Book Review – You

25161131Title- You
Author- Caroline Kepnes
Published-  2015
Genre- Fiction, thriller, crime
Length- 432 pages
Rating- 3.5/5
Synopsis (Goodreads) – When a beautiful, aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card.

There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know: she is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and she’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight—the perfect place for a “chance” meeting.

As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck’s life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joe transforms himself into Beck’s perfect man, all while quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way—even if it means murder.

Review – So the point of this book is basically that unlike most stalker books that are told from the point of view of the victim, this story is told from the point of view of the stalker. It’s a nice idea.Read More »

Not (exactly) a book review! The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet

25786523Title- The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet
Author- Becky Chambers
Published-  2015
Genre- sci-fi
Length- 519 pages
Rating- DNF
Synopsis (Amazon)- When Rosemary Harper joins the crew of the Wayfarer, she isn’t expecting much. The Wayfarer, a patched-up ship that’s seen better days, offers her everything she could possibly want: a small, quiet spot to call home for a while, adventure in far-off corners of the galaxy, and distance from her troubled past.

But Rosemary gets more than she bargained for with the Wayfarer. The crew is a mishmash of species and personalities, from Sissix, the friendly reptillian pilot, to Kizzy and Jenks, the constantly sparring engineers who keep the ship running. Life on board is chaotic, but more or less peaceful – exactly what Rosemary wants.

Until the crew are offered the job of a lifetime: the chance to build a hyperspace tunnel to a distant planet. They’ll earn enough money to live comfortably for years… if they survive the long trip through war-torn interstellar space without endangering any of the fragile alliances that keep the galaxy peaceful.

But Rosemary isn’t the only person on board with secrets to hide, and the crew will soon discover that space may be vast, but spaceships are very small indeed.

Not (exactly) a review- So, I am giving up and DNF-ing this book! It gets a lot of hype on BookTube and I am struggling to see why? I got about 100 pages in and it was just boring, so I kept putting off reading it. If I have lots of things I want to do then a bad book is not going to win, so not only do I not read that book, I don’t read at all which I don’t like. I even tried reading another book and going back to this but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

As I didn’t finish it I’m not going to do a full review, but I will give a few comments….Read More »

Book Review- Breakfast at Tiffany’s

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Title- Breakfast as Tiffany’s
Author- Truman Capote
Published-  1958
Genre- classics, literary fiction
Length- 100 pages
Rating- 4/5
Synopsis (Goodreads)- It’s New York in the 1940s, where the martinis flow from cocktail hour till breakfast at Tiffany’s. And nice girls don’t, except, of course, Holly Golightly. Pursued by Mafia gangsters and playboy millionaires, Holly is a fragile eyeful of tawny hair and turned-up nose, a heart-breaker, a perplexer, a traveller, a tease. She is irrepressibly ‘top banana in the shock department’, and one of the shining flowers of American fiction.

Review- Despite it being a classic I had no idea what this book was about going into it.

This book is really short and you could easily get through it in one sitting. The writing is good, my only complaint on that front is that sometimes with the dialogue it was difficult to know which character was speaking.

A lot happens for such a short book, the action isn’t all saved for the end either, it is fast paced throughout, which is unusual for a classic. The story is interesting, unrealistic maybe but it’s fiction so who cares.Read More »

Book Review- All Our Wrong Todays

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Title- All Our Wrong Todays
Author- Elan Mastai
Published-  February 2017
Genre- Science fiction, time travel
Length- 393 pages
Rating- 5/5
Synopsis (Amazon)-  When Tom loses the love of his life, time travel seems like the only answer. . . what could possibly go wrong?

So, the thing is, I come from the world we were supposed to have. That means nothing to you, obviously, because you live here, in the crappy world we do have. But it never should’ve turned out like this. And it’s all my fault – well, me and to a lesser extent my father. And, yeah, I guess a little bit Penelope. In both worlds, she’s the love of my life. But only a single version of her can exist. I have one impossible chance to fix history’s greatest mistake and save this broken world. Except it means saving one Penelope and losing the other forever – and I have absolutely no idea which to choose . . .

Review- I received an ARC of this from the publisher so thank you to them.

This isn’t the type of book I normally read but that didn’t stop me from loving it! I don’t know if it not being my usual genre makes my rating more or less valid? Maybe those that read a lot of science-fiction wouldn’t like it, I don’t know, or maybe the fact that I loved it despite not normally liking science fiction shows just how amazing it is?Read More »

Do you judge a book by its cover?

Cover-explainer

Everyone knows the old saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” but do you stick to it?

Surely bookstores rely on people judging books by their covers? When you walk into a bookstore, what else makes you pick up a book if not the cover? With some books you might have heard about them somewhere or recognise the author’s name, but that can’t be the case for most books, for most people. So if not the cover what else is there, at least in terms of picking up a book to find out what it’s about?

Read More »

Book Review- The Book of You

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Title- The Book of You
Author- Claire Kendal
Published-  2014
Genre- Thriller/crime
Length- 385 pages
Rating- 3.25/5
Synopsis (Goodreads)- A terrifying psychological thriller about obsession and power, perfect for fans of Gone Girl and Before I Go to Sleep.

Clarissa is becoming more and more frightened of her colleague, Rafe. He won’t leave her alone, and he refuses to take no for an answer. He is always there.

Being selected for jury service is a relief. The courtroom is a safe haven, a place where Rafe can’t be. But as a violent tale of kidnap and abuse unfolds, Clarissa begins to see parallels between her own situation and that of the young woman on the witness stand.

Realizing that she bears the burden of proof, Clarissa unravels the twisted, macabre fairytale that Rafe has spun around them – and discovers that the ending he envisions is more terrifying than she could have imagined.

Review- For a thriller this is nothing special.

The narrative switches between a weird version of second person, and third person, it takes a bit of getting used to and I think a different style would have made the book better. Read More »

Book Review- This is Where it Ends

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Title- This is Where it Ends
Author- Marieke Nijkamp
Published-  2016
Genre- YA
Length- 285 pages
Rating- 2.75/5
Synopsis (Goodreads)- 10:00 a.m. The principal of Opportunity High School finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m. The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

10:03 a.m. The auditorium doors won’t open.

10:05 a.m. Someone starts shooting.

Told from four different perspectives over the span of fifty-four harrowing minutes, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.

Review- I didn’t really enjoy this book, not because of the topic, but because it was badly done.

Firstly, some really basic things were annoying. Right at the start a lot of characters were introduced in quick succession, there were also several brother/sister combos, so when they were all introduced so quickly it was tricky to remember who was related to who. Also two of the characters had names that could be confusing, “Far”, and “Autumn”. Yes capital letters were used but with “Far” particularly, it wasn’t until his name was used three times that it was clear he was a person rather than a distance. The name of the school and town, “Opportunity”, was also just ridiculous. Read More »

Book Review- Everything I Never Told You

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Title- Everything I Never Told You
Author- Celeste Ng
Published-  2014
Genre- Contemporary, literary fiction
Length- 305 pages
Rating- 5/5
Synopsis (Goodreads)- Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet . . . So begins this debut novel about a mixed-race family living in 1970s Ohio and the tragedy that will either be their undoing or their salvation. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee; their middle daughter, a girl who inherited her mother’s bright blue eyes and her father’s jet-black hair. Her parents are determined that Lydia will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue—in Marilyn’s case that her daughter become a doctor rather than a homemaker, in James’s case that Lydia be popular at school, a girl with a busy social life and the center of every party.

When Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together tumbles into chaos, forcing them to confront the long-kept secrets that have been slowly pulling them apart.

Review- It is difficult to know what to say about this book. When a book is this good it’s hard to find any faults with it, meaning that other than gushing praise, there isn’t much to say.Read More »

Book Review- Feral

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Title- Feral
Author- James DeMonaco and B. K. Evenson
Published-  April 4th 2017
Genre- Science fiction, dystopian, post apocalyptic, horror
Length- 320 pages
Rating- 4/5
Synopsis (Goodreads)- Allie Hilts was still in high school when a fire at a top-secret research facility released an air-borne pathogen that quickly spread to every male on the planet, killing most. Allie witnessed every man she ever knew be consumed by fearsome symptoms: scorching fevers and internal bleeding, madness and uncontrollable violence. The world crumbled around her. No man was spared, and the few survivors were irrevocably changed. They became disturbingly strong, aggressive, and ferocious. Feral.
Three years later, Allie has joined a group of hardened survivors in an isolated, walled-in encampment. Outside the guarded walls the ferals roam free, and hunt. Allie has been noticing troubling patterns in the ferals’ movements, and a disturbing number of new faces in the wild. Something catastrophic is brewing on the horizon, and time is running out. The ferals are coming, and there is no stopping them.

Review-  I received an ARC of this from the publisher so thank you to them.

I haven’t been having the best luck with books lately so I was a bit worried about picking this up as it isn’t the type of thing I normally go for. When I read another review of this however, the reviewer mentioned that one of the authors was the writer of The Purge movie which I thought was well done so that gave me hope with this book.

This was a quick and easy read, a couple of other reviews that I’ve read claim that as this book went on it became really slow. I disagree. The pace does slow a little, but early on it is very fast so even slightly slower it is still well paced, you are never bored, there is no “down time” filled with long unnecessary explanations or descriptions, something interesting is always going on. The chapters are also quite short which I think most people agree makes a book quicker to get through.Read More »

Book Prizes

Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 17.26.00So, I keep seeing shortlists for book prizes….

Book prizes often actually put me off books. With one very well known prize, if there is a book on their shortlist that I was previously interested in, it just being on the list will make me remove it from my TBR. I haven’t just started doing this completely randomly, there is a reason. With some of these big prizes I have read many of the previous winning or shortlisted books and I haven’t liked any of them. It’s similar to liking or not liking particular genres really. I know I don’t tend to like YA in the same way I know I don’t tend to like such and such prize winners, so I avoid both.

It seems the big name prizes are often very political. If a book is about an “important” topic it ends up on a prize shortlist, regardless of how good or bad it actually is. From my point of view the quality of the book should be the sole determining factor for prizes. Anyone can pick an “important” topic and write something about it. Not everyone can write a good book. A good book, can be about anything, any topic, it being about a less “important” topic doesn’t make it “unworthy”.Read More »