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The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances

The Girlfriend by Michelle FrancesThe Girlfriend by Michelle Frances
Genre: Thriller
Release Date: 4th May 2017
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Source: Bought
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances is a gripping and chilling debut psychological thriller, based on the fall-out following an unforgiveable lie. It looks at the potentially charged relationship between girlfriend, boyfriend and his mother, which most women can identify with, and locates it in an extreme but believable setting.

Laura has it all. A successful career, a long marriage to a rich husband, and a twenty-three year-old son, Daniel, who is kind, handsome, and talented. Then Daniel meets Cherry. Cherry is young, beautiful and smart but she hasn't had the same opportunities as Daniel. And she wants Laura's life.

Cherry comes to the family wide-eyed and wants to be welcomed with open arms, but Laura suspects she's not all that she seems.

When tragedy strikes, an unforgiveable lie is told. It is an act of desperation, but the fall-out will change their lives forever.

The Girlfriend is more of a soap than a thriller, which surprised me because it had been pushed so hard as the next big thing. I felt like I was watching an episode of Footballer’s Wives or something because of all the family drama that was going on. I have to be honest, I didn’t particularly enjoy this one. I didn’t hate it either, and I kept reading it because it kind of captivated me, but I didn’t really like it. It’s a tough one.

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The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge

The Lie Tree by Frances HardingeThe Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: 7th May, 2015
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

The leaves were cold and slightly clammy. There was no mistaking them. She had seen their likeness painstakingly sketched in her father's journal. This was his greatest secret, his treasure and his undoing. The Tree of Lies. Now it was hers, and the journey he had never finished stretched out before her.

When Faith's father is found dead under mysterious circumstances, she is determined to untangle the truth from the lies. Searching through his belongings for clues she discovers a strange tree. A tree that feeds off whispered lies and bears fruit that reveals hidden secrets. The bigger the lie, and the more people who believe it, the bigger the truth that is uncovered.

But as Faith's untruths spread like wildfire across her small island community, she discovers that sometimes a single lie is more potent than any truth.

The Lie Tree is a fantastically creepy tale from one of my all-time favourite authors. A historical fantasy with a compelling female protagonist, The Lie Tree tells the story of Faith, a young girl who moves with her family from England to the island of Vane. Faith’s father, both a man of the church and a man of science, is found dead not long after the family arrive on Vane, unfurling a story that is a thriller and a murder mystery with added elements of gothic horror. It is also in so many ways a story about women; women who are ambitious and cunning, women who act within the limits of their position in society to better themselves and their families, women who manipulate and subvert stereotypes. If you look carefully you can even notice the Biblical themes that run throughout the novel, most notably with the Tree itself symbolising the Tree of Knowledge and Faith as an Eve who is self-aware and empowered in her actions. Continue reading

Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge

Cuckoo Song by Frances HardingeCuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: 8th May 2014
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

When Triss wakes up after an accident, she knows that something is very wrong. She is insatiably hungry; her sister seems scared of her and her parents whisper behind closed doors. She looks through her diary to try to remember, but the pages have been ripped out. 

Soon Triss discovers that what happened to her is more strange and terrible than she could ever have imagined, and that she is quite literally not herself. In a quest find the truth she must travel into the terrifying Underbelly of the city to meet a twisted architect who has dark designs on her family - before it's too late...

 

“But scissors are really intended for one job alone – snipping things in two. Dividing by force. Everything on one side or the other, and nothing in between.”

Cuckoo Song is the latest novel by one of my all-time favourite authors, Frances Hardinge, so I was very excited to have been given the chance to read this before it’s released. I know I talk about Hardinge from time to time but I cannot emphasise how imaginative and original each of her books are; Cuckoo Song has shot up the list of my favourite reads this year so far.

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