Okay so it’s November and I’m still talking about my holiday…however, I thought I should write this post as I know a lot of people will be getting a good chunk of time off for the Christmas break, so if you’re a reader then there are some great books here that I’ve been working my way through. Calling them my “holiday reads” is a bit of a stretch, as it was my first holiday with Teddy, so whilst on previous holidays I could get through at least 3-4 books, this holiday (all 10 days of it) I managed ONE. When I got back and Teddy started school I managed to crack on with a few more, so that’s something.
Mad by Chloe Esposito
Mad (find it here – link) is the first in a trilogy of books from Chloe Esposito. Described as a “beach read” which I think is pretty accurate, it’s all about a woman who steals the identity of her twin sister. It’s got some good twists and some interesting ideas – the main one being the fact that the lead character is so incredibly unpleasant and almost impossible to like – and if you’re happy to just go with it then it’s a fairly good read. There’s a lot of sex and drugs and swearing, some of which becomes a bit cheesy and point-making after a while, but I was invested in the story enough to want to see it through to the end, and even read the next book which leads me nicely to…
Bad by Chloe Esposito
…Bad (find it here – link) which is the second book in the trilogy that picks up where Mad left off. Without creating any spoilers, this story continues to follow the lead character and her ridiculous escapades. Interestingly, even though she’s still an absolute nightmare, you do root for her slightly more in this book – I suppose because she demonstrates actual emotional attachment and you find yourself invested in the central relationship. The ending is shocking and very frustrating – I’m not sure if I want to read the third book on the basis of how much the ending pissed me off! We’ll see.
Oh My God, What a Complete Aisling by Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen
My absolute favourite of the bunch, Oh My God, What a Complete Aisling (find it here – link) is the perfect example of how a really good, character-led story can completely absorb you. Aisling is one of those characters who you instantly like (and probably know – anyone with any Irish family or connections will know a lovely Aisling!) and what a joy it was to follow her story. In a nutshell, the main story is about her dealing with the end of a very long-term relationship and slowly coming to terns with why it ended and what she might’ve done differently. Describing it that way makes it sound terribly dull, but it is a testament to the writers just how engaging, charming and heartwarming this absolutely lovely story is. There’s a second book out and I will definitely, definitely be reading it over Christmas.
Do Not Disturb by Claire Douglas
The final book is Do Not Disturb (find it here – link) which I read whilst I was doing a course on writing Crime Fiction, so it was interesting to read it whilst analysing the impact and progress of the story. It’s a murder mystery based at a newly opened Welsh inn with a dark past. The setting is really good and it’s your very typical ‘whodunit’ with lots of plot twists that provide a continual guessing game. The payoff isn’t great, as it’s a little bit ludicrous, but everything else about it is pretty solid and you’ll never guess the outcome. It’s a generally well-written book and I will happily visit the author’s other work.