This is the kind of novel that speaks quietly, but powerfully, and you have to listen to carefully, or else miss something important.
Review: Kate in Waiting by Becky Albertalli
This is my first taste of Becky Albertalli's writing, and it was lovely. It's the exact kind of sweet contemporary YA that is easy to consume, makes you feel a little gooey inside (but would probably become a bit sickly with too much consumption!)
Review: A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes
We know the tales of The Iliad, of the thousand Greek ships that landed on the Trojan plain to wage war for ten long years because a prince of Troy had seduced the King of Mycenae's wife. But this is not a book about Helen. This is a book about all the other major women, from Trojans to Greeks, goddesses to nymphs, who were caught up in their own war as Troy fell.
Review: Olive by Emma Gannon
When I started this book, I worried that it and I just weren't going to get along. Despite being 30+, and going through some stuff, Olive can come across as immature and self-centred. And the opening scene, with four giddy girls leaving university and dramatically screaming and sobbing all over each other did not sit well with me. However, thankfully, there was a lot more going on in these pages, which managed, in a non-judgemental way, to raise good questions about having children and whether you even need an obvious reason if you don't.
Review: The Course of Love by Alain de Botton
Another review that I was approved for back in 2016 but was slow to pick up, despite hearing how good this would be ... and, of course it was. The Course of Love is a very rational approach to the idea of love, and to the 'conventional' relationship in the modern age.
Review: One Year of Ugly by Caroline Mackenzie
I've seen a few up and down reviews of this book - it's hard to write a dark comedy about illegal immigrants! - but I really needn't have worried. I was unexpectedly gripped by One Year of Ugly - the setting of Trinidad, the yearning for Venezuela, the foul-mouthed MC and her steamy romance with a criminal.
Review: The Cat and the City by Nick Bradley
There was a lot going on in this short book and I will try and be as disciplined as possible in reviewing it, rather than interpreting it, as right now I want nothing more than just to sit down with someone else who has read it so we can talk about how GOOD that was.
Review: Polite Society by Mahesh Rao
Have you ever read a book that you wished was written completely differently? There were so many times in Polite Society when I wished that the story went in a different direction, rather than being confined to the plot of Jane Austen's Emma. And it was those moments of originality that made this an enjoyable read, whereas the rest made it feel more empty and stifled.
Review: Lord of Secrets by Breanna Teintze
Lord of Secrets has a great magic system, an interesting world and characters that have a lot to give - I just didn't quite get everything I was looking for, although it wasn't far off.
Book Review: What Happens Now? – Sophia Money-Coutts
Super characters, great relationships, some questionable content ...