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The Essential Summer Reading List


Does anyone else find they read a lot more during the summer? There's nothing quite like lying by the pool with a book you just can't bear to put down, it's the ultimate relaxation! I always read two or three books whilst I'm on holiday and this year I think I've found some real gems, so if you're looking for a good book to sink your teeth into this summer, look no further!

 Behind Closed Doors by B.A Paris

I'm putting this book first on the list because I literally could not put it down and read it in about a day and a half! If you love a good page turning thriller that leaves you on the edge of your seat (or sun lounger) until the last moment, then this is the book for you. It flips back between past and present which helps heighten the suspense even more and you get so wrapped up in the story. I don't want to go too much into the story in case I ruin it, so here's a blurb of the book from the professionals (aka Good Reads):

 "Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace: he has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You'd like to get to know Grace better. But it's difficult, because you realize Jack and Grace are never apart. Some might call this true love. Picture this: a dinner party at their perfect home, the conversation and wine flowing. 

They appear to be in their element while entertaining. And Grace's friends are eager to reciprocate with lunch the following week. Grace wants to go, but knows she never will. Her friends call—so why doesn't Grace ever answer the phone? And how can she cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim?And why are there bars on one of the bedroom windows? The perfect marriage? Or the perfect lie?"

Into The Water by Paula Hawkins

This is the second book from the author who brought us The Girl On The Train. I loved her first book so Into The Water had a lot to live up to and it didn't disappoint. The only thing I would say is that I read it quite fast. I am a fast reader at the best of times, but since this book cost me €18 in the airport (that stung quite a bit), I tried to take it slowly whilst reading it and get my moneys worth but still managed to finish it in just over five days.

Much like it's predecessor, Into The Water tells the story from not just one of the characters in the book, but a few and I really like this method of storytelling. It's set in an idyllic English village that has a very dark past with lots of secrets and it's a definite must read. Here's the blurb from Good Reads:

"A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.
Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother's sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from—a place to which she vowed she'd never return.

With the same propulsive writing and acute understanding of human instincts that captivated millions of readers around the world in her explosive debut thriller, The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins delivers an urgent, twisting, deeply satisfying read that hinges on the deceptiveness of emotion and memory, as well as the devastating ways that the past can reach a long arm into the present. Beware a calm surface—you never know what lies beneath."

The Breakdown by B.A Paris

Since I loved Behind Closed Doors by B.A Paris so much, I wanted to read more of her books so I was delighted when I saw she had just released The Breakdown. If I'm totally honest, I found it a little slow to get into at first, and almost stopped reading it after a few chapters but now I am very glad I finished it because the twist at the end is totally worth the slow start! My advice would be to definitely read Behind Closed Doors, and if you love it, give this one a go too. Here's a bit more about the book:

"Cass is having a hard time since the night she saw the car in the woods, on the winding rural road, in the middle of a downpour, with the woman sitting inside―the woman who was killed. She’s been trying to put the crime out of her mind; what could she have done, really? It’s a dangerous road to be on in the middle of a storm. Her husband would be furious if he knew she’d broken her promise not to take that shortcut home. And she probably would only have been hurt herself if she’d stopped.

But since then, she’s been forgetting every little thing: where she left the car, if she took her pills, the alarm code, why she ordered a pram when she doesn’t have a baby. The only thing she can’t forget is that woman, the woman she might have saved, and the terrible nagging guilt. Or the silent calls she’s receiving, or the feeling that someone’s watching her…"

The Girl Before by JP Delaney 

Yet another book that tells the story using a two character narrative, The Girl Before came highly recommended from lots of people on an Instagram post I put up a few weeks ago and they certainly didn't lead me astray! This book centres around a house that has some rather strange rules set by the landlord for its tenants and we get to see how both Emma and Jane adapt to the house and the rules at different points of time. If you love a thriller that will make you think about your own life and how you live, this is a brilliant book. Here's the blurb from Good Reads to give you a bit more background:

"Please make a list of every possession you consider essential to your life. The request seems odd, even intrusive—and for the two women who answer, the consequences are devastating.

Emma: Reeling from a traumatic break-in, Emma wants a new place to live. But none of the apartments she sees are affordable or feel safe. Until One Folgate Street. The house is an architectural masterpiece: a minimalist design of pale stone, plate glass, and soaring ceilings. But there are rules. The enigmatic architect who designed the house retains full control: no books, no throw pillows, no photos or clutter or personal effects of any kind. The space is intended to transform its occupant—and it does.

Jane: After a personal tragedy, Jane needs a fresh start. When she finds One Folgate Street she is instantly drawn to the space—and to its aloof but seductive creator. Moving in, Jane soon learns about the untimely death of the home’s previous tenant, a woman similar to Jane in age and appearance. As Jane tries to untangle truth from lies, she unwittingly follows the same patterns, makes the same choices, crosses paths with the same people, and experiences the same terror, as the girl before."

Have you read any really good books lately? I'm always looking for more recommendations so be sure to send them my way!

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