The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill, publishing day 07 June 2022.
As an amateur writer I truly liked the concept of this book: a manuscript by a thriller writer being beta-read by a colleague. Hannah, an Australian writer with some renown, is writing a book set in Boston. In Hannah's book, four people sit close to each other in the Boston Public Library when they hear a woman's scream. Later the body of a woman is found. Among those four people is Freddie, a mystery writer from Australia, who uses the experience and the people she's met as material for her new book. [Did I mention that it is slightly complicated to describe?] Also, Freddie and the other three library patrons become fast friends while trying to solve the murder of the woman. And they are all being drawn deeper into the case than they had anticipated. Leo lives in Boston, somehow got in contact with the famous writer Hannah. He offered to help Hannah with the manuscript since, due to the Covid pandemic, she cannot travel to Boston to scout the area herself. I didn't mind the grammar or spelling mistakes in the manuscript part - I'm sure they will be addressed before the book is published - made it feel much more like a manuscript. Sadly, it had a few plot holes and timeline inconsistencies; Leo could have picked up on them, but then again he's only beta-reading the chapters and not an editor. Further, he has his own agenda, like using the connection to finding an agent to get his own book out, or to getting Hannah to write the pandemic into the story. I wish the mystery had been more thrilling, more mysterious. I puzzled it out early on. [ARC provided by the publishers through NetGalley.]
2/5 Harpy Eagles
Book Lovers by Emily Henry, published 12 May 2022 (UK edition).
When I opened the book, I wanted to read for about ten minutes, or until my mug was empty, but I couldn't put it down until I had turned the last page. Was it predictable? Yes, it was. What kept me turning the pages? Emily Henry's writing, characters, snarky banter. Third book by Henry that I've read and the third book that I had to finish in one sitting. [ARC provided by the publishers through NetGalley.]
5/5 Harpy Eagles
The Audacity of Sara Grayson by Joani Elliott, published 25 May 2021.
Sara's mother died three weeks ago. Now Sara is sitting in her lawyer's office, open-mouthed, because her mother tasked her with writing the last novel in her bestselling series. This debut novel was very inspirational. Sara's journey from disbelief to believing in herself is one everyone of us can understand, whether you are an aspiring writer or not; we all struggle with confidence issues now and then. Sara has to overcome hers quick though, because that book has a publishing deadline and if she wants to write it, she must overcome her angst. I liked the writing style. Liked the characters with all their flaws. The family secret seemed a tiny bit over the top, but it was well-explained. Last but not least, even if you don't like all aspects of the story, the quotes by well-known authors at the beginning of each chapter are a treat alone, and they fit perfectly with the chapter content.
5/5 Harpy Eagles