Catalina ‘Lina’ Martín has made a huge mistake. She has promised her family in Spain that she will be attending her sister’s wedding with her American boyfriend. The problem is, she doesn’t actually have an American boyfriend. She doesn’t have any boyfriend..not even a potential one. So now her options are either find a boyfriend in a matter of weeks, or admit to her family that she doesn’t have a date, and face attending the wedding alone. A wedding that her ex-boyfriend will be at, along with his new fiancee.
When her work nemesis, Aaron Blackford, steps in and offers to be her fake date to the wedding, Catalina refuses to consider it. Aaron is insufferable, pompous and the last person she wants to spend time with, never mind introduce him to her family. But as time goes by, Catalina starts to realise that maybe she has no other choice.
Olive Smith – a driven, focused young Ph.D student. She has no interest in relationships – she is far too concerned with researching ways to detect pancreatic cancer early, to give more people a chance of fighting it. That is her goal in life, and nothing will get in her way. Until she has a chance encounter with Adam Carlsen, a legendary biology professor – legendary for both his brilliance in his field, and for being ‘an ass’ to his students. In an effort to encourage her best friend to pursue a relationship with her barely an ex ex, Olive starts ‘fake dating’ a surprisingly willing Adam. While doing so, she learns a lot about him, and herself – maybe she’s not too busy for love after all.
Meet Tate – a beautiful, innocent young nurse, recently moved into her older brother’s apartment while she studies medicine. She’s hardworking, studious, and too busy for love. Enter Miles – her brother’s handsome, brooding friend, colleague, and neighbour. Miles has a past that he doesn’t want to speak about, a past that has made him put up walls around his heart. Walls that Tate wants to break down. Miles only wants a physical relationship however, and has warned Tate that he has two rules that she must follow if she wants to keep seeing him – don’t ask about his past, and don’t expect a future. But can Tate really be satisfied with a meaningless fling?
One young woman, a newly qualified teacher, trying her best to carve a life for herself, trying to figure out a way to live with her past traumas and experiences. A student, a confident young man, popular and well respected, with his own secret that he’s trying to cope with. Despite outside forces trying to keep them apart, they find themselves drawn together again and again. But is either one of them strong enough, and able enough, to save the other, and prove that love is possible even in the face of terrible trauma?
Four adults, muddling their way through life, love and friendship. Alice is a successful author, recently returned to Ireland from New York. She meets Felix on Tinder, and arranges to meet him for a drink in the local bar. Felix works in a warehouse, that he hates. Alice’s best friend Eileen lives in Dublin. She’s recently single and depends a little bit too much on her friend Simon, who she has known and secretly loved since childhood. Simon is the politician of the group, a regular church goer and can always be counted on to turn up when needed.
Beautiful World, Where Are You tells the story of this unlikely mix of people, in the way that only Sally Rooney can. I should have loved it – I really enjoyed both of her previous novels, and have read Normal People more than once, but sadly, this novel just didn’t really do it for me.
‘One Of Us Is Lying’ is the first novel in a series of 3 by Karen M. McManus. It follows the story of five high school students, who are all sent to detention under suspicious circumstances. Of the five who go in to detention, only four leave alive. Now the focus is on the remaining four students – did one of them kill their schoolmate? Or did they all have a part to play? They all had a motive afterall – their deepest secrets were about to be published on the most popular gossip app in their school. The owner of that site? The student who just died. It’s up to each of them to prove their alleged innocence, and find out who the real killer is.
Did I love this book? No, I’ve definitely read better murder mystery novels.
‘On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is a letter from a son to a mother who cannot read. Written when the speaker, Little Dog, is in his late twenties, the letter unearths a family’s history that began before he war born – a history whose epicentre is rooted in Vietnam – and serves as a doorway into parts of his life his mother has never known, all of it leading to an unforgettable revelation. At once a witness to the fraught yet undeniable love between a single mother and her son, it is also a brutally honest exploration of race, class and masculinity. Asking questions central to the American moment, immersed as it is in addiction, violence and trauma, but undergirded by compassion and tenderness, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is as much about the power of telling one’s own story as it is about the obliterating silence of not being heard.’
‘When Zachary Rawlins stumbles across a strange book hidden in his university library it leads him on a quest unlike any other. Its pages entrance him with their tales of lovelorn prisoners, lost cities and nameless acolytes, but they also contain something impossible: a recollection from his own childhood.
Determined to solve the puzzle of the book, Zachary follows the clues he finds on the cover – a bee, a key and a sword. They guide him to a masquerade ball, to a dangerous secret club, and finally through a magical doorway created by the fierce and mysterious Mirabel. This door leads to a subterranean labyrinth filled with stories, hidden far beneath the surface of the earth.
When the labyrinth is threatened, Zachary must race with Mirabel and Dorian, a handsome barefoot man with shifting alliances, through its twisting tunnels and crowded ballrooms, searching for the end of his story.
You are invited to join Zachary on the starless sea: the home of storytellers, story-lovers and those who will protect our stories at all costs.’
‘Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish.
Lowen arrives at the Crawford home, ready to sort through years of Verity’s notes and outlines, hoping to find enough material to get her started. What Lowen doesn’t expect to uncover in the chaotic office is an unfinished autobiography Verity never intended for anyone to read. Page after page of bone-chilling admissions, including Verity’s recollection of the night their family was forever altered.
Lowen decides to keep the manuscript hidden from Jeremy, knowing its contents would devastate the already grieving father. But as Lowen’s feelings for Jeremy begin to intensify, she recognizes all the ways she could benefit if he were to read his wife’s words. After all, no matter how devoted Jeremy is to his injured wife, a truth this horrifying would make it impossible for him to continue to love her.’
‘A rebel princess..
With a cigarette in one hand and whiskey in the other, royal rebel Princess Margaret dazzles with her cutting-edge fashion sense and biting quips. The people love her, the paparazzi stalk her, and she sparkles in the company of her glittering entourage of wealthy young aristocrats known as the Margaret Set. But her outrageous lifestyle conflicts with her place as Queen Elizabeth’s younger sister. Can she be a dutiful princess while still enchanting the world on her own terms?
A noblewoman’s dreams…
A chance meeting with the Princess changes the life of the Honorable Vera Strathmore forever. Discreet and genuinely kind, Vera gains Princess Margaret’s confidence and the privileged position of lady-in-waiting. Yet as Vera watches the Princess’s ill-fated love affair with dashing Captain Peter Townsend unfurl, she longs for a life outside the captivating orbit of royal society.
An unexpected destiny…
But while Princess Margaret, as a member of the Royal Family, is not free to act on her desires, Vera could have the freedom to pursue her own dreams. As time and Princess Margaret’s scandalous behaviour progress, both women will be forced to choose between status and love.’