Claire’s Week in Books, 5th to 12th Feb 2017




An occupational hazard of trying to have my finger more on the pulse of the British publishing scene these days is that I know about more books and am tempted by more books. My Sweet Revenge was doing really well in the UK charts a few weeks back and I couldn’t resist it. The main characters are both actors, which is one of my Kryptonites when it comes to books.

Paula has had Robert’s back since they got together as drama students. She gave up her dreams so he could make it. Now he’s one of the nation’s most popular actors. And Paula’s just discovered he’s having an affair. She’s going to remind Robert just what he’s sacrificing. And then she’s going to break his heart like he broke hers. It will be her greatest acting role ever. Revenge is sweet. Isn’t it?



I loved this YA novel about a girl who helps her dad run his convention business and meets a hotshot young author as a result. Lexi has a wonderful internal voice and is delightfully awkward — which is part of what makes this book so British and also perhaps a little more realistic than all the unicorns and fireworks there might be in an American equivalent, especially since it still has all the angst and sweetness of a great YA level. The convention settings were really brought to life and made this book refreshingly different. Also I just love this cover! You can get it at, as I did, if you don’t live in the UK, for just $7.17 including P & P. Bargain!

In the Queue

the-chilbury-ladies-choirI am loving The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir. It’s set in an English village during World War II, so comparisons with The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society are apt — particularly as this one is also an epistolary novel. The characters are delightful; I particularly enjoy posh and ambitious thirteen-year-old Kitty and the villainous midwife. I will say that the Americanisms are driving me batty, though — while you could make a plausible argument for contemporary novels including phrases like “right?” and “it was like it was” (instead of “isn’t it?” and “it was as though it were”), I would be willing to bet my – ahem – bottom dollar that nobody in 1940s England spoke like this. It’s a shame, because it’s really spoiling the novel for me, even though I know I should just let it go.

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