Review Round-Up - May

May Book Haul

Saturday, 25 May 2019

Whilst April's book haul was reasonable, May's is admittedly rather less so. But, with the final hand-in date of this year's essays taking place on the 28th, June will surely ensure an uninterrupted month of reading in which some of these books may even be looked at.

REVIEW: When All is Said, Anne Griffin

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Five toasts. Five people. One lifetime. "I’m here to remember – all that I have been and all that I will never be again." At the bar of a grand hotel in a small Irish town sits 84-year-old Maurice Hannigan. He’s alone, as usual – though tonight is anything but. Pull up a stool and charge your glass, because Maurice is finally ready to tell his story. Over the course of this evening, he will raise five toasts to the five people who have meant the most to him. Through these stories – of unspoken joy and regret, a secret tragedy kept hidden, a fierce love that never found its voice – the life of one man will be powerfully and poignantly laid bare. Heart-breaking and heart-warming all at once, the voice of Maurice Hannigan will stay with you long after all is said.

REVIEW: Look For Me, Lisa Gardner

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Detective DD Warren and Flora Dane are in a race against time to save a young girl's life - or bring her to justice. A family home has become a crime scene. Five people are involved: four of them have been savagely murdered; one - a sixteen-year-old girl - is missing. Was she lucky to have escaped? Or is her absence evidence of something sinister? Detective D. D. Warren is on the case, as is survivor-turned-avenger Flora Dane. Seeking different types of justice, they must make sense of the clues left behind by a young woman who, as victim or suspect, is silently pleading, "Look for me".

Try a Chapter: Mystery/Thrillers #3

Sunday, 19 May 2019

I always think that, with the Try a Chapter tag, it is almost as though I am miming actually leaving my house and going to a bookshop. It is as though I am sat on the floor, flicking through one and then another; drawn in by the pretty covers, but convinced by what is inside.
Because, if I had bought them in-person, as opposed to fluttering my eyelashes and somehow convincing a publisher to send me a digital copy of them, that is what I would have done to narrow down the choices and pick a winner.
After-all, nobody wants to waste all of their hard-earned pennies on a shit book.
And, I have found, when it comes to mysteries/thrillers/mystery-thrillers, it is pretty easy to tell from the first few pages when a book is just not up to scratch. Which is why, every time I get sent five or six of them on NetGalley, I toddle off to my room (I have just bought some yellow and grey dachshund bedding, so it is super cute and not at all mysterious and/or thrilling right now) and plan out this post, so that you all know which ones to lust after, and which ones to leave behind.

REVIEW: My Sister is Missing, Carissa Ann Lynch

Friday, 17 May 2019

A twenty-year-old local mystery that has never been solved. A bone-chilling VHS tape depicting a horrific crime. Neighbors with something to hide. And a sister who is missing. Emily has to find out the truth. But is her sister Madeline the victim… or the one to blame?

REVIEW: Social Creature, Tara Isabella Burton

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Louise is struggling to survive in New York; juggling a series of poorly paid jobs, renting a shabby flat, being catcalled by her creepy neighbour, she dreams of being a writer. And then one day she meets Lavinia. Lavinia who has everything – looks, money, clothes, friends, an amazing apartment… Lavinia invites Louise into her charmed circle, takes her to the best underground speakeasies, the opera, shares her clothes, her drugs, her Uber account. Louise knows that this can’t last for ever, but just how far is she prepared to go to have this life? Or rather, to have Lavinia’s life?

REVIEW: Case Histories, Kate Atkinson

Monday, 13 May 2019

Cambridge is sweltering, during an unusually hot summer. To Jackson Brodie, former police inspector turned private investigator, the world consists of one accounting sheet - Lost on the left, Found on the right - and the two never seem to balance. Surrounded by death, intrigue and misfortune, his own life haunted by a family tragedy, Jackson attempts to unravel three disparate case histories and begins to realise that in spite of apparent diversity, everything is connected...

REVIEW: Little Darlings, Melanie Golding

Thursday, 9 May 2019

Everyone says Lauren Tranter is exhausted, that she needs rest. And they’re right; with newborn twins, Morgan and Riley, she’s never been more tired in her life. But she knows what she saw: that night, in her hospital room, a woman tried to take her babies and replace them with her own…creatures. Yet when the police arrived, they saw no one. Everyone, from her doctor to her husband, thinks she’s imagining things. A month passes. And one bright summer morning, the babies disappear from Lauren’s side in a park. But when they’re found, something is different about them. The infants look like Morgan and Riley—to everyone else. But to Lauren, something is off. As everyone around her celebrates their return, Lauren begins to scream, These are not my babies. Determined to bring her true infant sons home, Lauren will risk the unthinkable. But if she’s wrong about what she saw…she’ll be making the biggest mistake of her life. Compulsive, creepy, and inspired by some of our darkest fairy tales, Little Darlings will have you checking—and rechecking—your own little ones. Just to be sure. Just to be safe.

Best Dressed of the 2019 Met Gala

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

When I think of camp, my mind instantly goes to extremes; to crossing boundaries.
Think you’ve pushed hard enough? Push harder. Think you’ve gone big enough? Go bigger. Think you’ve gone loud enough? Go louder.
The truly mind-bogglingly amazing Susan Sontag, defined camp, as something that “sees everything in quotation marks”; “something of a private code, a badge of identity”. And, what is truest expression of our identity?
Something that makes everyone else stop and stare as you walk down the street.
Camp acknowledges—and delights in—flamboyance. It rejects our collective understanding of high art and revels in garishness. Camp embraces our most tawdry impulses.
This ethos is why I have been even more excited about the Met Gala than usual. Because, the reason why it remains my favourite night of the year after Halloween, is that it is, after-all, a costume gala; one that should thrive under the banner of extreme-before-all-else. After-all, was it not one of favourite and most campiest of historical heroes that once passed on the most important of all life-mottos: “everything in moderation, including moderation”?
If you are not going into this event with that on your mind, well, then you probably shouldn’t be there.
Lady Gaga

Books I Want to Read in May

Sunday, 5 May 2019

I have crunched the numbers and it turns out that, judging by my rate from over the last two years or so, I am averaging around 12 books a month. I know, I know - it's a mentally exhausting life, one which admittedly involves a lot of sitting on my arse, but someone has to do it.
Get a proper life, I hear you call, one that involves actually leaving your house. Well yeah, you might have a point there...
But, it turns out that by making my idiosyncrasies all the more evident, instead of working to change them, I thought that I should magnify them and therefore, put them to some use. But, seeing as though I am historically resistant to any sense of schedule, official or otherwise (I mean, just look at my blog schedule. What a mess), starting off this series by scheduling all 12 of those books would certainly devolve into certain chaos.
So, instead, this list contains just 6 and over the next few months, we shall see how this semi-structured schedule works for me.

Most Anticipated Book Releases - May 2019

Friday, 3 May 2019

May, not January, always feels like a new beginning to me.
It's the warmth in the air, the sun in the sky, the later nights and earlier mornings.
... Or it would be, if I was living anywhere else in the Northern hemisphere than rainy old England.
And so I thought that May, as the month of new beginnings, would be a perfect time to usher back a returning favourite, both to Reminders of the Changing Time's viewers and to myself personally: the most anticipated new book releases post!
And May, is sure to be a corker.