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April Book Club

Updated: Feb 27

Hi everyone,


As promised, I am going to review the books I read in the month of April. I plan to read around 3 books per month, however, I did slightly run into the month of May with these three, so we shall see how it goes. Without further ado, let's get stuck in.


Believe Me - JP Delaney (2018)


Believe Me is the second novel from the author, JP Delaney. It follows the story of a British girl, pursuing her acting dreams in New York City. We soon discover that she may not be living there completely legally, so naturally she has to try all means to get by and pay for her attendance at one of the world's greatest acting schools. When her path crosses with that of a murder suspect, can she put her true feelings aside and discover the truth?


I am familiar with Delaney's first novel, The Girl Before, which I thoroughly enjoyed and I knew I needed to buy this book as soon as I saw it. Let me tell you, I was not disappointed. Full of twists and turns, I can honestly say I did not predict anything that happened throughout.


What I liked

Unpredictable, I genuinely had no idea how it would end, right up to the last page.


Interesting layout, some parts are written in the style of movie script, which adds interest.


Original story-line. I have never read anything like this before, although nothing seems far-fetched or exaggerated.


What I didn't like

There isn't much I can think of that I didn't enjoy. In my opinion it is a very interesting and gripping read.


Overall rating - 8.5/10

Would I recommend?: Yes


Close to the Edge - Toby Faber (2019)


In this novel, we enter the world of the London Underground. Main character, Laurie, witnesses a tragic accident on her morning commute to work - but is it really as it seems? Now, I will be honest with you, I really didn't particularly enjoy this novel so I won't waste time boring you too much with the specifics.


What I liked

The story-line was generally quite original, I have never read anything of the sort (for good reason, if I'm being honest!)


Wasn't actually that terrible that I couldn't physically bring myself to complete the book.


What I didn't like

The most far-fetched, unbelievable story-line I have heard of for a long, long time. The plot just took so many bizarre twists and turns that I didn't know if I was coming or going a lot of the time.


None of the characters were likable in the slightest.


Some of the descriptions became confusing and at times I able to picture the scene that the author was trying to describe.


Generally, I was just left so disappointed by the whole thing. The frustrating thing is that I see potential in this author, and some of the scenes were so gripping and graphic that it did keep me reading until the end, however the excitement almost always 'fizzles out'.


Overall rating: 3/10

Would I recommend?: No


Before She Knew Him - Peter Swanson (2019)


In this novel, Swanson introduces us to a young couple - Hen and Lloyd - who move to an unfamiliar town without many friends of their own. When they're invited to dinner with their neighbors (seemingly the only other child-less couple in the area) they find it impossible to decline. However, things take a turn when Hen spots something in their home that fills her with doubt about their new friends, could she uncover a deep secret?


Peter Swanson is also an author I am familiar with, and own all of his other novels. I am a fan of his original plots, as well as dramatic endings and recommend him to others who are stuck on which books to check out next. In Before She Knew Him you find yourself questioning just how much we know about the people who live around us, and just how far they'll go to hide the secrets they hold.


What I liked

Twisty and turny, the ending is a nice touch (no spoilers, don't worry!) however predictable it may, or may not, have been.


Original and gripping, it really does have you put yourself in the shoes of the characters.


Easy to read, nothing confusing or over-the-top.


Graphic and realistic.


What I didn't like

I wouldn't name this as the best Swanson novel out of the collection, however, that is not to say that this is a bad book.


Overall rating: 7/10

Would I recommend?: Yes

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