As always, when I have finished three books, I like to post a little review of each one so that I can remember the highlights and also to hopefully make some recommendations to you guys.
Meltdown by Ben Elton
I really like Ben Elton’s books and I borrowed this one from Ian. It reminds me of Charlie Brooker’s cynical way of looking at society and several of Elton’s titles have focused on current day things like Big Brother, X-Factor, etc.
Meltdown focuses on the financial crash and how it affected a group of friends. Having just watched The Big Short, I have a whole new fascination with this so I really enjoyed this book. The characters are interesting and I liked the way that the chapter jumped from the group of friends at university to them as grown-ups too. My only critique was how long some of the dialogue was. For me, an argument that lasts for several pages really slows down the pace of the book but ultimately this was a good read.
The Never List by Koethi Zan
This one is quite a hard one to review because after five or six chapters, I was convinced this was going to be great but the second half of the book really let it down.
I was initially gripped by the story of a group of young girls kept captive in a psychopath’s basement for several years. The characters and storyline were fascinating and I think this genre is having a real moment with the release of the film ‘Room’. The story jumps from the time in captivity to the lead character’s current life with Zan slowly drip-feeding the reader details of the basement and the things that went on.
Unfortunately, the second half of the book contains such unbelievable coincidences and twists that I ended up finding it really disappointing. This is such a shame as it started so well! I would still recommend this book for how brilliantly the first half is written but, for me, the ending was a let-down.
Eloise by Judy Finnigan
This is not my usual type of book but I do like to try and read a variety of styles and genres. Eloise is set in Cornwall and focuses on a woman whose best friend died suddenly. It isn’t a supernatural story but it does involve a lot of ‘beyond the grave’ messages and strange dreams.
I loved how Cornwall was almost a character in itself, with beautiful descriptions of the little towns and beaches – it is clear how much Finnigan loves the place. However, I just didn’t like her style of writing: very simple and with quite obvious descriptions and metaphors. I think any comparisons to Daphne Du Maurier are incredibly generous and I do wonder if this would have made the shelves had it not been written by a ‘celebrity’. An enjoyable read if you too love Cornwall but it hasn’t made me want to try any of her other titles.