This was also recommended by a different colleague and is based around and in WWI, with a heroine who, like Cassandra, can see the deaths of people around her. It was another Young Adult book but again, kept me gripped.
Moving away from Young Adults, I really enjoyed the beautiful writing in the Easternmost House which I felt deserved to be savoured, so I took my time reading it. It is a year in the life of the author, living in a house that will have to be demolished as the sea erodes the cliff on which it stands. The description of the coastal and countryside life she leads, the attention to nature and appreciating it all makes this book special.
I was riveted to a brief series on BBC4 recently, called Handmade in Bolton. Each week, an incredibly talented, self-taught man called Shaun Greenhalgh was challenged to recreate a artwork from previous times - a gold eagle, infilled with garnets and amethysts, a Pallissy ceramic dish, a Nottingham alabaster carving and a rock crystal bottle. This Renaissance Man was Shaun Greenhalgh who was convicted as a forger and spent time in prison. He has an amazing knowledge of so many art forms and how they were created. Having watched the series, we ordered his book which he wrote while in prison. If you haven't seen the programmes and are able to watch them on iplayer, I recommend them. His book is written in a very accessible style and explains how he taught himself all the different techniques and how he got drawn into forgery. I haven't finished it yet but am enjoying reading about him. I am sure his work will be collected because it is by him - he can turn his hand to so many types of art and craft.
Finally, a gothic tale which has left me with some unanswered questions. It kept me gripped and had elements of Victorian novels such as Jane Eyre, The Woman in White and Lady Audley's Secret. In the beginning chapters, the author describes what it is like to be a reader, to have characters stay with you and to resent starting a new story and having to push previous stories aside. The story twists and turns, with disturbing elements and lots of 'ah, I see' moments too.