Book Review: The Summer Party by Rebecca Heath

“A perfect family. A devastating secret.”

Published on 5th January 2023, The Summer Party by Rebecca Heath is set in the tranquil town of Queen’s Point in southern Australia and told over two timelines. In the summer of 2000, the Whitlam family mark the end of the season with a lavish party in their clifftop mansion. Here, clutching her first glass of real champagne, the summer breeze intoxicating on her skin, sixteen-year-old Lucy Ross is kissed for the very first time. And then, in the shadows of the rose garden, she sees something she shouldn’t.

In Winter 2019, after two decades of silence, Lucy is back in Queen’s Point. She hasn’t planned on staying long. But when human remains wash up on the freezing beach, the police close the town. Unable to leave, Lucy is forced to rekindle old friendships – and examine old truths – she has long ago tried to forget. As long-buried secrets start to surface, Lucy must decide. Will she confront the past and tell the truth? Or will she still do anything to protect the people she loves?

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My 2022 Reading Wrap-Up

Happy New Year’s Eve, everybody! As if it’s the last day of 2022!!!

But that means it’s time for a yearly wrap-up, and I’m so pleased with how my reading year has gone!

My TBR hasn’t gone down, but it hasn’t gone up by much (Started at 500, and ended at 519), but I feel like I’ve ticked off a lot of my goals, so I’m going into 2023 feeling very organised!

I’ll be posting my top reads of the year soon, but for now, here are my 2022 Wrapped stats:

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Book Review: Q by Christina Dalcher

“Patriotism doesn’t require turning a blind eye to the darker chapters of our country’s history; if anything, the opposite.”

Published in 2020, Q by Christina Dalcher is set in a world where the education system is moulded to benefit everyone. It began as a way to make things fairer, at least. This is what Elena believed. As a teacher in one of the government’s elite schools for children with high ‘Q’ scores, she witnessed the advantages first-hand. But when Elena’s own daughter scores lower than expected, she is taken away.

Elena follows her to her new home. A government institute. What she finds there makes Elena question everything. Because this world is about perfection – and that comes at a terrible price.

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Book Review: Twisted by Steve Cavanagh

Published in 2019, Twisted by Steve Cavanagh is the author’s only standalone book so far.

BEFORE YOU READ THIS BOOK, I WANT YOU TO KNOW THREE THINGS:

1. The police are looking to charge me with murder.
2. No one knows who I am. Or how I did it.
3. If you think you’ve found me. I’m coming for you next.

After you’ve read this book, you’ll know: the truth is far more twisted…

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Book Review: Feathertide by Beth Cartwright

“A girl. A secret. A life-changing journey.”

Published in 2020, Feathertide by Beth Cartwright follows a girl born covered in the feathers of a bird, who’s kept hidden in a crumbling house full of secrets. Marea has always known she was different, but never known why. And so to find answers, she goes in search of the father she has never met. The hunt leads her to the City of Murmurs, a place of mermaids and mystery, where jars of swirling mist are carried through the streets by the broken-hearted. And Marea will never forget what she learns there.

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Book Review: Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

“It is nothing to die. It is frightful not to live.”

Originally published in 1862, Les Miserables by Victor Hugo follows the fortunes of Jean Valjean, an escaped convict determined to put his criminal past behind him. But his attempts to become a respected member of the community are constantly put under threat: by his own conscience, when, owing to a case of mistaken identity, another man is arrested in his place; and by the relentless investigations of the dogged Inspector Javert. It is not simply for himself that Valjean must stay free, however, for he has sworn to protect the baby daughter of Fantine, driven to prostitution by poverty.

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Book Review: Midnight Sun (The Twilight Saga #5) by Stephenie Meyer

“She had changed me more than I’d known it was possible for me to change and still remain myself.”

The fifth book in The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer and published in 2020, Midnight Sun tells the story of how Edward Cullen and Bella Swan met, but this time, from Edward’s perspective.

Meeting Bella is both the most unnerving and intriguing event he has experienced in all his years as a vampire. As we learn more fascinating details about Edward’s past and the complexity of his inner thoughts, we understand why this is the defining struggle of his life. How can he justify following his heart if it means leading Bella into danger?

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Book Review: One By One (Robert Hunter #5) by Chris Carter

“Fire or water?”

The fifth book in Chris Carter‘s Robert Hunter series and originally published in 2013, One By One follows Detective Robert Hunter of the LAPD’s Homicide Special Section who receives an anonymous call asking him to go to a specific web address – a private broadcast. Hunter logs on and a show devised for his eyes only immediately begins. But the caller doesn’t want Detective Hunter to just watch, he wants him to participate, and refusal is simply not an option. Forced to make a sickening choice, Hunter must sit and watch as an unidentified victim is tortured and murdered live over the Internet.

The LAPD, together with the FBI, use everything at their disposal to electronically trace the transmission down, but this killer is no amateur, and he has covered his tracks from start to finish. And before Hunter and his partner Garcia are even able to get their investigation going, Hunter receives a new phone call. A new website address. A new victim. But this time the killer has upgraded his game into a live murder reality show, where anyone can cast the deciding vote.

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Book Review: Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah

“Sometimes when you open the door to your mother’s past, you find your own future . . .”

Originally published in 2010, Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah follows Meredith and Nina Whitson who are as different as sisters can be. One stayed at home to raise her children and manage the family apple orchard; the other followed a dream and travelled the world to become a famous photo journalist. But when their beloved father falls ill, these two estranged women will find themselves together again, standing alongside their cold, disapproving mother, Anya, who even now, offers no comfort to her daughters. On his deathbed, their father extracts one last promise from the women in his life.

It begins with a story that is unlike anything the sisters have heard before – a captivating, mysterious love story that spans sixty-five years and moves from frozen, war-torn Leningrad to modern-day Alaska. The vividly imagined tale brings these three women together in a way that none could have expected. Meredith and Nina will finally learn the secret of their mother’s past and uncover a truth so terrible it will shake the foundation of their family and change who they think they are.

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Book Review: Someone Like You by Karen Kingsbury

“One frozen embryo.
Two families with secrets.
And a guy who never planned to fall in love again.”

Published in 2020, Someone Like You by Karen Kingsbury follows Maddie West who is shaken to the core when she finds out that everything she believed about her life was a lie. Her parents had always planned to tell her the truth about her past: that she was adopted as an embryo. But somehow the right moment never happened. Now, the total stranger who confronts Maddie with the truth tells her something else that rocks her world—Maddie had a sister she never knew about. Feeling betrayed, angry, and confused, Maddie leaves her new job and fiancé, rejects her family’s requests for forgiveness, and moves to Portland, Oregon, to find out who she really is.

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Book Review: I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day by Milly Johnson

“The point of life is living, here and now, being present in the moment.”

Published in 2020, I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day by Milly Johnson is set just before Christmas, deep in the Yorkshire Moors in a tiny hamlet, where six people forced to seek shelter during a snow storm.

Mary has been trying to get her boss Jack to notice her for four years, but he can only see the efficient PA she is at work. Will being holed up with him finally give her the chance she has been waiting for? Bridge and Luke were meeting for five minutes to set their divorce in motion. But will getting trapped with each other reignite too many fond memories – and love? Charlie and Robin were on their way to a luxury hotel in Scotland for a very special Christmas. But will the inn give them everything they were hoping to find – and much more besides?

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Book Review: The Flight by Julie Clark

Published in 2020, The Flight by Julie Clark follows Claire and Eva who lead very different lives. But they have one thing in common: they are both in huge danger and need to disappear. A chance encounter at the airport presents the two women with a simple but crazy solution: switch places then drop off the grid when they land. But one woman will never reach her destination.

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Book Review: Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Published in 2019, Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston follows First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz who is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations. The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince.

As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?

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Book Review: In The Time We Lost by Carrie Hope Fletcher

Published in 2019, In The Time We Lost by Carrie Hope Fletcher follows Luna is taking back control by starting again in the most remote place she could find: Ondingside, a magical little town with barely a hundred and fifty people in the middle of nowhere important. She’ll finally finish her latest novel, get herself back to normal, maybe even find love. But on her first night in Ondingside, a freak July snow fall freezes the town. Snowed in, the town stands still. Can Luna break out of the monotony and do what she came to do?

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Book Review: When The Curtain Falls by Carrie Hope Fletcher

Published in 2018, When The Curtain Falls by Carrie Hope Fletcher follows two couples over two timelines. The first is set in 1952 when two young lovers meet, in secret, at the beautiful Southern Cross theatre in the very heart of London’s West End. Their relationship is made up of clandestine meetings and stolen moments because there is someone who will make them suffer if he discovers she is no longer ‘his’. But life in the theatre doesn’t always go according to plan and tragedy and heartache are waiting in the wings for all the players . . .

Almost seventy years later, a new production of When the Curtain Falls arrives at the theatre, bringing with it Oscar Bright and Olive Green and their budding romance. Very soon, though, strange things begin to happen and they learn about the ghost that’s haunted the theatre since 1952, a ghost who can only be seen on one night of the year. Except the ghost is appearing more often and seems hell-bent on sabotaging Oscar and Olive. The young couple realises they need to right that wrong from years gone by, but can they save themselves before history repeats itself and tragedy strikes once more?

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