So Lucky by Dawn O’Porter

When I started this book I thought – this is not for me. My favourite programme when I was in my thirties was Thirtysomething – instant identification with what was going on. Now I’m in my sixties I thought I would not empathise with these twentysomething and thirtysomethings especially in a generation who probably see things very differently. How wrong I was. They are everyone who has had self-doubts, hang-ups and damaging or destructive relationships, be it with their parents or partners, whether that was in the 60s, 70s, 80s or now. I got so cross when Michael was horrible to Beth. I wanted to scream at him. I cried for Ruby and her relationship with her mother even though (from personal experience) I would have pursued a different route at the end. And I loved little Bonnie. The only negatives for me (apart from the name Risky – I hate that sort of thing) were that I cringed at some of the sexual references (I’ve never been able to discuss these things openly with girlfriends) and certain things that others found hilarious but I didn’t. In fact some of the humour was probably lost on me, but the pathos, the sadness, the joy of finding themselves had me in tears for most of the last few chapters. Shame the men were all such twats.
Many thanks to The Pigeonhole for giving me the opportunity to read this along with my fellow Pigeons in advance of publication.

The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys

I had no idea this is YA and still don’t really know why – other than the main characters are all late teens/early twenties. I loved this book. In fact I loved it so much that I am struggling to read anything else now. The story is so real (of course much of it is based on fact apart from the individual stories). How little do we know about life in Spain under Franco. And yes I cried at the end. I cried for Miguel and Paco Lobo as much as for Ana and Daniel and Julia and especially for Puri. I know some people think it was sentimental and schmaltzy, but I thought it was moving and beautifully written.
Many thanks to The Pigeonhole and my fellow Pigeons for making this such an enjoyable read.

To Keep You Safe by Kate Bradley

I would like to have given this 4.5 stars if I could. I can’t give it 5 stars as it took me quite a while to get into it. I didn’t initially like ex-army – now Maths teacher Jenni much though I warmed to her at the end. Her lack of empathy didn’t really add much to the story. I’m not sure why she was portrayed that way. Destiny on the other hand came over as sometimes a victim and sometimes a psychopath. This story is not a straightforward case of child grooming. Destiny is far more complex as she is sometimes the groomer. The more you find out about her the more you understand her behaviour. Up to a point that is. A very thought-provoking read with an unexpected ending. And I do love George.

Many thanks to the Pigeonhole, my fellow Pigeons and the author for making it such an enjoyable read.