Chapter: March Book Reviews

I am back and what better way to start than with March book reviews! I’ve been reading A LOT lately so expect these posts to be jam packed in future.

Verity – Colleen Hoover

Synopsis from Book Depository 

Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin. When Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, asks Lowen to complete the remaining books in a contract his permanently injured wife is unable to fulfill, Lowen has no choice but to accept.

Lowen arrives at the Crawford home with the intention of only staying one or two nights-long enough to sort through Verity’s chaotic home office to collect all the notes and outlines she’ll need to start writing the first novel. But the more time Lowen spends with Jeremy Crawford, the less of a hurry she is in to leave.

While there, Lowen uncovers a hidden manuscript. An autobiography containing chilling admissions Verity planned to take to her grave, including the truth behind the events that turned their lives upside down. A truth that, if revealed to Jeremy, would further devastate the already grieving father. Lowen decides to keep the manuscript a secret, allowing Jeremy to continue to believe Verity is merely an innocent, unfortunate victim of circumstance.

But as Lowen’s feelings for the devoted father and husband deepen, she wonders if keeping Jeremy in the dark is in her own best interest. After all, if Jeremy were to read his wife’s autobiography, the disturbing truth would make it impossible for him to continue to love her.

I literally read this book in two days, I could not put it down! The author creates a brilliant build up which keeps you saying “just one more chapter”. Whilst this is technically a romance, I would actually re-classify it a thriller as it’s certainly more thrilling than romantic.

The ending was a tad clumsy and felt a bit rushed, however, the content was so well written that I can look past that. Depsite this, the finale of the book will certainly leave you guessing.

If you’re a fan of The Widow or The Woman in Cabin 10 then add this book to your to read list.

Sisi: Empress on Her Own – Allison Pataki

Synopsis from Book Depository 

Married to Emperor Franz Joseph, Elisabeth–fondly known as Sisi–captures the hearts of her people as their “fairy queen,” but beneath that dazzling persona lives a far more complex figure.

In mid-nineteenth-century Vienna, the halls of the Hofburg Palace buzz not only with imperial waltzes and champagne but with temptations, rivals, and cutthroat intrigue. Feeling stifled by strict protocols and a turbulent marriage, Sisi grows restless. A free-spirited wanderer, she finds solace at her estate outside Budapest. There she rides her beloved horses and enjoys visits from the Hungarian statesman Count Andrássy, the man with whom she’s unwittingly fallen in love. But tragic news brings Sisi out of her fragile seclusion, forcing her to return to her capital and a world of gossip, envy, and sorrow where a dangerous fate lurks in the shadows.

Through love affairs and loss, dedication and defiance, Sisi struggles against conflicting desires: to keep her family together, or to flee amid the collapse of her suffocating marriage and the gathering tumult of the First World War. In an age of crumbling monarchies, Sisi fights to assert her right to the throne beside her husband, to win the love of her people and the world, and to save an empire. But in the end, can she save herself?

Despite being a huge historical fiction fan, I am very picky when it comes to my authors in this genre. Philippa Gregory will always be my historical fiction go to but after reading both the books on Sisi by Allison Pataki I think I have finally found another favourite author!

I read the first book over the summer holidays, whilst I enjoyed it, the second book was better. I had never heard of Empress Sisi before I found these books, but she was a very intriguing historical female royal figure.

These books are always full of beautiful, rich detail which pulls you in. You can easily imagine yourself alongside Sisi in the Austrian court or galloping across the fields of England.

If you love any of Philippa Gregory’s books, then you’ll also enjoy the Sisi series. The first book is Accidental Empress.

The Stranger Inside – Laura Benedict

Synopsis from Book Depository 

Imagine this: You’ve returned home from a work trip and are terrified to discover that the locks have been changed and a man you don’t know has moved into your house. You call the police, but they don’t believe your version of events. Just before you’re forced to leave, the stranger whispers ‘I was there. I saw what you did’. These words shake you to your very core. Somehow, he knows your darkest secret. And he’s about to use what he knows to ruin every bit of your life.

This book is awful. The idea is brilliant the execution is simply terrible. First off, the main character is completely and utterly unlikable. It’s hard to empathise with her situation when she’s probably one of the worst character’s I’ve ever encountered.

Secondly, the ending makes next to no sense. It’s rushed and the “enemies” motivations for their actions are paper thin. Please don’t waste your time reading this book and please do not gift it to anyone unless you hate them.

Vox – Christina Dalcher

Synopsis from Book Depository 

Silence can be deafening. Jean McClellan spends her time in almost complete silence, limited to just one hundred words a day. Any more and a thousand volts of electricity will course through her veins. Now the new government is in power, everything has changed. But only if you’re a woman. Almost overnight, bank accounts are frozen, passports are taken away and seventy million women lose their jobs. Even more terrifyingly, young girls are no longer taught to read or write. For herself, her daughter, and for every woman silenced, Jean will reclaim her voice. This is only the beginning…

Another novel which is such a fantastic idea but the execution is bad. The new Handmaid’s Tale this is most certainly not.

The showdown of the whole story happened so quickly I couldn’t even process how we got there. Along the way, we are also teased with seemingly interesting potential side stories which go nowhere and are all conveniently fixed in some bizarre way that we’ve never really told about.

It also features another main character who I couldn’t care less about, or also isn’t particularly likable either. Such a shame as this topic has so much potential, maybe someone could come along and re-write it? Please?

What are your thoughts on the March book reviews books? Have you read any of these books?

 

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