My Review of You Had Me At Hello by Mhairi Macfarlane

My Review of You Had Me At Hello by Mhairi Macfarlane

Finished on: 2nd July 2013
Rating: 3 stars
Reading Challenge Book: 41
Sorry for not posting this sooner, have been running around like a crazy fool for the past week! Have a review to write of Revenge Wears Prada (The Devil Returns) which I think I’ll write tomorrow whilst making the most of a long awaited rest day. 
You Had Me At Hello, if you judge it on its title, is a romantic soppy novel reminiscent of Mills and Boon cringeworthy texts. But in my mind, this book is more than that, it has a beautiful depth and loveable characters.
This book follows Rachel, 10 years out of university and freshly split up from her fiancée Rhys. She bumps into an old university friend Ben at the Iibrary and begins to get to know him once again. What results is her being introduced to a top story for her work as a journalist, to see everything crumble in that respect, and to wonder what her feelings are and who she can trust. 
I love how this book isn’t straight up romance, it has sweet little flashbacks of university life and the romance creeps in at the end, just a tad which makes oh smile and gives you a nice familiar ending. My most favourite character would have to be Rachel herself as she has that type of self deprecating charm that’s quite endearing. On the other side of the fence, I cannot stand the character of Simon, and if you ever read this book you will understand why. God what a whining little twat.

My Review of Death Sentence by Mikkel Birkegaard

Finished on: 29th April 2013

Book Challenge Number: 33

Rating: 3 stars

Death Sentence follows Danish crime writer Frank Fons, who has a reputation for gritty, gory murder scenes in his books. When murders are committed exactly how he has written them, rather than sharing what he knows with the Police, he decides to track the killer down himself. As this story unfolds, you are presented with several flashbacks of Frank’s career, from losing his family, using writing as therapy and turning to alcohol. 

This book wasn’t actually as bad as I was expecting it to be if I’m honest. The writing style leaves something to be desired but the storyline developed well, culminating in an explosive ending that you can’t help but question. It’s one of those moments where you half expected it to happen but half can’t understand how it ended up at this point. The way Frank was portrayed to me showed a certain darkness to his character with the twistedness of his writing and his state of mind in parts of the book. These character traits of his almost make the ending make sense as Frank is so irrational in places, a bizarre ending is the only way to finish up his story.

It bugs me that the killer is actually never revealed and you don’t find out their story, as for me that makes a crime novel slot together, where you understand their motives and piece together these motivations with events and subtle details within the book. 

Overall, this book is probably not for everyone, but if you’re into crime fiction it’s worth a try.

My Review of Before I Go To Sleep by S.J.Watson

Date Finished: 8th February 2013

Book Challenge Number: 11 (I’ve skipped number 10 because it was Utopia by Thomas More, compulsory reading for a presentation I had to do. Also skipped 8 which was the Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli, I don’t want to bore you or myself by posting a review on those)
Rating: 5 stars
Before I Go To Sleep follows Christine, a woman who wakes up unable to remember the previous day or key events in her life before a traumatic event. With the help of Dr Nash, she keeps a journal and tries to recapture her memories. 
When I first started reading this book, I was expecting it to be quite dry with no real storyline apart from ‘she can’t remember’ and thought the story might get repetitive. But oh no, this story had so many twists and turns that it well and truly had my attention. I do a lot of reading when I’m under the weather, but this book captivated me so much I finished it in two days! 
I love the way Watson builds up this image of domesticity with that undertone of suspicion that runs all the way through, culminating in an explosive climax that I did not see coming. The ending is really a happy one by all accounts, and a lot of questions you have as the story progresses are answered in the ending.
Overall, it was a heartfelt novel about feeling like you’ve lost yourself because you can’t remember key events in your life. I loved the little flashbacks that she has of past events as she visits new places and meets old faces, it really made the book personal and made you sympathise for poor Christine as her life appears so wasted.
For beautiful writing, emotion, suspicion and a brilliant ending, I 100% recommend this book