Friday 4 September 2020

What I've been reading through August

Lockdown has been bloody marvellous for reading, hasn't it?

This month I hit my Goodreads Challenge of 75 books! I set my total at 75 because that was what I read last year so I'm intrigued to see how many I can clock up by the end of 2020. We're still staying home a lot at the moment - we've ventured out a little more than we have been and it's been nice but I'm not quite ready to let go of our time at home as a family, it has been so valuable to us all. 

With September here, our routine is starting to look a lot more normal especially with our son going back to preschool which I'm so not ready for but that does mean I can spend his mornings there with a cup of coffee and a book so not all so bad! 

This is the first month I haven't read over ten books - I've only read three! What I've done is include those three and one I read in July but forgot to include so there are four mini-reviews for you to look over. 

As always, I keep everything I've read on my Books 2020 highlight on my Instagram so if you're looking for any more recommendations - be sure to look there too. 

Dominicana by Angie Cruz
In a bid to diversify my reading list, I stumbled across Dominicana and fell in love. It follows Ana, a 15-year-old girl who is forced to marry a much older man and move to New York where she knows no one and doesn't speak the language. It's a story of how she grows into herself and it is told perfectly - the writing is beautiful, simple and poetic with descriptions that bring the entire book to life - I felt if I closed my eyes, I could almost taste the food that Ana prepared to remind her of home.

I also loved the interplay between Ana's memories of her life in the Dominican Republic and her present in New York. The writing really allows you to understand female immigrants who found themselves in the United States in the '60s. It's a really brilliant book that you should absolutely add to your reading list. 

The Nidderdale Murders by J.R.Ellis (read as part of an AD on Instagram)
Love a gritty murder mystery? The Nidderdale Murders is for you! It is full of shocking twists that'll keep you guessing until the very end. Set in the Yorkshire Dales in a village where everyone has a motive for murder or so you think - there are a number of possible suspects, I changed my theory so many times and I was so sure at one point but nope, the author truly tricked me.

I really loved the character development, DCI Oldroyd was such an interesting character and the description of Nidderdale really helped conjure up the atmosphere of a remote Yorkshire village. I couldn't put it down. Sign of a fab murder mystery? I think so!

The Mothers by Sarah J. Naughton 
I stumbled across this on Amazon and the reviews were really good but I was kinda disappointed as it was so predictable. Five women, Chrissy, Electra, Skye, Jen, and Bella - all with very diverse personalities and who, on the face of it, only have one thing in common, they're children. They wouldn’t normally be friends if they hadn't met at an antenatal group but for some reason, their friendship has endured and they continue to meet for drinks at each other's houses, even though it sometimes seems that they actually don't really like each other very much. 

It follows the women's friendship and a missing husband - I'm sure you can figure out the rest. I found it quite an addictive read but more so because I wanted to know if I'd be proved right. I'm glad I didn't spend days on it as I would've felt like I'd wasted my time. 

Someone We Know by Shari Lapena
I'm a huge fan of Shari Lapena and devour her books in a day and this was no different but it wasn't my favourite. Lapena is brilliant at writing short chapters that end on a cliff hanger making you want to keep reading but this felt really underwhelming. 

There was so much build-up but towards the end, it started to get quite repetitive and just very blah. The characters were very unlikable and to be honest, I wasn't that fussed who committed the crime - I just wanted to see the end. I'm hoping her next novel redeems this one for me. 

What have you been reading recently? 

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