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Things Bright And Beautiful By Anbara Salam

Things Bright And Beautiful‘Things Bright And Beautiful’ is Anbara Salam’s debut novel.

Advent Island is a place beyond the reaches of Bea’s most fitful imaginings. It’s not just the rats and the hordes of mosquitos and the weevils in the powdered milk. Past the confines of their stuffy little house, amidst the damp and the dust and the sweltering heat, rumours are spreading of devil chasers who roam the island on the hunt for evil spirits. And then there are the noises from the church at night. Yet, to the amusement of the locals and the bafflement of her husband, Bea gradually adapts to life on the island. But with the dreadful events heralded by the arrival of an unexpected, wildly irritating and always-humming house guest, Advent Island becomes a hostile place once again. And before long, trapped in the jungle and in the growing fever of her husband’s insanity, Bea finds herself fighting for her freedom, and for her life.

As a debut, this book was certainly a strong and interesting one, but it was also a book that I sometimes struggled with. I initially found it difficult to get into, only because I wasn’t sure of the location or the time era that the book was set in but once I did, I found it to a compellingly claustrophobic and eerie story where nothing is what it seems.

Set against the backdrop of Advent Island, a remote island in the Pacific, the story is seen from the perspective from different characters, but primarily seen from Max and Bea, two newcomers to the island, where Max has taken up the position of Pastor and Bea, is his wife as they adjust to their new lives.

I really liked Bea, she was a strong woman, who gave up her life in America to follow her husband, she adapted to her new life with no complaint, living in dirt, little food and spent most of her time alone whilst Max was delivering his religious messages. Max, I found less interesting, as he struggled to fit into the small village and be respected, especially with Marietta, a woman who was always questioning his beliefs and thoughts.

The story is beautifully written and written in such descriptive detail, that you almost felt you were in the forests with the characters. Riddled with mystery and intrigue throughout, this story deals with the complexities of relationships, religion and culture, ‘Things Bright And Beautiful’ is an atmospheric story that transports the reader into another world.

You can buy Things Bright and Beautiful from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Surprise Me By Sophie Kinsella

Surprise Me‘Surprise Me’ is the latest book by Sophie Kinsella.

After being together for ten years, Sylvie and Dan have a comfortable home, fulfilling jobs, beautiful twin girls, and communicate so seamlessly, they finish each other’s sentences. They have a happy marriage and believe they know everything there is to know about each other. Until it’s casually mentioned to them that they could be together for another sixty-eight years… and panic sets in. They quickly decide to create little surprises for each other, to keep their relationship fresh and fun. But in their pursuit of Project Surprise Me – anything from unexpected gifts to restaurant dates to photo shoots – mishaps arise with disastrous and comical results. Gradually, the surprises turn to shocking discoveries. And when a scandal from the past is uncovered, they begin to wonder if they ever really knew each other after all…

For fans of Sophie Kinsella, you’re in for a treat with her latest book, ‘Surprise Me’, a heart-warming and witty story about family and relationships.

In this story, we meet Sylvia and Dan, a happy couple who are content with each other and their twin daughters, until they discover that they are going to be together for 68 years. Delighted that they are both going to be each other’s happy ever after, they are both terrified that they will grow to hate each other. So, Sylvia comes up with a genius idea to inject some spontaneity into their relationship by surprising each other. But in the true style of Sophie’s writing, nothing is ever simple and there are plenty of unexpected surprises along the way, which ends up challenging the couple’s commitment.

I loved this story. From the very beginning, it was light-hearted and engaging and the characters really made for fun reading. Sylvia is an interesting character, she’s happy in her relationship, but once she finds out about how long their marriage will last, she finds herself re-evaluating her life. Once a confident and happy woman, she begins to find flaws in her life and struggles to properly communicate with Dan, which causes issues for the couple. What I really enjoyed about the story, is that it reflected on real relationships issues, particularly long-term when relationships become stale and mundane.

The story is filled with many vibrant and interesting characters, particularly Sylvia’s boss, an old fashioned woman who struggles to adapt to life with gadgets and social media. The story flows at a lovely pace, with witty narrative and drama along the way that made for really enjoyable reading.

With a vibrant cover and just the right amount of sentimentally and humour, ‘Surprise Me’ is a deliciously written story about new beginnings and discovery

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

Faking Friends By Jane Fallon

Faking Friends‘Faking Friends’ is Jane Fallon’s latest book.

Amy thought she knew who Melissa was – then again, Amy also thought she was on the verge of the wedding of her dreams to her long-distance fiancé.When her career suddenly begins to unravel, Amy pays a surprise trip home to London. Her boyfriend Jack is out, but it looks like another woman has been making herself at home. And that Other Woman is Melissa. Amy has lost her job, her fiancé, her best friend and her home in one disastrous weekend – but instead of falling apart she’s determined to get her own back.Piecing her life back together won’t be half as fun as dismantling theirs, after all.

In this book, we meet Amy, a successful actress in New York, whose career suddenly comes to an end and she finds herself returning to London with her tail between her legs. She’s looking forward to seeing her fiancé Jack as they have spent so much time apart with her busy career but she gets the shock of her life when she discovers that whilst she’s been away, her best friend Mel has moved in on her life with her fiancé.

Amy is now in limbo, no job and no fiancé, she’s determined to move on but isn’t going to let onto either of them that she knows about their affair, instead she decides to play games with them instead and this really makes for entertaining reading.

Amy is a great character, she’s strong and driven and refuses to go down without a fight, gradually moving her life into a small grotty flat that she now calls home. But with the help of her friend Kat, a woman she wasn’t as close to as she was to Mel, Amy begins to create a new life for herself and even meets a handsome new man.

In Jane’s witty style of writing, the story is also seen through the narrative of Mel and this for me makes for delicious reading. Mel, is self absorbed, opinionated and also self entitled. She rarely sees herself as doing anything wrong and blames others for her own failures. She’s jealous of Amy’s life, as she always wanted to be the actress and we see that from the flashbacks that are scattered throughout the story.

Deliciously funny and captivating from the start, ‘Faking Friends’ is a cleverly written tale about the complexities of female relationships and starting over. I loved it.

You can pre-order Faking Friends from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 11th January 2018.

Jane Corry Reveals New Book – The Dead Ex

The Dead ExJane Corry has revealed the name of her exciting new book for 2018 called ‘The Dead Ex’.

What the back cover says –

‘I wish he’d just DIE.’

He said in sickness and in health. But after Vicki was attacked at work and left suffering with epilepsy, her husband Daniel left her for his mistress.

So when Vicki gets a call one day to say that he’s gone missing, her first thought is ‘good riddance’. But then the police find evidence suggesting that Daniel is dead. And they think Vicki had something to do with it.

What really happened on the night of Daniel’s disappearance?
And how can Vicki prove her innocence, when she’s not even sure of it herself?

I’ve just recently read Jane’s last book called ‘Blood Sisters’, which was a great thriller so I’m looking forward to ‘The Dead Ex’.

You can pre-order The Dead Ex from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 2nd August 2018.

Jenny Sparrow Knows The Future By Melissa Pimental

Jenny Sparrow Knows The Future‘Jenny Sparrow Knows The Future’ is the latest book by Melissa Pimental.

According to the plan Jenny made at thirteen, it’s time for her to get married. But when her boyfriend proposes a break instead of a wedding, a girls’ weekend in Vegas is the only solution . . . until she wakes up in a stranger’s bed, and discovers that this is the year she gets married – to the wrong man. Jenny wants a quick divorce and her old boyfriend back. But what if her accidental husband has other ideas?

I’ve become quite a fan of Mellissa Pimentel, after reading her previous book, ‘The One That Got Away’. Her writing is sharp and witty and touches on real life issues such as the pressure that women have to deal with such as marriage and children.

In this story, we meet Jenny, who’s life is pretty much dictated by a list, she and her best friend Isla made when they were teenagers. In this list, they were intending to achieve goals by certain times in their lives, although, Isla gave up on the list and achieved her one item on the list of becoming a surgeon, Jenny has lived her life around it. And when Christopher, her long term boyfriend doesn’t propose on her 31st birthday, Jenny feels immense pressure and that time is running out. So, she seizes Isla’s offer of a weekend in Las Vegas as an distraction. It’s there that we meet Jackson Gaines, a handsome and warm character who Jenny marries whilst drunk and has no idea until Jackson turns up in London reminding her of that ill fated night and promises that if she spends the week with him, that he will grant her a divorce.

I loved this book and consumed it in a day, with its bright cover, the book was a fun distraction from start to finish.

Jenny is an interesting character, her childhood was far from normal and she seems to rely on the list to help her get through her life. She’s fun but settled in her relationship but craves more and when Christopher doesn’t propose, she fears for the worst.

I absolutely loved her adventure in Las Vegas and found her relationship with her best friend Isla, truly entertaining and fun. Isla was a great character, she’s rude, outspoken and brings a brash side to the soft tale. I found myself sniggering away through the story.

Like Jenny, it was hard not to fall for Jackson, with his handsome looks and old fashioned Texan charm, he brought a touch of charisma to the story.

If you loved ‘The Hangover’ and were fans of ‘Bridesmaids’, then this boisterous tale is just for you. Packed with crude humour, fantastic friends and plenty of one-liners, ‘Jenny Sparrow Knows The Future’ is a witty and fast paced story about the pressures of life, dating and sometimes it’s best not to always follow a list. Perfect for fans of Linsey Kelk.

You can buy Jenny Sparrow Knows the Future from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.