Continuing with the retrospective book reviews, I think I purchased this one for South Africa, early summer 2017. I had begun a trend of buying books at WH Smiths at Heathrow to distract myself from my grief because I was acutely aware I wasn't enjoying travel as much, even though I continued to travel and had further trips planned for the year (Canada and Prague). It was on my flight to Canada later that summer when I watched the film and was disappointed to see it had been Americanized. I'd had in my mind that they would keep the English backdrop. What I'd loved about the setting for the book was that it was familiar to me; the names of the places and the stations along the train route. To me, that does make a subtle difference when I'm reading a storyline; something that's only become noticeable to me in recent years.
So, to the story! It really is full of twists and turns and again, like my previous review, I did not see the ending coming. I whipped through it because I quite literally couldn't put it down. I think it's incredibly clever writing when you reveal pieces of information bit by bit and timed to perfection. Hawkins is controlling the narrative superbly through a drunken, unreliable spokesperson. "Suburban Noir" - I love that description. Taking ordinary, potentially boring lives and twisting it into something thrilling and suspenseful. Extremely good psychological fiction.
think in hindsight it would've only added to the tense and compelling plot.
I did end up reading this book in fits and starts, having to completely start over several months after Col's passing, as I'd lost the thread a little and that is one of my pet hates when reading what I know is going to be a great story. However, once I did start over, I couldn't put it down. Page turner is such a cliche, but this is one of those.
At the time, when I too was feeling quite suicidal and lost in my grief, I could really get behind Mia (one of the two main detectives) and feel the absolute pain she is going through. You'll see what I mean when you read it. I was in a dark place and so is she. Desperately dark to the point of being in a cabin, alone, far from anyone, with a stash of pills and alcohol to keep her company. Oh, and the sea right outside. Talk about temptations at every turn!
I loved the whole cult aspect giving the murders another dimension and I really didn't see the ending coming until it was upon me. The remoteness of the locations also set the scene exceptionally well. Kudos to Bjork.
This was a new author for me so I didn't know what to expect. I presumed a light hearted chick lit read with a nice, easy going story - and that's exactly what I got - plus a generous helping of familiarity (the author lived and worked in Bristol and the story was set in Bath, where I was born), along with some fantastic storytelling and great plot twists. I guess that's what separates good writers from great writers... the ability to take life and make amazing books out of it, conveying a whole range of everyday emotions with such beautiful writing.
I am a big fan of village story telling. It's fascinating what goes on behind closed doors and you can always have a close knit cast who weave in and out of each other's lives. Falling For You does just that. Maddy is single and the one chap she wants, she can't have. Sound familiar? Of course! But as the story develops you find out why, the history behind the two families and the reasons for the hatred. Mansell charts Life's ups and downs for this brilliant set of characters and it's all so believable.
Back on home turf, Angela is visiting her friends and family after two years away from home. I loved the cast in this book. We got to know Angela's parents better and her best friend Louisa, now with baby in tow. This story really developed her life outside of the States and I particularly enjoyed the way Kelk unravelled Angela's relationship with her parents. Humourous, comical, emotional - at times! Simply a really heartwarming read with the usual road bumps along the way, that we've come to expect of Angela and her life. I thought this was the end of the road for this series, but I believe there are a couple more I need to hunt down...
Watch this space!
Another week, another Angela Clark adventure...
I expected this one to be completely "over the top unbelievable" being Vegas an' all, but I was pleasantly surprised. The story still felt real; it continued in the same theme as the others, as life carries on for Angela and her friends and circumstances change and improve - or in Angela's case, get worse! We see her relationship with Alex stumble and fall and pick itself back up again. I think Kelk is really developing the characters and I love them more and more as I turn more and more pages.
Another fab installment of Angela Clark's adventures and misadventures. This one had a great twist in it too, which I didn't see coming. I love all the travel references whilst she's in Paris and it adds another dimension to the story. You also don't have to have read the other books because each story sits as its own book. Kelk always has a little recap in there somewhere, so you get a precise of what you may have missed.
Angela Clark's adventures and misadventures continue with a trip to LA. This time she's off to interview the hunky James Jacobs, but nothing is ever straight forward. There are twists and turns and lots of drinking and miscommunication, along with a large side order of paparazzi...
I'm really enjoying this series. It's easy going, funny, familiar chick lit and there are some fantastic, memorable characters. I particularly love Jenny Lopez and Mary. Seriously, I know I keep saying this, but Kelk makes it look so easy. I'm a big fan of the travel connection too!
Ok, so now I'm reading Lindsey Kelk's "I heart..." series and learning how a marketable series of books works.
I'm never just reading - I'm always researching my craft too!
I mean, I LOVED NYC so this book was right up my street. Another chick lit, another sassy protagonist with a great supporting cast. Seriously, Kelk makes this "writing a series and marketing the series" malarkey look so effortless. Even if you don't like chick lit, you can learn a lot from the production supporting the "I heart..." books.
Now to the story itself - another reinvention of a classic tale - boy cheats on girl, girl takes drastic measures, learns to stand on her own two feet with plenty of bumps along the way. Even if you've never experienced Life quite like Kelk storytells, believe it or not, funny, surprising, totally unbelievable crazy stuff does happen when you least expect it and when you're at your most vulnerable. I can testify to this! Which is why, I guess, this story rings true to me. If you are used to living by the seat of your pants, in a kind of whirlwind not of your own making or definitely of your own making, then expect the unexpected because that's actually what happens. Life is unpredictable at the best of times. Even if you live the most mundane existence, Life will catch you out, make you stand up and realise, or simply slap you around the face - at some point. And that's pretty much all you can be sure about!
A light hearted chick lit read introducing me to Lindsey Kelk. Classic story - boy dumps girl, girl goes crazy, girl's lovely friends help her transition into single, confident woman. They create The List - 10 things she has to do to help her get over what she thought was the love of her life. It's a fun book. I never get tired of new twists on old themes, after all, plot lines are there to be revived, recreated and rehashed in an author's very own particular style. It's the same with films.
What I like about the recent chick lit books I've read - and coming at this wearing my Writer's hat - is that they all have a marketing hook; something to use to promote the book and the author and get the readers involved. The List is a great little attraction for social media, blog and website promotion!
Blogging is an amazing concept so here I am giving it a whirl. You'll get words. You'll get pics. Sometimes a vid or two. You'll get tongue in cheek, the odd humble opinion and an honest insight into my travels and writing life. Maybe even a few gems along the way. I'll be musing on home turf as I see more and more of the UK and sharing my experiences further afield on holidays and adventurous trips across the globe.