Book Review: Eve of Man – Giovanna and Tom Fletcher

Book Review: Eve of Man - Giovanna and Tom Fletcher

‘AGAINST ALL ODDS, SHE SURVIVED.
THE FIRST GIRL BORN IN FIFTY YEARS.
THEY CALLED HER EVE . . .’

A lot of pressure rests on Eve’s shoulders. Only she can save the human race and now she’s 16 all eyes are on her to kick start the human race and give birth to healthy girls with an appropriate man. She’s ready to accept her destiny until she meets Bram. Is everything out of touch? Can Eve be free? And will she choose love or the human race?

I read this book within a matter of hours, I got up early on a Saturday to finish it, I ended up having dreams about it once I finished. The novel was that good. That’s a pretty strong start to a review, so let me continue. I was really intrigued by the premise of this book but didn’t know what to expect. I haven’t read any of Gi or Tom’s fiction, only Gi’s Non-Fiction (you can read the review here), but I am a big fan of their Youtube Channels.

The pace of this novel was fantastic. The whole idea has been incredibly well thought out, while early in the novel I was a little confused, things fall into place within the first few chapters. I loved the Eve and her voice. She was strong, determined and smart. I was a little sceptical of the romance element before reading but it is so well done and I think, in part, that’s due to the strength of Eve.

I also have to mention that I couldn’t tell that this was written by two authors. I’m not sure how they divided the writing process but even though the novel is told through both Eve and Bram’s perspective, it seamlessly melts together. I didn’t feel that pushing the novel onwards was left to either character, it was a pretty equal split.

This is the type of novel where I could write multiple posts about how much I loved it. The world creation, the set up for the rest of the trilogy, the nature vs science debate. If you would like me to write a more in-depth post about elements of it then let me know in the comments below!

If you hadn’t guessed already, I gave this novel 5 stars. It’s been a long time since I’ve read a novel which I couldn’t put down. This is a stunning start to a trilogy and I’m already eagerly anticipating the next in the series. I would 100% recommend this with the warning that you’re going to want more, much, much more.

Book Review: Moxie – Jennifer Mathieu

Book Review: Moxie - Jennifer Mathieu

 

Meet Viv, she’s a quiet 16-year-old who doesn’t break the rules. She works hard, hangs out with her friends and is the perfect daughter, the opposite of her mother as a teenager. Viv’s Mum was a Riot Grrl in the 1990s, all about Feminism and ‘zines, rebellion and riots. Nobody expects Viv to follow in her footsteps until she gets pushed a little too far.

Sick of the sexism in her high school, dress checks, disgusting football players and the expectation of women, Viv decides to start a quiet revolution. Taking a leaf from her Mum’s book Viv starts Moxie, a zine for the girls at her high school. As she anonymously writes and distributes the zine, things heat up. Can one ‘zine make any difference?

Well, this book. This book, what can I say? This is a rebellion in a couple of hundred pages. I finished this, created a playlist of kick-ass women and started planning the reboot of my Feminist Friday series. That’s the impact this book had.

I loved the fact that the author didn’t make the challenge easy either. She looks at the reputation feminism has, the feelings of being overwhelmed, having to try and convince people that Feminism is a good thing. She does it incredibly well and I loved all the Riot Grrl references and the fact that Bikini Kill was mentioned (listen to them here).

I will say, the only thing I didn’t enjoy about this novel and one of the reasons it didn’t get the full 5 stars was the romance. I just felt like it wasn’t needed and it made things a little too cutesy? Obviously, I know people did love it and it was good to see a male feminist but it just seemed a little too perfect timing to me.

Overall I gave this an amazing 4.5 stars! This was a breath of fresh air and while it took a little while to grow on me, once it did it was amazing. This is the kind of book that can inspire, that can make people realise that they have power in their voices. That feminism is still here, it’s still relevant and important. More than that it shows young women as saving themselves and that’s important.

Book Review: A Court of Mist and Fury – Sarah J Maas

A Court of Mist and Fury

“To the stars who listen—and the dreams that are answered.”

Note: This will include spoilers of the first novel in the series, A Court of Thorns and Roses, you can read my review here. If you haven’t read the first in the series and then pop back!

When we left Feyre at the end of A Court of Thorns and Roses, she had defeated Amarantha, endured torture, died and been brought back to life as High Fae with a human heart. She left with Tamlin for their life together in the Spring Court. Ah, the happy ending. Or is it? Feyre’s promise to Rhysand hasn’t been forgotten and it might just come back to haunt her.

Wow, wow, wow. I thought I loved ACOTAR but then Mist and Fury came along. This was an incredible novel and I couldn’t put it down. This was so rich in character development and didn’t go at all where I thought it would. The whole novel is full of incredible twists and turns. I was actually reading along with a friend and we were constantly messaging each other when one or the other caught up.

This goes further than the typical ‘they all lived happily ever after’. Don’t forget Feyre had to kill to free the Fae people and that would scar anyone. Combine that with trying to cope with her new life, her ties to Rhysand and her new role within the Spring Court and it’s so interesting to see her process that.

I gave this 5 stars and jump to future me, it’s my favourite in the entire series. It’s got so much detail, world building and I’m struggling to put into words how much I love it without any spoilers. Sarah J Mass is an incredible writer and captures your imagination in such a brilliant way.

Have you read any of the ACOTAR series? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below!

Book Review: Bookshop Girl – Chloe Coles

Bookshop Girl - Chloe Coles

Sixteen-year-old Paige Turner loves her job working in her local bookshop, the only good thing about the small town she lives in. That is until she is told her beloved bookshop is going to be closed down to make way for a bigger shopping complex, but Paige decides she’s going to fight to save the shop she loves so much.

I was lucky enough to be granted an ARC copy of this via NetGalley and this is a book I’ve heard a lot about. I thought the subject matter was great. A teen who has a cause and does something about it? Count me in and about bookshops which are one of my happy places. So I could get behind this novel.

I really enjoyed the fact that Paige had other interests rather than just books too. She’s an artist, she’s thinking about uni and the wider world, something I could relate to. There was also a really strong feminist message too, did I think it entirely went with the book, no, but I appreciated it being there.

There were points where I felt the novel was trying too hard to be young and cool. There were a lot of OMG and LOL’s which I kind of cringed at. Maybe that’s just because I wasn’t like that as a teenager but, yeah, I felt like it needed to calm down and just be rather than trying to be overly teenager.

One of my other gripes was the love interest, I felt like it was quite predictable and the twist at the end I saw coming from quite early in the novel. That and I don’t think it added to the plot or character development, he could have been cut out and I would not have been bothered at all.

Overall I gave this a 3.5 stars, I did really enjoy this and will definitely be picking up the second novel, but felt it was a little young for me. I fully appreciate that I am not 16 but some of the language used seemed a little young for me, hence it not quite hitting 5 stars. This is an easy summer read and I would recommend it!

Book Review: Everywoman – Jess Phillips

Everywoman Jess Phillips

 

A lot of people scoff at the thought of going into politics. Even more so if you’re from a less wealthy background because it’s not what someone ‘like us’ does is it? Be prepared to completely change your mind and want to start a revolution of diversity and equality and it’s all thanks to Jess Phillips.

I picked this up after watching an interview with Jess online, I finally saw someone who I could identify with who works in our government. This book is much more than politics, this is about women, empowerment and just giving things a go! Previously, Jess worked for Women’s Aid, an incredibly important charity supporting women who need help most. Some of the stories were harrowing but show the fire behind Jess’s speeches in parliament, such as those about domestic violence.

From Mum guilt to just about getting through university Jess talks about anything and everything. That said, she also touches on some heartbreaking topics. There were many moments in this book that touched me but it was the parts talking about Jo Cox that really got me. Jo Cox was an MP in the UK, a rising star in the Labour Party, Jo was murdered for doing her job and being a compassionate human. Jess was a friend of Jo’s and I can’t imagine how hard it was going through such a horrific loss.

Not only is Jess a kick-ass MP for Labour, she’s a friend, a proud Feminist, a Mum, a Wife and, by the sounds of this book, the kind of person I’d want to have as a friend. This book fell into my hands when I needed it most. I was feeling like I was struggling as a woman, I was feeling a little beaten down by the world. Then I realised I can do this because there is so much to do! It really gave me the pick me up I needed.

I’ve recommended this to almost every one of my friends because it’s the kind of book that can and will start a revolution. Of course, I gave this 5 stars, I could not stop listening to the audiobook at every opportunity I had. I’m pretty sure I’ll not only be buying this as a gift for a few people but I’ll also be listening again very soon!

Book Review: Red Clocks – Leni Zumas

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In the not too distant future abortion is illegal. IVF has been banned and the clock is ticking for any women who wants to have a child past a certain age or a child on her own. This is America. In one city, four women deal with their own lives in relation to these changes. This is their story. A pregnant teenager, a healer trying to help, a frustrated mother and a woman wanting to be a mother more than anything.

I knew I wanted to read this as soon as it was released so as soon as I could I requested it and was graciously given a copy to review and devoured it. The scariest thing about this novel, it could be a reality in the US from recent news, which is exactly why you need to read it.

One of the best parts of this novel is that women come through for women but not in a cheesy way. Becuase of the situation they are in there is a vibe where women pass on vital knowledge to other women to help each other but not in a cheesy way. Also, this novel isn’t about hating men. Are there some terrible guys in this? Yes, but most importantly they are not the focus, not a plot point they just exist. This is a novel for an about women.

The one criticism that I have is that I felt the character of Susan, a frustrated mother didn’t add that much to the story. I understood why she was included but I just felt a little irritated with her and her perspective on things. You don’t need to like every character in a book and out of the four main women she was the one I felt the least connected with in any way.

I gave this 4 stars. I was thinking about this constantly for about a week after reading it. I had so many thoughts, questions and a little bit of anxiety. That said, it is a really important novel and a stunning debut. I can’t wait to see what Zumas comes up with next.

Thank you to the author, publisher and Netgalley for my review copy

Book Review: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Allbertalli

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‘Dear Blue’

Sixteen-year-old Simon is gay, but the only person who knows is his online boyfriend, Blue. Neither of them uses their real names or know each other’s real identity but that’s about to end. After Simon is outed after being blackmailed the world is going to know.

Of course, this novel is everywhere at the moment the release of the film Love, Simon. It had been on my TBR pile for a while so I really wanted to read it before seeing the film. I have to admit I was a little underwhelmed. I don’t know if it’s because of all the hype but it just dragged for the first half. Don’t get me wrong the emails were adorable. The relationship with Blue was adorable but I felt like I needed more from Simon.

There were some important points such as the fact that people need to come out at all, how odd the concept is. I also loved the way that Simon had people who loved him and a supportive family after he was outed and that it showed the reality of what school could be like for someone who has come out. On that note, I think that it was important to show homophobia, because, in a small town that would happen, it wouldn’t just be ok, unfortunately. I also have to point out that I thought the relationship between Simon and Blue was absolutely adorable and I wish we’d seen more of it.

I thought long and hard about writing this review because I know it’s so loved, but it just fell a little flat for me. It’s because of this I gave it 3 stars, it was a good read but not standout and that’s just my opinion. I think in a lot of ways we could have had more development and a better idea of his friends, particularly Leah. So, overall I understand why people like it but it just didn’t live up to the hype for me.

 

Book Review: How To Stop Time – Matt Haig

How to Stop Time - Matt Haig

When you look at Tom all you would see is a 40 something History teacher but he’s a little odd, that’s because Tom is actually 400 years old. Living for centuries can take it’s toll and lately Tom is finding it more and more difficult each day. With pressure from the secret society, created to protect people like him and increasingly falling into the past can Tom hold it together or will this push him to the edge?

This is the first novel I’ve read from Matt Haig and I’m kicking myself for waiting so long! I picked it up on offer and thought it looked interesting, a good choice. The character of Tom was fantastic and incredibly well thought out. Like the rest of us he is flawed, he’s made mistakes. We learn about times of Witch trials, adventures with Shakespeare, Fitzgerald and more. Each is woven into the novel seamlessly, I didn’t feel like I was jumping from century to century.

The idea of a secret society, of people being around us and not knowing was addictive. I couldn’t stop, I needed to reach the end and find out what was going to happen to Tom. There needed to be the element of danger I feel to really make the story stand out so the combination of the society and a certain beautiful French teacher was added perfectly.

I gave this 4.5 stars, a fantastic read that really drew me in. It’s hard to combine different time periods but Haig did it so well. The only reason I didn’t give this the full five stars is that I felt the ending as a little rushed for me. I can’t really say more than that as I don’t want to spoil it for anyone! That said, there would be a fantastic opportunity to have a sequel which I would love!

You can get your own copy of How to Stop Time here with my Amazon link!

Book Review: Stacey Dooley on the frontline with the women who fight back – Stacey Dooley

Stacey Dooley Book Review

This year it has been 10 years since Stacey Dooley first appeared on our screens with her trademark Luton accent, fiery hair and entirely different way of reporting. In her first book, Stacey looks back on some of her most challenging documentaries and the ones that made her.

I’ve been a fan of Stacey for years now because of how human she is when she’s interviewing. You can tell she cares about the people and the topics, there’s not stiff upper lip that we’re used to seeing on TV and thank goodness! So, when I heard she was releasing a book I added it to my wish list. I actually ended up listening to the audiobook which I fully recommend.

You don’t have to have watched all of Stacey’s documentaries to enjoy the book, there were some I hadn’t watched (I’ve since gone back and found them) and I still found Stacey’s input fascinating. This adds a whole other level to what we have watched. Of course, Stacey has to be professional but she still has heart and reading the internal struggles she faced made it hit home even harder. She see’s these women as human, which they deserve to be.

From women who escaped ISIS to the horrific violence faced by women in Honduras, Stacey captures the stories of women worldwide. We’re also let into Stacey’s reservations about travelling to various parts of the world, the threats she faces and her reasons for going to such dangerous places. What made it so real to me was Stacey not telling her Mum some of the real places she’d travelled to until she got back.

I gave this 4.5 stars and can highly recommend listening to Stacey read the book herself if you can. If you loved Stacey’s documentaries and want to know more about the conditions that women around the world live in then this is an excellent place to start. I warn you though, you’ll want to go and watch her documentaries again after reading!

Book Review: My Lovely Wife – Mark Lukach

Book Review My Lovely Wife Mark Lukach

Mark and Giulia have a wonderful life, a strong relationship and a future to look forward to. What they didn’t know was that their lives and relationships were going to be tested by Giulia developing a severe mental illness. This lead to her being hospitalised, suicidal and unable to trust anyone around her. Later, after the birth of their son, Giulia is again hospitalised but how does Mark care for his child and support his wife.

For anyone who has been in the grips of mental illness or knows someone who has been affected this is a challenging read because it is so real. Mark talks about the lack of movement from medical professionals, the lack of beds and the lack of information. I know that for me, personally, this was a tough read because it’s one of the things that scares me most about mental ill health.

That said, what I celebrated most about this book is that Mark does not shy away from how hard it is to cope with a partner with a mental health condition because it’s true. He shares his pain, bewilderment and anger at the situation and his feeling of wanting to run and escape, not because he doesn’t love his wife, but because it’s hard.

This isn’t all doom and gloom, there is a lot of love in this book and most importantly hope. This chronicles finding a new way to love and a new way to move forward in a relationship when the unexpected is thrown at you, which happens more than people would like to admit. They have still found a way to laugh and love, which is important.

I’ve never read a book like this before and while I was nervous going in, I now recommend it to everyone. This is what long-term love is. This is fighting through together and doing what needs to be done for the other person, even if they may not thank you in the moment. I gave this five stars. Not only was it brilliantly written it meant a lot to me to see the other side. I’d love to read more from Mark about his life with Giulia and their future.