July books

43. Finding Audrey – Sophie Kinsella
Story – This is the story of fourteen year old Audrey and her life with, and recovery from, an anxiety disorder. It’s also the story of her family, her mother who reads too much Daily Mail and her brother who is apparently addicted to computer games. Audrey’s issues have left her unable to leave her house and unable to make eye contact with anyone, and then she meets Linus…
Thoughts – First YA effort from Sophie Kinsella, whose books I’ve always liked, particularly the Shopaholic series. It was good. Audrey was sweet and funny and real, and I liked the development of her romance with Linus. I liked the mum and her campaign to stop Frank (the brother) in his ‘addiction’ to computer games- that was a bit less realistic than the storyline about Audrey’s problems, but it was funny and enjoyable. Overall it was a good book, and I would be interested to read any further efforts of the author in the YA genre.

42. Dexter is Dead – Jeff Lindsay
Story – The book starts with Dexter in prison, locked up for a murder committed by his stepdaughter Astor at the end of the previous book, but he soon gets out. Discovering that his brother has bailed him out is a pleasant surprise for Dexter, but he soon realises that it’s not a gift without strings.
Thoughts – I love the Dexter series, so I was excited to get this latest (and last) one. It was written in the same appealing way, but was probably a bit slower than some of the other books. However it had Brother Brian, which I liked, and some Deb which I also like. Interesting to see how after all Dexter HAS done, it’s the one murder he didn’t do that got him in trouble with the law. I do have to say that I hated the ending! I hope he writes another one, just so that that sucky ending isn’t actually series endgame.

41. I Regret Nothing – Jen Lancaster
Story – Another memoir by Jen, this time finding her in her forties and thinking about what she has and hasn’t done in her life. She writes herself a bucket list and sets about fulfilling her wishes.
Thoughts – I’ve read a couple of other memoirs by Jen Lancaster and liked them. This one was good too. It’s funny in parts, and it’s very relatable. Jen writes about the formulation of her bucket list items and the reasons she had for all of them, and then talks about the preparation and work that went in to achieving them. It’s also interesting to see Jen age through her memoirs- I should look at which ones I have and think about them chronologically.

40. Stolen Child – Laura Elliot
Story – Carla Kelly has everything. A wonderful husband, a job modelling the face of the hottest new maternity and baby line, and her own baby on the way. But two days after Isobel is born, the baby is snatched from the hospital and Carla’s life takes a turn she could never have imagined.
Thoughts – This book started off slowly but I wound up really enjoying it. It’s not a mystery, we know who took Isobel from the beginning and we see her (as Joy) grow up. The only mystery is when/how Carla is going to be reunited with her baby. I enjoyed the read, I enjoyed getting to know the characters and discovering what happened.

39. Shoot the Damn Dog – Sally Brampton
Story – A personal memoir or a woman who was a successful magazine editor and journalist when she suffered from a bout with severe depression.
Thoughts – This was really well written, and absolutely captured that sense of utter desolation and hopelessness of severe depression. Which of course, made it quite a painful read in some places, as I don’t really like to be reminded of those periods in my life. Sally did have a daughter, and I would have really liked to have read more about how her daughter managed, and how she viewed her mother during/after the worst periods. This would definitely be a good book to recommend to a friends or relative of someone suffering depression.

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