April 2017 Reading Review

I’m happy to report that this month’s review is, for the most part, full of books that I enjoyed way more than last month, so that is definitely a win! I would wholeheartedly recommend almost all of the books below to different people for different reasons, so read on for my April 2017 reading review!

April 2017 Reading Review | My Cup and Chaucer

April 2017 Reading Review
See You in September by Charity Norman [GR]
This book was such a surprise. I knew it was a novel about cults (and I bloody love cults) but I think I was thrown off by the cover and wasn’t at all prepared for how intense and dark this book was. It is so, so good. It’s a fictional story about a girl getting caught up in a cult in New Zealand, but there were times while I was reading it that I had to remind myself that it was, in fact, fiction. Charity Norma’s writing is incredible and while I wouldn’t go as far as calling this a thriller, it’s magnificently unsettling and tense. 5★

 

Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson [GR]
I was very excited to read this after The Kind Worth Killing and unfortunately it fell a bit flat for me, but it was still a solid thriller that I reckon I might have liked more if I had given myself more time between TKWK and this. This book had a very Rear Window feel about it and it is the story of Kate, her cousin Corbin, and the apartment swap that threatens to tear both their lives apart. There are red herrings all over the place, which made it interesting, but ultimately the characters were awkward and a couple of key turning points in the book fell flat and I was left feeling like this book could have been so much more. 3★

 

The Lucky One by Caroline Overington [GR]
This book tested me. It had the capacity to be excellent and in places it was, but I didn’t care for any of the characters and the ending was a major wtf moment. In saying that, it felt very Agatha Christie-esque with its gothic setting and limited pool of characters and therefore suspects. When an old estate has its cemetery dug up, the new owners were expecting to find bodies. What they weren’t expecting to find was a fresh body. The previous owners of the estate, the Alden-Stowe family, are brought back to town as every member of the family is investigated. What follows is fairly stock standard mystery stuff, but I was not prepared for the ending. Overall it was a good book, but not as strong as Caroline’s others. 3★

 

Talk of the Town by Rachael Johns [GR]
I straight-up loved this book. I was feeling a little deflated after the previous books I’d read when I picked up the latest from Rachael Johns and she did not let me down. In Talk of the Town, a young woman named Meg leaves her troubled past in Melbourne behind and moves to a deserted town in Western Australia. As only the second resident of the town, Meg finds the solace she so desperately craved… until a man and his son from a neighbouring town literally end up on her verandah. What follows is a really sweet and moving story about grief, love, and starting over. Being a farm girl herself, Rachael writes rural tales in an utterly charming and authentic way and I recommend this to anyone who enjoys realistic characters and superb Australian storytelling. 5★

 

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware [GR]
I was 100% invested in this book and it was on track to be another 5★ read, but the second half really fell flat for me. I think I was expecting more from the big twist and while the book was still quite clever overall, it didn’t live up to the hype for me. The premise of this story is also one of my worst nightmares. The protagonist, Lo, is a journalist who is invited to an exclusive cruise on a small luxury yacht while recovering from a terrifying home invasion. On her first night, she witnesses what she thinks is a woman being thrown overboard from the cabin next to her; however when the security crew on board investigate, it is revealed that the room next to Lo’s was vacant. Who was the mystery woman that Lo saw, and why is the crew trying as hard as possible to discredit what she saw? Definitely read on to find out, but don’t expect the world from this thriller. There are better ones out there! 3.5★

 

The Shape of Us by Lisa Ireland [GR]
This book packed a completely unexpected emotional punch and it goes without saying that I enjoyed this book far more than I expected to. It’s the story of four women who strike up an online friendship after they join the same weight-loss program, and soon after their friendship moves into the real world. I’m not shy about the fraught relationship I have with my own body, and there were times when I had to stop reading for a moment, just to remind myself that Lisa couldn’t, in fact, read my mind. The characters and their struggles will feel exceptionally real to anyone who has struggled to make peace with their body, or still continues to do so, and I recommend some tissues towards the end. 5★

 

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty [GR]
I read my first Liane Moriarty novel a while ago now and I had to put restrictions on myself so that I didn’t rush out and read all of her books at once. I’ve been rationing them out slowly, and I thought it was time to read What Alice Forgot. I’m so glad that I did get around to reading it, but it’s definitely not my favourite of her books. The premise is excellent — Alice hits her head in an exercise class and when she wakes up, she can’t recall the previous ten years of her life. It’s such an interesting premise, waking up to realise that your life hasn’t turned out as you hoped it would, and in Liane’s hands it is handled for the most part with grace and wit. There weren’t many characters I liked or could relate to, which is why I struggled with this book, but it’s still a quick and fun read from one of my favourite Australian authors. 4★

 

Overall, April was a great reading month and I can’t wait to see what awaits me between the pages in May!
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