Thursday, 17 November 2016
SEPTEMBER + OCTOBER MINI BOOK REVIEWS
Total number of books read: 7
Total number of pages read: 2351
Genres: 2 memoir, 1 adult post-apocalyptic, 3 YA Fantasy, 1 MG Fantasy
Nationalities of authors: 1 UK, 1 Australian, 1 French, 1 Korean, 1 Canadian, 2 USA
Let's pretend we're not already half way through November and that I'm not SUPER late with these reading wrap ups! After quite an impressive reading month in August, I've been reading at a slow and steady pace for the past couple of months and I'm totally okay with that because I've read some pretty great books. So let's start with my reviews for September...
Ctrl Alt Delete by Emma Gannon | ☆☆☆☆
You've probably seen this memoir floating around the blogosphere and that's because Emma Gannon is not only one of our own but she's an incredible writer. Ctrl Alt Delete is a hilarious and thought-provoking account of growing up alongside the internet. What I loved about this book is that Emma is around my age so we probably started using the internet around the same time and some of our experiences are near identical. I spent a large portion of the book laughing, cringeing and nodding along with Emma's tales of msn-messenger flirting and catfishing before Catfish. I even think you'd enjoy it if you're a bit younger and want to find out what internet-life was like before Twitter, Instagram and the app store (yep, those were dark days). Along with laughs galore, Emma offers a great insight into turning your side-hustle into a business and relationships in the online era. You should also check out Emma's equally awesome podcast of the same name for inspiring conversations with some pretty incredible women.
The End of the World Running Club by Adrian J Walker | ☆☆☆☆.5
I picked this up after doing the Try A Chapter tag and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it, I would even go so far as to say that I loved it. The End of the World running club is an adult post-apocalyptic novel which follows less-than-perfect husband and father Edgar who is fed up with life and fed up with himself. After much of the UK is pretty much decimated by asteroids and Edgar is separated from his family, he is left with no other option than to run the 550 miles to get back to them. I think the main thing that I loved about this book was that it was just so real. The post-apocalyptic setting was so well-done, every single character was well-drawn and realistic and the emotions were raw and authentic. The End of the World Running Club is a wonderful examination of what it means to be human in post-society. After finishing it I immediately pressed it upon my boyfriend so I could have someone to talk about it with, and he loved it too!
The Graces by Laure Eve | ☆☆.5
I was kindly sent this copy for review by Faber. The Graces follows 'River' (her chosen name, we never find out her given name) who has recently moved to a new town and is fascinated by the Grace family, who are mysterious, beautiful and, according to rumour, witches. I was so so excited for this book but was unfortunately left feeling disappointed. It was packed to the brim with cliches, which I might have been able to get past if it hadn't been for the inclusion of the frankly quite damaging trope of putting down other women to make the main character feel better.
It just had me eye-rolling so hard. I also found the plot very predictable and I saw the supposedly shocking twists coming. However I liked the writing style for the most part and enjoyed the setting and some of the characters. If you like paranormal or witchy vibes I would definitely say give it a go because pretty much everyone else I've spoken to has loved it! But unfortunately I don't think I'll be continuing on with this series.
That's it for September, so let's have a look at what I read in October...
Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake | ☆☆☆☆
This is a recent release that I picked up on a whim (not gonna lie, it was mostly a cover buy) and was pleasantly surprised by. Three Dark Crowns is about triplets who were each born with a different gift and separated at birth, destined to kill each other because only one can become queen. The cool thing about this release is that there are three different cover designs to represent the three different types of magic; poisoner, elemental and naturalist. I have the naturalist edition which has a red spine and a crown entwined with red roses - I also have my eye on the green 'poisoner' edition though! Three Dark Crowns is very character driven, rather than plot driven, and although some might find this a little slow, I really enjoy character driven novels, especially in series, as it gives the reader a chance to really get to know each of the characters. The great thing about this novel is that none of the sisters is put forward as the 'villain', they are all likeable and I found myself not rooting for any one in particular. I enjoyed the multiple perspectives and found them very easy to follow. I felt that the plot built to a good climax and a great ending and I'm looking forward to continuing on with the series.
Bloom: navigating life and style by Estée Lalonde | ☆☆☆☆
Another memoir from another queen of the internet, Estée Lalonde. I've been watching Estée's YouTube videos for nearly five years now so I was really excited when I heard that she was writing a book. I think she has such a great sense of style and her personality always shines through in her videos so I was looking forward to find out if her book would do the same, and I wasn't disappointed. I was kindly sent a copy for review by Ebury but that in no way affects the contents of this review. Bloom is split into eight sections in which Estée gives her perspective and shares her experiences of each subject; life, people, work, beauty, fashion, home, travel and food. This structure makes the book perfect for dipping in and out of and I really enjoyed cosying up on the sofa and reading a section at a time. Once again, Estée's warm personality and unique voice is evident in her writing; I found her reflection on the difficulties of moving to a different country particularly moving. Bloom is just a downright beautiful book, the pages are thick and almost glossy and it's filled with incredible photographs which really add to the overall content of the book. It's definitely one of the better memoirs I've read and I think it'd make a lovely gift.
The Nightmare Before Christmas by Tim Burton | ☆☆☆
I was kindly sent a lovely illustrated copy of Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas just in time for Halloween by Puffin. This is a gorgeous edition, especially released for the twentieth anniversary of the book, and it's filled with illustrations by Burton. The story is a little different to the film, and doesn't quite live up to the beautiful illustrations, but is enjoyable nonetheless. I think this would make a great gift for children, or anyone who's a fan of the film.
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo | ☆☆☆☆☆
I know right? I must be the last person in the world to have read this. But last month I got tickets to see Leigh Bardugo and Rainbow Rowell on their Worlds Collide tour in Manchester and I thought I'd better get round to reading Six of Crows in case of spoilers! However, I failed in my task and only read about 100 pages before the event. But after meeting Leigh, getting my book signed and being surrounded by lovers of the series I knew I had to finish it. So I stayed up until 3am, and boy was it worth it. This is one of the best books I've ever read. The characters, the setting, the plot were all truly excellent. Leigh's writing is wonderful and this world she's created is just incredible. I'm really struggling to express my feelings so I might have to do an in-depth discussion of both Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom - because you totally know that I read Crooked Kingdom immediately afterwards, stay tuned for that review.
Phew! So those are my September and October mini book reviews! I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts on these books and I'm really really going to try and get my November reviews up a little earlier next month! I now have a laptop and softboxes, so hopefully all the blogposts and Instagrams will be coming your way!
Have you read any of these books? What did you think?