Top 5 Reads of 2017 (so far!)

1. The Summer of Impossible Things

by Rowan Coleman

‘The Summer of Impossible Things’ by Rowan Coleman is quite simply pure perfection. I didn’t think there was any way Rowan could produce a book to rival ‘We Are All Made of Stars’, which catapulted to the top of my all time favourite reads in 2015, but somehow she has managed to do so with ease.

How can I write a review that will do this wonderful, magical book justice? That will convey the many different emotions I felt as I drank in every word of Luna’s beautiful and moving story? I don’t think I can. But what I will say is this: Read ‘The Summer of Impossible Things’ and enjoy every word of the journey it takes you on. Allow yourself to be swept along on a voyage of discovery, feel every emotion with Luna as she tries to put right the events of the past. Believe the impossible.

The Brooklyn of 1977 is brought vividly to life, you can feel the heat of that long gone summer and are instantly transported to a different time and place. If you had the opportunity to change the past, to heal the wounds of the people you love, would you? This is the dilemma Luna is faced with, all the time knowing that doing so could rewrite her own future. Is she willing to give up everything for the sake of her family?

This is a book like no other I have ever read. At the same time as wanting to rush ahead to find out what happened, I didn’t want the story to ever end. I savoured every beautiful, heartfelt word and felt moved beyond words when the story finally came to an end.

‘The Summer of Impossible Things’ is a book that will stay with me. It’s one of the few books I know I will read again and again like ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ by Harper Lee, ‘Time and Again’ by Jack Finney and, of course, Rowan Coleman’s earlier book, the fabulous ‘We Are All Made of Stars’. All very different, but all with one thing in common: the ability to move and inspire.

If I could give it more than 5 stars I would, but it is, without a doubt, the easiest 5 stars I’ve given in a long time. Outstanding. I can’t wait to see what Rowan Coleman comes up with next!

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me the opportunity to read an ARC of ‘The Summer of Impossible Things’ which is available to buy now.

2. Quieter Than Killing

by Sarah Hilary

This is the fourth in Sarah Hilary’s wonderful DI Marnie Rome series, and was every bit as good as I expected it to be.

Delving even deeper into Marnie’s past and the murder of her parents by her foster brother Stephen Keele, ‘Quieter Than Killing’ is a psychological thriller full of the twists and turns we have come to expect, taking you on a rollercoaster of a ride that leaves you breathless and eager to find out what happens next.

With the always fabulous DS Noah Jake by her side, Marnie is investigating a spate of what appear to be vigilante attacks. But nothing is ever as straight forward as it seems and the case begins to take a very unexpected turn, with Marnie having to face up to the ghosts of her past while trying to remain focused on the task of bringing the perpetrator to justice.

I don’t know how she manages to do it with every outing, but ‘Quieter Than Killing’ is the best in the series so far and Sarah Hilary has outdone herself yet again. Beautifully written, with a cast of memorable characters, the DI Marnie Rome series is one I highly recommend. And if you haven’t read them yet? Do it, now. You won’t regret it.

Thank you to the publisher who gave me the opportunity to read an ARC of this book, which is available to buy now.

3. How To Stop Time

by Matt Haig

Writing a review of a book I’ve loved as much as I love this one is no easy task. How could I possibly do this book justice? It’s impossible to put into words the depth of emotion ‘How to Stop Time’ made me feel as I was reading it, and how I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since.

Exquisitely written by the brilliant Matt Haig, this is a book that speaks to me on such a personal level. To say too much about it would only spoil it for others as this is a book that needs to be read and absorbed without knowing too much about it other than what the blurb tells you.

It is, without a doubt, one of the best novels about time I’ve ever read and, believe me, I’ve read more than my fair share over the years. My fascination with time and time travel began as an eleven year old when I first read ‘Time and Again’ by Jack Finney (still one of my favourite books of all time) and has continued right up until the present day with the wonderful ‘Summer of Impossible Things’ by Rowan Coleman. And now ‘How to Stop Time’ has joined my list of all time favourite reads and is a book I know I will return to again and again.

Matt Haig is an exceptional writer, and is someone whose work has had a huge impact on me. His previous book ‘Reasons to Stay Alive’ has helped me in my battle with anxiety and depression and is my ‘go to’ book every time I feel the darkness begin to descend yet again. I will never be able to thank him enough for writing such an astounding and insightful book that made me feel less alone in a world that can sometimes feel like such a lonely place.

And in ‘How to Stop Time’ he has done it yet again, but this time it is a powerful work of fiction that has stolen my heart. Exquisitely written, with characters I am unlikely to forget any time soon, this is a beautiful and moving story that will stay with me.

Available to buy now.

4. The Detriment

by David Videcette

‘The Detriment’ is the eagerly awaited second book in David Videcette’s DI Jake Flannagan series. With short, punchy chapters, the action moves along at a cracking pace and if anything this second outing is even more thrilling than the first.

DI Jake Flanagan is back and, along with his trusty sidekick Lenny, is investigating an attack on Glasgow airport, car bombs outside a nightclub and the apparent suicide of a spy. As with ‘The Theseus Paradox’, this book combines fact with fiction, but how much of either is up to the reader to decide.

Still not one to play by the rules, Jake is a flawed character with a bit of a ‘bad boy’ image, but is also one that you can’t help but fall in love with. His struggle with the events of his past is even more apparent in ‘The Detriment’, and the emotional turmoil he goes through shows a very human side, something I’m sure will be explored even further in future instalments.

There are twists and turns aplenty throughout this book and it takes you on a thrilling rollercoaster of a ride that keeps you enthralled right up until the final page has been turned. David Videcette has proved yet again that he really is a writing force to be reckoned with.

Available to buy now.

5. Differently Normal

by Tammy Robinson

‘Differently Normal’ is a beautifully written story that will stay with me for a long time to come. With memorable characters that drew me in from the very first page, it is also a book that resonated with me on a very personal level. It portrays the reality of caring for a loved one with a disability in such a believable way, and is told with the care, humour and sensitivity I have come to expect from this author’s work.

Tammy Robinson is a born storyteller. She breathes life into her characters, making you love and care about them, feeling every emotion right along with them. Maddy and Albert are brought vividly to life on the page and, more than anything, you’re willing everything to work out well and for them to get all the things that life has so far denied them.

The unwavering love Maddy has for her sister, Bee (who has autism), is as heartbreaking as it is heartwarming, and as the parent of a (now adult) child with a disability, my heart goes out to her as she struggles to come to terms with the responsibility of caring for someone you love who is ‘differently normal’.

A beautiful story of love and heartache that takes you on an emotional rollercoaster of a ride, ‘Differently Normal’ has a cast of memorable characters and a story that will stay with you long after the final page has been turned. Highly recommended.

Thank you to TBC and the author for giving me the opportunity to read an ARC of this book which is available to buy now.

All reviews previously published on:

All books available to buy now:

2 thoughts on “Top 5 Reads of 2017 (so far!)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s