Books

Quarterly Book Reviews!

I really enjoyed writing my 2017 Goodreads challenge post back in January so thought it was about time for another set of reviews! I was thinking of setting up another series where I review some books I have read every quarter of the year (roughly every four months), I will follow a similar format to my Goodreads post where I give each book 1 – 5 stars depending on how much I enjoyed them.

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Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson:

I always have a soft spot for Laurie Halse Anderson as she wrote my favourite book Wintergirls, but Speak really hit me the same way. This book is all about Highschool Freshman Melinda who is the outcast in her new school as she called the cops on a summer party a few months prior. However something bad happened at that party and it takes Melinda on a powerful and hard journey to heal from the events of the Summer. My synopsis is very vague as I don’t want to give away any spoilers because this is such a special book that you need to go in barely knowing anything about the plot. Speak is such a powerful read about a subject that happens all too frequently, it will have you gripped at the first page!

★★★★★

Wonder Women: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo:

Warbringer is in some way a prequel set in another DC universe to the Wonder Women film from last Summer starring Gal Gadot. It starts with Diana breaking the Amazon law to save a young mortal girl from a devastating accident off the shore of the Amazonian’s home. Diana thinks she has saved the girl, but has she just doomed the world instead? This was a great book filled with true female friendship, offered us diverse multi cultured characters and a good plot.. but it just took me forever to get into it for some reason, I was about half way through before I was properly absorbed into the story. I’ll give this book a second read through next year and hopefully change my mind.

★★★☆☆

Scythe by Neal Shusterman:

If I could give this book 10 stars I would! Scythe is set in the future where humans have discovered the cure for mortality – meaning no-one dies because they just get brought back to life again. There is no war, no famine, no disease and no death.. except from the Sythe’s gleanings. As no-one really dies anymore and the world was getting over populated, introduced were professional killers called ‘Scythes’. Scythes kill (or ‘glean’) whoever they please in whatever way they wish as long as they stay in quota. The story centres around Citra and Rowan who are chosen to become apprentice Scythes which neither of them particularly want, however they have to train in all the arts of death to become a fully fledged scythe.. or they may loose their life. I read this book in a few days, I was hooked. The world was very immersive, you learn a lot about the society and the Scythe community. But the best thing about this book for me was the question of Morality and who really decides on our fate? I read the sequel ‘Thunderhead’ straight after Scythe and I personally think that was even better than the first.. now to wait another year for the third instalment ‘The Toll’.

★★★★★

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank:

I read Anne Frank’s famous diary right before setting off to Amsterdam for a holiday, it really made the experience surreal and saddening when I visited the Annex. The diary starts in the midst of World War II in Amsterdam, the Germans had invaded the Netherlands causing the Jewish Frank family to go in to hiding. Throughout the whole story I couldn’t get over how intelligent Anne was, she was such a bright soul in such a sad situation. The diary follows around two years of Anne’s life in the Annex and also has a chapter at the end explaining what came of the Frank family after they were caught. I honestly think everyone should read this diary at least once in their life.

★★★★☆

This is Going to Hurt: The Secret Diary of a Junior Doctor by Adam Kay:

This diary follows the life of Adam Kay while he was a junior doctor on a labour ward from 2004 – 2010, this book was so good that I read it in two days, it was inventive, hysterical and intuitive. Adam Kay has a way with words, he has the type of British humour that I love. But most importantly, I learnt a lot about the medical world.. although it has definitely put me off of child birth haha. Some of the stories made me cringe and laugh at the same time! Most medical terminology is explained at the bottom of the page by Adam which really helped, although it’s easy to follow even without the explanations. This book has really opened up my eyes to how hectic a doctor’s life is, I already knew they had long and tough shifts but the harsh reality of the medical world is explained at the end of the book by Adam (I won’t spoil it). A great read, although it may put you off a job in the Medical field!

★★★★★

Misfit by Charli Howard:

In 2015 Charli Howard posted an important ‘Fuck You’ message onto Facebook, which soon went viral, after her modelling agency sacked her for being too ‘big’. Misfit is the result of that post, this autobiography follows Charli’s life from being a small child to now struggling with Anxiety and Eating Disorders. I really empathised with Charli and found this a powerful read as I’ve dealt with the similar issues growing up and even now. Misfit is written really well and is packed with loads of information regarding Anxiety and Eating Disorders, there is even a great epilogue explaining some of the issues that would be discussed through the book for people who are easily triggered.

★★★★☆

Identical by Ellen Hopkins:

I’m really not sure where to start with this book, it is a very compelling read about a very disturbing situation. Kaeleigh and Raeanne are identical twins, their Father is a court Judge and their Mother is a Politician, the seemingly ‘all American family’. However, this family is hiding a HUGE secret. The revolting nature of this book made me feel physically ill while reading, but on the second hand it is very important to write about complex issues like sexual abuse, mental health, self harm etc. I wasn’t a big fan of Ellen’s writing style at first as it is all in verses (similar to a poem), but as I got more and more sucked in to the story, the writing style made this story even more powerful and shocking. A very disturbing read, but one that will keep you hooked from the first page.

★★★★☆

I hope some of you found some books you’d like to read, if anyone has any recommendations for me then please feel free to comment!

xox

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