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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!

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Elizabeth Is Missing- Emma Healey

I have never really appreciated what it is like to 'grow old', or even put that much thought towards the subject but I have to admit the reality of this book awakened a whole era I had dismissed as way off in my future (the foolishness of youth right?) This book captured old age in a way that I have never read before, or even seen in film.

The book depicts the life of Maud, narrated by herself in present day in which she is an old lady with a grown up daughter and grandchildren, as well as narrating past events from her childhood when her sister disappeared. The writing style is lovely, if not a little sad due to the nature of Maud having memory difficulties which gradually get worse throughout the book, and refreshingly told through the eyes of someone (due to age/ ability) who is often overlooked as narrator. From the very first page the reader is struck by how obviously Maud's opinions and voice are over looked and ignored and dismissed as foolish/irrelevant due to her condition and age- its shocking to see how frustrated family, friends and carers get with her and yet she has no way of explaining how frustrated she is that she can't explain herself properly or simply forgets the thread of her thoughts. I made an active note to try and be more patient with my own family and others.

I also loved the parallels that are subtly drawn between the past and the present story lines- in particular the similarities between present day Maud as an elderly lady and the 'mad women' she remembers from her childhood; this is clever writing at its best. These similarities are so subtle they would be easily missed but they add so much depth to the book and I imagine if I re-read it in a few months I would be able to spot many more parallels. Another thing I love about the writing is the beautiful imagery created, in particular when characters are alone with their thoughts, and the complexity of the description elevates the story and characters to whole new level.

The story is cleverly crafted, if the tiniest bit slow, and because of Maud's memory issues you get a very unique but captivating crime mystery story although I think avid crime readers might be a little frustrated with the story and would probably guess the ending easily. That is not to say that crime fans should stay clear its just something to bear in mind- those that are new to crime would most likely find this a fantastic storyline. And yes part of the reason I bought the book was because it has a stunning hardback cover but life is too short to deny oneself beautiful books.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Skinny - Donna Cooner

I picked up this book at the Edinburgh International book festival a couple of weeks ago which I attended when I went up to Edinburgh for the fringe festival (please let me know if anyone is interested in seeing some sort of haul/ ramblings about the book festival!) - I spent a lot but it was an amazing festival and I will most likely be going again next year. Anyway, back to the point, I was drawn to this book simply because of the cover and because like so many girls, and boys, I have struggled with the way I look/ my size for a great number of years; and I thought 'hey with a title like that I'm probably going to relate to this one'.

I was not wrong.

The story depicts the life of Ever, a 302 pound (thats almost 22st I think my dear British folk) 15 year old girl, and her struggles with weight. I have to say the story quality left me ever so slightly disappointed, however the ideas and message were very interesting. Certain scenes blew me away with their accuracy to how I, and I'm sure thousands of others, feel during everyday situations and confidence and insecurities were addressed and highlighted brilliantly- in particular when it came to insecurities from people who may be deemed 'too pretty' to have confidence woes, something that I have never seen addressed in any sort of literature before or indeed given much attention too.

In addition to this, I was forced to reconsider my relationship with how I look- something that I will admit has always been hard for me- no one can make you feel worse than the changing room mirrors- and I adored the scenes where Ever addressed 'skinny' directly. This book has less to do with the characters themselves and more with our own attitudes towards ourselves.

I can't claim this is the best book I have ever read or that it has changed my life dramatically, but it did make me think; not only about myself but about the society as a whole. What concerns me the most about the story is that this girl is 15 years old and she hates herself so much, I was shocked 'surely no one that young feels that way!?'. But then I remember- was I not about 15 when I first started to wear make-up? 14 when I cried because I had been called ugly at school? I remember distinctly having concerns at 13 about love handles...

It shocks me that it was so important and necessary that a book like this was written to highlight how young children are when they start to become preoccupied with what others think about them and how big their thigh gap is, as well as confronting the increasing obesity epidemic that is taking a hold of the world. I would recommend this book to all those who have ever had any doubts about how they look or what others think about how they look- please don't expect some great classic but this is defiantly worth reading.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Colorworld - Rachel.E.Kelly

This book is pretty genius, like this is clever writing. Unique and gripping.

The only problem I had with the story is, dare I say it,  it is a little 'twilight', in my opinion. However what is different about this love story as opposed to the Bella/Edward scenario is that it is not based on lust; but love. That being said you can't really escape the clawing intensity of the relationships of the book, which mainly stems from the character of Gabe. Now I could understand why people wouldn't like Gabe as a character; he is unreal in a sense that no one in the real world actually behaves the way he does (declarations of love/ very forward ect ect) however I feel that the situation and setting of the story allows him to be believable in this context. In addition to this, and I might be completely alone in this, who wants to read about a guy just like every other man out there? Not me. I want to read about someone who isn't in the real life- its a lovely change! I know, I know- I'm a sucker for knight in shining armour. 

The storyline is solid, and surprisingly easy to follow as well, with fantastic development from all the most interesting and important characters. I also want to say that the characters are in no way flat here- oh no- they are as multidimensional and changing as real life people and I love that. Its refreshing to read a book that both transports me to a world that is completely unrealistic and imaginary but also makes me believe that these characters could be walking around my world anyway. 

Another thing that I liked about the book was that it doesn't hide the fact its part of a series, if you pick up this book its only a section of the story and it leads on brilliantly to further books which I fully intend to read. It generally irritates me no end when a book could 'stand alone' from a series- when I start a series I want the writing and story to be completely invested in itself right till the end and this first instalment in the series allows for that superbly. 

This book managed to shock me, although I do personally believe that that particular section could have been dragged out longer, it offered another level to the story that was completely unexpected and was really well written. If you enjoy the supernatural/sci-fi and even mystery this is a fantastic book to read and it seems to me the series can only get better from here. 

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.