Well, October is over so it’s time for my monthly wrap up. I didn’t think I’d read many books this month but I’ve managed 13 again! I also read most of my planned list with two exceptions to the six I settled on: I didn’t finish Song of The Damned as I just couldn’t get on with it and the price of The Shuddering doubled between planning and when I was ready to buy so I decided to read it at a later date.
I’ve read a number of debut novels this month and have particularly enjoyed the two Historical Fiction books I read; this seems to be a genre I’m leaning towards more and more lately. This month I’ve also completed my Goodreads Reading Challenge of 100 books much to my amazement and it felt apt that my one hundredth read was the latest release by my favourite author. So here’s what I’ve read this past month:
1. ‘The Impossible Girl’ by Lydia Kang ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Not only was this my first read of the month but it is also my favourite. It is a historical fiction about a girl born with two hearts who has been forced to hide her condition all her life, even living as a boy for many years, so she doesn’t end up as a curiosity to be examined or displayed at a museum. I’ve always lived the era this book was set in and also have a fascination with the history of medicine, so this was a perfect read for me. It is a beautifully written and remarkable book that I couldn’t put down.
2. ‘Matilda at 30’ by Roald Dahl⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – A children’s classic that, unbelievably to me turned 30 this year. I loved this book as a child and enjoyed rereading as an adult. This book stands the test of time and is as funny and fresh today as when it was released.
3. ‘The Winters’ by Lisa Gabriele ⭐⭐⭐⭐– Inspired by the classic novel ‘Rebecca’ this is a story of a young woman who marries an older man after a whirlwind romance. Upon their arrival at his ancestral home she is unwelcomed by his teenage daughter and finds herself in the midst of dark secrets that could not only threaten her marriage but her life. A breathtaking combination of romance, mystery and thriller this book deserved it’s title of “October’s book of the month” from Netgalley.
4. ‘The Visitors’ by Catherine Burns ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – I had never actually read a horror book before but was drawn to this debut novel. There was fear in every facet of this story from the start. Marion and John are brother and sister who live together in their run down childhood home. Marion seems scared of John and in the basement also live The Visitors, a mysterious and ominous presence that we know little about until the book nears its end. A scary and riveting read.
5.‘Who Is She’ by Ben Cheetham ⭐⭐⭐ – Sadly this book didn’t live up to it’s great synopsis and promising start.
6. ‘Keep You Safe’ by Rona Halsall ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – A gripping debut novel about a woman who has just been released from prison after serving time for a crime she didn’t commit. Her only thoughts are of finding and protecting her young son and uncovering the real criminal that set her up. An easy and exciting read.
7. ‘Roar’ by Cecelia Ahern ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – I’d never read a book of short stories before and overall I enjoyed this book. It covers a wide range of topics from reproductive rights to sexism and unhappy marriages. Not all the stories were great but it was a good read an perfect for when you only have a short time to pick up a book.
8. ‘The Doll Collector’ by Joanna Stephen-Ward ⭐⭐ – This book was disappointing and not at all like the synopsis. You’re sold a book of murder and suspense but most of the killings at historic and it is more focused on the character’s so-called romance. The character was also annoying and boring and the plot predictable.
9. ‘Perfect Silence’ by Helen Fields ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – The author blew me away with this book. It is her best yet. A tense thriller about a sadistic killer who kidnaps his victims then cuts away skin from their back and abdomen, leaving them to slowly bleed to death. The skin is then made into a doll that is the replica of the victim. I love how this author writes: her vivid descriptions the horror, anticipation and suspense. I found this book impossible to put down.
10. ‘This Lie Will Kill You’ by Chelsea Pitcher ⭐⭐⭐ – This book sounded great but unfortunately fell flat. It started well but became predictable and the characters became one dimensional. The bad guy was obvious so there was no big reveal and the ending felt like a let down.
11. ‘A Spark of Light’ by Jodi Picoult ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – My 100th book of 2018 and a book I’ve been waiting all year for. I consoled myself with the fact I was missing the UK release and book tour by buying a copy on holiday in the US and reading it on the beach. Jodi Picoult never shies away from controversial topics and this book is possibly her most controversial yet as it deals with the pro-choice/pro-life debate. A Spark of Light is a spectacular, important and unforgettable novel that is well researched and written without judgement of either side. It shows you how life isn’t black and white and how two people with opposing views can ultimately make very different choices for the same reason. I enjoyed the way this book started at the end even though it took a little getting used to. A must read.
12. ‘The Doll Factory’ by Elizabeth Macneal ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Due for release in May 2019 this debut novel is a captivating piece of historical fiction. Set in Victorian London in the world of Pre-Raphaelite art it is a tale of self discovery, love, obsession and darkness. Iris, who paints dolls and aspires to be a true artist, meets Silas, a taxidermist, while watching The Great Exhibition be erected. She soon forget the encounter while he is sure he’s found true love. Iris later leaves the Doll Factory and becomes an artist’s model and learns to paint, opening up a new world to her. Meanwhile Silas feels rejected and his obsession grows, leading him to make dark plans to ensure Iris falls in love with him.
13. ‘Before Her Eyes’ by Jack Jordan ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Naomi, who has been blind since birth, is struggling living in her small town and considering ending her life. When she stumbles on the lifeless body of a young woman she senses someone is close by and the hunt for the killer begins. But though she can’t see them, they can see her and they are intent on making her suffer and scared for her life. I haven’t yet posted my review but I loved this book and thought thought making the main character blind added a level of fear to the story that wouldn’t have been there otherwise.
Are there any books here you’ve read, are on your tbr pile or you’re looking forward to? How many books did you read this month? Comment below.
Thank you to Jack Jordan for my copy of Before Her Eyes, and to NetGalley, publishers and authors for my copies of Matilda, The Winters, Keep You Safe, Perfect Silence, Roar, The Doll Collector, This Lie Will Kill You and The Doll Factory.