Book Reviews

How to be both – Ali Smith

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What lovely weather we have had this weekend! Plus, a win for England in the world cup (though, when it comes to England it is always a debate as to how long we can carry on winning). So, what is the book that I have finished on this delightful day? Well, it is one that was a birthday present to me a number of years ago which sadly was just not right for me at the time (I’ll explain later).

Without further ado, today I will be reviewing the book “How to be both” by Ali Smith.

Now as I had said before when I first tried to read this book I just didn’t get it. Being Dyslexic, there are some books that I just get and some that are a bit of a struggle. The unique sentence structure and narrative of this book proved too complicated for me at the time. However, on a second attempt, it made a lot more sense. Don’t get me wrong, it takes a few pages at the start to wrap your head around it, but you should be fine if you are a competent reader.

So, what did I think of the book? It was alright. Not as captivating as other books I have read, and the ending isn’t as satisfying as I would have liked it to have been.

The book is set in two time frames: the present day and the 1460s. It starts off with the ghostly narration of a renaissance artist from the 1460s observing the living habits of a girl in the present day (make sense?). Continue reading “How to be both – Ali Smith”

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The Fourteenth Letter – Claire Evans

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For photo source, click here.

I am so behind on writing any reviews for all the books I’ve read that it’s actually a joke. So, what’s happened since I last posted in April (appalling that I’ve left it so long!)? Well, I had one hell of a stressful return back to uni for the last term… Let’s just say I’m glad its all behind me! So, I’ve finally finished my 2nd year of uni and am currently on placement up in the big city. That’s right, this little bookworm is starting to dip her toes into the London life!

Anyway, enough about me and on with the reviewing!

It’s a shame really, but I only came to be reading this book due to the fact that I couldn’t finish the book, Catch 22. This is my biggest fear when choosing a book. Not being able to finish one means that not only do you spend time trying your hardest to like the narrative or become gripped by the characters, it also means you will never know the ending and so all that previous effort was for nothing. Anyway, long story short, Catch 22 was just not doing it for me at the time and so will need to be revisited at some other point in my life where a need for non- chronological, nor coherent storylines are what I’m looking for. Now, on with the book review!

It took me a while to decide if I truly wanted to read this book, but ultimately, I’m glad I did, for ‘The Fourteenth Letter’ by Claire Evans appeared to be exactly what I was looking for. Continue reading “The Fourteenth Letter – Claire Evans”

Does My Bum Look Big in This? – Arabella Weir

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My first blog after my blog’s anniversary. Like I said before, it feels totally insane to think that I’ve been doing this for a year now!

So, what book am I reviewing today? I wonder if you can guess what genre it is from the title? ‘Does My Bum Look Big In This?’ By Arabella Weir.

The book is about Jacqueline Pane, a woman in her thirties, who is super insecure. The book is written in the style of short diary entries, so for all those who don’t like long paragraphs or chapters this book is for you. You read her inner thoughts and feelings as she navigates office life and a huge crush on Attractive New Andy from Marketing.

This had been on my ‘to read’ shelf for a while but it never felt the right moment. Anyway, this time I decided to read it because I thought it was about time I had a good laugh and easy read with a romcom. This book however didn’t supply that if I’m honest (or at least at the start). Continue reading “Does My Bum Look Big in This? – Arabella Weir”

Reviews of the Top 5 Books of 2017/18

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Yesterday was my blog’s 1st birthday!!!! It feels so weird to think that this time last year I decided to take the plunge and begin a blog. It’s funny, in some ways I haven’t changed my writing style at all, but in other ways I have changed. For example, for those who haven’t realised, I’ve been putting more pictures in my blogs, as I now know, that blogs with visuals are more likely to be viewed than those without, as people find them more engaging (ever wondered why Instagram’s such a popular social media platform).

Now being a casual thing in my life, it doesn’t really surprise me that my reader engagement isn’t exactly….. on point, but I’m still shocked at any engagement that I actually get. Like, how did you find me, why did you even bother to click on my blog in the first place? Every time I see that I’ve had a visitor, I get a little swell of pride that yeah, out of all the places to go on the internet, they have ended up here on my page, and you know what? I’m not even that fussed if your one of those people who are like, “Oh bu@@ger, I’ve clicked on the wrong site, this wasn’t what I was after at all!” So, enough of my blabbering and onto the more interesting (for you) stuff.

The Top 5 Books/series’ of my Year

Now I could have done ‘the Top 5 of my Whole Life’, but my memory isn’t that great and sadly I don’t have the luxury of a book shelf where I can gaze upon my past endeavours. Therefore, I know that I’d end up missing one and be mildly miffed with myself! So, without further ado, here is my list from the books I have previously reviewed on this blog. Oh, I almost forgot to say that this is measured purely on how entertaining/engaging I found them and not merely the quality of the narrative per say (hope you get my drift and that makes sense).  Continue reading “Reviews of the Top 5 Books of 2017/18”

Whistle Blower – Tess Gerritsen

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This is one of her earlier novels.

As I am writing this, I am now caught up with all my reviewing! Happy days 😀 . So, I will now proceed to tell you about this crime thriller I have just read as it is clearly the most natural book progression from reading teen fiction….

Today I’m reviewing ‘Whistle Blower’ by Tess Gerritson.

Now I had the book blues when I chose to read this and so therefore had a look at what other people where saying online to double check if this was the book for me. I found most to be positive reviews, but there were some negatives is the mix to. Therefore, I feel I need to clarify something so that people don’t go into reading this book thinking it will be something that it isn’t.

Yes, this is a thriller however, it also has a strong romance narrative. Therefore, I would say it’s a thriller romance rather than a plain thriller. “So what?” I can hear you thinking, “lots of books have romance interwoven into a story, why is it important to point this out?” Continue reading “Whistle Blower – Tess Gerritsen”

A Brave New World – Aldous Huxley

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I have never really understood the book cover design. Is it just trying to be all futuristic or is there something else to it?

After this one I’ve only got one more book to review and then I’m up to speed! I say this now but we all know what the reality will be, I’ll end up drowned in coursework and therefore will do more reading then reviewing in my spare time (if a laptop keyboard had the eye roll emoji it would go right here).

So, what book am I on about today? Well, I thought I would have a dabble in the more vintage classic section and stumbled upon ‘A Brave New World’ by Aldous Huxley, and you know what. I kinda liked it.

In summary, the book is about a ‘utopian’ world where everyone is now ‘civilised’ and happy due to a mix of subliminal brainwashing, genetic engineering and recreational sex and drugs (and by drugs they just mean Soma which is a strong hallucinogenic but without any of the negative side effects, or so they think). However, within this world not everyone seems to be as content as they should be and holes in their happiness start to appear. Continue reading “A Brave New World – Aldous Huxley”

The Upside of Unrequited – Becky Albertalli

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Book cover source click here

I’m slowly working through my book review list but sadly not at a speed faster than I keep finishing them (I say this as I have literally just finished another book to which I now need to review)! Anyway, back on the topic of today and that is…..

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli.

I know what your thinking, “aren’t you a bit old now to be reading teen fiction?” Well I’m sorry to disappoint your lofty expectations of me but, no. Not one teeny weeny bit. Once a child, always a child!

So, now that we have crossed that hurdle let me tell you what I thought of the book. Personally, I loved it. Reason: because all the stupid and ridiculous thoughts that the main character Molly has, are thoughts that I have suffered through, plus 10,000 more on top of them. This book is a funny and sweet coming of age story that I feel every insecure person should have a read of at some point in their life (even if they are 80, age is no excuse!).  Continue reading “The Upside of Unrequited – Becky Albertalli”