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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

Then She Was Gone By Lisa Jewell

Then She Was Gone‘Then She Was Gone’ is the thrilling new book by Lisa Jewell.

She was fifteen, her mother’s golden girl. She had her whole life ahead of her. And then, in the blink of an eye, Ellie was gone. It’s been ten years since Ellie disappeared, but Laurel has never given up hope of finding her daughter. And then one day a charming and charismatic stranger called Floyd walks into a café and sweeps Laurel off her feet. Before too long she’s staying the night at this house and being introduced to his nine year old daughter. Poppy is precocious and pretty – and meeting her completely takes Laurel’s breath away.
Because Poppy is the spitting image of Ellie when she was that age. And now all those unanswered questions that have haunted Laurel come flooding back. What happened to Ellie? Where did she go? Who still has secrets to hide?

When it comes to Lisa Jewell, I’m a huge fan of her book, I love and admire how she has transcended beautifully from writing romantic fiction to psychological thrillers that grip you at every page and her latest book is no different.

In this book, we meet Laurel, a mother who’s daughter disappeared one day and was never found. She doesn’t believe that Ellie ran away, her daughter was happy and about to start her exams and prepare for her bright future ahead, she had no reason to leave. Years later, there is a discovery and finally Laurel can put Ellie to rest but she’s left with a lot of unanswered questions.

Laurel decides to move forward with her life, trying to take an interest in her other children’s lives, as she felt she neglected them with Ellie’s disappearance. And with moving on, Laurel meets Floyd, a handsome man with an outspoken and mature daughter called Poppy, who really reminds Laurel of Ellie.

As the story progresses, it is seen through different narratives all giving various perspectives to the tale. As well as the various narratives, the story also travels back and forth in time, setting the scenes.

Laurel is a guilty mother, guilty that she lost her child as well as being guilty of having a favourite child. She tries to form a bond with her other daughter Hanna, but she pushes her away, tired of being second best. When she meets Poppy, she’s curious about the old fashioned child with an opinion on everything and is drawn to her and her father who has brought some happiness into her bleak life.

I adored this book and have to say that I think it’s my favourite book by Lisa to date. The chapters are short, so it’s very easy to keep reading and thinking “just one more chapter before bed” and that’s how I ended up reading into the early hours!

I loved the characters and found them to be engaging, relatable with their troubled that all made for compelling reading. A fast paced thriller with just the right mix of psychological and poignancy to keep the reader on their toes,’Then She Was Gone’ is a cleverly written and delicious read that is perfect for fans of Nicci French.

You can pre-order Then She Was Gone from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 27th July 2017.

Lisa Jewell Reveals New Book – Then She Was Gone

Then She Was GoneI love this time of the year, because it’s usually about this time that Lisa Jewell reveals a new book and I’m excited to reveal her latest book ‘Then She Was Gone’.

What the back cover says

THEN
She was fifteen, her mother’s golden girl. She had her whole life ahead of her. And then, in the blink of an eye, Ellie was gone.

NOW
It’s been ten years since Ellie disappeared, but Laurel has never given up hope of finding her daughter. And then one day a charming and charismatic stranger called Floyd walks into a café and sweeps Laurel off her feet.
Before too long she’s staying the night at this house and being introduced to his nine year old daughter. Poppy is precocious and pretty – and meeting her completely takes Laurel’s breath away.

Because Poppy is the spitting image of Ellie when she was that age. And now all those unanswered questions that have haunted Laurel come flooding back.

What happened to Ellie? Where did she go? Who still has secrets to hide?

‘Then She Was Gone’ sounds like another gripping story from one of my favourite authors.

You can pre-order Then She Was Gone from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 27th July 2017.

I Found You By Lisa Jewell

I Found You‘I Found You’ is the latest book by Lisa Jewell.

East Yorkshire: Single mum Alice Lake finds a man on the beach outside her house. He has no name, no jacket, no idea what he is doing there. Against her better judgement she invites him in to her home. Surrey: Twenty-one-year-old Lily Monrose has only been married for three weeks. When her new husband fails to come home from work one night she is left stranded in a new country where she knows no one. Then the police tell her that her husband never existed.

‘I Found You’ is the latest book by Lisa Jewell and continues in the same dark style as per her previous books that makes for thrilling and addictive reading.

The story is spilt into four parts spanning over twenty years and is asked through the perspective of three characters, Alice, Frank Lily.

One day single mum Alice finds a man on the beach beside her house, concerned for his welfare, she takes him into her house much to the disgust of her children and begins to look out for Frank, a man with no memory as to who he is and why he’s suddenly turned up on the beach. Meanwhile in London, Lily has discovered that the man she married has suddenly disappeared and as she begins to look into Carl’s whereabouts, she realises that the man that she thought was her soulmate, isn’t as perfect as he led her to believe. And finally in 1993, we meet Gray and his younger sister Kirsty, who are on a family holiday in Riddington with their parents, everything is going smoothly on the rather boring holiday, until a young man called Mark begins to peruse Kirsty much to Gray’s annoyance as there is something about Mark that Gray doesn’t quite trust.

I read this book in two days, I would have read it in less if I didn’t have to sleep and work, it’s a complex story with fascinating characters and a bleak atmosphere made this a fabulous book.

Alice is great lead, strong and independent, she doesn’t care for what people think, she only cares about her three children and her parents. Her strength and kind nature is vividly written, when we see her take a stranger into her home and welcome him as an old friend, as she tries to help him piece his life together. The stranger who they name is Frank, is a tired man, scared of what has happened in his life to make him forget everything, he finds solace in Alice’s frantic house, he enjoys the hive of activity which helps distract him from his troubled life. Meanwhile, young Lily, a woman from Ukraine, thought her life was mapped out now she had a married wealthy man who promised to take care off her and her life is uncertain and now the brash woman is worried what will come of her life. I found Lily to be quite an unlikeable character, she had a spoilt arrogance about her, that made her unappealing.

Once again Lisa has written a truly gripping book that pulls the reader in. The bleak complexities of the story plus the inclusion of a past story that is cleverly intertwined with the present made this story to be quite surprising and tense reading. Riddled with drama, suspense and intriguing characters, ‘I Found You’ is another brilliantly thrilling book from one of my favourite authors.

You can buy I Found You from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Lisa Jewell Reveals New Book – I Found You

I Found YouI’m so excited to see that Lisa Jewell is back with a new book this summer, intriguingly called ‘I Found You’.

The story of ‘I Found You’ is –

‘How long have you been sitting out here?’

‘I got here yesterday.’

‘Where did you come from?’

‘I have no idea.’

East Yorkshire: Single mum Alice Lake finds a man on the beach outside her house. He has no name, no jacket, no idea what he is doing there. Against her better judgement she invites him in to her home.

Surrey: Twenty-one-year-old Lily Monrose has only been married for three weeks. When her new husband fails to come home from work one night she is left stranded in a new country where she knows no one. Then the police tell her that her husband never existed.

I love Lisa’s books and the last few have been particularly great so I am really looking forward to ‘I Found You’.

You can pre-order I Found You from Amazon and will be available to buy from 14th July 2016.