All posts filed under: reviews

Book Review: The Girls by Emma Cline

Let’s start with the basics: The Girls by Emma Cline is definitely the hit book of the Summer (well, Winter here in the land down under) and following the hype I felt completely compelled to pick this one up – and I can’t say I was disappointed. The Girls follows Evie Boyd as she remembers her adolescent summer adventures — not hanging out by the pool with her girlfriends or finding love at the beach, but her journey getting caught in the midst of Russell’s cult that resembles the Manson family. Mesmerised by the older girls — specifically the charismatic Suzanne — Evie spends most of her summer at The Ranch, where the group calls home. What at first seems a paradise, ultimately turns into a entirely too-messy situation and Evie seems to be caught in the middle. Emma Cline’s writing is delicious. There’s no other way to describe it. Often when a book is considered the it book I tend to be hesitant before picking it up, but immediately after reading an excerpt from the …

Book Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

Boy oh boy where do I begin with this one. I read this book for the first time back in May 2015 and fell head over heels in love. Upon re-reading it in September 2016, I am sort of stuck wondering what the hell was I thinking?! A Court of Thorns and Roses is a New Adult series written by Sarah J Maas (the author of the Throne of Glass series). Our protagonist is Feyre, a huntress who’s family depends on her bringing back a meal for the following days. She thinks nothing of slaughtering a wolf to feed her family, but when it turns out that the wolf is a magical creature from beyond the forrest in the fairie courts, she must face the consequences of what she has done. Okay, let’s put this into perspective. If I was sixteen reading this book for the first time I guarantee I would have devoured it in hours and it would have instantly been added to my favourites shelf. That’s the kind of reader I was four …

Book Review: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Warning: I am going to try and keep this as spoiler-free as possible, but who knew that Gillan Flynn wrote books so BLOODY HARD TO EXPLAIN without going into the synopsis? She’s a mindfuck that woman. I will admit I definitely ruined my reading experience for this book by making the (stupid) mistake of watching the movie first. I went to the cinema the day it was released with a few cousins and absolutely LOVED the film. It was intense and a complete and utter mindfuck and I immediately wished I’d decided to pick up the book before going into the movie. But in saying that, I would have ruined the movie for myself if I’d read the book? I can’t decide what’s worse. But because of doing this, I think I was ultimately let down by the book. I was expecting it to be a LOT better than what it was, and I was slightly disappointed that I didn’t think it lived up to all the hype. The story begins on Amy and Nick’s …

Week of Reviews: The Walled City by Ryan Graudin [5]

Before picking up this book, I had extremely high expectations regarding what I was about to read, so for that reason my thoughts on this aren’t quite as positive as I would have liked them. I’m sorry. That’s my own fault. I shouldn’t have set my expectations so high. I had heard nothing but brilliant things about Ryan Graudin before picking this book up. Mainly things about her book Wolf by Wolf, but I had also heard a high amount of praise for The Walled City. So I dove into this book expecting a masterpiece in YA literature – and to be honest, I was very disappointed. Don’t get me wrong – The Walled City is an oddly refreshing and gritty novel with fast paced action. I was completely engaged in this book… for about the first 20 pages. And then things began to simmer down. While I loved the premise for this story and the idea of Dai and Jin Ling working as partners in crime, I found that the story and relationships between characters were never fully developed. As much as …

Week of Reviews: Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher [4]

I honestly don’t think I could have found a more perfect time to pick up this book. Let me set the picture: I was on holiday to visit my Gran, two days sober, and was just about ready to throw my head through the wall with frustration. (If you have ever tried giving up a substance, you’ll completely understand what I’m talking about here). Gran however didn’t know I was trying to go cold-turkey (I’m honestly shocked she didn’t figure it out) and so I went to town to go to a bookstore with her, when I stumbled across this gem of a book. Wishful Drinking is memoir written by Star Wars star Carrie Fisher about drug abuse, hypersexuality and manic depression and boy was it hilarious. Usually it wouldn’t be appropriate to put all those topics under the umbrella of ‘comedic’ but somehow Fisher manages to make it an absolute laugh riot. It would have to be one of the funniest memoirs I have ever read. Born to entertainer Eddie Fisher and movie star Debbie Reynolds, Carrie Fisher has a lot of stories to share. …

Week of Reviews: Everything I Never Told You Celeste Ng [3]

“Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet.”   And if that isn’t one of the best opening sentences you have ever read, you’re wrong. Moving on. This story was an absolutely stunning read. It tells a story of a Chinese-American family living in small-town Ohio in the 1970’s who are dealing with the death of their middle child, Lydia. I went into the novel expecting the normal ‘murder mystery’ type of book where the entire plot revolves around how and why Lydia has died, but boy was I wrong. Celeste Ng has crafted an absolutely stunning read that covers such a wide range of issues from broken families to depression, and prejudice and belonging. It also manages to cover race-identity and gender-identity all within 304 pages – so for that I truly have to applaud the author. The centre of this story – Lydia’s death – is a platform which the author uses to explore this family in depth. This book is not a story about death, but more so the lives of the Lee family as they learn of …

Week of Reviews: Running Like China by Sohpie Hardcastle [2]

(Warning: This is a gush review. I cannot help it. I feel in love with a book.) From the moment I stumbled across this book unexpectedly in Dymocks on holiday, to the moment I closed the final page and put this book to rest, I knew this book was for me. Exposing her heart on her sleeve, Sophie has written a truly beautiful and brutally honest memoir about her struggles with mental illness, specifically, bipolar disorder. I am always drawn to memoirs that explore mental health. As someone who suffers personally I find it not only therapeutic to read about other peoples journeys, but I also find it comforting to know I am not alone. Running Like China did all this for me and more. Sophie has a way with words that truly felt like a gift to read. It is a moving, articulate and powerful piece of literature that I think not only appeals to suffers themselves, but also people who have never suffered and want to learn what it is like. Sophie’s story is heart-wrenching, and at times …