It’s been almost two years since my last “beach holiday”. I know this is a huge first world problem as I have been to other places since then and live about 200 yards away from the sea. But there’s nothing quite like going on holiday is there? Before we left England, the weather was glorious, well into the twenties and many people said it was like being abroad, what’s the need to go on holiday? There’s every need. At home you still have responsibilities, a schedule, bills to pay, cooking to do. As much as my life is pretty great most of the time, it’s been total bliss to escape. It was a nice realisation today that the biggest worry we have is where we’re going to have lunch or dinner.
The thing I love most about being on holiday is being able to fully absorb myself in a book (and a few more). At home, I dip in and out of reading. Sometimes, I just want to watch crap on Netflix and not concentrate on anything in particular. Whereas on holiday, I can easily get through a book in a day or a day and a half. There’s just something about laying by the pool or on the beach and throwing yourself into someone else’s world and not thinking about any stress that is in your life back at home.
My boyfriend and I flew into Mallorca on Tuesday afternoon and we haven’t done much since to be honest. Other than going to Barcelona for five days in November, we haven’t been anywhere and we desperately needed a break. We’re planning on going on a boat trip tomorrow and having a spa afternoon, but other than that, all we want to do is chill, eat delicious food and drink cava!
Since we have been here I’ve read three new books and just thought I would do a bit of a review of them. The first one I read is one that I have had on my Amazon wishlist since after Christmas as it was only released in June. Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh is a thriller where you know who the killer is from the beginning. It’s an interesting concept to know who the killer is and Cavanagh does a good job at keeping the reader enthralled with the story. It’s impossible to get bored with it and it is a page turner as you want to know what makes the killer tick, why he does what he does and more importantly, gets enjoyment out of it. The story is from two perspectives, the killer, and the defence lawyer, Eddie Flynn.
Cavanagh makes the plot intricate by showcasing the killer’s intelligence and ability to know everything. The killer manages to get himself onto the jury and tries to ensure someone else goes to prison for his crime – that’s part of the fun for him, having the control to ruin someone’s life and no one would suspect that it could even be someone else. For me, a good thriller is about how you develop feelings for the protagonist within the first couple of chapters. They need to intrigue and excite you. Knowing you will be invested and interested in them for the next 350 pages or so. I think that’s what makes Thirteen such a page turner. Both protagonists are highly skilled at what they do, it’s just a case of who, if anyone, comes out on top. It’s one of my favourite books I have read this year and would highly recommend it.
The second book I bought was something out of my norm. I always get thrillers or crime novels. I like how they make you think and guess who is the bad guy, but I had seen The Break by Marion Keyes advertised everywhere and thought I would give it a go. It’s described as a rom-com and I thought it would be a nice, easy read for a holiday. I feel like I was the wrong target audience for this book. I mean, I enjoyed it, but I didn’t love it. If I was at home, I can imagine myself putting it down and taking weeks to get through it. The trouble is, when a book is described as funny, the reader automatically expects to be chuckling aloud and struggling to put it down. I don’t think Keyes executed the humour as well as it could have been. Amy is the best character in the book, she is a typical, heartbroken woman when her husband leaves her for a “break” in Asia and is somewhat relatable. However, I struggled to find the humour and found a few of the characters simply irritating and surplus to the books requirements. I feel like a divorced or separated woman would find more enjoyment in it. The ending was predictable and I can already see it getting made into a film. It’s full of cliches and even though some of them are used intentionally (presumably to be funny), it just makes me think that I would have probably failed my MA if I used that many! I think this book reiterated why I steer clear of so-called rom-coms! I wouldn’t rush to give this book to anyone else and will probably leave it here on the bookshelf for someone else, so that says it all really!
The book I started and finished today was my favourite book so far. When I’m at home, I love saying things on Pinterest. Especially books. And most of the ones I bought in preparation where ones that are on those lists of “15 best thrillers to read this summer” etc. The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena goes straight into the action and you immediately need to know what secrets are being hidden. I read this in around four hours today as I just needed to know what happened. Lapena does very well at keeping the story going and keeping you guessing. It can be really difficult to end a book well. I’ve read too many lately where the plot is intricate and full of twists and turns, but it seems like the author has just got bored and ended the story in the most mundane way where nothing is actually resolved. Right up until the final chapter. you’re left guessing and not knowing who to believe and who knows what.
Anne and Marco return from a dinner party to find someone has kidnapped their six month old baby – but they were next door and had left the baby home alone, thinking it would be ok to check on her every half an hour. As the story unfolds, it turns out both of them have secrets, and you are left wondering about their next door neighbours. Have they got anything to do with it? It’s difficult to discuss the plot without giving anything away. I feel Lapena has written Anne and Marco perfectly, they aren’t cliched in anyway as a married couple and you can never feel comfortable with how they make you feel, you never truly feel sorry for them as they both keep secrets and have their own darkness. It’s cleverly written and is a proper page turner. It’s one of those books that I will more than likely read again and try to infer more from the characters and their motives.
I’ve never written review of books before and I don’t even know if that’s my intention here. It’s just been cathartic to write about something that gives me pure enjoyment and to have the time to simply sit here and write this!