My favourite page-turners of 2015


The Every series by Ellie Marney

I tore through Ellie Marney’s Sherlock Holmes-inspired YA detective trilogy in a single weekend. Smart, sexy, and suspenseful, these novels were dangerously readable and had me staying up late into the night. I loved spending time with Watts as she navigated being a teenager and intrepid investigator (the latter sometimes unwillingly). She goes through a scary ordeal in the second book (I was very upset), and I was impressed with how Marney didn’t just brush this incident aside, but made efforts to demonstrate how it had impacted on Watts' life in the third book. Even though Mycroft made me roll my eyes a couple of times, I was easily wrapped up in the developing romance between him and Watts. I suspect if I’d read these books as a teen I would have been even more invested!


The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty by Vendela Vida

An enthralling literary mystery, this is one of those novels where the less you know, the better. You’ll just have to trust me… An unnamed woman travels to Casablanca and as soon as she arrives, her backpack is stolen. From there, the plot twists itself into a delightful knot and the tension steadily builds and builds, as our narrator makes one decision after another. The story is written in second-person which works to enhance the paranoia and escalating anxiety you feel as the reader; everything that happens to our unnamed narrator feels immediate and personal.


Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

This is another literary mystery that hooked me from the get-go. Similar to Gillian Flynn’s bestseller Gone Girl, this is the story of a marriage from both sides, first his (‘Fates’) and then hers (‘Furies’). I loved Groff’s prose, which is richly imaginative and evocative with flashes of wry humour. While I really enjoyed it when the plot veered into soap opera territory – revealing dishy childhood secrets, having the characters enact high-concept acts of vengeance, etc – what stayed with me long after finishing the book were the quiet moments. Groff recreates the seemingly insignificant events that make up a relationship, showing how it is by stories that we define ourselves.


Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

I found myself completely absorbed in the world of Australian YA novel Illuminae after just a few pages, and only very grumpily able to leave it for such necessary tasks as showering/eating/sleeping. Set on a spaceship in the distant future, the story is fast-paced, multi-layered, and breathlessly exciting. There are so many twists and turns in the plot, and I loved both our teen heroes Kady and Ezra. The story is genuinely frightening and I had no idea how it would end. Illuminae has already been optioned for a film, but make sure you read the book first – the way the narrative is revealed through a series of documents is so clever and I just don’t know how they’ll be able to translate that for the screen.


Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief by Lawrence Wright

While Going Clear was first published in 2013, I only read it this year and quite simply, I couldn’t put the thing down. Lawrence Wright’s investigation into Scientology is a thrilling work of non-fiction – a certified page-turner. Fascinating, bizarre, and frequently horrific, the story of how this religion started and has evolved over the years kept me on the edge of my seat the entire way through. Wright did exhaustive research into the lives of Scientologists, current and former, for this book and he presents all of his findings in such a clear, direct way that it almost makes some of the details more shocking.


The Story of the Lost Child by Elena Ferrante

I read a lot of books due to my job but it’s still rare to read one that actually informs my life in some way. Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels are one example; they’re among the most important books in my reading life. And they’re seriously addictive to boot. I wrote in my review of the fourth book, “They’re the kind of books that swallow me whole. As soon as I pick one up, I don’t want to breathe or move lest I break the spell.” I can’t recommend you read these books enough times, and right now is the perfect time as you can pick up all of the first three for the price of two from any of our five shops (not online).

Bronte Coates is Readings' digital content coordinator. She is also the prize manager of the Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction.

Fates and Furies

Fates and Furies

Lauren Groff

$22.99Buy now

Finding stock availability...