Book Review: The Guest List by Lucy Foley

The Blurb: “The bride ‧ The plus one ‧ The best man ‧ The wedding planner ‧ The bridesmaid ‧ The body 

On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. The groom: handsome and charming, a rising television star. The bride: smart and ambitious, a magazine publisher. It’s a wedding for a magazine, or for a celebrity: the designer dress, the remote location, the luxe party favors, the boutique whiskey. The cell phone service may be spotty and the waves may be rough, but every detail has been expertly planned and will be expertly executed.

But perfection is for plans, and people are all too human. As the champagne is popped and the festivities begin, resentments and petty jealousies begin to mingle with the reminiscences and well wishes. The groomsmen begin the drinking game from their school days. The bridesmaid not-so-accidentally ruins her dress. The bride’s oldest (male) friend gives an uncomfortably caring toast.

And then someone turns up dead. Who didn’t wish the happy couple well? And perhaps more important, why?”

Genre: Thriller, Murder Mystery, Fiction

Goodreads Rating: 3.8/5

My Rating: 3/5

THIS REVIEW DOES CONTAIN SPOILERS


I read this book after being recommended by my boyfriend, he said it was good but not fantastic and I have to admit I absolutely agree with him. I found this book quite a reach. For me personally it was all over the place but I enjoyed the way it was written and the journey it took us through. the anticipation for what was to come was within me form the very start.

So the book is based on a small island off of Ireland known for death and the bodies under the ground. Here Jules and Will, both incredibly popular and high profile, decide to get married! The Island is completely uninhabited other than the two who are running the manor where the wedding was going to take place, Aoife and Freddy. Already it introduces mystery and suspicion, it’s written in a way where you’re always questioning whats going to happen? Where is this going? Once everyone is on the island, no one can leave?

I enjoyed the fact that we got multiple perspectives through the book. We got Hannah’s perspective, her husband Charlie is Jules’ (The Brides) best friend, which at the start I felt was unnecessary but the ending revealed why we got this. We also got the POV of Jules, Olivia the bridesmaid, Will the groom, Johnno the best man and Wills oldest friend and Aoife the wedding planner. It was fun going between each character and getting their perspective of the situation especially because there are so many different links to each other. Johnno and the group of Ushers, Charlie and group of Ushers, Olivia and Will, Jules and Charlie. BUT, there were so many different links it was really hard to get to grips with what was what and also really difficult to connect with each character. I could definitely connect with the odd few characters though, like Olivia, Johnno and Hannah.

So the characters I did feel something for, Hannah and Charlie, something happened at the Stag do that we don’t know about and because of that there is already tension between the two. Then we also notice that Hannah lost her sister around this time of the year, Charlie is nasty when he’s drunk and that their marriage has gone stale.

Then we had Johnno, always seen as the bum of the group, not very successful and also closest and oldest friend of Will. He likes to smoke and lies about creating a whisky brand to appear successful. He also feels eternally guilty for what is potentially murdering a boy who him and Will went to school with after a prank with Will went wrong. I really sympathised for him, trying to be something he wasn’t just to impress these boys he used to go school with who think themselves so high and mighty.

TW: Suicide.

I can also feel sympathy for Olivia. She has had her heart destroyed by a man who we later find out is Will. Jules’ husband to be. She’s in an awful personal position. She’s left uni, she’s depressed, she is tormented by the fact that she knows who Will is and what he is like and Jules has absolutely no idea because Olivia can’t tell her and Will won’t let her. So when she opens up to Hannah about her situation but changes the mans name, Olivia and Hannah really resonate with each other because Hannah’s sister killed herself because a man leaked a video of a sexual act online. which is what Olivia had been faced with threat wise from Will, so you can see the relationship for the two blossom because Hannah is protective over Olivia. Later, we learn that Will was also the one who brought Hannah’s sister to her demise. So all of their stories interlink.

There is a huge crescendo at the end where all of their stories interlink and I understand that we needed all the contact to get to this point. But I found it all incredibly far fetched and a real reach. So I’m going to try and sum this up as easily as possible so you can make sense of this journey. Jules (The Bride) and Charlie (Hannah’s husband) Have had sex, but this was years ago but news to Hannah when it’s revealed fractioning their relationship even more. Will used to be with Olivia (The Bridesmaid and Jules’ Sister) and is now blackmailing her to not tell Jules anything about their relationship. Although Jules overhears him threatening her so learns everything. Will is also the one who brought Hannah’s sister to her demise. Johnno is accused of the murder, even though the murderer is the sister of the little boy who was accidentally killed by Will and Johnno in school, Aoife, the wedding planner. And Johnno discovers that his big break into TV and his future was scuppered because Will lied to him.

It’s a lot, right? I just it very all at once. Although I enjoyed the concept of the fact these people who knew so littlest so much about each other were all linked in some way or another.

The only good thing to come from this was the development with Olivia and Jules’ relationship at the end, where it’s revealed who is dead. That for me was a positive note, because their family and sisterly love overcame everything. But It did make me wonder how Jules would have continued to act towards Olivia had what had happened, not happened.

I rated this 3/5 because although the journey to the cresendo was good and it really was emotive for my emotions and feelings, I wouldn’t recommend this to everyone!

Book Review: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Blurb: “Harriet Vanger, a scion of one of Sweden’s wealthiest families disappeared over forty years ago. All these years later, her aged uncle continues to seek the truth. He hires Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently trapped by a libel conviction, to investigate. He is aided by the pierced and tattooed punk prodigy Lisbeth Salander. Together they tap into a vein of unfathomable iniquity and astonishing corruption.

An international publishing sensation, Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo combines murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue into one satisfyingly complex and entertainingly atmospheric novel.”

Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Crime novel, Nordic noir, Crime Fiction

Page Count: 672

Goodreads Rating: 4.1/5

My Rating: 4/5

THIS REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

Trigger Warning: Rape


This is my second attempt at reading The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo so I went into this book very skeptical and apprehensive. Last time I found my reading capability wasn’t up to standard with the book so to be able to give this another go was interesting and it certainly didn’t disappoint!

So I considered the first part of the book to be incredibly slow. I fully understand and appreciate that for a book of this size, context is very important. But I felt that the amount given made the start of the book really slow for me. Further down the line I realise I appreciated the content given but it definitely tinted the reading experience for me, if it hadn’t been for my first 100 pages rule (where if i’m not enjoying a book and I’m still not enjoying it at the 100th page I won’t continue with the book) I would have absolutely have put it down. But I am so so glad I didn’t!

So straight away after being introduced to the characters I LOVED the contrast of the two main characters, Michael Blomkvist and Elizabeth Salander. For me Michael Blomkvist’s character development throughout the whole book was monumental, I started the book like ‘lord above this man is bland’. Then I realised he has an open relationship with his co-worker and close friend Erika which perked him up a bit, then you realise this man is not afraid to speak his mind, potentially lose his job and stand up to the big boys like he does early on in the book. Towards the end of the book I loved him. The confidence, passion and determination this man holds is commendable and when his relationship with Salander advances I never saw it coming but I was absolutely here for it.

The general mystery of the storyline itself is intense. Michael Blomkvist after going through some legal battles is recruited to work for Henrik Vanger on his estate in Hedestad, Sweden. He’s recruited to write the Vanger daily history. In actual fact he is there to uncover the truth as to where Harriet Vanger disappeared too. The way the mystery is unraveled is one bombshell after the next. I absolutely could not put this book down once it really got into it. The twists and turns, the revelations one after the other I needed to know where she was, if someone had killed her and if so, who? The family had so many secrets. the crescendo for me was when someone was shooting at Blomkvist. At this point you know someone is after him. But It was never who I would expected.

In contrast with Michael is Elizabeth Salander. Right form the start she’s a mystery. I also sympathise for her straight away, not even too far into the book she is raped. But she’s cool, calm and collected and I have a lot of respect for her especially when she takes matters into her own hands. Although she is very shattered and broken person, she is one badass bitch. She’s damn good at what she does and its impressive. This is why when she does start seeing Blomkvist Im shocked but 100% here for it as I said above. I loved the two of them together, they are polar opposites but they balance each other out. The ending did get me though. Salander is aware of his relationship with his co-worker Erika, so to know she was so hurt and wound up got me wanting to pick up the next book!

To back up my point that Salander is a bad ass bitch. When Michael is taken ‘prisoner’ by Henry Vanger in his basement, after realising it was him who was trying to shoot Blomkvist for digging too deep into the family history to find Harriet, Salander realises where he is and comes to his rescue. He’s in a torturous situation in Henry’s basement where we realise that Henry is a disgusting animal who rapes, mutilates and kills women for FUN. After being recruited to do this by his FATHER. SICKENING. But it also influences the investigation into Harriet with Henry being her brother. She was fully aware of what he is capable of. But, a great plot twist as I was not expecting it from him. So naturally my assumption was that Henry killed Harriet. LUCKILY that was not the case.

I was SHOOK when we discovered Harriet was alive. Her involvement in the remainder of the book made my heart warm. She was just running from something awful. I also didn’t expect Henry to kill himself in a car crash after the incident with Blomkvist and Salander in his basement but I guess he thought it was better to die than to go to jail for being an absolutely arsehole of epic proportions, especially because Harriet knew all of his secrets.

And yet once Harriet is discovered it doesn’t end there. Michael, Erika and Elizabeth take on the corporation at the start of the book who Michael tried to tackle before and absolutely decimated them and played them at their own game. If that isn’t a badass team i don’t know what is. Although Salander doesn’t think so so much at the end,

The book itself is really well written, gripping, exciting and I could not put it down. I voted this book 4/5 due to the slow start but thats literally it. It would be a 4.9/5 if it was possible. I also felt like when I was reading, the village of Hedestad reminded me of the small village I visited in Norway, Aurland! Beautiful, small, personal and quaint. Ill post a photograph of Aurland below!

Have you read this book before? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Book Review: The Foundling by Stacey Halls

Blurb: “Six years after leaving her illegitimate daughter Clara at London’s Foundling Hospital, Bess Bright returns to reclaim the child she has never known. Dreading the worst – that Clara has died in care – the last thing she expects to hear is that her daughter has already been reclaimed – by her. Her life is turned upside down as she tries to find out who has taken her little girl – and why. Less than a mile from Bess’ lodgings in the city, in a quiet, gloomy townhouse on the edge of London, a young widow has not left the house in a decade. When her close friend – an ambitious young doctor at the Foundling Hospital – persuades her to hire a nursemaid for her daughter, she is hesitant to welcome someone new into her home and her life. But her past is threatening to catch up with her and tear her carefully constructed world apart.”

Page Count: 370

Genre: Gothic fiction / Historical fiction.

Goodreads Rating: 4.05/5

My Rating: 4/5

THIS REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS.


This book was an impulse buy after going to Tesco’s and seeing their two for one book offer, I mean its a must right? And I am so glad I picked it up to the point where I am absolutely going to pick up the Author, Stacey Halls, other book ‘The Familiars’ which is also rated just as highly as this book! SO let’s get into it.

My first impression of this book was that I was expect tears and being upset. The story premise makes my heart race as you are transported back to the 1700s, imagine going back to collect your child to find someone had already claimed her? I’m not a mother, but I am sure if you are it would definitely cause a different type of distress reading this book. Although its a happy ending which did make my heart swell and I didn’t cry as much as I thought I would (I’m an emotional person okay? It doesn’t take much to make me cry!).

It was really, really interesting to learn about The Foundling Hospital and the fact that in the 1700’s this was a real place where if mothers could not afford to look after their child or they lived in poverty etc, they knew they were in good hands until they were fortunate enough to collect them, although unfortunately not all mothers and children are so lucky and eventually when the children are old enough and not collected they are placed into foster care. But at least there is hope for them still and they are cared for. I also enjoyed the historical chapter at the end where it tells you more about it, I never knew something like this existed and next time I am in London I am going to have a look at the foundling building and hopefully visit the museum also!

A strong point in the book was getting the perspective of both women. I felt I could connect and understand both women and how they felt better. I really loved Bess all the way through. Her character was smart, cunning and fantastic. not only that but strong too, to be able to deliver her child to the foundling hospital knowing she cant provide for her properly, I rooted for her throughout the entire book. Stacey Halls really showed that a mothers love knows no bounds as they say.

Therefore I feel there is also a small argument that she is a liar and deceiver when she starts to work for Alexandra, the widow and the woman who stole her child in the first place, as Charlotte’s nanny. This is Bess’s daughter. Of course Alexandra doesn’t know anything about Bess and the two come from completely separate world. But two world very easily merge into one, It’s an unfortunate story of two women who got tangled up in a mess they never expected and all because of a man. When Bess does steal her child back I quite frankly don’t blame her. But she did deceive Alexandra, who trusted her.

I feel character development for Alexandra is also quite significant all the way through, with her confined habits changing towards the end of the book I really feel she came into her own and more confident than the hermit/recluse she was before. Both women really contrast to each other completely, obviously in lifestyle but in personalities too. I thoroughly disliked Bess’s brother from the start, the top deceiver and drunkard. He deserved everything he got.

The storyline itself is incredibly gripping and I read this book in two days. I just couldn’t wait to know what happened and how the story went. I am so grateful for a happy ending and I know I said I was impressed with Alexandras character development and I firmly believe the ending contributes so massively to this. I breathed a huge sigh of relief when I closed the book and recommended it to my mum straight away. I knew she would enjoy it.

For the fact I couldn’t put the book down and the storyline was so interesting and gripping, I gave this book 4 out of 5! Highly recommend you get it on your reading lists now!

Book Review: One Day by David Nicholls

Blurb: “15th July 1988: Emma and Dexter meet for the first time on the night of their graduation. Tomorrow they must go their separate ways.

So where will they be on this one day next year? And the year after that?

And every year that follows?”

Page Count: 435

Goodreads Rating: 3.80/5

Genre: Romance

My Rating: 4/5

THIS REVIEW DOES CONTAIN SPOILERS


I really enjoyed this book because I was always curious to see if Dexter and Emma ended up together, I really enjoyed how each chapter was the same day of each progressive year as well! But I definitely felt a certain way towards the characters, so let’s get into it.

The way the book is written for me, each chapter the same day of the following year, was really fantastic. I absolutely LOVED the catch up. Learning about what Dexter and Emma had managed to achieve and how their lives had changed year on year. They still lived, developed, moved on, moved out, moved jobs, had other partners, lived different lives but the same? They would still continuously meet each year (until the argument), and because of this I felt like even with their own lives and stories they still lived through each other. Still writing letters, trying to keep something alive that wasn’t exactly there. Thats where my next point comes into play.

One thing I got from this book was wrong time, right place. And then finally, right time, right place. For the two of them at the start, it wasn’t right and you could see that. And admittedly as they got older I firmly believed there would never be a right time (mainly because of my dislike for Dexter). BUT when the time did come and they got together I breathed a sigh of relief because I was like FINALLY. RIGHT TIME, ABOUT TIME. I knew I needed their relationship, I just didn’t realise how much.

One of the things that I really noticed was that I was really thinking about the characters Dexter and Emma. For starters, I didn’t like Dexter through pretty much the entire book. There wasn’t a single moment I sympathised or felt sorry for him, even when the ending happened. Even though he drank and partied himself into oblivion, I still couldn’t sympathise. I just honestly thought he was a knob, even when he and Emma ended up together I always thought she was too good for him. But with that said, I also really couldn’t warm to Emma either. I felt like she was really miserable all the time, as much I enjoyed seeing her progress and develop in her life without Dexter after their argument, she STILL didn’t seem to get any happier in the personal sense! It made me sad as it was almost like her happiness depended on Dexter, a man who wasn’t even bothered about her 85% of the time.

But the biggest twist for me, was the end.

I borrowed this book from a friend and at NO POINT, DID HE WARN ME. So when Emma DIED. I WAS LIKE WAIT. WHAT? It was finally the RIGHT TIME for them to be together. Finally they realised it was meant to be and then BANG. I was gutted, even though I wasn’t Emma’s biggest fan I still didn’t dislike her so much she needed to get hit off her bike and die. I just didn’t expect it and I guess thats what made it so good.

The ending really kind of put everything into perspective for me and I realised this book was actually really unfortunate. Two friends, two lovers, and never the right time. And when it finally is the right time, something this huge and drastic happens. It changes the dynamic completely. And even so, I still, couldn’t sympathise with Dexter. He lost so much, including his mother, throughout the book. And yet he was still unpleasant. Him and Emma could have had so much, so much sooner if he hadn’t been such a wanker. But then if Emma also hadn’t been so elitist and so critical about everything maybe Dexter would’ve felt more inclined sooner to make a move. Their whole relationship just baffled me and I actually felt they were really bad for each other.

The characters I did sympathise for were their partners, Ian who was with Emma, and all of Dexters girlfriends who I can’t possibly name. These partners I firmly believe, especially Ian, were caught in the middle of this whirlwind. I sympathised with Ian the most, he was so lovely and I’m so glad that him and Emma did get together, but It made me sad that she just wasn’t that into their relationship because of DEXTER.

But, none the less with this absolutely crazy rollercoaster of feelings, I really loved this book. I kept me hooked, I just didn’t know what was going to happen next with either characters and I feel like the chapters helped with that curiosity by setting the dates and time in-between. I expected so much and was never disappointed and always shook to the core. Hence why I gave this book 4/5.

I would recommend this book to all my friends and family, in fact I did recommend this to my mum!

My 2020 Reading Round Up!

My 2020 reading journey was a ride and a half. With Lockdown coming into play in early 2020 I’d already picked up more books as a means to keep myself busy. What was even better was when my boyfriend, our friends and I decided during lockdown to get a book club going. It really varied up my reading and as we were all really interested in different types of genres it was interesting to read something different!

My reading goal for 2020 was 50 books. I ended up reading 53 books, so I was really happy to have reached my goal and then some! You can find some of the books I read this year below, as well as my top 10 books from the year. Top 10 was not easy to choose thats for sure, but it definitely made me realise every once and a while you should pick up something you’re not used to reading!

My top 10 below! Let me know if you’ve ready any of the books below in the comments and your thoughts as well!

My Top 10 from 2020!

Choosing my top 10 was the hardest thing I’ve had to do this year (so far!), but please enjoy these recommendations in no particular order! I did also throw a few series in here which were amazing but will definitely tell you the best book from the series.

The Wayward Pines Series – Blake Crouch

The most excitable series I’ve read so far, futuristic, thrilling and absolutely terrifying all in one. The best book was without a doubt Wayward #2, the second book in the series. I was gripped from start to finish and didn’t take a minute between books before I was moving onto the next.

The Lunar Chronicles – Marissa Meyer

This entire series was phenomenal from start to finish and the final book was the longest book I read all year. Winter #4 was 827 pages and I finished this book as I came into the new year for 2020. BUT the best book of the series personally for me absolutely had to be Scarlet #2. I thoroughly enjoyed learning abut Scarlet and Wolf, I remember their story, minus Cinders, more than any of the others in the book. Including Levanas story and that was pretty crazy.

A Court of Thorns & Roses Series – Sarah J. Maas

I finished this season quite recently and although I enjoyed all the entire series the best book was without a doubt the first one, A Court of Thorns & Roses #1. The way this book ended and meeting the characters and seeing how they change throughout made me so excited to see how the story was going to progress.

The Secret Race – Tyler Hamilton

This was a recommendation from our lockdown bookclub and not something I would usually read. I know absolutely nothing about the Tour De France, Lance Armstrong or doping. But this book by Ex-Cyclist Tyler Hamilton definitely changed all of that and in a really great way. Tyler Hamilton tells his story of the cycling scene in Tour De France, how the doping happens and where, and what Lance Armstrong is really like. I LOVED this book, totally addicted. Especially as this is a topic I didn’t know much about I found it so so interesting to read and learn about!

Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas – Adam Kay

A comedic and eye-opening revelation of what happens in our hospitals and the challenges faced with becoming a doctor. Another recommendation from bookclub too! I read this book in 2 days, it made me chuckle but it also made me cry with loss and heartache. So well written and incredibly well done. Not tasteless and a really insightful.

War Doctor – David Nott

Another recommendation from our glorious bookclub which I never would have thought of reading. Straight away I was sucked in. To be a doctor in a war zone sounds like carnage and I was so upset with a few of the stories and how devastating they were. It was just incredible learning what its like volunteering in a war zone, the risk of being kidnapped, murdered, tortured. But being able to save so many lives who had been involuntarily affected by the wars surrounding them must be SO rewarding.

10 Minutes & 38 Seconds in this Strange World – Elif Shafak

I picked this one up from one of the night manager at work. It was left in the hotel I work in and eventually we can take the books for ourselves if they go unclaimed. So I decided this was mine and it made me want to go to Istanbul and explore. This book also really highlights the essence of true friendship, love and traditions and really made me feel warm inside. Even if the story was based on murdering prostitutes.

The Kiss Quotent – Helen Hoang

The Kiss Quotent is #1 of the series and I thoroughly enjoyed this book as it was from a perspective I had only ever once read before. The Curious incident of the Dog In the Nighttime, the main character has Aspergers. In this story the main female character is Autistic. It was so lovely but also a learning curve to see this love story come together through their difficulties. The second book was also fantastic, I am now patiently waiting for book #3!

The Choice – Dr Edith Eger

I LOVE Holocaust books, I find them so interesting and insightful and I feel this is why I also enjoy Dark Tourism as I take a lot of interesting in learning about something I could not ever imagine having to experience. The Choice is based on Dr Edith Eger, Mengeles Little Dancer, and her experience and memoir of her time in the holocaust. Moving and truly inspiring on EVERY account.

The Flat Share – Beth O’Leary

I laughed and I cried and I wanted this love story SO MUCH. It was so lighthearted and constantly kept you wondering and wishing. I really really loved this book, the storyline and the way it came together. So much so that I recommended it to my boyfriend and even he enjoyed the humour it offered. I thought it was too much of a chick flick book for him but he loved it.

May Reading Round Up!

She’s done it again, I smashed my 20 books of 2020 as my reading goal so I’m absolutely going for 30 books now. This month has been really enjoyable with most of my reads but some not so much! So here is what I’ve managed to get through this month and what I would recommend!

A Map of Days / Ransom Riggs (The Miss Peregrines Series book #4)

This book was a serious let down, as was the 5th book in the series below as well. I loved the storyline in the first 3 books and was so into them. I feel Ransom Riggs really should have just stopped at the third book in the series, super disappointing.

Conference of the Birds / Ransom Riggs (The Miss Peregrines Series book #5)

Same as the above, another book which I felt was truly disappointing. I won’t say anymore on this because no one likes to start on a negative note!

The Wives / Tarryn Fisher

This was a gripping book which really made me think, with one hell of an ending. I could sense all the way through that something was going to happen, I just wasn’t sure what. Although it did drag at times it was all from the POV of the main character and sometimes I wondered if I could skip parts (obviously I didn’t) but I highly recommend this one!

Turtles All the Way Down / John Green

I’ve always wanted to read this book and I loved the storyline and friendship between the two main female characters. I learnt a lot in terms of the anxiety Aza experiences. I also love the relationship between the main girl, Aza, and the boy, it wasn’t your typical love story which I enjoyed due to the unfortunate circumstaces mixed in with murder mystery. And as a girl who used to write fanfiction, I loved how that aspect was included within the storyline and friendship between the girls!

Pines (Book #1) / Blake Crouch

THIS ENTIRE SERIES ABSOLUTELY BANGED. I was hooked from the first chapter, I hadn’t read such a good series since I read the Lunar Chronicles. The whole premise was fantastic and It just NEVER STOPPED. Something was always happening, I literally finished one book and got straight onto the other without hesitation. See the other books below in the series!

Wayward (Book #2) / Blake Crouch

The Last Town (Book #3) / Blake Crouch

The Tattooist of Auchwitz / Heather Morris

This was a book that really got me right in my heart and in my feels. I loved this book so so much I bought a physical copy. I found it fascinating learning about the german camps and Lale’s experiencer and the tattooist of those who arrived. But the ultimate killer for me was how throughout so much hardship, A love story still developed and in completely engulfed my heart. I can’t wait to read Cilka’s Journey, the next book from this one!

Normal People / Sally Rooney

I did not understand the hype for this book. Although I enjoyed the premise of the story it did only get a 3 star on Goodreads from me. It threw me how there are no speech marks in the book, so I regularly had to go back and re read passages to figure out who was talking and that really threw me off. The storyline itself was interesting and you knew that the two main characters, no matter what they did or went through, would always go back to each other. Even though maybe, just maybe, they weren’t meant to be at all.

Battle Scars / Jason Fox

A really interesting and eye-opening autobiography from Jason Fox regarding PTSD and the things he experiences at war. There was a lot of things I didn’t know about PTSD and the effects it has on those who return from war which were thoroughly interesting. It was heartbreaking how much it took for him to come forward and say he had a problem and it was destroying him from the inside out. Although learning about the outcomes of speaking out about this and providing the service needed for others to recover is heroic in itself.

The Secret Race / Tyler Hamilton

This book had me. I had absolutely NO interest in cycling at all, whatsoever. So I was a bit apprehensive picking this up. YET AGAIN, I WAS MISTAKEN. I loved this book from start to finish. A few points; Lance Armstrong is a missive dick. I did not realise that to be a top cyclist you basically had to dope. I like how it was almost a secret code back in the day for cycling that everyone did (doping) EPO or BB’s, BB’s (blood bags or blood transfusions) being actually disgusting but if it worked to make you win the Tour De France then it works. The Cycling world is actually SCANDALOUS and I had NO idea. Highly recommend this, you will be shocked at what you’re reading!

Stars Above / Marissa Meyer

Finally, the creme de la creme. This tied up all the loose ends of the Lunar Chronicles series that had me hooked. I was so pleased to find how how Ze’ev (Wolf) was taken and became part of Levana’s Army, show Cress ended up in her satellite, the aftermath of the entire series and how Scarlett and wolf got married and so many more loose ends that were so nicely tied together. It just made my heart swell and when I finished it, yes, I absolutely did cry.

So here you have what I read in May!

You can check out my Goodreads here!

April Reading Round Up!

I am SO HAPPY to be able to do this, I’ve never been able to do a reading round up but with Quarantine hounding us all I’ve been keeping myself sane by burying myself in so many wonderful books!

So I’ve managed to read 8 Books this month! Here is what I sunk my teeth into!

The Store / James Patterson

This book is phenomenal, based on what the world would be like if Amazon took over the world that we live in. Although, cleverly, not directly naming the company as Amazon but ‘The Store’. And it would be one terrifying world. I read this book in a day and it was worth every second spent knee deep in this! It was tense and I was hooked throughout. Well worth the read and incredibly well written. The twist at the end is worth the madness, and with that I’ll say no more!

Nought Forever / Malorie Blackman

This book was a short one, I believe less than 100 pages but still brilliant. Having read all of the Noughts and Crosses series twice over, knowing there was a spin off for the memorable character Dan, I just had to know. Especially as it gives you an insight into a specific character in the most recent book released by Malorie Blackman, Crossfire. This book is one to read after Double Cross Book #4 and before Crossfire Book #5

Callum / Malorie Blackman

Another spin off from the Malorie Blackman series Noughts and Crosses! This book is to be read after Book #1 Noughts & Crosses and before Book #2 Knife Edge as it gives an insight into what would have happened had Callum chosen to take a different path. It is another short story, less than 100 pages but really gives you some more insight into the different ways in which the story could have done. I can confirm I definitely prefer the way #1 ended because if it had ended like it did in this small #1.5 in-between book, there would be no book #2.

Fairest / Marissa Meyer

This was another spin off of the Lunar Chronicles series. Book #1 Cinder, Book #2 Scarlett, Book #3 Cress and Book #4 Winter. This story Fairest interjects between book #2 and #3. I actually read this after reading the entire series and I feel I enjoyed it a lot more this way. It was incredible to learn the real reason why Levana is as bitter and full of hate as she is. She’s twisted and this book highlights why, but I still didn’t sympathise for her in any way and I think this is because I read the whole series before I read this. I highly recommend this one after the series but of course definitely read it midway through if you prefer!

Library of Souls / Ransom Riggs

I had been meaning to pick this book up after at LEAST 2 years of starting the first 2 books from the Miss Peregrines School For Peculiar Children. It’s been on my kindle just festering away. I had to give myself a re-cap of book one and two before I could confidently go into book 3 with any idea of what is going on and I am SO glad I did. Another phenomenal book to add to the series. These books just make my imagination run away with itself. I love the idea of the peculiar children, what makes them peculiar, the details of all the loops, the action throughout is endless. At no moment was I bored, and you best believe I’ve bought book #4 and book #5 (I started book 4 recently).

This Is Going To Hurt / Adam Kay

All I have to say is god damn, read this book. Recommended by SO many people this comical and eye-opening look at a Junior Doctor working in the NHS shares his diary exerts from when he was training as a junior doctor. Honestly I have never laughed out loud at a book as much as I did this one. But it also really opens your eyes to what our doctors, nurses, midwifes etc go through on the ward on a daily and regular basis. The way Adam Kay writes makes this book so light hearted and a jolly read, minus the odd harrowing and heartbreaking story, but leaves you feeling a certain way once reading it. Its incredibly relevant, especially right now.

Twas the Night Shift Before Christmas / Adam Kay

Yet another book from Adam Kay much like This Is Going To Hurt except this book is based solely on what happens in the wards on Christmas. How he himself worked Christmas for 6 years straight and yet again the festive madness that unfolds through Christmas after Christmas with the NHS on the wards. Another comedic backlog of diary entries, most happy, some devastating. Another fantastic book.

Recursion / Blake Crouch

After reading Blake Crouch’s Dark Matter the month prior it would be silly not to read his other highly rated book, Recursion. Blake Crouch has a very scientific reading style. Quantum psychics, lots of scientific terms and processes I do no understand. LUCKILY explained in the plot of this book and from it unfolds the most haywire and incredibly tense storyline I have ever dived into. I was so apprehensive as it wasn’t a book I would usually read but man am I glad I did. Anyone into Sci-fi fantasy/fiction should absolutely give this and Dark Matter a go. I rated this book a solid-.

(Read the book, then you’ll understand that last sentence).

Book Review: Winter (The Lunar Chronicles) – Marissa Meyers

WELL, WHAT A BOOK.

*Spoilers Alert*

800+ pages? Challenge accepted, I couldn’t put it down from start to finish it was a fantastic read. Hands down the best book out of the 5. It took me about a week of straight reading to get through this.

“She might be broken. She might be crazy. But she would not be defeated.”

Winter was a character I really enjoyed but really struggled to get my head around. She was quirky, unusual and almost what I would call floaty type of personality. I understand why Scarlet called her crazy so often due to the way she was portrayed.

The brilliance of this book really shows through the storyline because for 800+ pages I did wonder how quickly I would get bored. It never came! The storyline was immersive throughout the whole book, I never knew what was going to happen next and even when the next thing happened, I never expected it! It was constant excitement, the ball just kept on moving and the ending was EXACTLY what I wanted.

Everyone ended up with the right people, the right person ended up being queen, the right people got murdered (A really happy statement that one) and all is well on Luna & Earth now. It was absolutely how I wanted it to end. I know they’re all based on Disney characters and Disney stories and you can really see it throughout, but I wanted the ending to not be something half arsed and they weren’t.

Winters ‘Murder’ was incredibly well done by Jacin Clay, Although I never really grew to his character throughout any of the books.

When Cinder jumped off Levana’s balcony you best believe I thought that was the end of her, thank the lord for the squad saving her or I would have genuinely believed she was dead. I love Iko’s heroism throughout the entire series as well, she is such a prominent go getter non stop she just never fails to make me laugh and never gives in. Definitely my favourite character.

The fight to end all fights was momentous and I really did think they were going to lose, not going to sugar coat that. But they always win in the end of course, but I didn’t expect the scene between Levana and Cinder to go the direction it did. I mean, I knew Levana was going to die in some way but I didn’t think she would surrender the way she did. I am also very happy Aimery died, best death of the book. He deserved it. I have an actual hatred for his character.

I would also love to have a glamour, as twisted as Levana was with hers, I would love to go out looking like shit but to everyone else I look amazing. It is an incredibly clever concept from Marissa Meyer.

It was amazing from start to finish, I’ve given the series to my work colleague so she can read them all as they are just such great books. Just need to read Fairest, the book on Levana and it will aaaaaaall make so much more sense! For now I’ve decided to read something else so that I can give my brain a break, so now I’m reading Dark Matter by Blake Crouch.

Marissa Meyers is a talented writer and I can’t wait to read her other books about Iko And her adventures too!

Solid 5/5