book blog


Blog Tour: The Companions – Sarah Dunnakey

33548805Release Date: July 27th 2017
Pages: 320
Publisher: Orion
Find it on: Amazon. Goodreads.
Source: Orion kindly sent me a copy to review for this blog tour.

Synopsis:

1932 – Twelve-year-old Billy Shaw lives in a palace. Potter’s Pleasure Palace – the best entertainment venue this side of the Pennines, complete with dancing and swing-boats and picnickers and a roller-skating rink. Billy’s ma runs the tea rooms and Billy himself looks forward to becoming the assistant to Mr Potter when he grows up. Until, that is, Mr Potter arranges for Billy to go to High Hob, the big house at the top of the valley, to be companion to Jasper Harper.

Jasper lives with his mother Edie and his Uncle Charles, brother and sister authors, escaped from London, and some say debt and scandal, in order to write. On his arrival, Billy finds a haphazard household where nothing that’s meant is said, and he runs wild with the untamed Jasper, spending all the time they can on the moors trying to catch The Beast. For four years the boys are inseparable, but when Charles and Edie are found dead, ruled a double suicide, Billy has already left the valley to start a new life in London. His time in the Harper household is written out of history.

2015 – Newly-appointed custodian of Ackerdean Mill, formerly the Palace, Anna Sallis begins to sort through the chaotic archives of the Mill, the Palace and the Harper siblings, and finds documents pointing to inconsistencies in the accepted story of Charles and Edie’s suicide. Anna becomes curious about what happened to her neighbour Frank’s Uncle Billy, absent from the known story. Why did he leave the valley? And what did he know about the events at High Hob?

Review:

Welcome to my stop on The Companion blog tour! I really enjoyed this book, it’s mysterious story, full of suspense with plenty of history thrown in too. The Companion features two alternative points of view. One in current times (2015) and one in 1932 when Charles and Edie were alive. I really love this kind of dual narrative because it really builds the suspense, and you get to see things from all different angles.

One of my favourite things about this book was the beautifully written prose. It flows seamlessly between the two different time frames, and I so easily became absorbed in the lovely writing. The writing is wonderfully descriptive, and it really makes the setting come alive. The book is obviously full of mystery, and I loved that it kept me guessing right until the end. I something think if you figure out what has happened straight away it can ruin your enjoyment a little, and while I did guess one or two things there were plenty things I  kept wondering about right till the very end.

The characters are really well portrayed too. Billy is definitely my favourite, and I loved the strong sense of Yorkshire dialect that came through the book. I also found Anna really interesting too, as she collected all the information and unearthed these long forgotten secrets.

I also absolutely love the gorgeous and atmospheric cover for book, it’s really striking and definitely adds to that overall mysterious appeal. The Companion is a really addictive, enjoyable read and I have since passed it on to my mum who kept asking me what the book was about. If you’re looking for a page turner of a book to read over the summer, The Companion will definitely keep you occupied on your days off!

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Thanks for checking out my stop on The Companion blog tour, be sure to check out the other stops below!

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Book Review: Sugar – Kimberly Stuart

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Release Date: February 7th 2017
Pages: 248
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
Find It: Amazon. Goodreads.

 

Synopsis:

After realising her coworkers at L’Ombre, a high-profile restaurant in NYC, will never appreciate or respect her, Charlie Garrett allows her ex-boyfriend, Avery Michaels, to convince her to work for him as executive pastry chef at his new Seattle hot spot, Thrill. She’ll have her own kitchen, her own staff—everything she ever wanted professionally.

When she arrives at Thrill, however, she realises that Avery wanted more than a pastry chef for his restaurant—he wanted a costar for the reality show they’re filming about the restaurant and its staff. Charlie is uncomfortable with the idea at first, but she soon realises that this is her chance to show the world what women in the kitchen are capable of. She sets some ground rules with the film crew, signs a non-disclosure agreement, and promptly meets the man of her dreams, Kai, off-camera.

The show, and her demanding work schedule as head of the pastry kitchen, makes it nearly impossible for Charlie and Kai to spend time together. Drama on and off the set soon take a toll on Charlie’s well-being, forcing her to choose if life in front of the camera is worth sacrificing life behind the scenes.

Sugar is a contemporary romance, set in the high-pressure commercial kitchens of New York and Seattle. A funny and clever story of how a female chef learns to thrive in the ruthless world of premier restaurants.

When she arrives at Thrill, however, she realises that Avery wanted more than a pastry chef for his restaurant—he wanted a costar for the reality show they’re filming about the restaurant and its staff. Charlie is uncomfortable with the idea at first, but she soon realises that this is her chance to show the world what women in the kitchen are capable of. She sets some ground rules with the film crew, signs a non-disclosure agreement, and promptly meets the man of her dreams, Kai, off-camera.

The show, and her demanding work schedule as head of the pastry kitchen, makes it nearly impossible for Charlie and Kai to spend time together. Drama on and off the set soon take a toll on Charlie’s well-being, forcing her to choose if life in front of the camera is worth sacrificing life behind the scenes.

Sugar is a contemporary romance, set in the high-pressure commercial kitchens of New York and Seattle. A funny and clever story of how a female chef learns to thrive in the ruthless world of premier restaurants

Review:

This is a lovely little book about a chef trying to find the balance between her dream job and her home life. It’s a light enjoyable chick-lit read – and one that will continually make you hungry with all the talk of food. It’s a pretty short read at only 240 pages, and it’s sweet – both in the desserts and in the romance kind of way (see what I did there!)

I found the plot really enjoyable, Charlie takes the leap of moving from New York to Seattle, but her job isn’t all that it seems, and of course there’s her new relationship to contend with the demanding job. The one thing that let me down about this book were the characters. I would have loved a much deeper analysis into them. So much happens in those two hundred odd pages, I felt like I barely got to know them and it was finished. I also didn’t get particularly attached to the characters – don’t get me wrong they’re written well, I just didn’t connect with them in any real way.

Despite that it’s still a really enticing story, and one that I really enjoyed. I read a large chunk of it in one sitting during a train journey, and really loved the depictions of working in a crazy hectic kitchen. The depictions of the food are really fabulous and well researched and there’s also a dash of humour tied in to make a really enjoyable mix. If you’re looking for something light and fun, this will definitely be up your alley.


Blog Tour: The One – John Marrs

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Release Date: January 26th 2017
Publisher: Ebury Publishing
Pages: 368
Find It On: Goodreads. Amazon.


There’s one genetically perfect person in the world for you. If you could find out who they were, would you do it?

Synopsis:

How far would you go to find THE ONE?

One simple mouth swab is all it takes.

One tiny DNA test to find your perfect partner – the one you’re genetically made for.

A decade after scientists discover everyone has a gene they share with just one person, millions have taken the test, desperate to find true love.

Now, five more people take the test. But even soul mates have secrets. And some are more shocking – and deadlier – than others…

Review:

This book was just something else altogether. As soon as I read the premise I was hooked. The idea is such a fascinating one, and with all the constant advancements in technology, it feels really believable too. This book really is a fantastic one. The plot is so intense and exciting. I spent a large portion of my day at work being absolutely desperate to finish, just to come home and dive back in.

The book is divided into chapters alternating between the different couples who take the test, In the beginning I was a little lost as to which couple was which, but they quickly take shape as a unique and varied set of characters, all each dealing with the consequences of finding their match. My personal favourite was Mandy. I found her so fascinating and her story kept surprising me at every turn. I won’r say too much because I don’t want to spoil the story, but the one thing I really loved about The One is that it continually kept me guessing.

Not only is this a fantastically written story, it continually makes you think. If there was such a test would you take it? It might seem like a completely unbelievable concept, but The One makes it feel so believable. The characters are so lifelike, and that definitely makes the book incredibly engaging.

The One is definitely a nail biter. Many of the chapters end on a bit of a cliff-hanger and due to the alternating points of view you might not find out what happens to that character for quite a while. This was both the best and the worst. The best because it kept you hooked, desperate to know more. Worst because I had several days where I was up long past my bedtime reading it.

I loved The One from start to finish. It was completely unlike anything I’ve ever read before, and I highly recommend it!

Thanks for checking out my stop on this blog tour, be sure to check out the others for more reviews and other exciting posts!


Book Review: A Thousand Nights – E. K. Johnston

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Release Date: October 6th 2015
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Find It On: Goodreads. Amazon.

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A beautiful and engrossing story that I absolutely would read again!

Synopsis:

Lo-Melkhiin killed three hundred girls before he came to her village, looking for a wife. When she sees the dust cloud on the horizon, she knows he has arrived. She knows he will want the loveliest girl: her sister. She vows she will not let her be next.

And so she is taken in her sister’s place, and she believes death will soon follow. Lo-Melkhiin’s court is a dangerous palace filled with pretty things: intricate statues with wretched eyes, exquisite threads to weave the most beautiful garments. She sees everything as if for the last time. But the first sun rises and sets, and she is not dead. Night after night, Lo-Melkhiin comes to her and listens to the stories she tells, and day after day she is awoken by the sunrise. Exploring the palace, she begins to unlock years of fear that have tormented and silenced a kingdom. Lo-Melkhiin was not always a cruel ruler. Something went wrong.

Far away, in their village, her sister is mourning. Through her pain, she calls upon the desert winds, conjuring a subtle unseen magic, and something besides death stirs the air.

Back at the palace, the words she speaks to Lo-Melkhiin every night are given a strange life of their own. Little things, at first: a dress from home, a vision of her sister. With each tale she spins, her power grows. Soon she dreams of bigger, more terrible magic: power enough to save a king, if she can put an end to the rule of a monster

Review:

A Thousand Nights is a retelling of One Thousand and One Nights, a book which I didn’t know very much about. This is not the only retelling that has been released in the last year, with The Wrath & the Dawn also following a similar storyline. One of the things that initally caught my eye was the stunning cover, it immediately drew me in, and the synopsis made me incredibly eager to read the book. I whizzed through it in a couple of days, and it’s a particularly enjoyable story.

The descriptions of the desert and the city are excellent within the novel. I loved the water garden which the main protagonist spends a lot of time in, I really felt that it came alive. One issue I had with the story is the lack of character names – we never learn the protagonist’s name, and her family are just referred to as her sister or her mother etc. which became a little frustrating. Despite that I absolutely loved the main character, she’s fascinating and brave, and sacrifices herself for the good of her family.

The plot was a bit slower paced that I expected it to be, but I think that fit the story very well and made for a much more effective ending. I loved the magic in the story, which was just so fascinating and made the story particularly gripping. There isn’t much in the way of romance in the story, which I found quite refreshing as so many young adult tales focus so much on the romance element. The story certainly highlights female empowerment, something that isn’t often the case for this kind of story. If you’ve read One thousand and One Nights or are looking for a fairy tale with a bit of a twist, A Thousand Nights should definitely be on your reading list.

 

 


Blog Tour: Night Study – Maria V. Snyder

16130759Series: Soulfinders – Book Two
Release Date: January 26th 2016
Publisher: Mira
Pages: 448
Find It On: Goodreads. Amazon.

Maria V. Snyder’s newest novel will leave you on the edge of your seat.

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Synopsis:

Ever since being kidnapped from the Illiais Jungle as a child, Yelena Zaltana’s life has been fraught with peril. But the recent loss of her Soulfinding abilities has endangered her more than ever before. As she desperately searches for a way to reclaim her magic, her enemies are closing in, and neither Ixia nor Sitia is safe for her any more. Especially since the growing discord between the two countries and the possibility of a war threatens everything Yelena holds dear.  

Valek is determined to protect Yelena, but he’s quickly running out of options. The Commander suspects that his loyalties are divided, and he’s been keeping secrets from Valek…secrets that put him, Yelena and all their friends in terrible danger. As they uncover the various layers of the Commander’s mysterious plans, they realize it’s far more sinister than they could have ever imagined.

Review:

Welcome to the blog tour for Night Study, run by the wonderful Rock Star Book Tours! I think I must be beginning to sound like a broken record, but Maria V. Snyder’s novels are completely astounding. Picking up right where Shadow Study finishes, the latest helping in the Soulfinders series is gripping, intense and everything Yelena Zaltana fans could possibly wish for.

The story is intense, full of the magic and adventure that we’ve come to associate with the Study series. I love the different points of view in the novel. Not only do we get Yelena’s perspective, but Valek’s and Janco’s as well. It’s great to enter the heads of characters I’ve loved for so long. Yelena as always is stubborn, determined and an absolutely wonderful character.

There’s a rich amount of magic in Night Study, and something I absolutely adore about this series is the amount of detail Snyder puts into the magic as well as the detailed history of both Ixia and Sitia. After waiting so many months for the release of the novel. it’s wonderful to catch up with all the wonderful characters in Snyder’s series.

There’s lots of romance in this helping from the series. The relationship between Valek and Yelena is such a fascinating one, and they are one hell of a power couple. It’s great to see them working together in Night Study, which doesn’t happen all that often in previous novels.  I don’t want to say too much about the plot – it’s definitely a book you want to enjoy spoiler free – I’ll just say that it’s exciting and wonderfully written. There’s a few surprises, plenty of drama and action as well as a lot more in between.  If you enjoyed Shadow Study, you are not going to be disappointed.

About Maria:

Maria V. Snyder changed from being a meteorologist to a novelist in 1995, when she began writing to keep her sanity while raising two children. Since then, she has published numerous freelance articles in magazines and newspapers, and teaches fiction-writing classes atMaria the local college and area libraries. The classes give her the wonderful opportunity to encourage fellow writers, and to keep improving her craft.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Maria always had a fascination with big storms. Dreaming of chasing tornados, Maria earned a bachelors of science degree in meteorology at Penn State University. But she discovered, much to her chagrin, that forecasting the weather wasn’t one of her skills. In order to chase tornados you had to predict where they might form. Creating fantasy worlds where she has complete control of the weather was more agreeable to her.

Maria’s research on food-tasting methods with an expert chocolate taster, her husband, turned out to be a delicious bonus while writing Poison Study.

Maria has a brown belt in Isshinryu Karate, and enjoys playing volleyball and the cello. Traveling in general and via cruise ship in particular are her biggest distractions from writing. Maria has traveled to Belize, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Europe, Mexico, the Caribbean and through the Panama Canal.

Maria lives with her husband, son, daughter and yellow lab, Hazelnut, in Pennsylvania where she is at work on more LUNA novels. She is also pursuing a master’s degree in writing popular fiction from Seton Hill University.

Readers are welcome to contact Maria at the following email address: maria@mariavsnyder.com.

Where you can find Maria:

Website | Blog | Facebook | Goodreads

Thank you for checking out my stop on the Night Study blog tour, make sure you check out the other stops on the tour for interviews and loads of other great posts. (Just click the banner below to find the schedule!) As part of this fantastic tour there is also a give away of the novel: six US winners with receive a copy as well as four international winners, good luck! Enter here!

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Book Review: Hansel and Gretel – Neil Gaiman

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Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: 28th October 2014
Pages: 56.
Find It On: Goodreads. Amazon.

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Another haunting, interesting fairy tale adaptation from the mind of Neil Gaiman.

The story is already one you know, two young children live with their parents in the woods, their parents are struggling to afford food and so have no choice but to send their children to fend for themselves. They encounter a house made of gingerbread and the old lady who lives there offers to take them in, but she isn’t the sweet woman they think she is, but instead an evil witch who wants to eat them.

This is going to be a fairly short review as I’m not really sure what to say about it, a difficult one to review! It’s a really enjoyable book, however I can’t help but feel a little disappointed. I read both Hansel and Gretel and The Sleeper and the Spindle in one sitting, (to see my review of that click here!) and The Sleeper and the Spindle to me seemed so much more fascinating. Neil Gaiman’s trademark spin that he puts on things does not seem to be in this story, comparing with his Sleeping Beauty adaptation, Hansel and Gretel sticks mainly to the original story. Despite this it’s still an enjoyable read, and if you plan on buying The Sleeper and the Spindle, then I recommend you get both because they’re a lovely set.

One thing I did rather appreciate about this version of the story was the illustrations. Dark and shadowy, Mattotti does a great job adding another layer to the story and giving it a real eerie fairy tale feel. They may not be to everyone’s taste, but I thought they were a very interesting addition to the novel.

Like The Sleeper and the Spindle, the book is packaged beautifully and is a fun, interesting read. I also found a particularly interesting little addition in the publishers timeline of Hansel and Gretel at the end of book, fascinating if you’re curious about where the story came from and how it’s changed from generation to generation.

It’s dark, fun and interesting, but if you’re no stranger to the story then don’t expect anything too different to what you’ve heard before, but overall a lovely, beautifully illustrated little book.

Looking for something similar? Try: The Graveyard Book or The Sleeper and the Spindle.


Book Review: Dog with a Bone – Hailey Edwards

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Series: Black Dog – Book One
Release Date: October 31st 2014
Pages: 100.
Find It On: Goodreads. Amazon.  

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A supernatural tale with a whole host of different creatures, urban fantasy fans will love this one!

Thierry is a half-blood – half human and half fae. On the fateful night she learns of her heritage she is given two options: join the conclave or leave and never come back.Choosing to join the conclave Thierry becomes a marshal, protecting the peace and solving crimes against the fae community, but she has big shoes to fill, her absent father being a notorious marshal in his day. Combine all this with a budding romance with her incubus partner/teacher/friend Shaw, and you’ve got one whirlwind adventure on your hands.

I have to start by being honest and say I am not a big fan of urban fantasy, I personally prefer more epic fantasy, Tolkien style of novels. That being said, I absolutely loved Dog with a Bone and finished it in a very short space of time. It’s exciting, it’s funny and the characters are great. It reminds of a mash up between Supernatural and Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments.It’s a wonderful story, with everything you could possibly need, kick ass heroine who’s incredibly stubborn and won’t back down no matter the challenge? Check. Loads of different crazy supernatural creatures from Chimera to giant worms? Check. Mystery, intrigue and a whole host of action packed chapters? Check. Need I say more? There’s also loads of witty banter between Thierry and Shaw as well as lots of great secondary characters like Thierry’s Jeremy Renner obsessed best friend Mai, and conclave receptionist Mable, who although we only meet briefly, are fantastic characters that I can’t wait to learn more about in the next book. The book is a relatively short one and it feels like Edwards is just getting started, I think there’s a whole lot more to come and so many different things to explore in this interesting novel.

Not only is the character development great, I already love so many of the characters and I’ve only read this short novel, the plot is fantastic, with so many twists and turns, you’re always kept guessing – it’s like CSI in the fae world. Dog with a Bone definitely leaves you wanting more, I have so many unanswered questions about Thierry’s history and her mysterious father, I’m just itching to read the sequel.

There is lots of tension and romantic elements to the novel too, plenty of quick one liners and chemistry between Shaw and Thierry adds another dimension to an already fabulous book.This fast-paced high action book will leave you desperate for something more, but not to worry with sequel Heir of the Dog due to be released on January 30th, you won’t have long to wait!

Looking for something similar? Try: Semi-Charmed or A Fistful of Evil.


Reader Problems

So unfortunately due to final assignments and end of the year classes I have been absolutely swamped with coursework, which means my reading has suffered and I haven’t been posting much. However classes are now officially over for the trimester and so to get things kick started again I was nominated to the Reader Problems Tag by the lovely GoodGirlKills over at Watchable/Readable/Loveable. If you don’t follow her already you most definitely should, she posts loads of reviews, not just of books but movies and TV as well!

You have 20,000 books on your TBR. How in the world do you decide what to read next?

Oh dear, such a difficult question to start off! I’m a notorious book hoarder and my TBR list is probably close to that already! I tend to try and finish the series that I’ve been reading recently, or something that everyone is talking about so I can find out what all the fuss is about!

You’re halfway through a book and you’re just not loving it. Do you quit or are you committed?tumblr_nghx38YzqD1u13fg7o1_1280

I have to finish it. It may take me a month or a year, but I will finish.The only book I think I ever gave up on was How Late it was, How Late by James Kelman. I had to read it for a Scottish literature module at University and I just hated it. I am determined that one day I will go back and finish it, but I doubt it will be any time soon haha.

The end of the year is coming and you’re so close, but so far away on your Goodreads reading challenge. Do you try to catch up and how?

I would maybe read some shorter books in my TBR pile, as I said the list is endless so there’s always bound to be something on there that’s a short one. I like to complete my Goodreads challenge, although it’s currently December and I am a little behind, but now classes are finished I’m sure to catch up!

The covers of a series you love do. not. match. How do you cope?

This used to really bother me, I liked to have complete sets but as my book collection grew it wasn’t really cost effective, so if I see a book in a second hand bookshop I tend to buy it, regardless of the cover. As long as it’s in good condition I don’t mind the edition. I think the moment I stopped bothered was with Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles. Seriously, my copy of each book in the series has a different cover!

 Everyone and their mother loves a book you really don’t like. Who do you bond with over shared feeling?

10649800_386442321508417_3890530854988028423_nMy boyfriend is very picky about the books he reads and so I would probably bond with him over it. If not there’s probably someone online who shares my feelings, that’s the great thing about the book blog community! There are quite a few series I am not fond of and so it’s a great way to hear different people’s opinions, you never know I may even change my mind!

You’re reading a book and you are about to start crying in public. How do you deal?

Oh gosh, I suck it in and try not to weep, probably close the book and do something else and then when I get home I’ll have a right good blubber. I cry at most books so I’m a pro at waiting till I get home. Also I read the entire of The Fault in our Stars at home, because I knew there was just no way I’d get through that in public.

A sequel of a book you loved just came out, but you’ve forgotten a lot from the prior novel. Will you re-read the book? Skip the sequel? Try to find a synopsis on Goodreads? Cry in frustration?!?!?!?

My friends and family will tell you I’m always filled with the best intentions to reread the whole series before the new one comes out – I recently got Clariel by Garth Nix and I am determined to reread the whole series before I read it. It’s like a ten year gap since the previous one came out and I definitely do not remember what happened. I often get distracted or just given in and skip to the sequel though, I don’t always have the time to do a full reread unfortunately 🙁

You do not want anyone. ANYONE. borrowing your books. How do you politely tell people nope when they ask?

My close friends have very different taste books so I don’t tend to lend them books anyway, my family know how over the top I get if the book gets damaged (page folders are the devil) and so they tend not to borrow books off me anyway, if they do they tend to be extra careful!

Reading ADD. You’ve picked up and put down 5 books in the last month. How do you get over your reading slump?10577214_368981959921120_2595316856349800471_n

I tend not to go through many reading slumps but if I do I go for something of a completely different genre, so maybe if I’ve picked up and put down lots of fantasy novels I’ll go for historical fiction or something. That or I reread something I just adore, like Harry Potter or A Song of Ice and Fire, which I actually just started rereading!

There are so many new books coming out that you’re dying to read! How many do you actually buy?

Goodbye bank account. I have absolutely zero willpower when it comes to buying books. If any of the authors I love have a new book out, I immediately have the itch to buy it. In fact my family tend to put me on a book buying ban during term time so that I stay focused, although it means I have plenty to read over winter and summer break!

After you’ve bought the new books you can’t wait to get to, how long do they sit on your shelf before you get to them?

A while. It depends on how many books I have on my review pile before I get to anything else because they take priority. They probably sit on the shelf longer than I’d like, but hey I am a book hoarder!

So I tag Susan over at Friday Morning Book Club, Julia at Reading for Kicks, Quinn over at Quinn’s Books and The Bookish Unicorn!


Book Review: Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte


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Release Date: December 2002
Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company.
Pages: 464.
Find It On: Goodreads. Amazon.

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A wonderful classic novel that I wish I had read sooner!

Wuthering Heights is set in the 19th century in the Yorkshire moors, and follows several generations of the families who live there. It follows the romantic and destructive relationship between Catherine and Heathcliff, the young orphan Catherine’s father adopts. Heathcliff is badly treated by Catherine’s older brother, and departs the Heights, feeling his love for Catherine is not returned. Heathcliff returns many years later and proceeds to extract revenge on all who wronged him in his childhood.

Wuthering Heights is a novel I’ve always wanted to read, I’ve had a copy of the book for a long time and it has lived on my bookshelves for years, but I’ve never gotten around to reading it. I so wish I’d read it earlier, it’s a fantastic, haunting book and really is a great example of classic English literature.

Jane Eyre has been one of my favourite novels since I was a little girl, so I just loved examining the similarities between it and Wuthering Heights, and there are quite a few. Both novels look at things not often talked about in Victorian literature, and the nature of the violent relationships highlighted in Wuthering Heights, was I’m sure quite shocking at the time.

Something that really interested me about the novel is the structure, it’s written in a sort of Russian doll style, with a narrative within a narrative, and I love that you sometimes see the same thing from different viewpoints, because it calls into question the reliability of the narrator, and I do love an unreliable narrator. It’s such a wonderful book, the story is so powerful and it has all the tropes of Gothic and Victorian fiction, it’s a fabulous fabulous book.

Whilst this is my first time reading it, I actually picked it up as a result of a feminism module I’m taking at University, I found it so fascinating to analysis the novel under the concept of feminism, the depicts of domestic violence and the role Isabella Linton plays in the novel – a character which I believe is very overlooked, made it a really fascinating topic. I think one of the interesting things about a novel like Wuthering Heights is that it’s hard to approach it without any preconceived notions of the story. Most people will have seen at least one of the many film and TV adaptations, or perhaps read a retelling of the story or even just have a vague idea of the romantic story of Heathcliff and Catherine. But Wuthering Heights is much more than just a passionate love story, it is brutal, harrowing and destructive and features more revenge, anger and supernatural elements than anything else. This edition also has loads of background information, essays and reviews from the time so if you’re interested in looking at the novel in more detail, this is definitely a great edition for that!

Wuthering Heights has influenced so many popular novels today it is a must read for practically everyone, but if you’re a fan of Gothic fiction, Jane Eyre, or the old unreliable narrator, I urge you to grab this one off the shelf next!

Looking for something similar? Try: Jane Eyre or The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. 


Book Review: A Monster Calls – Patrick Ness

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Release Date: September 27th 2011
Publisher: Walker Books
Pages: 215.
Find it on: Goodreads. Amazon.

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Think you know what the monster is? Think again…

“The monster showed up at midnight. As they do. But it wasn’t the monster Conor was expecting. He’d been expecting the one from his nightmare. The one he’d had every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming….”

The monster visits Conor, an ancient, wild monster that comes in the form of a yew tree. He says that Conor called him here. Each night he tells Conor a story, and after the third story, Conor will tell him the truth, the truth Conor does not want to face up to…

This book is very beautiful and moving, and I definitely had to stop for some tissues towards the end! The concept was created by Siobhan Dowd, the young adult author who sadly passed away from cancer. Patrick Ness takes up the mantle, in hope to write a book Siobhan would be proud of. It’s very sad, sweet story about a boy dealing with a really difficult thing. Anyone who has ever had to go through something similar will find the story especially moving. I myself have recently gone through the passing of a loved one and that had a big effect on how much the story touched me. The writing is very poetic and lyrical and it really shows the depths of human grief, how much it can affect you and change you as a person.

A Monster Calls is a book that is somewhat difficult to review, it deals with a subject which is very sensitive, in a very frank and realistic way. It deals with grief and loss and the hardships of losing someone you really care about. It is a truly wonderful book. That being said it definitely wasn’t what I expected. Hearing the name A Monster Calls and seeing the eerie dark cover, I was somewhat surprised as to the contents of the story, but it absolutely blew me away.

One thing I would suggest is that if you decide to read this book, don’t go for a kindle edition – but a physical copy of the book, the illustrations are gorgeous, they’re so beautiful and fit the tone of the book so well, reading it on an e-reader would completely diminish the experience. It is not the most easy of reads, at times it is heart breaking and painful, but it is without a doubt worth your time to read.

It is hard to say much more about A Monster Calls, other than that it is truly wonderful and if you’ve ever dealt with grief or loss in any capacity, buy this book now.

Looking for something similar? Try: This Dark Endeavour or Revolver.