Showing posts from July, 2018

Eliza and Her Monsters Review

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia: My ReviewRating: 4.5/5 starsYou found me in a constellation. 
Wow. I loved Eliza and Her Monsters so much more than I was expecting to. I think I can safely say that out of all the books I've read so far this year, this one has made me the happiest, and it came at a time when I truly needed it - I binge read it in a day. 
So I knew the book was about a girl who writes a web comic and a boy who writes fanfiction, but I was NOT prepared for the sheer amount of geek and fandom and internet love that spills from this book and I lived for every single second of it. There was something I found extremely comforting about these nerdy quirky characters and the conversations they have. In relation to this, there's a huge emphasis on internet friends in the book, since 98% of Eliza's life is spent interacting with people online while her parents argue they don't count as "real friends". Zappia talks in abundance about how, for m…

Children of Blood and Bone Review

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi: My ReviewRating: 4/5 starsI teach you to be warriors in the garden so you will never be gardeners in the war. 
Children of Blood and Bone is completely deserving of every ounce of praise it has been receiving. This was the most compelling YA fantasy I've read in such a long time and although it took me longer than average to read - always the case when it comes to high-fantasies for me - I enjoyed every second with these characters. Tomi Adeyemi herself is such an incredible woman and inspiring figure in the book community, ensuring with this book that young black readers feel their identities and culture validated in literature. 
The book is set in the fictional land of Orisha and told in three alternating perspectives: Zelie, a maji without magic; Amari, a rouge princess who Zelie reluctantly saves from the kings' men; and Amari's brother Inan who is sent to chase down Zelie and his sister. Without going into a lot of detail on t…

Vicious Review

Vicious by V.E Schwab: My ReviewRating: 4/5 starsPlenty of humans were monstrous, and plenty of monsters knew how to play at being human.
After hearing nothing but fantastic things about V.E Schwab's books for months, I decided it was finally time to pick up Vicious. I must admit, it took me around 100 pages or so to really become invested in the story - I spent a fair few chapters feeling quite confused - but once things began making sense I was HOOKED. 
The story is split between two timelines: the present and 10 years ago. In the present we follow Victor, an escaped convict who is determined to find his old friend-turned-enemy and deal out the revenge burning inside him. Ten years ago, Victor is a bright young university student who is inseparable from his best friend Eli. When Eli proposes a plan for his thesis to discover whether EOs exist, he and Victor become partners in a scheme that involves multiple near-death experiences and ends up granting them supernatural abilities. 

Little Fires Everywhere Review

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng: My ReviewRating: 4.5/5 starsSometimes you need to scorch everything to the ground and start over. After the burning the soil is richer, and new things can grow. People are like that too. They start over. They find a way.
Little Fires Everywhere was a phenomenal book. From beginning to end I was utterly hooked on the writing and the characters and honestly went on such a journey that I was devastated once it was over. 

I think the best way to sum up this novel would be a kind of domestic drama, set in the 1990s in the affluent suburb of Shaker Heights. Here, everything is meticulously planned and appearances are carefully policed  - residents are fined for not mowing their lawn, annual house inspections are conducted and rubbish cannot be put out front as it is too unsightly. Celeste Ng explores, in the most subtle but effective of ways, many different themes in the book, including racial and cultural bias, privilege, class, order, adolescence, moth…

Turtles All The Way Down Review

Turtles All The Way Down by John Green: My ReviewRating: 4.5/5We never really talked much or even looked at each other, but it didn't matter because we were looking at the same sky together, which is maybe even more intimate than eye contact anyway. I mean, anybody can look at you. It's quite rare to find someone who sees the same world as you.
Turtles All The Way Down was simply a stunning book and, in my opinion, John Green's best yet. Just as you would expect from a Green novel it was incredibly deep and layered, dripping with intense metaphors which I can NEVER resist and I must have turned over about fifty page corners, bound together by highly intelligent, flawed and complex characters at the core. 
I've got to start off by saying how thankful I was for the representation of mental health in this book. Although I cannot speak personally to the depiction of OCD and anxiety, so many own-voices reviews I've read confirm that the way Green writes about Aza's me…

Misfit Review

Misfit by Charli Howard: My ReviewRating: 3/5 starsI ate an apple a day, and I still wasn't thin enough for them.
I'm one of those people who always finds it quite difficult to review memoirs, especially when I'm critiquing them, because something about placing a rating on an author's real unique experiences/thoughts and analyzing them doesn't feel quite right. When it comes to Misfit, Charli is telling a very personal mental illness story about her eating disorders but it was only a very short time after this point in her life when she wrote it, which leads me to think she still wasn't thinking perfectly during this process. As always with autobiographical works, I'm going to give my honest objective point of view about what I read. 

Before picking up Misfit, I actually had no idea who Charli Howard was - somehow her fame as a model and body-positive activist completely escaped me. However, it was really nice going into her memoir knowing nothing about her l…

Let Me Lie Review

Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh: My ReviewRating: 3.5/5 starsClare Mackintosh's books are pretty much the only reason why I read crime fiction. It's definitely not one of my preferred genres and I find it so hard to find crime novels that I'm really invested in because so many of them seem very similar in terms of their setting and overarching plot, while others are just plain boring. However, all three of Clare's psychological thrillers are extremely diverse, proving she is not a one trick pony; unfortunately, while I did enjoy it, Let Me Lie did not have quite the same impact on me as her two previous works. 
When Let Me Lie first came out I was immediately enticed by its very vague synopsis. Our first POV is Anna Johnson who is trying to adjust to life without her parents, both of whom committed suicide within only a few months of each other. On the anniversary of her mother's death, Anna receives an anonymous card with a message that raises some big questions and…

The Way I Used To Be Review

The Way I Used To Be by Amber Smith: My ReviewRating: 3.5/5 starsMaybe he'll get what he deserves. Maybe not. Maybe I'll never find it in my heart to forgive him. And maybe there's nothing wrong with that either. All those maybes swimming around my head make me think that "maybe" could just be another word for hope. 
To be honest, I'm not entirely sure how I feel about The Way I Used To Be. When I heard it was a book about the aftermath of trauma, I was immediately drawn to it, 1) because sad books are my thing, and 2) I'd surprisingly never before read a contemporary that focused on rape and its impact on a survivor. While I did enjoy Eden's story (well obviously I didn't enjoy it, but you know what I mean), I did have a few issues with the novel overall which was disappointing. 
The story is told over the course of four years - freshman, sophomore, junior, senior - and we follow Eden as she grows up carrying a huge secret - she was raped by her br…

The Tattooist of Auschwitz Review

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris: My ReviewRating: 4/5 starsIf you wake up in the morning, it is a good day. 
The Tattooist of Auschwitz made me realise how much I love books that are based on true stories. Don't get me wrong, I certainly could not live in a world where fiction books don't exist, but there is just so much value to stories like this, stories that need to be heard and remembered and probably wouldn't be if it weren't for literature. Fortunately, Morris' endeavors now mean Lale's story will never be forgotten and will impact and change many lives as more and more people read it. 
Lale Sokolov was a Slovakian Jew who was granted the privileged position of tattooist at the camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau to mark new prisoners as they enter. This gives him special perks including more rations, better sleeping conditions and more freedom around the camp. Because of this freedom, he is also able to exchange the money and valuable possessions …

We Are The Ants Review

We Are The Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson: My ReviewRating: 5/5 starsWe may not get to choose how we die, but we can choose how we live. The universe may forget us, but it doesn't matter. Because we are the ants, and we'll keep marching on.
To say I loved We Are The Ants would be an understatement, but to say I was shocked by how much I loved We Are The Ants would be an even bigger one. I'd never read any of the author's work before, wasn't completely sure the premise was something that fitted my taste, but decided to pick it up  anyway because of all the good reviews I'd seen.
And thank the Lord and all His ants that I did because this book was a masterpiece. 
I cannot remember the last time I was so shook by a contemporary, but I am so delighted I took We Are The Ants on holiday with me because I strongly believe my outlook on life has changed ever since reading it. This book stands out against so many others for its smartness, its raw and honest insight into ou…

American Street Review

American Street by Ibi Zoboi: My ReviewRating: 4/5 starsSo trying to come to America from the wrong country is a crime?
American Street was a fantastic YA novel that tells the story of a young girl's experience of immigration, as well as tackling some other gritty topics including drug use, domestic violence and slut shaming. Our main character is Fabiola Toussaint who was born in America but spent almost all of her life in Haiti with her mother, but when they try to travel to Detroit to join Fabiola's Aunt Jo and three cousins (Chantal, Pri and Donna) her mother is detained at JFK by US immigration so Fabiola has to continue on her own. 
From the very beginning, I felt so much sympathy for Fabiola as she is faced with the challenge of finding herself in a new country, living with family she discovers she knows very little about, while constantly fearing for her mother. Through Fabiola, Zoboi captures the disconcerting experience of getting accustomed to a new way of life that c…