This Book Tag is hosted by Taking On A World Of Words.
What I’ve read, What I’m reading, What’s next.
What I’ve Read
Title: Hold Back The Tide
Author: Melinda Salisbury
Star rating: 5 / 5
After attending the book launch for Hold Back the Tide in the middle of March (the last weekend I left the house before lockdown), I read this in two sittings right afterwards.
This book is a punchy, thrilling, and quite frankly terrifying little novel. Set in the wilds of Scotland, we follow 16 year old Alva and her murderer father’s lives on the Loch. Just as Alva is ready to carve her own path, everything she thought she knew flips on its head and she must survive unbelievable horrors past and present.
Hold Back the Tide is Melinda Salisbury’s first stand-alone novel and I loved it. Very unsettling from the beginning, this is an eye-opening spin on the consequences of our abuse of natural resources. I would also happily state that the first chapter is easily the best YA novel opening I have ever read. Alva is also a kick ass protagonist and sports my own horrific brand of gallows humour.
In short, I would highly recommend this book.
What I’m Currently Reading
Title: A Very English Murder
Author: Verity Bright
Star rating prediction: 2.5 – 3.5 / 5
I assumed I was going to adore this book from the offset because it’s set in 1920s England with an amateur female detective sleuthing around. However, so far I’ve found the protagonist mostly irritating at best. The plot concept is great (Lady Swift has witnessed a murder but there is no body, the scene is clean, yet everyone is acting shady and then the victim turns up dead elsewhere in an apparent accident), but so far it’s less ‘getting on with the plot’ and more ‘the author has a bee in her bonnet over 1920s sexism’.
Baring in mind the era this novel is set in, I fully understand the situation with regards to men’s attitudes towards women at the time. Even a little bit of set up to paint that picture is absolutely fine. However, every third paragraph the narrative is side-tracked by Ellie’s social commentary of historical sexism.
‘Oh that man is disregarding my opinion because I’m a woman.’ 3 sentences later: ‘Oh I wish we had female police constables in this village like in some of the northern cities, but even those women are babysat by men on the force.’
It’s the 1920s. We got it the first time you mentioned it. We’re in an era 2 years post some women getting the vote. Society is male-dominated and backwards. Fine. Understood. Get on with the plot.
I’m over half way through and so far not a lot has actually happened. Here’s hoping it improves because I really want to like this book…
What I’m Reading Next
Title: Orphan Monster Spy
Author: Matt Kileen
A teenage spy. A Nazi boarding school. The performance of a lifetime.
Sarah has played many roles – but now she faces her most challenging of all. Because there’s only one way for a Jewish orphan to survive at a school for the Nazi elite. And that is to become a monster like them.
Survive. Deceive. Resist.
They think she is just a little girl. But she is the weapon they never saw coming… with a mission to destroy them all.