Spotlight on QBD Woodgrove

Our wonderful Woodgrove team are spilling about their favourite reads under the QBD Spotlight this weekend! 

pretty-babyPretty Baby by Mary Kubica:
Willow is down on her luck. She’s homeless, struggling to survive, and she has a baby to care for. When Heidi encounters Willow in the subway, her heart aches for this poor young mum and she feels compelled to take her in and care for both her and the baby. But is Willow all that she appears to be? Can she be trusted, or will Heidi’s good deed end in misery?
Mary Kubica’s Pretty Baby seems to have been woven from the same cloth as Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. Told in the form of oscillating chapters between three central characters, Pretty Baby is definitely a page turner. There’s just enough story to pique your curiosity, but not enough to satiate it, and the only way to feel that sense of relief is to keep turning the pages and let the story unfold. I quite enjoyed the web Kubica has woven between these pages, and I would definitely recommend this to fans of Gone Girl, or for anyone who is looking for a page turner. – Andrée

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante:
A while ago a friend gave me this book and said: “I think you’ll like this”. She wasn’t wrong, and the best thing is, there are three more in the series. My Brilliant Friend is written by Elena Ferrante and as one of the main characters is Elena and she is telling the story, it is thought to be semi-autobiographical. But very little is really known about the author as she shuns publicity and has kept herself quite private. She tells the story of two women who form a lasting – often tumultuous – friendship which starts when they are young girls growing up in the slums near Naples in the 1950’s.
Elena and Lila meet at 6 years old, and immediately become competitive with each other, however this also creates a bond between them. Their lives are surrounded by violence, on the streets amongst the other kids and at home in the family, but this is portrayed as acceptable and as part of everyday life for them. There is very little dialogue as it is Elena telling the story, though this works really well and the book flows along nicely. From the start I was hooked and love the characters of the fiery independent and intelligent Lila , and the equally clever Elena who dreams of becoming a writer when she grows up. Their adventures and early childhood are captured in this great novel and as they grow, their first loves, ambitions and frustrating disappointments. Elena seems drawn to Lila who although very clever, is badly behaved and often leads Elena into trouble. Despite this, they remain friends but this is what makes the story so good. This was such a different, refreshing book to read and would make a great book club choice any time!
You can continue their story in The Story of A New Name. – Lisa

mebeforeyouMe Before You by Jojo Moyes:
Me Before You is the beautiful and captivating story of an unlikely romance between Lou and Will. Will is a quadriplegic. Lou is at a cross roads in her life and is hired as his carer. Unconventional. Unexpected. This book will pull at your heart strings. But can love alone convince someone that life is worth living? This is more than just a romance story. There are valuable lessons to be learned. Follow your passion. Never waste a minute. Cherish every moment you have. Look out also for the recently published sequel, After You. – Julie

Love, Rosie by Cecelia Ahern:
If you are after a different type of love story fiction this is the pick. As a reader coming from Paranormal into the ‘Real World’ of Fiction, this was an excellent book to pick. Love, Rosie is written as if you are flicking through letters, text’s, email’s from two dear friends that grow up together. They discuss everything like best friends, from their first crush to their married lives and children. One thing you need to know about these dear friends are that Rosie and Alex have always been there for one another even when Alex does move away to study and live his life in another country. Throughout the book you become attached to these characters and you really want them to end up together, but there are so many hurdles they have to overcome before is even be a possible for them to become a couple. Even with the unique writing style you still learn about the other characters that have an influence on Rosie and Alex. When this story comes to an end you really don’t want it to finish as you have grown with Alex and Rosie from being kids to becoming seniors.
Cecelia has also written the popular P.S. I Love You, which along with Love, Rosie has gone on to become a movie, that has gained fans through that media. – Monique

9781582406725The Walking Dead (Graphic Novels) by Robert Kirkman:
“In a world ruled by the dead, we are forced to finally start living.”
Like most people, I watched The Walking Dead before I even thought about venturing into Robert Kirkman’s highly acclaimed comic book series under the same name. I knew of the horrific world it portrayed; debris littered the streets, houses were derelict.. oh, and the dead were rising and feasting on the living.
What the comic books do with the story of Rick Grimes and his troupe of survivors, is done with more heart. In Days Gone Bye (nice little play on words there), Kirkman sets the scene of the now post-apocalyptic America, and the rise of Walkers (or roamers, biters, whichever gruesome name you prefer!)
Rick wakes from a coma and comes to realise that society has been abandoned. Every close call with the undead brings Rick closer to what he’s been searching for; survivors. But it is only with the decaying, ravenous zombies all around, that Rick and his friends realise that, in order to survive, you must care for each other, fight and ultimately start to really live.
The comics aren’t as bloody as the TV series, but the art is amazing!.. and it is a little more explicit than the AMC series. The one downside is that Daryl doesn’t exist in the comic book world of the Walking Dead, but at least he’s on our screens.
A must read for any lover of the show, plus fans of the dystopian genre, or just Rick Grimes fan girls.. we’ve all been there. – Emily

Ashley Bell by Dean Koontz:
Bibi Blair is a young woman who cheats death only to be told that the reason for it is to save someone else’s life, a young girl named Ashley Bell. A great, creepy thriller with many twists that makes you want to keep reading without pause. I chose to read this book as the cover and blurb got me. I read this book in 3 days and the whole time it kept me on my toes. The more I read the harder it got to put the book down. It’s the first time I’ve read anything by Dean Koontz and let me tell you I was not disappointed. Its a fantastic thriller that keeps you guessing right till the very end. – Evelyn.

imagesSecond Glance by Jodi Picoult:
First published in 2003, I seemed to have missed reading this one . I didn’t enjoy the last couple of her novels, so was pleased to hear my Mum say that she had enjoyed this one ,so I thought I would give it a go. Set between the years 1932 and 2001 it tells the story of Ross Wakeman a paranormal investigator, who suffered a tragic loss and has been involved in ghost hunting to try and see his fiance once again. He is suicidal at times, as he has not experienced any paranormal activity, so he returns to stay with his sister and nephew in a small town in Vermont. Here he has his first experience, meeting Lia the resident ghost who doesn’t realize she is dead, and becomes involved in a seventy year old murder case. The story switches back and forth between 1932 when Lia meet her death and 2001 ,as Ross try’s to find out what happened and give peace to Lia, and hopefully himself. As always with Jodi Picoult you are waiting for the twist towards the end and I wasn’t disappointed. one of her best . Most enjoyable read . – Sue

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