I thought a blog would be a great way to exchange book recommendations as I love reading and writing reviews. I've also started putting pen to paper, and have recently completed a creative writing course. Maybe you'll be reading one of my books down the line!?
If you want to share about what you're reading, or anything at all for that matter, let loose and go for it!
Another excellent read that was very different to anything else I’ve read recently and was all the better for it. I got a kindle unlimited trial (I refuse to give those guys any money) and when I saw this I remembered someone recommended it a few years ago, so finally got around to reading it. It was crime/comedy drama that’s part of a series that’s set in Dublin, a couple of hours away from me.
The book started with Paul, whose POV it’s written from, and he’s talking to someone who we think is a relation, in a nursing home. We quickly find out that the person isn’t a relative at all, but instead a resident with Alzheimer’s who thinks Paul is their grandson. It turns out that Paul has to do this in order to satisfy the terms of a will that his aunt made many years ago. It’s a little too convoluted to go into, so give it a read and find out the particulars of why exactly he does this. Anyway, while he’s there Nurse Bridgit Conroy speaks to him and asks him to chat with another resident who she feels sorry for. Again, she wants him to pretend to be a relative. Paul agrees and goes to speak with this resident who believes him to be a threatening force from his past. The resident then proceeds to stab Paul (this happens in the first chapter, so I‘m not spoiling anything) and when he gets home he discovers someone is now trying to kill him. Nurse Conroy (Bridgit) then turns up and they form an unlikely duo as they try to solve the case (which turns out to be infamous) and find out why someone is trying to kill Paul.
This book was hysterical and I mean really really funny. I’m sure you haven’t missed that point considering the amount of quotes I posted! Sorry for all that traffic, by the way. The main reason I kept doing it was because I was reading it on my mobile phone (as opposed to my Kobo) and it was so easy to just copy, paste, then post. Aside from that I was hoping people would love those quotes as much as me and possibly read the book on the back of them.
A Man With One of Those Faces had a little bit of everything, humour, drama, crime, complex relationships, diverse characters. The plot didn’t suffer because of the character development, but instead strengthened it. Those two elements played off each other very well.
When it comes to the characters Paul and Bridgit were fantastic. They worked really well together and Bunny McGarry, the maverick cop who has a long history with Paul, was excellent. Bunny was as funny as he was crass and I loved him. Think Begbie from Trainspotting. Bunny even has his own spin-off series of books! There’s 2 of them!
Yet again this worked in alternate chapters with some being from the perspective of the police officers endeavouring to solve the crime. While these chapters were good enough, I was always counting down the pages until I got back to Paul and Bridgit’s bits.
It was such a fun, light-hearted read that I went straight into the next in the series as soon as I’d finished and I’d be surprised if you didn’t feel the same way if you’d read it.
When I started this book I thought it’d be just another chic-lit-esk romance, but it was so much more than that and this author is now going to be one of my go-to authors when I need a comfort read that goes that little bit further.
You Had Me at Hello works in alternate chapters which seems to be the structure of the day as far as literature goes. The two main protagonists are Rachel and Ben who've known each other since University where they met in first year. As far as we know they were never anything more than friends, although we do get hints to the contrary. Something undefined happened between them at the very end of their studies and they lost touch, but one of Rachel’s friends sees Ben ten years after University at the local library in Manchester. Rachel, who has just ended a long-term relationship with her fiancée, goes to the library in the hopes of accidentally-on-purpose bumping into Ben. She does bump into him, as she’d hoped, and they go for coffee together where he tells her he’s now married and living in Manchester after previously having lived with his wife in London. From this point onwards they reignite their friendship. There’s nothing romantic going on as Ben is married, although there are some undertones of sexual-tension.
Alternate chapters usually work, but not as successfully as it did here. It really elevated the structure and revealed more pieces of the puzzle each time. It was such an immersive experience that I nearly forgot I was reading.
Apart from the structure, which was simply excellent, the characters were fantastic and I mean every last one. Rachel was so lovely and funny I began wishing she was my friend and her interaction with Ben was perfect. Rachel had a group of friends and this was the only part that felt a little contrived. Her three friends were almost clique, but they were really interesting none-the-less. Mindy, one of the group, was a bit of a girly-girl type. Ivor, another one of the group, was a little hard to figure out and the last friend, whose name I’ve forgotten, wasn’t hugely interesting. I know I said before that all the characters were fantastic and even though I’ve said Rachel’s friends felt a little false, I’m referring to their interactions rather than their personality types. Considering the interaction between Ben and Rachel was so authentic, this made certain other relationships, i.e. the group of friends, not as good.
What elevated this for me was the way Ben and Rachel’s relationship was handled so deftly and how realistic it all felt. Other issues were dealt with as well (their main focus being relationships) and somehow this was managed in a complex, but yet simple way.
Overall I really enjoyed this one and I recommend anyone and everyone to give Mhairi McFarlane a try.