wrap up

June Wrap up

It’s that a time of the month again when we all show each other what we read and I am happy to say that I read 6 things. 6 seems to be a happy consistent number for me at the moment. I have this desire to read everything at the moment but just don’t have the time.   I hope everyone is enjoying their summer.. for a change England has been very hot and sunny and in true Brit fashion I am going to moan…..it’s too hot! I can’t handle the heat very well and  constantly melting. I also have been ill this month and on antibiotics for TWO WEEKS!  Anyway enough about me, let’s get on with the books.

Click the covers to be directed to Goodreads for more information.

 

Mine

  • Mine by Susi Fox was my first read of the month. This is a Mystery/Thriller set in Australia. A woman is taken in for an emergency caesarean but when she comes round she has the feeling that her baby is not actually hers. This was an OK read but I found it slow and repetitive. If you enjoy family/domestic thrillers than you will enjoy this. Overall I rated 3 stars and will be writing a full review soon.

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

  • Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine by Gail Honeyman. This has been on my radar for so long and I finally got round to reading it and I am so glad I did. I can see why this is hyped. Eleanor is a social misfit, has her set routines and is bumbling along just fine – until she gets stuck with Raymond the IT guy at work. This is such a good book about character growth and just endearing. I rated this 4.75 out of 5 stars.

Tokyo Ghoul, tome 1 (Tokyo Ghoul, #1)

  • Tokyo Ghoul by Sui Ishida. Every month I ask my partner to pick a book of my shelves for me to read. This was his pick for June. This is the second or third manga that I have ever read and whilst I liked the story, I find the black and white artwork hard to decipher. This probably sounds strange but I just can’t see what is supposed to be happening in an action scene. I rated this 3 out 5 stars..I am not sure if I will be continuing on with the series.

Milk and Honey

  • Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur. As I don’t read too much Poetry I loaned this from my local library rather than buy it. I really didn’t like this book, the poems made me feel uncomfortable especially the abuse. I also didn’t like the sexual section. I am no means a prude but I just felt it unnecessary. The poems felt more like statements. Maybe I read this wrong but I don’t understand the hype. I rated this 2 stars as some of the poems about ‘love’ I did like.

Burial Rites

  • Burial Rites by Hannah Kent. I picked this book up from the library on a whim. This a book set in early 1800’s Iceland and based on true events. Agnes is to be executed for the murder of her former master. This story is her move to a different part of Iceland and to speak with Toti an assistant reverend that Agnes chose to be her spiritual guardian whilst she awaits her death. The story is very slow and one that slowly feeds you details of how Agnes come to be a convicted murderess. This was a dark and bleak story but due to the slow pace I gave it 3.75 stars.

The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales

  • The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks. Every month I tried to read a non-fiction book and this one caught my eye. Not only has it thousands of reviews on Goodreads but it has a high rating of 4.05. Neurology is something that interests me but also daunts me too, there is so much that could happen to a person, with some still unable to be explained. This took me the whole month to read.I dipped in and out of it whenever I got the chance. This is by no means a large book at 243 pages, it’s just the way it was written. I found the case studies extremely enjoyable but Sacks writing was not for me. It was not engaging, he constantly referenced other Neurologists like I knew them and had already read their work. It was not easy to read it was heavy in jargon. This is a good book if you already have some knowledge about the subject but if you know near to nothing like myself and wanted a bit more of an understanding of neurology then don’t pick this up. I am sure there are better books out there. Another book I don’t understand the high ratings for. I rated this 2 stars and that was just for the case studies.

Currently reading

 

The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Mos…The Kiss Quotient (The Kiss Quotient, #…

I hope to read another 6 books for July, I have currently read 40 books this year which means I am 3 books ahead of my target.

What books did you read in June? Have you read any the same as me, what’s your thoughts?

Thanks for reading

wrap up

May wrap up!

I feel my reading has really slowed down this year. At the moment I am not having the spare time to sit down and read as much as I would like. May wasn’t a bad reading month… I managed to finish 6 books admittedly 3 were short so that helped out. I still haven’t found my 5 star read. I am concerned that either I have become too picky or I am falling out of love with reading. Maybe I am just picking up the wrong sort of books.

Anyway this is what I read:

To kill a kingdom by Alexandra Christo – This is a loosely based little mermaid retelling. With Sirens and princes, both hunting one another. If you want something with strong, badass female protagonists this will be the book for you. I liked this book but it didn’t hold my attention as much as I liked and I kept putting it down for a few days and then read a few pages and so on. I rated this 🌟 🌟 🌟 I will be writing a review in June.

Bad Girls by Caitlin Davies – This is a non-fiction book looking back at the history of Holloway. Holloway was a female prison in London that was torn down a few years ago but was rich with history. This book looks at certain era’s of when the suffragettes were in full swing, the way they would starve themselves and sometimes get released as the prison didn’t no how to cope. It looks at escapees, more dangerous women and how the justice system changed over the years. The book is quite basic and covers a lot of topics but easy to digest. I rated this 🌟 🌟 🌟

Weird things customers say in bookshops by Jen Campbell – This is a small book just noting the weird and wonderful conversations booksellers have had with their customers. It was good, some were funny and some just had me baffled at the ridiculousness of people. This is a very small book. I rated this 🌟 🌟 🌟

Dear Ijeawele, or a feminist manifesto in fifteen suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie- Another small book read by me. This is written as a letter to Chimamanda friend after she was asked how to raise her daughter a feminist. This is an important book to read, it’s simply written and good starting place if you are like me and haven’t read much on the topic. I rated this 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

Lullaby by Leila Slimani – I was really looking forward to this book but it was a bit of anti climax. You find out right at the start that the nanny has killed the children she was looking after and th rest of the story is how it led to said events. It tried to be dark and sinister but it failed to deliver. I rated this 🌟 🌟 🌟

The silent companions by Laura Purcell – I was really looking forward to reading this one. I need a historical fiction kick and this sounded really interesting and spooky. However it just wasn’t for me. I liked it and enjoyed it the most part but the back story of why the companions were still haunting the house was a bit wishy washy. It has 3 time lines. The 1800’s,1600’s and then when the protagonist is in the asylum. I rated this 🌟 🌟 🌟

So there it is, the books that I read in May! How did you do? Did you read any the same as me? Do you have any recommendations for a 5 star read. Let’s chat.

Thanks for reading

wrap up

March and April Wrap up

So I haven’t posted for a while, due to being really busy with work, puppy and everyday life. I hope everyone is ok and enjoying the sunshine.  I am still reading but have slowed down a lot. I have been feeling slightly overwhelmed with my TBR pile lately so I am just trying to read what I am in the mood for. So this is what I have read in the last 2 months.

Please click on the covers to be directed to Goodreads.

The Hate U Give

  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas – I have finally read this book! This is super hyped all over the blogosphere and for good reasons too. I enjoyed this book but I didn’t enjoy it as much as everyone else. It was an important story that needed to be told but I felt the relationship between Starr and her boyfriend was a bit stilted. I rated this 3/5 stars.

SHOCK Anthology

  • Shock edited by Joe Pruett – I was able to read an early copy of this thanks to Edelweiss. I have never read an anthology of comics/graphic novels so this was a first for me. But I was pleasantly surprised  by how much I enjoyed it. There is a range of different genres and art styles and would recommend picking this up. I rated 3.5 stars.

Blob

  • Blob by David Walliams – This is a book specially published for world book day. Me and my daughter really liked this book. David Walliams is the modern Roald Dahl with his funny made up words but also a serious lesson included. I rated this 4/5 stars.

The Light that Gets Lost

  • The Light That Gets Lost by Natasha Carthew – This was a beat the back list read for me and to be honest I just had to remind myself what it was about again. This was so boring and strange that I have already forgotten about it. I rated this 1/5 stars.

Bring Me Back

  • Bring Me Back by B A Paris – This was one of my most anticipated books of 2018. I read ‘The Breakdown’ last year and it made my top 10. I was disappointed with this book, it just lacked lustre and just wasn’t believable. I will be reviewing this soon but I rated 3/5 stars.

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War

  • World War Z by Max Brooks – I asked my partner to book off my shelves for me to read and this is the one he chose. I went into this pretty much blind but obviously knowing that it was about Zombies. I really disliked this book. I didn’t like the way it was told and I would have preferred more civilian perspectives rather than political figures. A lot of political stuff will go over my head. Anyway, I have read this now and unhauled it. I rated this 1/5 stars.

Amelia Fang and the Barbaric Ball

  • Amelia Fang and the Barbaric Ball by Laura Ellen Anderson – Another children’s book. I started using the audiobook from my local library and then read the second half. This is a cute middle grade story where Vampires, Ghosts and other Creatures of the night are scared of Fairies but it also about children being nice to each other. I rated this 3/5 stars.

The Chocolate Lovers' Club

  • The Chocolate Lover’s Club by Carole Matthews – This was a light and fluffy chic lit book. About four friends that met at a local chocolate shop and how they help each other with advice on their lives and consume copious amounts of chocolate in the mean time. I liked this but it’s not the best writing or story out there but it was what I needed at the time. I have to say though that all these women should be obese from the amount they ate. I rated this 3/5 stars and I will continue on with the series.

Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She's "Learned"

  • Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham –I am not sure why I read this book, this is just a memoir of Lena Dunhams life growing up and her sexual encounters and how she felt as a woman blah blah blah. I didn’t find it funny. I rated this 2.25/5 stars.

Peach

  • Peach by Emma Glass – I knew I had to read this when I read the synopsis. This is a very thought-provoking short story being only 112 pages. The way it is written gets some getting used to.It will not be for everyone but I am glad I read it. 3/5 stars.

Stay with Me

  • Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo – I really enjoyed this book, it’s told from two perspectives and goes back and forwards in time. It’s a simple story but a marriage based on lies and deceit. I rated this book 4/5 stars.

In the last 2 months I have read 11 books, I am happy with that. I have to say I might have read more if I hadn’t read World War Z as it just took me forever. What have you guys read in the last month? Have you read any of these books? Let’s chat.

Thanks for reading

Uncategorized

4 #beatthebacklist mini reviews

 

This is 4 mini reviews that I am trying to catch up on – they were all read last year. 3 Young-Adult and 1 mystery/thriller. These were all part of my beat the back list reads.

 

 

Beside Myself

Author: Ann Morgan

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Published: 12th January 2016

Genre: Mystery

Source: NetGalley

Date read: 23rd October 2017

Beside Myself is a literary thriller about identical twins, Ellie and Helen, who swap places aged six. At first it is just a game, but then Ellie refuses to swap back. Forced into her new identity, Helen develops a host of behavioural problems, delinquency and chronic instability. With their lives diverging sharply, one twin headed for stardom and the other locked in a spiral of addiction and mental illness, how will the deception ever be uncovered? Exploring questions of identity, selfhood, and how other people’s expectations affect human behaviour, this novel is as gripping as it is psychologically complex.

*I received a copy of this book from the Publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest opinion*

I love a family drama mystery and the synopsis instantly pulled me in. Identical twins that swap places! surely the mother would realise or friends and family? Apart from the twins being identical in appearance their personalities are very different. Helen is the devious one, she has loads of friends and is confident, whereas Ellie is perhaps a bit behind for her age and has some social problems. One day Helen thinks it will be fun to play tricks on people by swapping identities and seeing whether they can tell. Only for Helen this is the biggest mistake of her life as Ellie doesn’t want to return to her former self and starts to reinvent herself and be Helen permanently. This lead Helen’s mental health to spiral out of control and becomes instantly labelled as a troublemaker by family and friends as she constantly tries to tell them that they have swapped. Years later when Helen has been cast out by her family, it’s only when a tragedy occurs that she is swept back into the drama by meeting her sister’s husband and daughter.

This book got a little confusing for me, I was having a little of a hard time of trying to keep up with who was who. At times I was skeptical towards the plot as it felt unrealistic in parts.The Mother was just an awful human being and treated her children badly.. This was difficult to read as Helen had such a tragic life and everything and one seemed to be against her. I would recommend reading if you enjoy family psychological drama.

Overall I rated this book 3/5 stars.

 

Boy 23

Author: Jim Carrington

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Published: 19th November 2015

Genre: Sci-fi, Young-Adult

Source: NetGalley

Date Read:6th November 2017

Boy 23 isn’t in My Place any more. He can’t see The Screen, he can’t hear The Voice. Boy 23 is alone.

One dark night, Boy 23 is thrown in the back of the van and driven out of My Place – the only home he has ever known. He is abandoned in a forest with a rucksack containing the bare essentials for survival. Before the van drives away, a voice tells him he must run as far as he can. His life depends on it. Boy 23 has never known another human. Boy 23 has never even been outside. So who is he? Why do people want to kill him? And more to the point, who is the voice that wants to save him?

A hugely fast-paced dystopian page-turner which by the end will leave you in a state of shock. For fans of Chaos Walking and Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

I think this was one of the very first books that I requested on Netgalley and I can’t even remember why I requested it, it’s not really something that I would go for. However I requested and finally read it and now reviewing :). This is a science-fiction/dystopian Young adult book, it is hard to categorise as it felt like several genres. We follow this boy and he is known as Boy 23 and lives in ‘My Place’ he doesn’t have any human contact and has no idea of the outside world, he communicates with ‘The voice’ who tells him his schedule and is a role model of such.One night Boy 23 is bundled in to the boot of a car and dumped into the woods with a backpack and ‘the voice’ telling him to run as far away as possible. With never being outside before he doesn’t know foe from friend. Someone is out to get him but he needs to let the right people know that he exists before he is captured. This book was OK! It was fast paced with an air of mystery, however it took a long time for the big reveal and I was getting a little bored to be honest. The writing was not the greatest and the use of ‘Squizz’ and ‘yomping’ was way too much and started irritating the hell out of me. The world building was pretty non-existent, we knew that it was set in Germany but we didn’t get much more than that.

I rated this 2.75/5 stars.

No Shame

Author: Anne Cassidy

Publisher: Bonnier Zaffre

Published: 21st September 2017

Genre: Young-Adult Contemporary

Source: NetGalley and Publisher

Date read: 13th November 2017

The powerful companion to NO VIRGIN.

From the author of the critically acclaimed, LOOKING FOR JJ, shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize in 2004 and the Carnegie Medal in 2005.

Stacey Woods has been raped and now she has to go through a different ordeal – the court trial. But nothing in life it seems is black and white and life is not always fair or just. Suddenly it seems that she may not be believed and that the man who attacked her may be found not guilty . . . if so Stacey will need to find a way to rebuild her life again . . .

*I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and the Publisher in exchange for an honest review*

This is the companion novel to ‘No Virgin’ which I read in November 2016. This is the court trial that Stacey has to go through to get justice. She wants to see the man who raped her sent to prison and for him not to be able to prey on innocent young girls and carry out such a heinous act again. We see Stacey question herself whether she is strong enough mentally to go through with the trial and face her attacker once again. Stacey needs this to start rebuilding her life and looking to the future of university. She tries to convince another girl who has been attacked to go to the police to build a stronger case. I really think that both of these books could have been one book together than two separate novellas, However I did like seeing the court case and how brutal it can be when things are twisted and people appear to be something they are not. We still had her best friend included and the court case brought her family closer together. This again had powerful messages of seeking justice and support.

I rated this 3 out of 5 stars

 

The List

Author: Siobhan Vivian

Publisher: Mira Ink

Published: 7th April 2016

Genre: Young-Adult Contemporary

Source: NetGalley and Publisher

Date read:26th November 2017

An intense look at the rules of high school attraction – and the price that’s paid for them.

It happens every year. A list is posted, and one girl from each grade is chosen as the prettiest, and another is chosen as the ugliest. Nobody knows who makes the list. It almost doesn’t matter. The damage is done the minute it goes up.

This is the story of eight girls, freshman to senior, “pretty” and “ugly.” And it’s also the story of how we see ourselves, and how other people see us, and the tangled connection of the two.

*I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

This is the first time I have read anything my Siobhan Vivien, so I didn’t quite no what to expect. This is told by multiple characters attending high school. Every year a list is created naming the ugliest and prettiest girls – no-one know who creates this list but it can be brutal and we see the impact that it has on our characters and how they deal with bullying. I didn’t really like this story there were too many perspectives and I felt that nothing really felt resolved at the end. What I did like was that it allowed us to see how it affects people and how they are treated when something so superficial is posted around high school – the characters are at an impressionable age and something like this can scar you for life.

I rated 2 out of 5 stars

 

Thanks for reading