In December I read a total of five books and was on a race against time to finish my Good Reads challenge of 52 books. I’m happy to report that I managed to complete the challenge with just a couple of hours to spare!
Nomad – Alan Partridge (Orion Books) – 2/5
If you’re a die-hard Partridge fan, I’d recommend this to you as I’m sure you’d love it as it has all the weirdness and wit you’d expect. However, if you’re looking for a good book to read, then steer clear – in true Partridge fashion it’s a shambles in places and the plot is all over the place. Looking back I wish I’d listened to the audio book of this as I think it’d be much more enjoyable if it was read by the dulcet tones of Steve Coogan.
After The Crash – Michel Bussi (Orion Books) – 4/5
Translated from French, Bussi’s debut novel has been subject to rave reviews the globe over. The book starts with a plane crash, where 168 of the 169 passengers are killed instantly. The miraculous sole survivor is a three-month-old baby girl. Two families, one rich, the other poor, step forward to claim her, sparking an investigation that will last for almost two decades. Is she Lyse-Rose or Emilie? Throughout the book we follow the girl’s journey through a web of lies and secrets to discover who she really is. I loved the suspense that Bussi built – it was packed with twists and turns, which kept it gripping throughout.
Disclaimer – Renee Knight (Black Swan) – 3/5
Imagine if the next book you picked up was all about you, your life and your secrets. Well, this is exactly what happens to Catherine, the lead character, in Disclaimer. The story unfolds as we learn more about what really happened on her holiday that fateful day. I picked this book up at a charity shop for 50p so didn’t have too high expectations, but I was pleasantly surprised. I was kept captive from the first page and found it gripping and tense in places. The twist didn’t shock me too much, but it still wasn’t expecting.
A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens (Bethany House Publishers) – 3/5
I’ve read this plenty of times before – this time I picked it up as I fancied something festive and seasonal just before Christmas. I won’t say too much about this one as I’m sure you’re all familiar with Dickens’ tale and the infamous Ebenezer Scrooge.
The Tidal Zone – Sarah Moss (Granta) – 4.5/5
Without a doubt this was my stand-out book of the month, and what a fantastic book it was to finish my year of reading on. The Tidal Zone is about the relationship between a father and his daughter, who collapses and stops breathing one day, and the foreboding sense of loss that follows. I loved how Moss’ writing captured the everyday details of life so perfectly, so beautifully. Throughout the novel there are parallel storylines and the paradox between the destruction of family life and the rebuilding of Coventry Cathedral after the bombing worked so very well. The only reason I didn’t give this 5 stars is that I felt I knew too much about the book before I started it (because of countless fantastic reviews and booktube videos!), which affected my enjoyment – I think if I’d gone in blind it would have been a five star read for me. A full post will follow for this one.