I always love this time of year. Autumn days roll in and the kind of weather arrives that is just perfect for cosy nights curled up with a good book.
This month I managed to make it through 6 books and no doubt my favourite of the month was Love, hate & other filters by Samira Ahmed. Why not read on and take a little look at what was on my bookshelf this month.
Dark Waters by G. R. Halliday – AD | eARC
This was a bit “meh” if I’m honest which I’m really disappointed by as I was hoping for a good one for my 52nd book this year. It was okay, but to be honest okay was as good as it got.
There are two storylines running throughout Dark Waters. First Annabelle has come to the Scottish Highlands, tempted by the promise of deserted roads to race her car through. What she doesn’t bank on is that after crashing, she wakes up underground and hostage to a sinister “Doctor” who apparently needs to treat her. That’s when things really take a turn for the worse for her.
Meanwhile DI Monica Kennedy is investigating what seems to be gang murders but the deeper she delves into the case, the stranger it seems to get. One thing is clear though, all avenues seem to be leading back to the same highland glen.
As you read you know that these two stories will come together as some point, but it just seems to take a long time to get there. Also, it is clear that Dark Waters is of a series, and although can technically be read as standalone, there is a lot that is references from past books. As this is the first DI Kennedy book I’ve read, this left lot of holes and ambiguity. The big bad case that went so wrong. Fishers behaviour. The relationship between Kennedy and Crawfard. The hint to the supernatural with her daughter. These are all things which just raised questions as you read with no answers.
I did enjoy the Annabelle side of the story though and as things started to come together, it picked up pace. However, there was a sluggishness at the beginning that the ending didn’t make up for sadly, and I just found myself wanting to get through it rather than enjoying reading it.
I also have absolutely no idea what the title has to do with the book. As although the “gang” murder victims were found in water, it didn’t feature really anywhere else in the story with any significance. Unless I just missed it. Overall, if you’ve read the other books, you’ll probably enjoy this, but it’s not enough of a standalone for me.
Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce
This was my September book club choice and after an intense one last month with My Dark Vanessa, I was looking forward to something a little lighter. Blood Orange was still dark but thankfully in a less intense way. However, although I usually like a legal thriller, I just couldn’t warm to this one though,
It follows Alison who is a high-flying barrister by day, who seems to have it all. A fabulous career and loving family at home. However, things are never as they seem. Fuelled by alcohol and barely holding her family together (while having an affair), Alison is struggling to hold it all together.
When she’s given her first murder case to defend, it looks like career is on the rise while everything at home seems to be falling apart. It all sounds great in theory, but the fact is that I just didn’t enjoy it.
The issue is that I pretty much disliked every character in it and the storyline was just depressing. Things started to get better about three quarters through when the pace picked up, but not really enough to save the book for me.
There were some big twists that were nicely threaded into the narrative and it is clear that it’s well written, but I just couldn’t lose myself in the story and it never fully gripped me.
Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer
After a couple of “meh” books where I wasn’t particularly feeling it, I thought I’d go back to an old faithful next. I have already re-read the rest of the Twilight books so far during lockdown (including Midnight Sun last month), so this on was next on the list.
It’s my least favourite instalment of the saga but is still a lovely nostalgic walk down memory lane as it’s been about 10 years since I last read the series.
Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer
Well. it had to happen really! I think there are very few people left that haven’t read the Twilight Saga, but if you’ve been under a rock for the past decade or so, this is the final instalment in the series. With the exception of maybe the first book, Breaking Dawn is my favourite of the saga. Not only is the annoying love triangle gone but there are some brilliant characters that emerge (Kate and Garrett as well as Zafira are some of my favourites!)
It also finishes the series nicely. At around 700 pages it’s a massive book but I love that there is an end to it and – for me at least – Breaking Dawn was the right place to leave it. I hate it when a series runs on, and on, (and on!) so a great ending always works well for me.
A California Christmas by Brenda Novak – AD | eARC
After an intense few reading months, it was really lovely to pick up something a little more light hearted. That’s exactly what I got with A California Christmas.
Emery is the victim of revenge porn and heads to Silver Springs to hide from the world and lick her wounds. What she finds there is exactly what she needs in more ways than one. Which is exactly when she meets Dallas again, who is all grown up and home for the holidays and his mother’s wedding. Unfortunately though, although Dallas proves himself to be a wonderful friend to Emery time and time again, he has his own damaged past. A past that ensures he keeps his heart guarded at all time.
This is a sweet holiday romance with likeable characters and just enough steam and drama to keep it interesting. If you like this kind of book, then you will enjoy A California Christmas.
Love, hate & other filters by Samira Ahmed
I bloody loved this book. If you follow these posts then you know that I am partial to a YA novel from time to time and this is one that is definitely worth picking up.
Maya dreams of being a filmmaker and has been accepted into NYU to do exactly that. She also dreams of Phil and as spring gives way to summer, it seems that Maya’s dreams could all be coming true. But then a suicide bomber who shares her last name kills 125 people a hundred miles away. Overnight, Maya’s life changes.
Not only is love, hate & other filters full of likeable characters, but it gives a brief insight into what it must be like to be American, Indian and a Muslim.
And the Muslim? The Indian? That girl, she doesn’t even get the dream of the football captain. She gets a lifetime of being stopped by the FAA for random bag searches every time she flies. She gets the nice boy, the sensible boy, the one her parents approve of and who she will grow to love over years and children and necessity.
- Books read this month: 6
- Books read so far in 2020: 57
- 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.
* I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.co.uk.