24 ~ Nothing Like Love by Sabrina Ramnanan
Nothing Like Love really surprised me. The Trinidad and Tobago setting was unique and a pleasant change from the novel’s I typically choose. I also really appreciated the religious aspects of the lives of the characters being inter-woven into the story which made it feel more realistic. The lives of Vimla and Krishna seem predetermined by their parents but through a series of choices they each make, their lives take very different directions from what their parents anticipate. Vimla at first comes across as independent but through heartbreak she becomes pliable to her parents wishes. Krishna is first introduced as a troublemaker and a free spirit. Krishna’s father is the head spiritual leader in their community and strongly desires his son to train to take over for him when he dies.
Vimla and Krishna both have to work past their parent’s dreams for their lives and discover what paths they want to take whether it be together as a couple or separately. Krishna’s self-determination fails him at the most inopportune times and his repeated apologies to Vimla eventually take a toll on their blossoming love affair. It feels like everyone in this novel turns out to be much more complex than they appear to be at the beginning and the story draws you in and keeps you engaged. I would recommend this book as a great read but wouldn’t say it felt specifically like a “romance” novel.
23 ~ The Night Stages by Jane Urquhart
I found The Night Stages a difficult novel to get through. I felt like Tam, the main character needed to be given a self-esteem boost. She had everything going for her, she was a pilot and grew up in a wealthy home with a father who continued to support her through adulthood. Tam had her share of heart-break but not so much that she needed to stay with her horrible lover, Niall, for as long as she did. Kieran, Niall’s brother also was a hard character to understand. It seemed like everything was in Keiran’s head and if the world would just leave him alone he would be fine.
The side storyline of Kenneth and his art really confused me and seemed out-of-place. That part of the novel didn’t tie into Tam, Niall and Keiran’s story enough to be relevant. The entire story was not complex enough to keep me engaged and I found myself pushing through the book just to get to the ending when nothing really happened at the end anyways. You could read half of this book and get just as much out of it as you would reading it in its entirety. I probably wouldn’t recommend The Night Stages to my friends.
22 ~ Sleeping Arrangements by Madeleine Wickham
An easy and fun book for the poolside. Sleeping Arrangements isn’t going to draw you in to the deeper meanings of life but I still enjoyed it. Two families are thrust into spending their vacation at the same villa; each character has their own set of problems to work through. I always hope for a happy tidy ending but this book won’t give you that pleasure. Still a fun read and shouldn’t take more than a few nights to get through.