Book Review | Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

34200289Eleanor Oliphant has learned how to survive – but not how to live. She leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend.

Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything. One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Now she must learn how to navigate the world that everyone else seems to take for granted – while searching for the courage to face the dark corners she’s avoided all her life.

Change can be good. Change can be bad. But surely any change is better than… fine? – Goodreads

This book was… interesting.

The writing style put me off at first. It was quite staccato-ed, and although I guess that was the point of it, it was difficult to understand. However, it definitely grew on me. It really gave Eleanor such a unique voice, that eventually I was thinking in that way of talking too.

The plot was difficult, because there were many subplots all combining into an almost coming-of-age/discovering yourself story. It was, actually, really quite nice to read and I liked that there was a mystery of what was happening, what Eleanor’s past had been about.

I also liked that Eleanor was different, but still appreciated. It was, I suppose, a bit wish-fulfilling, because of course if you’re not liked, you’re not liked – people aren’t secretly harbouring a friendship with you (sorry, but it’s true). So, whilst I did like this plot point, of Eleanor discovering that ~she does fit in after all~, it was really tricky to actually believe in it.

That is what is so strange about this, I guess; it is so unbelievable, overall. I figure that the book was really good. I was gripped the entire way through, I really loved it and was thinking about it for days afterwards, but overall? It was so unbelievable. Well, not all of it; just some of it, I guess. It was just difficult for me to understand, perhaps, especially because this was definitely an adult novel and despite the fact I am legally an adult, in actual fact, I definitely am not.

I think that this book will become a new best seller, because it is wholly unique and wonderful in its own right. I really loved reading it, and it was the right book for me at the right time in which I was reading it, but all in all I don’t think that it’s a new favourite of mine, in the grand scheme of things. However? Overall, I would definitely recommend it, partly because of just how different it is.


TITLE: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
AUTHOR: Gail Honeyman
GENRE: Adult
PUBLISHER//YEAR OF PUBLICATION: HarperCollins // 2017
NUMBER OF PAGES: 299
ISBN: 9780008172114
GOODREADS
PERSONAL SOURCE: ARC sent by NetGalley
RATING: 3.5/5

Book Review | Stranger, Baby by Emily Berry

DSC_0252Stranger, Baby is a book of poetry by up-and-coming poet Emily Berry. In this collection, a mixture of poetry, play, and prose, Berry has a sense of fantasy, humour, estrangement. Berry digs deep into her past of childhood loss and dedicates this book to her mother. A book of mourning, exhilaration and the ocean: ‘A meditation on a want that can never be answered.’ 

It took me a while to get into this book of poetry. Berry is a writer of wonder. She writes wonderfully, but I don’t really read much poetry like this. Continue reading

Book Review: Sex Criminals Vol. 3 by Matt Fraction & Chip Zdarsky

26631602When Jon and Suzie have sex, they can stop time. Literally. And when they stop time, they rob banks.

As you do. 

But it seems that they’re not alone and the self-appointed Sex Police want to stop them from doing what they’re doing. And that’s why we have Sex Criminals: Volume Three. 

Sex Criminals is really weird. Like, the premise is weird. The writing is weird. It’s just weirdContinue reading

Book Review | Windfall by Jennifer E Smith

32048554Alice doesn’t believe in luck – at least, not the good kind. But she does believe that she is in love; with her best friend, Teddy. On his eighteenth birthday, she buys him a lottery ticket as a joke – but to their astonishment, he wins $140 million and changes everything. 

At first it seems like a dream come true, but it quickly spirals into more of a curse than a windfall and Alice begins to wish she could take the ticket back. But she knows that you can’t change time, better than anyone. Will she and Teddy ever find their way back to each other? 

I really enjoyed this novel. I think it’s a really feel-good YA, and I got through it so quickly which was an added bonus. It’s a real dreamy book – both in the way of winning the lottery, and the way it was written! I felt so relaxed reading it, although I was completely unable to put it down. Continue reading

Why You Should Do Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon This Weekend!

In their own words, Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon takes place, “For 24 hours, we read books, post to our blogs, Twitters, Instagrams, Litsy, Facebook, Goodreads and MORE about our reading, and visit other readers’ homes online.” Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon was hosted by Dewey from The Hidden Side of the Leaf; sadly, she passed away in 2008 and the readathon was renamed to honour her in 2009. It continues to this day!

The 24 hour readathon takes place for – you guessed it – 24 hours. It starts at 8am in some sort of time zone in the USA (sorry, I get confused). For the UK, this year it starts at 1pm on Saturday 29th April, and finishes at 1pm on Sunday 30th April. You can see your own time zone here.  Continue reading

Book Review | The State of Grace by Rachael Lucas

32187354Grace is a teenager. She also has Asperger’s, and a unique way of looking at the world. With her horse and her best friend, she has everything that she needs. But then Grace kisses Gabe and her home starts to change… and the world doesn’t look the same anymore. Everything begins to fall apart, and Grace has to pull it back together again. 

loved this book. It’s a brand new YA novel about a girl with Asperger’s – and I think it might be the first I’ve read about Asperger’s (I’ve read from the POV of someone with Autism before). I want to read more about Asperger’s and autism (is that capitalised) though. The State of Grace however was a great way to start! (And it’s #OwnVoices!) Continue reading

How to Cull Your Books

I have recently gone through a rather large book cull – that’s about 70 books, in case you were wondering! Therefore, I think I have a little bit of an idea about how to get rid of books. Even if I don’t, here are some of the tips I used to get rid of ones from my own shelf!

If you’ve read the book

Hopefully, if would be nice if all of your books you’re getting rid of have already been read and (hopefully, but of course not always) loved!

  • Is it sentimental? Of course, not everything has been kept, but if you’re not ready to part with a book just yet because of sentimental reasons, unless you have no room or have to get rid of it for other reasons, then keep it.
  • Do you think you are going to reread it? Obviously, in that case: it’s a keeper.
  • Did you enjoy it? If not, why on earth is it on your shelf? If you did, then think about how much you enjoyed it. For example, was it a 5 star read, or a 3.5 star read? Therefore… which one are you more likely to want to keep?
  • Do you think someone else would enjoy it more than you? 🙂
  • Is it worth keeping it on your shelf? You don’t have to keep every book. If in 10, 20 years down the line you decide that actually you would like to reread this book, then you can always get it anew or borrow it from your library. Unless there is value in that particular copy, you don’t have to keep it!

If you haven’t read the book

Now, I know that this one is a touchy subject. When my mum looked through books I was getting rid of, some of them haven’t been read by yours truly. What you have to remember, though, is that when you’re a teen – or, indeed, at any time in your life, but especially from ages 10 – 20 – you change so much that it is important to remember your reading tastes will change too. Whilst I might have bought a book even 2 or 4 or 6 months ago, I might have changed so much in that time that I won’t want to read that book anymore. It’s nothing to be ashamed of: appreciating this is a great way to appreciate yourself. Remember that you’ll be donating your books – or selling them – so someone else will also enjoy the novels.

  • How long has the book been on your shelf? 2 months? Perhaps it could be worth keeping. 6 months? You need to seriously think this through. A year? Two years? Hmm…
  • Are you ever going to read it? …Seriously?
  • Do you think that someone else will enjoy it more than you?
  • Are you scared of letting this book go because you “might” read it? How long have you been saying you “might” read this book?

Some things to always remember when you cull books:

  • You can always pick it up again! Bookstores and libraries exist!
  • Someone else might enjoy it more than you, and isn’t that incredible?!
  • And it just means more shelf space for a book you might absolutely love rather than a 3 star book instead. 🙂

So tell me: how often do you get rid of books? What’s your process?

Book Review | Animal by Sara Pascoe (12/12)

32490576Sometimes I confuse myself. I get wildly and pointlessly jealous. I spend too much time hating my bum. And you know what I hate more than my bum? My preoccupation with my bum. I’ve had sexual experiences with boys I wasn’t really in to, but I got a post-coital crush on them. I’ve ruined the start of a relationship by immediately imagining it going into reverse.

There is so much about my behaviour I want to understand. So I started researching what makes me – and us – tick. And what I read made my eyes fall out of my face.

Reader, here is everything I’ve learned from science about love, sexuality, infidelity, boobs, periods, pubes, broodiness, and clever old fat. Merry Christmas and Hallelujah, suddenly being a woman doesn’t look like such a minefield after all. – from Goodreads Continue reading

Book Review | Lost in a Book by Jennifer Donnelly

30145677A girl locked in battle between Love and Death. A book with a paradise too good to be true. And a castle with a Beast and his servants. 

Belle is captive in the Beast’s castle. She’s befriended the inhabitants – Lumiere, Mrs Potts, Cogsworth, Chip – but she still feels lonely and trapped. Then Nevermore appears in the library. It’s a book full of possibilities – perhaps too many. As Belle begins to spend more and more time within the pages, cracks begin to appear, and she finds that she might have to choose between the Beast and the book. 

What a lovely book! Lost in a Book is actually titled: Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book, and it’s a tie-in to the new film. I think there’s a few like this around at the moment, some called “Twisted Tales”, but thankfully this was not (that) twisted – I mean, apart from the whole Beauty and the Beast story as a whole… but that’s for another time!  Continue reading

Book Review | Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger

10874177

Side note: the girl on this cover is WAY too old to be 14. When will cover designers start choosing models who actually match the characters they’re trying to present? *generic screeches* 

Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is a great trial to her poor mother. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper manners–and the family can only hope that company never sees her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. So she enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

But Sophronia soon realizes the school is not quite what her mother might have hoped. At Mademoiselle Geraldine’s, young ladies learn to finish…everything. Certainly, they learn the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but they also learn to deal out death, diversion, and espionage–in the politest possible ways, of course. Sophronia and her friends are in for a rousing first year’s education. – from Goodreads Continue reading