What I Read: January 2020

Caroline Corcoran: Through The Wall

An apartment block in London. The neighbours do not know each other but they see and hear everything. Lexie and Tom are going through a rough patch in their marriage. They are trying to have a baby but things have not been easy. Harriet is next door who is alone and miserable after her boyfriend left her. She knows everything about her neighbours, and she wants what Lexie has… at any cost.

The book is based on a concept: The grass is always greener on the other side. In the beginning it was slow and a little confusing but once you get through the first part it does pick up. It got me thinking how we live next to our neighbours/friends with this picture already formed in our head, on how their lives are and how the photos we post on social media don’t actually say anything about who we are and what are we going through.

I found that the characters could become annoying at times, especially if you haven’t been in the situations they have, as it is hard to understand their actions, so you have to take that into account. The chapters are told alternately between Harriet and Lexie and the story covers issues like obsession, lies, jealously, secrets, controlling behaviour, mental health issues, stalking and fertility issues. It’s not a classic thriller with the big twist at the end and you can see where it’s going but I really enjoyed the psychological side of the characters.

4/5

Kiley Reid: Such a Fun Age

Alix Chamberlain is the textbook well-meaning rich white woman: She has black friends. She’s read everything Toni Morrison wrote. She’s trying to land a gig with Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Emira Tucker is the 25-year-old black woman who babysits Alix’s two young daughters. She’s aimlessly trying to figure out her life—preferably before she turns 26 and loses her parents’ health insurance.One night when Emira is at a grocery store with Alix’s daughter, she’s confronted by a security guard who accuses her of kidnapping the young girl. A white man named Kelley films the incident, and he and Emira begin dating. Horrified that this happened to Emira, Alix resolves to make things right, but as it turns out, Kelley is someone from Alix’s past, and things start to get messy.

This book is very thought provoking and gives a look at issues of class, race and privilege.I felt this was very much a cautionary tale; we all must be aware of who the people around us are and what purpose they think we serve in their lives. The two major characters going for one another in this book are both perfectly happy to use Emira as their sword – both trying to prove something to each other and neither are concerned that their battle does not involve Emira in the slightest. I loved the way the book was paced. I didn’t want to put it down and it made me angry, sad and happy all at the same time. I liked the setup of the last chapter where the writer gave us a glimpse into the future. Alix and Emira are very different characters and even though I liked Emira, I really disliked Alix. However, two very strong female voices and message of the book is also very important so I would definitely recommend this book.

5/5

Ruth Ware: The Turn of The Key

When she stumbles across the ad, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like an opportunity too good to miss—a live-in nannying post, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan Caine arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten—by the luxurious “smart” home fitted out with all the modern conveniences by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family. What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare—one that will end with a child dead and herself in prison awaiting trial for murder. Now she’s in prison and she’s writing a letter to her lawyer, trying to explain what actually happened because even though she’s not innocent by any means, she’s definitely not guilty of murder.

I can’t remember the last time a book gave me chills. I was actually scared to read it at night when I was alone. The house is super creepy, every night thing keep happening, things that you could inteprert as supernatural but you know they are not so it makes it even more creepy. The fact I was a live in nanny made it even worse because I could imagine myself in the same situation. This story kept me on edge the whole time. I didn’t see some of the twists and the ending coming….it all caught me by surprise. The only thing I got annoyed about was the ending, I thought I was missing some pages. But overall, this book will definitely go my ‘Best’ bookshelf.

5/5

B A Paris: Dilemma

It’s Livia’s fortieth birthday and tonight she’s having a party, a party she’s been planning for a long time. The only person missing will be her daughter, Marnie. But Livia has a secret, a secret she’s been keeping from Adam, her husband, until the party is over. Because how can she tell him that although she loves Marnie, she’s glad their daughter won’t be there to celebrate with her? Adam is determined everything will be just right for Livia and the party is going to be perfect… until he learns something that will leave him facing an unbearable decision.

I loved the two previous books by B A Paris but I was a bit dissapointed with this one. The whole book is set over a period of 24 hours which seemed like ages for me. The characters become very irritating the more you read and I just couldn’t understand how and why they are not talking to each other. Liv was especially annoying just because I could’t understand this big need to replace the wedding she never had with her birthday party and making the whole day about her. Adam on the other hand was a frustrating character that I just wanted to shake until he wakes up. There is no mystery really, you find out after few chapters what’s Liv’s and what’s Adam’s secret and you just spend the rest of the book waiting for something to happen. Towards the end I just skim-read the pages because it was dragging so much, I found the whole thing painful.

2/5

Tim Weaver: Never Coming Back

Emily Kane arrives at her sister Carrie’s house to find the front door unlocked, dinner on the table, and the family nowhere to be found—Carrie, her husband, and two daughters have disappeared. When the police turn up no leads, Emily turns to her former boyfriend David Raker, a missing persons investigator, to track the family down. As Raker pursues the case, he discovers evidence of a sinister cover-up, decades in the making and with a long trail of bodies behind it.

This is the 4th David Raker book but it can be read as a standalone, even though I would recommend reading the 3rd one because otherwise the beginning and the relationship of the characters could be confusing. The story takes place in Devon and in Las Vegas. It initially starts in December 2007 in Las Vegas before quickly moving back to Devon and to November 2012. At first I found this very confusing and couldn’t understand how this brief chapter connected to the story. Stick with it though because the story that follows is a real rollercoaster of a read with twists and turns that I didn’t see coming. I had my doubts about the ending but on the whole I found this to be a tension filled read. Is it my favourite David Raker book?- definitely not! Is it worth the read?- definitely yes.

4/5

Lucy Foley: The Hunting Party

During the languid days of the Christmas break, a group of thirtysomething friends from Oxford meet to welcome in the New Year together. For this vacation, they’ve chosen an idyllic and isolated estate in the Scottish Highlands—the perfect place to get away and unwind by themselves. They arrive on December 30th, just before a historic blizzard seals the lodge off from the outside world. Two days later, on New Year’s Day, one of them is dead.

The narrative alternates between Miranda, the Queen Bee, Katie, Miranda’s quiet and less attractive friend, Emma, the mousey new girl trying so hard to fit in, Doug, the Gamekeeper hiding a dark secret, and Heather, the lodge manager who is running from a tragedy. In addition to switching POV’s, the narrative also shifts between the past and the present. It’s a lot to keep up with! I was a little confused in the beginning about why we were only seeing these characters and I think that this could have been more interesting having only one character narrate. That being said, it became apparent pretty early who was killed even though it was revealed at the end so I was only waiting to find out who is the killer. If I’m being honest, in some parts it was really boring and it took me long to finish. I expected a classic whodunit – Agatha Christie book but instead I got a book that was focused on an old friends drama and betrayal of the past.

3/5

Friday Favourites

Favourite Sky Restaurant

Duck&Waffle

This place is so exclusive that you need to book in advance for almost 2 months and the reason is the view, of course 🙂 Duck & Waffle is on the 40th floor of Heron Tower and from there you can see almost whole London, up to the Wembley and you are just next to the Gherkin which looks so great with all the lights on! Anyway, the view is great so I was going there because of that, I didn’t expect much when it comes to food, mainly because there was 5 thing on the menu and I only eat chicken.

And we order the whole chicken! Yep, on the Sunday evening, 10pm,whole chicken and two of us! Not very healthy but it was so delicious! Probably the best chicken I ever had.

If you didn’t try Duck & Waffle you really have to. If you book now maybe you will there in January but it is worth of waiting.

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Favourite Trend

Blanket Scarf

There are so many things I love about the autumn:  leaves, hot cocoa, plaid, layers, boots, and of course, blanket scarves.  Not only are they the perfect accessory, but they are also a great way to keep nice and cozy this time of year.

This year scarfs are even better because they are actually  blankets and everyone who knows me knows that I’m a blanket addict if that thing even exist.

I purchased my one on Amazon, but they are everywhere so I’m thinking to get few more. You can’t have too many if you live in London

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Favourite Buy

I bought this dress month ago and as you can see I did some alternations 🙂 it’s shorter than original H&M dress but I just like it this way. It’s my favourite thing this autumn

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Favourite Beauty

Until now I never had concealer and then I picked up this Maybelline Eraser Eye Concealer and I have to say that I’m amazed. I don’t use anything else for my face except this. It has amazing coverage, a lovely sponge applicator, it feels soft and hydrating.I just don’t know how I lived without one before.

Maybelline The Eraser Eye Perfect and Cover Concealer Review Swatch Swatches (3)

Favourite Book

My favourite thing during the Autumn/Winter season is reading under my, earlier mentioned, blanket. I’m reading all the time but once in a while I find a book that is so amazing I have to share my review with everyone.

This time, the book is The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson. It’s a psychological thriller about the man named Ted who meets mysterious woman Lilly on the flight from London to Boston.  Sharing one too many martinis, the strangers begin to play a game of truth, revealing intimate details about themselves. Ted talks about his marriage and his wife Miranda, who he’s sure is cheating on him. But their game turns dark when Ted jokes that he could kill Miranda for what she’s done. Lily, without missing a beat, says calmly, “I’d like to help.”

This was a page turner, with so many twists and turns that I stopped counting. Book worth reading.

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Friday Favourites

Favourite Burger

Kua’Aina

I don’t eat hamburgers,I’m usually  chicken person 🙂  But when I tried this one at Kua’Aina in Soho I was amazed. This is a small Hawaiian restaurant but really famous.It literally feels like you are on one of Hawaiian beaches.And  apparently President Obama loves these burgers.

Everything on the menu looks delicious but I chose cheeseburger with fries an Rose lemonade.

They also serve pancakes which I heard are some of the lightest, most delicate-tasting pancakes in London.

I would definitely recommend this for your next meal 🙂

Kua Aina, 26 Foubert’s Place, London, W1F 7PP

http://www.kua-aina.co.uk/

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Favourite Outfit

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Annabelle Fleur  in SELF PORTRAIT Guipure lace dress

Favourite Book

Girl on the Train

This is one of those you books you can’t stop thinking about it long time after you finish it. Actually it makes you really said that you finished it already because what you going to do with your life now 😀 Anyway , book is amazing! It’s about a girl named Rachel who catches the same commuter train every morning.And everyday train stops at the same place because of signal failure so every day she can watch the same couple breakfasting in their garden.She started to feel like she knows them.She even named them Jess and Jason.They seem like perfect couple until one morning when Rachel sees something shocking…

Anyway if you didn’t start reading it know. Commuting to work will never be the same for you 🙂

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Favourite Trend

High weist shorts

I don’t know why but I like high waist shorts more then trousers. I feel so comfortable in it. It’s a shame that in London I don’t have much chance to wear them but that didn’t stop me to buy few because you never know. You can wear them with almost everything,shirts,crop tops,t shirt,heels or flats…

Probably the best person to get inspiration have to wear this trend is Taylor Swift

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Favourite Goodies

Birchbox

 Birchbox is a New York City-based online monthly subscription service that sends its subscribers a box of four to five c selected samples of makeup, or other beauty related products on a monthly basis.These products include skincare items, make up and other products.

You only have to subscribe for only £10 (+2.95 per month) and wait for postman

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https://www.birchbox.co.uk

Friday Favourites

Favourite Coffee and Tea

2 Love Coffee and Tea House

Almost every week I find new great place for coffee ,tea and cake so this week I found cute little place just 5 min walking form Clapham Junction station- 2 Love Coffee and Tea House

They have wide selection of teas and they are serving famous manmouth  coffee,fresh orange juice and all kinds of pastries and cakes

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Favourite Shoes

Zara is that kind of store that when you get in you can’t get out empty handed. Clothes is great,and shoes…oh shoes. Zara always has amazing shoes,all off them.But here are my favourites for spring/summer

Zara Shoes

Favourite Outfit

Even though it’s still windy and cold in London my mind is somewhere warmer. I like to browse through this bloggers outfits. Her name is Jessie Chanes and she’s from Malaga,Spain. Because they are blessed with warm weather her clothes is always summerly

Seems for Desire

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Favourite Scent

Giorgio Armani Sì

One of the most unusual fragrances I’ve ever tried . The top notes are Sicilian bergamot, mandarin oil and liqueur de Cassis, so that’s where the citrus smell comes from. The heart notes are Rose de Mai, Neroli and Egyptian Jasmine, which gives it a bit of a floral component. The base notes are Patchouli Oil, Blond Woods, Amber, Orcanox and Vanille Absolute, and that is what gives this fragrance a sweet woody warmth.

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Favourite Book

Choupette: The Private Life of a High-Flying Fashion Cat

The book about Karl Lagerfeld beloved cat. She has it all, from her own iPad to private jet. here, for the first time, she shares her complete lifestyle guide. Humorously themed chapters cover diet, beauty, healthcare, fashion tips, secret loves along with observations and advice from Madame Horn (her vet), and Madame Françoise (her lady’s maid) . I’m sure cat fans will love this book but also Karl’s fans 🙂

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