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Welcome beautiful people! I am Laura, a beauty lover and chocolate addict. I love to share my thoughts on the best (and of course the worst) of all things beauty related.

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The Book Wrap Up : Vol V

It's time for everyone's favourite TLOL post - The Book Wrap Up. It's been a while since I have done one of these, but it's back and it's (another) good one. A mix of fiction and non-fiction in this one, thrillers and romance, and some new releases that will be out very soon. Let's get into it!

Ghosted : Rosie Walsh

 Rating: ★★★★☆

** spoiler alert ** Seven perfect days. Then he disappeared. A love story with a secret at its heart.

When Sarah meets Eddie, they connect instantly and fall in love. To Sarah, it seems as though her life has finally begun. And it’s mutual: It’s as though Eddie has been waiting for her, too. Sarah has never been so certain of anything. So when Eddie leaves for a long-booked vacation and promises to call from the airport, she has no cause to doubt him. But he doesn’t call.

Her friends tell her to forget about him, but she knows something has happened. She just has to work out what.

Part thriller (to some extent) and romance novel, it was one that once it hooked me I couldn’t put down. The story tells of Sarah and Eddie’s whirlwind romance a little out of order, giving you little insights around the present day Sarah, who is heartbroken at not hearing from Eddie. Did he just stop calling? Or has he actually gone missing? Well you won’t find out until the end, and it was the opposite of what I expected. I was shocked about the outcome and then the ending. Part of me still isn’t sure that I loved the happy ending, but I understand that everyone (usually) loves a happy ending.

Book Depository | Dymocks

The Aunt Who Wouldn't Die : Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay*

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

At eighteen, Somlata married into the Mitras: a once noble Bengali household whose descendants have taken to pawning off the family gold to keep up appearances.
When Pishima, the embittered matriarch, dies, Somlata is the first to discover her aunt-in-law's body - and her sharp-tongued ghost.

It is a really lovely book, however I wasn’t wowed about it. I definitely found it interested reading about Somlata and her family and learning a bit about a culture I’m not familiar with. However, it just didn’t wow me. I felt a little lost when the story changed to a different person, unsure about how the two connected until later in the book. I also just wasn’t hooked into Somlata and her families lives....her husband and his family annoyed me with their lack of effort in wanting to try and work for themselves.

Look, it’s a lovely little story that works well, but it just wasn’t for me.

Book Depository | Dymocks

Liar : Ayelet Gundar-Goshen

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Frustrated, lonely 17-year-old Nofar has spent an uneventful summer serving ice-cream to indifferent customers. She extends her break moping about her drab life, unwittingly irritating the bitter ex-reality TV star Avishai Milner, who is waiting to be served. When Nofar corrects his language after he complains about his wait, he insults and humiliates her. Deeply offended, Nofar rushes out to the backyard, and Avishai - who is still waiting for his change - chases after her. "Leave me alone!" she cries with all of her accumulated rage and hurt. Her screams quickly draw a crowd to the scene, and to her surprise everyone is convinced that Avishai trued to sexually assault her.

Now, for the first time in her life, Nofar finds herself the centre of attention. She is lavished with support from the community and the media, who rally round her as the victim of a scandalous attempted assault. Nofar, giddy with newfound power and acceptance, finds that lies slip easily from her tongue, trapping her in a moral dilemma with devastating consequences.

Where is the line drawn between harmless white lies, told to be more likeable and polite, and lies that become socially unacceptable and morally unbearable? Liar probes this question with wonderful flair and keen knowledge of human behaviour. When Nofar finds herself caught up in a lie that gravely impacts the life of another person. But the title is deceptive, as there isn’t one single liar in the book. It explores the development of lies from many people around her.

Despite its heavy topic, Liar has an often-quirky atmosphere. It has a unique voice and one that is important amidst the #MeToo wave. In saying that, it was a voice I didn’t always love or find easy to follow. Exploring the courage to stand up and tell the truth. It explores how deep a web of lies can go. It’s an important topic and a brave one to write about, and while it wasn’t my favourite book to read, I still thing it was a good and powerful book. 

Book Depository | Dymocks

The Perfect Wife : J.P. Delaney

Rating: ★★★★☆

Abbie awakens in a daze with no memory of who she is or how she landed in this unsettling condition. The man by her side claims to be her husband. He’s a titan of the tech world, the founder of one of Silicon Valley’s most innovative start-ups. He tells Abbie that she is a gifted artist, an avid surfer, a loving mother to their young son, and the perfect wife. He says she had a terrible accident five years ago and that, through a huge technological breakthrough, she has been brought back from the abyss.

She is a miracle of science.

But as Abbie pieces together memories of her marriage, she begins questioning her husband’s motives—and his version of events. Can she trust him when he says he wants them to be together forever? And what really happened to Abbie half a decade ago?

Beware the man who calls you . . . The perfect wife.

Such a brilliantly written book! It is such a unique thriller. Written in a way that no other thriller (that I’ve read recently) has been, it jumps between voices from a perspective you wouldn’t expect. It doesn’t give you clear insights into who these perspectives are until the end. As Abbie starts to unpack the truths about who she is, the more questions she finds herself asking. She will need to put together a decade of memories in order to try and work out the truths behind her new “life” and it won’t all be as it seems.

With an ending that will shock and excite, it was a book that I couldn’t put down (despite it taking me SO LONG to read). I loved it so much! I am so impressed!

Book Depository | Dymocks

The Bride Test : Helen Hoang

Rating: ★★★★★

Khai Diep has no feelings. Well he feels irritated when people move his things, and a sense of contentment when ledgers balance down to the penny, but he doesn’t have big important feelings. He can’t love.

When Esme Tran has the opportunity to visit America and meet a potential husband, she can’t turn it down. She’s hopelessly smitten, but can the man ever return her affection...

HELEN HOANG HAS DONE IT AGAIN! Yes, it is another brilliant from Helen, with an unusual star character. I love the way that she portrays autism in such an honest and raw way. But from both perspectives - from someone with autism and everyone looking on. She breaks it down and makes it something that people can understand and relate to. Not only that, but she melts your heart in, yes, a somewhat typical girl meets boy romance novel. It’s such a lovely read and so important in today’s society.

Book Depository | Dymocks

The Arsonist: A Mind On Fire : Chloe Hooper

Rating: ★★★★☆

On a scorching February day in 2009, a man lit two fires in Victoria, then sat on a roof to watch the inferno. The detectives soon found themselves following a man they weren’t familiar with. A powerful, real life thriller that unpacks the thoughts of a mind on fire.

An absolutely fascinating read. If you can get through the horrors of the first two chapters (which are bloody intense. Even worse knowing they’re real events). It unpacks the fires themselves and the practice behind finding the starting point and the mechanics behind how it began, before looking into the man himself. It’s written in such a way that if you didn’t know better you could be reading a fictional thriller. It opens up the mind of a man on Fire, all while keeping you hooked. 

Book Depository | Dymocks

Our Stop : Laura Jane Williams*

Rating: ★★★★★

Nadia catches the 7.30am train every morning without fail. Except when she sleeps in. Or wakes up hungover at her friend, Emma’s. Or you know...forgets.

Daniel really does get the 7.30am train every morning.

One morning Nadia spies a message in the Missed Connections section of the paper. The message appears to be about her... and it’s actually kind of sweet. And so begins a bunch of missed connections. Is the power of written word enough to spark a romance?

A beautiful little romance story. It’s not your typical boy meets girl, girl falls in love, they have a tiff and then it all ends happily. It takes you back, as if Facebook and Instagram don’t exist, and you get to fall in love with Nadia, with a man you don’t have a face to put to. You get angry when they have near misses, so close yet so far. Will they ever actually meet? You’ll have to read it to find out.

It will fill your heart with warm, tackle some challenging real life issues (#MeToo) and at the end of the day, remind you that there is still enough love in the world, even without technology. Highly recommend checking this one out!!

Book Depository | Dymocks

Under Currents : Nora Roberts*

Rating: ★★★★★

Zane Bigelow grew up in a beautiful, perfectly kept house in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Everyone sees the beautiful house, with the perfect family inside. Only Zane and his sister know the truth, until one brutal night finally reveals cracks in the facade, and Zane escapes for college without a thought of looking back. Years later, Zane returns to his hometown determined to reconnect with the place and people that mean so much to him, despite the painful memories. As he resumes life in the colorful town, he meets a gifted landscape artist named Darby, who is on the run from ghosts of her own. For both Zane and Darby, their small town roots hold a terrible secret. Now, decades later, they've come together to build a new life. But will the past set them free or pull them under? 

An absolutely amazing read. I actually haven't read any Nora Roberts before now, but this book has absolutely won me over. It has your elements of a typical love story - fall in love, come across problems, come through problems and everyone lives happily ever after - however, it doesn't end where you expect it to, throwing more challenges in the mix. To some extent, it feels a little like every problem had to come back and haunt the pair, but each one appears in a slightly different way, and despite the length, you can't put it down and you'll never want it to end. Nora has a way of writing that makes you love, hate and be angry at the characters, manipulating you in such a way that some times you don't feel like your emotions are right. It's a heartbreaking novel, and I would say that it's not for the faint at heart, as it does cover some intense topics, but I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Book Depository | Dymocks

Red, White and Royal Blue : Casey McQuiston*

Rating: ★★★★★

What happens when America's First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales?

When his mother became President, Alex Claremont-Diaz was promptly cast as the American equivalent of a young royal. Handsome, charismatic, genius--his image is pure millennial-marketing gold for the White House. There's only one problem: Alex has a beef with the actual prince, Henry, across the pond. And when the tabloids get hold of a photo involving an Alex-Henry altercation, U.S./British relations take a turn for the worse.

What at first begins as a fake, Instragramable friendship grows deeper, and more dangerous, than either Alex or Henry could have imagined. Soon Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret romance with a surprisingly unstuffy Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations and begs the question: Can love save the world after all?

Such a beautiful book. It will make up laughs break your heart and take you on a whirlwind of a relationship. In a day and age where appearances are everything, despite people telling you that you need to be who you are, this book tackles the challenge of being who you truly are, while also keeping up appearances. Unpacking so many challenges facing LGBTQI today. It’s such a beautiful love story and I cannot recommend reading it 😍

Book Depository | Dymocks

Clear My Name : Paula Daly

Rating : ★★★★☆

When Carrie was accused of brutally murdering her husband’s lover, she denied it. She denied it when they arrested her, when they put her in front of a jury, and when they sent her to prison. Now she’s three years into a fifteen-year sentence, away from the daughter she loves and the life she had built. And she is still denying that she is to blame.

Tess Gilroy has devoted her life to righting wrongs. Through her job for Innocence UK, a charity which takes on alleged miscarriages of justice, she works tirelessly to uncover the truth. But when she is asked to take Carrie’s case, Tess realises that if she is to help this woman, she must risk uncovering the secrets she has struggled a lifetime to hide . . .

Absolutely loved this book. It is written through the perspectives of both Carrie and Tess, cutting from present day to past, back to when Carrie was first arrested for the murder. As the story unfolds you find yourself constantly questioning who is really guilty. Just when you think you know, a new piece of evidence surfaces, or is denied, that leaves you questioning yourself yet again. With an end that will shock you to your core, this book is a fantastic modern day thriller. Highly recommend!

Book Depository | Dymocks

The Proposal : Jasmine Guillory

Rating: ★★★★★

freelance writer Nikole Paterson goes to a Dodgers game with her actor boyfriend, the last thing she expects to happen is a proposal. As she says no, to thousands of fans, as well as the entire nation, her life is thrown int chaos. Luckily Carlos Ibarra is there to save the day. What starts as a friendly stranger trying to help Nikole out of a pickle, ends in a bit of a fling. But he wants no attachments right?

LOVE LOVE LOVEEEEED this book! It was witty and funny, while also melting your heart in all the right ways. It is light hearted, and yes, follows a plot line of very common romance novels, but I love it all the same. Jasmine has such a fun and easy writing style to read and I can’t wait to read more from her now!

Book Depository | Dymocks 

I Wanted You to Know : Laura Pearson(out on October 3rd)

Rating: ★★★★★

Dear Edie, I wanted you to know so many things. I wanted to tell you them in person, as you grew. But it wasn’t to be.

Jess never imagined she’d be 21, with a newborn. She also didn’t imagine she’d be dying. A life that should be just beginning is interrupted by worried looks, heavy conversations, and the possibility of leaving her daughter to grow up without her. Jess knows that she needs to tell her daughter everything. How to love, how to lose, how to forgive, and, most importantly, how to live when you never know how long you have.

Possibly one of the saddest books I’ve ever read. It absolutely broke my heart. But I honestly couldn’t put it down. It was amazing. A book of absolute heartbreak, that reminds you how short life can be, and to embrace life to its fullest. Jess goes through the process of coming to terms with having breast cancer, and dying, while reconciling lost relationships, all while writing letters to her daughter in the hope to share insights into her life and offer support about the many things life has to throw at it. So eloquently written that I just couldn’t stop. Highly recommend (if you’re ok with bawling your eyes out).

Book Depository 

The Silent Patient : Alex Michaelides

Rating : ★★★★☆

Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.

Absolutely loved this book! It's very compelling. A psychotherapist called Theo Faber narrates the story and he announces early on that he's pretty "fucked up". He worms his way into a new job at the Grove mental health facility because of his fascination with the artist Alicia Berenson, who murdered her husband in an open-and-shut case and hasn't spoken a word since.

I have heard mixed reviews about it from people who have read a lot of thrillers, but I still loved it. It does have an ending that you don't expect as you read it, but once you know, it explains SO much! It has such a creative narrative style and will leave you not wanting to put it down. Big fan of this book!

Book Depository | Dymocks 

Pretty Guilty Women : Gina LaManna*

Rating : ★★★★☆

You are cordially invited to the wedding of the year, at the famously luxurious Serenity Spa & Resort on the Californian coast . . . Four women, who were once best friends end up at a luxurious wedding. Only twenty-four hours later a man is found murdered. All Detective Ramone knows for certain is that these four women sit calmly across from him, offering four very different confessions, each insisting they acted alone. Why would they confess to the same crime? Only they know the answer - and they're not telling.

I can absolutely see why this book is being compared to Liane Moriarty. A similar structure, with a story being told from the perspective of four different women who are all connected in some way, however when you put it on that pedestal, it has a lot to live up to and I don't think it lives up to that expectation. On it's on, its a great book with a creative story line and a twist to finish (and what a good couple of twists it is). However, it is no Moriarty book. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone who loves a bit of women's fiction with a touch of thriller (but nothing too intense).

Book Depository | Dymocks

The Gap: Benjamin Gilmour*

Rating: ★★★★★

In this riveting memoir, Gilmour recounts the call-outs that summer: some dangerous, some gruesome, some downright ridiculous. And we meet fellow paramedic John who, they say, can get a laugh out of everyone except the dead. As the city heats up that summer, however, even John begins to lose his sense of humour. People are unravelling - and Benjamin and John are no exception.

An absolutely amazing book. Eye opening, heart breaking and very funny. Benjamin Gilmour has such a knack for writing that at times you will question whether you are reading a non-fiction book. The book follows Gilmour through a summer of call outs. While I knew being a paramedic was hard, this book really opened my eyes to some of the real challenges that paramedics face each and every day. It gives you insight into the other side - the demons that paramedics battle, even when the show up to help you smiling and laughing and seeming like they have it all together. It has given me new respect for those that care for everyone - no matter how serious the illness. It is threaded together with humor (at times dark) and insights into the life outside of the profession. While I wouldn't recommend this to the faint hearted, I would absolutely recommend it to anyone who thinks they are up to the read, or who wants more insight into the profession of a paramedic. It was truly amazing.

Book Depository | Dymocks

It's a long one today, so if you've made it to this point - CONGRATULATIONS! There were some pretty amazing books this time around (I think I say this every single time...). Which book on the list piqued your interest the most? Let me know in the comments below!   


*DISCLAIMER – Products with * have been sent for trial/review purposes. Although this product was sent for me to trial and review, all views and opinions are 100% honest. All opinions are based purely from my own experiences. The Life of Laura is not by a professional or expert. Please do not confuse my opinions with professional advice.
*this post contains affiliate links


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