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 

 

#Blogtour #Review – After I’ve Gone by Linda Green @QuercusBooks @LindaGreenisms

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 (UK) 




Linda Green’s previous novel, While My Eyes Were Closed, was the first book I read in 2017 and after a long period of being out of the habit of devouring books in single sittings, had me riveted throughout, reigniting my love for a compulsively addictive read. Several months and sixty books later, and here I was again picking up what promised to be a page turner from Linda, and boy, After I’ve Gone doesn’t disappoint!

Twenty Two year old Jess is blown away when gorgeous and successful Lee picks her out of a crowd. After their first date, Jess is head over heels and it seems Lee is too, much to her disbelief. But at the same time something strange begins to happen. Posts that appear to be from the future begin appearing on her facebook timeline. Convinced it’s a virus or a trick at first, Jess tries to ignore it. But when things in real life begin to coincide with what’s written in the weird posts, Jess is scared. Because according to facebook, Jess will be dead in eighteen months time.

This isn’t the first time I’ve read a book that uses facebook to tell the future. Jay Asher’s YA novel The Future Of Us has its teen protagonist stumble across Facebook of the future before it’s even invented. It’s a fantastic, creepy and intriguing idea for a story, and when I read the description of After I’ve Gone I knew I had to read it. Unlike the former book however, this one takes a sinister approach in revealing Jess’s very own imminent death, with the added suspense of a murder mystery where the murder hasn’t even happened yet.

Linda Green’s writing is thoroughly addictive and readable. I started this early one evening and didn’t stop reading until I’d read all 430 odd pages. While it becomes clear early on who may have killed Jess, I thought the build up to how it comes to happen was done really well. There’s subtle hints at first to raise concern and put the reader on alert, leading to a sense of impending doom while hoping Jess manages to save herself, and the yet to be born son she’s already fallen in love with,  before it’s too late.

After I’ve Gone is the perfect binge read book, ideal for holidays or cosy afternoons where you have nothing to do but enjoy. With a fast paced, intriguing plot line and some thought provoking themes, I enjoyed it every bit as much, if not more, as When My Eyes Were Closed and cements Linda Green in my list of must read authors. Recommended!



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? 

Mini Book Reviews: Short & Not All Sweet But Definitely Worth a Mention.

I didn’t begin posting on the blog again until mid-January, but over the New Year I had my first major book binge for a while and flew through these in a few days before going back to work. Unfortunately, I’m one of those reviewers who HAS to write a review pretty much immediately after finishing a book and moving onto the next one, so while these four books didn’t get a full review, they are most definitely worth a mention.

What would YOU do if your child wasn’t yours?

Alison is lucky and she knows it. She has the life she always craved, including a happy home with Jeff and their brilliant, vivacious teenage daughter, Katherine – the absolute centre of Alison’s world. Then a knock at the door ends life as they know it. Fifteen years ago, someone else took Alison’s baby from the hospital. And now Alison is facing the unthinkable.

The daughter she brought home doesn’t belong to her.

When you have everything you dreamed of, there is everything to lose. (From Goodreads.com)

Published by Headline in ebook Septemeber 2016 /paperback February 2017

There’s something fascinating about swapped at birth stories…I can’t even begin to imagine the horror. Adele Parks’ The Stranger In My Home tackles this subject in a compelling and unputdownable style with a twist I didn’t see coming AT ALL.  



——————— 


Lisa Dale shuts her eyes and counts to one hundred during a game of hide-and-seek. When she opens them, her four-year-old daughter Ella is gone. Disappeared without a trace. The police, the media and Lisa’s family all think they know who snatched Ella. But what if the person who took her isn’t a stranger? What if they are convinced they are doing the right thing? And what if Lisa’s little girl is in danger of disappearing forever? (From Goodreads.com)

Published by Quercus May 2016

I don’t think there’s a mother or father among us who hasn’t been terrified at the thought of our children disappearing in the blink of eye. Linda Green captures Lisa’s panic, terror and guilt perfectly and realistically conveys the heartbreaking and devasting affect on the whole family. Yet, the villain in this book isn’t as straight forward as you might expect, and the book drives home that sometimes good people do bad things when they’re pushed to their own mental limits.


                                                                     ———————


On her fiftieth birthday, Dorrit Weger is checked into the Second Reserve Bank Unit for biological material: a state-of-the-art facility in Sweden where she will make new friends, enjoy generous recreational activities and live out her remaining days in comfort with people who are just like her. Here, women over the age of fifty and men over the age of sixty who are single and childless are saved from a life devoid of value and converted into productive members of society. The price? Their bodies, harvested piece by piece for the ‘necessary’ ones (those on whom children depend) and sometimes their minds, as they take part in social and psychological experiments, until the day comes when they make their Final Donation and complete their purpose in life. Despite the ruthless nature of this practice, the ethos of this near-future society and the Unit is to take care of others. Resigned to her fate as a ‘dispensable’, Dorrit finds her days there to be peaceful and consoling. For the first time in her life she no longer feels like an outsider – a single woman in a world of married couples with children. But when she meets a man inside the Unit and falls in love, everything changes… (From Amazon)
Published 2009 by One World Publications  
I’ve owned this book since early 2010, after reading an amazing review by a fellow blogger (who no longer blogs and sadly can’t be linked to) and rushing straight over to Amazon to buy it. Seven years later, I picked it up. And Damn, why I didn’t sooner … it was gripping and I read it in one sitting.  Haunting, plausible and spirited, this was a thought provoking read of a future that isn’t altogether unimaginable.  
                                                                         ——–————– 

Evie Taylor, a girl with a big heart, gets lost in the big city. For the past two years, Evie has lived an invisible life in London. Her neighbours think she’s just moved in, her sister mistakes her for a live-in nanny, and even Evie’s manager at work can’t remember her name. But all that is about to change …this Christmas has brought a flurry of snow and unimaginable possibilities into town. Evie works in the stockroom of an old-fashioned, family-run, London fashion department store. Hardy’s is a beautiful, wood-panelled jewellery box of a building, but it’s in dire need of a makeover. One day Evie overhears that if the entire store’s takings don’t turn round by Dec 26th – 3 weeks’ time – the family who own it will be forced to sell to one of the big chains. Hardy’s is in need of a Christmas miracle. Determined to save her beloved store, Evie hatches a plan to secretly transform it into a magical place to shop again. But has the time come for her to be noticed too? When an accidental romantic encounter with handsome, enigmatic Joel gives her the chance of a whole new identity, she takes it. (From Goodreads.com

Published by Simon & Schuster 2011 

This year I got pretty ill over Christmas, a cold virus that lead to severe sinusitis and chest infection. Lovely. Anyway, I missed the last week of work and all the pre-Christmas fun of panto’s, meals out, parties. My youngest child also started secondary school this year so there were no angelic carol services to go to or visits to Santa. Seriously, it was so unfestive and depressing. So, I picked up this book which I’d had on the shelf since 2011 and for a few hours it relieved me of my misery. Heartwarming, fun, shopping = A great Christmas pick me up indeed.  

                                                                      ——–————– 

Have you read any of these books? Writing this actually makes me more determined to read some of the books I’ve had for years and never got around to, how many other hidden gems lurk on my shelves?