Books I've Been Reading

I've been struggling to get my groove on with reading over the past few months - it's becoming very obvious that my patience for novels has waned quite a lot. When you only have a few spare moments in a nap time, or at bedtime, I feel like I don't want to waste them on average books. And lately, it hasn't only been poor novels that have missed out - anything long or requiring large amounts of concentration has also been put to the back of the pile. I'll get my groove back, I know it... but for now, here are some of the great books from Harlequin Australia that I've been reading and reviewing. Check them out!

Normal - Graeme Cameron

I am an avid thriller fan, both novels & film/television, so hearing about this new book up for review in this genre, I was VERY excited to read. First things first, I powered through the book. It was a quick read & with a toddler clinging to your legs, that's something I value - fast and easy is the way to go.

It's a different kind of a novel, largely due to its different perspective. Having the story told from the eyes of the serial killer is an interesting premise. As absurd as it sounds, you really do find yourself pulling for the wrong side - though I wish that there were more back story as to why he acts the way he acts. I even found the victims intriguing, as random as they were fitting into the story.. and knowing their time in the short might have been short lived.

The only real criticism I have with the novel (aside from a rather open ended finish) is the police presence - it wasn't very believable, and felt a bit contrived. They have perfect opportunities to catch our author, and yet, silly mistakes and over the top personalities seem to thwart their efforts. Understandably this is good for the killer, but not so for the police themselves.

I'd definitely recommend this novel to others - maybe not teens, though! 

Mother Zen - Jacinta Tynan
I started this book with a fairly naive perspective: my only daughter was born in 2013, so I wasn't particularly tuned into the parenting world before that time.

That said, it was fascinating hearing about the media circus that erupted over Jacinta's parenting beliefs from several years back. Even then, social media loves a good story - and it's so much worse now. Reading about the experience through the author's eyes was interesting, though at times came across as a little self indulgent.

I would describe my feelings towards Mother Zen as being love-hate. Actually, I wouldn't even call it hate - it's more like love-frustrated.

In one regard, I thoroughly do enjoy reading about women enjoying motherhood. It's a breath of fresh air, amongst the comparisons, the one-upping & the complaining. In another regard, yes, some of the comments do come across as glib or smug - not that they were intended to do so, perhaps it's just a tone. As we all know, it's very hard to be accurate about emotions when you're writing a column, or a blog, or a book.

I will say that it was hard reading about such easy conception stories and about not enjoying the pregnancy aspect - only because of my own background with infertility and pregnancy loss. That said, we all have our unique stories, and Jacinta is very lucky to be parenting two beautiful boys.

I suppose my review fits somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. I appreciate the good vibes and positive energy (and will be doing some research into meditation myself) & it was certainly an interesting read.

The Road To Hope - Rachael Johns
It took me a while to really get invested in 'The Road to Hope' but once I was about a quarter of the way in, I was officially converted.

I read this novel as a stand alone piece, and feel that the background crossovers were explained well and weren't confusing at all. I felt for the lead character, Lauren - and the way the rest of the characters in Hope Springs really helped paint a picture of the town itself.

The hot doctor thing - well, yeah, it's a little cliché (of course he's hot!) - but he's got a lot more to him than his looks!

The theme of moving on/away vs standing still is pretty pertinent all the way through the book, even as it reaches its conclusion. I do feel that it ended in a way that made sense, and made me wish both of the lead characters luck on their journeys.

Makes me want to go and hunt down the first book now, too! :)

What have you been reading lately?

2 Comments • Labels: ,  


Chon said...

So I looked up the Jacinta one and started reading a free chapter of her book and I didn't want to be rude to her but my eyes glazed over with boredom. I too, find motherhood 90% of the time easy and a wonderful amazing joyful thing. I sometimes refrain from entering bashing segments because I don't get how hard it can be (granted one child, yes three under three would be hard but TRY NOT BE ABLE TO HAVE A FUCKING BABY B!TCH ;) ) but I don't know if it warrants a whole book.

But thanks for the tip on the thriller. I need some easy to read books.

Hope all is going ok. miss you over on fB land. Chon x

Mel said...

Normal looks great I'll add it to the list to read and review!! Love me a good thriller!!

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