November Books

A slightly shorter wrap up than the last couple of months! Also slightly late as I already posted my YouTube video a few weeks ago but I wanted to also get these reviews written down for Goodreads. I hope you enjoy, let me know if you’ve read any of these books and what you thought!

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People about Race – Reni Eddo-Lodge (audiobook)

This was such an important read for me!

Firstly, I was shocked at how little I knew about the history of racism in Britain. Throughout school I feel like I learnt so much more about race relations in America so it was so eye-opening to hear about racially motivated murders that I’ve never heard of and towns that I’ve lived in and visited having a history rooted in the slave trade.

The main message that I got from this book is that white people (myself included) need to be more open to discussing race issues. Talking about race is often shut down with statements such as “well I’m not racist” or “racism isn’t that bad anymore” or “what about reverse racism?” when in reality we need to listen and learn. Accepting our own ignorance and privilege can be uncomfortable, and whether intentional or not, it is better to accept our ignorance and challenge it than to not talk about race at all.

This book wasn’t perfect though, I found the Twitter arguments a little tedious and I don’t think they added much to the book, but overall I finished the book with a different outlook to how I started it so I definitely recommend it!

That Weekend – Kara Thomas (audiobook)

3/5

Having read and enjoyed Little Monsters by Kara Thomas earlier this summer, I was in the mood for a fun, young adult mystery thriller. In That Weekend, we mainly follow Claire who wakes up bloodied and alone after a weekend camping with her two best friends, Kat and Jesse. Claire has absolutely no memory of the past forty-eight hours, but Kat and Jesse are missing and she soon learns that they were keeping secrets from her.

I listened to this book on audio and it was exactly what I was looking for to accompany me on my drive to Leeds and back. It was fun, mysterious and I really sympathised with Claire as she struggled to comprehend how and why her friends could disappear. This book got weirder and darker than I expected and overall I really enjoyed the slow reveal of all the details to this mystery.

However, I find that I’m struggling to remember major plot points in this book and exactly how it ended, which goes to show that it hasn’t really stuck with me and I only read it a month ago! I think I preferred Little Monsters to this but it definitely kept my interest as I was reading it – it just wasn’t the most memorable book.

Trick or Treat – Katerina Diamond (#7 in a series)

3/5

This book was gifted to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review, but this in no way impacts my final thoughts.

The seventh instalment to the Imogen Grey/Adrian Miles series is something I would’ve read anyway, so I was super excited when the publisher asked me if I would like a copy when it was first published in October. On Halloween night a young boy is kidnapped from outside his house, and this book follows the police investigation into his disappearance.

Although I still enjoyed this book, I found it slightly underwhelming in comparison to its predecessors which I have always given either 4 or 5 stars to. This book seemed to focus a little too much on Imogen and Adrian’s personal lives (which was completely understandable based on what happened in book 6 and I thought it was handled really well), but it meant that the race to find the missing boy lacked urgency. At no point was I seriously concerned for the missing boy as I felt everyone was more bothered about other things, and Katerina Diamond can be brutal so I should’ve been more worried about what was going to happen to him than I was.

I will still continue to read this series as I loved the previous books but unfortunately I thought it wasn’t quite as exciting and compulsive as her other books have been.

The Rising Tide – Sam Lloyd (audiobook)

4/5

I feel a bit mean giving this book just a four star rating as Sam Lloyd has quickly become one of my favourite authors. The Memory Wood is one of my favourite books that I’ve read this year and his writing is absolutely gorgeous.

The Rising Tide is set in a small fishing village in Devon, where Lucy hears that her family’s boat has issued a distress call out at sea. Confused, Lucy can’t understand why the boat is out there as her husband should be at work, but it soon becomes clear that something awful has happened out on that boat.

The setting and the atmosphere are perfect in this book and the way Sam Lloyd writes an action scene is like no other. His writing is vivid, descriptive and beautifully written whilst still being fast-paced and exhilarating. I wish I could’ve given this book a five star rating but unfortunately the audio book spoiled it a bit for me!

There was a section towards the end of this book where one of Lucy’s children is being described as “the storyteller, the card collector” or something along those lines, and listening to the narrator repeat these sentences over and over again started to drive me insane! I’m not sure why this irritated me so much and it might sound petty but it genuinely ruined my enjoyment towards the end of this book. Maybe if I had read this book physically I could’ve easily skipped over these parts but oh my god I didn’t want to hear the word “storyteller” again.

I would still highly highly recommend this book as Sam Lloyd is just next-level when it comes to writing a good mystery thriller and he is definitely one of my go-to authors from now on.

Ace of Spades – Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé

4/5

This book was so fun whilst having a lot of important substance to it! A self-proclaimed Get Out and Gossip Girl mash-up, this YA mystery tells the story of the only two black students at an elite private school who are being targeted by an anonymous mass texter.

If you’re a fan of Pretty Little Liars-esque stories then this is one for you. I loved the vibe of this book and when the reveal comes you will be gobsmacked – not because you’re not expecting it but more so because of the horror of it.

I love how this book handles its social commentary and it has amazing BME and LGBT representation.

The only thing I didn’t like about this book is how some parts were over-dramatised/cheesy which YA tends to be so I don’t hate it for that. Other than that I thought this was fabulous!

Fallen – Fiona McCready

5/5

This book is 1000% the most underrated book I’ve ever come across. As I write this, this book has just 38 ratings on Goodreads? I have no idea where I came across this book but I’m so glad I did!

Fallen starts with a plane crash that kills everyone onboard, including Beth and Maria, two women who’s stories we then learnt about for the rest of the book. The first half is from Beth and her husband Tom’s perspectives as it shows their last conversation before the crash, how they met and everything in between, and then the second half is exactly the same but for Maria and her boyfriend Angelo.

This book was absolutely stunning. The way the plane crash was written at the start was so heart wrenching and emotional, and then the two love stories that follow were just perfect. Both were so believable and you really understand all the characters, their motivations and why they behave how they do.

Towards the end, knowing the fates of both Beth and Maria was so heartbreaking and I felt like I was on the verge of tears for the longest time. And that ending! I was not expecting that.

One of the best books that I’ve ever read and criminally under hyped!

The Last House on Needless Street – Catriona Ward

5/5

One of my favourites book of this year! This is a strange book where we follow Ted – a reclusive man who lives with his daughter Lauren and his cat Olivia. We switch between the perspectives of Ted, Olivia (yes we do follow a cat’s perspective and she is my absolute favourite character) and Ted’s new neighbour who just happens to be the sister of a young girl who’s disappearance Ted was suspected of being involved in years ago.

For most of this book you really have no idea what is going on. It has a very bizarre, dream-like quality to the writing where you don’t know who to trust or believe. It’s only around the three-quarters mark where the penny finally drops as the truth is slowly revealed and I absolutely loved it! It was so layered and complex whilst all making complete sense by the end, so I applaud Catriona Ward and her insane intelligence for managing to pull this off!

This book is probably up there in my all-time favourites now!

And that’s all for now! I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and please do get involved in the comments or over on my Instagram. Until next time,

Lots of love, The Amber Approach

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