Beach Read Edition
I’ve read so many palate cleanser books -light entertainment, romance mainly- that I am wondering whether the real palate cleansers are the Sci-Fi and Fantasy books I read in between.
Anyway, here are a few of the books I have read that would make an ideal read for a day at the beach, or by the pool, or under a tree in the park, or wherever you like to spend a drowsy afternoon when the temperatures are high.
Stuck on You by Portia Macintosh, published 17 September 2020.
This is a Christmas themed book and might hence be a bit weird to read on a hot day, but reading about cold days might help you cool off a bit. You might also get a few ideas about how to celebrate Christmas in a quirky way. Sadie is the PA of Damian Banks, famous portrait photographer. Hence her life revolves around his whims and she has no time for friendships or love. Except, she has a sticky-notes penpal-friendship with her desk-buddy Adam, whom she can confide in. With Christmas around the corner, and a new year coming up, Sadie wants to make more time for herself. Can she invite Adam out for a drink? Can she leave the demanding Damian for a new job? Or will she re-ignite the flame that once burned between her and her high-school boyfriend Brian? The romance was very predictable and the major plot twist probably just came as a surprise for the female lead. Strange that the otherwise intelligent woman didn't catch on to it sooner. There was a lot of build-up about Mackie, a person Damian takes photos of, at the beginning of the story and I would have liked to see this rounded up; a snippet from a newspaper towards the end of the book would have been nice. It felt like a story line that was dropped half-way to its conclusion for the sake of the romantic Christmas plot. ARC provided by the publishers through NetGalley
3/5 Harpy Eagles
Note to Self by Anna Bell, published 23 June 2022.
Edie just turned 35 years old. A few days after her birthday emails arrive, written by her 18 y/o self during the summer she met Joel. The summer that changed her life forever. The summer Joel broke her heart. The summer her mother died. The emails are like entries in a diary. They remind Edie of who she was back then and how much her life and her goals in life have changed. And they make her reach out to the people she met working at a campsite that summer, reconnecting with old friends. Of course Joel is part of that group. The chemistry between the two of them is still there. But Edie is in a relationship, and Joel has an American girlfriend he might want to follow to Florida for work. What I liked most about this book was how down to earth the individual characters' lives were. They all had their problems, but were projecting if not a perfect life than at least a happy life to the world. TW: grief, alcoholism ARC provided by the publishers through NetGalley
5/5 Harpy Eagles
Stone Broke Heiress by Danielle Owen-Jones, published 21 March 2022.
From riches to rags. Or from Dom Pérignon to dumpster diving. The blurb sounded fantastic and if I was less of a sceptic it might have worked. If you like a really light read, where you can overlook a lot of the flaws of the premise behind this story, this is the perfect rom-com for you. Bella's family loses their tinned soup company. Bella loses her fiancé to her best friend. Bella is out of a job and broke. So Bella has to find a cheap flat and a job. Of course she starts working at a soup kitchen, her familial background would make this an ideal job for her, but she's never wielded a spatula in her whole life. Dan, the owner of the soup kitchen, is a good looking grump. He holds a grudge against her family, so Bella has to lie about who she is... The writing is easy to follow if a bit repetitive at times. ARC provided by the publishers through NetGalley
2/5 Harpy Eagles
Abridged Classics by John Atkinson, published 5 June 2018.
To give you the full title of the book: Abridged Classics: Brief Summaries of Books You Were Supposed to Read but Probably Didn't. What more could I tell you about the book? Each classic book is summed up in one or two fitting drawings with a one-liner at the bottom. Perfect if you need a good chuckle in between some very sad books. If you intend to still read those classics mentioned in the book, don't worry, the short summaries do not spoil the stories.
4/5 Harpy Eagles
How to Swear by Stephen Wildish, published 10 April 2018.
Just in case the Abridged Classics didn't cheer you up, try this book. It has Venn diagrams and charts about swearing. This is the perfect book for you, if you feel like you need a refresher course on the four letter words you were told never to utter in polite and/or under-aged company. It's a very brief book, so don't expect in-depth etymology of words. What it lacks in depth, it makes up in summing up the important facts in handy graphs.
4/5 Harpy Eagles
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