A Novel Page reviews

pile of assorted novel books

AION’s resident book reviewer A Novel Page has read plenty this month, and here’s what she thinks of four of them. Follow ANovelPage on insta.

Other Parents by Sarah Stovell

other parents by sarah stowell

Long story short: Long story short: When the local school introduces a LGBTQ+ friendly curriculum, the community finds itself at warheads.  

Thoughts: Thank you so much to @hqstories for sending me a proof of #OtherParents

Now, this was very different to what I had envisaged myself to be reading, however, I really enjoyed it! I wouldn’t describe it as a ’thriller’ per se, but more a social commentary. 

If you like ‘Little Fires Everywhere’, I think you’ll love this. 

The novel is saturated by explorations and analysis of sexuality, rape culture and other incredibly important themes. It was interesting to see how certain prejudices affected the local community in such an epic way. Despite the heavy nature of these themes, it isn’t shoved in your face. I really like how Stovell has tackled it – the novel is accomplished, poignant and realistic. 

It goes without saying, therefore, that the prose was so easy to read and very immersive. There are multiple perspectives – all of which are so enlightening. It was my first novel by Sarah Stovell, and I’ve added a few more to my list (courtesy of @melanies_reads ). 

The sheer honesty doesn’t just occur thematically, but also manifests itself within the characters. There were some that I absolutely loved, and some that I absoluted hated. But the characters that I loved would do things I hated, and the characters that I hated would do things that I loved. It really made you think beyond the surface level – to do that in less than 400 pages is no mean feat! 

I do feel as though there were a couple of loose ends that were left unresolved. However, these were minor when I think about how captivating the novel was. It’s a great, but dark, social commentary! 

It’s humorous, thought-provoking and entertaining! If you like noir/contemporary fiction, then this is not one to miss out on. 

A Novel page rates this book 8/10

N.B.: I was kindly gifted this book in exchange for an honest review.


Search no Further by A J Campbell

Long story short: Cara De Rosa is celebrating with her family, and then she suddenly collapses. She claims she’s been poisoned, but is she just delirious?  

Thoughts: Thank you so much @ajcampbellauthor for sending me a copy of this and allowing me to be a part of the book tour! 

I love the Eva Barnes series, but this might be my favourite Campbell novel so far! Need a new thriller? Search No Further (see what I did there… it was very funny in my head)

Anyway, fewer jokes, more review! 

It’s very easy to read: the prose is clear, simple, and gripping. The characters are well-developed and vivid. I loved Nonna – I was wholeheartedly invested in her and her family. I love strong female characters and their development over the course of the novel was brilliant to read. 

There are so many red herrings, twists and turns within the novel. It is scandalous! I did not predict the suspect, no matter how hard I tried. When I thought I had it figured out, something would force me to look another way.

Unsurprisingly, I was kept thoroughly engaged and entertained throughout the course of the novel. It was difficult to put down, and I’m pretty sure I read it in one or two sittings. 

Despite being a ‘whodunnit’ novel, it also covers some important themes such as grief, mental health and family. 

Perhaps most importantly, the ending was satisfactory and believable! I always find that great thrillers are let down by the ending, but not this one. 

I’d like to hope that it’s pretty obvious that this is not a book to miss – order it now!! 

A Novel page rates this book 9/10

#ANovelPage

N.B.: I was kindly gifted this book in exchange for an honest review.


Long story short: Saskia and Jenny are twins, but their similarities stop at their appearance. Sara and Mattie are sisters with an unusual dynamic.

Thoughts: Thank you so much @tlcbooktoursand @atlanticbooks for sending my a copy of this. This was definitely one of my top reads of 2021 – I absolutely loved it! 

I’ve seen a lot of low ratings for this on Goodreads and online, and I completely get why this isn’t a book for everyone. But for those who get it, get it! 

I don’t want to say too much about the characters or the plot because it really is better to go into this knowing as little as possible. So let me comment on the other aspects… 

I love Lyon’s style of writing: the prose was easy to read and very immersive. It was very hypnotic and I was utterly entranced throughout. It’s only a short read (around 211 pages) but it packs a punch. 

It’s a very clever and intelligent literary analysis of the moral and ethical aspects of consent. I don’t know whether I would describe this as a thriller, but more so a literary drama or contemporary fiction. 

There are multiple PoVs, and the timeline does flit around. There were moments where I was shocked and surprised (which rarely happens) by the direction that Lyon undertakes. The unpredictability certainly makes for a very satisfying read. 

It’s very different from what I expected, but I was wholeheartedly captivated. I do think that everyone should read this, but it will not be everyone’s cup of tea… 

I’d like to assume that if you’re a fan of Sally Rooney then you will (hopefully) be a fan of this novel too. It’s not a book that I will forget about easily – I just hope that you love it as much as I do. It’s exquisite!

A Novel page rates this book 9/10


Find her first by Emma Christie

Long story short: Betty has been cleaning Stef and Andy’s house for a while. One day she notices something very unusual and suspicious…ationship, a figure from Lily’s past threatens its very existence. 

Thoughts: Thank you so much to @welbeckpublish for sending me a copy of this.

This is going to be a relatively short and sweet review: the less you know, the better! I can’t go too much into the content without giving away MAJOR spoilers. 

If I’m perfectly honest, I have really mixed feelings about this novel. Let me start with the positives! It’s really easy to read as the prose is nice and simple. 

I’ve not read many Scottish thrillers so this was a very welcome addition. It’s set in Edinburgh – a city that I need to visit soon! 

The addition of ___ to the storyline was very interesting! (When you read it, you’ll know what I mean – trying to avoid the spoilers!) The exploration of this as a theme, amongst others, was intricately done and raised some interesting questions. 

The last 50-70 pages were incredibly good! I didn’t expect any of the twists or revelations, and that really elevated the novel. The ending was so surprising and shocking – I really enjoyed it! 

But…

Personally, the beginning was a little bit too slow. I just felt a disconnect from the characters and plot… I wanted to be more engaged and enthralled than I was. It’s incredibly frustrating because this could have been an excellent novel, but the first half let it down! 

It was a good book, but it just didn’t blow me away. The twists were amazing, but it needed to be consistent!

A Novel page rates this book 7/10

a novel page logo
A Novel Page
close

Subscribe

Sign up to receive awesome content in your inbox, every month.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: