I received My Dark Vanessa in exchange for an honest review
Tipped to be one of the biggest releases of the summer, My Dark Vanessa is as dark as its title suggests. A powerhouse of a book which tackles taboo topics and lays them bare, leaving no stone unturned. I was contacted by the publisher and offered a chance to review this book last year, before it even appeared available for request. I’d seen the hype, I immediately accepted. But I’m a bad reviewer and I left this one on the shelf until now, close to publication. I knew this one was going to be tough, dark and disturbing and it definitely lived up to that expectation. Continue reading
I received The Glass Hotel in exchange for an honest review
It’s been five years since I reviewed this author on my blog, six years since the release of her preview smash-hit release, Station Eleven. When I saw Mandel was releasing a follow-up with that beautiful, enticing cover, I had to try it. But, I managed my expectations. I knew this wasn’t another Station Eleven; it wasn’t going to be another post-pandemic masterpiece. I knew this novel was going to be a little quieter, a literary drama with a sprinkling of that dreamlike prose I fell in love with. And I wasn’t disappointed. Continue reading
This book took hold of me in a strange way. As I followed Connell and Marianne on their journey through adolescence, I was at points touched and at others depressed and disturbed. At the end I was left a little unsure about how I felt about it all, but this book had made me feel so much I couldn’t give it any less than five stars. It’s not like I particularly relate to the key protagonists in the story – although the way Rooney tells the story I’m sure everyone will find something to relate to here – but they just felt so incredibly real. Messy, flawed, complicated and sometimes broken but always authentic. Continue reading
I received What Lies Between Us in exchange for an honest review
I put off reading this book for a little while when lockdown kicked in. Reading a tale of isolation, toxic relationships and someone confined to an attic room seemed like it might be a little close to home while locked down in my own home. But, it turns out it was a pretty perfect tonic – you know how sometimes reading or watching people who have it worse off than you can make things seem a little better? Yeah, that. Because the two protagonists in this story have some serious problems. Continue reading
I know I’m very behind the times with this trilogy. I don’t read as much young adult these days but sometimes you just need to dive into a whole other world – and this series was the perfect thing to plough through during lockdown. This won’t be a super detailed review, more just my thoughts and feelings on the series.
Shadow & Bone
This was a strong beginning to the series, as we meet our protagonist Alina and follow her journey from a common soldier to a powerful, magical, Sun Summoner and Grisha after her powers are revealed battling for her life on the Fold. We’re also introduced to the Darkling, an awesome, complex villain with layers of darkness but just enough humanity, worn away by his many years. Sadly I feel like this first instalment has the most face-to-face Darkling action, and whilst he’s a powerful presence throughout the whole trilogy I still wanted more. Continue reading
I received Blue Ticket in exchange for an honest review
Following her Booker-prize nominated The Water Cure which received mixed reviews from the blogging community, Sophie Mackintosh is back this year with her latest offering, Blue Ticket. I have a feeling this one is going to split readers further, and I’m not sure where I stand. The Water Cure, while strange, I found hypnotic and compelling reading. Something in it resonated with me, but this one didn’t have the same impact. Continue reading
I received The Holdout in exchange for an honest review
Twelve jurors, a controversial murder case which appears to be a slam dunk, except for one holdout. That’s the premise for this intelligent, entertaining thriller from Graham Moore.
In 2009, black teacher, Bobby Nock, was on trial for murdering his white fifteen-year-old pupil Jessica, who also happened to heiress to a billion dollar fortune. All the evidence was stacked against him, but with no physical proof and no body, young juror Maya was unwilling to convict. Continue reading
I received The Guest List in exchange for an honest review
This is the second book I’ve read from this author. She seems to be carving herself her own little formula – a group of twisted characters whose friendships are a thin veil for bitterness and rivalry, an isolated location and a murder…but she does it in a perfect way which never feels formulaic. This book, like her debut, was pure thrills and chills, complicated personalities, a visceral setting and plenty of twists. I loved it – it’s the most ideal escapism (welcome right now). Continue reading
I received Long Bright River in exchange for an honest review
So…I think I speak for most of us when I say we’re in uncertain times at the moment. But it’s the little things like reading that can get us through and provide us with an escape from the current situation. I’ve been posting very sporadically over the last few months but with enforced working from home for me and social distancing now in place in the UK, you can probably expect to be hearing a lot more from me. Wishing you all health and happiness.
Onwards and upwards with my next review (and a whole different crisis)…
This book has received a lot of hype, and for good reason. It’s actually the first I’ve read from this author but I understand she’s already an established writer with a loyal fan base. It’s a blend of literary fiction and crime; a family drama, an expose of a city in crisis and a murder mystery all wrapped into one. Continue reading
I received The Other People in exchange for an honest review
This was the first book I’ve read by this author, although she’s been quickly carving a name for herself as a British thriller writer to watch. And now I see why; I’ve been a little bit of a reading slump so far in 2020 but this is one of those books which is truly hard to put down. Creepy, mesmerising and intense reading.
It’s difficult to sum up this book as there is a lot going on. We meet Gabe in the prologue – stuck on the motorway, desperate to get home to his family. Suddenly he sees what he’s sure is his daughter in the van in front of him, stops to call home and check and his entire life changes.