Sunday, 24 September 2017

Review: The Red Ribbon by Lucy Adlington


This is another one of those books where 'outstanding' or 'amazing' just seem like the wrong words to use, given the tragic context of the story. But this novel really is outstanding. I read the entire thing in a few hours, completely unexpectedly, because I found that I couldn't put it down.

The actual book itself was absolutely gorgeous - and I loved the fact that the cover encapsulates the pages, creating a little box effect. I know they say that you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover, but this one has to be up there with one of the best that I've seen.

The characters are by far the best part of this story - the friendship between Ella and Rose is so incredibly heart-warming, and even the slightly less savoury characters can't help but resonate with you. This is essentially a story about survival in the most brutal of circumstances, and this is a story that is going to stay with me for a long time.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Review: No Shame by Anne Cassidy


'Good' doesn't really seem like the appropriate word to describe this novel, but it really was. Good, that is.

I read this entire novel in one sitting, in about two hours. The story started straight away, there was no need for a buildup, and this meant that the pace of the entire novel moved quickly. It was heart wrenching, and this was only made worse by the knowledge that this kind of thing happens everyday to people all over the world. It also makes you think. Despite knowing what actually happened, the account that the defence lawyer gives also sounds equally plausible, and no doubt could have been the situation that happened in an alternate universe.

Again, to say that I liked this book doesn't really seem like the right thing to say, given the topic. But it was well-written and I think it's one of those books that everyone should read.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Review: Happy Days of the Grump by Tuomas Kyro


I've been so conflicted about this book. I couldn't decide whether I liked it or not, and then just as I decided that it wasn't for me, the last two chapters arrived and completely changed my perspective.

I totally get it. As a twenty-one year old, I was 'against' the Grump until the last two or three chapters, when it all became clear. The Grump suddenly morphed into an image of my granddad, who is my favourite person in the entire world, and it all made sense.

The world changes incredibly quickly, and as this book says, 'everyone knows a Grump'. They are the people, generally older, who can't keep up with how quickly life changes, especially with the introduction of things like technology, which gets more and more advanced every year.

The moral of the story, as I have chosen to understand it, is this: phone your grandparents more often. Visit them. Gently introduce them to the technology that comes so naturally to you. And remember that without them, you wouldn't even exist.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Review: Open Arms by Vince Cable


Meh. I'm not really a fan of this book, to be honest. The summary sounded really good and I was excited to read it, but it was far more political than I was expecting, and this made it incredibly hard to read.

For me, this novel never really got going. It was just a clear political statement from start to finish, and to be perfectly honest, it was dull. The only exciting parts of the story were the interactions between Kate and Deepak, but even these were few and far between. They were also completely unrealistic. Kate announces that she's in love with Deepak after meeting him what, once? Maybe twice?

It was well written, don't get me wrong, and I think it had the potential to be a really interesting story, but it there was just too much 'filler' stuff. I don't know, maybe it's just because I'm not really into political fiction, but this really didn't do it for me.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Review: Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart

I know, I know, another book review! There is a reason for all this book craziness, I promise! All will be revealed!


5 STARS IS NOT ENOUGH. This was so good! For the first couple of chapters I was a bit confused, but as soon as the story started to come together and the big twist was introduced - OH MY GOODNESS. I read it from cover to cover in about two and a half hours. Yep, I read the entire book in one sitting - it was that good. 

Lockhart's writing is eloquent and easy to follow, making the book incredibly easy to read. The characters were all relatable in their own way, and the storyline itself was just so intense and interesting. I also really liked the way the story worked backwards from the main event. If this had been written the other way around, leaving the big reveal for the end of the book, I don't think it would have been as good, and certainly not as gripping. 
I cannot say enough good things about this book. It was AMAZING.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Review: Stockholm Delete by Jens Lapidus


Meh. I don't really know how I feel about this, to be honest. I didn't really get into it until about halfway through, and even then I wasn't really that enthralled by it. You follow the story from the perspective of about five different characters, and I just think that was a bit much.

The story was interesting enough, but it was a bit too complicated at times and hard to keep up with. The twist at the end was good though, and obviously sets up for a third book. Maybe that was part of the issue - I believe this is the second novel in a series, and I haven't read the first one, so maybe that would have made it less complicated.

Considering the book is translated from Swedish, it is actually very easy to read. I didn't hate this, but I didn't love it, either. 

Friday, 25 August 2017

Review: A Semi Definitive List of Worst Nightmares by Krystal Sutherland



50 fears in 50 weeks.

I cannot even begin to explain how much I loved this book. 5 stars are not enough! Anyone who has suffered or been effected by mental health in anyway HAS to read this book. 

I loved Esther - she is flawed and therefore relatable in a way that meant I was unable to put the book down. Each character was so fascinating and the plot that pulled them all together was heart-breaking and hopeful in equal measure. It may sound like an exaggeration, but as soon as I finished this book, the first thing I wanted to do was go and find a spider and face my crippling fear once and for all. 

This book just makes such an important point about mental health - it effects everyone, whether directly or indirectly, and that it is completely okay to admit that you need help. Everyone is afraid of something, and only by dealing with that fear directly will you be able to move on.