Book Reviews

#QuickReviews: The Readers Need To Talk about Expiry Date!

The books discussed in this post were reviewed the usual way, but the WordPress Gods were having none of it and messed with my posts. I have decided to go back to the start, but this time, I am choosing to do quick reviews. I hate thinking of the lengthy posts I lost, and I can’t bring myself to try and remember everything I said because I know the new version won’t be as good as the previous one.

Let’s get to work!

Title: Expiry Date (An Ant and Bea Mystery)
Author: Rachel Ward
Publication date: June 18th 2020
Publisher: Sandstone Press
Genre: Mystery & Thriller
Format reviewed: E-ARC

Bea’s favourite customer, Julie, hasn’t been seen for weeks. Her abusive husband claims she left him – but when a corpse is found, it seems to confirm Bea’s worst fears. Then police announce that the body has been buried for fifteen years.

Who is the dead girl? What was her connection to Bea’s late father? And what on earth has happened to Julie?

This was my first encounter with Bea and Ant, and what a great experience it was! This book is fun, full of mystery and so down-to-earth it is easy to just befriend the characters and become part of the story.

I leaped into the pages, turned myself into a supermarket customer, I had eyes and ears everywhere. It felt comfortable but bits and pieces kept tickling my curiosity. Not a dull moment with this team and the people around them! A vanished woman, a chorus, family secrets, and the struggles we are familiar with. What’s not to love?

I recommend Expiry Date to anyone who wants a cosy mystery with a clever writing, heart at its core, endearing characters, and the kind of mystery that you can feed on forever – smart but not overwhelming. Just perfect for a brilliant reading time!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I loved it!

Grab your copy here!

I would like to thank the great team at Sandstone Press for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Title: The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend
Author: Katarina Bivald
Narrated by: Fiona Hardingham, Lorelei King
Publication date: January 19th 2016
Publisher: Random House Audio
Genre: Contemporary
Format reviewed: audiobook
Source: Amazon (I bought it)
Length: 12 hrs and 10 mins

t all began with a correspondence between two quite different women: 28-year-old Sara from Haninge, Sweden, and 65-year-old Amy from the small town of Broken Wheel, Iowa. After years of exchanging books, letters, and thoughts on the meaning of literature and life, Sara, mousy, disheveled, who has never been anywhere in her life – has really lived only for her work in a beloved bookshop, which has just closed its doors for the last time – bravely decides to accept her unknown friend’s invitation to visit. But when she arrives, she finds her house empty, the funeral guests just heading home….

Sara finds herself alone. And what choice do the inhabitants of Broken Wheel have but to take care of their bewildered tourist? And what choice does Sara have, faced with a town where nobody reads and her desire to honour her friend, but to set up the perfect bookshop with all the books she and Amy shared – from Yann Martel’s Life of Pi to Iris Murdoch and Jo Nesbo, to Bridget Jones and Doug Coupland’s All Families Are Psychotic to Little House on the Prairie? And then watch as the townsfolk are, one by one, transformed in unexpected ways….

Oh, what a sweet story! I really enjoyed listening to this. Uncomplicated, peppered with curious characters, The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend is a great testament of the power of books and friendships.

I did not always agree with the main character, Sara, but I could relate to her as a foreigner in a new place. It reminded me of what it takes to turn a random name on a map into the place you belong. I was very sad she didn’t get to see Amy, her American friend, and the reason she left Sweden for her trip to Iowa, but I enjoyed the postcards read by Lorelei King, my favorite narrator and the voice that kept Amy alive.

The audiobook is perfect to spend lovely hours in great company!

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

A good read!

Grab your copy here!

Title: We Need To Talk About Kevin
Author: Lionel Shriver
Narrated by: Lorelei King
Publication date: August 15th 2006
Publisher: Orion Publishing
Genre: Psychological fiction
Format reviewed: Audiobook
Source: Amazon (I bought it)
Length: 6 hrs and 23 mins

Kevin Khatchadourian killed several of his fellow high school students, a cafeteria worker, and a teacher, shortly before his 16th birthday. He is visited in prison by his mother, Eva, who narrates in a series of letters to her estranged husband, Franklin, the story of Kevin’s upbringing. A successsful career woman, Eva is reluctant to forgo her independence and the life she shares with Franklin to become a mother. Once Kevin is born, she experiences extreme alienation and dislike of Kevin as he grows up to become a spiteful and cruel child. When Kevin commits his murderous act, Eva fears that her own shortcomings may have shaped what her son has become. But how much is she to blame?

Yes, another book read by Lorelei King. I can’t help it, I love her voice!

I’ll keep this one short. The audiobook was so addictive that I lengthened the duration of my dogs’ walks. Yes, I listen to audiobooks when I get them out, so… I think they enjoyed it too!

I felt reading/listening to this mother was like perverse voyeurism. At first, her tone intrigued me. Why was she talking to her husband? What had happened? As I was drip-fed information, I became obsessed with her account of her life, motherhood, and the disturbing relationship she had with her son. I couldn’t stop thinking about the reasons, the motives, the tries, and the failures they have been through.

The horror of it all hit me so hard breathing was difficult. The novel is terrible and yet fascinating. I don’t have the words or the knowledge required to analyze it, but the feelings were there. They were there and they bled out of me. I absolutely recommend this book.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I loved it!

Grab your copy here!

This post contains affiliate links.

25 thoughts on “#QuickReviews: The Readers Need To Talk about Expiry Date!”

  1. I’m so sorry you lost some reviews. That’s disheartening 😢 I often think I should write the content of my review in Word first so I have a back up. Do I do it? No. But I should!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Losing three reviews is even worse than one, that’s just horrible! BUT your quick reviews are perfect in their own way and reflect your thoughts and feelings perfectly! The novel about setting up a bookshop in another country sounds so uplifting, it’s so great to see that books bring people together again ❤️❤️. Absolutely great reviews Meggy!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. How very annoying that you lost all those posts! Well done you for re writing them.
    I love the sound of Broken Wheel. But how sad the ladies didn’t get to meet.
    Really nice to read some mini reviews from you Meggy.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sorry about the wordpress mishap. I’m currently facing a nightmare with their block editor that I don’t like at all and can’t remove.

    Wonderful reviews. Kevin has been on my TBR for years. You have definitely convinced me to move it up my reading list.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great mini reviews! I am so sorry, you lost the original ones – how annoying it that! I definitely want to read We Need To Talk About Kevin, but I guess you have to be in the right mood for such a grim story.

    Liked by 1 person

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