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A Novel Page reviews

pile of assorted novel books

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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.

Verity by Colleen Hoover

Long story short: Lowen accepts a job offer of a lifetime. She’s soon catapulted into the lives of Jeremy and Verity Crawford and all is not what it seems.

Thoughts:
This was meant to be a buddy ready with the lovely @ajcampbellauthor  and @melanies_reads . Unfortunately, the book was TOO good for me to stop; I read it in one sitting…whoops, sorry!

This is the second Colleen Hoover novel I’ve read, and I really need to start reading more because it was bloody brilliant. The reason I’ve been so late to the CoHo bandwagon is because the books are incredibly hyped. I can safely say that I understand the hype!!

Straight away, the first few sentences drew me in. It’s an unusual start to a novel to say the least! My attention did waver slightly in the first couple of chapters, but once it got into it, I couldn’t put it down… literally.

I genuinely cannot even cope with what the ending was. To say that I didn’t expect it is an understatement. It literally hit me like a truck. It was so brilliant and so clever. It’s not so much the twists and turns, but how I was made to feel whilst reading it. How did CoHo do it?! I need answers because it’s a crime to have that much talent!

The prose is just excellent and I really cannot commend her writing enough. If I had to sum up the characters in two words: morally questionable. It is a rather creepy and dark read. I was second guessing myself with what I thought was happening and why. It’s incredibly atmospheric – there were points where I just didn’t know who or what to believe.

It’s quite fucked up if I’m honest. In that way, there are some sensitive themes. It’s not for everyone, and it is rather graphic in regards to some depictions of violence. Speaking of graphic, there are MANY sex scenes – I really wasn’t expecting it, nor for them to be that detailed.

I know this has been a very vague review, but you’ll thank me for it later.

If you’re not on the CoHo bandwagon yet, then buckle in for the ride of your life. This is a book not to miss! It is a MUST READ!

#ANovelPage

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

A Novel page rates this book 9/10


Sunny by Sukh Ojla

Long story short: Sunny lives two lives: one version in front of her friends and another in front of her family. But who really is Sunny?

Thoughts:
Thank you so much @tandemcollectiveuk and @hodderbooks for having me on this readalong – I absolutely loved it!

All you need to know about this book is that Sunny is the most relatable and down-to-earth character ever! I don’t know how much of it is to do with the fact that I am also a British-Pubjabi woman who was raised in Sikh family, but either way, it was brillliant!

If I had a shot for everytime I read a sentence and thought “my mum has literally said the exact same thing”, I would be paralytic about 1 chapter in… The accuracy was wildly shocking! Do Ojla and I have the same mum… or is every Punjabi mum like this? I need to know because it was eerie how accurate it was.

There are a lot of themes covered throughout: body confidence, romance, familial relationships, friendships, race, stereotyping, societal expectations, etc. Despite the seriousness of the themes, the overall tone is very light and funny. I loved the way in which Sunny tackled some of the micro-aggressions she faces (I’ve got a few new clapbacks now too!).

As I’ve already alluded too, the characters are all so vibrant and real. I really loved seeing Sunny’s relationship with her mum develop across the course of the novel – it did make me feel like this emoji 🥺.

The ending was absolutely perfect! I thought it was going to end in a specific way as other similar books have done, but this broke away from usual trend. It was incredibly satisfying and I love how it came full circle. Can we please have a sequel?!

This is a wonderful and witty debut novel which is perfect for anyone who also feels stuck between different societies/worlds/cultures, and those who just want a great read!

#ANovelPage

A Novel page rates this book 9/10

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


Other People’s Lives by

Long story short: Sophie’s husband has disappeared… where is he? What happened to him?

Thoughts: Erm so no joke, but this book genuinely confused the living shit out of me… and I LOVED IT!

I could easily write a lot about this book because I have serious thoughts. However, I’m going to try and keep it short. The long and short of it is that you have to read it!

So…review time! It’s an incredibly short book: I must have read it in under 2 hours. Admittedly, this doesn’t include the 15/20 minutes that I spent trying to piece things together in my head after THAT twist…

Controversial opinion: this delivered on what ’The Silent Patient’ failed to do… This is how you do it!

Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t massively sold on the book until about the 75% mark – I was really just riding the wave. Then it all changed… Just trust the process please! After the 15/20 minutes of confusion, I had two choices: put the book down or keep reading. I’m so glad I went for the latter because jheeeeeeeeeez it was insane.

The last time I was tricked by a book in such a huge manner was when I read ’The Twins’ by @lv_matthews_author . It’s rare, but it does happen! I was so annoyed at the fact that I didn’t pick up on the reveal earlier, but there’s no way I could have done! It’s so cleverly written and I definitely will be reading more by this author.

I cannot believe how much of a punch this book packs, especially considering the fact that it’s a short book!

Pick it up and read it – you won’t regret it!

A Novel page rates this book 9/10

#ANovelPage

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


What Lies Between Us by John Marrs

Long story short: Maggie and Nina live in the same house, except Maggie isn’t allowed to leave. She’s confined to the attic for wrongs she has committed…

Thoughts: This was Novel & Natter’s January book of the month (excuse the fact that it’s now April lol): it was so dark and so twisted! This is my first John Marrs’ novel, and it will definitely not be my last.

It’s actually such a wild ride!!

The novel is incredibly well-written. I read this in one sitting – I just did not want to put it down at all. Everytime I thought I had it figured out, a new twist/secret was revealed and my theories fell apart. It’s shocking!

It is an exceptionally dark thriller, so make sure you are prepared! I wasn’t actually expecting it to be like this at all, but I loved it that much more for it.

The most interesting part for me how my thoughts on the characters, particularly Nina and Maggie, kept changing with each chapter! You get to hear from both of their perspectives and the distortion of the ’truth’ is what makes this a great novel. You literally don’t know who to trust.

Even the ending was brilliantly executed. I didn’t expect it to end in the way that it did, but it was sensational. You may have to suspend some belief in reality and there were some unanswered questions left… but it is so worth it. The negatives are quite minor!

I think this novel is a real testament to John Marrs’ writing. It’s around 400 pages long and there’s only 2 main characters… how do you keep a reader glued to their seat (and the book)?! It shouldn’t be possible, but he did it.

It’s an incredibly clever and compelling psychological thriller that I cannot, and will not, stop recommending! Make sure you pick this up in 2022 – you will not regret it!

Do you have any John Marrs recommendations? Because I definitely need to read more of his books!

A Novel page rates this book 9/10

#ANovelPage

A Novel Page
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