Books I Read in May...

PARADISE LODGE – Nina Stibbe [♥♥♥♥♥]

This is the story of Lizzie Vogel, a 15 year old girl who gets a job in an elderly home in 1970s England so she can pay for beer shampoo and posh coffee. With a colourful array of side characters, Lizzie spends her days at the elderly home making friends with the nurses, and quietly falling in love with a boy who is already taken…

I so loved this book. It is one of those books with no massive plot twist (although I beg to differ – a tiny plot twist at the end did leave me reeling!), no mind-blowing action scenes, but rather, it is a serene character-driven novel, allowing the reader to discover the individual characteristics of the people and places surrounding our heroine’s life. With quite an unusual setting as the main emotional base for Lizzie’s focus, it is a grey contrast to the bright colours of Lizzie’s youth, often bringing out the most raw thoughts and emotions from within her. As you can tell, I really enjoyed this book, so it’s 5 precious stars from me.

THE GIRLFRIEND – Michelle Frances [♥♥♥♥]

Laura has it all. A successful career, a long marriage to a rich husband, and a twenty-three year-old son, Daniel, who is kind, handsome, and talented. Then Daniel meets Cherry. Cherry is young, beautiful and smart but she hasn't had the same opportunities as Daniel. And she wants Laura's life.

The above line is what grabbed my attention when I was search for something to read. It just made me curious – to what lengths will this young woman go to steal someone else’s life? Admittedly, when I got to reading the book, it was a little clich├ęd at times – sweet, innocent poor girl wins over a handsome rich boy’s heart (and brain), and then the controlling mother-in-law swoops in and tries to pry them apart. Laura knows there is something not quite right about Cherry (whose name now makes me shiver by the way), and does her best to try steer her son away from her. In this novel, both women are terribly flawed characters, locking horns in the most manipulative and shocking ways that it is certainly hard to like either of them, but the thrills this book emits keeps you on the edge of your seat, and it was actually really hard to put this book down. I give it 4 generous stars.

TRULY MADLY GUILTY - Liane Moriarty   [♥♥♥♥]

Six responsible adults. Three cute kids. One small dog. It’s just a normal weekend. What could possibly go wrong?

Slow paced, agonizing, but strong writing skills and a simple plot will keep you hooked – I give Truly Madly Guilty 4 stars for great character development and a reasonably satisfying climax. Not having read any of Moriarty’s books before, judging from other reviews I get the gist that Moriarty is normally a ‘better’ writer. Since I have nothing to compare to, I’d like to put my foot forward that this is a rather decent read which if you want something quick (despite the bigger size of the book), then quick is what you will get because you will simply be unable to put it down. 


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