Where Were You When You Read…?

You know all those memes where you list favourite book moments, tropes, characters, all-time faves, keeper shelf, re-reads, etc? I can’t do those. At all. Because my memory is atrocious. And there are simply too many books to read once, so no re-reading. No trying the same book later. You really only do get one chance with me ๐Ÿ˜‰

So I don’t really have book memories. But for some special novels, I remember where I was when I read part of them. (The usual bed/bath/couch doesn’t count, because those are my regular reading places.) These three are all five-star books, by the way ๐Ÿ™‚

Tess Gerritsen
Gravity
Simon & Schuster Pocket (US & CA: 1st October 2000); HarperCollins (UK: 22nd December 2011; AU: 13th March 2012)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Dr Emma Watson, a brilliant research physician, has been training for the mission of a lifetime: to study living organisms in space. Jack McCallum, Emma’s estranged husband, has shared her dream of space travel, but a medical condition has grounded him. Now he must watch from the sidelines… The mission aboard the space station turns into a nightmare when a culture of single-celled organisms begins to regenerate out of control – and infects the crew with agonising and deadly results. Emma struggles to contain the deadly virus, while back home Jack and NASA work against the clock to bring her home. But there will be no rescue, as the astronauts are left stranded in orbit where they are dying one by one…

I’d read and enjoyed the author’s works before (well, from Harvest onwards – I’m not going to try her earlier books, the romances), but this one blew me away. A medical thriller…IN SPACE! The International Space Station, in fact. I don’t actually remember the story, but I was so engrossed that I was reading it anywhere and everywhere. I specifically remember sitting at my kitchen table with a mug of milk, maybe a biscuit. This was likely in the days of dial-up Internet, and no laptop. Nowadays I can’t focus on reading a book for long periods of time, but back then I could read on the couch without needing a nap.

Megan Hart
Precious and Fragile Things
Harlequin MIRA (AU: July 2012; UK: 2nd November 2012; US: 26th March 2013)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Gilly Soloman has been reduced to a mothering machine, taking care of everyone and everything except herself. Burned-out and exhausted by the endless days of crying children and menial tasks, Gilly doesn’t immediately consider the consequences when she’s carjacked. With a knife to her throat, her first thought is that she’ll finally get some rest. Someone can save her for a change. But salvation isn’t so forthcoming. Stranded in a remote, snowbound cabin with this stranger, hours turn to days, days into weeks. As time forges a fragile bond between them, she learns her captor is not the lunatic she first believed, but a human being whose wasted life has been shaped by secrets and tragedy. Yet even as their connection begins to foster trust, Gilly knows she must never forget he’s still a man teetering on the edge, one who’s not about to let her leave. And she cannot stay.

Won a signed copy by the author – it’s on my keeper shelf ๐Ÿ™‚ I’d had her other books on my wishlist for years, but I think this was the first I actually read. And it’s awesome. It’s still the book to which I compare all other Megan Hart books. None of them (so far) have been five stars like this, but I still recommend her four-star novels.

While reading, I was a passenger in a car going into the city, to feed and spend time with my sister’s cat. Long drive to and from the city, so plenty of reading time. Think I read the choc-chip cookie contest during one of these trips.

Rachel Cohn
Beta
Disney-Hyperion (US: 2nd July 2013)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Elysia is created in a laboratory, born as a sixteen-year-old girl, an empty vessel with no life experience to draw from. She is a Beta, an experimental model of a teenage clone. She was replicated from another teenage girl, who had to die in order for Elysia to exist. Elysia’s purpose is to serve the inhabitants of Demesne, an island paradise for the wealthiest people on earth. Everything about Demesne is bioengineered for perfection. Even the air induces a strange, euphoric high, which only the island’s workers – soulless clones like Elysia – are immune to. At first, Elysia’s life is idyllic and pampered. But she soon sees that Demesne’s human residents, who should want for nothing, yearn. But for what, exactly? She also comes to realise that beneath the island’s flawless exterior, there is an undercurrent of discontent among Demesne’s worker clones. She knows she is soulless and cannot feel and should not care – so why are overpowering sensations clouding Elysia’s mind? If anyone discovers that Elysia isn’t the unfeeling clone she must pretend to be, she will suffer a fate too terrible to imagine. When her one chance at happiness is ripped away with breathtaking cruelty, emotions she’s always had but never understood are unleashed. As rage, terror, and desire threaten to overwhelm her, Elysia must find the will to survive.

Actually, this is the book that sparked this blog post. Book 2 was supposed to come out in October this year, then pushed back to March 2014, and now pushed back to September 2014. I have no idea why the delay. Last I heard, the author was visiting the set for the film/telemovie Naomi & Ely’s No-Kiss List (based on the book which she co-wrote with David Levithan).

I was so into this book, and absolutely loved reading it. I started it in the car on the way to a doctor’s appointment, then in the waiting room… This was also the week in which my brother was away, so we drove (someone else drove; I was a passenger) to his place every day to feed and spend time with his dog. Only a ten-minute drive away, but I used any snatches of downtime to read this.

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