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Monthly Reads: December 2020 and January 2021

Hello everyone, and welcome back to The Bookworm’s Fantasy! I hope you’re all doing well. Today I’m posting my Monthly Reads for both December 2020 and January 2021, seeing as I missed December’s (sorry!). I managed to read 5 books during December and 3 books during January, which I’m pretty happy with. Keep reading to discover which books I read over the last 2 months…


The Stolen Sisters by Louise Jensen.

Sisterhood binds them. Trauma defines them. Will secrets tear them apart?

Leah’s perfect marriage isn’t what it seems but the biggest lie of all is that she’s learned to live with what happened all those years ago. Marie drinks a bit too much to help her forget. And Carly has never forgiven herself for not keeping them safe.

Twenty years ago The Sinclair Sisters were taken. But what came after their return was far worse. Can a family ever recover, especially when not everyone is telling the truth…?

I won’t go into too much detail here as I have a full review coming soon – keep your eyes peeled for that! I’ve read one of Jensen’s books before and wasn’t too impressed, so I didn’t have very high expectations going into this. But I was pleasantly surprised by how much I utterly adored the novel! This is an incredibly suspenseful and twisty read, with fantastically-written characters and a brilliant ending. I couldn’t fault this book if I tried, and it now sits proudly on my “favourites” bookshelf.


Come A Little Closer by Karen Perry.

FRIEND. NEIGHBOUR. KILLER?

Leah’s new to Wyndham Park. Lonely and suffering from insomnia, she befriends her upstairs neighbour Anton.

Anton has only recently returned to the street and is lonely too.

He’s been gone for nineteen years – but he hasn’t told Leah the reason why.

That nineteen years ago he was imprisoned for killing his wife. A wife who looked a bit like Leah . . .

Was he wrongly convicted?

Or is Leah befriending a killer intent on luring her closer and closer?

This book gets 2 stars purely due to the fact that I didn’t finish it. I’ve read a couple of Perry’s novels and really enjoyed them, but this one did not do it for me. I really struggled to get into the story and couldn’t connect with the protagonist whatsoever – I thought she was very unlikeable and poorly written. I gave this book a really good chance, but after about 100 pages I gave up. A disappointing read!


The Last Thing To Burn by Will Dean.

He is her husband. She is his captive.

Her husband calls her Jane. That is not her name.

She lives in a small farm cottage, surrounded by vast, open fields. Everywhere she looks, there is space. But she is trapped. No one knows how she got to the UK: no one knows she is there. Visitors rarely come to the farm; if they do, she is never seen.

Her husband records her every movement during the day. If he doesn’t like what he sees, she is punished.

For a long time, escape seemed impossible. But now, something has changed. She has a reason to live and a reason to fight. Now, she is watching him, and waiting . . .

(I was sent an ARC by Hodder & Stoughton.) I won’t say too much now as I’ve already reviewed this book in full – you can find my full review here. I had no idea what to expect going into this book – but I absolutely adored every single second of it. The plot is so fascinating and captivating – I just had to keep turning the pages to find out how it ended! With fantastically written characters, plenty of suspense and mystery and a killer ending – what more could you want?! I highly recommend this to all of you!


I’ll Find You by Liz Lawler.

Emily Jacobs wakes up in the night after a minor operation, woozy with anaesthetic. She sees the doctor frantically trying to resuscitate the woman in the bed next to her.

In the morning, she is told that she must have had a nightmare.

That the bed has been empty all along . . .

When Emily returns to her work as a nurse, she discovers a bracelet that she believes belonged to the missing woman. She becomes convinced the people at the hospital are hiding a terrible secret.

What if she’s right?

What else could they be capable of?

After reading Lawler’s debut novel and really enjoying it, I had high hopes for this book – but sadly I was left feeling quite disappointed. I liked the beginning and was hooked right from the start, but I felt that the novel got gradually worse as it went on. I didn’t really like the main character, and I found everything that happened to her to be too far-fetched and unbelievable. I also really didn’t like the ending at all – it was pretty ridiculous in my opinion. However, there was something that kept me reading to the end, so there were some aspects that I enjoyed.


Break Your Glass Slippers (You Are Your Own Fairy Tale #1) by Amanda Lovelace.

more forgetting time.

more midnight dances with yourself.”

amanda lovelace, the bestselling & award-winning author of the “women are some kind of magic” poetry series, presents a new companion series, “you are your own fairy tale” the first installment, break your glass slippers, is about overcoming those who don’t see your worth, even if that person is sometimes yourself. in the epic tale of your life, you are the most important character while everyone is but a forgotten footnote. even the prince.

I fancied reading some poetry this month so picked up this highly-regarded collection – and I’m happy to say that I really enjoyed it! This collection is positive and uplifting, and is all about turning the patriarchy on its head and writing your own fairy tale. I loved the message and theme behind this collection, and it made me feel truly powerful whilst reading. I felt that the actual poems could have been written a little bit better – there’s loads of collections like this around now and I personally prefer Rupi Kaur’s poetry. But that being said, this is well worth a read!


His & Hers by Alice Feeney.

If there are two sides to every story, someone is always lying…

Jack: Three words to describe my wife: Beautiful. Ambitious. Unforgiving.

Anna: I only need one word to describe my husband: Liar.

When a woman is murdered in Blackdown village, newsreader Anna Andrews is reluctant to cover the case. Anna’s ex-husband, DCI Jack Harper, is suspicious of her involvement, until he becomes a suspect in his own murder investigation.

Someone is lying, and some secrets are worth killing to keep.

I absolutely adored Feeney’s debut novel and really wanted to love this one too – but sadly I was left feeling pretty disappointed. This novel is more of a crime/detective novel rather than her former psychological thriller, and I personally think she should stick to the psychological thrillers. Don’t get me wrong, I love my crime novels – but I felt that this was pretty poorly-written and the characters weren’t very believable. There was plenty of mystery and suspense to keep you reading on, but overall I just found this book to be pretty flat and unremarkable.


You Let Me In by Lucy Clarke.

Nothing has felt right since Elle rented out her house . . .

I’M IN YOUR HOUSE

There’s a new coldness. A shift in the atmosphere. The prickling feeling that someone is watching her every move from the shadows.

I’M IN YOUR HEAD

Maybe it’s all in Elle’s mind? She’s a writer – her imagination, after all, is her strength. And yet every threat seems personal. As if someone has discovered the secrets that keep her awake at night.

AND NOW I KNOW YOUR SECRET

As fear and paranoia close in, Elle’s own home becomes a prison. Someone is unlocking her past – and she’s given them the key…

I used to love Clarke’s young adult thrillers in my late teens. I didn’t even realise she was still writing – but when I heard about this novel I knew I just had to get my hands on it! Sadly, this book just wasn’t for me. I found it a little bit dull and struggled to connect with the protagonist – I thought she was so annoying! There was still that bit of mystery and suspense spurring me on to the ending … but overall, this book was pretty average and just fell flat for me. A disappointing read.


The Waiting Rooms by Eve Smith.

Decades of spiralling drug resistance have unleashed a global antibiotic crisis. Ordinary infections are untreatable, and a scratch from a pet can kill. A sacrifice is required to keep the majority safe: no one over seventy is allowed new antibiotics. The elderly are sent to hospitals nicknamed ‘The Waiting Rooms’ hospitals where no one ever gets well.

Twenty years after the crisis takes hold, Kate begins a search for her birth mother, armed only with her name and her age. As Kate unearths disturbing facts about her mother’s past, she puts her family in danger and risks losing everything. Because Kate is not the only secret that her mother is hiding. Someone else is looking for her, too.

Sweeping from an all-too-real modern Britain to a pre-crisis South Africa, The Waiting Rooms is epic in scope, richly populated with unforgettable characters, and a tense, haunting vision of a future that is only a few mutations away.

The premise to this book utterly fascinated me, and I’ve been desperate to get my hands on it since the release date last year. I really really wanted to love it, but it just wasn’t what I expected. I was expecting more of a psychological thriller with some futuristic notes – but it was more of a dystopian novel with very little suspense. Although the idea was genius, I found the plot so difficult to follow, and half the time I felt like I didn’t really know what was going on. Probably quite an unpopular opinion as everybody seems to love this book, but it just wasn’t for me.


Happy reading 🙂

2 thoughts on “Monthly Reads: December 2020 and January 2021

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