Monday 1 July 2019

My 2019 Reading Challenge - Update #2

Early in March I posted my first book update for 2019. I set myself a goal of reading 30 books this year and in the first post I had just reached number 21 and I'm now at #38 so try and avoid this post being ridiculously long, I thought now was the perfect time for my second update. I'll probably do these every 3 or 4 months so I'm excited to see where I'll be at by the end of the year. I've definitely slowed down on the reading front over the last month or so but I'm happy I've managed to reach my goal already!
stack of books in front of musical programmes

All That She Can See by Carrie Hope Fletcher - ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This was the first book I've ever read from Carrie Hope Fletcher and despite it having mixed reviews online, I actually really enjoyed it. I loved the main character Cherry, it being set around baking was perfect for me and I liked that the ending wasn't completely clear cut. It had a very magical theme around it which isn't something I'd ever usually pick but I liked it!

Paddington's Guide To London by Michael Bond - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I wasn't sure at first whether this would really count but it was actually far more informative than I was expecting. I'm sure you all know my love for London by now (and I do adore Paddington too) so when I spotted this in the Notting Hill Bookshop earlier this year, I decided to grab it. It goes into great detail about all the tourist spots in London and I found myself bookmarking so many places for our next trip. 

Strictly Between Us by Jane Fallon - ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The third book I read from Jane Fallon, who has become one of my go to authors recently. She is just perfect at writing about friendships, love and betrayal. A lot of her books tend to be quite similar but I like that I kind of know what to expect, sometimes you just need something a bit more normal and easy-going.

With Or Without You by Carole Matthews - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

What a surprise this book was! I really enjoyed Million Love Songs by Carole Matthews last year so I've been keen to go back to the start of her books and try and get through them all. One of her early ones is With Or Without You and whilst I thought I'd like it, it just blew me away. I just adored the main character Lyssa and I loved following her journey all the way to Nepal. Really likeable characters and a good amount of unpredictability about it.

Thirteen Weddings by Paige Toon - ⭐⭐⭐

It pains me to give this book 3 stars because I usually really get on with anything by Paige Toon but I just struggled with this. I don't feel the story ever really got going and I'm just not sure the ending was what any of the characters deserved, it was just a bit all over the place for me.
3 books stacked up in front of desk

Watching You by Lisa Jewell - ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Lisa Jewell knows exactly how to write a thriller. The second book I've read from her now after Then She Was Gone, and this left me feeling just as impressed. It was tense, full of twists and keeps you guessing right til the very end.

Foursome by Jane Fallon - ⭐⭐⭐

You might think from the title this is some raunchy read, but it's kind of the complete opposite. It's about two couples who have been best friends for years and what happens when one of them splits up. There's a good amount of drama throughout and as I've said before in a previous review, Jane Fallon is the best at writing unlikeable characters, but something was missing for me.

The Evidence Against You by Gillian McAllister - ⭐⭐

I think this might be the first book I've ever given 2 stars. The premise of this was brilliant, as soon as I saw it I grabbed it, it just seemed like the perfect thriller for me to get stuck into but wow I could not get through it at all. Incredibly slow paced, I didn't connect with any of the characters and I just didn't want to pick it up. It's a book that I think could go either way with people, I've read some great reviews of it so I definitely think I'm in the minority with not enjoying this.

Since We Fell by Dennis Lehane - ⭐⭐⭐⭐

One of the biggest surprises this year for sure. I picked this up on a whim when it was £2 on Amazon but then it took me a while to get that urge to actually read it, once I did though I just thought why have I left it so long to start this! Such a shocker of a book, I genuinely never knew what was going to happen next and some of the twists left me baffled. It would make such an incredible movie.

The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Burrows - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Ahh this book makes me smile just thinking about it. I watched the film first which I just loved beyond belief so I gave the book a go afterwards and it's definitely one of my favourites ever. It's so heartwarming, the characters are hard to say goodbye to and though it teaches you quite a lot about the Occupation in Guernsey, it never feels too informative.
4 books in a square, one placed on top in the middle

Do Not Disturb by Claire Douglas - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Claire Douglas is up there as one of the best authors of thriller/mystery novels in my eyes. The Sisters blew me away last year so I was really hoping Do Not Disturb would do the same. I was seriously unable to put this down. It's mysterious, every character is suspicious and the ending leaves it in a way that says there could definitely be more in future.

You Had Me At Hello & After Hello by Mhairi McFarlane ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I mentioned in my review of this that literally within the first few pages I had that oh god feeling, where it just seemed like it wasn't going to be for me. I had a strange feeling about it but within a few chapters, that all changed. It's set partly in Sheffield so it felt very close to home, I thought the characters were relatable and it was just pure romance. I didn't want it to end. I read the short story follow-up 'After Hello' quite quickly afterwards and it was the perfect way to finish Ben and Rachel's story.

Got You Back by Jane Fallon - ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This was a bit of a strange one because I found it really enjoyable to read but not much actually happens. It was very much a story about deceit and betrayal which a lot of Jane's books seem to centre around, but it's something she does so well. I think this would be a good holiday read.

Last Seen Alive by Claire Douglas -⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This book blew my mind. I'd been impressed with the two other books I'd read from Claire so I expected to enjoy this too but I could never have predicted where the story went. It was fast paced, creepy and the twist that comes at the end of part 1 genuinely made me need to stop and have a breather because I was just baffled. It completely changed up the story, almost to the point where I wanted to go back to beginning and start again. Just insane. Read it!

Messy Wonderful Us by Catherine Isaac - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This book was a total surprise. I was intrigued but wasn't 100% sure it would be one that would grab me. It's not strictly a romance and maybe bit more of a serious read than I'd usually go for but I'm so glad I gave it a chance! It's a real emotional drama that pulls on your heartstrings, I couldn't put it down. Full review here.
3 books stacked in front of musical programmes
I'd love to know what you've been reading recently and what your favourite book has been of the year so far? Let me know if you've read any of these too, would love to know what you thought!

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Sophie said...

I've fallen so badly behind with my reading challenge! The last couple I've read have all been health related non-fiction. Heard so many great things about Jane Fallon lately! x


jennyinneverland said...

YES YES YES Last Seen Alive was one of my books of last year. SUCH a good Thriller!


Heather Nixon said...

I published my 2019 mid year wrap-up recently x

Tiffany Timms said...

She's such a brilliant author, really recommend Tell Me A Secret and the ones I've mentioned in this post :)

Tiffany Timms said...

Omg it was amazing wasn't it?! I couldn't believe the end of part 1, SO glad I read it xx

Debbie said...

This is a great round up of some incredible books xx

Tiffany Timms said...

Thanks so much Bexa! With Or Without You is such a lovely book, highly recommend it :) xx

Lady Writes said...

Deffo adding some of these to my reading list now x

Joy said...

Only one 2-star book. You had a good run :)

Imogen's Typewriter. said...

You're doing so well! I'm very jealous that you're reading so many 5 star books.
Imogen’s Typewriter. <3

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