Here’s what to read (and what not to read) in 2017…
Jumper: BB Dakota at Shopbop
Frog Music by Emma Donoghue
I was so impressed with Emma Donoghue’s earlier work, the Oscar-winning Room, that I was really excited to get my hands on this book, but I was sadly disappointed. Set in 1876 San Francisco, during the smallpox epidemic, it tells the story of a young, French burlesque dancer, Blanche Beunon, who is uncovering the story of the murder of her friend Jenny (it’s actually based on a true, unsolved murder). The book is quite sexually explicit and, similar to Room, it also touches on child abuse and alcoholism, which are probably the most interesting and emotionally provoking parts of the story, but it fell a bit flat in between.
Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty
This is the story of a disastrous BBQ, an event which will be extremely traumatic for everyone who is there. This is the premise of Truly Madly Guilty – the story starts strong and the first half of the book had me hooked, until I found out what happened at the BBQ (which was a total anticlimax), then the story started dwindling. The book could have done with being a few chapters shorter and it would have been a really good read.
The Radleys by Matt Haig
I loved, loved, loved this book. I loaned it to two people when I’d finished it, one of them being my mum, who read the entire thing in less than 24 hours! An easy but very entertaining read, I was slightly hesitant when I found out the book was about vampires, because I just felt like it had all kind of been done before… But Matt Haig puts an original and exciting spin on the myth, with makes for an excellent little story of family secrets and what happens when a tightly woven lie begins to unravel.
The Stylist by Rosie Nixon
I’m never really ‘wowed’ by rom-com books. In fact, I usually turn completely the other way when I spot them on a shelf; I’m much more enticed by a thriller or mystery novel. But when I read that cover line, “Bridget Jones meets The Devil Wears Prada“, I knew I had to pick it up. The premise? Fashion boutique worker Amber Green is mistakenly offered a job as assistant to world-famous ‘stylist to the stars’ Mona Armstrong, and is subsequently flown off to L.A. to help style some of Hollywood’s hottest starlets. If you have an interest in fashion, the world of ‘celebrity’ and a love a light read, this is the book for you!
Closed Casket by Sophie Hannah
Sophie Hannah dusts off Agatha Christie’s Inspector Poirot to solve another gripping ‘who dun it’ murder mystery. Admittedly, I’ve never actually read an Agatha Christie novel (I know, I know! It’s on my to-do list, ok?!?), but after Hannah’s The Monogram Murders received such rave reviews, I thought I’d give Closed Casket a whirl. The story starts with Lady Athelinda Playford, who summons her lawyer to make an urgent change to her will – she has decided to cut off her two children without a penny and leave her fortune to someone who has only weeks to live… Nope, there’s no time to get bored with this one!
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
This is another book I singled out on the shelves because of the author’s previous work (even though Gone Girl was actually written after Dark Places!). It’s weird, because I enjoyed this book infinitely more than I enjoyed Gone Girl, plus it’s been made into a major motion picture, but sadly hasn’t received nearly as much accreditation as it deserves! This thriller had me hooked from its opening lines: Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered and pinned the blame on her 17-year old brother Ben. Now, 25-years later, she begins to investigate and uncovers the truth of the past. Definitely recommend!
Inside Vogue: A Diary of My 100th Year by Alexandra Shulman
Anyone who watched Absolutely Fashion (a fly-on-the-wall BBC documentary observing at the comings and goings of British Vogue), will love this. Following Editor-in-Chief of Alexandra Shulman as British Vogue goes through their centenary issue, this autobiographical book is riddled with celeb cameos, juicy fashion goss, and a glimpse into the oh so glamorous world of London’s elite. Love!