Unravelling Oliver by Liz Nugent
Five words from the blurb: attacks, wife, secrets, stories, past
Unravelling Oliver is a fast-paced whydunit revolving around Oliver, a man who attacked his wife so severally she ended up in a coma. Each chapter is written from the perspective of a different person who knew Oliver, so the reader can slowly piece together the facts about his life.
I was initially detached from the story, struggling to remember who everyone was. I kept putting the book down and leaving it for several weeks, only picking it up again because I had to finish it for my book club. At the half-way point everything changed. I worked out how the numerous plot threads interconnected and this created a strong narrative drive. I read the last half of the book in a single day – picking it up whenever I had a free minute. It turned out to be incredibly well-plotted. The ending was especially satisfying and I recommend this to anyone looking for a an intelligent thriller.
When the Floods Came by Clare Morrall
Five words from the blurb: survivors, lonely, hope, future, children
Astonishing Splashes of Colour by Clare Morrall is one of my favourite books, so I’m always keen to read her latest publication. Unfortunately, I think this is her weakest so far. The writing quality was excellent, as usual, but it was lacking the passion of her previous work. There were a few interesting insights into what might happen if our world was ravaged by a deadly virus, but the flooding aspects weren’t convincing. The plot also had several large holes and failed to grip me. Disappointing.
Five words from the blurb: Twitter, online, persona, friends, real
Meatspace by Nikesh Shukla
Meatspace is the first book I’ve read that really gets to the heart of Twitter. This amusing book is about Kitab, a young man who spends his entire time perfecting his online persona. His obsession comes at the expense of his real life, from which he becomes increasingly isolated.
This book makes a lot of great observations about society’s increasing reliance on the Internet. The jokes were occasionally too “blokey” for me and I found myself cringing at some of the scenes I’m sure were meant to be funny. But, overall I found it sadly relevant to some aspects of my life. Recommended to anyone who spends too much time on social media.