Thursday, 12 May 2022

Book Review | We Were Liars by E. Lockhart | prettylittlewriter

 Synopsis
‘A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.’


This is a reread as I previously read We Were Liars around three years ago, and even upon a second read it has managed to shock and impress me! 

E Lockhart has managed to create a wonderful and jaw-dropping novel which kept me reading until the early hours of the morning to finish it!

 

Cadence was a great character, and I was constantly rooting for her and Gat to be together, they seemed to be made for each other!

Lockhart also personified a lot of Cadence’s emotions, which was just incredible; the descriptions of how powerful the headaches were was just brilliant.

I also loved the short chapters surrounding the fairy-tale stories, and how they intertwine with Cadence’s real life.

 

The Aunties, including Cadence’s mum, were absolutely awful characters, very entitled and very manipulative. I think the only characters I really liked were the Liars themselves.

 

Lockhart’s short snappy sentences throughout helped me blitz through the novel as it kept the chapters short which I always love (however it does always mean I end up reading way more than I planned and staying up late to do so!) The moment when all was revealed was perfectly done due to these short lines and even though I’ve previously read the book, I’d actually completely forgotten and was left with my mouth agape when it happened once again!

 

I would recommend going into this book blind, but if you are reading this review, and you love an intriguing mystery surrounding a group of friends that have a huge secret between them, then I highly recommend you read it!

 

5/5 stars


Friday, 6 May 2022

Book Review | Nobody But Us by Laure Van Rensburg | prettylittlewriter

Synopsis 
'STEVEN HARDING IS A HANDSOME, WELL-RESPECTED PROFESSOR.
ELLIE MASTERSON IS A WIDE-EYED YOUNG COLLEGE STUDENT.
Together, they are driving south from New York, for their first holiday together: three days in an isolated cabin, far from the city.
Ahead of them, the promise of long, dark nights - and the chance to explore one another's bodies, away from prying eyes.
It should be a perfect, romantic trip for two.
EXCEPT THAT HE'S NOT WHO HE SAYS HE IS.
BUT THEN AGAIN, NEITHER IS SHE . . .'
Thank you to Netgalley & Penguin Michael Joseph for allowing me to read an e-ARC of this book.

I went into this novel knowing nothing about it, except for the fact that the advertising said ‘get ready to meet 2022’s most fucked up couple!’. So I had high hopes for a lot of drama and insane twists.

What I found was that there was indeed, a lot of drama and some twists to the novel, however, it all fell a little flat for me. Quite early on we find out that Steven is the worst kind of man, one that likes to get his own way with everything, and everyone. Without spoiling it, it is quite a difficult read, and I feel there should be a trigger warning with it, but I think that would probably also spoil the main big plotline.

Ellie is a great character, with some brilliant lines throughout and she has a huge plan for their weekend away, which doesn’t end the way either of them expected.

Laure is also brilliant at creating a very tense atmosphere, with some incredibly detailed descriptions of the landscape and the home they are staying in.

However, the main reason this novel fell flat for me with it’s potential for greatness, is that everything seemed to be repetitive. Ellie would say something, Steven would say something back, and it kept going in circles until finally, the ending happened.

I think the book could have been a lot shorter, had the characters actually acted on what was going on WAY before they did. The intrigue of finding out what happened kept me reading, but only just. It would probably make a great movie, as they could fit everything into an hour and a half film, but I spent around 3-4 hours reading this, and it felt way too long.

Overall, it was enjoyable to a point, but it wasn’t my favourite locked-room thriller, and although the storyline is a very important subject, this book just didn’t do it justice for me.

2.5/5 stars


Saturday, 23 April 2022

Book Review | A Brush With Love by Mazey Eddings | prettylittlewriter

This novel was a joy to read from start to finish! With some intensely romantic and sexy scenes, to some incredibly emotional and gut-wrenching moments.

 Synopsis
'
Harper is anxiously awaiting placement into a top oral surgery residency program when she crashes (literally) into Dan. Harper would rather endure a Novocaine-free root canal than face any distractions, even one this adorable.

A first-year dental student with a family legacy to contend with, Dan doesn’t have the same passion for pulling teeth that Harper does. Though he finds himself falling for her, he is willing to play by Harper’s rules.

So with the greatest of intentions and the poorest of follow-throughs, the two set out to be “just friends.” But as they get to know each other better, Harper fears that trading fillings for feelings may make her lose control and can't risk her carefully ordered life coming undone, no matter how drool-worthy Dan is.'
Thank you so much to Isabella Wilson of Headline for sending me a copy of this wonderful book!

This was honestly just such a wonderfully heart-warming read, with the perfect amount of smut, and a sensitive approach to the serious topics such as panic attacks, anxiety and grief, it felt like snuggling up in a blanket with a warm cup of cocoa on a winter's day. I loved that Mazey also included a foreword regarding the sensitive topics, it was very thoughtful.

The characters are full of warmth and smart as hell (Harper is quite intimidating with her knowledge of Dentistry, I was in awe!), an Dan was the absolutely perfect gentleman, with just the right amount of protective anger (see 'You better keep Harper's name out of your filthy fucking mouth', so very HOT!)

All of Harper's friends are also absolutely epic, the most supportive and caring friends anyone could ever wish for. 

It has the perfect pace that keeps you reading until you can no longer keep your eyes open, desperate to find out how things turn out for Harper and Dan. 

Overall, I would highly recommend to anyone that loves a romcom, it truly is swoon-worthy! 

4/5 stars

Friday, 15 April 2022

Book Review | The Birdcage by Eve Chase | prettylittlewriter

Thank you so much to Hanifa from Penguin Michael Joseph for sending me a copy of this gorgeous novel to read and review!

Synopsis
‘Kat, Flossie and Lauren are half-sisters who share a famous artist father - and a terrible secret.
Each has found their way of burying it. Over the years they've grown apart, and into wildly different lives. But an invitation to Rock Point, the Cornish cliff house where they once sat for their father's most celebrated painting, Girls with Birdcage, reunites them.
Rock Point is a beautiful, windswept place, thick with secrets, electrically charged with the one subject the family daren't discuss. And there is someone in the shadows watching the house, their every move. Someone who remembers the girls in the painting. What they did.
The sisters must unlock the truth to set themselves free - and find each other again.’

This book had me hooked from the start. With a dark secret between the sisters, and a dual timeline keeping us guessing what each of them know, I was desperate to unravel the mystery and it kept me up till the early hours reading most nights!

Most of the characters I did find unlikeable in some way (bar Lauren, she is very sincere and kind). Kat & Flora seemed very cruel in some ways, as you will discover when you read the novel, and this made me not care about them as much as I did Lauren, however, as we learn more about their lives through their chapters, I did warm to them more.

Their Father, Charlie, is a ladies man, with each daughter being to a different woman (I'm never a fan of a man-whore!), however, he does show how much he loves each daughter individually throughout the story and you see he is a devoted Father.

My favourite character was probably Bertha the Grey African Parrot, and I do wish she’d had a little bit more of a role within the story (she was very entertaining!).

Angie was probably my least favourite character from the beginning, but by the end of the novel, she does have a little bit of redemption.

There are quite a few secrets that are gradually unearthed, in which some of them I did guess, and it kept you wondering just what else the characters could be hiding (especially Charlie, his secrets seemed never-ending).

There are many emotional moments within the novel, with Lauren suffering from Anxiety/PTSD from an incident that happened in 1999, and between each sister when they discuss their own personal lives. It made me long to dive into the book and give each girl a cuddle! The reveal of the main secret is also quite a sad and emotional moment, which although I had guessed what had happened, it still made me tear up.

Eve Chase has created an encapsulating and enthralling story with a brilliant ensemble cast, and if you’re looking to dive in to a family drama/mystery novel, then I highly recommend this!

4/5 stars