I came across A Box of Stories through Facebook back in April 2020, when I was absolutely bored out of my mind due to being furloughed. The company wasn’t as big as it is now and they only had a few boxes to choose from; a Surprise Box of 4 Fiction Books (£14.99), a Surprise Box of 4 Mixed Fiction Books (£14.99), and I want to say a Crime, Thriller and Mystery Box of 4 Surprise Books (£21.99) though I’m not 100% on that one. Now however, they have all of those I’ve said above plus a Young Adult Box of 4 Surprise Books (£21.99), a Light Reads Box of 4 Surprise Books (£21.99) and a Historical Fiction Box of 4 Surprise Books (£21.99).
This is the what I got in my May Fiction Box. This will actually be my last box as I just have way to many books to read and need to focus on the books I have been asked to review.
Sugar Money by Jane Harris (RRP £8.99).
Blurb: Martinique, 1765, and brothers Emile and Lucien are charged by their French master with a mission. They must return to Grenada, the island they once called home, and smuggle back forty-two slaves claimed by English invades. While Lucien, burly in his teens, sees the trip as a great adventure, the older and worldlier Emile has no illusions about the true dangers they will face…
My thoughts: Doesn’t sound like my kind of book to be honest. I’m not really into history to be honest, I find it a bit depressing.
Jack of Spades by Joyce Carol Oates (RRP £16.99).
Blurb: I am a good person.
I am a person who loves his family.
I am a citizen who care about his community.
You will not vilify me!
From one of the most highly regarded writers of her generation, Jack of Spades is a psychologically complex thriller that examines the fine line between genius and madness.
Andrew J. Rush has achieved the kind of commercial success most authors only dream about: a top agent, publisher in New York, and twenty-eight mystery novels to his name. He has a loving wife, three grown children, and is well-known in his small New Jersey town for his charitable work.
But Andrew J. Rush is hiding a dark secret. Under the pseudonym Jack of Spades, he has penned another string of novels – dark, violent, masochistic tales of murder, lust and madness.
When a court order arrives accusing him of plagiarism. Rush fears his secret may be exposed. Rush fears his secret may be exposed. And unbidden, in the back of his mind, the Jack of Spades starts plotting his survival.
My thoughts: This one sounds a bit more exciting than the book above but again, I’m not jumping in excitement for this one either. What’s wrong with me? Am I in some sort of readers slum?
The Pill that Steals Lives by Katinka Blackford Newman (RRP £8.99).
Blurb: While going through a divorce, documentary filmmaker Katinka Blackford Newman took an antidepressant. Not unusual – except that things didn’t turn out quite as she expected. She went into a four-day toxic psychosis with violent hallucinations, imaging she had killed her children, and in fact attacking herself with a knife.
Caught up in a real-life nightmare when doctors didn’t realise she was suffering side effects of more pills, she went into a year-long decline. Soon she was wandering around in an old dressing gown, unable to care for herself, and dribbling. She nearly lost everything, but luck stepped in; treated at another hospital, she was taken off all the medication and made a miraculous recovery within weeks.
By publicising her story, Katinka went on to make some startling discoveries. Could there really be thousands around the world who kill themselves and others from these drugs? What of the billions of dollars in settlements paid out by drug companies? Could they really be the cause of world mass killings, such as the Germanwings pilot who took an airliner down, killing 150, while on exactly the same medication as the author when she became psychotic? And how come so many people are taking these drugs when experts say they are no more effective than a sugar-coated pill for people like her; who are distressed rather than depressed?
Moving, frightening and at times funny, this is the story of how a single mum in Harlesden, North-West London, juggles life and her quest for love in order to investigate Big Pharma.
My thoughts: This wouldn’t usually be a book I read. I’m not really in to documentary type books. However, this book really does hit home. I went on anti-depressants and took myself off them only a couple of weeks later. I was being aggressive towards my partner, I was having suicidal thoughts, and all I wanted to do was hurt myself. I really want to know what Katinka found out.
Family Trust by Kathy Wang (RRP £18.99).
Blurb: Meet Stanley Huang. Father, husband, ex-husband, man of unpredictable temper, aficionado of bargain luxury goods. He’s just been diagnosed with cancer, and his family are dealing with the fall-out.
Meet Stanley’s Family. Son Fred, a banker who never has enough money; daughter Kate, juggling a difficult boss and her two small children; ex-wife Linda, suspicious of Stanley’s grand gestures; and second wife Mary, giver of foot rubs and ego massages.
Meet Stanley’s fortune. As the Huangs come to terms with Stanley’s approaching death, they are starting to fear that there’s a lot less in the pot than they thought. And that’s a problem when you live in one of the wealthiest parts of California…
My thoughts: Maybe a Schitt’s Creek kinda vibe here? Not sure… We will have to see. Can’t tell if I’m looking forward to this book or not.
This box cost me £14.24 (you get 5% discount if you set up a subscription) and the cost of the books totalled £53.96 meaning a saving of £39.72. If you would like A Box of Stories for yourself, use this link for £4 off your first box – http://aboxofstories.refr.cc/geelizreads
What did you think of this selection? What book would you want to read the most out of these and which book would you want to read the least? Have you read any of these books? What did you think? Look forward to hearing from you all soon.
Gee Liz ❤ x