October has been a slow reading month for me. For some reason I lost my reading mojo and just couldn’t get traction with many of the books I tried to get in to. That being said, I still managed 3 books last month. One was “meh”, the second was ok, but I ended the month on a high with a brilliant book by Kristen Bailey.
The Hungover Games by Sophie Heawood
I don’t really know what to say about The Hungover Games. I think the word that sums it up best for is …. meh.
It was ok, and amusing in places but I just expected so much more from it in some way. It follows Heawood as she makes the tranition from entertainment journalist living the high life in LA, to “mummy” back in anti-social London. The Hungover Games is her journey as her life changes so dramatically
I did love the chapters titles – which I thought was the funniest part of the book – but the overall tone read like a series of blog posts. Although funny individually, the style became rather and flat a repetitive for me and before long I was willing the book to end.
When it finally did, I felt pretty unfulfilled as the book never really ends, it just tapers off. Very much her life story that is still ongoing so the book just fades to black, waiting for the next chapter.
This left me unhappy as a reader as I was desperately looking for confrontation with the Musician, connection with her young daughter and for her story to move forward. As Haewood herself says though, that is not her story to tell.
I think fundamentatlly my issue with this book. It reads lile both a novel and an autobiography but never quite becomes either which leaves me just a bit “meh”.
Smash It! by Fancina Simone AD | eARC
After such a difficult reading month, I wanted a quick and easy read. That’s exactly what I got with Smash It! It follows 17 year old Olivia (Liv) as she creates her Fuck It list: think seize the day, carpe diem, YOLO. Basically, a list to make her story observing the world and start living it. Torn between her two best friends, band and the drama club as well as being pulled into family drama’s at every direction, Liv has a lot going on.
Smash It! is Liv’s rite of passage as she figures out who she is and what she wants out of life. All while fighting with some pretty impressive teenage hormones which pull her in three different directions.
This is a book which represents the time in every teenager’s life when they are no longer children and don’t quite know who they are as young adults.
Although a YA book, I did enjoy Smash It! Olivia is pretty irritating at first as the whining and self-deprecation left me internally screaming at her to grow some balls. She takes you on a journey though and seeing her develop, find her own voice and learn her own mind is actually quite engaging. I found myself turning page after page as Liv moved from annoying wallflower, to petulant child, through to bitch and bad friend before finally settling on a complicated young woman who is a mixture of all these things.
I loved the feminism vibes woven throughout the narrative and love how it is not afraid to tackle some pretty important topics around race and slut shaming. Overall, this is a nice quick read all about friendship and finding out who you are and the kind of person you want to be.
Can I Give My Husband Back? by Kristen Bailey AD | eARC
Bailey did it again. I absolutely loved this book and I credit it with allowing be to find my reading mojo again in October.
It follows Emma. Brilliant paediatric heart surgeon and mummy to two gorgeous girls. She’s also ex-wife to an a**hole of a man and Can I Give My Husband Back? is the story of how Emma navigates life as divorcee. The drama and dirty looks at the school gate, coming face to face with your ex-husbands mistress, the drama of a wild younger sister who seems to flash her foof at every opportunity, the fear of starting something with someone new: I enjoyed every aspect of this story.
I also love love loved the fact that this is obviously a series surrounding the Callaghan sisters, but at the same time it reads as a standalone novel. So much so I only realised it was a sequel to Has Anyone Seen My Sex Life? (that runs concurrently in timeline) when Emma headed up to the Lakes to come to Meg’s rescue. Which is when I got really excited! Bailey managed it so well. There were no summaries, no round ups, no going over old ground. Has Anyone Seen My Sex Life? was solidly Meg’s story, and Can I Give My Husband Back? is Emma’s. And I loved it.
Although not as laugh out loud funny as Has Anyone Seen My Sex Life?, this book is far deeper, has more sentimentality and the characters have a lot of depth. The writing style flows and is so easy to read, the characters are not only likeable but real, with their own faults and over reactions.
I can’t wait for the next book and desperately hope we have the three remaining Callaghan sisters to go in the series.
Both books are £1.99 each on Amazon at the moment and they are 100% worth every penny!
If you’re interested in what I thought of Have You Seen My Sex Life?, then I read it back in April.
The Wife He Needs by Brenda Jackson AD | eARC
Oh yes, I went there. A quick and easy romance read is just what I needed in between uni assignments and that’s exactly what I got with The Wife He Needs. I am incredibly lucky to be one of Harlequin’s regular advanced readers. Especially as I find the to be a wonderful escapism when needed.
This one follows Garth and Regan as they both enjoy two weeks in Santa Cruz, neither had expected. Garth was originally visiting to meet with someone a dating agency had set him up with, but when she doesn’t show, he asks Regan – his corporate pilot and friend – to say and enjoy it with him. There is no doubt that Garth is attracted to Regan, but when he doesn’t know is that she has been in love with him for more than 10 years, and she’s willing to fight for the heart Garth says will never love again.
There were a few times when the second-guessing questions within their inner monologues got a little tedious, but those moments were short lived and rare. Overall, this is a quick, and easy with likable characters that you can easily storm through in a few hours.
- Books read this month: 4
- Books read so far in 2020: 61
- Books abandoned in 2020: 1
What about you? Have you read anything this month that you would recommend?
DISCLOSURE: some of these books have been gifted to me by the publishers via NetGalley in return for my honest opinion. These books are clearly marked with AD and described as an ARC (Advance Readers Copy). I am not paid to do this, I do it because I love to read. The decision to include them on this blog is my own and I am under no obligation to do so.