Book Review: Lessons in Chemistry

Book cover of Lessons In Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

A friend of mine sent me a copy of this book because she was so sure I’d love it. She was right.
Elizabeth Zott is a scientist – a chemist- and a good one. But sexism in the science community and general nastiness towards her because of her beauty force her out of science and she ends up bringing up her daughter alone. Then she is offered a job as host for a TV cooking show…

Zott is awesome! She’s clever and practical and strong. Her life isn’t easy, but she handles it in her own unique way. I loved the writing style. This book is interesting, poignant and funny in turns. I zoomed through it in a day.

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Book review: My Sweet Girl by Amanda Jayatissa

I picked this up because it was written by a Sri Lankan author and I was told had a lot about Sri Lanka in it. What I was not expecting the Sri Lankan parts to be set in what Ratmalana, which is an area I know well. And I wasn’t expecting there to be the little references which felt like a little zing of recognition each time I saw one. I really enjoyed that.

It’s been a long time since I read a thriller. And this is an excellent thriller. It has a properly unreliable narrator, where neither you nor the narrator herself is entirely sure what’s real and what’s not. The story is told with a dual timeline, which works very well. It’s got a nice twist at the end, and really good ending. That’s all I can say without giving away anything – suffice to say, I really liked the ending. I really enjoyed this book. I totally recommend it if you like your thrillers to be twisty.

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Book review: Yinka, Where is Your Huzband? by Lizzie Damilola Blackburn

I spotted this book on Netgalley and requested it straight away. Chicklit, but Nigerian. Brilliant.
Yinka is single and this is not acceptable to her mother… or most of the aunties. Her cousin is getting married and she needs to find a date before the wedding, or she’ll never hear the end of it. And then, just to make things worse, she gets made redundant.

Yinka is relatable as a young woman whose life straddles two cultures. I loved the scene where Yinka’s friends from her two ‘worlds’ meet and get on. She’s also relatable as someone who is navigating that tricky space between your first career and your second. Being made redundant is horrible and the way Yinka reacts is so similar to how I felt when I was made redundant.
I loved the complexity of her friendships with Nana, Rachel and Ola. Family friendships are a thing and they are always complicated.
Most of all, I loved that this was a book about a character navigating life and she just happened to be Black. The book is not about racism (apart from the way it pervades everyday life), but about Yinka. Which is exactly as it should be.

This book was charming and funny. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the ARC.

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Book Review: Murder Most Actual by Alexis Hall

Lisa heads up a podcast about true crimes called Murder Most actual. Her wife Hanna is a investment banker. They have been slowly drifting apart over the years and this holiday in a remote Scottish Highland hotel is Hanna’s way of trying to get them back together, except things go very wrong, and one of the guests gets murdered, and then several other guests also get murdered sequentially. Lisa turns amateur detective and uses her expertise from the podcast to try and solve the mystery.
The mystery itself is very twisty.
I enjoyed following Lisa and Hanna. I especially enjoyed the sharpness of Hanna’s banter. I really liked the way they slowly patched up their relationship, partly because the danger that they were in made them realise how much they meant to each other.

This is a great romp and as always with Alexis Hall, a great read. I heartily recommend it. I got a free review copy from Net Galley and this is my honest review. This is a Kobo original. So probably just available on Kobo. Go read it. It’s great.

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Book Review: How To Lose An Earl In Ten Weeks

How to Lose an Earl in Ten Weeks is a delight!
Essie is irreverent, headstrong and witty. Aidan is reserved, kind and very sarcastic. Their conversations were so much fun. I particularly liked how Essie’s voice was vivacious and young – she was believably eighteen.

Can I also say, I love the title!

I was offered an ARC of this book by the publisher (thank you!). I raced through it in a couple of days (which is quite fast for me!). With romantic intrigue and all the talk of the ton, it filled the regency romance gap that Bridgerton left when it ended. I loved it.

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Book review: All The Feels by Olivia Dade

I have been waiting to read this book ever since Alex showed up at Marcus’s flat in Spoiler Alert and started talking about Lauren. So, when I saw it on Netgalley, I requested it immediately.

Alex is a film star with impulse control issues. Lauren is a psychotheapist who used to work in A&E and is supposed to be taking a well earned rest by going on holiday. But when Alex gets involved in a bar fight, his production company gets him a minder to stop him bringing any more bad PR to the show. That minder is Lauren.

Lauren is calm and serious and stoic. So stoic. She’s aware that she’s a bit round and looks a bit like a bird. She’s also aware that Alex’s world demands certain levels of beauty that she doesn’t reach. Alex is beautiful, but also very, very kind. Lauren sees past the drama and the posturing and sees this, while Alex appreciates someone taking the time to find out why he did something before condemning him.

The ADHD rep is great, as is the fat rep. It’s really nice to see a heroine who is genuinely not beautiful (rather than one who THINKS she’s not beautiful, but is really). As a really short person, I genuinely enjoyed that the heroine was much shorter than the heroine.

All in all, it’s a great read – really funny and engaging. I absolutely loved it.
I received a review copy from Netgalley.

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Book review: The Bookbinders Daughter by Jessica Thorne

I read an ARC of this book via Netgalley (Thank you, Bookouture for letting me read it).
First of all – it’s a book about a magic library. How could you resist that!

Sophie is in a very controlling relationship with a scumbag, when she’s offered a job at the mysterious Ayredale library … where her parents both worked … until her mum disappeared. She leaves the scumbag and goes to the library, which feels like something more than just a place where old books are kept and repaired. Plus, everyone is acting so weird that she can’t trust ANYBODY. Possibly not even her childhood friend and very attractive bloke, Will.
There is a thread of mystery that winds its way through the story. I found reading this book completely immersive, which is something that hasn’t happened in a long time (Yay! Magic Library!). This is a story about magic and primordial inspiration. The love of books, especially old books, is threaded through the entire story. I loved that. There’s quite a lot about looking after books and working in libraries, which I enjoyed.

This is a lovely, magical read. I recommend it. Especially if you like old books and brooding, slight Gothic, libraries.

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