Book Review: Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo

book review

Published: May 2019 by Hamish Hamilton
Genre: Contemporary
Length: 464 Pages
Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Girl, Woman, Other came to my attention because it was recently longlisted for the manbooker prize. I must say, I hope this goes on to win it. 

This is a series of interconnected short stories, all told from the point of view of women. The stories told explore a diverse range of topics such as sexuality, gender identity, sexual violence, race and much more. 

Each story is told through 12 characters and every single one so prevelant and beautifully told. So many peoples stories will be represented in this book and each is as important as the other. 

I loved how each character was somehow tied to a previous character we’d already met. Whether their lives brush briefly or they’re connected in a significant way. The fact that we would see someone from one persons POV but then actually go into that someones POV and see into their life made for a well rounded book. 

I love a book with women’s lives at the centre and this in particular was a great one. 

Thanks for reading, 

Jess X

 

 

 

Book Review: Frankissstein by Jeanette Winterson

book review

Published: 2019 by Jonathan Cape
Genre: …I’m not sure?
Length: 352 Pages
Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Hi Readers

This book was a complete surprise to me. Before the Booker longlist was announced I didn’t even know Winterson had come out with a new book, and before I started it I had no real expectations for it. Now, so far, this is my favourite book on the longlist.

Set in two timelines we follow Mary Shelley, married and writing one of the most famous novels in history. And modern, post-brexit Britain, where prolonging life and creating robots drives the conversations between the characters.

In this, Winterson draws connections between Frankensteins monsters and the creation of AI intelligence. AKA, robots. It brings into question what makes us human, our body, our brain, or our soul? 

I say I’m not sure about what genre this book is, because it’s hard to put this into one catergory. It’s literary fiction, but it’s also history, sci-fi, romance and contemporary. There’s a lot to this novel yet it all fits together so perfectly.  

Frankissstein is  thought-provoking and interesting, whilst also moving and even funny. The minute I finished this book I wanted to pick it up again for a reread, which I will definitely have to do sometime in the near future. 

Thanks for reading, 

Jess X

Book Review: Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty

book review

Published: 2016 by Flatiron Books
Genre: Mystery
Length: 415 Pages
Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Hi Readers

Another gripping mystery from the author of Big Little Lies. In this we follow the events of a suburban neighbourhood BBQ. Alternating between before and after, we slowly discover what happened and the impact it has had on the characters lives. 

For the majority of this book, the big question is ‘what happened at this BBQ?’ It keeps you intrigued this way but I will say I found the post-BBQ chapters made this book drag and it lost it’s momentum because I found them so boring.

This book has an amazing cast of characters. All very unique and stand out for their own reasons. I loved getting to know them but again they were much more interesting in the chapters leading up to and the night of the BBQ. 

I was surprised by the wide range of topics this book covers. I admired how it tackled IVF and the struggle of not being able to conceive. It was interesting to read how that process works in Australia.

This book also bravely tackled mental health in young children. How the news and social affects children. It’s not very often I read a book from the point of view of parents and I really loved that dynamic. 

In the end this book didn’t shock me or keep me hooked like Big Little Lies, but was a still a good novel.

Thanks for reading, 

Jess X

 

 

Book Review: The Wall by John Lanchester – A Booker Prize Longlistee

book review

Hi Readers

Set in the future, due to climate change and mass migration a wall surrounds the entire border of Britain and is monitered 24/7 by conscripted ‘defenders’. In this we follow a man who is about to start his required two years at the wall. 

It’s not hard to see that the author was largely inspired by our own current events to write this novel. Trumps wall, peoples views on immigration and the lack of action we’re taking to stop climate change are just some. That certainly makes the events in this book more gripping and real. 

It’s slow paced and very descriptive, but does pick up the momentum and is better for it. At a point it’s a real page turner. I really wish that the third part had been expanded on though as the ending was disappointing and rushed. 

This is a typical dystopian. The novel isn’t something that’s overly unique but is certainly well executed. If you’re a big fan of dystopia novels then I would check this one out.

Thanks for reading, 

Jess X

Book Review: Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

book review

Published: 2013 by Doubleday
Genre: Contemporary
Length: 403 Pages
Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Hi Readers

A romantic comedy featuring Asian main characters. In this Rachel is invited by her long-term boyfriend Nic to spend the Summer with him and his family at their home in Singapore. However, when she arrives she is blind sided when she realises that these Asians are crazy rich. 

My feelings for this book are strange. I do like that this book was fun and was exaggerated and completely unrealistic, but in a soap-opera kind of way. It was nice to see a contemporary book with Asian culture in it. 

However, the pacing was so slow. There were times where I just felt like it was going nowhere. 50 pages in and we were still being introduced to new characters and talking about the same things they’d been talking about since page one.

There are a lot of characters, and you have to be alright with hating most of them. They’re all snobbish, money centred and honestly just horrible people. But that’s just part of the fun of it. 

Whilst this wasn’t laugh-out-loud hilarious for me, if you’re looking for a fun Summer read, I would recommend this one. 

Thanks for reading, 

Jess X

Books I’d Like to Read This Summer’s Dewey 24 Hour Readathon

readingplans

Hi Readers

The Summer Deweys 24hr Reverseathon. It’s the usual Dewey, it lasts 24 hours and lasts however long you can, but it starts at the opposite time than the usual October round. For me, that’s 1am. 

I’m also taking part in NEWTs this month so I’ll be reading books that will complete those challenges. You can find my full TBR for that here!

Alex Approximately by Jenn Bennett – I usually read YA contemporary’s quite quickly. 

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn – I’m hoping this is as thrilling and gripping as people say it is. It’s pretty short as well so possibly I could read this in one sitting. 

Joyland by Stephen King- Slightly different to what I would usually read during the Summer but seeing as this is set in a fairground during the Summer I feel like it could be the perfect time. Also, I need something to keep me awake during the later hours.

Let me know if you plan on taking part in Deweys!

Thanks for reading, 

Jess X

 

A Very Ambitious August TBR (Newts Readathon 2019!)

readingplans

Hi Readers

The NEWTs magical readathon is happening again and I couldn’t be more excited! A month long readathon is just how I like to spend my Summer. 

This readathon follows the OWLs readathon, which happened in April, and is hosted by The Book Roast. It comes with so many challenges and to complete them all, you would have to read 36 books in a month! I’m not aiming to do that, but it is pretty close. 

Here are all of the challenges/subjects and what I plan to read for them. 

Ancient Runes –
Recommended by a Friend – Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell

Written In Past Tense – Nick and Norahs Epic Playlist by Rachel Cohn
On My TBR For Ages – Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson (maybe).

Arithmancy –
Ends on an even page number – No Big Deal by Bethany Rutter

A Standalone Novel – Joyland by Stephen King
Longer Than 350 Pages – Frankissstein by Jeanette Winterson

Astronomy –
Moon in the Title – The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen
Night In the Title – Night Boat to Tangier by Kevin Barry
A Sci-Fi or Stars on the Cover – Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

Care of Magical Creatures –
Title Starts With An A – Alex Approximately by Jenn Bennett
Under 300 Pages – Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
Birds on the Cover – The Orchestra of Minorites by Chicozie Obioma

Charms –
Gorgeous Cover – The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Under 150 Pages – War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
A Paperback – The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood

Defence Against the Dark Arts –
Black Under the Dust Jacket – The Wall by Jonathan Lanchester
First Book That Comes to Mind – To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo
An English Author or Set in England – Lanny by Max Porter

Divination – (I won’t be completing this one).
A White Book 
A Short Story
Last Book Borrowed From Your Library

Herbology –
A Green Cover – Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadines Evaristo
350-390 Pages – Girl Out of Water by Laura Silverman
Flower on the Cover – 10 Minutes, 38 Seconds In This Strange World by Elif Shafak

History of Magic –
A Fantasy – Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone by J.K. Rowling
With A Map – Trouble With Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon
Reread A Favourite Or A Classic – Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Muggle Studies –
The Cover Includes A Photo – The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith
Set In the Real World – Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian
A POC Author – The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Potions (I won’t be doing this one).
A Friends Favourite
Hogwarts House Colours
Has A Prologue

Transfiguration (I won’t be doing this one either). 
LGBTQ+ Rep
Not the First in A Series 
Over 500 Pages 

I don’t know if I have time to do this but I really hope to read all of these. Let me know if you’re participating in NEWTS this August!

Thanks for reading, 

Jess X