Ava’s best friend Kelly has died; she is an absolute mess. School is hard with people pretending to care at memorials. It is hard for her to understand how to deal with the loss of her best friend. The only thing that seems to be keeping Ava grounded is her job at Magic Kebab.
Gideon writes lists, lots of lists. He also likes to count when he is nervous. Gideon is trying to get out of his comfort zone, so he takes up his therapist's idea for a job and doing something out of character occasionally. Gideon applies for a job as a dish boy at Magic Kebab and meets the most interesting Ava.
Both exchange addresses- yes addresses! And so in the age of texting begins the exchange of hand written letters to each other’s letter boxes. Over time both Ava and Gideon become great friends, and learn that life is too precious and short. They learn to overcome their fears and guilt and move on as better versions of themselves.
This book is a stealer! You won’t be able to put it down.
Goodreads rating 4.07
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The Clockmaker’s Daughter is another great novel by Kate Morton. This story is about a century old mystery surrounding the famous artist Edward Radcliff. It begins with him and his colleagues traveling to the countryside to spend the summer, to find some fresh inspiration for their art. Their holiday begins with peaceful morning at the manor by the river, however as the summer passes events take a turn for the worse, a young girl is dead and a priceless heirloom goes missing.
Almost a century and a half later a young archivist by the name of Elodie comes across an odd satchel containing the strangest assortment of items; a picture of a strikingly beautiful Victorian Woman, and an old sketch book containing drawings of a very familiar looking manor.
Against her workplace rules Elodie removes the satchel from the collection and begins a journey to discover the secrets behind this odd collection of items. On her journey she comes to find that the story behind this strange satchel is very close to home.
This novel is narrated by the key characters. It is a story packed with mystery, crime, betrayal, and romance.
Goodreads rating: 3.93
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My Story series
The year is 1909 and Dollie Baxter has flung herself into the midst of the campaign for women’s right to vote. It is a campaign that is creating a change amongst all classes of women, and women all around want to play their part in a movement, which would ultimately change the way the patriarchal society would see a woman’s political opinion.
Dollie lives with her Grandmother until her guardianship is given to a very wealthy lady; lady Violet. New to her surroundings and the life of luxury, Dollie tries to fit in, all the while trying to juggle her part in the movement.
Although Dollie's diary accounts are fictional, the author uses factual individuals and events from history to illustrate the suffragette movement that happened in London. This book captures the essence of how the movement may have affected people and families at that time.
Goodreads Rating: 4.05
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.petta is back to solve another crime. This time it is the murder of a young girl who was found dead in the woods. The Black Mountain community of North Carolina are shocked at the barbaric nature of the murder, and wonder who would want to hurt and abuse a little girl in such a way. It is up to Dr Scarpetta and the FBI team to track down the killer and bring justice.
No sooner do they begin to analyse the strange clues of the case they stumble across another death that at first investigation points towards both murder and suicide? These two cases are connected, but how? Who is behind the chain of blood and gore?
The investigation takes a dangerous turn when there is an attempt to take the doctor's life? Who does one trust when the killer has access to the classified information?
The body farm is 5th in the Kay Scarpetta series. It can be read independently but if you want to know where Dr Kay’s story started begin by reading Patricia Cornwell’s novel, Postmortem.
Goodreads Rating: 4.05
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Abdullah and Pari are siblings who were separated by the circumstance of poverty. They both belonged to a very poor farming family and lived in a village just outside of Kabul, Afghanistan. Their father was a beet farmer and struggled to make a living. Once a month their step uncle, Nabi, came to visit them from the big capital Kabul. With stories of endless marketplaces, homes of luxury and most of all, proof that there is a way to make life better.
Their life is hard but peaceful, however in a twisted turn of events and desperation the family is split apart. Both siblings are lost in their new worlds, with no hope of ever reuniting. Time passes and memories fade, the world begins to change, the siblings are left to the tides of fate.
Khaled Hosseini has made the language of this tale almost poetic. It is a humbling novel, with its character’s stories intertwining seamlessly to lead on to the next chapters.
Khaled Hosseini has done it again, with another spellbinding novel.
Goodreads Rating: 4.04
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Apple is in the 8th grade. She has a best friend named Pilar, and a very strict Nana. Apple’s Mother left her when she was just a toddler. Every year at Christmas she cannot help but ask Nana if her mother had called, or emailed. She just couldn’t understand why her mother would choose to leave her, alone, by herself, and never ask about her.
Apple dreams to have a life away from her almost non-existent father and his wife Trish. She hates how her grandmother refuses to let her walk home from school or even hang out with friends or do anything fun that her friends are doing. On Christmas night, Trish announces that Apple will become an older sister. Apple feels abandoned and left out by her family. To make things more confusing, her mother arrives to pick her up from school!
Finally, presented with the chance to escape her life, Apple moves in with her mother. But Apple soon comes to realise that her Mother is not who she imagined, and Apple has never missed her Nana more. Apple faces the biggest decision - does she stay with her Mother or move back to Nana’s place?
Goodreads Rating: 4.0
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If I stay is the first book in its series. The novel starts with 17 year old Mia and her family celebrating the unexpected snow day. School is closed for Mia and her brother Teddy, so mum and dad also decide to stay home from work. They all decide to spend the day visiting friends and their grandparents.
The family sets out in their car to begin their visits, until all of a sudden Mia is staring at herself lying on the ground, bloody and bruised. She searches frantically for her parents and brother, only to discover that both her parents are dead and her brother is still fighting for his life. In a matter of moments this family’s world has come crashing down. Mia is stuck somewhere in between, she is having an out of body experience, while her physical self is in a coma.
The story continues on with everyone she knows visiting and talking about how they want her to stay. Mia, in her ghostly state, is unsure if she wants to stay in a world without her family. She is lost, conflicted, and struggling to understand what has happened and what will happen next. She must make a decision before time runs out.
It is a captivating read, though the only warning is to keep tissues handy.
Goodreads rating: 3.95
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The Memory keeper’s daughter is a novel which is full of secrets. David and Norah have a perfect life as husband and wife, until one night when Norah, who is pregnant with twins, goes into labour and David, who is a doctor by profession, must deliver his children himself in the middle of a blizzard.
They have a healthy baby boy and a girl with Down Syndrome. David knows of the mortality rate of babies with Down Syndrome. He knows that keeping this child will mean that he and his family will face great troubles and loss. He entrusts the child to the nurse and begins his new life with his beloved wife and new healthy, perfectly normal baby boy.
However time passes and Norah is never able to overcome the loss of her lost baby girl, who David said died at childbirth. Her baby girl’s ignored existence by David fuels an anger in her that slowly tears down her marriage. David is left to watch as the decades old lies unravel, and he begins to truly understand the consequences of what he did all those years ago.
This book is a roller-coaster of emotions and questions. Have a read and answer the question. Was David’s decision to lie about his daughter dying the right thing to do? Yes or No?
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Dan Brown's, "The Da Vinci Code" is book two of the three part series. It is a captivating read, which really makes you question the stories behind everyday symbols we see. It is a story about how Harvard symbolist Robert Langdon receives a phone call late at night regarding the death of a renowned art curator. When taken to the crime scene he is informed by the cryptologist Sophie Nevue that he is being investigated as prime suspect to the case. The investigator, Fache does not trust him. Both Sophie and Robert understand that there is a lot more to the case of the curator’s death than is apparent. Why are there ancient symbols and codes at the crime scene? What is the wider purpose? And what does this all have to do with Leonardo Da Vinci?!
Sophie and Robert escape police surveillance, and so begins an adventure and French police chase that takes them across Europe to solve the time long mystery behind the Church and Priory of Sion, and how they are both linked to all this.
The story is narrated by a few characters, each trying to tell their side of the mystery. The hunt has begun for answers of a time long ancient mystery that, if revealed, could change the world. The characters are entertaining, and full of mystery. You can expect a few unseen twists in the story and don’t be surprised if you hear yourself say ‘no way!’
To read and understand this book you do not have to read the first book of the series, Angels and Demons, but that book is also an 'on the edge of your seat' thriller! So give this author a chance if you need a Sherlock mystery to solve.
Margot Baumann has now begun her new job in the mailroom of a large Nazi prison. On the first day, she is told that her job consists of burning the letters that come through the camp to, and from the prisoners. Young Margot is only 17 years of age when she starts her job, and very quickly learns of the reality of the camp. Where people don’t come to work, but are imprisoned to slowly and painfully die.
Amidst this dread Margot comes across a letter addressed to her! Curious, she steals the letter and opens it in the secrecy of her room. It is a love letter written by an enemy of war, who has been imprisoned in the camp. Unable to remove herself from her need to help the prisoner, Margot begins to write love letters back to this mystery prisoner. However will she be able to stop herself from developing feelings for this individual, and go against every order she has been given by her SS Commanders? Or will she do her duty as a Hitler youth and burn the letters?
Warned by all close to her that have knowledge of her secret, she continues to write letters to a prisoner at a time when the world is constantly looking over their shoulders in fear.
What will happen when she is found out? What are the consequences for treason in Nazi Germany?
This story is full of drama, suspense, and danger, you won’t be able to put it down.
Goodreads rating: 4.2