Monday, 1 January 2018

My Best Reads of 2017

The Roanoke Girls

Happy New Year peeps.

I decided to take a much needed break from blogging for the majority of 2017 due to several life changing factors but I decided to come back for 2018 and write about all things that interest me and hopefully my readers.

Speaking of interests, I read a lot this year. More than I hoped for. I normally participate in the Goodreads Reading Challenge each year and last year was no different. I established that I would read fifteen books but I genuinely didnt think I would touch this as I was so busy in the first half of the year with my final year of uni and then we bought a house in the second half so I knew I wouldnt have time but I completed it and decided I would share my absolute favourite reads of 2017.

First things first is the amazing Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel, a book I purchased back in March and read in a day. I would go as far as saying was my absolute favourite read of 2017. Not to be confused by the ever popular American Horror Story Roanoke series, this has nothing to do with that. It is something different entirely, the story becomes very clear near the start of the book and I have to say it is somewhat disturbing.

I had never heard of Amy Engel before I found this book, which is her debut novel for adults and boy was it a good un! The main story centres around a rich and beautiful family who are very mysterious but there is a dark secret within the family which quite frankly, blew my mind. The protagonist is Lane who escaped her grandparents clutches with her mother only to return ten years later when her cousin Allegra goes missing. This seems to be a common theme within the Roanoke family, either the girls run away or die. Some will say this was a predictable book, and yes to a certain degree I agree with that but it was an enjoyable read. Each character drew me in and whether I hated them or loved them, I wanted to know why they did what they did. The overall theme isnt for everyone and to be honest, even though I am an avid crime reader, this felt a little too much for me when I found out the basis of the story but I am glad I read it. My original review read as "Disturbing but a fab read! Some parts were quite predictable, but overall it was an enjoyable read" - Obviously not giving anything away there haha. Give it a go. - 5/5 from me.

The second book which I absolutely adored was Silent Child by Sarah A. Denzil. Boy was this a good book. This is another crime book, im sorry, they are my favourites. It starts off in 2006 with young mother Emma who watches as her six year old sons rain coat is fished out of the river after a freak rain storm. It then cuts to ten years later where Emma has not forgotten about this tragedy but she is trying her best to live her life and has managed to find a nice guy, settle down and fall pregnant. That is until her son reappears.

To say this book was frustrating at times is an understatement. Aiden, the little boy who returns, is too traumatised to speak. He has returned with a decade of broken bones and injuries but he cannot tell anyone what has happened. I am not a parent but I felt Emma's frustration through the pages. At times I wanted to reach in and just help her find out what happened but reminded myself that it wasnt real and this isnt the Neverending Story. Here she is at the end of her pregnancy and all she wants to do is help her son, someone she doesnt recognise but there are people who dont want her to find out and that is the most heartbreaking thing about this book. The ending was genius. Thats all I can really say to be honest, it was an amazing read and I will be purchasing more of Sarah's work in 2018. - 5/5 from me.

My third and final favourite was Friend Request by Laura Marshall. I originally felt quite disappointed with this book but the more I thought about it, the more I liked it. I have to say, I didnt see the ending coming at all so that for me is a huge plus! Even though I hated the main character Louise, I thoroughly enjoyed the story. It all starts with a friend request on Facebook from Marie Weston, the trouble is, she has been missing for over twenty five years and was last seen at their school leavers party in 1989. Now, this is where Louise becomes annoying, she has been harbouring a secret for twenty five years and instead of telling anyone about it, she festered it into something much worse. What I loved was the weaving from past to present which was done so effortlessly. It truly does make you see it from your teenage perspective as well as a rational adult. I personally enjoyed high school but I can see this book conjuring up a lot of memories for anyone who was bullied and the effects it leaves on a person as they enter adulthood. - 4/5 from me.

So that was my favourite reads of 2017. I have to give some shout-outs to Chevy StevensC.L Taylor and Chris Mooney who are three of my favourite authors. I read three C.L Taylor books this year including The Lie, The Missing and The Escape which were all fantastic! Seriously, give this seriously talented author a shot, you will not be disappointed. Also, Chevy Stevens, Those Girls and That Night are excellent reads!

Any suggestions for 2018?

Peace Out


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