Friday, 6 July 2012

Reading round-up: June

36. The Secrets Between Us by Louise Douglas - 7/10 (full review). I was really surprised by how much I ended up enjoying this mystery/thriller/romance. A bit ridiculous, but exciting, juicy and completely gripping. Recommended as a holiday read!
37. Beneath the Shadows by Sara Foster - 4/10 (full review). This is supposedly a dark mystery about the disappearance of the protagonist's husband in a remote, unfriendly village. In reality, it's more like chick lit with the mystery attached as an afterthought, and it's also quite poorly written.
38. Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill - 6/10 (full review). An entertaining, if a bit over-the-top, ghost story about an ageing rock star who buys a haunted suit online. I prefer more subtle horror, but this was good fun for the most part.
39. Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? by Lorrie Moore - 8/10. A poignant, funny and beautifully written coming-of-age story, with an adult narrator reflecting on the friendship that defined her teens. Wonderfully evocative - this has made me keen to read more by the author.
40. John Dies at the End by David Wong - 3/10. A hard-to-describe fantasy adventure which started off with a lot of promise but, unfortunately, degenerated into a series of overlong and near-incomprehensible fight scenes. Messy and disappointing.
41. The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafón - 7/10 (full review). The third in the author's quartet of gothic, magical mysteries set in Barcelona, following characters from both of the previous books. I enjoyed this, but wouldn't recommend it unless you've already read the others in the series, and I'd also have preferred it to be longer and more detailed.
42. The Earthquake Bird by Susanna Jones - 8/10 (full review). Set in Japan, this follows a devious and untrustworthy (but fascinating) narrator who may or may not have murdered her 'best friend'. Nothing is as it seems in this story, which really grabbed my attention and created a palpable, unsettling atmosphere.
43. When Nights Were Cold by Susanna Jones - 10/10 (full review). Another unreliable-narrator story from the same author as the above - but this is a historical tale about a group of female students with ambitions to become Antarctic explorers. Beautifully put together, complex, atmospheric and consistently intriguing - I loved it.

All together now: 'this month's reading was a bit of a mixed bag'... as always! By far my favourite book of June's selection was When Nights Were Cold. Susanna Jones was a great discovery - I also really enjoyed The Earthquake Bird and am planning to get my hands on the author's other novels as soon as possible. If you're looking for something engrossing but not too taxing, I'd thoroughly recommend The Secrets Between Us, which was a great 'guilty pleasure' type of read.

There's a few new releases I'm looking forward to this month. I've already bought Fate, the sophomore novel by L.R. Fredericks, author of Farundell - a book I liked but felt was ruined by an obnoxious central character and badly misjudged 'romance' (review here). I'm hoping the follow-up will retain all the good parts of the author's debut but dispense with the things that put me off. I was very excited to discover a few days ago that a new G.W. Dahlquist novel, The Chemickal Marriage, has just been published. This is the final part of the trilogy that began with The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters, which I loved, so I'll definitely be buying it at some point - although I do think £12 for the Kindle edition is a bit excessive! I'm also intrigued by Cathi Unsworth's Weirdo, which is published in a week or so - I haven't really been interested in the author's previous work, but I've read some really good reviews of this one which have piqued my interest. Finally, the new Ned Beauman book, The Teleportation Accident, is due out the day after my birthday. EXCITED SCREAM.

1 comment:

  1. HI, just started looking on your blog, through bloglovin’, initially because of your post on Lana’s National Anthem, and soon was trawling through older posts going ‘ooh I like that.. ahh that’s cool’. I’m a new (as in two days ago new) blogger (but on wordpress) and so have been looking on others blogs for inspiration as I don’t seem to have one specific topic I want to concentrate on... I envisioned mine to be something like yours if I’m honest so would greatly appreciate any advise you have about getting started... thanks :)

    Rosy x