suitcase two weeks ago.

Erika quickly realises she’s on the trail of a serial killer who’s already made their next move. Yet just as Erika starts to make headway with the investigation, she is the victim of a brutal attack.

But nothing will stop Erika. As the body count rises, the twin daughters of her colleague Commander Marsh are abducted, and the stakes are higher than ever before. Can Erika save the lives of two innocent children before it’s too late? She’s running out of time and about to make a disturbing discovery…there’s more than one killer.

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[My Review]

Robert Bryndza has done it again; Cold Water lives up to the great writing and utterly addictive storyline of the previous four novels in this seriesand, side note, I can’t believe there have been that many already, it only seems like 5 minutes since the brilliant The Girl In The Ice came out! (Scroll to the bottom of the page to read my reviews for each previous novel).

Of course, Erika is a great character – one of my favourite detectives, and even better than she’s a strong female character! She’s back on great form here, as usual disregarding the rules when she feels it’s necessary (or just wants to), but she has some personal problems that are causing her some worry and is another layer of heartache on top of the constant sadness for her ex-husband’s death.

The story itself is dark and gritty, featuring a serial killer who Erika and the team must link to the string of dead bodies turning up, all the time working against the clock. It takes a dark turn when the children of someone Erika knows well are kidnapped. This definitely adds a menacing touch to the story, and the writing is as gritty and tense as always.

I finished this novel in no time – the next instalment can’t come quickly enough! Cold Water is another great release in this stellar series and I’d highly recommended it!

[Rating: 5/5]

Many thanks to Bookouture and Netgalley for providing a copy of this novel on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.

See my reviews for titles in this series:
The Girl In The Ice 
The Night Stalker  
Dark Water
Last Breath


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One Small Act of Kindness [audiobook review]

One Small Act of Kindness - Lucy Dillon

Title: One Small Act of Kindness
Author: Lucy Dillon
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

[Synopsis]

What can you do to make the world a better place?

Libby helps a stranger, and transforms her life in the process.
Libby and her husband Jason have moved back to his hometown to turn the family B&B into a boutique hotel. They have left London behind and all the memories – good and bad – that went with it.

The injured woman Libby finds lying in the remote country road has lost her memory. She doesn’t know why she came to be there, and no one seems to be looking for her.

When Libby offers to take her in, this one small act of kindness sets in motion a chain of events that will change many people’s lives…

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[My Review]

One Small Act of Kindness strikes just the right balance: sweet without being too cloying, touching without being overly sentimental story, and featuring some really likeable characters who I’d happily read more about.

The narrative features some of the typical elements of this genre, yes, with romances and budding romances (I saw some parts coming a mile off, but again I feel that’s just something that comes with the territory and I didn’t mind this) but importantly it manages to avoid being overly cheesy or ridiculous. The plot is believable and has some more serious parts, but also plenty of light-heartedness mixed in there. It’s well written, sweet and with a plot that moves along at just the right pace whilst still providing plenty of character development.

Without giving too much away, main character Libby seemed really lovely and a bit of a saint with what she’s had to put up with, whilst Alice is suffering from memory loss and can’t remember the person she was before the accident, but is equally likable as she tries to piece together the parts of her life from ‘before’. Other characters enter the scene and either really charmed me (human or non-human – I loved Sir Bob) or made me want to throw things at them (but, either way, equally well written by Lucy Dillon), and made me want to continue reading on (or, in this case with the audiobook, listening on).

I enjoyed trying to piece together Alice’s memories as the novel went on, and felt the amnesia part of the story was convincing (well-researched, I assume) and intriguing. I finished One Small Act of Kindness feeling satisfied and uplifted

The audiobook was well read, with a great narrator (though the Welsh accent was quite amusing; I’m not sure why seeing as I’m awful at ‘doing’ accents myself) and it’s an ideal story to be enjoyed on audiobook. Some books, I feel, really work in audio format and some just don’t, and often in that case I abandon them early on – this was really enjoyable!

The only other book I’ve read by Lucy Dillon (so far) is All I Ever Wanted, and I was really taken by that too [read my review here], so I think I can safely say Lucy Dillon is a winning writer for me in the ‘chick-lit/ romance/ women’s fiction’ genres; I’ll certainly be reading more by her in the future.

[Rating: 4/5]

Close Enough to Touch [review]

Close Enough To Touch - Colleen Oakley

Title: Close Enough to Touch
Author: Colleen Oakley
Publisher: Allen & Unwin UK

[Synopsis]

Love has no boundaries…

Jubilee Jenkins has a rare condition: she’s allergic to human touch. After a nearly fatal accident, she became reclusive, living in the confines of her home for nine years. But after her mother dies, Jubilee is forced to face the world—and the people in it—that she’s been hiding from.

Jubilee finds safe haven at her local library where she gets a job. It’s there she meets Eric Keegan, a divorced man who recently moved to town with his brilliant, troubled, adopted son. Eric is struggling to figure out how to be the dad—and man—he wants so desperately to be. Jubilee is unlike anyone he has ever met, yet he can’t understand why she keeps him at arm’s length. So Eric sets out to convince Jubilee to open herself and her heart to everything life can offer, setting into motion the most unlikely love story of the year.

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[My Review]

Close Enough To Touch is a wonderful, touching story that ticked all the right boxes for me.

Filled with wonderful characters  – I LOVE Jubilee, Eric, and Aja, who are amazing characters each in their own (very different) ways –  the novel uses these vibrant people to address some slightly heavier subjects, all with the perfect level of information and humour. The characters each have their own problems and struggles to deal with, but reading about the way they handle them is both amusing at times and also very touching. The budding relationships between them are convincing and fantastic to read about; I found myself relishing every page and appreciating how Colleen Oakley manages to make us really care about the people within the novel without having to include any overly cheesy or ‘forced’ emotions – the thoughts and feelings in this book feel very real and convincing and I for one found myself completely absorbed in their lives.

There are parts of this novel that made me laugh out loud – particularly Eric’s best attempts to try and be a ‘good parent’ to Aja – and some which are slightly less believable (it is fiction, after all!), but either way I felt myself completely falling in love with Colleen Oakley’s writing style, which I hope to see a lot more of in the future!

I finished Close Enough To Touch feeling both satisfied and emotional. A fantastic read, and one of my favourite books this year!

[Rating: 5/5]

Many thanks to the publisher, Allen & Unwin UK, for providing a copy of this novel on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.

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Last Seen [review]

Last Seen - Lucy Clarke

Title: Last Seen
Author: Lucy Clarke
Publisher: HarperCollins UK

[Synopsis]

In a small seaside community, there’s always somebody watching…

Twisty, pacy, and superbly plotted, Last Seen is the perfect psychological page-turner for fans of Clare Mackintosh and Sabine Durrant.

Seven years ago, two boys went missing at sea – and only one was brought to shore. The Sandbank, a remote stretch of coast dotted with beach huts, was scarred forever.

Sarah’s son survived, but on the anniversary of the accident, he disappears without trace. As new secrets begin to surface, The Sandbank hums with tension and unanswered questions. Sarah’s search grows more desperate and she starts to mistrust everyone she knows – and she’s right to.

Someone saw everything on that fateful day seven years ago. And they’ll do anything to keep the truth buried.

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[My Review]

Last Seen is a clever, gripping novel which kept me guessing throughout.

The characters are, at times, quite annoying – both Sarah, whose perspective we read most of the novel as, and her best friend Isla, have their irritating habits. As the novel continues we learn neither are perfect, which I quite liked – I am a fan of reading about flawed characters and often find these are far more realistic and convincing than those character who are clearly just ‘good’ or ‘bad’.

I won’t say too much about the story as I don’t want to ruin it or alert readers to any potential surprises but I will say that I didn’t guess the ending at all, which is always fun, and loved the twisty nature of the characters, as Sarah wonders who is being truthful and who may be hiding something. Some parts are a little slower, and focus on the relationship between Sarah, Isla and Nick and their sons too, and I felt this made up more of the book rather than ‘thriller’-style action or suspense. However there was a definite underlying sense of danger and of the unknown, as we the readers have no idea where Jacob’s actually gone, and if he’s even still alive.

Last Seen is definitely not a ‘thriller’ as such; it’s more of an exploration into family dynamics and the way one mistake – like not paying enough attention to kids at the beach – can change everything.

[Rating: 4/5]

Many thanks to HarperCollins for providing a copy of this novel on which I chose to write and honest and unbiased review.

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Mad [review]

Mad - Chloe Esposito

Title: Mad (Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know Trilogy #1)
Author: Chloe J. Esposito
Publisher: Michael Joseph

[Synopsis]

‘There’s something you should know before we go any further: my heart is in the wrong place. Now don’t say I didn’t warn you . . .’

Perhaps that’s why nothing in Alvie’s life has ever gone right? Until now.

She can finally abandon her credit card debt – and her fruitless three-way relationship with Tinder and Twitter – when fate gives her the chance to steal her identical twin’s perfect life.

It’s just a shame Beth had to die to make Alvie’s dreams come true.

So begin seven days of sex, violence and unapologetic selfies – one wild week that sees Alvie break every rule in the book. She never did have much respect for boundaries.

It might be madness, but rules are meant to be broken. Right?

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[My Review]

I absolutely loved this book. I’m going to try and avoid saying ‘mad’ too many times, but for want of a better word that really sums up this novel. It IS mad. It’s also very funny, entertaining, fast paced and completely crazy.

Main character Alvie is actually a pretty awful person. You know she is, she knows she is, but she’s just so unapologetic. She’s selfish, mean and no doubt very annoying to spend any time with, but reading about her escapades and don’t-care attitude was really fun. She’s also very crude which only added to the hilarity, in my opinion.

The story is fast-paced and easy to read; I rocketed through it in no time at all. There are plenty of ridiculous moments and of course it’s all very far-fetched, but I guess that’s kind of the point. I loved that Alvie a British character but also that much of the story was set in atmospheric, gorgeous Italy. Some of the story is quite clever, too, and there were many parts I didn’t see coming.

If you fancy a fun rollercoaster of a summer read with a main character you love to hate (in this respect it reminded me of SweetPea, another novel I loved – read my review here) then this is a great option. I will definitely be reading the other two in the trilogy!

[Rating: 5/5]

Many thanks to the Netgalley and Michael Joseph for providing an advance reader copy of this novel on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.

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Miss Christie Regrets [review]

Miss Christie Regrets

Title: Miss Christie Regrets
Author: Guy Fraser-Sampson
Publisher: Urbane Publications

[Synopsis]

The second in the Hampstead Murders series opens with a sudden death at an iconic local venue, which some of the team believe may be connected with an unsolved murder featuring Cold War betrayals worthy of George Smiley. It soon emerges that none other than Agatha Christie herself may be the key witness who is able to provide the missing link.

As with its bestselling predecessor, Death in Profile, the book develops the lives and loves of the team at ‘Hampstead Nick’. While the next phase of a complicated love triangle plays itself out, the protagonists, struggling to crack not one but two apparently insoluble murders, face issues of national security in working alongside Special Branch. On one level a classic whodunit, this quirky and intelligent read harks back not only to the world of Agatha Christie, but also to the Cold War thrillers of John Le Carre, making it a worthy successor to Death in Profile which was dubbed ‘a love letter to the detective novel’.

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[My Review]

I hugely enjoyed Miss Christie Regrets – it had all the elements of  a classic, golden-era whodunnit but with a modern setting, and this contrast, along with the slightly old fashioned language, was very unique and appealed to me.

The story is surprisingly pleasant to read, despite the inclusion of murder. I enjoyed every page really, with witty comments from those trying to solve the murder/ crimes within the novel’s pages, and plenty of good, ‘old fashioned’ detective work! This is certainly not one of the gritty, disturbing crime novels which are so prevalent at the moment (and which, don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy), but I felt like this was a breath of fresh air and something a little different. There are also plenty of references to classic detective stories by a range of authors, and I found myself noting down some of them to read as there were plenty which I’m a little embarrassed to say that I’d never really thought about reading before! The style of the story made me want to read more like that in the future, and I liked that Agatha Christie’s legacy was also included in the story.

The characters are likeable and well-rounded, with their own quirks and sleuthing habits, and some of their personal relationships are included too, but all without any element of cheesiness. They, and the story itself, are quite self-aware at times; for example at one point towards the end Willis says “Miss Christie regrets… it could almost be the title of a book, couldn’t it?”

This is a great detective novel for anyone wanting a change from gritty, harrowing crime novels or just something a little more light-hearted and pleasant to read. The characters, story and golden-era style, all set in the modern day, make it both unique and fun to read, and I really enjoyed it!

[Rating: 4/5]

Many thanks to the author, Guy Fraser-Sampson, for providing a copy of this novel on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.

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The Mayfly [review]

The Mayfly - James Hazel

Title: The Mayfly
Author: James Hazel
Publisher: Bonnier Zaffre

[Synopsis]

It’s happening again.

A mutilated body discovered in the woods.
A murderous plan conceived in the past.
A reckoning seventy years in the making . . .

Charlie Priest, ex-detective inspector turned London lawyer, is hired by influential entrepreneur Kenneth Ellinder to investigate the murder of his son. But Priest is no ordinary lawyer. Brilliant, yet flawed, this case will push him, and those closest to him, to the edge.

Priest traces the evidence back to the desperate last days of the Second World War. Buried in the ashes of the Holocaust is a secret so deadly its poison threatens to destroy the very heart of the establishment.
With more victims going missing, Priest realises that not everyone should be trusted. As he races to uncover the truth, can he prevent history from repeating itself?

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[My Review]

Fast paced, gritty, and full of intrigue, The Mayfly lived up to my high expectations and left me wanting more. It had my attention from page one and kept me devouring it until the very end.

The characters are well crafted – Charlie Priest is a great new protagonist, not your typical Detective. In fact, he’s not a Detective at all anymore – he used to be, but is now a lawyer. He’s brilliant, bold, and a bit of a maverick, making him a great character to read about. His assistant, Georgie, is a bit annoying at times but overall she’s rather likeable; she’s sweet and fairly naive but has the same brilliant knack for picking up on things that others (apart from Priest, of course) wouldn’t think to notice, and they work well together. Then there’s Priest’s family – a story in itself really!

I love the WW2 element in this. Well, I shouldn’t say ‘love’ as such, because it’s rather horrible and disturbing, but I found it very interesting nevertheless. I love reading and watching anything to do with World War 2, so this element definitely interested me. Kurt Schneider ( I couldn’t resists looking him up) seems to have been based on a real person, and the story seems – to me, anyway – really well researched.

The story moves along at a good pace without being too fast. The switching between different narratives, and indeed different time frames, can take a second to readjust to – who’s speaking, which country are we in, which year? – as is always the case with those kinds of narratives, but it’s easy enough to work out what’s happening despite lots of names and people cropping up!

I felt towards the end of the novel there was a little big more cheesiness included, particularly with some of the romantic relationships, which I didn’t like as much. However despite this I felt that James Hazel’s writing was really great. He uses just the right level of description, and I feel that The Mayfly is really well written – so I’d highly recommend this novel, and am eager to read future books in the series!

[Rating: 4/5]

Many thanks to Readers First and Netgalley for providing a copy of this novel, on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.

The Mayfly is out 15 June!

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Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine [review]

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine - Gail Honeyman

Title: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
Author: Gail Honeyman
Publisher:  HarperCollins UK

[Synopsis]

A stunning debut about a girl who has learned how to survive – but not how to live.

Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend.

Eleanor Oliphant is fine. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except sometimes, everything.

No-one’s ever told Eleanor life should be better than fine. But with a simple act of kindness she’s about to realise exactly how much better than fine life can be.

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[My Review]

Wow – this book deserves 10 stars because 5 doesn’t seem enough! I absolutely loved this novel, savouring every page from first to last.

Where to start with trying to convey how much I loved this novel? I suppose firstly we need to address main character Eleanor. She’s definitely an odd cookie – she certainly doesn’t have what society would see as normal social skills, but she doesn’t feel like she has anything wrong with her – and good on her really! From bringing a present to a birthday party which consists of a half bottle of spirits and a pack of cheese, to being what many would see as too honest to those around her, Eleanor is unique in every way. She comes across as stand-offish or rude countless times in this novel, but I loved her! The book is a real journey, taking the reader right into Eleanor’s life – into her head, more specifically – and seeing the world through her eyes. It’s an entertaining, touching and, at times, funny experience which I absolutely loved!

Another great element of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is the way Gail Honeyman not only creates other great characters (such as Raymond, or Bill) but doesn’t make everything in the novel really obvious. There’s so much subtly among the amusing observations from Eleanor.

Though in this novel there is so much humour – often unintended from Eleanor! – there are also some really emotional parts, and at times it made me tear up. I did feel desperately sorry for her at times, and it really made me consider that you don’t know what people are going through, or have been through, when you make snap decisions about someone. As Eleanor said to herself, “be kind”- she’s a wise one!

This debut by Gail Honeyman is absolutely fantastic and I’d highly recommend it to anyone. It’s an emotional, entertaining novel which is bound to draw you in completely, and leaves you not wanting it to end!

[Rating: 5/5]

Many thanks to HarperCollins UK for providing a copy of this novel on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.

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