Think it’s about time I did another Mini Book Reviews post, don’t you? I’ve read quite a lot of good books recently; it would be a shame not to share my thoughts about some of them with you. The books I’ve reviewed are quite different – The Perfectionists is a YA crime drama, while The Pact is a contemporary tragedy and The Nightingale is a historical novel – but they are all brilliant in their own ways.
I’ve only read one book in the Pretty Little Liars series but I’ve watched the entire TV series, and let me tell you, The Perfectionists is SO similar. Like Pretty Little Liars, The Perfectionists centres on a group of five girls who are brought together after the death of a classmate. However, in this book it is a guy (Nolan Hotchkiss) who dies, and let’s just say, the girls – Ava, Julie, Caitlin, Mackenzie and Parker – weren’t exactly upset by it. In one of their classes, the girls joked about the ways in which they would get rid of Nolan, who made their lives miserable in one way or another, for good. Little did they realise that someone overhead them and set out to make them look like the culprits for Nolan’s death…
As you’d expect from Sara Shepard, The Perfectionists is full of secrets, revenge and mystery. It’s a short read, at only 267 pages, but there’s enough detail for you to get to know the characters and plenty of suspense to keep you guessing. If you enjoyed Pretty Little Liars, I’d recommend reading The Perfectionists.
The Pact is the sixth book I’ve read by Jodi Picoult, and it definitely won’t be the last. It’s an addictive read that deserves all the praise it received. While the previous books I have read by Jodi Picoult are told from multiple perspectives, The Pact is split into two different time periods: ‘Then’ and ‘Now’ – we get to see how Emily’s life was like before she died and the effect it had on everyone around her. Emily’s lifelong friend Chris was the last person to see her, and is therefore put on trial for her death. It’s hard to believe that Chris murdered Emily, considering how close they were, and he claims it was a suicide pact, but the truth will be shocking.
It may be a strange comparison, but there are some similarities between The Pact and Thirteen Reasons Why, another book I’ve read recently that focuses on teen depression and suicide. As with Thirteen Reasons Why, The Pact shows that how someone appears on the outside doesn’t always reflect how they feel on the inside. Both Hannah (the protagonist in Thirteen Reasons Why) and Emily had so much going for them, but there were certain issues – in Emily’s case being pregnant and feeling uncomfortable when intimate with her boyfriend – that made life too hard for her to bear.
Looking for a unique love story that will keep you hooked right until the very last page? Pick up The Pact next time you go to a bookshop.
Of all the books I’ve mentioned in this post, I’d have to say that The Nightingale is by far my favourite. It’s a moving story that focuses on two sisters who lived in France during the Second World War. Although very different – the eldest Vianne is sensible and reserved, while Isabel is young and reckless – the two women go to great lengths to help other people, despite the danger it puts them in.
As stated by Kristin Hannah, “In war, women’s stories are all too often forgotten or overlooked.” The Nightingale proves that women played just as important a role in the war as the men. Vianne and Isabel are truly remarkable women, and it’s fascinating reading about them. I’ll admit that it did take a little while for me to warm up to Isabel, since she is quite selfish and immature. However, it was Isabel’s story that moved me the most. She went through some horrors that were absolutely shocking and difficult to read.
I’ve always been drawn to books set during the Second World War, and The Nightingale proves that I will never grow tired of reading about this period. It’s an outstanding novel that highlights the strength and bravery of women, and will stay with me for a long time.
What’s your favourite book you’ve read recently?