Wednesday, November 17, 2021

What Might have Been by Holly Miller

 

Is Lucy's life 'meant to be' . . . or meant to be different?

Lucy's life is at a crossroads. She's just walked out of her unrewarding job and has no idea about her next step: use her savings to pursue her dream of becoming a writer, or move to London to try and revive her career? It almost seems like fate that on that same night she meets Caleb, a stranger in a bar, and runs into Max, the one-time love of her life.


Should Lucy stay in the seaside town she grew up in, and in doing so, get to know Caleb better? Or should she go to London and reconnect with Max again after he broke her heart a decade ago? It's just one decision - but sometimes one decision can change the course of your whole life . . .




I received a copy of this from Netgalley, and the publisher Hodder and Staughton in return for an honest review. 


I read this as a buddy read with a few of the TsundokuSquad girls. 


Ever wondered what your life would be like if one moment had went differently? I loved this book! I laughed, I felt sad, and I cried like an absolute baby. I loved the way the book was set out, each chapter with a ‘go’ part, and a ‘stay’ part. I kept changing my mind all the way through whether I wanted the book to end on ‘go’ or ‘stay’, and both lives had amazing things happen. Lucy is lush and deserves so much happiness. Max is amazing… but so is Caleb… see my problem lol? There were a few great characters in the story, and I really liked the story behind Lucy’s mam and dad, a proper love story. 


If you like romantic tear jerkers this is definitely one for you. Thanks again to Netgalley and the publisher Hodder and Staughton for my e-arc.

Sunday, November 14, 2021

George Orwell’s 1984 Graphic Novel by Matyas Namai

 

Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.” 

Winston Smith is a low-ranking member of the ruling Party in the nation of Oceania. Everywhere Winston goes, even his own home, the Party watches him through telescreens; everywhere he looks he sees the face of the Party’s seemingly omniscient leader, Big Brother. The Party controls everything in Oceania, even the people’s history and language. Now, the Party is forcing the use of an invented language called Newspeak which will prevent political insurgency by eliminating all words related to it. Even thinking rebellious thoughts is illegal. Such thoughtcrime is, in fact, the worst of all crimes. But a seed of dissent grows in Winston—one that will bring him into direct conflict with the Party, and with devastating consequences.


Rarely has one book ever been so rich in political and social criticism as 1984. Originally published in 1949, this new graphic novel edition of the dystopian classic, powerfully illustrated by Matyáš Namai, reveals Winston’s fight against the Party in all its horror and futility.



I received a gorgeous physical copy of this book from the publisher Palazzo Editions, after my Netgalley e-arc didn’t download properly, so thank you so much to them for that. 


I’d not read 1984 before, and was intrigued to learn the story of Big Brother, so I was excited to see a graphic novel available. This was very easy to read and easy to understand the story of 1984. 


I was surprised at some parts, shocked at Winston hiding in the only corner of his house where the cameras can’t see you. The thought that the government could be watching you at all times, in your own homes through your tv, is a scary thought. So do I get the rebellious side of the people who wanted to revolt? Of course. I didn’t see the person who was undercover being the person it was, I thought it was going to be someone else. 


I liked the relationship between Winston and Julia, it was like finding a bit of happiness in the darkness. My daughter asked if she could read it as she has done some school stuff on 1984 (she’s 13), but there are some graphic pictures in the book so I don’t think it’s suitable for young teens.


Thanks again so much to Palazzo Editions for my gorgeous physical copy, and thanks to Netgalley for my e-arc.

Friday, November 5, 2021

Looking For Alaska by John Green

 

In the dark beside me, she smelled of sweat and sunshine and vanilla and on that thin-mooned night I could see little more than her silhouette, but even in the dark, I could see her eyes - fierce emeralds. And not just beautiful, but hot too.


BEFORE. Miles Halter's whole life has been one big non-event until he starts at anything-but-boring Culver Creek Boarding School and meets Alaska Young. Gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, screwed up and utterly fascinating she pulls Miles into her world, launches him into a new life, and steals his heart. But when tragedy strikes, and Miles comes face-to-face with death he discovers the value of living and loving unconditionally.


AFTER: Nothing will ever be the same.


Poignant, funny, heartbreaking and compelling, this novel will stay with you forever.



I read this as a buddy read with my fab pal Kath. I’d only ever read one of John Green’s books, The Fault in Our Stars , and I loved it, so was looking forward to reading this one. 


I really enjoyed it. I think the thingI liked the most was the way the kids spent their free time. It was just like I imagined a boarding school to be like. They hung out, snuck around with buried alcohol (yes, you heard that right lol), smoked cigarettes secret out of the windows or down at the smoking hole. It was just proper friend time and bonding. 


I loved The Colonel, he was my favourite character. A cheeky chap, with witty come backs, and I think he would just be a cool person to hang out with. I did like the main characters Alaska and Miles, and there were times I felt so bad for them both. And yes I cried a bit too.


Looking forward to reading more of John Greens books! Thanks to Kath for reading alongside me :)




Thursday, November 4, 2021

The Whistling by Rebecca Netley

Alone in the world, Elspeth Swansome has taken the position of nanny to a family on the remote Scottish island of Skelthsea.


Her charge, Mary, is a strange child. Distracted and secretive, she hasn't uttered a word since the sudden death of her twin, William - just days after their former nanny disappeared.

With her charge defiantly silent, Elspeth turns to the islanders. But no one will speak of what happened to William. 

Just as no one can explain the hypnotic lullabies sung in empty corridors. 

Nor the strange dolls that appear in abandoned rooms. 

Nor the faint whistling that comes in the night . . .

As winter draws in and passage to the mainland becomes impossible, Elspeth finds herself trapped.

But is this house haunted by the ghosts of the past?

OR THE SECRETS OF THE LIVING..?



I received a copy of this book from the publisher Penguin Michael Joseph, and netgalley in return for an honest review.


We read this as Tsundoku Squad’s October book, seeing as it sounded spooky and it’s Halloween soon. I gave this 4 stars each week and am quite happy with the final 4 stars from myself.


I enjoyed this story, and it freaked me out a few times, especially when reading it at 12am in the pitch black with everyone else asleep 😂 The lullaby at night in the halls of Iskar, the creepy whistle, the ever so slightly scary dolls, and a child so torn with grief she has rendered herself mute. 


The Island of Skelthsea was described well and I could picture the rocky shores, whipping waves ans utter darkness. All in all it was a good story, not something I would usually read so I was happy I enjoyed it. 


Thanks again to Penguin Michael Jospeh , Negalley, and of course Rebecca Netley for my e-arc.




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What Might have Been by Holly Miller