Monday 10 May 2021

Reading Round Up 2021 #19

 Hey there fellow bibliophiles.

Well after the previous week's lack of reading mojo, last week certainly made up for it (definitely helped by the calibre of books that I chose/was given to read.

Totalling almost one book a day - I actually read two books in a twenty four hour period - and I'm nearing my Goodreads challenge total for the year already!


So what books did I read, I hear you say in your heads...

The Perfect Lie by Jo Spain 5 out of 5 stars

He jumped to his death in front of witnesses. Now his wife is charged with murder.

Five years ago, Erin Kennedy moved to New York following a family tragedy. She now lives happily with her detective husband in the scenic seaside town of Newport, Long Island. When Erin answers the door to Danny's police colleagues one morning, it's the start of an ordinary day. But behind her, Danny walks to the window of their fourth-floor apartment and jumps to his death.

Eighteen months later, Erin is in court, charged with her husband's murder. Over that year and a half, Erin has learned things about Danny she could never have imagined. She thought he was perfect. She thought their life was perfect.

But it was all built on the perfect lie.


Just wow!

Not just The Perfect Lie but the perfect story.

Jo reels us in with her writing style, the layers of the tale building slowly, carefully.

There is no way that I could have guessed where this book would lead. The start intriguing, the middle a real puzzle and that ending, absolutely explosive.

The Perfect Lie is a novel that has your attention from the very beginning and you will not want to look away until you finish. Emotional and thrilling, this a book that really gets your heart pumping.

Love Notes by Staci Hart 4 out of 5 stars

When Annie Daschle arrives in New York City, the only thing she can control is her list.

Not her father’s death or the loss of her home. Not the hole in her heart or the defective valve that’s dictated so much of her life. But she can put pen to paper to make a list of all the ways she can live out loud, just like her dad would have wanted.

See the city from the top of the Empire State Building: Check.

Eat hot dogs on the steps of The Met: Check.

Get a job at Wasted Words: Check.

What wasn’t on her list: Greg Brandon. And just when she thinks she’s figured out where to put him, everything changes. In the span of a few staggering heartbeats, she finds herself her caught in the middle of something she can’t find her way out of, with no clear answers and no rules.

List or no list, she realizes she can’t control anything at all, not even her heart.

Not the decisions it makes, and not the moment it stops.


This was the perfect cure to my reading slump. A sweet, adorable romance.

Characters are likeable and the story itself is easy to follow. It's one of those books that is entertaining without being overly complicated.

I'd happily read more from this series. 

Laws of Physics by Penny Reid 3.5 out of 5 stars

One week.

Home alone.

Girl genius.

Unrepentant slacker.

Big lie.

What’s the worst that could happen?

Mona is a smart girl and figured everything out a long time ago. She had to. She didn’t have a choice. When your parents are uber-celebrities and you graduate from high school at fifteen, finish college at eighteen, and start your PhD program at nineteen, you don’t have time for distractions outside of your foci. Even fun is scheduled. Which is why Abram, her brother’s best friend, is such an irritant.

Abram is a talented guy, a supremely gifted musician, and has absolutely nothing figured out, nor does he seem to care. He does what he feels, when he feels, and—in Mona’s opinion—he makes her feel entirely too much.


Light-hearted, easy to read.

I can't fault the book, it did what I wanted it to, provide me with a much needed distraction from real life.

It just wasn't anything too different to other stories from the same genre. I'd happily purchase some of the other titles from this series (and subsequent ones).

Nighthawking by Russ Thomas 5 out of 5 stars

Under the dark cover of night, a figure climbs over the wall of the Botanical Garden with a bag and a metal detector. It's a dicey location in the populous city center, but they're on the hunt--and while most of what they find will be worthless, it takes only one big reward to justify the risk. Only this time, the nighthawker unearths a body. . . .

Detective Sergeant Adam Tyler and his newly promoted prot�g�, Detective Constable Amina Rabbani, are officially in charge of Cold Case Reviews. But with shrinking budgets and manpower in the department, both are shunted onto the murder investigation--and when the victim is identified as a Chinese national from a wealthy family, in the UK on a student visa, the case takes on new urgency to prevent an international incident.

As Tyler and Rabbani dig further into the victim's life, it's becomes clear there's more to her studies and relationships than meets the eye, and that the original investigation into her disappearance was shoddy at best. Meanwhile, someone else is watching these events . . . someone who knew the victim, and might hold the key to what happened the night she vanished.


Why oh why have I not know about Russ Thomas before this?

Nighthawking was a fast paced crime.

The suspects were several, the clues were clever and the tale utterly thrilling.

I don't think I could have guessed the outcome, no matter how hard I tried and believe me I was re-reading certain parts to see if there were pieces of the puzzle I was missing.

This was a superb example of this type of genre.

There were quite a few characters involved but the layout and timelines made for a compelling and uncomplicated read. Everything just flowed. From the locations, dialogue and general atmosphere portrayed - I felt a real tension throughout - the pressure built and the need for answers was felt not just by those in the story but me as the reader too.

And that ending.


Can we have book three now please? And just to add I see that there are going to be at least two more books in this series - need to go back and read the first one now.

We Run the Tide by Vendela Vida 4 out of 5 stars

Teenage Eulabee and her magnetic best friend, Maria Fabiola, own the streets of Sea Cliff, their foggy oceanside San Francisco neighborhood. They know Sea Cliff’s homes and beaches, its hidden corners and eccentric characters—as well as the upscale all-girls’ school they attend. One day, walking to school with friends, they witness a horrible act—or do they? Eulabee and Maria Fabiola vehemently disagree on what happened, and their rupture is followed by Maria Fabiola’s sudden disappearance—a potential kidnapping that shakes the quiet community and threatens to expose unspoken truths.        

Suspenseful and poignant, We Run the Tides is Vendela Vida’s masterful portrait of an inimitable place on the brink of radical transformation. Pre–tech boom San Francisco finds its mirror in the changing lives of the teenage girls at the center of this story of innocence lost, the pain of too much freedom, and the struggle to find one’s authentic self. Told with a gimlet eye and great warmth, We Run the Tides is both a gripping mystery and a tribute to the wonders of youth, in all its beauty and confusion. 


This is a story of many things.

Teenage angst.




And truth.

I really enjoyed the way this story was told.

Straight talking. Honest. Realistic.

This I guess you could say is a sort of coming of age story mixed in with themes such as rich vs poor, gender.

How we are 'supposed to behave', the lies we tell to get ahead in life, even the envious feelings we have of others.

What I took away from We Run the Tides is that not everything is as it seems from the outside and we should perhaps be more careful for what we wish for. Maybe we should be more grateful for what we do have, our life is what we make of it and how we live it is our choice.

How others perceive us doesn't mean that we are any better or worse than anyone else.

I wish these were things that I'd realised as a teenager trying to get ahead in life. This is a smart and intuitive tale that will give you a different perspective on growing up.

Just Haven't Met You Yet by Sophie Cousens 5 out of 5 stars

Laura's business trip to the Channel Islands isn't exactly off to a great start. After unceremoniously dumping everything in her bag in front of the most attractive man she's ever seen in real life, she arrives at her hotel only to realize she's grabbed the wrong suitcase from the airport. Her only consolation? The irresistibly appealing contents of the case: a copy of her favorite book; piano music; and a rugged, heavy knit fisherman sweater only a Ryan Gosling lookalike could pull off. The owner of this suitcase is Laura's dream man--she's sure of it. Now, all she has to do is find him.

The mix-up seems written in the stars. After all, what are the odds that she'd find The One on the same remote island where her mom and dad had first fallen in love, especially as she sets out to write an article about their epic romance? Commissioning surly cab driver Ted to ferry her around seems like her best bet in both tracking down the mystery suitcase owner and retracing her parents' footsteps. And if beneath Ted's gruffness lies a wit that makes their cab rides strangely entertaining, so much the better. But as Laura's long-lost luggage soulmate proves difficult to find--and as she realizes that the love story she's held on a pedestal all her life might not have been that perfect--she'll have to rethink her whole outlook on love to discover what she really wants.


Sophie has done it again!

This Time Next Year was my favourite book last year and let me tell you, her next release is a gem of a read too.

A quirky romance filled with loveable characters and a storyline that will have you laughing, smiling, just feeling all together positive.

I was so grateful to get early access on Netgalley and I cannot wait until I can get a physical copy in my hands.

Ok I have to be honest, I still haven't read The Book of Longings, all of the other lovely books just keep calling to me. Making a promise to myself to finish it (because I am actually enjoying it). Do you find yourself talking a long time to read some books?

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