Wednesday 22 January 2014

Book Club: What I'm Reading (part one)

Sometimes there’s nothing I like doing more on a weekend morning than fluffing up my pillows, wrapping myself in a duvet with an oversized cup of steaming tea and delving in to a good book.

If you follow me on Instagram you’ll know I spent the majority of last weekend doing just that. It’s been a bit of a treat for me because I haven’t been reading all that much since the summer.

I’ve made it a bit of a new year’s resolution to try and replace scrolling inanely through my Twitter feed on the way to work in the morning with reading, and so far so good.

I’ve just finished one book, jumped straight into the next one and bought two more books from Waterstones yesterday in a bid to get back into the swing of things.

My mum is always, always passing new books to me, recommending authors and forever borrowing books of mine in return. 'Goodbye For Now' was one of those recommendations.

Now I’ll admit, I was a little put off by the title. My assumptive mind whirred ahead and calculated that great, this was going to be a depressing love story. The quote from Glamour magazine on the blurb confirmed this: “A story that fans of One Day will love”. Don’t get me wrong - I really liked reading One Day - but I didn’t think I could take another love-meets-death tear inducing novel. Especially if I was going to be reading this whilst commuting to work!

Anyway, I cracked on. The novel centres itself around online relationships, algorithms and the blossoming romance between Meredith and Sam who meet through work. Sam is a computer ‘whizz’ and creates a programme allowing people to communicate online with dead loved ones. The novel follows the couple, along with Meredith’s cousin Dash (who, by the way, you will want as a friend) as they embark on a revolutionary business invention.

The thing is, I spent the entire length of the novel waiting for one of the protagonists to die. Because that’s what the title suggested. I’m not going to spoil it for you. But I think doing that ruined it a little for me.

Yes. It’s depressing. It will make you want to email (not ring – you’ll see why if you read the book) your nearest and dearest and tell them you love them. But even though death cements the entire novel you’ll feel surprisingly comforted too, and I think this is in part down to Frankel’s brazen approach to the topic.

Rating: 6/10 – this would make a cracking beach book. Easy to read with very likeable characters, and a poignant message carried throughout.

This was another choice from my mum. She gave it to me last Christmas so it’s taken me thirteen months to pick it up. Actually, that’s not true, I’ve started it twice and put it back both times.

I love the cover design, but the first few pages don’t live up to that magical expectation – it comes across as bleak and soulless. Maybe that’s what Ivey wanted. Anyway I’d heard good things so persisted, and I’m glad I did. I’m only fifty pages in but already the spooky, unsettling, mysterious events are beginning to unfold and I can’t wait to find out what happens – I’ll keep you posted!

Next on my list (and chosen for their similarities to ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’ series) are ‘The Snowman’ by Jo Nesbo and ‘Until Thy Wrath Be Past’ by AsaLarsson. Got to love a crime thriller.

Have you read any of these? No spoilers!! But I'd love to hear your opinion... 

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