I was absolutely thrilled to be able to get a copy of Paige Toon’s latest book when we attended the most recent Books In the City Spring Blogger Event. As many of our old followers will now we love Paige at Compelling Reads and always eagerly anticipate any new release.
Five Years From Now was inspired by something Paige’s own father said to her once, i.e. that in Five Years’ time you’ll look back at a situation and understand why it happened the way it did. In this book we are introduced to Nell and Van who are just young children when Nell’s father falls in love with Van’s mother. Sadly as young children a tragic event separates them but through the book we see them both grow up and reconnect every five years.
In their second meeting as they grow into teenagers we see the relationship between the two develop from friendship into something more, but as is the way with teenage love it’s strong and all-consuming and over just as quickly due to other circumstances. Throughout the book their relationship grows, is tested, pulled apart, pulled back together and there are many twists and turns and complications of life that both Nell & Van have to overcome.
I really enjoyed how the passage of time was treated in the story and moved the plot on, and it helped in showing the different relationships style and responsibilities had at different ages. I sided more with Nell, I guess because she was the more present of the couple (with Van being the other side of the world), but really rooted for the couple.
There were highs and lows for each character and I was easily drawn in to the drama – I liked the way this wasn’t a simple love story – and grew into more of an adult relationship theme! Paige Toon really does it right every time – it’s a thumbs up 5 stars from me
Five Years From Now
Simon & Schuster UK
17 May 2018
What happens if you meet the RIGHT person at the WRONG time?
Nell and Van meet as children when their parents fall in love, but soon they are forced worlds apart.
Five years later, they find each other. Their bond is rekindled and new feelings take hold, but once again they have to separate.
For the next two decades, fate brings Nell and Van together every five years, as life and circumstance continue to divide them. Will they ever find true happiness? And will it be together?
‘One day, maybe five years from now, you’ll look back and understand why this happened…’
This book had been sitting on my shelf looking at me to sometime waiting to be read and finally back from maternity leave I’m making my way through that ever-growing “To Be Read” pile on my journey into work.
The Good Daughter is written by Alexander Burt author of Little Girl Lost. In this novel we met Dahlia Waller and her mother Memphis, Dahlia it transpires hasn’t had a normal childhood, she’s moved from trailer park to motel with her mother, often leaving in the middle of the night with just what they can fit in the car. Until they settle in the little town of Aurora Texas she has never been to school.
As an adult she quickly moves away but she is still living in the shadow of her childhood, only able to take low paid jobs no questions asked because she is missing the elusive “paperwork”.
When she returns to the town to question her mother she unexpectedly ends up discovering a body and this is a good foreshadowing of the rest of the novel as Dahlia makes more discoveries uncovering the secrets of her past, and learning how she was possibly the biggest crime her mum committed.
I struggled with the book to start with, but this is a slow burn and I’m glad I stayed invested as once I’d got further into the book I was gripped to the last page. There was one concept (that of Dahlia’s fits) that I’m not sure was needed in the book, it didn’t appear to move the book along, but it kind of worked as a plot device initially in triggering memory – but maybe this could have been used more.
I did enjoy how Alexander Burt manages to conjure up an oppressive feeling in the way she writes that perfectly matches the characters surroundings and feelings. I was pulled into Dahlia’s story and determined with her to get to the end and all the answers.
The Good Daughter
23rd February 2017
What if you were the worst crime your mother ever committed?
Dahlia Waller’s childhood memories consist of stuffy cars, seedy motels, and a rootless existence traveling the country with her eccentric mother. Now grown, she desperately wants to distance herself from that life. Yet one thing is stopping her from moving forward: she has questions.
In order to understand her past, Dahlia must go back. Back to her mother in the stifling town of Aurora, Texas. Back into the past of a woman on the brink of madness. But after she discovers three grave-like mounds on a neighbouring farm, she’ll learn that in her mother’s world of secrets, not all questions are meant to be answered…
The Good Daughter is a compelling take on a genre that shows no sign of slowing down. The perfect read for fans of Gillian Flynn and Paula Hawkins.
Blood Sisters is a book full of secrets and more twists and turns then a race track!
Ali is an artist, a bit of a loner who seems to be hiding from something or someone – when an opportunity arises for an inhouse artist an a local prison Ali is strangely drawn to the role, however it soon becomes clear that someone is after Ali, sending her letters at the prison and to her home.
Kitty is in a care home, she has suffered a head injury and cannot speak in a way that makes sense to those around her – although she makes perfect sense to herself and she wants to know why she is like she is. A new resident at the home results in some unexpected changes to her life and brings up some hidden memories.
It was interesting to connect the dots between the two characters before it was revealed Ali & Kitty were sisters and as the book went on we learnt more about their difficult history and the accident that caused Kitty’s injuries.
I was gripped by this book from the very beginning and although some of the plot was a little far-fetched taking into context that it is a work of fiction everything worked well to bring the book to its surprising conclusion. It’s definitely worth checking this out!
29th June 2017
Kitty lives in a care home. She can't speak properly, and she has no memory of the accident that put her here. At least that's the story she's sticking to.
Art teacher Alison looks fine on the surface. But the surface is a lie. When a job in a prison comes up she decides to take it - this is her chance to finally make things right.
But someone is watching Kitty and Alison.
Someone who wants revenge for what happened that sunny morning in May. And only another life will do...
Lou Clarke, how we missed you and your stripy tights! Now starting a job in New York and separated from her new love Sam, Lou finds herself alone in a big City where she is surrounded by new sights, sounds and experiences. Now assisting a very wealthy family she is drawn into the bitchiness and secrecy of high society – but keeping secrets in this case lead to some unexpected problems and some even more unexpected friendships.
I loved seeing Lou develop through the course of this book, her fun personality is still there along with her quirky sense of style and New York just seems the ideal place to find her as she “finds herself”. Of course the plot is not without his twists and troubles for Lou – separation from Sam – trying to make long distance love work, handling jealousy, and the appearance of a man who looks just like Will.
The unlikely friendship with Mrs DeWitt and her Pug Dean Martin was wonderful as it grew and I was drawn into Mrs DeWitt’s fabulous wardrobe of treasures for someone like Lou!
This book felt like the right ending for Lou Clarke, she has learnt from Will, taken on his advice and lived her life and finally it feels like she has found herself!
25th January 2018
LOU CLARK IS BACK in the BRAND NEW Jojo Moyes novel Still Me, follow-up to the Number One international bestsellers Me Before You and After You.
Lou Clark knows too many things . . .
She knows how many miles lie between her new home in New York and her new boyfriend Sam in London.
She knows her employer is a good man and she knows his wife is keeping a secret from him.
What Lou doesn't know is she's about to meet someone who's going to turn her whole life upside down.
Because Josh will remind her so much of a man she used to know that it'll hurt.
Lou won't know what to do next, but she knows that whatever she chooses is going to change everything.
This is a book I’ve been trying to read for ages but hadn’t been able to get hold of a physical copy, so was thrilled to get this in my Xmas presents!
Zoe Walker is the same as hundreds of other passengers making their usual journey to work when a chance look through the paper leaves her reeling. There among the classifieds she sees a photo of herself. A double take, a chat with family and she’s nearly convinced that maybe she is wrong and the photo just bears a resemblance to her, but she can’t take the feeling something isn’t right and when a murder is reported and she realises the victim is pictured on the same advert on another day her concerns worsen.
Zoe has unwittingly found herself the centre of a dangerous cat and mouse game, the story has many twists and turns and anyone who is a commuter can’t help but look up and think about just who is watching them on that all to familiar journey. Zoe’s character can be any one of us walking to our station, sitting in our normal seat and being completely unaware of our surroundings. She is easily relatable and pulls you in to her story and her feelings leaving you gripped to the book from the beginning to the end.
As with her previous novel Makintosh has managed to weave a clever web with lots of strands to the story, that you follow to the end. You’re left guessing as to just who it could be behind Zoe’s plight and even at the end when you think you’re shocked there is one final twist to the tale!
I have to say I also found the character of Kelly the BTP officer who ends up solving the case fascinating – I enjoyed the sub plot about her twin sister, but was hoping there would be a revelation by the end of the book that would also reveal the perpetrator there as well – I’m secretly hoping for another book now to follow up on that part!
All in all another chilling read that had me gripped!
I See You
28th July 2016
When Zoe Walker sees her photo in the classifieds section of a London newspaper, she is determined to find out why it's there. There's no explanation: just a grainy image, a website address and a phone number. She takes it home to her family, who are convinced it's just someone who looks like Zoe. But the next day the advert shows a photo of a different woman, and another the day after that.
Is it a mistake? A coincidence? Or is someone keeping track of every move they make . . .