Friday, 12 July 2019

SHELF LOVE: June Book Challenge





It’s been a very busy start to 2019, and sadly, not entirely a positive one so I’ve been really slacking on the blog posts. However, I’m really keen to get back posting regularly and adding a bit of variety with my posts, also. 

A few months back I put a poll up on my story asking whether people would be interested in book recommendations. I’m an avid reader and, if I’m enjoying a book, I can read it very quickly - sometimes in a couple of hours. I was pleased to see that this idea was really well received with a lot of people saying that they would be interested if I were to add this to my blog.

To make it a little bit more interesting, for myself (& hopefully for you too), I’ve taken a few of the challenges from a Pinterest book challenge to ensure that I’m mixing things up and not always reading the same genre/my usual book. I’m going to aim to do 3 of these challenges each month. 

Here goes!


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The Silent Patient - Alex Michaelides, 352 pages

Genre: Psychological Thriller, Mystery

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Blurb:


Alicia Berenson writes a diary as a release, an outlet - and to prove to her beloved husband that everything is fine. She can't bear the thought of worrying Gabriel, or causing him pain.
Until, late one evening, Alicia shoots Gabriel five times and then never speaks another word.

Forensic psychotherapist Theo Faber is convinced he can successfully treat Alicia, where all others have failed. Obsessed with investigating her crime, his discoveries suggest Alicia's silence goes far deeper than he first thought.
And if she speaks, would he want to hear the truth?

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Described as the “perfect thriller” that will leave you in a state of “intense, breathless excitement”. Cue the eye roll. Another award winning, incredible thriller that isn’t all it’s made out to be... or so I thought! However, the blurb really stood out for me. With one of the main characters - the only one able to explain her husbands death - mute, there was a great deal of mystery added to an already undetermined plot. I knew I had to read it and give into the hype. I do not regret it!

I found this book to be extremely fast paced and I read it in three sittings; in around 4 hours in total. I struggled to put it down. It really was one of those where your eyes are closing but you just HAVE to read the next chapter! Have to, not want to! If I had to describe this book in one word it would be ‘compelling’.

The characters stood out for me. I found Theo (the psychotherapist) to be very empathic and passionate in his role and I really resonated with him. However, I did wonder throughout why he was so interested in helping Alicia speak again as well as why he, at times, appeared to be more of a detective to the murder as opposed to her psychotherapist.

Alicia, although mute, was fascinating as she communicated through the detailed body language and actions described vividly by Michaelides. For me, detail is a big thing in a book. If the author is very vague in describing settings, characters and so on, I struggle to connect with the book but this was superb.

I loved that this was mainly narrated by Theo but also had snippets of Alicia’s diary, giving context to the incident but also an insight into her mind.

This is hands down one of the best books I have read and the twist at the end really got me, I did not see it coming! I would highly recommend this book to anyone that loves a psychological thriller and a book that keeps you guessing.

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Rating: 

*****



Nine Perfect Strangers - Liane Moriarty, 451 pages

Genre: Thriller

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Blurb:


Nine perfect strangers, each hiding an imperfect life.
A luxury retreat cut off from the outside world.
Ten days that promise to change your life.
But some promises - like some lives - are perfect lies . . .

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I picked this up with high expectations. After reading Big Little Lies, I was so excited to learn that Liane had released a new book.

I’ll be honest, I’m not really even sure what to say about this book. The idea behind it is good but the plot was slow and to be blunt, boring. I really struggled through this book but I kept on in the hope that there would be a twist at the end. There wasn’t.

I was really disappointed and I wouldn’t recommend this book.

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Rating:

*





This is going to hurt - Adam Kay, 285 pages

Genre: Memoir/Humour

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Blurb:


Welcome to the life of a junior doctor: 97-hour weeks, life and death decisions, a constant tsunami of bodily fluids, and the hospital parking meter earns more than you.

Scribbled in secret after endless days, sleepless nights and missed weekends, Adam Kay's This is Going to Hurt provides a no-holds-barred account of his time on the NHS front line. Hilarious, horrifying and heartbreaking, this diary is everything you wanted to know – and more than a few things you didn't – about life on and off the hospital ward.

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I’d heard so much hype about this book and, quite frankly, it didn’t appeal to me. It wasn’t because it didn’t sound good but I’d just got into the habit of reading the same kind of books, week in week out, and anything else just didn’t take my fancy. However, one day something switched and I decided to give it a go.

I actually really enjoyed this book. There were moments where I laughed so hard and had to read that section over and over but also moments where I cried or felt sad. It really gave me an insight into the life of a doctor and I’ll be honest, they deserve so much more credit than they’re given (and a pay rise). I knew the hours were long but I don’t think I really took the time to weigh up how difficult some of the situations might be and the fact that they’re expected to just snap back and go to another surgery straight after. 

I loved the format as it kept me engaged as a reader and the footnotes definitely helped at times as I’m certainly no medical professional!

If you’re looking for something a bit different, I’d really recommend this. You’ll be sure to have a rollercoaster of emotions but mainly laughter!

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Rating:

****


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I hope you've enjoyed Part 1 of my Shelf Love blogs. For the next few months, I'll be completing more topics from the challenge so keep your eyes peeled!

What's the best book you've read lately?
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