May 2023 Book Reviews

Ad | Books marked * were gifted in return for a review | All opinions are my own

Hello and happy new week! Today I am sharing some of my recent reads and what I thought about them. Hopefully if you are looking for a recommendation, you will find one here!

The Other Mother*

by Miranda Rijks

The Blurb

Four-year-old Florrie is missing. Who has taken her, and what do they want?

When Jane is asked to pick up her friend’s daughter, Florrie, from school, she can’t imagine the horror that will unfold. Because someone pretending to be Jane has already collected Florrie. And now the little four-year-old is missing…

Things don’t get any easier when Jane starts receiving anonymous letters that include intimate details about her life. As a psychologist and agony aunt, she’s used to getting letters asking for advice, but these are different. Are they somehow connected to the missing child?

Then, to her utter dismay, Jane finds incriminating evidence in her own home, evidence that is clearly linked to Florrie. She starts to doubt everyone around her, even her own family – could one of them be implicated in Florrie’s disappearance?

Under the unspeakable stress, her marriage crumbles, her children act out and her once-successful business falls apart. And that’s when Jane discovers a shocking secret that shatters her entire world.

In a heart-pounding race against time, Jane must find Florrie and uncover the truth. Can she save Florrie and her own family, or will she be too late to stop the unthinkable?

The Other Mother is an explosive psychological thriller that will grip readers till the very end.

What I Thought

This is not the first book I have read by Miranda Rijks and again, she did not disappoint!

A great bunch of characters – all different and most of them unlikable for different reasons! However, they are mostly quite relatable and you will be able to pick out people you know in real life that have similar characteristics.

Rijks writing also keeps me wanting to read on and this one was no different, I was through it in just a few short days as I didn’t want to put it down. The plot was full of twists and turns and kept you guessing all the way through.

An exciting new thriller I would highly recommend!


The Visitors*

by Miranda Rijks

The Blurb

She offered them a place to stay. They wanted so much more.

Hannah’s life is almost perfect. She’s a full-time mother to two young children and married to successful cardiologist Daniel.  

The only thing missing is a project of her own. So she has poured heart and soul into converting their stone barn into a beautiful holiday rental.  

Things take a dark turn when visitors Mike and Nadia come to stay. They are noisy, dirty and disrespectful. Hannah is incensed by their behaviour, worried they may wreck her lovingly restored barn.  

But she gradually realises that property damage is the least of her worries. Nadia and Mike aren’t here just for a holiday – they have a deeper, darker purpose, one that threatens to destroy Hannah’s entire life.  

Spiralling into a nightmare that grows worse with each passing day, Hannah has to find the courage to fight back. But Mike and Nadia are clever and ruthless and they know something that Hannah doesn’t – a shocking secret from the past… 

The Visitors – the stunning psychological thriller from the best-selling author of Roses are Red and The Arrangement. 

What I Thought

As I said, The Other Mother was not my first Miranda Hijks book, it wasn’t even my only book from her that I read this month!

Again, another great read, however this one had me STRESSED while reading it! The premise was that Hannah had set up a holiday cottage next door to the house her and her family live in. The first family visiting come rather too close for comfort, and then when the father has an accident, they refuse to leave. And hence, my stress! This was so well set up and realistic feeling that I had palpitations thinking about the situation poor Hannah was in! Definitely makes you think twice about buying a property to rent out!

Rijks really dials up the uncomfortable tension in this one and keeps you reading in the hope that it all works out in the end. Another great read!


The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Blurb

The Sunday Times best seller and TikTok sensation

Soon to be a Netflix film

From the author of Daisy Jones & The Six in which a legendary film actress reflects on her relentless rise to the top and the risks she took, the loves she lost and the long-held secrets the public could never imagine.

Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ‘80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is a mesmerizing journey through the splendour of old Hollywood into the harsh realities of the present day as two women struggle with what it means and what it costs to face the truth.

What I Thought

This book came with a whole lot of great reviews behind it – and it still surpassed my expectations!

Such a fantastic and well-written story – a huge rollercoaster of emotions for sure. While not always likable, Evelyn is a complex and extraordinary main character, flawed but who you can;t help wishing for that happy ending for. The characters are brilliantly well-written, created and developed and definitely tug on the heartstrings.

I did not want to stop listening and I am sure this is just as good to read. I ill definitely be checking out other Taylor Jenkins Reid titles in the future!


28 Disastrous Dates: A (Mostly True) Humourous Memoir*

And Lessons Learned Along the Way

by Poppy Mortimer

The Blurb

***Ideal reader is someone who enjoys reading about disgusting, hilarious and sometimes verging on traumatic modern-day dating experiences. There are literally 28 individual dates in this book. If you’re naturally light-hearted, don’t take life too seriously and can see the humour in life’s disasters, you’ll enjoy this book. It is an intense roller-coaster read as the dates are back-to-back. If the above isn’t you, you won’t enjoy this book and best to give this one a miss.***

Poppy Mortimer is hungry for love. Will she find The One, or lose her appetite for men, forever?

Smart, attractive, and fueled by wide-eyed optimism, Poppy Mortimer leaves rainy England to start a new life—and find the perfect man—in exotic Australia. Surely somewhere out there, a Chris Hemsworth impersonator is just waiting to whisk her off her feet and show her the real charms of ‘Down Under’.

But as Poppy launches into 28 dates, ranging from the outright hysterical to borderline traumatic, it becomes clear she’s going to have to kiss a few frogs—assuming she doesn’t croak first. From the seven-foot giant with a disturbing workout practice, to the exclusive party that turns out to be a lot more than just cocktails and canapes, Poppy starts to wonder if she should sue Disney for giving her false hope.

With gusto, humour, and a lot of heart, Poppy digs deep into her past as a child of divorce, and her ongoing journey as a modern woman and devoted romantic. Through laughter, tears, and characters that are truly stranger than fiction, Poppy won’t stop until she finds true love—or something even greater.

Fans of Bridget Jones’s Diary and Sex and the City (or any person who wants to feel better about their own dating life) will love this book

What I Thought

Clearly, the blurb had me hooked – Bridget Jones and Sex And The City? Count me in!

The author writes well – friendly and funny and the book had me laughing out loud in parts, as well as in disgust at others! It was like listening to a friend recounting their past dates and would be perfect for those currently dating or looking to reflect on that time in your life – because we have to laugh right?

My only complaint was that I could have kept reading longer – but then I really don’t think the author deserved any more than she had had already too! Perfectly pitched for Bridget and Carrie fans – a fun, easy and laugh-out-loud read!


How To Kill Your Family

by Beth Mackie

The Blurb

The number one Sunday Times best seller

They say you can’t choose your family. But you can kill them. 

Meet Grace Bernard.

Daughter, sister, serial killer….

Grace has lost everything.

And she will stop at nothing to get revenge.

What I Thought

Another book that went viral and I am a bit late to the party to read but was well worth it.

Full of wit, sarcasm and dark humour and I loved it! I am pretty sure you aren’t supposed to like Grace, the main character telling the story, but I couldn’t help admiring her commitment and resourcefulness. The narrator for the Audible version is perfect and suits the character well.

For all the positives though, I am afraid the ending lets this one down BIG TIME. It feels very rushed, totally implausible, It almost feels like someone else write the ending, as until this point, the author does such an amazing job. I wonder if there should have been a second book to continue the story, rather than rushing the ending to conclude it.

Either way, the book is well worth a read as the story is exquisitely written and very different to other things I have read before. Just be aware – the ending is flat and does not do the rest of the book justice.


Have you read any of these books? Do you agree with my review? Let me know in the comments below! Take care and keep reading,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: