As much as I enjoy summer reads, predictability tends to be one strike against them. The Honey Farm on the Hill was no exception. I saw nearly every twist coming chapters ahead of them — from Nell’s discoveries about her long lost love to the mystery of disappearing bees to the resolution. Not much about the plot surprised me. Yet, I quite liked this book for the setting, the characters and the relationships.
Food writer travels through Tuscany on a bulldozer — such a bizarre and hilarious image this premise painted. It sounded so ludicrous and I have to admit, it made me think of The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson. That set the bar of absurd humour unfairly high but I couldn’t help it. Perhaps it’s a good thing then, that My Italian Bulldozer wasn’t filled with tall tales, even if that slightly disappointed me.
A Semi Definitive List of Worst Nightmares was yet another book from Krystal Sutherland that made me cry. Something about the way she writes and crafts her characters make them so relatable. The emotions are so palpable, it’s impossible not to feel something for the characters. I think that’s what made this book particularly great. There was nuance in the way mental health was dealt with several times over.
STAGS isn’t a conventional “whodunnit” mystery novel. It’s clear from the opening sentence that someone died. But who? Now, that’s the question! Sadly, I figured that out way too early, so the mystery aspect didn’t grip me quite as much as I’d have liked. Thankfully, there still was more to the book than meets the eye — some really twisted events and towards the end, some sinister foreshadowing of the future.
While the title might suggest otherwise, Honeymoon Suite is about a woman’s personal journey to start her life over in a new place. Her wedding falls through, and with it, the life she’s planned ahead. With the help of her friend, she gets back on track. Yes, romance is involved but against all odds, it’s not the primary focus. It’s about piecing her life together again, and building new relationships.