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Bookish Thoughts

I love reading! I read books about anything, any time, any place.

Eleanor & Park - Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor & Park - Rainbow Rowell

'Holding Eleanor's hand was like holding a butterfly. Or a heartbeat. Like holding something complete, and completely alive'


I really enjoyed this book. It reminded me of being a teenager and falling in love for the first time. The late night phone calls and living, breathing and sleeping that one person you'd do anything for. Eleanor's story is a sad one and I felt for her from the very start. Park was also interesting, I enjoyed both of their characters and felt connections with both of them in the novel.


Considering this is a novel primarily about teenage love it is an interesting and enjoyable read. Who doesn't love a bit of romance? 


The Stag & Hen Weekend - Mike Gayle

The Stag and Hen Weekend - Mike Gayle

I really didn't enjoy this book, I was tempted to not finish it...but my 'need to finish' books problem got the better of me. I'm so glad I borrowed it from the library instead of buying it.


It tells the story of Phil & Helen, the respective Stag & Hen. Split in half, in two separate books it tells the in and outs of their weekends - the lads in Amsterdam, the girls at a Hotel Spa. I liked the original premise of the way the book was split in two, and was intrigued as to how this would work out. 


I just thought the storyline was dull and in some places quite far-fetched. I didn't particularly warm to either of the characters. If I had to choose a storyline I preferred I would go with Helen's. Her friends seemed quite fun and supportive to be around. 


I don't really have much more to say about this book, it hasn't spurred me on to read any more of Mike Gayle's novels - although I recently purchased 'Wish You Were Here' - drat!


Have you read this and had different feelings about it? Have you read any other books written by Mike Gayle?

Torn Apart - James Patterson

Torn Apart - James Patterson

This book was amazing! I enjoyed it so much that I have passed it on to a friend at work who has said exactly the same - and she is only a quarter of the way through it.


It tells the story of Cory and his battle with Tourettes Syndrome. This is very close to my heart as I have a family member who suffers with this, so for me this was informative whilst being utterly heartbreaking! It is a truthful account of emotions, difficulties, barriers and challenges. It is also the story of family and what can be achieved through sheer determination, love and support.


The book is written in very easy to read language (even with the medical jargon thrown in). The chapters are short, meaning that before you know it you are already half way through! There were times when I had a lump in my throat, thinking about the suffering that this young man went through at many different points in his life.


I would urge everyone to read this book, whether you know someone with Tourettes - or not! I think the world needs to know more about this condition, as it is not yet fully understand - awareness needs to be raised!


It is a quick read, heartbreaking yet wonderful. Read it!

Nessa: A Breeders Story by Katie French

Nessa: A Breeders Story - Katie French

This a short novella linked to 'The Breeders' by Katie French.


I haven't read The Breeders yet, I read this first to see if I liked the idea - it was free on my Kindle Fire too!


Synopis taken from GoodReads;


Eighteen-year-old Nessa knows what it’s like to be an endangered species. Grown up in a dying world where nine out of ten babies are born male, she survives by trusting no one. When Marlin, the nineteen-year-old gunslinger with the sky-blue eyes, kills the man who has been keeping her enslaved, Nessa decides this handsome stranger might be her meal ticket. What she doesn’t realize is love is still possible, even in their decimated world. When Nessa discovers she’s pregnant with Marlin’s child, her difficult life now teeters on a knife’s edge. Can she bear to bring a child into their shattered world? Better yet, can Marlin keep them safe from those that hunt Nessa?


This book was brilliant! It is creepy and unusual and I love the world that the author has created. It does give away a few elements of the story although these have only served to intrigue me, I will be buying The Breeders very soon! The author creates a world in which women are pretty much an endangered species, they run away and hide from men because they are threatened and used.


Although this sounds like a dark and devastating concept, it is written fantastically! I got really sucked in and felt Nessa's pain and sorrow immediately. I felt her terror, shame and constant desire for freedom.


I would definitely recommend this book if you want something new in the YA Dystopian, Sci-fi genre. It is intended for adult and mature teen readers. A brilliant, short read that definitely left me wanting to know more!

Library Haul!

The Stag and Hen Weekend - Mike Gayle Doll Bones - Eleanor & Park - Rainbow Rowell Night Strangers - Chris Bohjalian Witch Hunt - Syd Moore Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles, #2) - Marissa Meyer

These are the books I picked up from the library yesterday, all were on my 'want to read' list!


Tell me what you think...have you read any of them?


I will post a review of Torn Apart very soon....one word = amazing!



Torn Apart - James Patterson

Torn Apart: The True Story of a Childhood Lost - James Patterson

I pulled Torn Apart by James Patterson out of my TBR jar for my next read.


This has been sat on my shelf for months, after my mum recommended it to me. It actually deals with an issue very close to my heart, my younger brother has Tourettes Syndrome - a neurological condition, diagnosed when he was 8 - he is now 16. I don't know why I haven't read this yet, but now I have the chance too I'm looking forward to it. Here's the synopsis if you're interested;


Torn Apart is the story of one family's courage, heartbreak, sacrifice, and, ultimately triumph.


Cory Friedman was an ordinary fun-loving little boy. But one fateful March morning in 1989, Cory's life changed dramatically and was left in tatters.


Cory had developed a rare combination of neurological conditions. The life he knew had been torn apart and his family were left watching him suffer. Desperate to help, they embarked on a fifteen-year struggle which took them beyond breaking point.



The Sea Sisters - Lucy Clarke

The Sea Sisters - Lucy Clarke

'People go travelling for two reasons: because they are searching for something, or they are running from something.'


Lucy Clarke's debut novel (US version - Swimming at Night) follows the story of two sisters, Mia & Katie Greene. When Mia is found dead on her travels in Bali, Katie - armed with Mia's travel journal - goes on a search of self-discovery. 


I enjoyed this book although there were a few elements that bought the rating down for me. Firstly I enjoyed the use of multiple narrative. The story is told in alternating chapters from both Katie and Mia's perspective - this made me feel like I was getting the full picture. It also helped develop the characters well. The action got better towards the end of the novel, I felt like I was finally being provided with more answers - much like Katie. The relationship and connection between sisters was also very well written, true to life and the underpinning of the book.


I felt like I wanted more from the travel side of the novel. Katie goes on a journey to lots of wonderful places, yet I felt like the author didn't really use this element to its full potential. It had so much promise, yet I felt it was lacking something. There were also parts which I had worked out what was going to happen before they happened. This may have been inevitable knowing the storyline and through getting to know the characters as the story evolved.The ending was a slight surprise, something I wasn't fully expecting.


Overall, this novel is an easy read. Although dealing with a dark area, it is very well-written. Each part of the story flows well into the next. If you want a book that is easy to read with a little bit of romance, self-discovery and a somewhat happy ending, definitely give this book a go!


Book buying ban?!

"Of course anyone who truly loves books buys more of them than he or she can hope to read in one fleeting lifetime. A good book, resting unopened in its slot on a shelf, full of majestic potentiality, is the most comforting sort of intellectual wallpaper." - David Quammen.


Okay so I totally purchased more books today, I have a huge pile that I need to read so I bought seven more....oh dear. I just can't resist!


Any one else have the same addiction as me?


Oh and just to throw it out there - if you have a Kindle like me, this website - www.kindleobsessed.com - regularly posts up to date, freebie kindle books! I purchased some great ones last night, didn't cost me a penny! Check it out!


I am nearly done reading Lucy Clarke's The Sea Sisters, mixed thoughts on this one...will post a review over the weekend.


Happy Reading!

The Virgin Suicides - Jeffrey Eugenides

The Virgin Suicides: Reissued - Jeffrey Eugenides

"Basically what we have here is a dreamer. Somebody out of touch with reality. When she jumped, she probably thought she'd fly."


I read this book after watching a review via the BookTubing community. I wasn't sure what to expect, although the review raved about it, now I understand why.


This book is fantastic, brilliant yet unusual. Disturbing yet fascinating. I couldn't put it down. Jeffrey Eugenides writes in the most beautiful way, his prose is astonishing. He made the most grimmest of scenes utterly breathtaking.


A book that deals with teenage suicide, of not just one but five girls, you'd think would be very morbid and depressing. In a way it is. But, the narrative style makes you truly believe what you are reading is true. A slightly obsessive nature, creates a compelling storyteller. 


The lives of five girls are captured through the minute detail of the boys in the neighbourhood. Through observation and longing, they depict the events as they unfold. Not only do they focus on how the events affect individuals, but how it can also affect an entire community.


I truly feel that this book should be a must-read, something of a contemporary classic.


I will definitely be picking up Middlesex and The Marriage Plot in the near future.

Safe Haven - Nicholas Sparks

Safe Haven - Nicholas Sparks

"Love doesn't mean anything if you're not willing to make a commitment, and you have to think not only about what you want, but about what he wants. Not just now, but in the future."


This is the first Nicholas Sparks book I have read, I will definitely be reading more of his novels after this!


This book has an underlying, emotional darker story. The way the author deals with this is fantastic. I found myself routing for the main protagonists, wanting to keep reading to see if they got their happy ending. There are scenes in this book which disturbed me, Sparks has an amazing way of making you feel the pain and sorrow of a character. His writing style really drew me in and made me want to keep reading.


The sadness of losing a loved one was also conveyed brilliantly whilst keeping the sentimental elements in place. The last part of this novel was a surprise to me, I did not see it coming at all. It was a thought provoking way to deal with loss and the inevitability of moving on. I understand that this novel has now been made into a film, it would be interesting to see how they portray the darker side of this book on screen.


I am intending to pick up The Notebook next. I love the film and I hope the book is just as good.



"Vanity is a factor, but it is more a question of control. It is easier to trick others into perceiving you as beautiful if you can convince yourself you are beautiful. But mirrors have an uncanny way of telling the truth."
Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1) - Marissa Meyer

I actually really enjoyed this book. I found it quite slow to start but persevered and grew to love it! I picked this up at my local library after hearing many reviews from BookTubers, and I will be picking up the sequel - Scarlet - very soon.


It re-tells the story of Cinderella creating a new, funky, modernised tale. The characters are well thought out, and Prince Kai makes a dashing hero.


Set in the dystopian future of New Beijing, Cinder - a mechanic - is a cyborg. She is blamed for her father's death and her sister's illness, by her evil stepmother, Adri. On the arrival of Queen Levana, a Lunar - Cinder begins to make discoveries about her life.


When reading the novel I did find the plot predictable, certain parts immediately made me realise what was going to happen next and how the story would eventually unfold. I wouldn't say that this ruined the storyline for me, I was still eager to find out how it all unfolded - I just would have liked a little more suspense.The set up of this novel had so much potential, yet I feel the author lacked something. This and the predictable plot were the main reasons I gave it a four star rating, instead of a five.


Overall this is a great story, one I would certainly recommend to those who enjoy delving into dystopian, futuristic worlds.