All posts tagged: 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 …

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: 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 …

Week of Reviews: The Grownup by Gillian Flynn [1]

It takes serious skill to write a story so engaging in only 64 pages, but of course Gillian Flynn hit it out of the park (is that the saying? I’m Australian I don’t know these baseball terms… Is it even baseball?!) with this chilling, creepy read! I thoroughly enjoyed this short story. Leave it to Gillan Flynn pull me out of my reading slump and dump me back on dry land desperate to read something that would live up to this. But that’s how I felt after reading it. Before picking this up I hadn’t managed to finish a book in what felt like forever (but was actually probably only a week or two) but after flying through this story in just over half an hour I found myself craving something that would mimic the feeling I experienced while reading. Gillian Flynn’s writing style always has me completely captivated, and this was no exception. Essentially The Grownup is a modern-day take on a haunted house story. It follows a fake psychic, who agrees to help Susan as she’s encountering problems with her step-son and …

Book Review: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Once again Rainbow Rowell has pulled through and written one of my favourite novels. Carry On is a book based off a fanfiction written in another book that is based off a series that is based off Harry Potter? Kind of. Sort of. It’s hard to explain. But regardless of the controversy that surrounded this one, I couldn’t help but absolutely adore this novel. This book is by far one of the most magical, cute, funny and heartfelt novels I have ever read, and definitely one of my favourite books of 2015. When Simon Snow returns to his eighth year Watford, a school for magical school, he becomes suspicious that his archnemesis/roommate did not show up for term. With tensions running high, Simon can’t help but think that Baz is planning something. When Baz finally returns, things begin to change. Instead of hating Baz, Simon is concerned. And instead of wanting to kill Simon, Baz wants to kiss him. As the world around them begins to crumble, Simon and Baz realise that they probably work better as a team than as enemies. …