New Girl by Paige Harbison
I make myself a promise that there are certain classics that I will read - and Rebecca is one such book - when I read the blurb about this teen novel which is based on the plot of this classic I was very keen to give it some time - & it was really a satisfying read. It very successfully gets 'in the headspace' of a teenager trying to fit in at a new school. It is hard to tell you how good the book is without spoiling the plot - but as well as the usual bitchy cliquey girl interactions, and the "omg he is so cute, does he even know I exist?" eternal question that girls ask themselves when they like a boy, there is a very strong thread of mystery going on - a pupil is missing. Our girl has never met the missing girl - Becca, but plenty of her classmates talk about her and compare her with Becca and all associations with her have a negative impact on those left behind at the school.
If you followed my last recommendation of "Never Have I Ever" the Lying Game novel and enjoyed it, I think you will love this book too. I had to read it all day - couldn't put it down!
I cannot say how it compares with the original story (as it is still on my 'to read' list) but even if the author has just taken the 'nuggets' of the plot and re-written it with a modern teenage slant, it worked for me (although the heroine takes things at face value and sees a lot more good in people than most of us would be prepared to!
Striker by Michelle Betham
I am not a big football fan (don’t like sports much at all tbh) so you might be surprised to find I am reading a book at present which is all about over-paid and over-sexed footballers (Yikes!) and ex-football stars turned managers / pundits a delightfully flawed female sports reporter and all the shenanigans which result! It is reminding me a lot of Jackie Collins’ style of writing, being very relationship driven, with characters who have a very high libido <wink wink!>
It is book one of a trilogy, so if you enjoy it as much as I am so far (70% of the way through) there are others to read featuring the same characters. Even better! (bargain hunter that I am) it is under £2 to download from Amazon at the time of writing!
In complete contrast, another book which I read recently has as its central character a lovely lady who is nearing retirement age, but does not want to be settling down in the country or giving up her beloved health food shop. Her husband, who is older, has been retired for years, and is keen for her to join him – is he jealous that her life is still so fulfilling? Their daughter lives nearby, with her artist husband and Ellie, her grandchild. The book’s title ‘Thursdays in the Park’ stems from the pattern of Jeannie caring for her granddaughter every week.
I don’t want to spoil the plot, but once again this is a very character driven story; Jeannie has a wonderful best friend she confides in, quite a sharp colleague who works in her shop, a slightly bumpy relationship with her daughter and son-in law and she makes a new friend through her ‘park’ days with Ellie. Her life is on the cusp of a change - but what will she find out about herself and her loved ones as she decides which things she wants to take forward in her life and which she will leave behind? [Another bargain - this is available to download from Amazon for 99p!]