Good reviews – our teams favourite books to read this summer

“I love the escapism of a good fantasy novel, and After the Forest by Kell Woods had me utterly bewitched. It’s a real page-turner with unexpected twists and clever storytelling of what happened to Hans and Greta in adulthood, years after escaping the witch in the forest. It’s a mix of fairytale and historical fantasy, and I can see it being made into a film! It stayed with me long after finishing it, and had me searching for more books by Kell Woods. Alas, it is her debut novel, so I will have to be content for now. Looking forward to more books by her in the future.”

Carolyn Enting

“I don’t read a lot of fiction. My escapism from a busy lifestyle with two children is generally through devouring pages of home and interior design books. Recently, my husband bought me Life Meets Art: Inside The Homes of The World’s Most Creative People, which I adore and is now a prominent coffee table fixtureGetting a glimpse into the unique interior style of Oscar De La Renta, Beatrix Potter, Jimi Hendrix, Frank Sinatra, and many more famous names has been a real joy.”

Pamela McIntosh

“Catherine Chidgey is an award-winning author and tutor at the Masters of Writing at Waikato University. Her books are cleverly crafted, and her storytelling is superb. Pet is set in a small suburb in Wellington in both the 80s and 30 years later, where Justine reflects on a significant part of her childhood and how it shaped the rest of her life. Like all her classmates in the final year of primary school, Justine is completely enthralled by their new teacher Mrs Price who is pretty and enigmatic. This psychological thriller picks up pace throughout the second half and is a great page-turner. Themes of manipulation, superficiality, coming of age and betrayal create the perfect storm. This is the first novel of Catherine Chidgey’s that I’ve read, and although it’s slightly different to her others – The Axeman’s Carnival and Remote Sympathy – I am eager to read more from this brilliant writer.”

Tamsin George

“I’m a big fiction reader, I read about 2-3 books a week. My top 3 books I’ve read this year are Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult, Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros and Arrowood by Laura McHugh. Mad Honey is a reverting murder mystery book that will keep you guessing the whole time. This book had a plot twist halfway through that absolute shocked me, it’s an easy read that I would recommend to anyone. Fourth Wing won the Good Reads Best Romantasy Book of 2023 and went viral on TikTok. This book has everything from war to dragons to enemies to lovers and is a great entry-level Fantasy novel. Finally, Arrowood by Laura McHugh is a lesser-known murder mystery novel but is one of my favourites. This book will keep you on the edge of your seat and has an ending you won’t see coming”.

Emma Napper

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