Reading Roudup

Reading Roundup: September 2023

In September we read 2 ebooks (one twice), read 2 and gave up on 2 more Lisa Jewell audiobooks.

September was a slower month for reading. Partly because I have had a lot on my mind leading up to finishing work on Friday, and also because of not being able to find a new audiobook to get into! Plus I also because I’ve read through All’s Well twice!

  • 2 ebooks (one twice)
  • 2 more Lisa Jewell audiobooks
  • 2 I chose not finish

The 2 eBooks

All’s Well by Mona Awad ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 5/5 Stars

After the magnificent Bunny I was very excited but also a little anxious to read another Mona Awad. Bunny was so weird, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Well, All’s Well is also weird and it also the strong voice of Mona Awad that I’m starting to recognise. There is something about her writing that I just find so invigorating.

It is I think a 4/5 star read but I am still working on unpacking it! It’s taken a second read through to figure out what I think is happening and what it all means, and I have enjoyed the second time as much as the first! Finally writing something up is on my To Do list for my week off, and I am very much looking forward to having the time to poke around in it! It’s finally done! You can read here!

Rouge is out now and I really want to read it but I hate reading hardbacks, and I don’t want to pay £9.99 for an e-book (I’ll likely buy a paper copy of for anyway!) so I need to either wait for it to be on a deal, or for the paperback release!

A Lady’s Guide to Fortune-Hunting by Sophie Irwin ⭐⭐⭐ 3/5 Stars

I read this between my two reads of All’s Well. I wanted something light, easy and formulaic to sooth my as at the time I was pretty stressed out! I fit the bill for that. It’s perfectly alright, but as a romance it oddly flat and lacking in chemistry (by which I mean there is no description of sexual attraction – no quickened breath, no flushing, no tingles and aren’t those why we read a “regency era” romance?!). It is a fun premise though and I did like the main character. Definitely will give Sophie Irwin’s new book a try at some point.

Two more Lisa Jewells!

The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell ⭐⭐⭐ 3/5 Stars

I didn’t love this one, I actually found it a little frustrating to listen to! While it had the Lisa Jewell’s usual incredible skill to build a mystery narrative that really builds up the tension and has you desperate to know the answers.. it turned turned out for me that the answers were not very satisfying and I had see the “secret” coming for too long. This was also definitely a family drama rather than a crime thriller, and I didn’t like the family very much!

The Third Wife by Lisa Jewell ⭐⭐ 2/5 Stars

If I found The House We Grew Up In a little frustrating then The Third Wife is on the next level! In fact I think it makes it onto my list of Worse Book Endings, I think I’ll probably be annoyed about it for quite some time! Like the other novel, this is again a family drama although the idea of it being a crime is briefly dangled. The story it turned out was actually really about the insufferable character of the husband and for some reason works very hard to absolve him for decades of selfish “Main Character” behaviour.

I looked it up after and The House we Grew Up In came out in 2013 and The Third Wife followed it in 2014, and there are a lot of similarities between the two. I think Lisa Jewell was still working on her formula at this time!

Two abandoned audio books 👎

I think I have burned through the available “good” Lisa Jewell books at my library and those that I get through the reserve list for seem to the be dregs of her earlier books! I’m now stuck with waiting lists or spotting paperback copies in charity shops!

The Family Remains by Lisa Jewell

So this one I think was the fault of BorrowBox’s rubbish book descriptions. I came to realise the reason it was available to me was because it was part of some “Crime Fest” promotion where I think the library had unlimited copies. Anyway, after 4 hours of being confused as to while it seemed half the story was not being told to me I realise that this is actually a Book 2, and a (2022) sequel to The Family Upstairs (2019)! Nowhere in the book description on the app did it say this. So annoying.

Though what I need glean of the plot from (I guess the now largely spoiled) The Family Upstairs I don’t know if I would love that one anyway. It sounds a bit too heavily on child abuse, rape and a little too “Flowers In the Attic” for me… But maybe I’m wrong. Let me know if you read it what you thought!

Before I Met You by Lisa Jewell

I listened to about 2 hours of this and it was not interesting me. I found main character Betty a bit tiresome, and from reading the middling reviews on Goodreads I don’t think it was going to be worth it (and I mean just from the blurb it looks quite obvious who the mystery woman is going to be!). From what I understand this was Lisa Jewell’s (2012) bridge book from chick-lit into mystery fiction, and its more of a historical romance with light detective mystery spin. Honestly if it had had the original book cover in BorrowBox I’d never have touched this!

Add To My TBR Collection!

I have been very restrained this month. I haven’t seen much I wanted crop up on a Kindle deal, and I’m trying to be more selected as I already have 40+ books waiting to be read!

Just two for September!

  1. The Lady’s Guide to Fortune-Hunting by Sophie Irwin – which as you know I already read!
  2. Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier – I’ve had this lingering on my Want To Read list for years, and its been a while since I’ve read a Classic. I’ve never really exploring much gothic fiction so interested to see if I like it.

I hope you had a good month! Have you read any of these? Let me know in the comments.

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