This week the heat gang popped our slippers on, took the phone off the hook and polished our spectacles as we sat back and enjoyed a spot of reading. On this week's heat bookshelf: Goodbye For Now by Laurie Frankel and On The Island by Tracey Garvis Graves.
Here's what we thought:
Goodbye For Now
Laurie Frankel (Headline, £12.99)
The plot: When someone you love dies, it’s hard to believe that you’ll never get to chat to them again. But what would you say if you could? “Hey, Nanna, how’s heaven working out for you?” Software genius Sam is desperate to make his girlfriend Meredith smile again after her grandmother dies, so he tinkers with her laptop and comes up with a way to let her Skype and e-mail her gran, using archived information to create a lifelike conversation. Chats about holiday plans, recipes and Penny from downstairs mean that Meredith never has to move on. However, when Sam and Meredith are faced with another death, they begin to wonder whether never having to say goodbye is such a good thing.
What’s right with it? It’s beautifully written, and although it’s a weird idea, it just works.
What wrong with it? Just about everyone is either dead or in mourning, so it’s not a barrel of giggling monkeys, and we suspect anyone with more than a vague acquaintance with technology would claim that it’s full of holes.
Verdict: Suspend your disbelief and just go with it. 5/5 @racheleling
On The Island
Tracey Garvis Graves (Penguin, £7.99)
The plot: When a wealthy couple offers 30-year-old teacher Anna a job tutoring their 16-year-old son TJ in the Maldives for the summer, she practically runs to the airport. TJ, on the other hand, has only just recovered from cancer and would rather hang out at home with his mates. While on the last leg of their journey, Anna and TJ’s pilot suffers a fatal heart attack and crashes into the Indian Ocean, leaving them marooned on an uninhabited island where they are forced to work together in order to survive. As the days turn into weeks, then months, then years, the bond between Anna and TJ grows stronger, and she slowly starts to realise that the young boy she was hired to teach is growing into a man…
What’s right with it? The simplicity of the story and the small number of characters make the tale an easy one to follow. And, despite the plot being a little bit far-fetched, everything that happens to Anna and TJ is both believable and relentlessly intriguing.
What’s wrong with it? Anna cries. A lot. And the ending is cheesier than a week-old chunk of Stilton that’s been left on a hot windowsill.
Verdict: A cleverly constructed and emotionally charged page-turner that deserves a place
in every girl’s beach bag this summer. 4/5 @Broomie29