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.

I'm a Gryffindor

I’m a Gryffindor

Gryffindor Pride Harry Potter

If you follow me on any social media or have been following this blog for any period of time you’ll know I’m a HUGE Harry Potter fan. I fell in love with the books, the movies and the whole Potter world. I can’t tell you why I fell so much in love with it, but I did and I never miss an opportunity to see or do something Potter related or celebrate the fandom. Oh and owning a lot of merch (see my most recent haul here).

Since I first read the books I have always felt like a Gryffindor, mainly, when I was younger because I saw so much of myself in Hermione. I finally found a girl in a book just like me. She loved studying and learning, was a bit of a know it all but loyal to her friends. As I got older I realised that I still strongly associated with Gryffindor, also with the slightly stubborn tendencies they are known to have…

In the above picture, my friends described me as looking like Gryffindor threw up on me. My two friends went it Ravenclaw aesthetic (hint of blue, well put together) and a lot of black and green for Slytherin…and then there was me. There was a Potter t-shirt under the Gryffindor jumper, obviously my scarf, red hair and even red and white Potter trainers. Even in the way we dressed we represented our houses when visiting the British Library exhibition.

Here’s what the Sorting Hat says about being a Gryffindor

You might belong in Gryffindor,
Where dwell the brave at heart,
Their daring, nerve, and chivalry
Set Gryffindors apart

 

Now, I know that there is a whole crowd of people screaming, it’s not real BUT there’s a beautiful sense of comradery in the fandom. This is something I grew up with and something I cherish. It may seem silly to some but I love the world of Potter, I love the fact that I relate so much to a book!

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What is your Hogwarts house? I’d love to know! Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

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!

The Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag 2018!

I hate to alarm you guys but, we’re halfway through the year… It’s fine, it’s cool, I’m not freaking out, you’re freaking out. That also means it’s time for the Mid-Year Book Freak Out and I am so ready! I’ve watched and read these tags for years and finally wanted to have a go myself.

The best book you’ve read so far in 2018:

Only Child - Rhiannon Navin

This is so, so hard… probably Only Child by Rhiannon Navin, her debut was incredible. Absolutely incredible. It is a pretty tough novel about a school shooting seen through the eyes of a child who loses his brother. A novel about family and grief, through the innocent eyes of a little boy.  The writing is incredible, the story heartbreaking and it’s a book that stays with you. I can’t wait to see what Rhiannon does next. My full review is here.

Your favourite sequel of the year:

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This was an AMAZING follow up to A Court of Thorns and Roses . There was excellent character development, the plot was brilliant and I wish I could say more but I don’t want to ruin the series. I just didn’t see the twists and turns coming and I loved it so much.

A new release that you haven’t read but really want to:

Tyler Johnson Was Here

Tyler Johnson Was Here has been all over Booktube and I hadn’t seen it anywhere in my local bookshops and then I went to Foyles and there it was. Not only is this a really important novel about race the cover is beautiful. I really, really hope this lives up to the hype. Full blurb here.

Most anticipated release for the second half of the year:

The Curses - Laure Eve

I loved The Graces last year and the publication date for the second novel keeps changing so I’m really hoping we do get this in 2017, even though it says the scheduled release is currently the 6th September 2018 according to Amazon. I need this book in my hands after the end of The Graces. Need, need, need.

Your biggest disappointment:

Clean Juno Dawson

I try not to be negative but I really hated this novel. I made me so angry and irritated as someone who has and does live with a mental health condition. This was just very privileged and I don’t think it did the recovery process justice. Reading about a rich girl who gets whisked to a rehab that gives you Calvin Klein pjs just didn’t appeal to me when most people wouldn’t have that opportunity. Obviously, these are just my feelings.

Biggest surprise of the year:

Saga Vol 1 - Brian K Vaughan

Saga was something I meant to get around to, but I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did. It was absolutely amazing and I’ve been making my way through all 8 volumes ready for volume 9 to come out in October.

Favourite new-to-you or debut author:

The Exact Opposite of Okay - Laura Steven

I definitely fangirled when Laura Steven replied to me on Twitter. I tried to get all of my friends to read this as soon as I finished. This is the kind of YA voice that we need! This looks at sexism and double standards but also manages to make you laugh the whole way through? You can read my full review here and then get on and buy it people!

Your fictional crush:

Rhysand – the ACOTAR series. Do I really need to say more?

New favourite character:

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Feyre – A Court of Thorns and Roses

I think Feyre is an absolutely amazing character. I read all three of the ACOTAR books in a month and I just found her to be a great protagonist. She’s not perfect, she has her own mental battles to fight. I think she’s ace and I wish I could go into more detail as to why but I don’t want to ruin the series.

A book that made you cry:

With The End in Mind - Katheryn Mannix

With the End in Mind: Death, Dying and Wisdom in an Age of Denial by Kathryn Mannix

A book about death making me cry? Not exactly a shock. I read this for the Wellcome book prize and it was beautifully written. The kindness, compassion and intelligence of this book is nothing I’ve ever seen before and it will definitely get you talking.

A book that made you happy:

A Court of Frost and Starlight - Sarah J Maas

This book just felt like coming home. This is the novella to accompany the ACOTAR series which, I know, I’ve gone on about a lot in this blog. This is a short read with all the feels. I can’t wait for the next novel in the series!

Your favorite book-to-movie adaptation that you’ve seen this year:

I haven’t seen any book to movie adaptions this year! None that I can remember anyway…

Favorite book post you’ve done this year:

Hmmm, tough one. I actually think it’s the unpopular opinions book tag! It was good to get a few things off my chest!

The most beautiful book you’ve bought/received this year:

The Surface Breaks - Louise O'Neill

The Surface Breaks – Louise O’Neil

Just look at this cover, isn’t it so, so beautiful! Even without the dust jacket, it was beautiful.

What are some books you need to read by the end of the year?

I wrote a post about the books I wanted to read in 2018 and there are only two on there I need to read to meet my goal. I’d also like to get around to the following 2018 releases:

(Don’t) Call Me Crazy – Anthology

Notes on a Nervous Planet – Matt Haig 

How to Be Famous – Caitlin Moran 

Just wanting to point out that, obviously, I didn’t come up with this tag, it has been floating around forever! If you do this tag yourself, I’d love to see your answers so link me below!

 

Book Review: Unbroken – Martine Wright

Unbroken - Martin Wright

One moment can change your life

On the morning of the 7th July 2005 Martine Wright decided to let herself sleep a little later and slightly changed her route to work after celebrating London securing the 2012 Olympics. By making these changes she found herself on a tube with a suicide bomber. After he detonated his device, Martine’s life changed forever.

In the UK the 7/7 bombings went down in history. I remember being 11 years old and hearing it over the radio while in the car with my Mum, while my Dad tried to get hold of his best friend. It was so surreal that this had happened in London and the first time I realised these things could happen to anyone.

The book starts with varying perspectives of those closest to Martine as well as herself as they all heard about the 7/7 attacks. We hear from her now-husband, her parents, siblings, friend, surgeon and herself. Her story is one that not only inspired but was also difficult to believe.

After being found horrifically injured a courageous and kind policewoman and fellow passenger stayed with Martine. Both of her legs had been blown off and she was fading fast. So much so that when she arrived at the hospital she was referred to as Hotel Unknown until her family found her.

We follow Martine from the moment she was clinging to life, throughout her recovery. She doesn’t make light of the situation she talks about the dismissal that she wouldn’t walk again, the tears she cried and times she wanted to give up. Despite everything, the months she spent in the hospital she continued to fight for the rights of those injured and the families of those killed in the struggle for financial justice.

I spent the whole book cheering Martine on, wanting her to live her life as best she could after the bombing. So, did she go back to her day job and settle down? Not quite. Martine went on to become a Paralympic hero in Volleyball, she represented her country in the city she loved with all her heart.

This is a story of survival, spirit and determination but also being human. Martine doesn’t claim she’s perfect. She shares her doubts, her struggle to carry on at times and more. However, this made me laugh so much. She’s genuinely funny and learns to live and laugh at herself.

Martine is a hero and this was an incredible read. Was it tough at times, yes but I came out with a sense of determination because if Martine can get through that, I can get through my struggles. Of course, I gave this 5 stars. A truly brilliant story and one you should pick up.

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: 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: 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.