Category: book review

I Was Born For This Book Review

Author: Alice Oseman

Rating: 4.5/5

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Such an interesting read! I picked up this book based on the plot: it follows our two main characters, Angel and Jimmy. Angel’s life revolves around a band called The Ark who have become her life. They have given her all of her internet friends, a purpose in life, and hope that love exists. Jimmy is the lead singer; he has severe anxiety and paranoia and is deeply insecure in his profession. He loves music, but hates fame. The story revolves around their own growth and change, as well as how their paths meet.

As a huge member of the bandom, it was fascinating and shocking to see the effect that fans have on their idols. It’s opened my eyes to the pressure of being so depended on by millions of people who don’t even know who you really are. But, as someone who has been kept alive by the music of twenty one pilots, Pierce The Veil and the like, it breaks my heart that some musicians are overcome by fear and hatred of their fandom. I never thought about how stressful it must be, having all these strangers fawn mindlessly over them (or the strangers’ image of them, which is worse). For that reason, I’m thankful that this book has given me the chance to be more mindful of my irrevocable adoration of bands and their members.

Saying that, it was also scary how much of myself I saw in Angel. She puts The Ark before everything else in her life and, as someone who would willingly die for Brendon Urie, I can now see how distressing that is. There are fans who are nothing except the people they idolise, and I now see that I can be a fan without selling my soul.

Disclaimer: I FULLY respect anyone who’s life revolves around a band/tv show/celebrity if it gives you happiness. My opinions are only as a response to my own personality, and the fact that it was beginning to cause me unhappiness.

Subject matter aside, I thoroughly enjoyed the writing of this novel. It had the perfect conversationalist tone for a YA contemporary without being cheesy or cliched. There was a lot of emotional impact, especially in the scenes in which Jimmy had a panic attack, as well as the shock of the finale. The pacing was perfect, even though what I thought was going to be the main event happened quite far into the book (it worked brilliantly). 

Also, amazing diversity! A male main character with anxiety, a Muslim main character, a trans main character, a gay main character and a bisexual main character!!

The only reason this isn’t 5 stars is because I hated one of the characters with a deep-seated, fiery passion. But that’s okay, since I knew he was supposed to be the object of readers’ hatred anyway.

Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton

Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton

If I remember correctly, I came to this book because it was advertised somewhere as a worthy contender to Emily St. Mandel’s Station Eleven(a.k.a. one of the most incredible novels ever written.), so the expectations were never a fair shake to this book. I found the writing to be fairly straightforward, without much lyricism, and the whole endeavor of reading it was a little bit frustrating. Any reader who is paying attention knows where the story is going, but it takes until the last third of the book to get there, with no payoff. If you’re looking for good post-apocalyptic literature, I can name five off the top of my head that I’d recommend over this one.

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Reviews Masterlist

All the books I’ve reviewed EVER!!! 😄:

(Author’s Surname A-Z, Series In Order)

🎃 = Halloween Reads

⭐️ = 5/5 stars

Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli ⭐️

(Love, Simon Movie Vs. Book Review)

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo ⭐️

Wonder Woman by Leigh Bardugo

A Quiet Kind Of Thunder by Sara Barnard

The Coldest Girl In Coldtown by Holly Black

Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken

The Selection by Kiera Cass ⭐️

The Elite by Kiera Cass ⭐️

The One by Kiera Cass ⭐️

The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

City Of Bones by Cassandra Clare ⭐️

City Of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

City Of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

The Death Cure by James Dashner

(The Death Cure Movie Vs. Book Review)

Cell 7 by Kerry Drewery

Day 7 by Kerry Drewery

On The Edge Of Gone by Corinne Duyvis

The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle 🎃

Coraline by Neil Gaiman 🎃

The Mermaid And Mrs. Handcock by Imogen Hermes Gowar ⭐️

The Rosie Project by Simsion Graeme ⭐️

Defy The Stars by Claudia Gray

Gullstruck Island by Frances Hardinge

I Am Thunder by Muhammed Khan ⭐️

The Gunslinger by Stephen King ⭐️

(The Dark Tower Movie Vs. Book Review)

The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich 🎃

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee ⭐️

A Court Of Mist And Fury by Sarah J. Maas ⭐️

A Court Of Wings And Ruin by Sarah J. Maas ⭐️

The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas ⭐️

Heir Of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

Queen Of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

Empire Of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

Tower Of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

Truth Or Dare by Non Pratt

Dynasty: Secret Heir by M.J. Prince

La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman ⭐️

The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan

The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan ⭐️

The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan ⭐️

The Son Of Neptune by Rick Riordan ⭐️

The House Of Hades by Rick Riordan ⭐️

The Sword Of Summer by Rick Riordan ⭐️

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley 🎃

History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas ⭐️

The Strange And Beautiful Sorrows Of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton ⭐️

The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

One Of Us Is Lying Book Review

Author: Karen M. Mcmanus

Rating: 2.5/5

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I’m in two minds with this book. It both enforced and defies traditional teen stereotypes in a way which I’m not sure I’m comfortable with. It was as if each character was a 2-Dimensional trope – one side completely stereotypical, the other the total opposite. Usually, I wouldn’t have a problem with defying the norm (in fact, I’d celebrate it), but I felt like the characters had no depth to them besides these points. Exhibit A: Addy. I’m the perfect princess meets I cheated on my boyfriend. Exhibit B: Nate. I’m a criminal meets I’m a good guy. Exhibit C: Cooper. I’m a jock meets I’m gay. Exhibit D: Bronwyn. I’m a straight-A student meets I cheated on a test. I wish that there was more to these characters!!

However, I didn’t hate the book. There were moments that I adored, such as Bronwyn and Nate’s epilogue, the discovery of Kris being a boy, and the initial death scene. I enjoyed how the author fed us subtle clues and information. I liked the POV setup – in 1st person from 4 different perspectives but with clear definition of who was narrating (looking at you 5th Wave). There were a lot of things that this novel did right.

I’m split about the ending, too. The novel is called One Of Us Is Lying and WOW none of them were lying. But I did enjoy the shock of the plot twist, and it was well-executed (even if a little anticlimactic).

The final thing I want to talk about is Simon’s suicide. I felt like it was a bit of an afterthought, as if it were a side-effect if his death and not the cause of it. The whole way it was addressed concerns me. For people with suicidal ideations due to bullying or other reasons concerning there peers, Simon’s plan may be considered an option. Once again, suicide is being advertised as a revenge plot (looking at you 13 Reasons Why). It upsets and angers me, suicide is a tragedy which needs to be dealt with, not disfigured until it’s a way to get you attention. Not only does this encourage the act of causing yourself death, but it damages the view of suicide and suicide victims. The majority of suicide victims didn’t do it ‘for the attention’ for god’s sake – but that’s what the media is spreading.

So, there you have it. There were a lot of things I enjoyed about this novel, but it was the content that I disagreed with.

The Seed Collectors by Scarlett Thomas

The Seed Collectors by Scarlett Thomas

Oh, my, do I still love Scarlett Thomas. This book was very different from her earlier works, focusing on a family rather than just one character, changing perspectives/narrators, and not dealing so much with science as with spiritualism. While this was not my favorites of Thomas’s works, she remains an author to read, in command of prose and the ability to pull at the heartstrings and get at the truth of human emotions.

Twilight Book Review

Author: Stephanie Meyer

Rating: 3.5/5

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         Amazon UK

If you think this is going to be another rant review of Twilight then you are absolutely WRONG. Whilst there is a lot wrong with this book, I can totally understand why, to some people, it is so loved.

Disclaimer: I read this during exams because I figured it would be easy to read and nothing to intense. I was half-right. The writing is really nothing special but it’s very readable and time passed rapidly whilst I had my nose in it. I got me out of the stress of exams and was generally quite indulgent. 

Yes – indulgent is definitely the right word to describe this novel. As long as you don’t take it too seriously, you can just sit back and enjoy the vicarious emotion that rolls seamlessly off the pages. It took me only 4 days to read even though I was crammed with revision and studying! 

However, there’s a few things I think need tackling. First of all, Bella’s characterisation. Now, I’ve only read the first instalment of the series, but I’ve heard about the “depression” Bella goes through in New Moon. What I want to understand is – did Bella have depression before she moved to Forks? The word “depression” is mentioned multiple times in this book even before she gets with Edward, but I’m not sure if it’s as a mental health issue or just an emotion. 

Secondly, I understand that the morals of this novel are ALL WRONG. No girl should be encouraged to think that her whole life revolves around a boy, that it’s okay for said boy to stalk her and watch her sleep, that they should have to give up anything (let alone her whole life!) for said boy or that she should put herself at physical or psychological risk for said boy. Now, I understand that when you’re in love you might do anything to help that person – but not only has Bella known Edward for a very short amount of time, but that behaviour shouldn’t be encouraged even in beautiful, loving, stable relationships.

Basically, I’ve given up on mindlessly hating Twilight because, when I don’t think about the morals, I actually find it very enjoyable. But I think that any young and/or easily-influenced readers should probably be educated on the immorality of the characters’ actions before reading it. Also, *if anyone knows she official verdict on Bella’s mental health please let me know!*

The Sword Of Summer Book Review

Author: Rick Riordan

Rating: 5/5

Buy: Amazon US

         Amazon UK

Wow am I getting PJO flashbacks with this one! To be honest, I prefer the format of HoO, but I understand why Riordan chose to narrate this story in 1st person. Magnus has such a loud, charismatic voice and I revelled in his sarcasm and cheek. Magnus is an amazing character, and not just as a narrator. Without spoiling anything, near the end of the novel Magnus becomes so overwhelmed by everything that’s happened to him and feels so guilty for things that aren’t even his fault. He isn’t ashamed to cry, and this compassion and emotion is something I think should be showcased in all male heroes.

I think The Sword Of Summer holds possibly my favourite cast of characters…ever. I love Samirah, her stubborn and restless nature perfectly balanced with her soft side. And can we talk about the fact that she has a MAGICAL HIJAB! This is the quality urban fantasy content I need! Hearth is also so precious, I love how Riordan seamlessly incorporated the deaf community into a fantasy setting and made it a subtle but necessary part of the story. The last character I wanna talk about is Otis – what an absolute legend. You can’t help but feel bad for the goat, but his scenes are always comedic and slightly awkward, which I love. The diversity of this series is incredible, but what I appreciate most is that THE DIVERSITY ISN’T FORCED. It’s a basic, integral part of the story.

I learn so much from Riordan’s novels, and I do have a fascination with mythology. But, for whatever reason, I’m least knowledgeable about Norse myths and culture. Now that I know more, I’ve begun to draw parallels between fictional Norse universes (Thor: Ragnarok now makes so much more sense!). 

The final thing I want to mention is the showcase of homelessness. Now, I will admit my ignorance to the homeless society, and for that I have always been sincerely guilty. After reading the beginning of The Sword Of Summer, I have a new understanding even though it’s a work of fiction. It’s helped me realise my ignorance and, now, I’m more empathetic.

Overall, an action-packed, diverse and emotional novel – definitely one of the best of the year so far!

Wonder Women Warbringer Book Review

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Rating: 4.5/5

Buy: Amazon US

         Amazon UK

I loved this rendition of Wonder Women – I watch the new DC Universe movie first and I thought I’d have spoilt it for myself. But fortunately the story is similar but completely separate. 

Firstly, I loved Diana! She was so much more human in this novel than in the movie and I adored the way she spoke. She was powerful and yet still vulnerable, which made her seem real in my mind. The rest of then charcters were fabulous too – especially Nim, who is so loveable! Leigh Bardugo’s strengths are her characters, and they interact seamlessly and hilariously.

Another unique aspect to this novel is the exploration of two separate worlds: the land of the Amazons and the human world. I loved the clear cut contrasts between the two, and how each character reacted to the differences. Leigh Bardugo’s writing style is something I find quite beautiful and yet still a little colloquial.

The only reason I didn’t give this book 5 stars is because of the romance. People that have read it know that there is a reason for this, but it was so forced that I wanted to cringe. However, it wasn’t a focal point of the story so it was easy to look past.

In general, loved it! Even more than the film actually (which is saying a lot because I’m quite in love with Steve Trevor).

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Beth Holland’s review of The Coldest Girl in C…

Beth Holland’s review of The Coldest Girl in Coldtown: undefined

The Mermaid and Mrs. Handcock Book Review

Author: Imogen Hermes Gowar

Rating: 5/5

Buy: Amazon UK

        Amazon US

If I could only read one book ever again, it would be this one. It’s absolutely stunning.

My favourite read this year… Jfc this book is amazing. I knew almost nothing going into The Mermaid and Mrs Handcock, and I think that was the best way to do it. I had no expectations of this book and it completely blew me away!

For a pretty mature adult novel, I found this book quite easy to read simply because I was enjoying it so much. The language is sumptuous and luxurious, every sentence was actually beautiful. The vicarious emotion I felt through the characters was almost overwhelming, from the mournful moments to the gorgeous and content ones. Even the whimsical, fantasy-like chapters had me hanging off every phrase as if it were my own life at stake. I cannot express just how incredible this author is.

Often, in novels such as this, memorable characters are compromised in favour of plot or style – but not here. I adored each and every one, from the playful yet responsible niece Sukie, to the unfortunate yet optimistic Angelica, to the mourning and apprehensive Mr Handcock. All of them were complex and thought-out and real.

The plot, though… It was quite amazing. This novel is almost 500 pages long, but it went in the blink of an eye. Yet, it astounds me how broad the time scale is, and how much happens within that time. How much the characters grow, how much the circumstance changes, how different their stories become…

Overall, I was stunned by the writing, hypnotised by the plot, and in love with the characters. It’s rare to find an author who can do just one of these things well – and downright dangerous to find one that can master all three!