About Me

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19 years old from the UK, I have always loved a good book and a cup of tea, and am often asked to recommend books I have loved, thus created this blog in order to share my thoughts with whoever is interested. Please share recommendations if you wish!

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Before I go to Sleep - SJ Watson

This book was recommended to me by a friend a couple of weeks ago and to be honest with you I didn't completely understand the concept when she explained it to me. I ruled the story off as stupid and unrealistic as the main thread of the plot involves the main character forgetting the majority of her life when she falls asleep- awaking in the morning with no recollection of her husband or their life. Although I still argue over the realisticness of this condition (correct me if anyone knows something about it that I don't) this is a fantastic book none the less. This will be a short review from me I imagine because its hard not to give away the story- but trust me, this should go right to the top of your reading list.

After the first chapter or so, the plot and concept of the book are gripping and incredibly interesting. The story is a mystery/crime and there are some pretty incredible plot twists that heighten the book to a whole new level- this is achieved through great detail and attention to accuracy. 

The characters are caught incredibly well in this book, especially the frustrations and thoughts of the main character Christine. I like to think that Christine is so named as a parallel to The Phantom of the Opera as I can see some similarities but this is most likely just my imagination. The way Christine's life is written is brilliant- such an original writing style and plot that could so easily be overly confusing and difficult but is portrayed beautifully without any real struggles of difficulty. 

This is a definite read for all ages, however please bare in mind some sexual references, and especially for those who love a mystery as this book really does keep you guessing till the very last pages. I have to say that although I have a copy that was released after the film I haven't seen the film or really intend to see it- if you read the book I think readers will understand my scepticism over how an earth it could be converted to film and still keep the magic and detail of the plot. 

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

The Old Soul's Coven; Emily's Haven - Carla Michelle Hamilton

I won't beat about the bush here; I had high hopes that this book would be brilliant and I left disappointed. In theory this book could be a really great young teen fiction book (and I stress young) if a) the market wasn't already overflowing with this genre of book (vampires/witches/fantasy) and if b) it had a bit of tweaking and adjustment.

Let me start with the plot. It's a typical vampire/witch/fighting/love triangle type story which is great if you really try to break out of the 'twilight box', and I have to say this story really does try, but all together everything moved too fast with little explanation or detail. The principal character, Emily, is thrust into this new world within the first few pages but I felt, personally, that her response to new circumstances was unrealistic- within a few chapters she goes from ordinary girl on the street to leader of a coven and fighting bad guys. The story begins to get more and more complicated and bizarre and this strange love triangle (?) forms- all Emily seems to do is fall in love and have sex with anyone who comes along.

There are some really interesting and original ideas in the story line but they aren't explored in enough detail. For example the society of the vampires and witches and hierarchy between the covens as well as some 'flashbacks' to past lives that I would have loved to have been explained further. That being said these issues could all be explained further in the following books in the series so it might be worth sticking it out till the end. In addition there were a couple of really great plot twists that elevated the story away from similar books in this genre.

I really wanted to like the characters but due to the erratic story and lack of detail its difficult  to form a connection with them; in addition there are a lot of people in this book which also adds to the confusion of the story- and ohh yes they all are in and out of relationships with everyone and anyone. I did like the character Luke, but as a reader I was left a bit bewildered when he was introduced as the bad guy but within a couple of chapters it was as if he had never done anything wrong.

If this book was tweaked a little it could be a really good young teen fiction story with a real possibility for a great series but the erratic nature of the story and the lack of detail spoilt the book for me. I would possibly read the second book in the series because I imagine a lot of the problems with this first book would have been ironed out. If you're a younger reader (I'm thinking 12/13+ with a mature mind-this girl has a lot of sex) then I think you might enjoy this, especially if you're really into the Vampire/witch saga genre.

Note: This book was sent to me to review. This is no way alters or affects my opinion of the book and I only review books sent to me that I genuinely would have considered
purchasing for myself.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

The Abortionist's Daughter - Elisa DeCarlo

When the email about this book dropped into my inbox my attention was immediately hooked- the title, the setting, the description. It sounded right up my street, but I have to admit I was left, not exactly disappointed, but it wasn't entirely what I was expecting.

I won't tell a lie- I despised the main character, Melanie, from the first chapter; she is rude, vain, childish and quiet frankly annoying. Although I am certain this is the exact intention of the author (and something that develops and changes towards the end of the book) this made the first half of the book a little difficult to read. I found her actions absurd and stupid which made it difficult for me to enjoy the plot of the story. Furthermore, because of Mel's actions the first half of the book was predictable and a little flat.

That being said, the second half of the book I really enjoyed. It was fun to read about how Mel's life develops; the story is set in 1916 and the second half centres around the hustle and bustle of Broadway at this time- a personal interest of mine. The glitz and glamour of the time is caught brilliantly and showcased in a way that I haven't seen before, as well as capturing the essence of working in theatre spectacularly.

Another thing that is touched upon well is the attitude towards women in this period- in particular the rights to a women's own body. More than once Mel refers to being 'owned' by a man just because they have had sex- a stark contrast to attitudes in our modern world, almost. It's interesting to read about a time that I see as being glamorous and sophisticated where women stood up for themselves and demanded the vote- when in actual fact certain elements of women's lives haven't changed at all. The topic of the legality of abortions is discussed often in the book and a particular quote really struck me- "The people who made laws were men, and men didn't get pregnant. They couldn't play God, they couldn't have babies but they could force women to have babies." How true? Still today it is men who have the real power with so few women in government and still with few women actually using their vote? It's almost as if nothing has changed. My only criticisms of this element of the book is that it was not developed into much more depth.

This book is not for everyone and I must stress that this is definitely 18 years+ and is not for the faint hearted, it contains some pretty graphic and upsetting scenes. However if you're a women, in particular if like me you're just about to set off into the world, this book will reawaken your thoughts about our society and women.

Note: This book was sent to me to review. This is no way alters or affects my opinion of the book and I only review books sent to me that I genuinely would have considered
purchasing for myself.