Book Review | The Tinderbox by Hans Christian Anderson

Image result for the tinderbox lbcAnderson’s bittersweet fairy tales propelled their troubled author to international fame and revolutionised children’s writing. – blurb.

Certainly, this book was unexpected. One thing that completely stuck out to me about The Tinderbox and all of the other stories were how personal they are. I felt as I was reading them that I was actually just a little kid in bed being told a story by my dad.

I have actually read retellings of three of the stories in this collection without ever knowing they were by Hans Christian Anderson, and I feel like reading the originals was like finding another little present under the tree the day after Christmas and discovering that it’s for you.

Anderson was a brilliant storyteller, and I feel like this collection really shows off his repertoire. I would dearly love to read more of his stories. They really speak to me, and I feel like I am really drawn into the world, even when the stories are only, say, a couple of hundred words long.

My favourite story in this collection was definitely The Nightingale, the fifth story. It was a story I had never heard before, and yet it was the one that I loved the most! It was a really beautiful story. I think something that differs Anderson from the Grimm brothers was that there are some actual happy endings in Anderson’s stories. In The Nightingale, the ‘bad guy’ doesn’t get their comeuppance, but rather is treated with kindness and respect by the otherwise disregarded nightingale, and I think that this says so much about Anderson as a person. There is so much social commentary just in these little stories, and they really affect you as a reader in just a handful of words.

“Now you see, that was a real story!” – The Princess on the Pea, Hans Christan Anderson

The stories in this collection are: The Tinderbox, Little Claus and Big Claus, The Princess on the Pea, The Steadfast Tin Soldier, The Nightingale, and The Red Shoes.

The Tinderbox is #23 in the Little Black Classic collection.

Rating: 4.5/5

Goodreads 
Source: bought on Amazon

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Book Review | Ink by Alice Broadway

32827036Every action, every deed, every significant moment is tattooed on your skin for ever. When Leora’s father dies, she is determined to see her father remembered forever. She knows he deserves to have all his tattoos removed and made into a Skin Book to stand as a record of his good life. But when she discovers that his ink has been edited and his book is incomplete, she wonders whether she ever knew him at all. – from Goodreads

I thought that the premise and, indeed, the execution of Ink was such a brilliant idea. I love that this is a really tattoo-positive novel, too.  Continue reading

Book Review | The Glory by Lauren St John

28162817Alex is a classified young deliquent. Sent by her mum and stepfather to Camp Renew, a boarding school in America, across the Atlantic. 

Will is a would-be vet, currently flipping burgers and wishing that he could take care of his father and his horse, Shiraz. 

The Glory is a 2000 mile endurance race across four states over the USA. Both Alex and Will have signed up for the race. Now all there is to do is win. 

I really, really loved The Glory. It was such a brilliant story!  Continue reading

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: 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

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

6 Ways Of Controlling Your TBR!

We all know that TBR*s are wild and dangerous things. They seem to miraculously grow whenever you turn your back even for the briefest of seconds, and the books just seem to mount up… and up.. and up.

*to be read [pile]

I am also the proud and slightly scared owner of a TBR pile, and I understand how nauseating and scary it can be to see the unread books looming over you and even causing reading slumps. *sigh* Unruly things, these.  Continue reading

Book Review | Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

51wpm7kpqil-_sy344_bo1204203200_Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

I think I enjoyed this book. I gave it 4/5 on Goodreads, but I would imagine it’s more like 3.5/5. That isn’t saying I didn’t enjoy it, because I did, but I think there’s a fair bit I want to discuss!  Continue reading

Book Review | Moonstone by Sjon

28472058FULL TITLE: Moonstone: The Boy Who Never Was

Mani Steinn is a film fanatic, illiterate, and a dreamer. He lives in a rural town in Iceland, where the population is only 15000. In October 1918, whilst the Great War is still raging in a fairly distant land, the Katla volcano erupts. Less than a month later, the Spanish flu arrives, killing hundreds. Two thirds of Mani’s town are in the sickbeds. Mani’s world is about to change – forever.  Continue reading