Midnight Sun – Stephanie Meyer

Midnight sun

I’ll start by saying I was a huge Twilight fan way back when. Firmly team Edward, I devoured each book in days and was utterly broken when I finished the series. That being said, I’ve re-read some of the books ten years on, and didn’t quite have the same views so I wasn’t sure what to expect with Midnight Sun.

Over the years, Edward has received a lot of criticism and reading Twilight again as an adult I honestly understand why. Midnight Sun seems to work hard to make Edward come across in a better light but I think this was sometimes at the expense of the story and as a result it seemed like everything he said was backed up and justified so it seemed a little dull in parts and at 700+ pages, Meyer could afford to shed some words. Some of the story seemed to jump quite quickly whilst other parts were very slow and some of the text was a little jarring.

It didn’t grip me as much as the original series did at the time but I did enjoy it for the most part and it’s a great accompaniment for fans wanting more.

Genre: YA / Fantasy

Rating: 3.5/5

Life in Pieces – Dawn O’Porter

I do love Dawn O’Porter. I’ve read all her books, I’ve listened to her So Lucky podcast and I’m an avid Instagram follower so of course I jumped at the chance to read her latest, non-fiction book that takes a look at life through lockdown.

I’d promised myself I wouldn’t read any lockdown books. I didn’t want to be reminded of anything to do with it. Whilst I cherished the unprecedented level of family time, it’s also had a massive impact on our lives in many ways and reading about it and living through it all again just didn’t appeal. However, I knew that Dawn would have a great spin on lockdown littered with humour, profound sentiment and down right shocking tales and I wasn’t wrong!

I loved how raw and honest the book was. If it happened, Dawn wrote about it no matter how awful, embarrassing, terrible, emotional or ridiculous it might have been. There were many relatable moments for me (as a parent) that we’re amusing but also a candid look at life in LA, a unique glimpse into their unique celebrity status that was equally entertaining. Dawn spoke about the loss of her friend Caroline Flack and how she dealt with grief during lockdown as well as snippets from her childhood.

Parts of the book were quite shocking and if you’re offended by alcohol and drugs (legal in LA) then it’s probably not the book for you. I loved it, it entertained me and whilst it made me laugh, parts were profound and meaningful. Dawn has a wonderful way of seeing people and trying to understand them without judgement and I really liked this. Overall it’s a quick, entertaining read that I enjoyed thoroughly.

Genre: non-fiction
Rating:5/5

Meet Me in London- Georgia Toffolo

I do like Georgia Toffolo and as such, was thrilled to receive an advanced copy of the audiobook via NetGalley. There’s a festive, winter feel to the book and I loved the descriptions of the settings. The story itself followed the ‘fake date / fake relationship’ trope which whilst offers few surprises, is a rewarding read. The book was brimming with warmth and there are a few laughs to be had along the way. It was also well – written and I enjoyed the narration by the author herself. All in all it was a very sweet read.

Genre: Romantic Comedy / Chicklit
Rating: 4/5🌟

Queenie – Candice Carty-Williams

Queenie had me laughing from the opening scene. She’s a wonderfully complex character who wears her heart on her sleeve and says exactly what she thinks. Queenie is coming to terms with a break-up she doesn’t quite understand. She puts herself out there but nothing feels quite right. Whilst her antics seem a little wayward on the surface, her upbeat nature makes us think she’s coping but it isn’t long before a darker side to her lifestyle and the reasons behind it emerges.

This is a story of self-love, growth and friendship more than anything else. Whilst there are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, there are some really important themes and messages. It’s well put together and enjoyable.

Genre: Women’s Fiction
Rating: 4.5/5

Dry Hard – Nick Spalding

Dry Hard is a laugh-out-loud comedy that’s often a little over the top. At times the humour is witty and clever and perhaps a bit crass at others. The premise of two alcoholics giving up drinking was interesting but taken quite lightly and whilst the book did have me laughing, the story wasn’t quite enough for me to sink my teeth into. Great if you need cheering up.

Genre: Comedy fiction

Rating: 3.75/5⭐️

His & Hers – Alice Feeney

His & Hers

The story is told from two points of view; ‘his’ and ‘hers’. After a tragic event, the couple parted ways but a murder brings them back together when they realise they’re both connected to the victim.

The narrations on the audiobook are really good and really being the characters to life. The voice changer used for the ‘killer’ took me a little while to get used to but was certainly atmospheric.

The story was well paced and hooked me in straight away – I was desperately listening in every free moment I had. It unfolds really well and there are plenty of twists and turns.

Whatever format you choose – you’ll enjoy this book.

Genre: thriller

Rating: 4/5⭐️

The Tea Room on the Bay – Rachel Burton

This was a change of direction for Rachel Burton and as I’d enjoyed all of her other books, I was definitely intrigued by this new style cover. The Teashop on the Bay does feel different and whilst lighter in tone, maintains the same warm depth, loveable characters and wonderful descriptions that I’d expect.

I loved Ellie and Ben’s story. At times I was second-guessing and I wasn’t sure where it would end. Whilst this book is set at Christmas, I read it on a hot beach in Greece and still managed to be transported to the gorgeous, snowy Sanderson Bay. Overall, I loved the story, the characters and setting. I raced through this one and I couldn’t wait to see how it ended. It’s guaranteed to leave you feeling warm and content.

Rating: 5/5

Genre: contemporary romance

A Wish For Jinnie – Audrey Davis

I’ll never fail to enjoy Audrey Davis’ brand of romantic comedy. A Wish for Jinnie is a fun read packed with a comedic rhythm that keeps the story well-paced and entertaining throughout. I loved Jinnie, and Jeanie Dhassim as much as I enjoyed Sam’s character and the blossoming romance. Audrey Davis always developed does develop fantastic characters though and Jinnie’s gran just leapt off the page – she was fab. The story itself is well developed and believable because despite the element of magic and fantasy the characters’ lives are a reflection of our own.

If you want to lose yourself for a few hours of heartfelt fun, this is definitely the perfect book for you.

Genre: romantic comedy

Rating: 5/5⭐️

Darkest Night – Jenny O’Brien

I hadn’t read the first book in the Gaby Darin series but that in no way hampered my understanding of Jenny O’Brien’s latest instalment, Darkest Night. The opening grabs you straight away with a hook that’s puzzling to say the least, What should be a cut and dry case transpires to be something more when Detective Darin gets involved. She’s a great heroine, flawed yet driven in her field and no stone is left unturned. The story is told in multiple POV and I really loved this extra dimension that added to the pace.

There is some wonderful camaraderie between characters and there’s a highly satisfying ending. I raced through this book – it kept me on the edge of my seat trying to work out what the heck had happened.

Genre: Crime / Thriller

Rating: 5/5⭐️

Becoming – Michelle Obama

Becoming is the insightful, honest story of Michelle Obama’s life before, during and a little after her time as the First Lady of the USA.

I listened to the audiobook, which I highly recommend as Michelle narrated it herself, so you get the true context, emotion and feeling of her words. She’s a wonderful storyteller who speaks with eloquence and grace. What comes through is that Michelle is a person who not only understands, but sees people without judgement and has a passion to help those who need it most. She highlights causes without preaching and manages to talk about her achievements without boasting – which I think could be because she’s never forgotten her own humble upbringing.

I don’t read or listen to many autobiographies but I’d heard so much about this one I had to give it a go. I was surprised by just how good it was!

Genre: Autobiography

Rating: 5/5⭐️