Book Review: Postscript – Cecelia Ahern

“It’s been seven years since Holly Kennedy’s husband died – six since she read his final letter, urging Holly to find the courage to forge a new life.

She’s proud of all the ways in which she has grown and evolved. But when a group inspired by Gerry’s letters, calling themselves the PS, I Love You Club, approaches Holly asking for help, she finds herself drawn back into a world that she worked so hard to leave behind.”

I have to put it out there, I was nervous when this was announced because I loved P.S I Love You so much when I was a teenager, both the novel and the film for separate reasons and it was in my heart. It turns out I had nothing to worry about

The novel takes place 7 years after Gerry’s final letter and while we catch up with Holly, we also catch up with other characters we got to know in the first novel such as Holly’s family and friends. In particular, I loved catching up with her friends on what their lives and relationships were like.

Holly’s life has moved with the times too, for example, this all happens from a podcast recording, Holly is older and considering her life, her friends lives and approaching the end of her thirties.

What was special though is that we got to see snatches of Gerry and Holly’s lives together that we didn’t get the first time around. Their love story carries on throughout the pages, but it doesn’t feel repetitive, instead, it’s an excellent reminder of why their relationship was so special in the first place.

Ahern has a great talent for writing the complicated emotions and situations real-life can put you in. Holly is doing ok and one thing shakes her to her core and brings everything back. She has to weigh up moving forward and looking back to embrace her life to help others. Nothing is easy or simple and I really appreciated that Holly continued to be full of depth.

As for the P.S I Love You club, what can I say I loved all of them and it completely broke my heart. I managed to hold off crying until just before the end and then I couldn’t stop for the last 50 pages or so. Oof, it was a corker!

It’s no surprise that I gave this novel 5 stars. Any worries I had about the time gap in between the two books were quashed it was an absolutely perfect follow on. If there are any fans of P.S I Love you I would highly recommend this book, to me it was perfect. Absolutely perfect!

I purchased a copy of this novel, but I was also sent a copy for review thank you to Netgalley and the publisher.

Book Review – Vicious – V.E Schwab

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.

Well, this was a bit bloody brilliant wasn’t it? Vicious was the first V.E Schwab book I read and I’m more than a little bit in love with the novel and plot. Victor and Eli are both stand out characters and, more so, I was just knocked sideways by how smart the plot was.

When I first started reading the novel I did get a bit confused, there’s quite a few characters to start with quite early on, we’re going between modern day for the characters and 10 years ago. That took quite a bit of getting used to and I had to really concentrate at times to make sure I knew what was going on. However, once I got past that I was obsessed with this book.

Personally, I love Victor he was definitely my favourite character, even if he wasn’t always likeable. I feel that all of the characters were interesting but there was just something about Victor that I found so interesting, possibly in his way of thinking, his motives. I didn’t quite connect with Eli the same way but I might in the next novel, who knows?

This is a book that really kept me reading, I needed to know what what going to happen – how the ‘game’ was going to play out and more importantly who was going to survive. And I was completely hooked. I also had a huge soft soft for Sydney and needed to know what was going to happen to her.

Also, no spoilers but that ending, THAT ENDING. I absolutely loved it and I’m quite glad I picked up both novels after Vengeful was released because while I am taking time to process between books I can go to the next one without that much of a wait.

I gave this 5 stars, I don’t think that’s a surprise to anyone. I am kicking myself for not picking up a V.E Schwab novel sooner. She is clearly an incredible story teller and I can’t wait to see what happens in Vengeful.

Book Review: Notes To Self – Emilie Pine

`The person who loves the addict exhausts and renews their love on a daily basis’ 

Within this short collection, Emilie bares her soul. Sharing with us, some of her most personal stories from growing up with an alcoholic parent to her miscarriage and more. That said, this isn’t a pity party, instead it radiates strength. While I had never heard of Emile before this, I felt like she was someone I could know.

One of the things I enjoyed the most while reading this is seeing Emilie grow up from a little girl who didn’t understand her parent’s separation, a wild teenager to an intelligent woman. It seems that there is nothing that Pine tries to hide from us, and that takes guts. We all change so much from being a child to a fully-grown adult and this collection definitely shares warts and all.

This is a collection that will make you think about your own life, the choices you have made and the reactions you have had. There is an unflinching honesty within Pine’s essays that isn’t seen often. In particular, when speaking about being unable to conceive, I was in awe of the way in which she shared her feelings. Infertility, miscarriage and stillbirth are all covered within these pages and these are the conversations that we often shy away from in society. The fact that Pine speaks about her experiences in such an honest way will no doubt make people feel less alone when they read this.

I gave this collection 5 stars. It only took a day for me to read through this and while there were times that I was on the verge of tears, it’s something that I feel needs to be read. This is definitely just the start of some wonderful work that we’ve going to see from Emilie Pine, and I for one can’t wait.

Thank you to the author, publisher and NetGalley for giving me a copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Book Review: Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt

Orbiting Jupiter - Gary D. Schmidt

When Jack meets his new foster brother, he already knows three things about him: Joseph almost killed a teacher. He was incarcerated at a place called Stone Mountain. He has a daughter. Her name is Jupiter. And he has never seen her. What Jack doesn’t know, at first, is how desperate Joseph is to find his baby girl. Or how urgently he, Jack, will want to help.

When I picked up this novel I knew it would make me feel something, how could it not with that blurb? What I didn’t anticipate was that it would break my heart into a million pieces. Just as you thought you’d recovered from the first blow there’s another one. But, weirdly, it also made me happy. Basically, you’ll feel all the emotions.

When Jack’s family take in Joeseph, they welcome him,despite his past, as a foster family. While it is clear that Joseph has his own problems and it’s going to take time, they are patient, giving him the love, care and attention he needs. This was lovely to see because these kinds of people do exist and I don’t think they are mentioned enough in literature.

As we know from the blurb. Joseph has a daughter, despite the fact he is only 14 himself. More than anything he wants to meet her, but his past, her future and other demons prevent his only wish. I know you might be thinking, he’s 14? How could a 14-year-old understand, but the character is written in such a brilliant way you understand him and his emotions through the eyes of Jack.

Of course, I gave this 5 stars. This is short but so, so powerful. It’s possibly on the list as one of my favourite books of the year, I liked it that much. The writing is beautiful, it’s full of emotion and ah I just want to gush about it so, so much. I really recommend this if you want a shorter read but to have a good cry.

 

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: 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.