Six In Six – A Look Back At Some Of My Top Books Of 2017 So Far…

6 I saw this over at Cleopatra Loves Books, and thought it was a great idea to look back at books read so far in 2017. Hosted by Jo’s Book Journey, the idea is sharing 6 books, in 6 categories from the first half of the year. So here’s my choices:

6 Books I Have Enjoyed The Most 

 

 

6 Psychological Thrillers I Have Read & Enjoyed 

 

 

6 New To Me Authors 

 

 

6 Covers I’ve Loved

 

 

6 Books Which Took Me To The Past 

 

 

Six Books I Own & Can’t Believe I Haven’t Managed To Read Yet 

 

#BookReview – This Beautiful Life by Katie Marsh @Marshisms @HodderBooks

this beautiful lifeThe addictive and emotive new novel from Katie Marsh, perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes and Jodi Picoult.

‘I lived over half my life before I met you both, and I hope with all my heart to live many years more. You two are the reason why. Always, always the reason why.’

Abi Cooper is living her happy ending. She’s in remission and is ready to make the most of her second chance. But during Abi’s illness her family has fallen apart. Her husband John has made decisions that are about to come back to haunt him, while her teenage son Seb is battling with a secret of his own.

Set to the songs on Abi’s survival playlist, This Beautiful Life is the moving and uplifting story of what happens as Abi tries to put her family back together – and of why life, and love, are worth fighting for. 

Published 10th August 2017 by Hodder and Stoughton (UK)  

Firstly- how gorgeous is that cover? It was those stunning colours that first caught my eye with this book – it’s just so damn pretty! But then, after reading the blurb I knew I really wanted to read it. I’m an emotional person and this book promised a moving journey with a story and characters whom readers will completely connect with.

This Beautiful Life’s emotional impact comes from it’s simplicity really. There’s no big twists or revelations designed to pack a punch. Abi has already suffered the devastating news she has cancer when we meet her, already fought the battle of her life. The emotional impact comes from the normality of life carrying on, the rawness and fragility of continuing ups and downs – especially downs for people who don’t deserve them. It’s the admiration of a woman who continues to find strength to face life’s hurdles head on despite not having the happy ever after she continues to hope for.  It’s emotional because it is so absolutely real.

The book is told over a year, with the chapters separated into months and then with alternating narratives from Abi herself and her seventeen year old son Seb. I loved the way this story was told. There’s a real sense of a passage of time and with Seb’s voice, a depth and added perspective which allows the reader to see the family dynamic as a whole. I think Katie Marsh’s characters are among some of the most real and relatable I’ve come across. But what I really liked was the bonds between this family which even when things become fractious, shine through and captured my heart.

This Beautiful Life is brutally honest as Abi faces her first year cancer free. People get ill and need support, but the reality is bills still have to be paid, children still have their own struggles with growing up and their identity, parents still get older. Life moves on relentlessly and there’s an unfairness to the impact of Abi’s illness on her family’s emotional and financial wellbeing. Yet this is an uplifting book, filled with optimism and love, and it’s the small, subtle and beautiful moments that really had me welling up.  Marsh’s writing is genuine and moving and I easily got caught up in Abi’s story. A honest, emotional and quietly powerful book which will stay with me for a long time.

(I read an advance copy courtesy of the publisher)

 

 

WWW Wednesday – 2nd August 2017

This is my first time participating in WWW Wednesdays, hosted by Taking On A World Of Words but I’m hoping to make it a regular thing – as a weekly update to what I’ve been reading and what’s up next.

www wednesday

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next? 

Currently Reading:  

give me the childAn unexpected visitor.

Dr Cat Lupo aches for another child, despite the psychosis which marked her first pregnancy. So when Ruby Winter, a small girl in need of help, arrives in the middle of the night, it seems like fate.

A devastating secret.

But as the events behind Ruby’s arrival emerge – her mother’s death, her connection to Cat – Cat questions whether her decision to help Ruby has put her own daughter at risk.

Do we get the children we deserve?

Cat’s research tells her there’s no such thing as evil. Her history tells her she’s paranoid. But her instincts tell her different. And as the police fight to control a sudden spate of riots raging across the capital, Cat faces a race against time of her own…   

I only just started this and already I’m gripped! I’ve read some fantastic reviews so I’m looking forward to settling down again with it this afternoon!

 

Recently Finished:  

this beautiful life

The addictive and emotive new novel from Katie Marsh, perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes and Jodi Picoult.

‘I lived over half my life before I met you both, and I hope with all my heart to live many years more. You two are the reason why. Always, always the reason why.’

Abi Cooper is living her happy ending. She’s in remission and is ready to make the most of her second chance. But during Abi’s illness her family has fallen apart. Her husband John has made decisions that are about to come back to haunt him, while her teenage son Seb is battling with a secret of his own.

Set to the songs on Abi’s survival playlist, This Beautiful Life is the moving and uplifting story of what happens as Abi tries to put her family back together – and of why life, and love, are worth fighting for. 

A Real Tear-Jerker. I’ll be reviewing this one tomorrow.

Reading Next: 

the honey farmWe never forget the one who got away.

Eighteen years ago Nell fell in love in the mountains of Crete and life changed for ever. Nell’s daughter, Demi, has never met her dad. Nell never saw him again.

When she gets the chance to return to the hilltop town of Vounoplagia – where everything began – Nell can’t resist the urge to go back and find him.

Working on a honey farm perched high up in the hills, there’s plenty to keep her busy. And she will quickly realise the town harbours just as many secrets as she does.

But if Nell’s favourite romantic films are right, there’s a happy ending in store for each of us. All she has to do is seek out the magic of the mountains…  

 

the wardrobe mistressFrom the award-winning author of The Dress Thief comes a love story set in the glittering world of London theatre. Perfect for fans of Gill Paul and Lucinda Riley.

London 1945. A young war widow steps aboard a train in search of a new life. Clutching the key to a mysterious inheritance, Vanessa Kingcourt can no longer resist the pull of the old Farren Theatre – an enchanted place seeped in memories of her actor father.

Now owned by troubled former captain Alistair Redenhall, The Farren is in need of a Wardrobe Mistress and a new lease of life. With no experience and no budget for supplies, Vanessa must use her intuition to create beautiful costumes from whatever scraps of silk and thread survived the blitz. It’s a seemingly impossible task, but a welcome distraction as she struggles to resist her blossoming feelings for Alistair.

What Vanessa discovers could unravel family secrets sewn deep into the very fabric of the London theatre scene . . . but will she repeat the same terrible mistakes her father made? And can she dare to love a man who will never be hers? 

Both of these are for up coming blog tours – reviews coming soon!

 

Have you read any of these books? What did you think? let me know what you’re reading too!

Top Ten Tuesday – Most Anticipated Book For The Second Part of 2017

It’s been a while since I’ve participated in top ten Tuesdays, hosted by The Broke and Bookish so today I’m joining in with my top ten most anticipated reads for the rest of 2017, although I actually found it too difficult so it’s more like most anticipated reads for the next couple of months.  
The Summer of Impossible Things by Rowan Coleman 

If you could change the past, would you?

Thirty years ago, something terrible happened to Luna’s mother. Something she’s only prepared to reveal after her death. 

Now Luna and her sister have a chance to go back to their mother’s birthplace and settle her affairs. But in Brooklyn they find more questions than answers, until something impossible – magical – happens to Luna, and she meets her mother as a young woman back in the summer of 1977. 

At first Luna’s thinks she’s going crazy, but if she can truly travel back in time, she can change things. But in doing anything – everything – to save her mother’s life, will she have to sacrifice her own? (Published 29th June by Ebury )


Together by Julie Cohen 

This is not a great love story. 
This is a story about great love.

On a morning that seems just like any other, Robbie wakes in his bed, his wife Emily asleep beside him, as always. He rises and dresses, makes his coffee, feeds his dogs, just as he usually does. But then he leaves Emily a letter and does something that will break her heart. As the years go back all the way to 1962, Robbie’s actions become clearer as we discover the story of a couple with a terrible secret – one they will do absolutely anything to protect.


Perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes’s Me Before You, David Nicholls’s One Day and M L Stedman’s The Light Between Oceans. (Published 13th July by Orion)

After I’ve Gone by Linda Green  

YOU HAVE 18 MONTHS LEFT TO LIVE . . . 

On a wet Monday in January, Jess Mount checks Facebook and discovers her timeline appears to have skipped forward 18 months, to a day when shocked family and friends are posting heartbreaking tributes to her following her death in an accident. Jess is left scared and confused: is she the target of a cruel online prank or is this a terrifying glimpse of her true fate? 


Amongst the posts are photos of a gorgeous son she has not yet conceived. But when new posts suggest her death was deliberate, Jess realises that if she changes the future to save her own life, the baby boy she has fallen in love with may never exist. 
(Published July 27th by Quercus)

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell 

THEN
She was fifteen, her mother’s 
golden girl. She had her whole life ahead of her. 
And then, in the blink of an eye, Ellie was gone. 

NOW 
It’s been ten years since Ellie 
disappeared, but Laurel has never given up 
hope of finding her daughter.
And then one day a charming and charismatic stranger called Floyd walks into a café and sweeps Laurel off her feet. 
Before too long she’s staying the night at this house and being introduced to his nine year old daughter. 
Poppy is precocious and pretty – and meeting her completely takes Laurel’s breath away. 

Because Poppy is the spitting image of Ellie when she was that age.
And now all those unanswered questions that have haunted Laurel come flooding back. 

What happened to Ellie? Where did she go? 
Who still has secrets to hide? (Published 27th July by Century)

Friend Request by Laura Marshall 

When Louise Williams receives a message from someone left long in the past she feels sick.

Maria Weston wants to be friends on Facebook.

Because Maria Weston has been missing for over twenty years. She was last seen the night of a school leavers’ party, and the world believes her to be dead. Particularly Louise, who has lived her adult life knowing herself responsible for Maria’s disappearance. But now Maria is back. Or is she? 

(published July 27th by Sphere) 





This Beautiful Life by Katie Marsh 

The addictive and emotive new novel from Katie Marsh, perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes and Jodi Picoult.

‘I lived over half my life before I met you both, and I hope with all my heart to live many years more. You two are the reason why. Always, always the reason why.’

Abi Cooper is living her happy ending. She’s in remission and is ready to make the most of her second chance. But during Abi’s illness her family has fallen apart. Her husband John has made decisions that are about to come back to haunt him, while her teenage son Seb is battling with a secret of his own.


Set to the songs on Abi’s survival playlist, This Beautiful Life is the moving and uplifting story of what happens as Abi tries to put her family back together – and of why life, and love, are worth fighting for.  (published 10th August by Hodder)


Gather The Daughters  by Jennie Melamed

For fans of Emma Cline’s THE GIRLS and Emily St John Mandel’s STATION 11, this dark, unsettling and hugely compelling story of an isolated island cult will get under your skin.


GATHER THE DAUGHTERS tells the story of an end-of-the-world cult founded years ago when ten men colonised an island. It’s a society in which men reign supreme, breeding is controlled, and knowledge of the outside world is kept to a minimum. Girls are wives-in-training: at the first sign of puberty, they must marry and have children. But until that point, every summer, island tradition dictates that the children live wildly: running free, making camps, sleeping on the beach. And it is at the end of one such summer that one of the youngest girls sees something so horrifying that life on the island can never be the same again. (published 25th July by Tinder Press)

The Break by Marian Keyes 

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. (Published 7th September by Penguin)

The Upstairs Room by Kate Murray Browne

Eleanor, Richard and their two young daughters recently stretched themselves to the limit to buy their dream home, a four-bedroom Victorian townhouse in East London. But the cracks are already starting to show. 

Eleanor is unnerved by the eerie atmosphere in the house and becomes convinced it is making her ill. Whilst Richard remains preoccupied with Zoe, their mercurial twenty-seven-year-old lodger, Eleanor becomes determined to unravel the mystery of the house’s previous owners—including Emily, whose name is written hundreds of times on the walls of the upstairs room. 

(Published July 27th by Picador)

The Pool House by Tasmina Perry  

Someone lied. Someone died…

This dark, twisting novel from the Sunday Times bestselling author Tasmina Perry will keep you on the edge of your seat. Perfect for everyone who’s been gripped by Showtime TV’s THE AFFAIR, Adele Parks’ THE STRANGER IN MY HOME and J. P. Delaney’s THE GIRL BEFORE. ‘Gripping… Great pace and brilliantly written. I loved it’ Daily Mail on The House on Sunset Lake


When you’re invited to spend summer in the Hamptons with a group of new friends, you agree – who wouldn’t? But then you realise you’re taking the place of another woman, a woman who died in mysterious circumstances, just the summer before. Your housemates tell you her death was an accident. But which of them has something to hide? (Published 7th September by Headline)

Wow, even that was difficult! There’s so many books I’m looking forward to in the next few months it’s hard to narrow to just ten – I’ve had books on and off this list I don’t know how many times and there’s still a few I’m regretting not being able to add. I’m lucky enough to have copies of some of these already and can’t wait to get my hands on the rest. Are any of these on your must read list for the next couple of months?