Book Reviews – December 2021

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Good morning and happy hump day!! I can’t believe December is going by so quickly – I am definitely not ready for Christmas yet, are you?

I normally try and read some festive books in time for my December reviews but this year it just hasn’t happened. I do have a couple which I am still reading, and will probably have the reviews for you in January, but none really stood out to me this month if I am honest! This doesn’t mean it was a bad book month though as I’ve actually read some really good ones – as you will see from my reviews!

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Promising Young Women (Audible)

by Caroline O’Donoghue

The Blurb

‘So brilliant . . . It couldn’t really be more timely . . . I highly recommend it’ DOLLY ALDERTON

‘I loved it. The writing is whipsmart and so witty’ MARIAN KEYES

Jane Peters is an adrift twenty-something by day, and a world-weary agony aunt by night. But when an office party goes too far, Jane dissolves into the high-stakes world of being the Other Woman: a role she has the right advice for, but not the smarts to follow through on.

What starts out as a drunken mistake quickly unravels as Jane discovers that sex and power go hand-in-hand, and that it’s hard to keep your head when you’ve become someone else’s dirty little secret. And soon, her friendships, her sanity and even her life are put into jeopardy…

What I Thought

I really enjoyed this listen and found it to be really timely and smart. It addresses issues such as office power struggles, sexual harassment and gender inequality and I feel that many will be able to find this story relatable.

Although possibly billed as chick-lit, I actually think this is a lot more in depth and doesn’t follow the usual storyline many of those books do. It gets quite dark in some places and while at times I wanted to shout at Jane, I could also completely sympathise with her too. It will not make you fell warm and cosy at all but is a very good read (or listen in my case!).

Where To Buy

Buy from Amazon (Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback, Audible)

Lady Cecilia Is Cordially Disinvited For Christmas*

by Sheridan Jeane

The Blurb

Weary of the long hours he’s been spending on a make-or-break legal case, Devin Montlake, the youngest son of the Earl of Vincent, is thrilled at the prospect of spending Christmas with his childhood love Lady Cecilia. With professional success almost within his grasp, he can finally formalize their understanding. Unfortunately, his interfering family’s House Party might well be his last chance.

Believing they’ve been disinvited to the Vincent’s Christmas gathering, Lady Cecilia and her family are surprised when they receive Devlin’s last-minute plea to attend. Lady Cecilia knows the Vincents want better for Devlin than the daughter of an impoverished earl, and, after months of Devlin’s silence, she isn’t sure what to expect. Does Devlin plan to break things off with her in person, or will he ask for her hand in marriage? And if he does propose after so much time apart, how can she be sure she is still first in Devlin’s heart?

What I Thought

I enjoyed this short and sweet Christmas read and it is one of the only festive books I finished last month, although this was possibly due to the short read time.

I didn’t find myself getting invested in the characters but there is a second book to continue Cecilia and Davin’s story, which may contain more about these characters and help the reader invest in them.

This isn’t going to challenge for a spot in my top ten books of the year but it wasn’t entirely terrible. Am easy and short read that’s perfect for this season.

Where To Buy

Available from Amazon (Paperback)

Apples Never Fall (Audible)

by Liane Moriarty

The Blurb

The Delaney family love one another dearly – it’s just that sometimes they want to murder each other . . .

Joy Delaney and husband Stan have done well. Four wonderful grown-up children. A family business to envy. The golden years of retirement ahead of them.

So when Joy Delaney vanishes – no note, no calls, her bike missing – it’s natural that tongues will wag.

How did Stan scratch his face? And who was the stranger who entered and suddenly left their lives? What are they all hiding?

But for the Delaney children there is a much more terrifying question: did they ever know their parents at all?

What I Thought

Well if you have read my blog for a while you will know I LOVE Liane Moriarty and have pretty much read every one of her books. I also really like to get them on Audible as I love the lady who reads her books voice – it makes for such a nice listen!

But the start of this one really did not grab me and I was struggling during the first quarter to get into it if I am honest. However, I am really glad I stuck with it as I did feel it got better as I got to know more about the character’s and wanted to work out the many twists and turns.

The ending was really odd – I thought I was nearing the end and noticed that actually, I had a lot still to listen too. I think it could have ended at that point, but was grateful that a couple of loose ends were tied up – however, I don’t think it was needed.

Not my favourite Liane Moriarty read but I did enjoy. If this is your first read of something of hers, I would definitely recommend you try others because some of those are a whole lot better (Nine Perfect Strangers wasn’t one of my favourites to be honest either so not that one!). If you are a fan though, you will still like it, just not probably as much as some of the others.

Where To Buy

Buy from Amazon (Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback, Audible)

Underbelly*

by Anna Whitehouse

The Blurb

UNDERBELLY
[n.] singular

The soft underside or abdomen of a mammal.
An area vulnerable to attack.
A dark, hidden part of society.

Lo and Dylan are living parallel lives, worlds apart.

Lo is the ultimate middle-class mother, all perfectly polished Instagram posts and armchair activism.

Dylan is just about surviving on a zero-hours telemarketing job from her flat, trying to keep food on the table.

But when they meet at the school gates, they are catapulted into each other’s homes and lives – with devastating consequences . . .

Explosive, sharply humorous and unflinchingly honest, Underbelly slices through the filtered surface of modern women’s lives to expose the dark truth beneath.

What I Thought

I started reading this book back when it was first released in August but did lose my way with it a little bit during the first third and picked up something else.

I am so glad I went back to it as the second two thirds of the book really picked up and had me hooked. You all know I enjoy a thriller and the latter half of the book seemed to move into this type of territory with some nail biting moments. The story follows two women, who I grew to like and identify with, their friendship and the world of social media. Both miscarriage and domestic abuse play a role in these women’s lives and these topics are handled sensitively, but with a good dose of reality.

I found it such a relatable and thought-provoking read. Written by Anna AKA @motherpukka – you can tell she has experience in the world of social media and writes with honesty and insight. The story is relevant to the times we live in and gives people a peek at what goes on behind the ‘perfect’ Instagram accounts we all see on a daily basis.

Where To Buy

Buy from Amazon (Kindle, Hardcover, Audible)

The Love of my Life*

by Rosie Walsh

The Blurb

I have held you at night for ten years and I didn’t even know your name. We have a child together. A dog, a house.

Who are you?

Emma loves her husband Leo and their young daughter Ruby: she’d do anything for them. But almost everything she’s told them about herself is a lie.

And she might just have got away with it, if it weren’t for her husband’s job. Leo is an obituary writer; Emma a well-known marine biologist, and, when she suffers a serious illness, Leo copes by doing what he knows best – reading and writing about her life. But as he starts to unravel her past, he discovers the woman he loves doesn’t really exist. Even her name is fictitious.

When the very darkest moments of Emma’s past life finally emerge, she must somehow prove to Leo that she really is the woman he always thought she was . . .

But first, she must tell him about the love of her other life.

The Love of My Life is the astounding new novel from Rosie Walsh, bestselling author of The Man Who Didn’t Call.

What I Thought

Normally I wouldn’t share a bool I had read so far from its release date but I loved this so much I had to share and it is already available to pre order and I know these sales make a huge difference for authors, so if you like the sound of it, go order!

The book deals with some heavy issues including postpartum psychosis and infertility but I couldn’t pit it down! The author handles these issues really well and I found the characters were likeable which meant I got invested in them and wanted things to work out well.

A fab read that I would really recommend and I will be checking out the other book by this author!

Where To Buy

Pre-order from Amazon (Kindle and Hardcover)


I do hope you have enjoyed reading my thoughts on these books – some fab ones this month that will definitely be good to curl up on the sofa with in the next couple of weeks when you get a minute to yourself!

I hope you are all keeping well and enjoying the festive season so far. Take care,

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