“Lady Smoke” by Laura Sebastian

Thanks to Pan Macmillan and NetGalley for the Advance Review Copy in exchange for an honest review.

Full disclosure, I hadn’t read the first book in this series before I read this book. I feel like everyone in the world would be happier if a brief summary of the previous book/s in a series was included at the beginning of subsequent novels.

Anyhoo, I digress.

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“Three Women” by Lisa Taddeo

Thanks to Bloomsbury and NetGalley for the Advance Review Copy in exchange for an honest review.

So the media hype is most definitely real with this one. Quite simply, this is a book about the lives, loves and desires of three women. Maggie, a young woman who has become a local pariah, despite being a victim of a predatory teacher. Lina, a victim of abuse trapped in a loveless marriage, who still pines over a lost love, and Sloane, an enigmatic woman from a background of privilege who has a complicated relationship with her own needs and desires.

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“10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World” by Elif Shafak

Thanks to Penguin Books UK and NetGalley for the Advance Review Copy in exchange for an honest review.

This is a book of two parts. In Part 1, Tequila Leila, a Turkish prostitute has been murdered and thrown into a dumpster. It takes 10 minutes and 38 seconds for the last remnants of her consciousness to fade away. In this short amount of time, she reflects upon her time on this earth and those she shared her life with.

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“Stepsister” by Jennifer Donnelly

Thanks to Hot Key Books and NetGalley for the Advance Review Copy in exchange for an honest review.

This book has been getting some really rave reviews so I was more than ready to hop right onto that hype train. The story has an interesting premise, it’s a sequel to Cinderella that follows the ‘ugly’ stepsisters after the events of the original story.

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“A Thousand Ships” by Natalie Haynes

Thanks to Pan Macmillan and NetGalley for the Advance Review Copy in exchange for an honest review.

Every so often a book appears on NetGalley that makes me slam the Request button with extreme prejudice whilst muttering fervent prayers to the publishing gods. This was one of those books and I was so excited and chuffed when I was approved for it.

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“Dignity” by Alys Conran

Thanks to Orion Publishing Group and NetGalley for the Advance Review Copy in exchange for an honest review.

I’ve been procrastinating on this review for a few days because I always seem to struggle more when writing positive reviews. I know I’m not alone in this but it’s weird, is it human nature to focus more on the negative? When I like something I tend to be quite effusive about it but “BUY THIS BOOK OMG IT’S SO GOOD” is a little less thoughtful than “I struggled with the characterisation”. Perhaps it’s because we tend to be more thoughtful when critiquing someone elses work? Anyhoo, I digress.

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“The Confessions of Frannie Langton” by Sara Collins

Thanks to Penguin Books and NetGalley for the Advance Review Copy in exchange for an honest review.

I can’t help but feel a little sorry for a debut author when their book is promoted as being similar to x or y. This particular book has been compared to both Alias Grace and Fingersmith. I can totally understand why publishers do this but, I think I’d find being compared to Margaret Atwood and Sarah Waters more than a little intimidating personally. It’s a lot for a debut novel to live up to and sets a certain expectation for the reader.

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