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: One Hundred Names by Cecelia Ahern and Friends And Rivals by Tilly Bagshawe.
Here's what we thought:
One Hundred Names
Cecelia Ahern (HarperCollins, £14.99)
The plot: With a libel case looming and her career on the brink of collapse, Irish journalist Kitty Logan is convinced that things can’t get any worse – that is until her mentor Constance succumbs to cancer. Sat at her friend’s bedside a few days before her death, Kitty learns of a story – one that Constance always wanted to write, and that Kitty must now take over. She discovers a list of 100 names and must find out who they are and how they’re linked.
What’s right with it? In Kitty Logan, author Ahern has crafted a multilayered, unique and authentically flawed character you can’t help but root for from the start. The premise is fabulously intriguing and you only have to read a few lines to be absorbed. The best thing about One Hundred Names, however, is just how rich and real the story feels. Reading it is like watching your favourite TV drama series, only better.
What’s wrong with it? In order to end in such a beautifully uplifting way, this tale must first take you on a rather bleak journey. If you’re looking for a lighthearted, laugh-out-loud romp, this may not be the book for you.
Verdict: An exquisitely crafted and poignant tale about finding the beauty that lies within the ordinary. Make a space for it in your life. 5/5 @Broomie29
Friends And Rivals
Tilly Bagshawe (Harper, £6.99)
The plot: Jack and Ivan have been business partners of a successful music management company for years. Friends since their time at Oxford, their relationship – both professional and personal – is beginning to buckle under the strain of Ivan’s midlife crisis. Whether it’s sleeping with teenage starlets, dyeing his hair an inadvisable shade of Louis Walsh ginger or trying to forge a TV career, he’s a walking, talking, shagging cliché. Things come to a head when Ivan double-crosses Jack with one of their clients, the dangerously out-of-control Kendall (who he also happens to be doing it with), and the proverbial doesn’t so much hit the fan as knock it into the middle of next week.
What’s right with it? You’re always guaranteed corking characters and a fast-paced read with a Bagshawe story, and this doesn’t disappoint.
What’s wrong with it? The backdrop of the music business adds some interest, but it’s not vastly different to any other bonkbuster-lite out there.
Verdict: What’s the autumn version of a beach read? A “blanket on the sofa with the heating on” read? Well, this is one of them. 4/5 @StarStyleJo