The Reading Group: January by Della Parker

the-reading-group-januaryI was a little bit disappointed to jump into this without reading the first book in the series (The Reading Group: December), but was pleased to see that this didn’t matter at all with regards to the cohesion and my enjoyment of the novel.
If you are looking for a sweet, light and romantic read, this is the one for you. It follows Anne-Marie, a self-proclaimed matchmaker who is far more interested in helping the singletons of Little Sanderton find love than she is in finding it for herself. But matchmaking isn’t as simple as it seems and, much like the heroine of the Reading Group’s latest read, Emma by Jane Austen, Anne-Marie finds herself in a bit of a mess.

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Notes on a Dark Day

Last night, like a night last June, I bit my fingers to pieces. The cuts my teeth left turning the skin infected, hot and red. But nevertheless, I went to sleep confident that I’d be waking up in a world I’d still want to be in.

Last June, I had to vote. An easy choice with only two possible options. Remain or Leave. In or Out. A vote that resulted in an unexpectedly historic outcome. Like today, I woke in a sweat, already somehow knowing, long before I checked my phone. Before I saw messages from friends. Messages that read things such as “I feel sick” and “How could this happen?”. Today, I woke up to almost the same messages of fear and nausea, this time for events happening thousands of miles away.

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The Best Thing I Never Had by Erin Lawless

Formerly published as ‘Little White Lies’.

Downloaded on a whim, The Best Thing I Never Had turned out to be a pretty great read. Reminding me slightly of David Nicholls’ romantic novel, One Day, the story follows a group of university students in their final year of studying.

Lawless’ insight into university life and beyond felt very on point for me. We meet the gang in February 2012, several years after finishing uni. Miles has just proposed to his long term girlfriend, Nicky, leading to a mass text to all of their friends to spread the good news. However, for Nicky, Sukie, Harriet and Leigha, who lived together at university, a lot has changed and the prospect of being reunited is jarring. Especially for Harriet whose relationship with the rest of her university pals has broken down almost entirely. Flashback to September 2006, the start of her last year of studying, and we discover why.

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