Audiobook Review: Us Against You (Beartown #2) by Fredrik Backman

“Everyone is a hundred different things, but in other people’s eyes we usually get the chance to be only one of them.”

The second book in the Beartown series by Fredrik Backman and published in 2017, Us Against You follows the citizens of Beartown after everything they have gone through, who struck yet another blow when they hear that their beloved local hockey team will soon be disbanded. What makes it worse is the former Beartown players who now play for a rival team in Hed. But when a surprising newcomer is handpicked to be Beartown’s new hockey coach, a new team starts to take shape.

As the big match approaches, the not-so-innocent pranks and incidents between the communities pile up and their mutual contempt grows deeper. By the time the last game is finally played, a resident of Beartown will be dead, and the people of both towns will be forced to wonder if, after all they’ve been through, the game they love can ever return to something simple and innocent.

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READALONG: The It Girl by Ruth Ware

“Everyone wanted her life. Someone wanted her dead.”

Due to be published on 8th August, The It Girl by Ruth Ware follows Hannah and Will who, relieved to put their past behind them, are expecting their first child. But when Hannah finds out that the man convicted of killing her best friend from university over ten years ago has died, Hannah’s world is rocked. April was vivacious, bright, and the ultimate It girl. But by the end of the second, she was dead. Now, Hannah’s recollection of the night is brought into question, when a young journalist comes knocking and presents new evidence that he may have been innocent all along. But if it wasn’t’ him, who did kill April?

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Book Review: The Invisible Life Of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

“Three words, large enough to tip the world. I remember you.”

Published in 2020, The Invisible Life Of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab follows the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue who, in 1714, bargains to live forever in a moment of desperation. But her bargain wasn’t a fair one, and she is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets. Thus begins a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world. But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore, and he remembers her name.

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Audiobook Review: Summerwater by Sarah Moss

“And the waves, of course, have almost gone here in the shelter of the island and the peninsula where even today there are cars glinting wet through the trees, people desperate enough to walk in the rain or some of them just seem to drive to the end of the road and park and sit there, newspapers and tea from a flask and it makes him itch everywhere at once just thinking of it, people sitting in parked cars, the windows steaming up, waiting for minutes to pass, for their lives to drip away.”

Published in 2020, Summerwater by Sarah Moss is set on the longest day of the summer, when twelve people sit cooped up with their families in a faded Scottish cabin park. The endless rain leaves them with little to do but watch the other residents.

One particular family, a mother and daughter without the right clothes or the right manners, starts to draw the attention of the others. Tensions rise and all watch on, unaware of the tragedy that lies ahead as night finally falls.

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Book Review: One Of The Girls by Lucy Clarke

“ONE IS A LIAR.
ONE IS A STRANGER.
ONE IS A CHEATER.
WHO IS A KILLER?”

Set to be released on 26th May, One Of The Girls by Lucy Clarke follows a group of six friends who arrive on a beautiful Greek island, dreaming of sun-drenched beaches and blood orange sunsets, ready to lose themselves in the wild freedom of a weekend away with friends. On the first night, they swam under a blanket of stars. On the second night, the games began on our clifftop terrace. On the third night, the idyll cracked. And by the final night, there was a body on the rocks below…

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Book Review: Wrong Place, Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister

“Can you stop a murder after it’s already happened?”

Set to be released on 12th May, Wrong Place, Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister follows mother and wife Jen who witnesses her son commit a terrible crime: the murder of a complete stranger. It’s every parent’s nightmare. She doesn’t know who her son has killed, and she doesn’t know why. She only knows that her teenage boy is in custody and his future is lost.

That night, she falls asleep in despair. But when she wakes, it’s yesterday. And every morning after that, she wakes up a day earlier, another day before the murder. Another chance to stop it. Somewhere in the past lie the answers, and Jen doesn’t have a choice but to find them.

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Book Review: The House With The Golden Door (The Wolf Den Trilogy #2) by Elodie Harper

“Freed from Pompeii’s brothel. Owned as a courtesan. Determined to have revenge. Her name is Amara. What will she risk for power?”

Set to be released on 12th May and the second book in Elodie Harper’s The Wolf Den Trilogy, The House With The Golden Door follows the story of Amara, after being freed from Pompeii’s most notorious brothel. Now owned as a courtesan, she has a house, fine clothes, and servants – but all of these are gifts from her patron, hers for as long as she keeps her place in his affections.

As she adjusts to this new life, Amara is still haunted by her past. At night she dreams of the wolf den, and the women she left behind. By day, she is pursued by her former slavemaster. In order to be truly free, she will need to be as ruthless as he is. Amara knows she can draw strength from Venus, the goddess of love. Yet falling in love herself may prove to be her downfall.

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Book Review: Dark Pines (Tuva Moodyson Mystery #1) by Will Dean

“An isolated Swedish town. A deaf reporter terrified of nature. A dense spruce forest overdue for harvest. A pair of eyeless hunters found murdered in the woods.”

The first book in Will Dean‘s Tuva Moodyson Mystery series and published in 2018, Dark Pines is set in an isolated Swedish town where a deaf reporter, Tuva Moodyson, begins investigating a series of murders in a dense spruce forest. It soon becomes clear that this could be the story that will make Tuva’s career, as she stumbles on a web of secrets that knit Gavrik town together. Are the latest murders connected to the Medusa killings twenty years ago? Is someone following her? Why take their eyes? Tuva must face her demons and venture deep into the woods to stop the killer and write the story. And then get the hell out of Gavrik.

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BOOK TOUR: The Trapped Ones (Nikki Hunt #5) by Stacy Green

The fifth book in Stacy Green‘s Nikki Hunt series, The Trapped Ones sees Special Agent Nikki Hunt called to a homicide at a farmhouse surrounded by thick, dark woodland. A mother and father have been stabbed, their son is fighting for his life, and a young woman’s body is lying near the front door, her wrists bound. Nikki has never seen such a complex scene, but despite recovering from her own painful loss, she will do whatever it takes to bring this killer to justice.

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Book Review: The Executioner (Robert Hunter #2) by Chris Carter

“He’ll scare you to death.”

The second book in the Robert Hunter series and originally published in 2010, The Executioner by Chris Carter begins inside a Los Angeles church where, on the altar steps, lies the blood-soaked, decapitated body of a priest. Carefully positioned, legs stretched out, arms crossed over the chest, the most horrifying thing of all is that the priest’s head has been replaced by that of a dog. Later, the forensic team discover that, on the victim’s chest, the number 3 has been scrawled in blood.

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Book Review: Crazy Rich Asians (Crazy Rich Asians #1) by Kevin Kwan

“Doing nothing can sometimes be the most effective form of action. If you do nothing, you’ll be sending a clear message: that you’re stronger than they think you are. Not to mention a lot classier. Think about it.”

Originally published in 2013, Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan follows New Yorker Rachel Chu who agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young. She envisions a humble family home and quality time with the man she hopes to marry, but Nick has failed to give his girlfriend a few key details. One, that his childhood home looks like a palace; two, that he grew up riding in more private planes than cars; and three, that he just happens to be the country’s most eligible bachelor.

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Book Review: The House Next Door by James Patterson

Published in 2019, The House Next Door by James Patterson is a collection of three short stories.

The House Next Door follows a married mother of three who is thrilled when her new neighbour invites her on some errands. But a few quick tasks became a long lunch-and now things could go too far with a man who isn’t what he seems.

The Killer’s Wife follows Detective McGrath’s investigation into the disappearance of four girls. He knows the only way to find them is to get close to the suspect’s wife… maybe too close.

We. Are. Not. Alone sees the first message from space, the undeniable proof of alien life. Disgraced Air Force scientist Robert Barnett found it. Now he’s the target of a desperate nationwide manhunt, and Earth’s future hangs in the balance.

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Book Review: The Beekeeper Of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri

“In the midst of war, he found love.
In the midst of darkness, he found courage.
In the midst of tragedy, he found hope.”

Published in 2020, The Beekeeper Of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri follows beekeeper Nuri and his artist wife, Afra. They live a simple life in the beautiful Syrian city of Aleppo – until the unthinkable happens. When all they care for is destroyed by war, they are forced to escape.

As Nuri and Afra travel through a broken world, they must confront not only the pain of their own unspeakable loss, but dangers that would overwhelm the bravest of souls. Above all, they must journey to find each other again.

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Book Review: Little Nothings by Julie Mayhew

“With friends like these, who needs enemies?”

Set to be released by 12th May, Little Nothings by Julie Mayhew follows Liv who has never been a woman with a lot of female friends. But when she meets fellow new mums Beth and Binnie, she knows she’s finally found her best friends for life. But then Binnie introduces Ange. Rich, beautiful, and capable, somehow, of doing it all, Ange changes the dynamics of their little group, and not for the better.

When Ange suggests a trip to Greece to celebrate their girl gang, Liv knows she has to go, even though her family really can’t afford it. Once on the island, though, Ange makes it clear that Liv will always be second string. As long as Ange is around, there’s no returning to the way things were. But Liv wants her friendships back-and she’ll do whatever it takes to make that happen.

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Book Review: The Night They Vanished by Vanessa Savage

“A family with a secret. A past about to catch up with them.”

Set to be released on 5th May, The Night They Vanished by Vanessa Savage follows Hanna who has barely spoken to her family since the tragedy that rocked their lives fourteen years ago – a tragedy which they held Hanna responsible. But then she sees her family home listed as the scene of a horrific crime. Number of victims: three. Date of crime: today. Frantic, Hanna tries to contact her family, only to find they have disappeared. To find them, Hanna will have to confront what happened all those years ago. And the person determined to make her pay for it…

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Book Review: The Hiding Place (DI Fleet #2) by Simon Lelic

“Ready or not, here I come. It’s time to play hide and seek again.”

Set to be released on 5th May, The Hiding Place by Simon Lelic follows four friends, one murder, and a game that they can’t escape. Ben is new to Beaconsfield and struggles to settle in. So when three students offer friendship, Ben is willing to do anything they ask to finally fit in. Twenty-two years later, Ben’s body is found. It was just a game of Hide and Seek gone wrong, they said. But who was Ben hiding from?

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BOOK TOUR: The Birdcage by Eve Chase

“Some secrets need to be set free…”

Released on 28th April, The Birdcage by Eve Chase follows half-sisters Lauren, Kat and Flora who share a famous artist father – and a terrible secret. Over the years, they’ve grown into wildly different lives. But an invitation to Rock Point, the Cornish cliff house where they once sat for their father’s most celebrated painting, Girls and Birdcage, reunites them.

Rock Point is a beautiful, windswept place, thick with secrets, electrically charged with the events of the summer – twenty years before – that the family daren’t discuss. And there is someone in the shadows watching their every move. Someone who remembers the girls in the painting – and what they did.

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Book Review: When You Disappeared by John Marrs

“It was better to remain on my island than drown in somebody else’s sea.”

Originally published in 2013, When You Disappeared by John Marrs follows wife and mother Catherine who wakes up alone one morning. She thinks her husband has gone for a run before work, but Simon never makes it to the office. His running shoes are by the front door. Nothing is missing – except him.

Catherine knows Simon must be in trouble. He wouldn’t just leave her. He wouldn’t leave the children. But Simon knows the truth – about why he left and what he’s done. He knows things about his marriage that it would kill Catherine to find out. The memories she holds onto are lies.

While Catherine faces a dark new reality at home, Simon’s halfway around the world. But he can’t hide forever, and when he reappears twenty-five years later, Catherine will finally learn who he is. And wish she’d stayed in the dark.

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Audiobook Review: The Help by Kathryn Stockett

“Write about what disturbs you, particularly if it bothers no one else.”

Originally published in 2009, The Help by Kathryn Stockett follows three ordinary women in Jackson, Mississippi, in 1962, who are about to take one extraordinary step. There’s Aibileen, raising her 17th white child and nursing the hurt caused by her own son’s tragic death; Minny, whose cooking is nearly as sassy as her tongue and white Miss Skeeter, home from college, who wants to know why her beloved maid has disappeared.

No one would believe these three would become friends; fewer still would tolerate it. But as each woman finds the courage to cross boundaries, they come to depend and rely upon one another. Each is in a search of a truth, and together they have an extraordinary story to tell…

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Book Review: Monsters Of Men (Chaos Walking #3) by Patrick Ness

“It’s not how we fall. It’s how we get back up again.”

Originally published in 2010 and the third book in Patrick NessChaos Walking series, Monsters Of Men follows Todd and Viola as a world-ending war surges to life around them. The indigenous Spackle have mobilized to avenge their murdered people, while ruthless human leaders prepare to defend their factions at all costs. As the ceaseless Noise lays all thoughts bare, the projected will of the few threatens to overwhelm the desperate desire of the many. The consequences of each action, each word, are unspeakably vast: To follow a tyrant or a terrorist? To save the life of the one you love most or thousands of strangers? To believe in redemption or assume it is lost?

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