A Spark of Light – Jodi Picoult

A Spark of Light – Jodi Picoult

I’ve read many of Jodi Picoult’s previous books so am always eager to get my hands on a new release, and thanks to the publishers for allowing me an advanced review copy of this latest release.

Picoult is never one to shy away from emotive issues and this book is no exception, a shooter has taken hostages in an abortion centre and the police negotiators sister is an injured victim, his daughter a hostage caught up in the ongoing situation. But the book is about more then this situation it’s a revealing look at a series of characters and their connection to the abortion centre, both those in favour and those against the practice, as well as those who are there for very different reasons.

The book is very balanced and doesn’t sway to an opinion on either side of the abortion argument. There are parts of the story where you can’t help but be moved, and there was one particular part where a description left me very unnerved. You’ll find yourself drawn to each characters story and reason for being in the centre on the fateful day and left wondering how the situation will pan out, who will make it out?

There’s also a brilliant twist near the end which I would have liked to have seen more on (but perhaps it’s one for another novel).
Picoult really is a magical weaver of beautiful thought provoking stories!

A Spark of Light Book Cover A Spark of Light
Jodi Picoult
Hodder & Stoughton
30 October 2018
Kindle
368

The Center for women's reproductive health offers a last chance at hope - but nobody ends up there by choice.

Its very existence is controversial, and to the demonstrators who barricade the building every day, the service it offers is no different from legalised murder.

Now life and death decisions are being made horrifyingly real: a lone protester with a gun has taken the staff, patients and visitors hostage.

Starting at the tensest moment in the negotiations for their release, A Spark of Light unravels backwards, revealing hour by urgent hour what brought each of these people - the gunman, the negotiator, the doctors, nurses and women who have come to them for treatment - to this point.

And certainties unwind as truths and secrets are peeled away, revealing the complexity of balancing the right to life with the right to choose.

Everything is Lies – Helen Callaghan

Everything is Lies – Helen Callaghan

With huge thanks to the publishers for allowing me an advanced Netgalley copy of this book prior to publication, having read the description of this new book by Helen Callaghan I was eager to get my hands on it ASAP and bump it to the top of my reading pile!

Sophia knows her parents, at least she thought she did but when she returns home to find the unthinkable has happened, her mum dead and her dead now in a critical condition she can’t believe how this could have happened. Her perceptions are challenged even more when she learns her mum was writing her book and the discovery of her hidden notebooks reveals to Sophia a whole hidden life her mum had before she was born, and the truth of that life could be dangerous to Sophia.

A bewitching novel about control and revelation – Sophia is a strong central character around which events unfold. In contrast her mother’s voice revealed through her notebooks is someone who seems to have been easily led and controlled, there are however parallels with Sophia’s own current situation at work, so the novel does show how control can take different routes. I found this to be a very powerful story with many twists and turns in its delivery, thought-provoking with a tight grip! Get this on your reading list now!

Everything is Lies Book Cover Everything is Lies
Helen Callaghan
Penguin
20 September 2018
Kindle
400

What if your parents had been lying to you since the day you were born?

Sophia's parents lived quiet, ordinary lives. At least she thought so, until she came home to discover her mother hanged, and her father in a pool of blood.

Sophia is certain her mother didn't try to kill her father - but clearing her name will draw Sophia deep into a past she never imagined.

A past that hides a dark and twisted secret . . .

Because if everything you've been told is lies, then how dangerous is the truth?

Hot Pursuit – Rebecca Freeborn

Hot Pursuit – Rebecca Freeborn

If you’re looking for that perfect summer holiday getaway read I can highly recommend Rebecca Freeborn’s Hot Pursuit.
A book spanning different countries, a race against time to crack the truth of a missing (presumed dead) Indy band member, a heart broken girl and her former one night stand photographer working together on her first case as a journalist – what could possibly go wrong?
Sarah Burrowes is a kick ass chick who comes across as a determined, fearless woman who isn’t afraid of working to get what she wants. She want take rubbish from her womanising photographer, and gives as good as she gets from those trying to stop her from getting to the truth of her case. She is the perfect lead female character for this story and you’ll love her from the first page to the last.
The story is fast paced with many twists and turns right until the end – but Sarah is always at the very heart of the novel and we are reminded throughout of her vulnerability as well with the involvement of her now ex-boyfriend James.
The banter between Sarah and her photographer Nick is funny and also a wonderful look at the dynamic the 2 of them have – I couldn’t wait to see what would happen there.
Honestly grab this book now for your holiday bag, you won’t be disappointed.

Hot Pursuit Book Cover Hot Pursuit
Rebecca Freeborn
Pantera Press
28 March 2018
Kindle
275

A missing rockstar, a suspected murderer on the run, and a chase through some of the world’s most romantic destinations

Sarah Burrowes is left with a shattered heart and a huge mortgage after the love of her life abruptly runs out on her.

An aspiring journalist, Sarah spends her days slaving away at a gossip magazine—far from her dream job.

Heartbroken and fed up, Sarah decides to take her career by the reins and lands herself the assignment of a lifetime in Europe. But there’s a catch—her boss pairs her with gorgeous but egocentric photographer, Nick, who just happens to be her ex’s best friend.

But when Sarah’s assignment takes a darker turn, she discovers there’s more to this story than meets the eye. Is she ready to risk everything to get the scoop?

Girl 99 – Andy Jones

Girl 99 – Andy Jones

Having read an earlier book by Andy Jones I’ve had Girl 99 on my kindle a while waiting for the ideal space in my to read pile to jump in.

Girl 99 features Tom who has just broken up with his girlfriend having kissed a colleague and then admitting the indiscretion to his girlfriend by email (perhaps not the best way about things). Following the breakup in a moment of reminiscing Tom works out that he has slept with 85 women – admitting this to his best friend El a bet ensues. El agrees to give Tom £1000 if he can sleep with 100 women by a certain date. So Tom indeed sets out to accomplish the challenge.

The book is not explicit and actually features a lot on Tom’s work particularly in the creation of a skittles advert and his relationship with his dad and sister. However the challenge does lead to the introduction of some other great characters – I especially liked the bunny boiler Estate Agent! The challenge of course as the title suggest hits a stumbling block at girl 99 who Tom actually realises he really likes.

A great fun story that gives an insight into how men think and feel and showed Tom looking at how he was behaving and opening up to girl 99 in the end.

Definitely a hit with me

Girl 99 Book Cover Girl 99
Andy Jones
Lake Union Publishing
14th Februry 2017
Kindle
318

When Tom’s girlfriend walks out on him the day before Christmas, he feels humiliated but not necessarily heartbroken. Sadie wasn’t, after all, The One. If we’re being precise, she was number eighty-five.

Tom’s first mistake is sharing this information with his best friend El. His next mistake is listening when El suggests that he bring his eighty-five up to a nice, neat one hundred.

It was never going to be a good idea, not least because everything else in Tom’s life is in complete chaos. His best friend is dying of a slow and cruel disease, his teenage sister is at war with his well-meaning but dogmatic father, his elderly neighbour is having romantic problems (and makes a dreadful cup of tea), and he has to shoot four commercials with four children and a bad-tempered producer.

And then Tom meets Verity. Whether she’s The One remains to be seen, but she’s certainly more than just another number.

Blood Sisters – Jane Corry

Blood Sisters – Jane Corry

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!

Blood Sisters Book Cover Blood Sisters
Jane Corry
Penguin
29th June 2017
Paperback
464

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...

All The Good Things – Clare Fisher

All The Good Things – Clare Fisher

A lovely treat through the letter box in Clare Fisher’s All the Good Things.  It was a rainy Monday and my kindle battery had died so I looked to my unread book shelf and this caught my eye.  From page one I was hooked in Beth’s story – at 21 years old she is in prison, and can only see the bad in herself.  When her psychiatrist suggests writing down all the good things she remembers Beth feels she will struggle.  Soon however she has remembered her job at the Odeon, Orange Wednesdays, being friends with Chantelle and “your dad”.

It’s not revealed until the end of the book why Beth is in prison, but I felt from reading you could probably begin to get an idea from reading between the lines.  In writing her notebook you become immersed in Beth’s life – her struggles with an absent mother, being passed through the foster care system and in believing she’d found love with a married man.  When she is pregnant she has little money and becomes embroiled in debt.

It’s difficult not to feel for Beth and by the end I was a little teary at her story – probably had more effect on me being a new mum myself that I could have more of a connection in that way to the character.

A great little page turner for a rainy day!

All The Good Things Book Cover All The Good Things
Clare Fisher
Penguin - Viking
01/06/2017
228

Twenty-one year old Beth is in prison. The thing she did is so bad she doesn't deserve ever to feel good again.
But her counsellor, Erika, won't give up on her. She asks Beth to make a list of all the good things in her life. So Beth starts to write down her story, from sharing silences with Foster Dad No. 1, to flirting in the Odeon on Orange Wednesdays, to the very first time she sniffed her baby's head.
But at the end of her story, Beth must confront the bad thing.
What is the truth hiding behind her crime? And does anyone - even a 100% bad person - deserve a chance to be good?

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