books read and reviewed Jul23

Books read and reviewed in July 2023

A bit late, but here’s some of what I’ve been reading in July. Not as many as previous months because I’ve been doing jigsaws too, and spending a bit of time outside. But still plenty of reading opportunities.

Books read in July – 11

Here’s a selection of my books I’ve read and reviewed in July 2023. You can find all my books read on my Goodreads profile.

books read and reviewed Jul23

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The Last House on the Street by Diane Chamberlain

Jumping between 2010 and 1965, from modern day when Kayla is moving into the house her and her late husband designed with their young daughter, to times when black rights were being fought to help get them to vote.

Kayla’s now not sure about her new house. It feels wrong and why is she being warned off living there, with the woods and mysterious circle behind.

Ellie’s back in her childhood home near Kayla. Now 65, we learn about how she stood up for those who needed to vote, who were segregated and feared, hated by many of the whites in the south. Ellie puts herself forward from her safe, privileged white home to protest and educate against her home town and small minded population. She grew as a person, but what happened to her family and friends left behind all those years ago, and how did her fellow protesting group cope.

The secrets of Kayla’s new land are uncovered.

This book challenges us to think about how minorities were treated in the past, and how the wave against them easily grew and became more open. The story between Ellie and her fellow workers is interesting, and it’s a great education on what really did happen back in those troublesome times.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Dan and Nat got Married by Jon Rance

Dan’s in Las Vegas for a stag do, he’s usually the sensible one of his friends, but then wakes in bed with Nat, in town for a hen do. Neither remember anything from the night before. When Nat wakes, they realise they ended up married.

Back in the UK, they meet up to discuss divorce, but encouraged by their good friends to throw off their emotional ties to their exes, and excited by the connection between them, they decide to give the marriage a go.

But what happens when they bump into Claire, the woman who left Dan standing at the altar. How does Dan cope with the 22 year old flirt at work. And what happens when the previous love of her life Charlie shows up wanting to start again.

Dan’s sure about what he wants, but is Nat, and is it enoguh.

I really liked this book. It’s nice to see ‘nice’ men having some luck in love. And slightly awkward, women who don’t really know what to do with their lives. It’s a book about self realisation and compromise, as well as friendship and what is important to relationships.

Definitely recommend this book, with a lot of laugh out loud moments, awkwardness and cringy family moments.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

All the fun of the Fair by Caroline Hulse

All Fi Larson wants to do is to go the fair for the first time in her life as she approaches her 12th birthday, an age her older sister near reached. After her older sister died at the fair, her parents banned a trip there. Her other ambition is to find out the truth about her sister’s death, because noone will talk about it.

A diary style novel of Fiona’s life in and out of school, friendships or not, and the awkwardness of a pre-tween who’s struggling to stay out of trouble, wants to be seen as more intelligent, have girl friends, and just fit in with everyone else at school. Oh and not forgetting her obsession with blood

A quirky book, a chance to relive your own awkward years through early secondary school years. There’s some amusing parts, some emotional, and hopeful all seen through the eyes of an 11 year old

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The Rivals by Daniel Hurst

Taking competitiveness to the limits, Jess and Lucy meet via an online challenge app. But when Lucy beats Jess at a step challenge, Jess vows never to be beaten again.

Both are used to striving for perfection and the win. But Lucy begins to relax her competitiveness when she meets her new boyfriend.

Jess is still on for the win with the marathon they’ve entered calling. But how far will she go.

As someone who’s fairly competitive this was an interesting read, how consuming it could be for the 2 high fliers, and how it takes over at least Jess’ life. I liked the twist at the end, but you do wonder whether things would stop or not after the story ended.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Love, Comment, Survive by Cathy Yardley

A book for the Youtube generation. I could just imagine this going on with Youtubers in that ‘new’ celeb lifestyle in LA.

Lily Wang has always wanted to be one of the popular girls, and she’s broken out from her high school nerd group to build a successful beauty Youtube channel. But to get bigger and make herself more known, she’s thrown together to collaborate with old ‘annoying’ friend and bigger prank and silly Youtuber Tobin.

What happens when their first collab goes viral, how does life change, what stresses and pressures do these Youtubers put themselves under to get ahead and stay on top.

For anyone who’s a Youtube fan or an inflencer wannabe there are some interesting points to take away from this book.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

All for You by Louise Jenson

What would you do for your child if they were seriously ill? Each of the Walsh family have something to hide, and they’re gradually falling apart.

Lucy is struggling to hold it together for son Kieron, pushing for treatment. Husband and father Adam is going off to meet someone he can’t escape. And oldest son Connor has lost his girlfriend after a terrible accident.

When Connor’s 2 friends go missing separately, will Connor be next. They try to work out where they are, who’s following Lucy, and why is the headteacher back at school and down on Connor and his friends.

This book has quite a few twists. It’s like a jigsaw where you’re piecing together all the different links and pieces to form the correct answer. You’re really rooting for Connor and his friends, as they’re all they have left. Is there hope for any or all of the Walshs and those around them.

Definitely one to read if you’re after fast paced thrillers. It’s written from each of the characters for different chapters it’s easy to follow and one I couldn’t put down.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What books have you been reading this last month?

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