Category: books and libraries

This Is Going To Hurt Book Review

Author: Adam Kay

Rating: 4.5/5

I’VE NEVER LAUGHED SO HARD WHILST READING. This book was frickin hilarious. I love when an author can blend their story with their personality, unafraid to make their writing colloquial. 

*FOR MY NON-UK FOLLOWERS* This book is a junior doctor’s diary of his life, troubles and triumphs working for the NHS. Whilst the NHS and the free healthcare it provides us is an absolute blessing, it’s not without its many issues. The reason this book become such a hit is because it shines a light on the stress and exhaustion that doctor’s are put under. 

Adam is a fantastic narrator; his voice is unpolished and genuine, yet he still succeeds at having readers hang off his every word. He doesn’t sugar-coat anything, which can be hilarious and/or very uncomfortable. His narration feels like you’re talking to a friend, it’s intimate and compassionate (perfect for such a heart-warming and heart-breaking story).

Some of the anecdotes are utterly unforgettable. I will never not laugh at the thought of “Prince Albert’s Revenge”, or not cry at the thought of his friendship with Simon. This Is Going To Hurt has a clever way of sticking to your thoughts.

Overall, a must-read! Especially for wanna-be doctors.

Something’s Not Right Book Review

Author: Yves

Rating: 5/5

This is the biggest surprise of my reading year so far! All I knew about Something’s Not Right was that it’s a collection of magical realism/speculative fiction short stories. What amazed me the most is actually how short these short stories were! Some were less than 3 pages but still packed such emotional and narrative substance. The first story had me utterly hooked into this writer’s imagination – I wish I could take a journey inside their mind just to be able to see the world how they do.

I cannot commend this author enough. Even though we only witness snapshots into these characters, I became so quickly attached to them! They were expertly and genuinely crafted. The voices and grammatical persons were suited to each story, with a mix of 1st, 2nd and 3rd persons as well as just colloquial dialogue. Some authors struggle to write in one voice, let alone dozens! Finally, the world-building for each story was so smooth and natural that I hadn’t noticed how much information I’d swallowed since it was so seamlessly embedded.

Of course, I had some favourites. don’t feel guilty was so deliciously obscure and ominous; I loved the narrators voice here especially since it was so natural and real, yet still decorative. theoretical robots and the dynamic of love also sticks out in my mind for its exploration of emotion. It had a nostalgic and bitter-sweet ending, which I loved. Another gem was gold-based offerings; I loved the narrator and the cunning cheek of the love interest. My ultimate favourite had to be the butcher, but I can’t explain why! Maybe it was the combination of beauty and darkness.

So if you couldn’t tell already, I loved this book.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

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Mini review of Grace Williams Says It Loud by Emma Henderson.

Synopsis: Grace Williams was sent to a mental institution when she was 11. Through the pain, abuse and torment, she meets debonair Daniel – and together they find little ways of not only surviving in this life, but truly living.

Queen Of Air And Darkness Book Review

Author: Our lady and saviour Cassandra Clare

Rating: 5/5 (what did you expect??)

DON’T MIND ME CRYING IN THE BACK! Honestly, the emotional capacity of this novel superseded all expectations. Cassie’s ability to make me care more about her characters than anyone irl is inspiring and terrifying. 

I honestly believe that Queen Of Air And Darkness is CC’s most sophisticated and advanced work yet; she seems to improve with every instalment of The Shadowhunter Chronicles. Her writing bridges the seemingly immense gap between maturity and humour – keeping her style relatable and funny whilst also being artistic and well-developed. Her 3rd person narration adopts the nature of the character she describes – Julian’s sections are compassionate and tortured, Mark’s whimsical and longing, Diana’s brave and believing. I can’t deny her talent.

I have to dedicate an entire paragraph to Ty Blackthorn because… I mean he is just everything I needed from 21st century media representation. Cassie doesn’t sugar-coat the less ‘quirky’ side of autism: the struggles, the confusion, the isolation. But, more importantly, she showcased all the wonderful things about it, my favourite scene being Ty and the starfish. As an autistic person, this means the world to me, especially since fans of the series love Ty despite/because of his nature.

That’s the end of my spoiler-free section! I’m not going to say this book is perfect (see spoilery section for details) but generally, adored this finale (if you can call it that) and I recommend it to anyone. To non-TMI fans, TDA is 10 times better than TMI, if you didn’t like TMI you might love this series anyway.

*SPOILERS AHEAD DUDES*

Right, I did have a couple of problems with this book. First of all, Cassie’s unstoppable need to pair up every single character into a relationship. I could have done without the Diego/Divya scene at the end, Cameron/Livia in Thule seemed forced, and Kieran/Mark/Cristina felt empty by the end. I did LOVE Kierarktina for the most part, just the ending felt a bit limp. Secondly, Thule didn’t really do it for me. It was the only trope that CC hadn’t fallen victim to, and I just thought it was unnecessary? I understood why it happened and if you liked it, I’m glad! It just wasn’t for me. Also, the parabatai bond just… went? They turned into massive giants and…just…what???

Rant over. Now, the good bits! Drusilla Blackthorn guys! She deserves the world, I love her character development and the complex relationship between her, Ty and Kit. I love that we got to see more of Helen and Aline, too. They’re each other’s foils in a way – Helen being soft and steady, Aline sparky and exciting. Their dynamic was brilliant. And the wedding?!?! I wasn’t expecting that man I was crying. Alec’s little speech was beautiful and I’m over the moon that he was elected as Consul.Cassie knows how to indulge her fans almost as well as she knows how to break them.

This is probably my favourite instalment of the Shadowhunter Chronicles so far!

IT Book Review

Author: Stephen King (but y’all knew that)

Rating: 5/5

Buy: Amazon US

         Amazon UK

Even thinking about this book makes me way too emotional. Not with grief or sadness, noooo… but with complete awe and admiration. Okay fine, maybe a little bit of grief and sadness but that’s to be expected. IT is an epic that none other than King could pull off in a single novel without the reader needing a break. I inhaled this book like the air I breathe and couldn’t help but feel a little choked when it was over. 

One thing that stood out to me about IT is the effortless complexity that King can weave over the different timelines. I had no trouble understanding the sequence of events (which is unusual given my tendency to confuse myself) and there was no timeline I preferred over the over. 

STEPHEN KING’S CHARACTERS MAKE HIM MORE THAN JUST A HORROR WRITER!! Horror writers stereotypically thrive off plot and shock-factor, but IT’s characters show how sophisticated of a craftsman King is. He values having 3-Dimensional characters as much as a 3-Dimensional plot, and it’s amazing that a lot authors don’t understand how much the plot relies on the characters. I would die for every. single. one. of the losers. My favourite has to be Richie, I love the inappropriate and important humour he possesses even when the world is falling apart (weelll, apart from that one time but let’s not talk about that).

As a villain, It is fascinating. King gives the harrowing, deep-seated horror of JK Rowling’s dementors a face and a sick, disturbing personality that’s almost human. It itself blurs the line between supernatural, symbolism, and the evil in humanity in a mix which was terrifying, unreal and still completely relevant.

Basically, it’s a new favourite and definitely worth the commitment of the 1,200 pages!! I might do an extended, spoiler-filled analysis of my favourite and the most controversial scenes, but we’ll see.

The Graveyard Book Review

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Author: Neil Gaiman

Rating: 5/5

Buy: Amazon US

         Amazon UK

Okay wow. I was not expected such an emotional rollercoaster from this spoopy middle grade! I loved every moment, and why oh why hasn’t Tim Burton made this into a movie yet?!

Let’s first talk about Bod. Lil’ Nobody Owens. What a fabulous name??? I’m living for his character arc and his relationships and his morals and his outlook on life. You’d think growing up in a graveyard would break a person – well not Bod! He has this beautiful desire to learn and to adapt, and he values friendship and knowledge more than any possession.

The layout of The Graveyard Book is pretty masterful to be honest. It’s amazing that Gaiman can carry an overall plot through 16 years as well as have multiple sub-plots and including entire story arcs in single chapters. I can’t get over how well-crafted this book is! 

Overall, a fabulous and sweet Halloween read – definitely one to go for between a lot of hardcore horror.

PS that’s my dog in the pic xD

The Darkest Part Of The Forest Books Review

Author: Holly Black

Rating: 5/5

Buy: Amazon US

         Amazon UK

Definitely a new favourite!! Oh my god this book is a craft of creative and literary genius! I want to crawl inside the author’s mind because only the most beautiful brain could create this deft and whimsical story. 

The Darkest Part Of The Forest showcases a take on faeries unlike any other I’ve seen. In a town called Fairfold, the citizens are aware that creatures haunt their forests…but there isn’t much to be done about it. The fae take their children and murder their tourists, and in the woods there is a faerie boy who lies in an eternal sleep within a glass casket. Siblings Hazel and Ben are mortals of Fairfold, dreamers and wanderers who yearn for the adventure of the fae and they end up whisked into this treacherous quest that threatens the lives of everyone they hold dear. In this novel, faeries are illustrated as shockingly beautiful and with many species – but they all have mischief in common. The addictive wonder of the fae is what’s so captivating about this book, and you can see why the characters submit to their allure. The descriptions of characters and settings are lush and visual; I would love a colouring book based on this story!

The characters are just as 3-dimensional as the visuals. Hazel is fascinating in her stubborn and veiled nature, both a contrast and a compliment to Ben’s vulnerability and compassion. Severin, oh my god don’t get me started…another new favourite. There’s something so captivating about the way he talks and acts, and his character arc is stunning!

The relationships in this book are absolutely on point. Both Hazel and Ben have the most raw and real views on love. But what I value most in The Darkest Part Of The Forest is the highlight on sibling relationships. Hazel and Ben have the most complex partnership – their unconditional love, reliance on each other and desire to keep secrets are both poisonous and beautiful. However, the romantic relationships are also stunning! Ben’s final relationship has the most amazing progression and I adored it, and Hazel’s is slow burning and sumptuous.

I’m sorry this review has just been me blabbing about everything I loved in this book and I know it’s a bit repetitive… But I really don’t care. Go and read this book.

I Was Born For This Book Review

Author: Alice Oseman

Rating: 4.5/5

Buy: Amazon US

         Amazon UK

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.

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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

Buy: Amazon US

         Amazon UK

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.