books read and redviewed Sep2023
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Books read and reviewed in September 2023

September has been a quiet reading month compared to the rest of the year. I’ve blogged a lot more thanks to our summer holiday. And I’ve got into the bad habit of playing way too many games! Must get back to reading.

  • Books read in September – 9 (10 really as one was a 2 in 1 but the individual books didn’t appear on Goodreads to count)
  • Books read this year – 135

Here’s a selection of the books I’ve read and wanted to share. You can see all my books read on my Goodreads profile.

books read and redviewed Sep2023

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The Parents by Claire Seeber

Close to home for many parents with footballing children, parent Whatsapp groups, and village cliques. The Parents is a fairly gentle mystery introducing new characters into a village setting and their junior football team. Things are uneasy, with ructions between men wanting to take over the coaching, kids wanting to (or not) take part, and the mothers keeping their own secrets.

What’s in the nearby woods? Why are they so spooky? What will the new season bring in a village where they still talk about the historical witchcraft in the areas from hundreds of years ago.

The story is told from different parents sides – Alex, a nervous newcomer, struggling to get by after her husband died, her teenage daughter isn’t talking to her. Why does she feel guilty, and what’s creeping her out. Patti, a popular likeable mum who’s been with the team a while, but is struggling with her husband, and has her own secrets.

Then a gossip blog starts to share hidden secrets of the team’s parents, causing more disagreements and unrest. How will things end?

I liked the book well enough, I think probably due to the feeling that we live in a rural setting, the football/sports team politics, and thankfully no whatsapp groups like theirs. It’s not a thriller as such, there’s certainly more jumpy books out there, and it just felt a little underwhelming with almost too many stories going on to keep track of.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

All I Want for Christmas – Joanna Boulari

It’s not often I read Christmas books outside of the holiday season, but I need to clear out some of my bookshelves. All I want for Christmas is a cost Christmas themed feel good romcom book that you can’t fail to say ‘awww’ to.

Lawyer Nick has just lost his job (not all his fault), and is struggling to find work. He’s living with his best friend Matt, who’s like a responsible brother if a bit of a player. When the only job on offer is being a shop Santa Claus, Nick has no choice.

His z list celeb girlfriend takes a ‘break’ from their relationship, everything seems to be crumbling around him. Until he meets cute 4yo Alfie who asks Santa to make his widowed mum Sarah happy again. Despite his initial attraction as he spots Sarah, Nick decides to set up his best mate Matt with her, which means he ends up with the agony of building a friendship with Sarah and her son, and not what he wants.

But is Sarah actually attracted to him too. He can’t let his bestfriend down. Gradually Nick learns to grow up, gets a new job, becomes more responsible, and just needs to start afresh without wishing he was Matt.

There are some comedy moments, as well poignant ones looking back at childhood and former relationships and family connections. It’s certainly a bit different reading a chick lit book from the man’s perspective.

Unusually I quite like all of the characters. I read this book picturing how it would look on screen.

If you’re a Christmas romance fan, then this book should be on your shelf.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Second Marriage – Jess Ryder

Is history repeating itself with the older suave Edward and young school tutor Lily who’s been teaching his son? After a whirlwind romance, Lily marries Edward, but has concerned about feeling like his late ex-wife Claire is always around looking down on them. As well as her young stepson saying his father and sisters are lying to him about his mum being dead.

To try and support her stepson who’s strangely being kept away from meeting friends or going out like normal children, Lily has her friend help find out more about her husband and his lies. What are he and his grown up daughters keeping quite about. Is Lily safe?

I enjoyed the book, even though I was reading it wondering why Lily couldn’t see the warning signs from early on with Edward and his family before marrying into it. Fairly fast read, and worth a few hours of time to read and enjoy it.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Alaskan Holiday by Debbie Macomber

A decent enough book, I could easily imagine the vast beauty of the Alaskan output Ponder in the story. Ambitious chef meets Alaskan born and bred, they get close while she’s temporarily living and working in the town before her new Seattle restaurant job starts.

Neither really wants her to leave, but Josie does, leaving Palmer’s awkward and rushed proposal of marriage behind.

But is her new job all it’s cut out to be and should she be back with Palmer and the new friends she met?

I found this book a little repetitive, it just seemed to have the lead characters going over and over the same thoughts again and again. It’s an ok story, but I’ve preferred other books by the same author.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

What’s Eating Felicity Frost? by Belle Henderson

A story of poor housemates driving Felicity out, to finding great new flatmates (and friends). All the while having job and colleague issues. Will she let her new friends in (even awkward posh man-child Leo who has a softplay den), or will new mysterious man Silver Fox Joseph who she meets in the pub whisk her away to a better life?

All of this against the backdrop of past family and friend issues that Fliss can’t get over.

Having lived in houseshares with some interesting characters, this book is a little bit of fun. Felicity seems like a normal young woman with similar issues to what many have at work and home while trying to progress in life and gain the boyfriend, good job and valued friendships. It was quite obvious how the relationships would change, and that there were some rotters that she needed to get rid of. But it’s nice to see friendship and more break through. Generally it’s a fun book with of course, a happy ending.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

All my Mothers by Joanna Glen

All My Mothers is a journey of discovery, of Eva who’s half Spanish and is questioning her parents about her birth to toddler years of which there’s no evidence. Her relationship with her mother has never felt quite right so she’s determined to find the truth.

It’s her story of friendship with Bridget Blume from their starting primary school, her relationships with the Blume family, her ‘unrequited’ childhood to adult love. And the search through her childhood, teenage and young adult years in trying to discover her true self, and her true story.

Who is her true mother? What makes a perfect mother? What is the truth of her life from a photo she has?

A story of friends sticking with each others, new friendships, holding on to hope in love, jealous, family and finding new or old family. Love and loss, illness and death.

Set in both England and then Spain, you can imagine the places as you read in particular the history of Cordoba. It’s a really well written book.

There’s some really poignant moments in the book, and I cried a couple of times. One to read if you want to think about motherhood, friendships and truth.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

For the Love of Friends by Sara Confino Confino

If you liked the films 27 Dresses or Bridesmaids, then For the Love of Friends might be one for you. Lily has somehow got herself into being bridesmaid at 5 weddings in one year, including those of her younger brother and sister. She feels she’s nowhere near settling down but feeling pressured from her mum to do so.

As her friends and family become wedding obsessed and are oblivious to Lily’s rising pressures about all the weddings, parties, dos and costs, she gets more and more irritated by other bridesmaids, her calendar and family members. Even groomsman Alex from her best friend’s wedding who’s becoming a closer friend, can’t remove her raising irritations. She decides to start a blog to try and let it out, writing anonymously about how her brides are treating her.

Will Lily make it to all the weddings, will she still be friends with all the brides and her family? What does she feel about Alex?

I really enjoyed this book. Lily’s blog is an outpouring that many people would love to say but they’d keep it to themselves. There’s always that anticipation of if or when will the brides find out that we’re waiting for. I was just waiting throughout for it to all go wrong, but also hoping that Lily gets through in the end however wrong she was for talking online about how awful the weddings and her friends are.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

You can check out my previous round up of books read and reviewed here.

What books have you been reading this month?

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