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The Choice By Alex Lake

The Choice‘The Choice’ is the latest book by Alex Lake.

Matt Westbrook only turned his back for a moment. But when he looks around, his car – with his three young children inside – has vanished. Panicked, Matt assumes a car thief has got more than he bargained for, but then he starts to receive text messages: This is a kidnap. If you want to see your children again, you will exchange them for your wife. Matt and his wife Annabelle are horrified. They can’t involve the police, or their children will be killed. Which means they have to choose: Annabelle, or their children. Either option is unthinkable. But one is inevitable. And they have only hours to make their decision.

This is first book that I’ve read by Alex and it was a fantastic introduction to the author with this fast paced thriller about every parents nightmare. The story is seen through the narrative of married couple Matt and Annabelle, who are parents to 3 children. One day whilst grabbing a few bits in the shop, Matt returns to his car to discover that it’s gone with the children in it. He receives a message that he cannot contact the police or he’ll never see them again. As him and Annabelle prepare for the first, the kidnapper reveals their ransom demands. A trade – Annabelle for the children. The story then follows the couple as they decide this crippling decision without the aid of the police.

The story is written in past and present tense and introduces Matt and Annabelle when they meet at university, becoming friends and then partners. Each chapter from the past is a milestone in their lives, such a marriage, babies and Annabelle achieving her dream of becoming a published author.

As well as perspectives from Matt and Annabelle, there is a narrative from the kidnapper and I found these insights fascinating as it give some detail and background into the kidnapper and reasoning behind it all.

The story flows at a fast pace, as time is really off the essence in the book and the desperation and fear is evident with each moment. As the story progresses through the couple’s relationship, we meet a variation of characters along the way and with each new personality, we find another possible suspect.

Opening with a nightmare scenario and cleverly crafted with just the right amount of drama and suspense to keep the reader hooked in the story and there were plenty of twists for there never to be a dull moment.

A gripping psychological thriller with devoted parents fearing the worst, ‘The Choice’ is a tense and atmospheric story that makes for a roller coaster of a story.

You can buy ‘The Choice’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Choice By Claire Wade

The Choice‘The Choice’ is the latest book by Claire Wade.

Everything you ate was monitored by the government. Every step you took was counted. Your children were weighed every day at school. Neighbours reported on neighbours and no one was safe from judgement. Sugar was illegal, and baking was a crime.

A thrilling page turner from the first page, ‘The Choice’ is reminiscent of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ with its controlling dystopian world that makes for scary realistic reading.

The story is seen through the perspective of Olivia, mother to Matthew and Mia and wife to Danny and that’s all she’s feels is worthy off. Having to give to give up her dreams of her bakery when Mother Mason came into power, her life lacks drive and happiness and she finds herself under constant stress that she will do something wrong jeopardising her family.

They leave in a world, where every thing that we enjoy such as sugar, cakes, sweets and alcohol have been banned in a bid to rid people of illness, which in theory is good but in the controlling manner that it’s delivered does make for frustrated reading. In fact, they are not just banned but they are illegal and if they object to these laws, they end up in the Box of Shame, shaming them for the alleged crimes.

As a debut, ‘The Choice’ is a well crafted and interesting story, looking at a world in which the things that we enjoy most being taking away from us, to serve a greater goodness, but in doing has created a fearful and vulnerable society, who’s diet, shopping, social media and every single aspect is controlled and monitored.

To be honest, I found the story to be frightfully realistic and could actually see these changes coming into effect somewhere further down the line, now that menus want to contain calorie information.

I really enjoyed Olivia and really felt an empathy and connection as she struggled to find her way in the new world now that her passion was cruelly taken away from and her frustration was equally understandable. The character Mother Mason who was the Prime Minister was also interesting as the names evokes a kind and homely elderly lady but who is a controlling tyrant imposing strict regimes and laws

A gripping story that makes you take for granted the luxurious items that are part of everyday life, ‘The Choice’ is a dark and atmospheric story that really pulls the reader in, as we join a world who don’t have decisions to make when it comes to lifestyle choices.

You can buy ‘The Choice’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Choice By Nicholas Sparks

The Choice‘The Choice’ is the latest book by Nicholas Sparks.

Travis Parker has it all: a good job, loyal friends and his dream home in North Carolina. The last thing he’s looking for is a serious relationship. That is, until Gabby Holland moves in next door.

Despite Travis’s attempts to be friendly, the alluring redhead simply will not warm to him. But Travis feels compelled to get closer to her, leading them both down a road where they will face tough decisions, shocking revelations and devastating consequences.

When it comes to Nicholas Sparks books, they are always guaranteed to leave the reader in tears, you only have to mention ‘The Notebook’ and my eyes will mist up. So when I was sent a copy of ‘The Choice’ to review, which is now being adapted for the big cinema, I prepared myself for heartache and with a deep breath I dove in.

The story is written as a dual narrative and is seen through the eyes of handsome veterinarian Travis Parker and his new neighbour Gabby Holland and initially starts in the present but then goes back to when the couple first meet and then flashes back to the present tense.

Travis and Gabby become neighbours when Gabby moves to the neighbourhood with her dog Molly. When Molly becomes pregnant, Molly is convinced that it’s Travis’a dog Moby’s fault and she’s raging with him, but she is caught off guard when she approaches Travis about this and finds that not only is she wrong but she finds herself attracted and drawn to Travis, even though she is already in a relationship. For Travis, relationships come and go, unable to settle down, he sees something in Gabby, that’s he’s never seen in other girls, he can’t seem to get her out of his head and they embark on a tentative and exciting new relationship.

It’s hard to go into detail about this book, as like Nicholas’ previous books there is a twist that leaves the reader heartbroken. Both characters are interesting, Gabby is quiet and hardworking and Travis is lead back and kind and introduces Gabby to the wilder side of life with his love of motorbikes and boats and also introduces Gabby to his circle of friends, so she doesn’t feel lonely in the new area. The story is mainly about the two characters but Travis’ sister Stephanie, is also in the book and with her outspoken approach, adds an injection of humour and fun to the story.

A sweet story with lovely characters and plot that I genuinely enjoyed, ‘The Choice’ is a tender and poignant tale that will most certainly look lovely on the silver screen.

You can buy The Choice from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The generous people at Little Brown Books are offering a signed copy of ‘The Choice’ to give away. To be in with a chance of winning, simply answer below with the name of your favourite Nicholas Sparks book. Competition applies only to United Kingdom and Ireland. Good luck!