Contemporary

The Kindest Thing – Cath Staincliffe

The_kindest_thingTitle: The Kindest Thing
Author: Cath Staincliffe
Publisher: Robinson Publishing
Format: Paperback
Pages: 263
My rating★★★✫✫

I found this book on one of the book fairs I have been to in 2015. ‘What would you sacrifice for love?’ is the question on the cover. Well, I was wondering what the main character was going to do and what she had to sacrifice for love. The theme of this novel is pretty heavy, but I do love a bit of drama.

What the book is about

What would you do? When Deborah reluctantly helps her beloved husband, Neil, end his life and conceals the truth, she is charged with his murder. As the trial unfolds and her daughter Sophie testifies against her, Deborah, still reeling from grief, fights to defend her actions. Twelve jurors hold her fate in their hands – and if found guilty she will serve a life sentence. But is the assisted suicide of a person you love murder?

What I think about the book

This is not a very thick book and I thought I would finish it in just a couple of days. That wasn’t the case. For some reason it took me forever (or 11 days) to finish it. I didn’t really enjoy the way it was written. I just wanted to know what would happen, but the book was quite slow paced and it seemed to drag on.

The Kindest Things goes back and forth between things from the past and things that are happening right now. In the past we learn about Deborah’s family, how she lost both her mum and dad, how she has met Neil and what their relationship was like, but also about Neil’s illness and the troubles they get into with their son. Deborah has got a ton of drama to deal with in her life. It hardly seems fair. Here and now she is standing trial for helping Neil. Guilty or not guilty?

Though I knew that Deborah did help him (which would make her guilty), I tried to sympathize with her. What would I decide if I would be part of a jury? I had no idea. I mean, I would understand it if Neil would want to end his life before his suffering became too much. I just don’t think that I could do what Deborah did. Not like this. I would try to find another (more legal?) way to help Neil. Maybe that’s because we’ve got more options here in the Netherlands? I am not sure how this would work in other countries. So I could not entirely feel sorry for Deborah.

I finished the book and it wasn’t bad, but it also wasn’t as good or exciting as I thought it would be. Therefore I will just give it three stars.

Lobsters – Tom Ellen

LobstersTitle: Lobsters
Author: Tom Ellen, Lucy Ivison
Publisher: Chicken House
Format: Paperback
Pages: 307
My rating★★★★✫

I have heard a lot about this book in 2015 and decided to put it on my wishlist. So when Liz was selling her copy, I had to buy it. I just love buying books, but it’s an expensive hobby… Maybe I should consider a library membership, but I don’t think I will find everything I’d like to read there. Anyways, I got myself a copy of Lobsters last week and it has been staring at me ever since. I had to read it right away.

What the book is about

Sam and Hannah only have the holidays to find ‘The One’. Their lobster. But instead of being epic, their summer is looking awkward. They must navigate social misunderstandings, the plotting of well-meaning friends, and their own fears of being virgins for ever to find happiness. But fate is at work to bring them together. And in the end, it all boils down to love.

What I think about the book

I don’t know what I expected, but Lobsters wasn’t as ‘cute’ as the title make me think it would be. Or maybe it was, but in a different way. For a young adult novel, it has quite a lot of references to sex in it. No one is actually having sex, but there are many words related to sex in this novel. I don’t care about that, and after a few chapters it seemed normal, because it was fitting the characters, but it was something that caught my attention.

Lobsters is full of parties, holidays, festivals and awkward dates. There is a ton of boy/girl talk going on. It is written from both Hannah’s and Sam’s point of view, so from the beginning it is very clear how they actually feel about each other and you can see all the misunderstandings that they have. The end of the story is definitely not a surprise, so as a reader I was like “Oh come one! Tell her/him already and get this over with!” Because we all know where it will end.

I gave the book four stars, because even though the story is a bit of a cliche, I found Hannah and Sam really cute and I have definitely enjoyed reading this story.

Kiss me first – Lottie Moggach

kiss-me-firstTitle: Kiss me first
Author: Lottie Moggach
Publisher: Picador
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 352
My rating★★★★★

I have bought this book in London in 2014. When we were there I saw a banner promoting this book at one of the underground stations. I immediately wanted to know what it was about and therefore I walked the bookstore at St. Pancras International and bought the book.

What the book is about

When Leila discovers the Web site Red Pill, she feels she has finally found people who understand her. A sheltered young woman raised by her mother, Leila has often struggled to connect with the girls at school; but on Red Pill, a chat forum for ethical debate, Leila comes into her own, impressing the Web site’s founder, a brilliant and elusive man named Adrian. Leila is thrilled when Adrian asks to meet her, flattered when he invites her to be part of “Project Tess.” Tess is a woman Leila might never have met in real life. She is beautiful, urbane, witty, and damaged. As they e-mail, chat, and Skype, Leila becomes enveloped in the world of Tess, learning every single thing she can about this other woman—because soon, Leila will have to become her. An ingeniously plotted novel of stolen identity, Kiss Me First is brilliantly frightening about the lies we tell—to ourselves, to others, for good, and for ill.

What I think about the book 

This is a really great story. From the first page I could not put it down anymore. I wanted to know everything about Leila, who she was and what her motives were. Every chapter tells you a little about her and her background, so it takes a while for the reader to actually get to know her.

It was easy for me to understand Leila. Being online can make you feel less lonely, but it’s easy to lose yourself in the online world. Saying yes to ‘Project Tess’ was something I could not relate to. It would cost her most of her own time and would become a full time job for her to keep up with Tess’ life instead of her own. It says a lot about Leila’s personality and I found that quite intriguing. When reading the story everything does seem to make sense though.

The end of the story surprised me. How could this be it? Still I gave Kiss Me First 5 stars on Goodreads and I would recommend reading it if you like suspense. It is a good story and it all fits together.

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2016 Reading Challenge

2016 Reading Challenge
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