I used to get a writing tips newsletter from an author called Andrea something and she often mentioned her partner who was also an author. She's fun and frothy so when I saw his book, The Radleys, in the library I thought I'd give it a go. I don't know if you can read the writing at the top of the book cover but it says: 'Great fun' (Vogue), 'Addictive' (Daily Mail) and 'Highly recommended' (The observer).
Yes, it's a book about vampires but abstaining vampires who live in a pleasant English suburb. Sounds like fun? That's what I thought. It's not.
It's the most depressing book I have read for ages. I have got halfway through it and I'm giving up. I persevered this long because yes, it is addictive, I want to know what happens, but I can't take any more; I'm not prepared to be disheartened by the sheerness unpleasantness of it all any more.
It's well-written and clever and I suppose it could be called life-affirming, which seems to be a popular positive attribute these days, but only in so far as it encourages being who you are, not trying to be what you're not.
But it's bleak and there isn't a single character with a redeeming feature to make you like him or her. It's just not nice. It's yucky and horrible and disturbing. And not a single laugh.
But don't be put off by my review! Out of 107 reviews on Amazon it's been given 4 out of 5 stars. If you love vampires you might like this. Or not.
I'm moving on to my other library choice, The Good Plain Cook. Set in 1936 in rural Sussex, according to The Times it's 'Gorgeously written, full of teasing observations about love, class and cookery'