Reading has always been my go to hobby, I was that girl you would see walking down the street, with a book in her hands, always reading. However, for the past couple of years it’d be a miracle if I would manage to even read a couple of chapters of a book.
That Mama Club launched their book club this year and I jumped at the chance. I missed reading, missed being transported into another world and living someone else’s life for a little while. Joining the book club was honestly the best decision because I have read so much this year that even I am surprised!
It may not seem like a lot but it is for me! I reactivated my Goodreads account and took part in the 2021 Reading Challenge. I set myself the target of 10 books and managed 11!
So without further ado, let’s see what I read. This list is in the order that I read them. I am not a book blogger and hand on heart I don’t know how to write book reviews without giving away spoilers. Therefore, without risking spoiling a book for anyone, I will only be including the blurb, my rating and briefly what I thought about it.
THIS TIME NEXT YEAR
Get ready to fall for this year’s most extraordinary love story
Quinn and Minnie are born on New Year’s Eve, in the same hospital, one minute apart.
Their lives may begin together, but their worlds couldn’t be more different.
Thirty years later they find themselves together again in the same place, at the same time.
What if fate is trying to bring them together?
Maybe it’s time to take a chance on love…
My Rating: 5/5
My thoughts: A Rom Com isn’t usually what I go for but the benefits of a book club is that you get to read a variety of genres. TTNY is Sophie Cousens debut novel and what an amazing novel it was! I finished it in just two days and for someone who only read a few chapters of a book the previous year that really meant something! I loved the story being told from different perspectives but also loved seeing how the characters paths crossed with one another in the past without them knowing. I definitely recommend!
TELL ME YOUR SECRET
Pieta has a secret
Ten years ago, Pieta survived a weekend with a sadistic serial killer. She never told anyone what happened and instead moved on with her life. But now, the man who kidnapped her is hunting down his past victims meaning she may have to tell her deepest secret to stay alive . . .
Jody has a secret
Fifteen years ago, policewoman Jody made a terrible mistake that resulted in a serial killer escaping justice. When she discovers journalist Pieta is one of his living victims, Jody realises she has a way to catch him – even if it means endangering Pieta’s life. . .
Will telling their secrets save or sacrifice each other?
My rating: 5/5
My thoughts: I absolutely love a thriller! I was kept on my toes, gripped throughout the entire book. I love a story that instantly captures your interest and doesn’t drag on and this was one of them. It was at points hard to read due to the timing of the book and events taking place in real life and on the news but I guess in a way it did help to raise awareness, kind of like forcing you out of your own little bubble and into reality.
Two best friends.
One missed chance.
And a night that changes everything.
Eve, Justin, Susie and Ed have been friends since they were eighteen. Now in their 30s, the four are still as close as ever, Thursday pub quiz night is still sacred, and Eve is still secretly in love with Ed.
Maybe Eve should have moved on by now, but she can’t stop thinking about what could have been. And she knows Ed sometimes thinks about it too.
Then one night, in an instant, all their lives change forever. And, as Eve learns she didn’t know her friends as well as she thought, she also discovers she isn’t the only person keeping secrets…
My rating: 3/5
My thoughts: I really had a hard time reading this! The storyline was good but I don’t know why I just didn’t enjoy or could get into it. I ended up forcing myself to finish it. But it was probably just me as I have seen good reviews for it!
THE LUCKY ESCAPE
One cancelled wedding
When the day finally comes for Annie to marry Alexander, the last thing she expects is to be left standing at the altar. She was so sure he was Mr Right. Now, she has no idea how she could have got it so wrong.
One unexpected encounter
After a chance meeting with Patrick, an old friend who reminds her of who she used to be, Annie takes a vow of her own: she’ll say yes to every opportunity that comes her way from now on.
One spare ticket for the honeymoon
Could a spontaneous trip with Patrick be the way to mend Annie’s heart? She’s about to find out as she embarks on her honeymoon – with a man who’s not her husband…
My rating: 4/5
My thoughts: This wasn’t a book that instantly captured my attention. It did take me time to get into it but when I reached the main part I couldn’t put it down. I loved what I found to be the meaning of the story and for me that was no matter what life throws at your way, you can come out of it stronger.
She says he’s perfect. I know he’s lying . . .
He caught me watching, and our eyes met. That was when it hit me.
There was something not quite right about my daughter’s new boyfriend . . .
The doting father
Ed finally meets his daughter’s boyfriend for the first time. Smart, successful and handsome, Ryan appears to be a real catch. Then Abbie announces their plan to get married.
The perfect fiancé
There’s just one problem. Ed thinks Ryan is lying to them.
Who would you believe?
All of Ed’s instincts tell him his daughter is in terrible danger – but no-one else can see it. With the wedding date approaching fast, Ed sets out to uncover Ryan’s secrets, before it’s too late . .
My rating: 4/5
My thoughts: This book was honestly never ending! Great storyline but ever so long! I knocked off a star because I was not happy with certain turn of events, if you have read it you will probably know what I am talking about. Despite it feeling like it will never end, I wanted to carry on reading just to know what happens next.
LOCK EVERY DOOR
They’ve offered you a luxury apartment, rent free. THE CATCH: you may not live long enough to enjoy it…
No visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents.
These are the only rules for Jules Larson’s new job as apartment sitter for an elusive resident of the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan’s most high-profile private buildings and home to the rich and famous.
Recently heartbroken and practically homeless, Jules readily accepts the terms, ready to leave her past life behind.
Out of place among the extremely wealthy, Jules finds herself pulled toward other apartment sitter Ingrid. But Ingrid confides that the Bartholomew is not what it seems and the dark history hidden beneath its gleaming facade is starting to frighten her. Jules brushes it off as a harmless ghost story – but the next day, her new friend has vanished.
And then Jules discovers that Ingrid is not the first temporary resident to go missing…
Welcome to the Bartholomew…You may never leave.
My rating: 5/5
My thoughts: For this book, I decided to give Audible a go. I use to always think listening to a book isn’t classed as reading but I was most definitely wrong about that! I reckon I enjoyed this book more because I was listening to it, great storyline, didn’t want to stop listening to it and I felt that it also raised important issues that do happen around the world but aren’t highlighted as much to us. I’ve read it’s going to become a Netflix show soon so I really cannot wait for that!
WILDE ABOUT THE GIRL
Robin Wilde is acing life.
After the year from hell, she’s pulled herself up and out of the Emptiness, her love life is ticking along nicely, single motherhood is actually quite fun. When a thrilling opportunity at work arises, Robin is more than excited to show everyone, including herself, what she’s made of.
But there are some things she can’t control . . . Life is about to throw quite the curve ball at Robin Wilde, and she’ll need to make some brave choices.
My rating: 4/5
My thoughts: It’s taken me so long to read this book! Not because I didn’t want to finish it but because a certain little girl in my life would claim this book for her own and I could never sit in peace to read it. In the end, I resorted to listening to it instead. It’s the second book in the series by Lousie Pentland and it really took me by surprise when it raised issues like miscarriage and fertility. I love a book that not only entertains you but also helps you to understand certain topics more.
Related post; Wilde Like Me review
ROCK PAPER SCISSORS
Ten years of marriage.
Ten years of secrets.
An anniversary they’ll never forget.
Adam and Amelia are spending the weekend in the Scottish Highlands. The remote location is perfect for what they have planned.
But when their romantic trip takes a dark turn, they both start to wonder – can they trust the one they’re with?
Because every couple tells little white lies. Only for Adam and Amelia, the truth is far more dangerous.
My rating: 5/5
My thoughts: No matter how much I praise this book I don’t think it will ever be enough! Undoubtedly, the most unpredictable book I have ever read! The twists and turns were commendable, I would sit there and think ‘what just happened?’ Even now nearly a month on from reading, I still wonder about it. It has encouraged me to read more from this author next year and I definitely cannot wait for the series to air too (fingers crossed they don’t change it!).
JUST HAVEN’T MET YOU YET
Tell me the story of how you two met…
Laura has built a career out of interviewing people about their epic real life love stories.
When she picks up the wrong suitcase at the airport, Laura wonders if this could be the start of something that’s written in the stars.
From piano sheet-music to a battered copy of her favourite book, Laura finds in the bag evidence of everything she could hope for in a partner.
If Laura’s job has taught her anything it’s that when it comes to love, you can’t let opportunity pass you by. Now Laura is determined to track down the owner of the suitcase, and her own happy ending.
But what if fate has other ideas?
My rating: 5/5
My thoughts: The second book by Sophie Cousens. I loved how the book club started off with her debut novel and ended with this. Just like This Time Next Year, I finished this in two days because I really could not put it down. Although, at points you could easily predict where the story was going it was still very gripping.
THE BEEKEEPER OF ALEPPO
In the midst of war, he found love
In the midst of darkness, he found courage
In the midst of tragedy, he found hope
What will you find from his story?
Nuri is a beekeeper; his wife, Afra, an artist. They live a simple life, rich in family and friends, in the beautiful Syrian city of Aleppo – until the unthinkable happens. When all they care for is destroyed by war, they are forced to escape.
As Nuri and Afra travel through a broken world, they must confront not only the pain of their own unspeakable loss, but dangers that would overwhelm the bravest of souls. Above all – and perhaps this is the hardest thing they face – they must journey to find each other again.
My rating: 5/5
My thoughts: Wow, what a book! This was such a difficult read not because of its writing but because of the topic. It really made me think of how much of my life I take for granted. It depicts the story of a family who makes their way from Syria to the U.K., what they went through in their home country and what they have to face here as well as the difficult journey. It honestly broke my heart to think that everyday people have to go through this. I read this a week after the English Channel drowning incident and it really put things into perspective for me. I highly recommend reading this in order to educate yourself.
BABY, ITS COLD OUTSIDE
FATE PULLED THEM APART BUT NOT BEFORE THEY MADE A PROMISE.
TEN CHRISTMASES LATER, WILL THEIR WISH COME TRUE? . . .
As Norah battles through the bustling December crowds, she hears the notes of a song that transports her back to the most romantic week of her life.
After meeting on a blissful holiday, but knowing they had to part, a boy named Andrew made her a promise:
If they are both single on Christmas Eve in ten years’ time, they will meet under the clock on Grafton Street, Dublin.
Norah has no idea if he will remember, but she has nothing to lose.
So, hoping for a Christmas miracle, she heads to Dublin. To that clock. And, maybe, to Andrew.
But it wouldn’t be Christmas without a few surprises . .
My rating: 4/5
My thoughts: This book started off well for me, I couldn’t put it down at first, but did have a hard time going through the middle part but I’m not sure whether it was the story itself, my laziness or the fact that I had read a spoiler and it ruined it for me. Nevertheless, I endeavoured to finish it, did end up enjoying it but not as much as I had hoped.
So, that’s it!
Have you read any of these? If so, please share with me your thoughts!
The two things that have encouraged me to read more than I usually do is definitely joining the book club as well as getting a Kindle, making it all the more convenient to read wherever. It is now that time where I start to think about my reading challenge for 2022.
Initially, I said it would be just 15 books but there is just so much that I want to read around about 40+ books that I am not sure what I’ll put as a number. Of course I have to be reasonable but I think I could push it, we’ll see!
To follow me on my challenge, drop by my Goodreads account!
What is that one book you read this year and would highly recommend?