Following on from yesterday’s entry For The Love Of A Book, here is my review of two of the latest editions to the Quick Reads series.
First I read Today Everything Changes by Andy McNab. It’s a biography of parts of his childhood and when he first joined the army. Here’s the blurb from the back cover:
Abandoned as a baby, Andy McNab’s start in life was tough. He grew up in South London with foster parents, and poverty on all sides. Andy attended seven schools in as many years, disillusioned and in remedial classes. Before long his life was one of petty crime. By the age of sixteen he was in juvenile detention.
Recruited into the Army from there, it soon became clear that he had the reading age of an eleven year old. The next six months in the Army education system changed the course of his life forever.
Today Everything Changes is the inspiring story of when life changed for the better for now bestselling author Andy McNab.
I’d not read any Andy McNab books before. I’m not really sure why as I do like a thriller occasionally. I liked this book a lot and I would like to read more of his work. But more than his fiction I’d like to read more about his life and his time in The Forces. There were one or two bits in the book where he mentioned something in his past and I was like “you can’t leave it there, I need to know more than that!”
I knew nothing about the man besides the fact Andy McNab is a pen name for a man who used to be in the army and then the SAS. I’d sort of assumed his writing would be boring to me and that there wouldn’t be anything in his book apart from the tales of the army. I was wrong. He’s very definitely a good writer and obviously one who has struggled along that path. When he joined the army he couldn’t read. The day they taught him, that was the day everything changed and he started living his amazing life.
The second of the Quick Reads I read was A Sea Change by Veronica Henry. Very different to the Andy McNab this is a really good chick lit book complete with moments where you think it’s all going to go wrong and the requisite happy ending. Here’s the synopsis:
Jenna is known as The Ice Cream Girl.
She doesn’t mind the name one bit. After all, there are far worse jobs than selling ice creams by the sea. Then one hot summer’s day, everything changes and Jenna faces the most difficult decision of her life.
Craig spends as much time as he can at the beach hut in Everdene he rents with a few of his mates. It’s the perfect break from his stressful job, and he loves to surf. But one weekend he notices a girl on the beach – for all the wrong reasons.
For Jenna and Craig, it’s a chance meeting which could change their lives forever…
This provided me with some very enjoyable escapism for a Thursday morning. I loved both Jenna and Craig but we saw more of Jenna and who she was. I could really picture her – a girl life has been a bit tough on, a but shy and very alone with a very distinctive style and idea of just who she is. I’d have liked to know more of Craig’s history too. It also had a healthy dose of grittiness in it making it very realistic and not just syrupy sweet fluff like some chick lit can be.
Both of these books were brilliant and I loved them. But on balance I’d probably recommend A Sea Change more than Today Everything Changes.