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Merry Christmas From Handwritten Girl

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Christmas is nearly upon us and I’ve found myself writing my annual sign off instead of wrapping presents that are still in their bags. Last minute as always!

This year was a great year for books and I’ve even listed my top ten books for 2017, just incase you are looking for a few last minute stocking fillers.

It was also a great year for Handwritten Girl, as I attended the Bord Gais Energy Book Awards for the first time and had an amazing time meeting some of Ireland’s finest literary talent ans well as spending Halloween weekend learning about the dark and interesting world of crime writing.

Before I sign off, I would like to say a huge thank you to all the lovely publishers and authors who introduced me to some of the most wonderful books this year, from intense thrillers to happy romances, there’s something for everyone to curl up with during the cold winter nights.

Most importantly, thank you to the readers of the website for taking the time to read a review, tweet, Favourite or Like a post, your support is appreciated tremendously. I hope you all have a safe and relaxing Christmas and receive loads of treats from Santa Claus, especially books as there are some great ones out there.

Have a Happy New Year and I shall see you in 2018.

Handwritten Girl’s Favourite Books of 2017.

1. The Break by Marian Keyes
2. Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell
3. Final Girls By Riley Sager
4. Bring Me Back By BA Paris
5. You, Me, Everything by Catherine Issac
6. The Summer of Impossible Things By Rowan Coleman
7. The Last Piece of My Heart by Paige Toon
8. Good Me, Bad Me by Ali Land
9. A Song For Tomorrow By Alice Peterson
10. The One By John Marrs

Bring Me Back By BA Paris

Bring Me Back‘Bring Me Back’ is the latest book by BA Paris.

The Disappearance.
Twelve years ago Finn’s girlfriend disappeared.
The Suspicion.
He told the police the truth about that night. Just not quite the whole truth.
The Fear. Now Finn has moved on.
But his past won’t stay buried…

I first became aware of BA Paris, when she released her debut last year called ‘Behind Closed Doors’, a dark and gripping story about the complexities of a controlling relationship. I consumed that book in a day. I then read her next book called ‘The Breakdown’ at a hairdressers appointment where I spoke to no-one, as I was so absorbed in the story.

So. when I heard that she was back with a new book called ‘Bring Me Back’, I knew that it was going to be another great story that really hooked my attention, particularly with the hashtag #ForgetSleep.

I began to read this book late one evening and reluctantly put it down, as I had to go to work the following day. But with its short and snappy chapters and them all ending with an addictive hook, I found it impossible to put down.

The story is primarily seen through the eyes of Finn, a man who was hopelessly in love with Layla, a young woman he met on New Year’s Eve. They had an intense and passionate affair, until one day in France whilst on holiday, she disappeared. Now, twelve years later, Finn is about to marry her sister Ellen. When, suddenly he starts to find tiny Russian dolls dotted about his home and throughout his day and he begins to wonder has Layla returned, as she had a tiny Russian doll when he met her.

The tale is written in the past and present tense and gives us a great insight into Finn, his personality and how he became the man that is now. He’s a confident and successful man who’s content in his life, but never quite managed to get over the woman who suddenly left his life. As a controlling character, he has so many unanswered questions, he’s hoping that now they may finally be answered. Layla is quite an intriguing character, she’s mysterious, whilst her sister Ellen is quite boring in comparison, she’s settled in her ways and seems thankful that Finn loves her.

As well as Finn’s narrative, there’s also another unknown voice in the story adding an element of mystery to the tale.

I’ve come to the point, where I thoroughly adore BA’s writing, she’s the queen of psychological thrillers. She’s so skilled at writing psychological tales that really pull the reader in. Cleverly engaging their attention at every twist and turn and keeping them on their toes. Dark and compelling, with a bleak and atmospheric backdrop that made for bittersweet reading in parts, ‘Bring Me Back’ is a twisted tale of love and obsession and just how far we will go, to be with the one we love. You will most definitely #ForgetSleep when you start this book.

You can pre-order Bring Me Back from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 8th March 2018.

Book News – Amanda Robson Reveals New Book Obsession

ObsessionIf you’re a fan of Paula Hawkins and BA Paris, then the new book by Amanda Robson called ‘Obsession’ is just the book for you.

What the back cover says

It is a simple question – a little game – that will destroy her life.

Carly and Rob are a perfect couple. They share happy lives with their children and their close friends Craig and Jenny. They’re lucky. But beneath the surface, no relationship is simple: can another woman’s husband and another man’s wife ever just be good friends?

Little by little, Carly’s question sends her life spiralling out of control, as she begins to doubt everything she thought was true. Who can she trust? The man she has promised to stick by forever, or the best friend she has known for years? And is Carly being entirely honest with either of them?

Obsession is a dark, twisting thriller about how quickly our lives can fall apart when we act on our desires.

I don’t know about you, but this is a book I’m definitely looking forward to reading!

You can pre-order the ebook of Obsession from Amazon from 4th May 2017 and the paperback will be available to buy from 1st June 2017.

The Breakdown By BA Paris

The Breakdown‘The Breakdown’ is the second book by BA Paris.

It all started that night in the woods. Cass Anderson didn’t stop to help the woman in the car, and now she’s dead. Ever since, silent calls have been plaguing Cass and she’s sure someone is watching her. Consumed by guilt, she’s also starting to forget things. Whether she took her pills, what her house alarm code is – and if the knife in the kitchen really had blood on it.

I absolutely loved BA Paris’ debut novel, ‘Behind Closed Doors’ , a story that sold 750,000 copies since February 2016, about a couple who are far from perfect behind closed doors. I read this book in a day and when I received a copy of ‘The Breakdown’, I literally dropped everything to get stuck in, fortunately I had a hair appointment that day, so I was able to sit back and enjoy the dark tale in peace.

The story is about a woman called Cass, whilst on a night out decides to take a short cut home when the weather is particularly bad. It’s on this journey that Cass sees a car pulled over with a woman sitting inside, being a good Samaritan, Cass pulls over to help the woman but when the woman doesn’t acknowledge her, Cass then gives up and drives on. When she hears on the news the following morning that the woman has been found dead, Cass is riddled with guilt that she should have done more. As times passes, Cass begins to feel watched and fears that the person who killed the woman in the car is coming after her next.

This book is truly an exciting and thrilling read and like her previous book, the story is written in a snappy and clever style, with short chapters that keeps the reader engaged and on their toes. Cass is a great leading lady, she’s happily married with the doting husband, but the guilt of not helping the woman is tearing her up, remorseful and terrified, she’s convinced that she’s next, especially when strange things start to happen, silent phone calls, strange men standing outside the house and when she begins to forget things, she begins to fear that not only is she the next potential target but that she is a victim of Alzheimer’s like her mother.

The setting of the story is wonderfully bleak and atmospheric, living in a quiet, rural area, provides a tense setting for the story, as Cass’s husband Matthew, is regularly away on business trips, living Cass alone with her overactive imagination and fear.

Once again, BA Paris has written another great atmospheric and psychological story, riddled with suspense and deceit from the very first page, ‘The Breakdown’ gives a fascinating insight into how the mind works and how far a person will go. A dark story about jealousy and relationship, this compelling story will take you on a compulsive journey that you won’t be able to put down.

You can pre-order The Breakdown from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 9th February 2017.

Behind Closed Doors By B.A Paris

Behind Closed Doors‘Behind Closed Doors’ is B.A Paris’ debut novel.

Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace. He has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You might not want to like them, but you do. You’d like to get to know Grace better. But it’s difficult, because you realise Jack and Grace are never apart. Some might call this true love. Others might ask why Grace never answers the phone. Or how she can never meet for coffee, even though she doesn’t work. How she can cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim. And why there are bars on one of the bedroom windows.

I picked this book up last week and was unable to put it down until I reached the finial page. This stunning story about mental and emotional abuse had gripped my attention throughout.

The story is seen solely through the eyes of Grace, a young professional woman who lives alone with only her younger sister Molly who suffers from Down Syndrome for company. One day when she is out with Molly in the park, she meets Jack, a fine, handsome man who catches her eye, with a good career as a lawyer who defends women in domestic abuse cases, he seems too good to be true with his chivalry and good manners and Grace can’t think of anything more perfect than accepting Jack’s proposal. But things change drastically for the couple when they exchange their wedding vows.

The story is initially written in the present tense but flows to the past tense to explain the setting of the story. I loved this book, the bleakness and loneliness of the surroundings made for engrossing reading, as Grace told the reader about her life. It’s very hard to go into much detail about the story, as I could end up revealing too much, but it truly is a remarkably gritty and intoxicating tale, as we discover the truth behind the closed doors.

I found that not only the plot line was really strong but the range of characters. Grace, is wonderful, a quiet and meek woman who gradually loses her independence and her confidence but with the support and determination of her younger sister she finds the strength to carry on. Molly, adds an element of humour and naivety into the dark tale with her outspokenness and love for her sister, who she is very protective off. Whereas Jack adds a very sinister and dark side to the story, that makes for cruel entertainment.

Gripping from the first page, ‘Behind Closed Doors’ is a cleverly written, psychological thriller about the dark side of human nature that is filled with twists and turns that leaves the reader breathless and lusting for more.

You can buy Behind Closed Doors from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.