Thursday 28 September 2023

What I've been reading in September

I've started off the month with two books that my daughter lent me.

'It Ends With Us' and 'It Starts With Us' both by Colleen Hoover 

And it is very important that you read them in that order!  Apparently the author wasn't planning on there being a sequel but public opinion demanded that the next stage of Lily and Atlas were published.

Lily hasn't had the easiest of childhoods but she works hard and makes her own way to eventually start the florist shop she has always wanted.  She meets Ryle, a neurosurgeon who appears to be everything she hopes for in finding a happy future.  Despite claiming to not want a committed relationship, Ryle suggests an impromptu wedding and life seems to be falling into place.  When her childhood friend Atlas appears after years of being away, Ryle feels threatened and a different side to his nature is revealed.  Lily can feel her life mirroring that of her mother's which she will not stand for.  

This isn't always an easy read but oh boy does it grip you!  There are humorous aspects to it where instead of keeping a teenage diary, Lily writes letters (which are never sent) to Ellen Degeneres who she feels would be able to help her with her problems.

It Starts With Us picks up the story but it is hard to review it without giving away spoilers to the first book!  Each alternate chapter is written by either Lily or Atlas.  But I felt like this book is more about Atlas' side of the story.  You certainly learn more of his back story, and he has a few surprises in store.  

What can I say but I loved these books.  Some of the subjects covered don't always make for easy reading but I was engrossed.  There were times when I was worried that Lily wasn't going to make what I thought were the right decisions and times when I thought her kind nature was going to make excuses for other's bad behaviour.  But she obviously heard me and stuck to her principles!  Would I recommend these?  Absolutely! 

Something completely different next 

The Woman Who Lied by Claire Douglas

Emilia is a happily married mother of two children who is the author of a series of crime novels featuring the detective Miranda Moody.  Keen to change the genre of books that she writes, Emilia decides to 'write off' Miranda by making her the victim of a serial killer thus ending the series.

Then an incident that is part of the plot of one of her earlier novels happens in real life.  Emilia assumes that it is pure coincidence.  Until it happens again.  And again. Things that happen in the book she has not yet published.  Strands of her stories are happening in real life and she cannot help but be afraid that she will be the next target. The perpetrator can only be someone who has read the early copies of the last novel, which narrows it down to friends and family or her editor. 

 It took me a little while to get into this book but you can't help but sympathise with Emilia as she doubts who she can trust and sees maliciousness in people she previously considered friends.  There are many twists and turns, with a final surprise just when you think you know what happened!


Patio Postcards said...

As always appreciate book recommendations. It Ends With Us, It Starts With Us, both have a long waiting list at the library, but that's OK, I've got others to read while waiting :)

Jennifer said...

I must be the world's biggest wimp...but I simply cannot read books that are too intense and/or emotional. Your reviews make me want to run to the library and grab all of these books. I want to know what happened - but I know, without a doubt, I would lie awake at night so regretting my decision. Happy Thursday to you:)

♥ Liz ♥ said...

I like the sound of these and my have to look them up. I really want to know more about Lily and Atlas. Thanks for the recommendations.

Barbara Eads said...

I read and thoroughly enjoyed "It Ends With Us." I've added "It Begins With Us" to my library list.

Ruth said...

I've literally just finished the Colleen Hoover books and loved them! I'll have them in October's For the Love of Books post. said...

Have you read Verity by Hoover? My niece begged me to read it so we could discuss it afterward. It made me blush. At least early into it and I don't really consider myself prudish. It was quite twisty, too. Not exactly my cup of tea all the way around but an interesting story with quite an ending.