Books mentioned and mini-reviews:
Heartstream by Tom Pollock
Amy is one of the most popular users on Heartstream, an app that allows others to feel your emotions, but she feels guilty about it, having broadcast in the months leading up to her mother’s death from cancer. Things get worse when her fans show up at the funeral, and then she returns home to find that there’s a strange woman inside her house, wearing explosives. This was an incredibly moving thriller and I couldn’t put it down!
Moving Pictures by Terry Pratchett
The Discworld (re)discovers Holy Wood, a town where nothing is as it seems and everybody wants to be in moving pictures. This was fun but ultimately quite similar to a lot of the previous books and I didn’t fall in love with any of the characters.
Writers and Lovers by Lily King (review copy from NetGalley)
I normally avoid books about writers like the plague but the description of this one captured my interest! I was not disappointed. I loved the realism and charm of this novel about a woman struggling to write, navigate her love life, come to terms with the loss of her mother and make her student loan repayments in the 90s.
The Neighbours by Nicola Gill (review copy from NetGalley)
I really liked the idea of this and found it an easy read that tackled some tough issues (not all of them in as much depth as I would have liked). It’s about a woman who decides to help her neighbour, a troubled reality star, get back on her feet.
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
This is a very sexy romance about an autistic woman who employs an escort to help her learn how to be good at relationships. It’s a bit of a fairytale but the typical tropes are reversed as she is the one with the high-powered job and bags of money! I really loved it and can’t wait to read more by this author.
The Pearl Thief by Elizabeth Wein
This is a prequel to Code Name Verity, about Julie as a young woman at home on her grandfather’s estate for the last time, trying to work out what happened to a collection of pearls he had. It was a complete delight and I must read more by this author!
Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado
This is a collection of weird and intriguing short stories. My favourite was the one I’d already read, The Husband Stitch, but I also liked most of the others and I’m looking forward to re-reading this in the future and seeing how my preferences change.
The Improbability of Love by Hannah Rothschild
High drama in the art world as a woman finds a lost masterpiece in a junk shop – not only does she not believe it’s a masterpiece, but it turns out it was never lost! I loved meeting the wide-ranging cast of characters from impoverished auctioneers to bored oligarchs, art dynasty heirs to society eccentrics. It was great to finally get around to reading this after reading House of Trelawney in January.
Calling Dr Laura by Nicole J. Georges
This is a graphic memoir about a) how the author found out that her family had lied to her and that her father wasn’t who she thought he was, b) the relationship she has during this time and c) dogs. I really enjoyed it and will definitely read more by this author.