Readers First – A Selection Of Reviews

At the beginning of this year a friend suggested to me I started using Readers First as I was getting into book reviews. It works where you apply using a mini review to receive books prior to publication in return for a full review. It’s a pretty good deal. You also build up points with all you do, so that you can “buy” a book using them once you’ve built up a certain number.

A screenshot of the current home page

It’s brilliant for pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, making sure you’re not reading the same thing all the time, and also, what could be better than free books? The books on offer every week are always completely different, as you can see from this screenshot for this week’s books.

A few of the books I’ve reviewed here anyway, but I haven’t done all of them, and I wanted to put a few short reviews together, as some of the books I’ve read via Readers First have really touched my book shaped heart. So, here we go!

The Museum Of Broken Promises
This particular book is a beautiful tale, in a heart wrenching way. Set after the Cold War, with consequences still hanging in the air, our main character has started a truly unique project. Collecting items of meaning from donors, the items are displayed with their notes, showing broken promises, lives, and hearts. Within the collection, she has hidden items from her own past, trying to heal herself along with others. But the road is so painful, some wounds are difficult to heal.
So well written, and so hard hitting, this novel is one that will be part of the number of books that I will list when people ask which books have stayed with me form 2019.

Summerland
This sweet historical fiction was a short but satisfying read. Looking again at the impacts of war, this time at the group of Lost Children after World War Two, and their journey to England, with “what happens now?” following them every step of the way. The lead character has something to achieve, but what seemed so easy when in the midst of war torn mainland Europe is clouded when she arrives at her destination.
Whilst aimed at adults, I found this book to be more suited as a Young Adult audience and category, which isn’t a bad thing, but worth noting before you pick it up, so you know what you’re going to encounter in a historical fiction novel.

The Bastille Spy
Another brilliant historical fiction, this easy but gripping read throws a controversial character into the role of spy in a world where women are supposed to sit nicely and do as they’re told. Not this one. Within the first few pages there’s a calculated brawl, the freeing of enslaved women being sold, and the rescuing of a man who, we are told moments after, will later be a pivotal character when things go very, very wrong.
It was a relaxing and engaging read, the perfect type of book that doesn’t engage too much brain power but still captivates you. Perfect for fans of general fiction, and historical fiction.

The Woman In The Photograph
I was absolutely delighted to receive this book, as it was one I had noted down in apprehension to read this year. On my Readers First account, I titled my review “A stunning work of modern feminism”, and I really can’t put it better than that. Beautiful fiction, powerful feminism, engaging story; absolutely perfect. The power of the story line, and the engagement and education from the meaning behind it, is everything that could be wished for in a novel in so many ways. Beginning with the famous riots for equal pay, there was, and is, something utterly delightful in watching a character learn, teaching us as we go. Another essential read of the year.

The Last House Guest
Multi layered and ready for all your questions, this mystery thriller keeps you on your toes every step of the way. Right from the start, this is fast paced and has threads leading in so many directions.
Jumping between the summers of 2017 and 2018, our character finds herself thrust into trying to solve the death of her friend when it becomes apparent that things don’t add up. Another wonderful balance between gripping and relaxing, it was a great read and one of those you’d like to unravel from the beginning all over again.

These are just a few of the books I’ve read recently via Readers First, and I’m already looking forward to my next book. If you enjoy a variety of books, and love writing about them too, then it’s worth having a look at.
I really hope these short reviews have given you a few ideas for books to read as well as an insight for the books available via this wonderful sight.

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