My review: Small great things, by Jodi Picoult

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About the book:

Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years’ experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she’s been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don’t want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene?

Ruth hesitates before performing CPR and, as a result, is charged with a serious crime. Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes her case but gives unexpected advice: Kennedy insists that mentioning race in the courtroom is not a winning strategy. Conflicted by Kennedy’s counsel, Ruth tries to keep life as normal as possible for her family—especially her teenage son—as the case becomes a media sensation. As the trial moves forward, Ruth and Kennedy must gain each other’s trust, and come to see that what they’ve been taught their whole lives about others—and themselves—might be wrong.

With incredible empathy, intelligence, and candor, Jodi Picoult tackles race, privilege, prejudice, justice, and compassion—and doesn’t offer easy answers. Small Great Things is a remarkable achievement from a writer at the top of her game.

My review:

Oh my! Jodi Picoult did it again! I must say that at some point I just stopped reading Jodi’s books as they started to blur a bit in my head. But then I decided to give this book a go as I’ve heard it is something very special.

And it was for me! This is a powerful book, very bold in expressing the words out loud instead of thinking them. It is probably the best book about everyday racism written by a white author. I am Caucasian, too, but this book did it for me too. Passive racism has so much in common with discrimination of any sort. It is very relatable to many people who feel out of place, who feel it is harder for them to achieve things just because who they are.

Jodi is never afraid to raise difficult topics, but this book is completely different level. I was under so much impression – I couldn’t stop thinking about it, couldn’t get to write a review, couldn’t start another book.

There were a few moment that couldn’t work for me, for example, trying to understand and accept a point of views of a white supremacist. It was really hard for me to relate to his and his wife’s feelings. At the same time it made me think about people with these views. What brought them to think this way and why.

This book makes you think, compare things and have more insights into people’s lives. The research done by the author is incredible which has a great reflection in the book.

I just leave this quote here that really resonated with me throughout the book and after:

“What if the puzzle of the world was a shape you didn’t fit into? And the only way to survive was to mutilate yourself, carve away your corners, sand yourself down, modify yourself to fit? How come we haven’t been able to change the puzzle instead?”

My score is 5* out of 5*.

My review: The Surrogate, by Louise Jensen

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About the book:

‘You know that feeling? When you want something so badly, you almost feel you’d kill for it?’

Be careful what you wish for…

Kat and her husband Nick have tried everything to become parents, and are on the point of giving up. Then a chance encounter with Kat’s childhood friend Lisa gives Kat and Nick one last chance to achieve their dream.

But Kat and Lisa’s history hides dark secrets.

And there is more to Lisa than meets the eye.

As dangerous cracks start to appear in Kat’s perfect picture of happily-ever-after, she realises that she must face her fear of the past to save her family…

My review:

This was the first book by Louise Jensen that I read and I absolutely enjoyed it! I loved everything about it – the twisty plot, amazing representation of emotions of a woman who so desperately wants to be a mother, the ending – everything.

The interesting thing about this book is that you don’t necessarily like or relate to the main characters but you just would love to know what will happen with them. Can’t put the book down even for a night or work, it’s totally captivating.

I really enjoyed the suspense and connection to the past tragedy that was unwrapping slowly.

The author’s writing style is beautiful, very smooth and compelling. There is nothing to change.

I’d recommend this book to all fans of psychological thrillers.

My score is 5* out of 5*.

My review: The old you, by Louise Voss

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About the book:

Nail-bitingly modern domestic noir
A tense, Hitchcockian psychological thriller
Louise Voss returns with her darkest, most chilling, novel yet…

Lynn Naismith gave up the job she loved when she married Ed, the love of her life, but it was worth it for the happy years they enjoyed together. Now, ten years on, Ed has been diagnosed with early-onset dementia, and things start to happen; things more sinister than missing keys and lost words. As some memories are forgotten, others, long buried, begin to surface… and Lynn’s perfect world begins to crumble.

But is it Ed s mind playing tricks, or hers…?

My review:

I have finished this book a while ago, but only now got time to write about it.

Everything about this book is excellent! Beautiful language, captivating thrilling plot, interesting characters, plenty of twists and turns.

I absolutely loved it! For a while I haven’t read a plot that even slightly doesn’t remind me anything I’ve read and seen before.

Lynn’s character is likeable, even despite lack of self-respect and little naivety but it makes it even more real. I absolutely enjoyed all the twists in the book and couldn’t put it down until I finished.

It’s one of those books that kept me reading at nights, because I coudn’t stop.

It is the first solo book by Louise Voss which I have read and she has jumped onto my list of must-read authors straight away. I quite enjoyed their collaboration with another favourite Mark Edwards, so I was keen to give Louise’s books my full attention. I am so glad I started with ‘The old you’!

Without giving away anything, this book is a massive page-turner and great a psychological thriller that you will truly enjoy.

My score is 5* out of 5*.

My review: Welcome To Wherever You Are, by John Marrs

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About the book:

How far would you run to escape your past?

For eight strangers in a Los Angeles backpacking hostel, even the other side of the world isn’t far enough.

The craving for a new identity and the chance to start again is something they have in common. But the search for a fresh start isn’t as easy as they’d imagined.

And they soon discover that it doesn’t matter where you are or who you are – if you can’t lay the past to rest, coincidence, fate and deception have a way of catching up with you when you least expect it.

My review:

First of all, I must say that John Marrs is one of my favourite authors, and this was his only book I haven’t read before. So I was looking forward to getting into it.

Secondly, John Marrs never disappoints, that’s the fact.

In the book, there are eight main characters, and at first, I found it difficult and a little bit annoying to switch between them, but then I got into the pace and ended up absolutely loving it. The plot is fresh and full of everything you wished for. It’s a story about friendships, love, difficult relationships, travelling, pop celebrity business, drugs, money and about facing your own past and the decisions you make.

I liked the variety of life stories in this book and was following each of them with a great interest. The book has a good amount of everything, it is exciting and thrilling, makes you wonder and guess, captivates you completely.

I guess enough said. Highly recommended to all travellers at heart, well, and everyone else.

My score is 5* out of 5*.

My review: The Spaces In Between, by Collin Van Reenan

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About the book:

One of the most disturbing true stories you will ever read…

Paris, 1968. Nicholas finds himself broke, without papers and on the verge of being deported back to England. Seeking to stay in France, Nicholas takes a three-month contract as an English tutor to the 17-year-old Imperial Highness Natalya. It is the perfect solution; free room and board, his wages saved, and a place to hide from police raids. All that is asked of Nicholas is to obey the lifestyle of the household and not to leave the grounds.

It should have solved all his problems…

The Spaces In Between details the experience of Nicholas as he finds himself an unwitting prisoner within an aristocratic household, apparently frozen in time, and surrounded by macabre and eccentric personalities who seem determined to drag him to the point of insanity. Much deeper runs a question every reader is left to ponder – if this tale is fact and not fiction, then what motivation could have driven his tormenters?

My review:

Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.

‘The Spaces In Between’ has one of the most interesting stories I have ever read. It has everything – the biggest mystery, love story, some Russian history and cultural features, a little bit of Paris, psychological thriller, a bit of drama and lots, lots, lots of secrets. 

The ending of the book can be disappointing for some readers, but I just liked it the way it was. Was it all fiction or not? Was it just a game of imagination? Was it a very vicious plan? And why…

Without giving anything away, I just say that I liked absolutely everything about this book. It kept my attention so much that I couldn’t wait to get on the bus on the way home or to work to start reading again chapter after chapter. The story is truly captivating. The possible truths are very interesting as well. And in my opinion, quite possible.

The cover designed by Patrick Knowles is an absolute masterpiece itself and illustrates the book so well.

My score is 5* out of 5*.