Every week, the Sainsbury's Book Club team read and recommend their favourite eBooks, curating a selection of free samples, book trailers, author biographies and reading group discussion points to help you get the most out of your next eBook read.
We'd love you to contribute to the Book Club too, so if you like what you read, recommend it to others by reviewing the books on the list and the best five reviews each month will win a £10 eBook voucher. Sound good? Read on...
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Part crime novel, part horror story, Lauren Bewkes' Broken Monsters is a fantastic novel that's hard to pigeonhole. It's a brilliantly written thriller that kept me hooked from start to finish, without the all-too-frequent disappointment of seeing the "twist" coming a mile off.
I loved the central characters – the dedicated Detective Versado, her unruly teenage daughter, and Jonno the ambitious vlogger – and the city of Detroit with its crumbling factories, graffiti and hipster art scene provides a perfect backdrop to this story of twisted artist turned serial killer.
The internet and the way it impacts the way we live now plays a big part in the novel too. It feels bang up to date, exciting and fresh – a great read.
by Renée Knight
There’s a captivating premise at the heart of Disclaimer: what if you are reading a book and it turns out that it’s somehow about you, and reveals a terrible secret from your past? This is what happens to Catherine, a much sought-after television documentary maker, happily married with Robert, a successful lawyer. They have a son, Nicholas, and they’ve recently moved house. The other main character is Stephen, a retired teacher and widower, who discovers something extremely upsetting about a traumatic past event that sheds a new light on what happened.
Any detail about the plot would give away spoilers, but the story is very cleverly structured and full of twists and turns and red herrings. The execution, however, let me down a little. I didn't feel sympathy for any of the characters; many of them just haven’t enough depth and lack consistency. The revelations unveiled halfway through the book, also, felt much more powerful than the final disclosure of the truth.
Finally, the pace could have been improved: especially in the second half, a stricter editorial intervention would have made the writing sleeker and more convincing. Nevertheless, it is a darkly intriguing and tautly plotted story, which I do recommend.
by Louisa Young
I read ‘My Dear, I Wanted to Tell You’ by Louisa Young when it was first published a few years ago; it blew me away and started my love affair with World War I based fiction. ‘The Heroes’ Welcome’ continues the story, featuring the same main characters.
Essentially it’s the story of two couples that return to a very different world after the war; two soldiers and their wives. One horrifically physically wounded and the other scarred internally, trying to get to grips with normal life. Louisa Young has a very distinctive writing style, subtly encouraging you to reread sentences to reinforce the meaning behind the words.
I loved this book almost as much as I did ‘My Dear, I Wanted to Tell You’ which I would definitely recommend reading before embarking on this one and to get the most out of this one.
This is not a book about zombies. In Station Eleven’s post-apocalyptic world, the only "walkers" are the dispossessed one percent who survived the Georgia flu pandemic twenty years earlier. Survivors' stories are cleverly interwoven with chapters on life in the pre-collapse world to create a web of connections, bringing to life a bunch of complicated, believable characters amidst the turmoil of civilisation's collapse.
I found it a thoroughly engrossing, often moving read. Post-collapse North America, a ravaged, overgrown place, is vividly detailed and packed with atmosphere. Station Eleven is just as much about life as we live it now, a snapshot of our world as science fiction for a future generation who find it astonishing that you could press a switch and turn darkness into light.
Shining through the themes of subjective memory, the nature of celebrity, religion and truth, is the fundamental importance of human contact, especially with those we love. In this haunting novel, Emily St. John Mandel has created a cinematic world of characters and images that I know will stay with me a long time.
by Fern Britton
Set in a small Cornish village of Trevay, the story revolves around the residents who are trying to save a local theatre from being taken over by a corporate coffee chain. It’s up to Penny, Simon, Helen and Piran to preserve this much-loved institution. The locals turn to the vicar’s wife, TV producer Penny, to call in some favours to help save the Pavilions Theatre. Penny decides to put on a fundraising show with the help of some of her celebrity friends. Ollie Pinkerton, a Shakespearean actor with a rock superstar girlfriend, Brook Lynne, and Jess Tait, a former sitcom actress with a heartthrob boyfriend who neglects her.
The story revolves around these three characters and their relationship issues, and, of course, how they all come together with the Cornish locals to save the theatre. The characters are well developed and as I read through the story I slowly began to fall in love with them. A Seaside Affair is a fun light-hearted read about true friendship that would be perfect on a summer holiday or just when you are lounging in the garden.
by Val McDermid
This intriguing mystery gripped me from start to finish. The story starts with the discovery of a skeleton at the top of a disused building, and then unfolds from the points of view of different sets of characters, both likeable and dislikeable, trustworthy and untrustworthy. These perspectives begin to entwine very quickly; each chapter adds pieces to the puzzle until the shocking conclusion.
By telling the story from different points of view, McDermid allows us to get a fascinating insight into the characters’ inner thoughts and the way they see each other. The mystery gains added depth by moving between past and present, and I was kept guessing all the way through. This is the first book I’ve read by Val McDermid, but it certainly won’t be the last!
Covering forty years from 1499, this is the sixth book in The Cousins’ War series from Philippa Gregory. It focuses on Margaret Pole, the last York princess and a rival claimant to the Tudor throne. As the story begins she is married to a loyal Tudor supporter and guardian to Arthur, Prince of Wales and his bride Katherine of Aragon. Then, as lady-in-waiting to Queen Katherine, Margaret finds herself in the middle of a fatal political battle as King Henry VIII becomes frustrated with his wife’s inability to give him a male heir; court and country is divided over his decision to break with the Catholic Church.
I’m a huge fan of just about everything Philippa Gregory has written and with this instalment she’s offered us an alternative take on a much-covered subject and it’s well worth the read. Her characters jump off the page, her research into the subject is as impressive as ever and it’s a page-turner to boot. What more could you want?