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Monday, 10 October 2016

AUGUST MINI BOOK REVIEWS


Total number of books read: 8
Total number of pages read: 2812
Genres: 1 YA Horror, 4 YA Contemporary, 2 Adult Contemporary, 1 Adult Fantasy.
Nationality of author: 2 USA, 5 UK, 1 Ireland.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern | ☆☆☆☆☆
This was the #GGbookclub pick for August and it was my second time reading it. The Night Circus is adult fantasy/magical realsim and I genuinely believe you should go into it not knowing anything. You'll probably be a little confused for most of it but you'll most likely become enchanted with the atmosphere and the magic of the book and you'll enjoy it, maybe you'll enjoy it quite a bit. But don't stop there, wait a while, read a few other books, then go back in for a second reading. It is on this second reading that you'll fall in love. The time line of the book is non-linear, so the second time around it makes much more sense and you'll find little intricacies that you didn't notice the first time. It's so beautifully written, with intoxicating descriptions and wonderful characters - it's become one of my favourite books, and I can't wait to read it a third time.

Nothing Tastes as Good by Claire Hennessy | ☆☆☆.75
This was a July release from Hot Key Books who kindly sent me a copy for review along with With Malice and The Yellow Room. Nothing Tastes as Good is kind of a like a more grown-up version of Jacqueline Wilson's Vicky Angel. It follows Annabel, who may be dead, but she's not gone. She's been assigned as a ghostly helper to her former classmate Julia. Nothing Tastes as Good is about food and control and I think it was really well done. I connected to the characters and I felt their emotions quite deeply. The only thing that let it down slightly was that it was slightly lacking in terms of plot and I think it could have explored the characters more deeply.

With Malice by Eileen Cook | ☆☆☆
Another July release from Hot Key Books, With Malice follows eighteen-year-old Jill who wakes up in hospital to find six weeks of memory missing, her best friend dead and the rest of the world accusing Jill of murder. This was marketed as kind of a thriller, which I don't think it was, it was almost a mystery but it didn't have that edge-of-the-seat feeling to it. However I did find the characters interesting and I think the ending worked well.

The Creeper Man by Dawn Kurtagich | ☆☆
I was kindly sent this book for review from Orion and was immediately intrigued by the premise. Sisters Silla and Nori escape London and their abusive father for their Aunt Cath's large country house on the edge of a mysterious wood. It seems like a perfect haven at first, but as the days go on the trees draw nearer and the girls feel a strange presence in the house. I'm not sure whether I just wasn't in the right mood for this but I was just kind of disappointed. The beginning was promising but it began to really drag towards the middle and I found myself almost skimming by the time it got to the end. It wasn't as scary as I thought it was going to be and even it's initial creepy intrigue became quite tenuous by the end. I thought the characters were great, I just think I was expecting something different in terms of the plot.

The Yellow Room by Jess Vallance | ☆☆☆
Another July release from Hot Key Books, The Yellow Room follows Anna who receives a letter from her father's girlfriend, Edie, informing her that her father, who she hasn't seen for years, has died. Anna is feeling distant from her friends, isn't getting on with her mother and is therefore drawn to eclectic, warm Edie. I don't really know what to say about this book, it was well-written and pretty engaging but for me the plot was just lacking something. I found it quite predictable and although I enjoyed it, it didn't wow me.

The Tidal Zone by Sarah Moss | ☆☆☆☆.75
What if your loved one just stopped breathing and there was nothing you could do to protect them? Exploring this question is just one fact of The Tidal Zone, which follows stay-at-home dad Adam as he struggles to deal with his daughter's collapse at school and the effects of this shocking event on his family.

After seeing Jen's rave review of this book I immediately requested it from Granta books and man, I wasn't disappointed. This might just be the most well-written book I've ever read. It was beautiful and slow and it unfurled and lingered like smoke, I still can't stop thinking about it. I took my time with it, reading it over almost two weeks, and savouring every wonderful sentence. If you're after a fast-paced plot-based novel then this isn't for you, but if you fancy finely drawn characters and excellent musings on loss and family and emotion then read it immediately.

Nina is Not Ok by Shappi Khorsandi | ☆☆☆☆.5
Seventeen year old Nina likes a drink, but what teenager doesn't? And does it really matter if she wakes up with a hazy memory of the night before? Nina is Not Ok is a dark, raw and unflinching story of addiction which also manages to remain warm and funny and truly human. Nina is such a well-developed character who I couldn't help forming a strong connection to. I couldn't put the book down because I just needed to find out what happened to her. Shappi Khorsandi deals with heavy issues so well and with such grace and humour whilst maintaining the gravitas they deserve. Definitely recommend!

Foxlowe by Eleanor Wasserberg | ☆☆☆☆
Foxlowe is the story of life in a isolated commune told from the perspective of a young girl, who believes that the 'family' she lives with are a 'new, better kind of family'. The young girl, Green, is raised alongside two other children by the nine adults in the commune, including the founders Richard and Freya. However, what should be nurturing relationships are all too often abusive and the events that occur in Green's childhood are to impact her for the rest of her life. Foxlowe has a dark, haunting tone which is only enhanced by the main character's innocence and naivety. I found it totally compelling and read it in two sittings. If you enjoyed Emma Cline's The Girls then this is one for you.

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